Movie: Jenny’s Wedding – Catherine Heigl

 Totally Charmed by this film

I just finished watching this lovely gem of a movie, and I found it so moving, bittersweet – often quite hilarious, often very touching. Having a sister of my own (that I adore) who is gay and has had similar challenges in getting to her place of love and acceptance, I feel I came to the film as the ideal audience member for this movie’s very involving message and narrative. In my sister’s case, our parents had such initial difficulties coming to terms, yet ultimately they accepted things as they were and grew into much greater, more loving people as a result.
The film is a must-see for anyone that has a friend or family member that is gay or even in any way “different”. Continue reading


Riverside Bistro – a “Must try” restaurant in New Glasgow, NS

My wife, brother-in-law and his wife and I had the great good fortune to eat at the Riverside Bistro, a very new, cozy and elegant little haute cuisine restaurant that has recently opened in at #15 Riverside in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, upstairs in a building just adjacent to the dock/marina where the pleasure boats tie up on the East River of Pictou.  It seats only 23 at this point, so get in before it becomes too well known, then spread the word!  It’s a little tricky to get to, so use the Google Map link I provide below, because just google-mapping 15 Riverside, New Glasgow, NS will point you to some oddball place not particularly close to where you need to be to find it.

About the experience: The decor is subdued, subtle, the service is excellent and attentive, and the food is nothing short of amazing.  I had what I think was one of the finest seafood chowders I have ever tried, for openers.  It was light-textured, not a heavily-thickened soup like traditional clam chowder – more milky/creamy in texture, with all its ingredients at the their freshest best and full of their own individual character.  This is a soup that’s made at the moment, not idling on a stove waiting for the next customer order.

My wife had a trio of seafood-and-vegetables-in-a-mille-feuille appetizer which was truly delicious (think of the best spanakopita (for the texture), but as light as air, fragrant and full of fresh fish and seasonal vegetables, baked to crispy light perfection).

My baked haddock entree came with a salad, which was deliciously but subtly graced with a very simple vinaigrette of sorts, made of milled herbs, probably a dash of oil and a light hand with a quality vinegar – I’m guessing here, it just tasted excellent and the flavour of the greens came through delightfully, complemented beautifully rather than being overwhelmed. The fish was cooked to the point of perfect tenderness, and was presented beautifully, the delicious flavour of perfectly fresh fish coming to the fore and just delicately augmented by a light hand with spices, herbs in a delicious savoury thin sauce with a light cream base.

My wife had scallops, graced with some lean and very delicious bacon – it seemed to be too lean to be regular bacon, so perhaps it was Pancetta, which I haven’t had often enough to tell by taste.  The whole was complemented with subtly garlic-y mashed potatoes (our charming waitress recommended these are the best potatoes she has had in ages, and she’s part Polish so she knows from potatoes).

My brother-in-law’s wife had a shrimp pasta dish with a cream sauce and a salsa at the side that she initially thought would not go together, but found yet again the chef’s innovative and sure hand had created another great combination.  She loved it, and found the combination melded perfectly.

Dessert was excellent, too – fresh, innovative, delicious.  I had an excellent carrot cake, and my wife had an apple torte with cheese cake and almonds on top.

Recommendation: If you are ever traveling Highway 104 east-west across the top of Nova Scotia, this wonderful restaurant is absolutely worth a few minutes side-trip into New Glasgow.

How to get there: The street address is #15 Riverside, but it’s actually located on the small roadway by the river that leads off Riverside Street to the left, and this roadway goes under the bridge at George Street.

Effectively, it’s just north of the intersection of George Street and Riverside Street, but you need to go down to the marina along the marina access road off Riverside Parkway (which turns into Riverside Street north of George Street).  There you’ll find this one building facing onto the water.

The Riverside Bistro is upstairs, above another restaurant, so once you find the  building go around the left (north) side where you’ll find the door and stairs leading up into the Riverside Bistro.

You owe it to yourself to try this charming restaurant!  The chef has a wonderful, subtle way of enhancing all the dishes we tried, while being true to the ingredients which all shone through, making their own flavours be the primary element of the dish.  Being family we all got to try each other’s dishes, and all agreed everything we ordered was delicious.  It was unfortunate our stay in New Glasgow was short enough that we could only eat there once, but we’ll definitely be back!

Here’s a Google Map link to this approximate location… If you use the Satellite image, the rectangular grey building across from the boats is it.

For those who cannot go in person, the Riverside Bistro’s chef also offer event catering, and you can contact the chef directly at JCONWAY CATERING,

UPDATE: Tragically, the owner of the building where this wonderful restaurant was located is also the owner of the Marina next door, and somehow this guy neglected to tell his restaurateur tenant that he fills up the parking lot with the docks from the marina during the winter months, making the whole parking area into a complete mess and eliminating any hope of parking any cars … thus completely killing the hopes of these restaurateurs to have a workable business in the winter months (ie. there’s now no parking).  No amount of reasoning with the building owner could make him see sense, and so (sob) this jewel of a restaurant has closed.  I understand they are still catering out of other premises, and I really hope they will one day re-open as a restaurant.

