Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Since I'm the only one of the lot of us working anywhere near the (Ottawa) picket line, I got to judge a baking contest today. Harsh, eh? It seemed like a good idea to compensate in some way for my complete lack of expertise, so I turned to plain old nerdry. Here's how it broke down:

Figure one: Excel sheets make life better
(The ingredients scale is just a baseline; it got pretty subjective from there. It seemed wrong to penalize the use of healthier products, but, really, who needs raisins?)

Notes on the top three (they're not the three you think they are):
  • The cheesecake brownies set themselves apart by their sheer decadence. No one who hasn't (holy awkward negation, Batman!) been walking in circles for 50 some-odd days should even consider partaking of one of these beauties (pictured below).
  • Limes rule. The key lime squares were incredibly refreshing after a halftable of chocolate and condensed milk, and the contrasting textures were, uh, contrasting.
  • To break the three-way tie for third, I sided with variety and picked the pumpkin squares over the other brownies. Pumpkin is a bold choice, a smart risk and seasonally appropriate.
Figure two: The winner
(image shamelessly lifted from

I don't know what we'll be doing with this space come next week, but I'm pretty sure there'll be one last cake delivery before then.

12:48 a.m. 3 comments
Monday, October 03, 2005

Evidently, there is a deal. No details yet.

And I had a carrot cake all planned out.

Update: Some details on the main CMG site now.

12:45 a.m. 3 comments
Thursday, September 29, 2005

Empty replacements cause weight gain
by Joel and Michaela CôtéSelig

Last night, Michaela CôtéSelig, baker extraordinaire for CBC Key Demographic (CBCKD), caught her husband, Joel, leaving a known bakery with Ms. E. Clair Pastry. "I caught believe it's gone this far!" exclaims Michaela. "The lockout has brought my husband to conduct a most disloyal act."

Two weeks ago, we learned about how the CBC lockout had affected Joel. He was losing weight at an incredible pace as Michaela was providing what were normally his baked goods to the members of the Canadian Media Guild on the Sparks Street picket line in Ottawa.

"I first started to get suspicious that Joel was cheating on me when I noticed he getting a little softer around the edges," Michaela explains. "And then there was the powdered sugar and custard stains on his clothes. That's when I knew without a doubt."

"I couldn't hold out any longer without the quality baking I come to expect from my lovely wife," explained Joel.

Now into its sixth week, the lockout has affected normal listening and viewing patterns of the CBC audience. Like Joel turning to commercial baked goods, some CBC viewers are turning to private television and radio. The longer the lockout continues, the more the CBC is in danger of losing large audience numbersespecially those in the key demographic, ages 18 to 35who are tempted to turn the dial and risk a future CBC audience.

"But, the replacement baked goods just don't cut it," clarified Joel. "They leave me feeling empty; they are void of substance. And now that I'm left to watch private television, I'm being lead to buy fast food and prefab cookies." Pointing to his pastry-filled belly, Joel grieves "and now look at me, I look like the Prime Minister before he went on that Clay Aikins diet."

Like good home-cooked meals in the dining rooms of our country, there is definitely an important role for public broadcasting in Canadian homes. The CBC does not easily compromise artistic integrity for commercial appealthis fact is apparent in their radio and children's television programming. Some commercial television, on the other hand, is little less than empty calories for the mind.

The integrity of public broadcasting also allows for real dialogue amongst Canadians of all regions. Issues are raised, authentic conversations are facilitated, ideas are shared
that is, until the lockout began. The CBC is the only truly national network connecting all Canadians across the country. But how can the country speak when its voice has been silenced?

"This lockout has disrupted my family. I don't know what is going on in my husband's world, nor with my sisters in Winnipeg and St. John," Michaela cries. "Save my family, bring back the CBC."

4:07 p.m. 0 comments

There was apple cake this morning in Ottawa and Winnipeg, and I didn't take a picture of either. The above cake, however, made an appearance at the Save Our CBC event.

I do have other, less compelling, pictographical (please oh please let that be a real word) evidence of said apple cake below.

Anyway, things seem to be looking up somewhat.

Here's to hope.

3:42 p.m. 0 comments
Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Prime Minister Martin,

I am writing to you to encourage you to please intervene in getting a rapid and fair resolution to the CBC lockout. The longer this labour dispute continues, the more irreparable harm will be done to this essential nation building institution.

