Can-Con 2018 – October 12-14

The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature, or just Can-Con, is one of my favourite conventions. It has the best people and panels.

October 12-14, 2018
Sheraton Hotel,  Downtown Ottawa
150 Albert St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5G2

Eric Desmarais Author, JenEric Coffee, JenEric Designs, and toddler Dragon will be there for the entire weekend.

The dealer’s room is free to the public so come say hi, get some books, and coffee.

I, Eric, will be one panel this year: Star Wars, Heroism and Society Friday at 4pm in Salon C. Come by and laugh at a Trekkie trying to talk Star Wars.

Hope to see you there!

Éric

Blush: Sex Ed Consultation in Ontario

Hello parents and educators!

Protest sign from a rally in Toronto July 19, 2018. Image from toronto.ctvnews.ca

Were you aware that Ontario has started their consultation of parents? I wasn’t. The first part (the open consultation) closes on December 15, 2018. Here is information from their website:

We’re consulting with parents across the province to address concerns and get feedback in several areas of the education system.
Feedback from these consultations will help shape decisions in the following areas:

  1. Improving student performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
  2. Preparing students with needed job skills, such as skilled trades and coding
  3. Improving provincial standardized testing
  4. Ensuring students graduate with important life skills, including financial literacy
  5. Managing the use of technology in classrooms, such as cell phones
  6. Building a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sexual health education and the legalization of cannabis
  7. Developing the first-ever Parents’ Bill of Rights

The online survey will be “coming soon”. I’ll be sure to write another post about that when it happens.

The third part is the telephone town hall. Dates and registration details TBA.

As my daughter is not yet school-age, I’m worried that they won’t take my feedback seriously. I don’t like that they asked the question about the age of the child at all. The sex ed curriculum affects us all.

We’re relying on you, parents of school-age children. Help shape our future!


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Why We Don’t Offer Brewed Coffee Part 2

Hello Coffee Lovers!

Two months ago I wrote: Why We Don’t Offer Brewed Coffee.

After having multiple discussions with people, I realized I forgot a few points.

Any schlub could go out and buy a cheap single cup coffee machine and a giant box of terrible coffee pods and sell it for $3. This fulfills the need to sell coffee and creates income. I won’t do it for 2 reasons: Quality and Reputation

Quality

We at JenEric Coffee pride ourselves on the quality of our beans, roast, and flavours. If you don’t like our coffee, it’s because of personal taste and not a deficiency in our quality. When I go to an event I expect that either the venue is selling crap coffee, or there is no coffee. When there is a coffee vendor I expect that they take a modicum of pride in what they do and have decent coffee. (Of course school and community events don’t count in this.)

If we do something, I want to do it right and legally, with all required permits and inspections.

Reputation

When you sell something you, as a small business, are judged on that. So if you have one thing that is of excellent quality and another that is horrible, you’ll be judged on the latter. You can’t, in the long run, rely on first time buyers. You need to make sure that your clients want more of what you’re selling. At this point, JenEric Coffee sells more to repeat clients than new ones, and that’s a wonderful thing. Passionate, dedicated fans are the backbone to a successful business.

If we started doing things in half-measures and didn’t take pride in our quality, we’d start losing those people.

 

I hope this helps clear up and add to my previous post.

Thank you for reading and for loving our coffee!

Éric

Recommendation Thursday – The Booger Hunter’s Apprentice Kickstarter

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

An extremely talented author, and an acquaintance, Benoit Chartier has launched a Kickstarter for his new kids book called The Booger Hunter’s Apprentice.

Go check out the campaign!

The book looks fun and beautiful. (Never thought I’d say that about boogers…)

In my opinion, getting a hardcover book at $15 is a fantastic price.

Later days,
Éric

Disney Cruise Line 2020

Starting tomorrow, Disney Cruise Line is accepting bookings for early 2020!

There are new itineraries, including departures from New Orleans in Louisiana, visits in Puerto Rico, and a Hawaiian Island cruise! There will, of course, continue to be cruises departing from Florida and California.

Image from disneytravelagents.ca (not available to non-agents, sorry!)

Are you interested in travelling on a Disney Cruise? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

Point Zero – Word of the Day – Cloister

Every generation has a disaster that is etched into their memories. My grandparents had JFK, my parents had 9/11, and we had first contact.

It was a cool August night in my childhood hometown. It had a name at the time, something nature related that no cares about; now it’s called Point Zero. It was a small town barely numbering in the four digits. I sat on the duck in the grade school playground, it sprung back and forwards every time I took a drink from the bottle of vodka in my hand.

The small schoolyard had a fence around it. You could say that the yard was as cloistered from the town as the town was from the rest of the world. Other than the media from the outside world, Point Zero was its own little world.

The five of us sat on various remnants of our youth and drank to forget that we’d be leaving soon. Each of us heading to a college, university, or apprenticeship. I was supposed to be leaving the next day; I’d managed an apprenticeship with my uncle as an electrician at the new diamond mine near Timmins.

Frank was going into theatre in Toronto, Mel was heading to Vancouver for animation, Jane was going to study and travel the world in Ottawa, and finally James was going to save the world on the east coast.

“Is it a relief to have found what you want to do for the rest of your life James?” asked Mel.

“Sure,” her replied tentatively.

“Must be nice to have found your porpoise.” She burst into giggles and the rest of us groaned. We’d been friends our whole lives and despite multiple hiccups we’d managed to stay together.

“What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you’re on your own?” Frank asked the group.

“I’d say get drunk, but I’m not doing that anymore.” Jane shook her fourth beer before adding, “Without you freaks to keep me safe, I’m going to be paranoid of everyone.”

“I’m going to make a huge chocolate cake, with chocolate icing, and I’ll eat it without having my mom yelling at me.” Mel’s mom was a diet freak and severely allergic to chocolate. I’d once forgotten to brush my teeth before coming over at Halloween and almost sent the woman to the hospital.

“I’m going to go swimming in the ocean,” James said wistfully.

“How about you Sam?” Frank asked me, his green eyes seemed to glow in the yellow streetlight.

I took another swig of vodka to avoid answering the question. I’d had a crush on Frank since… well since I met him in kindergarten. Tonight was my last chance, so I thought, to tell him how I felt.

“I don’t know,” I replied lamely.

“Going to stay current?” Mel’s pun fell flat as the park was flooded with bright green light and searing fire. I still have nightmares about the green fire, the smell, and the pain.

The entire thing felt like it lasted minutes, but when we awoke on the glass surface known as Point Zero it was three months later and the five of us were alone.


If you enjoyed this word of the day story, you can find more on our stories page and catch up on this year’s serial story, Devices of Desire

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