Just around the corner

Posted: March 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm   /   Columnists

Continuing our historic perspective of the wine trade, after the fall of the Kingdom of Granada, over the next centuries, Western Europe’s trade with the Orient declined as Constantinople fell to the Turks. In particular, this affected trade in sweet wines from the region, due to diminishing supplies. Supply was further affected when the island […]

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A dubious legacy

Posted: March 11, 2011 at 2:07 pm   /   Columnists

I looked at my SOCAN statement this week. I didn’t know it would create emotional turmoil. SOCAN is the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. It collects royalties for music composers from performances of their work, at rates established by a federal agency. After I began writing songs a few years ago, […]

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I’ll be the judge of that

Posted: March 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm   /   Columnists

Well, here I am. On the west coast. I’ve never been here at this time of year. The “not really winter” time and the “not really spring” time of the year. The city I’ve grown to love, and consider my second home, seems dirty, grey and crowded—without promise. On the “correct- change-only #20 bus,” coming […]

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Life’s Mysteries from the Twilight Zone

Posted: March 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm   /   Columnists

The Minnesota Twins spring training complex is located in the heart of Fort Myers. There are several baseball fields, a main stadium, and other locations for players to ply the trade. You enter the ball park off Six Mile Cypress Expressway, and you can park at any of the crossroads, named after the Twins’ great […]

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Pushing and shoving

Posted: March 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm   /   Columnists

A good friend of mine said, “If you have a choice between being honest and being nice, be nice.” It’s pretty good advice and goodness knows I try to be nice, but what really works for my conscience is “being nice, with a side of honest.” Sometimes the honest part gets me into a spot […]

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The twelfth century

Posted: February 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm   /   Columnists

The twelfth century saw the rise of city-states in Italy, which were originally outposts of the eastern Roman Empire of Constantinople. These states came into being by need of Crusaders requiring transportation to the Holy Land. At this time, the Mediterranean was a Saracen lake and the first city-states deployed fleets that preyed upon the […]

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Take me out to the hockey game, please!

Posted: February 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm   /   Columnists

Forty years ago, I climbed a tower to the top of Big Walker Mountain. They said that you could see five states from that viewpoint. Since then, they have pared that number down to three. Thus I was able to see North Carolina and West Virginia, and I was standing in the state of Virginia. […]

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Packaged goods

Posted: February 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm   /   Columnists

You’ve come a long way, baby. Remember that catchphrase? If you do remember it, you know, really remember it, then you’ll remember what it was all about. Cigarettes. Virginia Slims cigarettes, to be precise. Pretty smokes just for pretty babes. Apparently, in the late 1960s women were just waiting for a stylin’ cigarette to show […]

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Cody McCormick

Posted: February 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm   /   Columnists

A perfect role The head honchos of the Buffalo Sabres huddled together about half an hour after their recent victory over the Florida Panthers. The teams had played evenly for four minutes and 55 seconds of overtime. Tyler Myers had slipped over the Cats blueline, and had blasted a slap shot at the Panthers’ net. […]

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Outside the box

Posted: February 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm   /   Columnists

Last week we discovered the link between the English and their love of Bordeaux wines. The wine imported by the English wine merchants was known as Claret. This name was derived from the French word clairet, which was a pale or rosé wine. Claret was made in a similar manner as a rosé wine is […]

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