The CBC is still a viable unifying medium. Although not every Canadian turns to the CBC for all their information and entertainment, every Canadian is affected by the labour dispute. Football and hockey fans will receive paltry coverage of the beloved sports. Current affairs junkies are left out of the loop with irrelevant BBC broadcasts. Our wittiest comedians are left to crack jokes on the picket lines instead of in our living rooms. Even yourself will be directly affected when the first scrum will take place after question period when Julie Van Dusen, Eric Sorenson and Keith Boag are not there to act as the voice of Canadians coast to coast to coast.

The CBC Radio acts as the direct line to the country and to the world for many people like the mother of Senator Jim Munsen (please ask him about how the lockout has affected his family). For myself, it was CBC Radio that connected me to my new city. It provided continuity from moving from Winnipeg to Ottawa; although the voices were different, the necessary information was provided to me in the most professional and closely to objective fashion that we can only expect from the CBC. Private radio leaves me wishing that I was back in Manitoba whereas the CBC makes me feel like home everywhere in Canada.

The CBC is to provide Canadians with a public service. Currently, they are not living up to its raison-d'être to the country. As proud owners of the nation's best radio and television networks, we demand the return of the people that make the CBC great.

As our Prime Minister, you have the power to bring back the CBC to the people. Canadians want Canadian programming. We want to hear our stories, watch our own actors, witness our history and we can not do that without our public broadcaster. We need your help.

With confidence,

Joel [ ]


7:23 p.m. 0 comments
Friday, September 23, 2005

40 days. Can you believe it's been 40 days? It's like being on an ark.

Our morale's been lagging for want of public broadcasting goodness, so, since they were such a success early on, we brought back the picket cupcakes yesterday—at least two of every kind. Knowing how much we love and need the CBC, it's hard to imagine what it's like a) to have had the privilege of working there; and b) to have that privilege revoked, by dint of either an expired contract or this bloody lock out. I guess things are still moving and progress must be being made, but in this particular moment, I just have to say THIS SUCKS: FIX IT. Thank you.

On a sunnier note, one of our very own was out on the line here in Ottawa this week. A team of J-schoolers came out yesterday at lunch to support their future colleagues. Read more here.

Some of us are heading out to this thing tonight. Filling the void, I suppose. I think we'll bring a cake.

4:36 p.m. 0 comments
Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I expect readers of this blog will appreciate and enjoy this entry from Matt Watts, even if you don't remember the Frantics:

1:53 p.m. 0 comments
Friday, September 16, 2005

Wife bakes for CBC employees, not husband
by Joel CôtéSelig

"It's been almost a month since I've eaten a cookie," lamented Joel CôtéSelig, an unintended victim of the CBC lock-out. "The lock-out has to stop immediately or there won't be anything left of me except skin and bones.

"My wife no longer bakes for me. No cookies, no cake, not even pie. Everything she makes, it's for the locked-out CBC employees."

Joel is another innocent bystander caught between the labour troubles at the CBC. For nearly a month now, Joel's spouse, Michaela has been a member of the group bloggers and bakers named CBC Key Demographic (CBC KD).

Based in Ottawa, CBC KD is a nationwide grouping of 18- to 35- year-old listeners and viewers of CBC radio and television who seek the rapid and fair resolution of the labour strife that has disrupted their lives in many ways. The CBC KD bloggers have demonstrated their support for the locked-out members of the Canadian Media Guild by publishing online their blog letters sent to CBC leaders and members of parliament demanding the return of the CBC. Most importantly, they have demonstrated their support on the picket lines by providing freshly baked goods to members of the CMG every week since the beginning of the lock-out.

Under normal circumstances, these delicious but hardly nutritious treats would have been eaten by Joel and others living with members of CBC KD. "The CBC's actions are purely selfish and creating more victims than they realize. Not only they are depriving Canadians of world-class information and entertainment, they are depriving me of the midnight snacks that I depend on to get me through the night," whimpered Joel over the rumble of hunger in his baked good-free stomach.

"I can admit that there have been some positives that have come out of the CBC lock-out. Amazingly, I've managed to lose those pesky 2 kilos that I could not rid with neither exercise nor low-carb diets. And most importantly, with no competition from Ian Hanomansing or Shelagh Rogers, my wife has more time for me … in the bedroom if you know what I mean. That is unless she is up late baking for the CBC."

For the health and wellness of victims like Joel, please contact your local member of parliament and CBC management to demand the rapid and fair resolution of the labour dispute. For every Joel we hear about, there are another 2 that are suffering a similar fate.

11:10 a.m. 1 comments