November 25, 2012

Tropical Chili

Tropical Chili
aka "Fight Winter with Fire" Chili

  • Half red onion
  • 2 garlic pieces
  • 1 can black/navy beans
  • 1 package Yves ground round (or meat, if that's your thing)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can pineapple (less juice, which you drink like a bauws)
  • Handful of frozen corn
  • Handful of raisins
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • Half jar of salsa
  • 3 dashes chili powder
  • 1 dash cumin
  • 1 diced hot pepper

  1. Dice the red onion and garlic. Throw into large pot on medium heat to sweat for about 2 minutes.
  2. In the can, mash up about half the navy beans. Then throw into the pot, stirring occasionally so they don't burn, again for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the ground round and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. It's go time! Add everything else, turn on to medium/low heat and cook for 20ish minutes, stirring occasionally and spicing to taste.
That's all, easy-peasy. Chili with a tropical twist (and yes, John Conklin, you can add guacamole after to give it yet another twist).

November 23, 2012

A meal made of gold

Meet the powerhouse behind Wasabi Sabi — Chef Östen Rice, who just won the Winnipeg Gold Medal Plate for an inspired Scandan-asian dish.

You can read up on his life, experience at the competition and hopes on the Going Places Blog in a piece written by some so-and-so.

November 21, 2012

A Creativity Wrangler

Meet Maeghan Heinrichs, a Winnipeg creative light. Dayna Robbie, Priya Tandon and I filmed this quick interview with her (and the Vantage Team in action).

And listen with care to her parting wisdom - do what you enjoy. It's a simple suggestion, but what a difference it makes when you start living it.

Thanks Maeghan!

November 15, 2012

Tuesday's Mission: Save a Life

You can save a life this Tuesday.

Actually, you can save a life any day by donating blood. The bonus to doing it on Tuesday, November 20th is you'll be joining some of the most fun people this side of the Manitoba escarpment - the great team behind Red River Radio's Rally for Red.

All day long, Red River Radio will be bringing you up to speed on Canadian Blood Services in Winnipeg - who they are, what they do and how a little prick (giggle) can save a person's life.

Get on board folks - it's gonna be a par-tay.

November 11, 2012

Waiting for Remembrance

A year ago, I attended the Remembrance Day service at Bruce Park Cenotaph, then wrote this story for my first year creative communications journalism class.


Over 400 people are waiting on the grassy hill beside Bruce Park’s cenotaph. The sun is shining; a few drifts of snow are on the grass. Clumps of friends, young families and solitary people mix on the hill. Uniforms dot the crowd.

A woman leads a boy by the hand, saying, “You’ve got ants in your pants, so we’re taking a walk.”

In the distance, bagpipes and drums strike up a march and the crowd’s chatter stops.

Six pipers and twelve drummers, blue kilts and regalia flapping in the breeze, lead flag-bearers, a party of veterans and members of 402 Squadron Winnipeg. They march around the crowd, circle the memorial, and then halt at attention.

As the service begins, grey clouds hide the sun.

The Assiniboia Concert Band plays “O Canada” before listeners realize what’s happening. The crowd catches up, however, and quietly sings the national anthem.

Major Brian Slous prays, asking God to be near those whose lives have been affected by war, who have lost loved ones, or who suffer pain and injury due to conflict.

“What we value is preserved by a very thin line. Many standing here have stood on that line. Many have died on that line. Some bear the wounds of having stood on that line. If we gathered here fail to stand on that line... their sacrifice is in vain.”

The last post.

The piper’s lament.

Two minutes of silence are announced. Halfway through, a young boy in a suit looks around; he doesn’t break his silence, but he can’t stop himself from looking at the crowd.

Representatives lay wreaths at the foot of the cenotaph. A hymn plays, a benediction is given and “God Save the Queen” is sung. The people are still waiting.

The veterans and 402 Squadron turn for their march down Portage Avenue to the St. James Legion. Now the crowd pushes forward. Men, women and children take poppies from their coats and start adding them to the cluster of wreaths at the foot of the cenotaph, covering the green with red.

This is what they’ve been waiting for.

November 10, 2012


It's 9:50 am. I need back issues of the Winnipeg Free Press for research. I'm at the Millennium Library, waiting for the iron cage that protects thesauri, microfiche and periodicals to be rolled back by the five - five - security guards on the other side.

There's a strange mix around me. The unoccupied elderly; jittery students; street people looking to fill their hours with warmth and infotainment. There are subdivisions within these groups: the unbathed, unshaven man who naps with his head lolling back, gently mocked by his peers. There's a long haired goth hiding under his hoodie and clutching a briefcase.

The crowd is milling, restless. At five minutes to the hour, on cue, they form a line. I'm an outsider here. These are regulars, chased out at end of day and returning at first opportunity.

The hour comes and passes by a few seconds. No movement from the guards and the lineup's temperature shifts. The aura has changed. It wants its due.

And a guard notices. He groans, poor lamb. Slowly he reaches for the gate, then slams the slats together to push the thing open (the noise is clearly a pleasure). And the line heads in, not quite running, not quite walking, fanning out to pre-claimed nooks.

I love it. I love that there's still somewhere (anywhere) where some people (any people) will politely stampede for books.

November 3, 2012


Have you ever found that life has sped up to point of detachment? That when you think about your day, your week, the past month, not only does it seem like events happened a lifetime ago, but they happened to someone else?

I'm in that season right now, it seems. And I'm deeply grateful I chose the independent professional project (IPP) for college that I did, because nothing pulls me out of the blurring race of life like a great conversation. You know the kind; the ones that slow time down as you openly, honestly connect with another person; the ones that set off thoughts in your head to the tune of "Oh my god, here is this intelligent, funny, beautiful human being who is trying to answer the big questions, just like me."

As much work as my radio show/podcast Heartbeat is (and will be), I wouldn't trade the conversations I've had for anything. They've been an anchor in a stormy three months.

I could ask you to head on over to Heartbeat's website, Twitter and Facebook to see what I'm up to (the first episode is now podcasting).

But before you do that, grab someone (a friend, an acquaintance, someone you barely know), clear an hour of your time and have an open, honest, emotionally available conversation. Tell them something you've never told anyone and ask questions that leap over barriers of polite manners and awkwardness.

Trust me - it's worth it.