Bad City is on the edge of falling into the hands of a madman, you dig? A strange and funky new party drug is killing kids left and right, and that jive-ass, crooked city councillor Dominic Kincaid is behind it all.
Man Jam centres on a group of friends who get together weekly to play music in order to escape their day-to-day, humdrum lives. We follow the guys as they struggle with marriage, divorce, raising kids, work, growing up—and refusing to grow up.
A series that revolves around gifted medium Carmel as she takes clients on an emotional and spiritual adventure with the afterlife. From cheating spouses to missing persons to clients finding closure with recently departed loved ones, Carmel does it all while also navigating the demands of her husband and six children.
A companion to the hit Timber Kings series, Carver Kings follows a passionate crew of elite chainsaw mavericks based out of Williams Lake, B.C. as they turn raw wood into stunning custom art for the owners of the world’s most spectacular log homes.
Last month, we looked at what it’s like to be an employee working remotely. This month, we’re going to look at having remote staff from the employers’ perspective. Not surprisingly, things look different from the other side of the fence!
The happy news is that, regardless of where you sit—employee or employer side—working remotely really can work.
In the captioning industry, the possibility of working remotely didn’t become practical until the switch from linear to non-linear systems several years ago. Around the time that happened, one of Line 21’s long-time employees approached Kelly and Carolyn about the possibility of taking her job home.
Carolyn and Kelly had a choice to make. Lose a seasoned employee along with her vast stored knowledge and years of experience, or embrace a new work model. The choice seemed obvious. “We had these great people who are highly skilled, and we didn’t want to lose them.”
Once the first captioner made her way to Ontario, others followed to Nova Scotia, Victoria, and other Ontario locations. “We haven’t had anyone go anywhere truly exotic,” reports Kelly. “Not yet,” she adds. There is one Line 21 captioner planning an extended global tour. She plans to take her job with her as she travels. “That will take a lot of organizing,” Kelly comments. “Figuring out internet connections and time zones and making sure we can reliably communicate. We’re still planning.”
Today, there are far more people working for Line 21 out of the office than there are those working in it. Even Kelly and Carolyn work from home part of the time as they, too, benefit from the flexibility. Why, then, do they still maintain an office? Kelly explains, “We still need someone present 9-5 to keep the office open by phone, email, and in person. Clients need to know that we are totally accessible during business hours, and that they can find us easily for quotes, scheduling, and to answer questions. Having a really consistent front end allows us to be able to accommodate different staff schedules while maintaining total dependability.”
So what does all of this mean as employers? The answer is overwhelming: increased administration. It’s no longer acceptable to simply shout out a change in plan to the office. Now, shifting schedules require greater thought and communication. “You can’t just toss someone a VHS tape and get them working on it. You have to allow for download times and different time zones.”
And, while they are flexible about when the work gets done during the day, Carolyn and Kelly need employees to keep to a semblance of a routine. “We need to know the pattern of the week and to keep it fairly consistent so we don’t have to reinvent the scheduling system every week.”
Probably the most difficult part of having remote employees is finding the balance between giving people the right amount of information to do their jobs versus not enough information. “Everything we do is interconnected. When workers are side-by-side, they do a lot of their own coordination. Now we have to have someone doing that for people, keeping a keen eye on what’s coming and going. It’s just more administration and advance planning.”
Then there’s the issue of computer challenges. “Trouble-shooting is more difficult when you can’t just look over someone’s shoulder. We need to either figure it out remotely, or find some local support.” If hardware needs to be replaced, it is purchased and configured in Vancouver, then shipped to the employee. “It’s the only way we can ensure all of the software is tied in properly.”
Overall, embracing the “work from home” model has been a very positive thing for Line 21. “We’ve been able to keep a lot of really valuable people for a lot longer. It’s good for people’s families and it’s just the right thing to do,” reports Kelly. She stresses that the move has been fueled by the desire for employee retention and doubts that it would work well for new employees. “There’s just too much training at first. I don’t know how we’d manage that long-distance.”
This delicious, tangy sauce is wonderful over fresh fruit, sponge cake or ice cream (or all three!). (Taken from The Joy of Cooking, 1997 edition.)
1/3 c sugar
zest of 1 lemon
½ c fresh lemon juice
6 T butter
¼ t vanilla
In a medium sauce pan, whisk together eggs, sugar and lemon zest. (Do not turn on heat yet.)
Cut butter into small chunks.
Add butter and lemon juice to egg mixture.
Turn heat on medium (or medium low).
Cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
Stir in vanilla.
