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Spring issue of Lifestyle: Eggs and Retirement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pete Kloppenburg   
Monday, 06 April 2009 11:12

The latest issue of Lifestyle Magazine has just been published, and I have two articles in it.

Diner Dash is my ode to breakfast. More precisely, it is my encomium to eating breakfast at a diner, something my wife and I do probably once a week on average. Life is good, and comes with slices of melon on the side.

Retirement Living, Canadian Style is a quick survey of various cities in Canada thought to be good places to retire. 

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 June 2009 02:46
New issue of Lifestyle, with four (4!) articles by Pete PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pete Kloppenburg   
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 18:50

Lifestyle Magazine, in its various regional permutations, has published its winter issue, and I am pleased to have four articles. Two of the articles were cover stories: a profile of Sarah McLachlan and a profile and interview with Measha Brueggergosman.

I will include links to the BC edition, because that is the only one that has all four articles, but the other three editions - Alberta, Ontario, and the Maritimes - also have at least two of my articles included.

Reflections.  This is the second Reflections column that Lifestyle has published. This one is about a photograph that hangs in a back bedroom of the cottage that my friends Paul and Meredith own, on the same lake as my own cottage. I've just submitted my next column, which is all about the joys of eating breakfast at a diner. Hey, the column is not called "Profoundly Important Insights".

Measha Brueggergosman. On the morning of Thanksgiving Monday, I had the opportunity to interview Measha over the phone. She's a very nice person, quite patient with me fumbling with the recording equipment and my amateurish interview techniques. What was a very nice surprise for me when I transcribed the interview was finding that Measha speaks in full sentences and even well developed paragraphs.  She's also just a hoot to talk to - funny and relaxed, a diva in talent only.

Sarah McLachlan.  Unfortunately, I did not get to interview Sarah, which is a shame. I can recall seeing her back in my university days - I have her early albums on vinyl, stuck somewhere down in the basement. What's a little spooky is that she looks pretty much exactly the same as she did back then, over 15 years ago. 

BC Mansion.  This was an interesting piece to do. Like the article on the Whistler chalet, this is essentially a profile of a house for sale. Unlike the Whistler piece, this article actually has a human story behind it. The builder died early this year, after a struggle with Parkinson's disease. I spoke with his daughter and found that he hadn't built this enormous place just out of vanity - he wanted to be able to use it to entertain and in particular wanted to host fund-raisers for the Vancouver Opera Company. Which is pretty cool. I think the editor of Lifestyle gave me this one and the Measha article just because he knows my wife and I are opera fans, and how many of those can you actually find these days? 

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 June 2009 02:46
Book Review: Anathem PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pete Kloppenburg   
Saturday, 20 September 2008 02:52

If you have never read a Neal Stephenson novel and you find that one has somehow thumped its way to your bedside table, you may be forgiven for being intimidated. In fact, intimidation is a natural and healthy response at every stage of confronting a Stephenson novel.

At first blush, you can only widen your eyes to accommodate its naked bulk: since the publication of his 1999 doorstopper Cryptonomicon, his books have tended to weigh in at roughly a thousand pages per. As you sink into the first few hundred pages, you can be intimidated by its scope: his Baroque Cycle, comprising three individual doorstoppers of a thousand pages each, managed to span the entire world and was populated by a cast of real life figures that would make the British Museum wheeze. But your jaw may not truly drop until you get a sense of his novels’ raw ambition. Stephenson likes to grapple with ideas, the bigger the better, and generally from as many parts of the bookshelf as he can manage. And finally, it is what he can manage that is so profoundly intimidating.

Election Results: Communists trounce Marxist-Leninists! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pete Kloppenburg   
Wednesday, 15 October 2008 13:57

As the Globe and Mail reported this morning, the Communist Party of Canada won in convincing style over the Marxist-Leninists, strongly cementing the radical/protest/smartass/inattentive vote into a convincing 160 vote bloc. Still, danger lurks for the Commies, as a stronger than expected showing by the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party suggests that they can no longer bank on the critical critter vote.

To noone's surprise, the Liberals kept the riding, with the still young-looking Mario Silva retaining his seat over the NDP. The Green Party did well, with 10.5% - less than 200 votes behind the perennially moribund Conservative candidate.

Now we'll see what happens nationally. The knives will be out for Dion, but he has proven to be very resilient. He may well decide to stay on, in which case it would come down to a leadership review, in May I understand. And if he limps out of there, he won't be much of a candidate in the next election. And if he gets voted out, there will be the usual dusting for fingerprints to see whose supporters were behind he ouster.

I would personally prefer if he resigned and the party regroups around Michael Ignatieff.  Iggy has proven to be a strong politician, he's still a striking figure on the national stage, and the negatives he had going into the last leadership race - his American residency, his support for the Iraq war - have pretty much gone away. He would be a formidable opponent to Harper the next go round. In fact, with Ignatieff leading the Liberals, the pressure would be on Harper to take it to the next level - if he can't win a majority against Mr Bean, he's unlikely to do well against the urbane Ignatieff.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 June 2009 02:44
Book Review: Sway PDF Print E-mail
Written by Pete Kloppenburg   
Friday, 05 September 2008 20:01

For good or ill, Malcolm Gladwell has created his own publishing category with his books The Tipping Point and Blink. These books have achieved the gold standard of publishing success: not only massive sales, but wide pop culture cachet. Both book titles have become short hand epithets for bloggers, newspaper columnists, and dinner party bores the world over. Gladwell himself has achieved a level of celebrity - he's a highly coveted and presumably highly paid speaker - that mere mortal writers can only dream of. 

Of course many of these other writers have been hard at work on their own entries to the Gladwell category. (Will Gladwell's bookshelf niche become eponymous? Will we someday soon say things like "Have you read Seth Godin's new gladwell?") One recent gladwell of some note is Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior, by Ori and Rom Brafman.

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