Preston Singletary

Preston Singletary is a Native American glass artist who masterly combines traditional Northwest coast Tlingit themes in his modern dynamic glass works.
Preston Singletary - Raven at Dusk (blown and sandcarved glass)

Preston Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest. In 1982, Preston started working at a Seattle, Washington glass blowing studio as a night watchman, but his interest in the art of glass eventually saw him joining one of the studio's production teams. He learned the art of glass blowing working with artists in the Seatle area, including Benjamin Moore and Dante Marioni. As a student and assistant, Preston initially focused on mastering the techniques of the European tradition.

Preston Singletary - Metallic Basket - Lake Blue
It was when Preston began to experiment using designs from his Tlingit cultural heritage that his work began to take on a new purpose and direction. Over time, his skill with the material of glass and traditional form line design has strengthened and evolved, positioning him as a highly influential contemporary indigenous artist.

Today, Preston Singletary’s artworks are found in museum collections from The British Museum in London, UK, The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden.
Preston Singletary - Bonfire 2011 (blown and sandcarved glass)

I love how Preston Singletary's works of glass, revolutionizes the belief that Native artists are only best when traditional materials are used.

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Le Cornebique

Le Cornebique is a soft delicate little farmer’s goat-milk cheese produced by La Chèvrerie Mathurin located in Ste-Sophie d'Halifax in the Centre-du-Québec region overlooking the Appalachians.

Le Cornebique
Le Cornebique is shaped in the form of a small log (8 cm long and 4.5 cm wide) with a cream coloured natural rind. The white coloured paste is chalky in the centre but extremely creamy along the inner rim.

Le Cornebique is a young pasteurised chèvre, matured for only 14 days. It has a mild to medium goat milk flavour with a more intense creamy nutty finish. Delectable!

Goats at the Chevrerie Mathurin farm
La Chèvrerie Mathurin is operated by Chantal Mathieu and her partner Raphaël Morin. The Mathurin farm is comprised of a herd of over 100 goats which most are Alpine breeds and a few are mixed with Nubian or LaMancha breeds. La Chèvrerie Mathurin also produces bottled non-homogenised pasteurised goat milk, yogurt, and fresh goat-milk & feta cheeses.


The Blackout AllStars - I Like It

The Blackout All-Stars - I Like It

I remember hearing I Like It by The Blackout AllStars for the first time in 1994. Let me tell you, it was so infectious. For days, all I would sing was "Stomp your feet if you like my beat, Clap your hands if you want some more... I like it, I like it, I like it like that". 

'I Like It' has remained one of my all-time favourite tunes. The version I most enjoy, is this Bobby D'Ambrosio Club Mix that runs 7 minutes. This is an excellent rhythmic version, that just gets you up dancing and stomping your feet to the beat.

The Blackout Allstars was a Latin super-group that was formed to record "I Like It', for the title theme song of the comedy-drama film "I Like It Like That" released in 1994.

The Blackout All-Stars' line-up consisted of musicians; Tito Puente and Sheila E. (percussions), Grover Washington Jr. (sax), Ray Barretto (congas), Paquito D'Rivera (clarinet & sax), Dave Valentin (flute) and Tito Nieves on vocals.

When doing my research on this song, I learned that 'I Like It' is a cover version of a 1967 boogaloo hit "I Like It Like That (A Mi Me Gusta Asi)" by Pete Rodriguez.  A great new discovery! I Like It. I Like It.


L'Hercule de Charlevoix

L'Hercule de Charlevoix is a firm, washed rind, non-pasteurized cow-milk cheese. This large artisanal mountain-style 12 kg (26.5 lbs) wheel is produced by La Laiterie Charlevoix, located in Baie-St.-Paul in Québec's Charlevoix region.

L'Hercule de Charlevoix

L'Hercule de Charlevoix has a firm, cooked paste and is aged anywhere from 8 to 24 months.  The washed rind has a golden pinkish hue and the smooth paste is dark yellow. The texture is firm and slightly granular and becomes creamy in the mouth. L'Hercule is very flavourful with notes of nuts and butter then developing into a more fruity finish on the tongue.

Opt for the older 24 months aged L'Hercule, its sharper taste and more complex flavours are quite a delight. L'Hercule pairs nicely with a white French Chablis or Riesling.