Strain mix to remove zest.
Time was, to work in the captioning industry, you needed an awkward double-monitor + CPU + VHS player set-up in order to get the job done. It was cumbersome, heavy, and expensive. Furthermore, it tied captioners and scripters to their office desks, since you’d never describe the essential equipment as portable.
With the shift from VHS media to digital media, the old-style hardware-centric setup has been replaced with Wifi and a laptop. That change has done more than free up desk space around the office; it’s freed Line 21’s employees to completely redefine where the office is.
But wait, there’s more to the story….
Trust and a willingness to experiment has changed everything.
While the change from analogue to digital made it technically possible for Line 21 employees to redefine their workspace, the fact that Kelly Maxwell and Carolyn Vetter-Hicks, co-owners of Line 21, were willing to embrace new work models is what made it practically possible. So, several years ago, when the first long-time Line 21 employee approached Kelly and Carolyn about working from home in another province, they said “yes.” Since then, multiple employees have moved across the country while retaining their positions with Line 21, and some of the Vancouver-based employees have shifted their work to home, at least part of the time.
Flexibility. The word came up repeatedly when talking to Line 21’s distance staff. For many, the shift to home has allowed them to adapt their work schedules around the needs of young families. They still put in a full work day, but the hours are tucked in and around preschool, story time and the inevitable doctors’ appointments. Others appreciate the freedom to adopt non-traditional hours which are better suited to their personal rhythms. Line 21 employs one notorious night owl. She’s worked the regular 9-5 routine, but now loves that she can work when she’s at her peak: in the wee hours of the morning. Not only is she happier, but she’s more productive during the hours she works.
Another recurring theme that emerged when talking to Line 21’s distance employees was a surprise. Virtually everyone reported that they now handle sick time much differently than when they worked from the office. From home, they are usually able to work through an illness. Not only is the fear of infecting fellow employees eliminated, but they can break up their day to accommodate their illness: work for an hour or two, nap, work for an hour or two, nap, etc., until they have put in their full work time.
Family factored into the decision to work remotely for almost all of the Line 21 employees who’ve made the shift: not just the flexibility to accommodate young families, but the desire to be closer to extended family. The fact that they could take their jobs with them made the decision to relocate from Vancouver much easier.
The other word that came up time and again was ‘trust.’ Over and over, I heard the same refrain: “it works because Kelly and Carolyn trust me to get the work done.”
AirShow Airs on Discovery Canada, Mondays at 10pm ET/7pm PT
Airshow is a twelve-part observational documentary series that takes viewers behind the scenes to the most dangerous part-time profession on the planet.
Yukon Gold Premieres on The History Channel, February 25 at 10pm ET/PT
Yukon Gold is back for an exciting third season. This high-stakes series captures the physical and emotional struggles four sets of gold miners face as they chase their individual goals over the 16-week Yukon gold mining season.
Back for its third season. Each episode of Motive opens by revealing the victim and the killer. It’s not a “whodunit,” it’s a “whydunit.” The audience navigates a complicated maze of clues to figure out the motive.
This delicious dish is full of flavour, and works brilliantly as a side for any curry. Because the eggplant needs to be roasted, advance planning is required. If you roast the eggplant in advance, the final preparation is very quick. Based on this recipe.
3 medium eggplants (roughly 500g/1 lb)
2 T vegetable oil
1 t cumin seeds
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 T garlic paste or finely chopped garlic
1″ piece of ginger finely grated
2 green chillies (optional)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 t coriander powder
1/2 t cumin powder
1/2 t garam masala (make your own garam masala if you wish)
2 T finely chopped fresh green cilantro (coriander)
Roast the eggplant. Here are two possible ways:
1. Gas stove method. Place the eggplant straight on the burner. Keep flame on low. Keep turning and cooking till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft. A good sign to watch for is that the eggplant seems to ‘cave in’ on itself.
2. Oven or Bar-b-que. Turn periodically till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft.
Once the eggplant is roasted, allow to cool fully, then peel and discard the charred skin. Once cool, coarsely mash and keep aside.
Heat oil in large pan on medium heat.
Add cumin seeds and cook till the spluttering stops.
Add the onions and fry till soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and the ginger and fry for 1 minute.
Add the tomato and all the powdered spices. Stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spice mix from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle a little water if needed.
Add mashed eggplant and mix well.
Add the cilantro and stir.
Cook another minute and turn off the heat.
If you caption enough cooking shows, you’ll pick up commonly used terms and become aware early on of the emerging buzzwords. Below are a few of our favourites.
