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Japan's Disposable Workers
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I Am Skooter  So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Watchmaker steadies his delicate hand / I want you / For barbeque parties on blood red sands
— Peter Gabriel, And Through the Wire
December 13, 2013
Daniel Lanois and Rocco DeLuca at the Belljar Cafe


If you’re looking for reasons to add to the “why Skot keeps thinking about moving to Toronto” list, places like the Belljar Cafe should be on there. This is beautiful.

Posted by skooter at 10:34 AM
Tags: Daniel Lanois, Rocco DeLuca, Videos

November 15, 2011
Nothing's More Important than a Really Good Burger

When Dean Martin tells you how to make a really good burger, it’s best to follow the recipe closely.
Dean Martin's Recipe for a really good burger

Posted by skooter at 6:13 AM
Tags: Dean Martin, Moderne Burger, Rat Pack

July 10, 2011
Saturday in the City

A day that includes a killer breakfast, a visit to a farmer’s market, a stop at Gourmet Warehouse and, and outdoor with Neko Case and the New Pornographers in Stanley Park is a very good day.
Heirloom Tomatoes at the Trout Lake Farmer's Market Neko Case in Stanley Park

September 18, 2010
Rob Feenie and Eric Foskett of the Cactus Club

Chefs Rob Feenie and Eric Foskett of the Cactus Club Vancouver’s own Iron Chef Rob Feenie was at the Caffe Artigiano at Broadway and Cambie in Vancouver with Cactus Club executive chef Eric Foskett. They both very kindly allowed me to take their photo.

July 6, 2010
Some People Call It Basil: I Call It Raw Pesto

Basil Leaf

Posted by skooter at 4:54 AM
Tags: Basil, Food, Macro

June 15, 2010
Mollie Katzen's Broccoli & Tofu in Spicy Peanut Sauce

The Finished Product In the Wok Ingredients I do O.K. sometimes. I think the sauce thickened up a bit, but it was pretty good regardless.

Yes, those are lightsaber chopsticks.

Recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by the phenomenal Mollie Katzen

June 7, 2010
Things That Scare Me: Deep Fried Fat

Deep Fried Fat There isn’t very much in the world that really scares me. I’m not that fond of reptiles, I never tried cliff diving and there’s a few places in the world that I wouldn’t vacation at certain times.

I think that I’d put Deep Fried Fat at the top of the list though. This basically means fat fried in fat. I think my arteries shrivelled up a bit while I took the photo.

Posted by skooter at 3:06 AM
Tags: Food, Health

May 19, 2010
Desserts at Havana, Commercial Drive, Vancouver

A photo shoot for the Vancouver Fringe Festival for an upcoming promotion in cooperation with the wonderful Havana on Commercial Drive.

Posted by skooter at 2:38 AM
Tags: Desert, Food, Fringe Festival, Photography

December 29, 2009
Harper's Magazine Advocates a Protectionist Economy

I really can’t find any other way to read this month’s editorial at Harpers as advocating anything other than a return to good old fashion protectionism. It all just seems a bit weird.

Notebook: Up from Globalism
by Alan Tonelson

“…the full potential of the Buy American approach has been limited by U.S. treaty obligations under NAFTA, and by our membership in the World Trade Organization. Hence, at the very least, the United States should declare these obligations suspended until the economic crisis has been vanquished.” Harpers, January 2010, pp. 9

Oddly, they go on to argue against consumption taxes arguing that they give other countries a competitive advantage.

“Another gigantic but barely recognized barrier to balancing America’s manufacturing dominated trade flows is the use of value-added taxes (VATs) by virtually all U.S. trade partners. VATs are applied only to goods consumed domestically, and since the United States lacks such measures, foreign VATs clandestinely subsidize exports to the United States by subtracting the cost of foreign governments for everything that is not consumed locally.” ibid.

On the first point, it seems clear that there’s nothing inherently wrong with a globalized economy. In theory it promotes a level playing field amongst the world’s citizens and is responsible for the rising (albeit slowly) quality of life of many citizens of traditionally third world nations.

