Fickle fans

I haven’t listened to any sports radio since Mojo730 went off the air but I did tune into Team1040 last week a couple times and I gotta say it was nice to hear the fans call in a be positive for once.

The fan base here are very fickle, they hate you when you lose and they make it very clear about it, and they love you when you win.

Even though the team is only something like 1-2 games above .500, people are calling in praising the work ethic of the team which is really something because we probably had the laziest team last year.  If we won, it was probably because of one of our more talented players won the game for us.  Now all the players are working and it’s showing.  I’ve even witnessed this from the the couple of games I’ve seen so far, it really is a nice change.  I’m going to tonights game VS the Nashville Predators, hopefully the hard work pays off again.

C-TV News sucks

I’m not a big TV watcher, It’s not because of commercials but mostly because of the content. I don’t find any of the shows to be interesting at all. In fact there isn’t one show I religiously watch, except for the Sopranos. My TV is normally on Discovery, National Geographic etc. I watch the informational programs along with local news, a bit of reality TV and of course sports and movies. The only reason I got a new 37″ LCD was for sports and movies. Take the TV show friends, I hate this show. Everyone is white and they are unbelievably fake, tell corny jokes, oh and they’ve all slept with each other. Who really relates to this? This leads me to the subject of my post – CTV New sucks.

I’ve caught CTV news a few times within the last week. I’ve been checking out the local news TV scene since CityTV dropped their local evening news show and replaced it with the Toronto based national coverage. CTV is like watching U.S news, with the over the top news anchors who probably have had cosmetic surgery, big houses and not much sense of reality for people other then themselves. Pamela Martin should just retire, Bill Good has to be the most boring guy on earth. The sports guy – Perry Solkowski is the absolute worst. He tries to deliver these witty stories on sports and just flatly fails, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone look as uncomfortable on TV then Perry, weatherman Mark Dreischen who just joined CTV from CityTV is also pretty bad. Can’t forget to mention Tamara Taggart, the most annoying lady on local TV. I’m sure Tamara smells like bubble-gum and dreams of unicorns being that she’s the most overly cheerful person in the world. She use to do Canucks games on Sportsnet, I couldn’t stand her then and shes still awful.

You might think I’m being harsh but I enjoy eating a meal and watching the 6 o’clock news if I’m home and the news scene in Vancouver sucks bad. CityTV had REAL people with REAL personalities reporting. Now I have to watch GlobalTV, with shitty Tony Parsons and that fake n’ baking, ultra overly-tanned weatherman Wayne Cox.

Mystery of worlds most costly cigar

Madrid: It’s the world’s most expensive cigar – $ 440 each and it only comes in boxes of 40 – but is it the best?

Nobody knows because no one has smoked one. The Cuban havanas from the Cohiba brand are so precious that no one has actually lit one yet.

Although the blend was tested by a group of tasters before the cigar went into hand-made production, according to the “torcedora” or cigar-roller from the El Laguito factory in Havana, Norma Fernandez.

The cigar was launched in Spain on Thursday by Altadis, the exclusive importer of Cuban cigars into Spain.

When they say “hand-made”, they mean it. In this case there were only two hands involved and they both belong to Norma – she rolled all 4,000 cigars in the strictly limited edition – a labour of love.

“I’ve been doing this for 39 years but I still love it,” said Norma who admits to smoking cigarettes and the odd Cohiba panatella and was selected from the senior rollers for this special task.

Norma also had the honour of deciding on the tobacco blend to be used which was designed to honour 40 years of the Cohiba brand, being true to the house style but giving this cigar a special touch.

“But I’m not going to reveal the formula,” she said.

The Cohiba “Behike”, named after a tribal chief of Cuba’s indigenous Taino tribe, can only be bought in special humidors – ,860 for the 40 cigars.

A lot of money but maybe not for someone who can appreciate this delicate blend of the world’s most selected tobacco leaves. Either way, just like the cheapest old stogie, it’ll be up in smoke.


Havana Corner: Cubans Growing New Tobacco Strains

Cuban farmers are experimenting with new tobacco types for the 2006-07 harvest in order to reduce the effects of blue mold and black shank and to achieve greater control over the distribution of seeds. Two new hybrids in particular are being tried: Capero No. 1 and Criollo 2006.

Sources would not tell me what the Capero is derived from, but the Criollo 2006 is a cross of Corojo, Habana 2000 and Criollo ’98. The three tobaccos represent the modern history of premium tobacco growing on the island, mostly for wrapper. Corojo, developed at the Corojo plantation in San Luis, was used from the 1930s to the mid-1990s. It was a low-yielding tobacco with beautiful appearance, but it became susceptible to blue mold in the late 1990s.

The Cubans then developed Habana 2000 in their tobacco research station in the Pinar del Río region, but the results were less than perfect, mostly because the leaves were hard to ferment after being cured in tobacco barns. Moreover, Habana 2000 also became susceptible to blue mold. This brought about the development of the Criollo ’98, which resembled Corojo in appearance and quality. But that had problems, too, in as it became sensitive to black shank, a fungus that attacks tobacco plants, primarily at the roots. In spite of that, Criollo 2006 is expected to be the best of all three.

Capero No. 1 is a new super-tobacco being developed, according to sources. It has four to five more leaves than a normal plant and never flowers. The latter is a plus for the Cuban government, which wishes to better control the distribution of tobacco seeds. In theory, all tobacco planted on the island should come from the government. And tobacco seeds should not be exported. In practice, things have worked differently.

Most of the last year’s crop was planted with Criollo ’98. The results were very high in quality, according to conversations with a number of tobacco growers. What was harvested and later cured was some of the best ever. However, a question mark remains with how the tobacco was processed, particularly the wrapper.

What I saw in a number of factories in Havana, however, was very high quality. The wrapper was uniformly colored with good oil and a silky texture. Obviously, this was not from the 2005-06 harvest. The filler tobacco looked particularly good, and I spotted some ligero from the 1999-2000 crop in the H. Upmann factory. Workers I spoke to in the sorting and blending rooms said the quality was optimo — excellent.


German Unity Day

As a lot of you already know, I work for a German based company and my co-workers (all 2 of them) here in the Vancouver office are, of course, German themselves. Yesterday was the German day of Unity, a celebration of the re-unification of West/East Germany. Sabine and I we’re invited to the German consulates house last night for a reception to celebrate the day. It was a good time, mostly everyone was speaking German but when they found out I only spoke English they started speaking English. They had all the usual German stuff like sausages, pretzels etc and of course German beer on tap which was Warsteiner (one of my favorite beers). So it was a good night, I learnt a little bit more about Germany and their people.

Propaganda at its best – U.S. Pushes Anti-Castro TV,

I found this story to be quite amusing. Basically, the U.S is beaming an anti-Castro TV signal from a twin-engine plane flying at 20,000 feet (to avoid signal jamming). The show is called TV Marti and is supposed to give Cubans accurate and objective news and information. The problem is that many cubans can’t receive the signal properly or don’t want to receive it because they know it will be completely biased. Oh, and this is costing the American tax-payers 10 million.

“In my opinion, that is wasted money,” said a 35-year-old homemaker in Havana who, like all those interviewed, asked that her name not be used. “It’s propaganda.”

She and her husband said many Cubans tried to pick up commercial programs broadcast from Florida, but what they wanted was Spanish soap operas, not TV Martí.