L'Hercule de Charlevoix was named after Baie-St.-Paul native Jean-Baptiste Grenon. In 1759, Grenon had been captured by General Wolfe's troops and was quickly released due to the fact that they were unable to overcome the powerful physical strength of this man, who was known as Hercule du Nord.

Laiterie Charlevoix

The milk used to produce L'Hercule de Charlevoix comes from the milk of a herd of Jersey cows from the neighbouring Stessi Farm located less than a kilometer from the dairy.

La Laiterie Charlevoix was founded in 1948, it has been owned and operated by the Labbé family for four generations. The successful Charlevoix dairy recently won an award in sustainable development for two major environmental projects they have incorporated on their premises; an innovative water treatment process and the conversion of whey into energy.

Laiterie Charlevoix
La Laiterie Charlevoix also produces cheddars, a fondue, Le Fleurmier de Charlevoix and now they produce 2 cheeses made exclusively with the milk of the Canadienne breed of cows; L'Origine de Charlevoix and Le 1608. Le 1608 of La Laiterie Charlevoix will be one of Quebec's first cheese to receive Quebec's AS (Appellation de Spécificité), a Designation of Specificity - for cheese made with the milk of the Canadienne breed of cow.


Joan Osborne – Shake Your Hips

American singer-songwriter Joan Osborne sure kicks ass in this excellent rendition of Shake Your HipsThis song was written and originally recorded by blues musician Slim Harpo in 1966. The Rolling Stones also recorded a great version of this song on their 1972 album Exile on Main Street.

Joan Osborne - Bring It On Home
Joan Osborne has been recording albums covering many musical genres, since 1991. Shake Your Hips is taken from Joan's seventh studio album Bring It On Home, an excellent collection of vintage blues, R&B and soul songs. Bring It On Home is nominated for the 2013 Grammy Award - Best Blues Album.



Why not offer cheese to your Valentine this year?

You can't go wrong with a cute heart shaped French cheese, good crusty bread and your favourite bottle of wine.
Neufchatel - Coeur De Bray

Neufchâtel - Coeur de Bray is a soft bloomy rind, cow’s milk cheese from the Pays de Bray located in the French region of Normandie. Neufchâtel received its AOC (Appelation d'Origine Controlée) designation in 1969.

Neufchâtel is believed to be one of France's oldest cheeses dating back to the Middle Ages. 

The white edible moldy rind of Neufchâtel is dry and velvety. The lightly pressed, uncooked, cream coloured pâte is firm yet supple and slightly grainy. After an affinage of 8 to 10 weeks, the mold starts flavouring the cheese leaving a pleasant mushroom aroma and a salty sharper flavour.

The popular shape for Neufchâtel cheese is the heart, but the AOC allows it to be made in six different sizes and forms of either briquette, cylindrical or square.

Neufchâtel pairs well with a nice Bordeaux red such as a Pomerol - Château Treytins.

Neufchatel - Coeur De Bray

Neufchâtel can be found as a farmer, industrial and artisanal cheese. Here is a list of the official AOC Neufchâtel producers in the France's Normandie region.

There are other heart-shaped cheeses that can be served on Valentine’s Day, such as the Coeur du Berry a lovely French goat-milk cheese.



Parked - the movie (2010)

Parked is the story of Fred Daly a middle-aged Irishman, who is down on his luck. The role of Fred is superbly played by Irish actor Colm Meaney (Hell on Wheels, The Perfect Stranger). Fred has just returned home to Ireland after living in England and discovers there's no work to be found. With no means to support himself, Fred lives in his car parked by the sea in a car-park.

Life changes for Fred when a young dope-smoking Cathal played by Colin Morgan (The Adventures of Merlin, Island) moves his car in the same car-park and starts living there. The two befriend each other and help each other out.

Cathal introduces Fred to a nearby pool where they can clean up and enjoy a swim. This is where Fred meets Jules, an attractive music teacher played by Finnish actress Milka Ahlorth. The three grow closer to each other and are set on a course that will change their lives forever.

Parked is at times a comedy and at other times dramatic, but it is consistently engaging and quite moving, a good directional film debut for Irishman Darragh Byrne.