The notion that the United States can create a walled community in which all of its needs are met seems just patently ridiculous. The American economy can’t even provide its own food. As Harpers itself has pointed out

America’s biggest crop, grain corn, is completely unpalatable. It is raw material for an industry that manufactures food substitutes. Likewise, you can’t eat unprocessed wheat. You certainly can’t eat hay. You can eat unprocessed soybeans, but mostly we don’t. These four crops cover 82 percent of American cropland.

On the second I have difficulty seeing consumption taxes as a bad thing. As with any method of taxation the taxes need to be allocated and used effectively by governments. At heart a consumption tax means that those who consume more pay more tax, and its quite difficult to hide from them. Put simply: the guy who buys a BMW pays more taxes than the guy who buys a Honda Civic.

Given the sheer size of the U.S. deficit, and the enormous levels of household debt involved it seems clear that the current strategy of American taxation isn’t sustainable.

Something has to give, and perhaps a consumption tax would help to balance the equation a bit.

Posted by skooter at 2:05 AM
Tags: America, Economics, Oil, Recession

September 14, 2009
Live Every Week Like it's Shark Week

When the time comes for my personal day or reckoning—when the reaper is at my door just waiting for that last breath of air to come through my lips, and I’m looking back on my life and it’s highlights the weekend past is going to, without a shadow of a doubt, make the list of Top 10 Weekends Ever. Along with that first taste of freedom at the end of high school (marking the beginning of that liminal period between youth and full-fledged adulthood) and a spectacular birthday weekend sitting on the shore of Vancouver Island’s Long Beach this weekend will be there.

The weather was sunny and warm and glorious—rare for Vancouver at this time of year. Toronto was warmer, and some will point that out; to these naysayers I have only to say “Pacific Ocean.” I’ll take our slightly lower temperatures with that any day. This weekend—the first after Labour Day—marks the closing of Kitsilano Pool so it was time to get outside.

So, without further ado, from Friday to Sunday night a partial but reasonably complete list of what makes this weekend epic.

Friday night post work swim at Kits Pool; dinner at Go Fish; sitting outside at Stanley Park listening to the Skydiggers sing I Will Give You Everything; Saturday morning errand running at Granville Island; Saturday evening back to the Skydiggers at Stanley Park; Neil Young at Ambleside Beach; Immaculate Machine at the Biltmore Cabaret (including an awesome rendition of The Boys are Back in Town they claimed to have learned the night before at a Chilliwack karaoke bar); Sunday morning breakfast on the patio at Honey’s Doughnuts in Deep Cove; an afternoon hanging out with the always awesome Elizabeth & Benjamin Rogers (and their mother); a final, 12 lap, strong swim at Kits Pool with the sun’s rays getting longer with each lap; dinner at Moderne Burger.

It really doesn’t get much better than that. At the end of that last leisurely lap heading east in Kitsilano Pool I paused, and the thought crossed my mind that perhaps—just perhaps—-if all of us just decided to never get out of that pool…to just stay in forever we could, through shear force of will, make this summer last forever.

Out I crawled though, and up the hill to Moderne Burger. There may be another weekend like this one, but I suspect it won’t be for about another 12 months or so.

October 7, 2008
Coffee Cup Deposits are an Excellent Idea

This is an even better idea than banning plastic bags. Not that I like plastic bags.

“Coffee cup deposit-return urged”: http://www.thestar.com/article/512299
Companies must move on deposit-return recycling of containers, waste expert says
Oct 06, 2008 04:30 AM, MOIRA WELSH, ENVIRONMENT REPORTER

Coffee cups could be recycled through a deposit-return system, keeping the disposable containers out of the landfill, says consultant Clarissa Morawski. 

Companies that sell takeout coffee must create their own deposit-return system that keeps disposable cups out of litter and landfill, or governments will do it for them, says a waste diversion consultant.

Posted by skooter at 1:35 PM
Tags: Coffee, Environmentalism, Recycling

July 12, 2008
Fine Dining at its Best

Countertrop Swami's are still at Moderne Burger I’ve eaten at Moderne Burger three times since it reopened—my first opportunity was on July 2nd. Sometimes, it’s just nice to feel at home again. The burger’s haven’t changed, and are still the best on the coast. The staff is friendly, and busy, and Peter and Kathy are still there. The old chef isn’t, which is a shame.

