Whisky Notes – Glenfarclas

One of the things I enjoy very much is whisky, check the name of this blog after all! And as part of my doing things more deliberately, I set a timer at 8:55 am this morning and I didn’t waver from work until it went off 50 minutes later. At that point, I got up and walked around the floor of our building twice and came back to spend 5 minutes checking personal e-mails.

One of them was from Glenfarclas telling me that they had updated their website. I marked it as unread and labelled it “want to follow up” and returned to it at lunch. First note, I don’t really remember the old website, so it’s sort of as a new viewer that I’m reviewing this one.

from the Glenfarclas website

So, the new website – first of all, thank you for not making me have to enter in my whole birth date. A simple Yes or No to the question “are you of legal age wherever you are in the world right now” was nice.

The first image is of a couple of rows of barrels. And the byline “Made to age” is nice. The font choice is very deliberate I am sure, ‘Made’ is block letters that look a little worn around the edges, ‘age’ in a great flowery flowy script.

The stories told on the site are lovely and the pictures are very nice. I loved learning that when John Grant’s son George died, the licence for the distillery went to George’s widow Elise. And nice to find out that there’s yet another George Grant carrying on the Glenfarcas tradition.

Glenfarclas is a speyside whisky. Speyside is an area in Scotland around the River Spey. For a Canadian connection, wikipedia tells me that Robert Simpson, who founded Simpson’s, was born there. And “Speyside” is a protected locality for whisky in the UK, much like a DOP rating for Italian cheeses – in English it’s “protected designation of origin.” Basically, the UK law sets out that a whisky cannot be labelled, or advertised, in a way that includes a protected locality or region unless the whisky is Scotch Whisky that has been distilled in that locality or region. (source: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/2890/regulation/10/made)

The definition of “scotch whisky” in the regulation is a little over half a page!

By Drawn by User:Briangotts as Image:Scotch regions.png and converted to SVG by w:User:Interiot. – Erskine, Kevin. The Instant Expert’s Guide to Single Malt Scotch. Doceon Press, 2005.Jackson, Michael. Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch. Running Press, 2004.Wilson, Neil. The Island Whiskey Trail. Glasgow: Angel’s Share, 2003., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2498675

Anyway, it’s a speyside I spent all of the afternoon thinking about: how I would pour a drink, post a picture and some tasting notes. Only I have none! None! I must have finished it a while ago. But I already had this much of the post so there you go. You get a bit about Glenfarclas, and I add it to my list of bottles to watch out for at the LCBO.

A better day than yesterday

I found the perfect Monday logo online. Turns out it’s an IT company: http://monday.pt/

I don’t want to call it “day one” again; or a re-start. That’s getting to be ridiculous now. But I will go for “today will be a better day than yesterday.” I’ve also felt a little rudderless and end up feeling at the end of the day like I haven’t done anything.

I’m not even going to focus on a week to start. Just a couple of days…

So, Monday May 8 and Tuesday May 9:

Bigger picture:

  • I’ll stop and think before I eat or drink anything.
  • I’ll focus on work at work and on home at home

More practical:

  • Toby and I will hang the maps Monday or Tuesday – will before and after pictures
  • I’ll write notes to two friends just to remind them they’re important to me
  • One load of laundry on Monday
  • One condo viewing on Tuesday
  • Practice piano both days

Have a great week!

Grammar geek

Sometimes I get annoyed by the silliest little things. Lot of those things involve the English language. Which clearly isn’t as easy to use as it should be but spelling/pluralization/s vs z/ -ice vs -ise / etc aside, definitions usually aren’t the problem.  But seriously if you are selling a house for 16.8 MILLION DOLLARS your agent should have a better than average grasp of the English language.

Penultimate does not mean “most ultimate.” What does it mean?

Last but one.

Second last.

Walter Gretzky is NOT the penultimate hockey dad. He is awesome. I adore every story I read about Walter. But he is not the second last hockey dad.

Of course Vanity Fair gets it right about some show I don’t watch because I am old and love sports that involve ice BUT it gets it right.

And yes, this ranks up there on the “I am a geek” scale but for Pete‘s sake, get it right. Or at the very least be adult enough to recognize when you don’t really know what something means and look it up.

Oppression breeds resistance

It’s been an emotional week. And I’m not American, or even in the U.S., so I can only imagine it goes even deeper there. Well, for some. For others, as we’ve seen, they take this as their time to shine.

I’ve kept politics out of this blog till now but I cannot be silent any more. It’s just not right.

I have a sister-in-law who is a writer. Robin has written many books for kids and teens and wrote her first non-fiction book on Pride. It’s aimed at tweens I guess, ages 9 to 13 according to the publisher Orca. You really should go to the link – you can scroll through some pictures and read reviews etc. but the part I remember most about the book and the website is the reminder: “Pride Day looks like a party – but it began with a riot.”

Pride is a celebratory book – but it goes back and looks at the history, teaching it to kids maybe for the first time AND most importantly showing them that they are not alone.

A line Robin recently posted about I think it needs to be repeated again and again: “…whenever there is oppression, there is resistance. People fight back – and that’s how change happens.”

I have a lot of friends sharing things to do in the US like the 10 Actions in 100 Days. I’m trying to find similar Canadian projects so please share if you know of any!

I don’t expect to change any minds but I want others to know they aren’t alone. While I welcome all discussion, anything disrespectful will be immediately deleted.

I don’t know where I first saw this but I love it.

Donations to help animals and their helpers

Sometimes my kid kills me. He might test my patience from time to time but he is a kind and gentle and loving kid.

For the last two years, he and I have picked a charity for my monthly donation. (Toby always picks MSF so Q and I try to do something different).

In 2015 he wasn’t so into it but last year he really helped narrow down choices and in the end we did an organization (Canadian Veteran Service Dog Unit – link) that trains dogs to help veterans with PTSD. Q called it “dogs for super heroes.”

He wanted to do animals again this year and we settled on WWF-Canada (same as his birthday charity). Then we saw the stuff about the adoptions you can do. Q insisted we each adopt an animal. Plus he wanted to chose a helper.

There were six options for the helpers – male and female for each of: polar researcher, wildlife ranger and marine biologist. I showed him the page with all of their pictures on it. None really looked like him but there are boys and girls and one has long blond hair and another has short brown hair and so on and it it turns out it just didn’t seem to matter to him at all what they looked like.

So, our African elephant (mine), polar bear (Toby’s choice), and giraffe (Q’s) are now being cared for by a “Female Wildlife Ranger” because that “sounds like a fun helping job” and she’s who he pointed at.

Our January 2017 WWF-Canada adoptions

In keeping with Q’s love of animals and his interest in helping them and the environment we’ve signed him up for a local camp on the next school break that focuses on our local critters and their habitats. I can’t wait until he goes!

Oh and one day I might write a post about Toby and bears and his name….