Image: Shadows On WoodDecember 31, 2022
Night Music: Don’t Dream It, It’s OverDecember 30, 2022
Farewell to Fet’sDecember 30, 2022
As the year closes, so too does one of the longest-established businesses on the Drive — Fet’s Whiskey Kitchen at 1230 Commercial is no more.
Eric and Allura Fergie opened Fettucini’s Cafe at 1179 Commercial in 1987. It changed its name to Fettucini’s Espresso & Pasta Bar in 1994. In February 1996, it moved across the street to 1230 Commercial and dropped “Espresso” from its name.
One of its features were large murals on the wall, many of which featured the Fergie’s love of the Rolling Stones. (I still have a marvelous portrait of Mike Jagger which I bought from their artist).
In the 2010s, the restaurant underwent a complete renovation, emerging as Fets Whisky Kitchen showcasing one of Eric’s other obsessions — a huge range of whiskeys. A few years ago, the government raided Fets and took away a large quantity of their whiskey. But the Fergie’s fought back and just a few weeks ago they successfully won the whiskey war with the BC government.
Both the Everloving and I really enjoyed spending time at Fets. The food was great, the service was excellent, and the Fergie’s were excellent hosts. It was always my go-to place if I had lunch meetings on the Drive. Unfortunately, their lease is expiring and they decided the time was right to end their 35 year-old business.
They will be sorely missed, but we hope that Eric and Allura enjoy their retirement.
Image: Coming and GoingDecember 29, 2022
Remembering Wounded KneeDecember 29, 2022
On a cold morning 132 years ago today, the US cavalry massacred more than 250 disarmed Lakota men, women, and children near Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. A few days earlier they had murdered the great chief Sitting Bull.
The massacre at Wounded Knee was one of the final and most vicious military acts in the government’s century-long plan of genocide against native Americans, and twenty soldiers earned the Medal of Honor for their part in the brutal affair.
Frank Baum, who would later write the Wizard of Oz, wrote with sadness the following in response to the massacre: “Having wronged them for centuries, we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.” Luckily, some of them survived
We should never forget that the strength of the United States was built on the genocide of its native peoples, and the slavery of another race, and when American statesmen complain about ISIS or Al-Qaeda or other so-called “terrorists”, they are mouthing an unspeakable hypocrisy.
We must never forget that the American’s vaunted Manifest Destiny was colonialism of the most brutal kind and meant death for millions of indigenous peoples.
Night Music: Teach Your ChildrenDecember 28, 2022
Image: City Abstract XVDecember 27, 2022
Poem: Complaints DeskDecember 26, 2022
and fumed loud.
And as she
of my place
in the human
race — given
must be replete
with morons and
her otherwise neat
with sailors’ slang
and potty talk,
and ended with
“Fair dinkum, gal,”
smiling the smile
nothing. I sighed
that would send
Image: Canada Goose IconDecember 25, 2022
Night Music: Fairy Tale of New YorkDecember 24, 2022
The greatest song ever recorded about Christmas Eve.
An End To TippingDecember 23, 2022
These days, it seems to me, that generally speaking only three types of people received (and/or demand) gratuities: restaurant staff (including delivery people), taxi drivers, and hairdressers. Why are they treated differently from others who give us service?
When I was a lad, we also used to give a Christmas “bonus” to the postman, the milkman, and the newspaper delivery boy: I don’t know that anyone does that anymore.
Once there may have been a good reason to give cash tips to those who gave service over and above what one might expect. However, in my seventy-plus years, I have noticed three glaring issues with that generous policy.
- One: tips are generally limited to restaurant servers, taxi drivers, and hairdressers, whereas the best service I ever get is from my pharmacy and from my supermarket, employees at which never expect or get tips.
- Second: servers, taxi drivers, and barbers now expect a tip even if their level of service is nothing special, and some get quite belligerent if they don’t get one.
- Three: their employers treat the fact their employees get gratuities as a way to pay them less as a regular wage.
It is also worth mentioning that the amount to tip a server, say, after a group meal often becomes the subject of heated and sometimes acrimonious debate.
I propose that gratuities (as a standard way of doing business) be prohibited, and I make the case that this will be better for the employees, can save customers money, and still cost the employer nothing.
Let us suggest that a nice meal out for two or three people carries a charge of $100. Under the current arrangement, most customers will then add a tip, say 20%, and the actual cost becomes $120. However, if under a no-tip policy, the servers are given a 15% wage increase and the business adds, say, 12.5% to its menu prices to cover the increase, then the customer will pay $112.50.
The employee benefits because their regular wage goes up. The customer benefits because their costs go down. The employer comes out even.
A win-win-win solution.
Image: Cozy ApartmentsDecember 23, 2022
Night Music: Dear PrudenceDecember 22, 2022
Image: Arrow Lake From The LelandDecember 21, 2022
Night Music: What The World Needs Now Is LoveDecember 20, 2022
Towers of Snow in GrandviewDecember 20, 2022
Image: Screen DoorDecember 19, 2022
Poem: Beach At The End of the WorldDecember 19, 2022
The bus ride finished a mile from the shore
leaving a trek through the muddy clay
of rain-spattered early spring,
the swarming midges of late July,
or the leafy carpet of middle fall,
to the beach at the end of the world.
Sitting on a sea-driven log,
a carcass of the far northern woods,
my lover and I cleared our throats with lemonade,
quietly removed the stings of another week,
and populated our thoughts with waves of dreams
far removed from the drab of every day.
Night Music: Natural WomanDecember 18, 2022