Tuesday, August 29, 2023

My earliest dateable memory

Iberia Airlines, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 Sep 8, 1964 - Was again The Beatles, who had landed at Dorval Airport. My dad took me outside to hear the fans screaming. It was about a mile away from our house but I could still hear the girls voices. I can also remember my dad talking to a girl coming to the door on Hallowe'en that year wearing a Beatle wig.

Earliest dateable to the year memories

1964 - The earliest memory I can sort of date is The Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. I don't know which of the four appearances it was. 

Picture: Dan Grossi


Saturday, August 19, 2023


 I can't seem to get rid of this clothespin - Les Foubrac were an acrobatic comedy duo. When  I photographed them in 1990 someone clipped this on my vest without me knowing! Faites circuler is 'pass it around'.

Thursday, August 17, 2023


Four big ones - I bought the plant but the label is off, so I don't know what variety it is.


Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Nespresso Capsule Return Envelope

 There is no Nespresso pod recycling in my area, which is a shame as they are made out of easily recyclable aluminum, but if you ask at the https://www.nespresso.com/ca/en/irecycle website using their chat function they will send you recycling bags free of charge that you can use to mail them back to them. They have a reusable zip-loc style closure and a tape seal when it's full.


Sunday, August 6, 2023

Poutine festival's French fried humour

I've also seen a chip stand called "Lord of the Fries" near Guelph. The band The Tragically Hip was formed in Kingston, Ontario.

Poutine Festival, Cornwall, Ontario

Poutine is a relatively new snack food. It's difficult to track its origin, since the word in French can mean different things. Chip stands and wagons have been ubiquitous in Quebec, as have cheese curds but when and where they were put together with gravy is not certain.  Poutine probably derives from 'pudding', and can mean something that's thrown together, a mess, or trouble. Poutine Acadienne or Poutine râpée is a potato dumpling (or just grated potatoes on a plate with the filling), and in the St. Maurice valley region of central Quebec there is a pastry flour dumpling with the same name. The curds. fries and gravy form seemed to have developed in the 50s in either Warwick, Princeville or Drummondville, Quebec. It didn't come to Montreal until 1983 and I first saw it in Lancaster, Ontario, near the provincial border, in 1985, and I tracked its westward march. By 1990 it was in Toronto and on the menu at fast food chains like McDonalds. In the 80s it was an object of ridicule in Montreal, particularly in the humour magazine CROC, and if I mentioned poutine in western Quebec, people would ask me if I meant Poutine Acadienne, because they found the cheese curds, fries and gravy variety disgusting. When I lived in Lowertown, Quebec City there was a snack bar near me that had a sign that claimed they were the first in Quebec City to serve it, but said the owner had gotten the idea from New Brunswick. As I recall, 'hot chicken' (called that in French) sauce, which is made by the St-Hubert restaurant chain, was the usual gravy.
It is pronounced 'poo-tin' in English like in French, at least as far west as Brockville, Ontario, where they will correct you if you say it  'poo-teen', but a lot of people in Toronto say it 'poo-teen'.  I don't know where the isogloss, the line that separates the two pronunciations,  is. Ryan Gosling grew up in Cornwall so he says 'poo-tin', and he fronts the 't' sound so much it becomes an affricate consonant .⟨t͡s⟩, which is common in Canadian French -   His parents are from London, Ontario of partial French-Canadian background, but he doesn't speak much French.

Poutine is also the spelling of Vladimir Putin's name in French. When I saw him called "Le Roi Poutine" (King Putin) on the cover of a French magazine, I thought they were talking about a new fast food chain!


Tuesday, August 1, 2023

North America Bunny

North America, in a rabbit's fur. Owner said she lets her out for a half hour everyday.