On Friday’s I cycle to work then swim at the outdoor Kitsilano Pool which, at 137 metres long, is the longest pool in North America. Moderne Burger is two blocks east on Broadway once I’ve climbed the hill after my swim, and last night I couldn’t resist.
Kitsilano Pool, June 18, 2008

Sometimes, it’s not hard to remember why living in Vancouver is so special.

June 24, 2008
Best. News. Ever.

Moderne Burger Re-opens

Posted by skooter at 3:16 AM
Tags: Food, Moderne Burger, Restaurants, Vancouver

May 28, 2008
Tetra-Pak Recycling

The Toronto Star asks a very important question today.

How green is wine in a box?
Experts disagree on how much of a Tetra Pak can really be recycled
May 28, 2008 04:30 AM NANCY J. WHITE

While shoppers at Ontario’s liquor stores may soon be toting their own reusable bags, they still have an eco-dilemma: is it greener to buy wine in a glass bottle or in a Tetra Pak carton?

Most disappointingly, I also learned this;

Returned Tetra Pak cartons are sent by container ship to mills in China and Korea.
(A Michigan mill recently closed, and the Tetra Pak company is looking for recycling options in Canada, says Koel.)

That Michigan mill used to handle Vancouver’s recycling of Tetra-Paks, a fact that caused me to stop purchasing items when I had a choice. (Orange Juice and soup stocks are packed in little else these days.) That it’s now closed means, no doubt, that Vancouver’s Tetra-Paks now embark on the same worldwide journey.

It’s my view that the government should pass legislation requiring local recycling for manufacturers who choose packaging to provide a local recycling option where one is not available.

Refillable glass bottles. That’s a better way to go. Avalon Milk does it in Vancouver, and it’s the only milk I buy.

Tetra Paks are horrible, and I’m offended by the fact that wines like French Rabbit wrap themselves in an environmental flag without a second thought to the real impact of their products.

Posted by skooter at 1:46 PM
Tags: Environmentalism, Recycling

February 4, 2008
There Is Nothing In This World That I Want More Than...

the reopening of Moderne Burger.

Posted by skooter at 11:08 PM
Tags: Food, Moderne Burger, Vancouver

October 13, 2007
Hypodermic Shrimp

Shrimp Syringes

These are the shrimp hypodermics I wrote about at the art show I attended last Thursday.

Posted by skooter at 3:48 PM
Tags: Downtown Eastside, Pretentious, Shrimp

August 26, 2007
Moderne Burger

Moderne Burger is to the hamburger what Pablo Picasso was the world of art: a work of genius, so different from all else that it needs to be savoured in person to absorb the true impact. Once you’ve done that, you won’t be able to look at anything else in quite the same way.

It’s been closed for almost six months now, undergoing some renovations and doubling in size at the current location at Broadway and Larch. I haven’t had a burger in six months. (I discount fast food as “not a burger” and it’s not like I’ve eaten that many anyway!)

On Friday, I had the good fortune of bumping itnto Peter and Kathy who own the place while they were walking around Granvile Island. My excitement was obvious, and they assured me that they’d be open before the end of September. This is good since The Craving was getting so desperate that I swore I was going to go to the vastly inferior Vera’s Burger Shack chain on September 1st if they weren’t open. Now that I know, I can hold out until the end of September.

The holdup, by the way? City council and the permit process. Vancouver takes permitting to an absurd level, and I can only say that this is the one thing that I would consider more important than getting the garbage strike settled: Sam Sullivan, for the good of humanity get Moderne Burger open again!

Posted by skooter at 9:03 AM
Tags: City Council, City Hall, Moderne Burger, Vancouver

August 3, 2006
Countertop Swami, Moderne Burger

Countertop Swami, Moderne Burger

Posted by skooter at 6:49 AM
Tags: Black and White, Photos, Restaurants

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