I really fear for our great neighbours in the US as elections draw near

Another election is drawing near in the US, and I have to confess after listening to a number of the ignorant and oh-so-massively-biased “talking heads” at the various US television networks, listened to radio commentary, ads purporting to state facts in order to slander the one side or the other (and even Christian Radio stations weigh in on this – shame!) I come to a conclusion:

I frankly can’t understand how our American cousins can possibly come to an informed opinion as they are about to vote for who will be their president for the next four years.

How can US citizens listen to these mouthpieces go on and on, day in and day out, harping on the same topic?  How those same talking heads trot out hearsay, innuendo, and even flat lies, and pass that off as responsible journalism?  I forgot – they’re not journalists, they’re commentators, and they don’t have to deal with the truth.  Have we got to the point that truth has become dependent on situation?

I fully understand that people vote based on their likes and dislikes, that’s human nature.  However, when they want to set aside bias for a moment, in order to weigh a man’s body of work, his history, what he has contributed – they should be able to get to the truth – the real “un-spun” truth.
There have been a lot of likeable presidents and prime ministers that did little to no good, or even great harm; and there have been some that have been very little liked, who did the right thing and the country benefited from that.

The real truth has to surface in order to make an informed decision, just like one needs to have a drug-free Olympics in order to determine who’s the best in his field of sports.  If everything is being distorted, amended, augmented, then one would have no real basis for deciding beyond “I like this guy”, and never having a hope of justifying even in your own mind why that’s a good decision.  Otherwise, we’ll (continue) toward a path where the American people get the President who’s puppeteers have paid the most to get public opinion warped to their self-serving intentions.

Our own Canadian elections are disgusting, dirty and unethical enough, but thankfully we Canadians don’t have a system that allows for Super-Pacs to take half-truths and sew them together with innuendo and huge amounts of money, and try to pass that off as fact – at least not to the same degree as we see in the US.  Or at least, if we do, they’re not as well-funded as their self-interested billionaires or massive fundamentalist churches south of the border.

Who can tell who’s telling the truth from who’s telling (shall I be polite) something other than the truth out of cleverly-disguised self-interest?

I wonder if the average American knows to what extent these folks are trying to lead him around by the nose.

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On Augmented-Reality eyewear

Google is releasing information on, and asking for user ideas on a possible future product – augmented-reality eyewear (see this article: ).

I have little doubt this will come to pass in some form or another, and no doubt the glasses will eventually have both a microphone and speakers, making them a natural replacement for or extension of the hand-held telephone. Where the iPod and iPad are rapidly becoming the ubiquitous means by which people stay connected, and stay abreast of what’s happening in their lives, a technology like this will provide a means of accessing that information, and have that data intelligently provided to them based on a host of current behaviours and the user’s current location.

Read that article – this is likely coming sometime soon, and could possibly displace (or at least seriously supplement) things like iPhones and iPads… like how about a device like an iPhone you never have to look at – it’s just a store of data and auxiliary processing horsepower?  Maybe even that won’t be necessary if miniaturization continues at its current pace. 

I do think the term “Augmented Reality” is a bit self-important sounding, though, and I hope they come up with a new terminology for this before it dies just out of the rancour of those who rail at anything too radical, technically  (like shaved under-arms, elastic waistbands in underwear, and Q-Tips, for example).

On the down side, our no-texting-no-cellphone-while-driving laws will doubtless need to be expanded or seriously reworked.

I could see a device like this being the newest seriously-distracting element on our highways, and I could further envision people falling onto subway tracks in droves as they pay attention to what they see in their new eyewear instead of paying attention to where they are. 

It may be the final thing that proves that we’re no way near as good at multi-tasking as we believe ourselves to be. 

Hopefully it will be smart enough to know it’s in a moving car and will gracefully and smartly shut off its display (at the very least).

Ah, well… our planet is seriously over-populated… maybe lemmings have something like this built in (they don’t)… perhaps they’re just plugged into an augmented reality when their populations are too dense and they head for the sea?

Internet prying by the Canadian Government

I’m as outraged and disgusted as the next parent at the fact that there exists pornography that expoits children, let alone the sheer volume of this sick stuff that’s apparently available on the internet. Catching the people responsible for this (the suppliers and purveyors) as well as those who download it (the consumers) is important work, and our Police on every level should be commended for continuing this fight vigorously.

However, our Conservative Government has yet again overstepped its mandate in attempting to drive through recent misguided legislation that would permit Police to gain access to any citizen’s internet usage from the user’s ISP without review or just cause, eliminating the need to request a warrant. Haven’t any of our leaders read “1984” or “Brave New World”?

Had this misguided bit of legislation gone through, who knows to what extend this would have encouraged our Prime Minister and his weak-minded ministers to intrude further into our private lives.

The vast majority of us have nothing to hide, and abhor those who do have the most disgusting things to hide.

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