Browned butter used for cooking.
A kitchen appliance that instantly freezes (or semi-freezes) food.
A hot butter sauce made with white wine or vinegar and shallots. Prepared properly, the sauce does not separate. Tastes divine over fresh seafood.
Another word for zucchini.
Cream thickened with the addition of bacterial culture. Differs from sour cream in that it is less tangy, higher in fat content, and not quite as thick. It is also absolutely delicious over fresh blueberries.
dulce de leche
A sweet delight made by slowly heating sweetened milk. Try it warm over ice cream.
Extra virgin olive oil. Use it only at room temperature. Heating EVOO destroys the unique flavour.
A mixture of cream and chocolate.
A jellied food. Connoisseurs would be horrified, but even humble Jell-O could be considered a gelée.
A protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and some other grains.
A grain similar to quinoa, but the seeds are about half the size. Gluten-free, it’s high in protein, fiber, iron, and calcium. Comes from South America. Poised to become as popular and ubiquitous as quinoa.
A condiment usually served with raw oysters. The traditional recipe consists of shallots, pepper, and vinegar.
A traditional Japanese vinegar sauce. It is dark brown, tart, has the consistency of water, and is used as a dip or dressing.
A cooked mixture of fat and flour (traditionally butter and flour, but may be made with a variety of other fats). Used as the basis for sauces.
sabayon or zabaglione
An Italian dessert made with egg yolk, sugar, and sweet wine. Move aside, tiramisu. Here comes sabayon.
A cooking method. Food is sealed in an airtight plastic bag and submerged in a water bath or placed in a temperature-controlled steam chamber. The food cooks at a very low temperature for many hours (up to 96).
A very fine (about the size of a poppy seed) African grain. Memorize this. It’s one of the hottest new grains.
French for “dish towel.” A foie gras torchon is prepared by wrapping foie gras in a dish towel, which is then poached in a multi-day process.
Made from either cheese or dough, a tuile is a thin, crisp wafer.
One of five classic French sauces. Velouté is made with a light-coloured meat stock (typically chicken or fish) thickened with roux.
Based on a recipe from Butter Baking. For those of you going through a little sugar withdrawal after the holidays, here’s a very easy-to-make sweet treat.
½ c butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup milk
6 tbsp Nutella
2 tbsp almond butter (or any other nut butter of your choice)
2 cups oats
1 1/2 cup puffed rice
½ c chocolate chips (optional)
Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, both sugars, cocoa and milk.
Place the saucepan over a high heat and bring the mixture to boiling point, continuously stirring.
Boil for 90 seconds, still stirring.
Remove from heat.
Mix in the Nutella and almond butter until thoroughly blended.
Stir in the oats and puffed rice.
Pour into the lined pan.
Spread the mixture evenly with a spatula.
Optional: Sprinkle ½ c chocolate chips evenly over the top.
Place in the freezer for about an hour, until set. Slice into bars and enjoy.
HGTV Canada’s #1 series is back for another season. The master logsmiths at Pioneer Log Homes build massive, multi-million-dollar log homes that are shipped around the world and reconstructed wherever the client wants.
Featuring ground-breaking footage from seven winters on the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay. Recreations of traditional life 100 years ago are juxtaposed with modern life in Sanikiluaq, as both people and eiders face the challenges posed by changing sea ice and ocean currents disrupted by the massive hydroelectric dams powering eastern North America.
Wealthy Alex and blue-collar June are madly in love, but get their wires crossed while racing down the aisle. June’s been preparing for a very specific kind of wedding her whole life, as a tribute to her late mother, but Alex’s mother, Diana, thinks otherwise.
Biologist/Explorer Niall McCann travels the world through some of the toughest terrain, researching animals to better understand their behaviour. Now he’s on a mission to find the Biggest and Baddest creatures on the planet.
To repair his tarnished image, a jaded rock star publicly decides to fulfill a child’s “Dear Santa” Christmas wish. After reluctantly agreeing to spend the holidays in a small town and perform in the local holiday Christmas concert, he’s mortified at the prospect of staying in the home of an idyllic, close-knit family, but soon realizes the true value in what they have – love, caring, and a memorable holiday spirit.
Adam Murphy had it all: a great job, an endless parade of gorgeous women, and the charm to make it all look well-earned. One night, he went to bed with everything he ever wanted and woke up with something no-one ever wants… That Burning Feeling.
Heavenly angel Harry Mills is sent to Earth on a trial assignment to intervene in the life of a woman who needs help getting her life on track after the death of her father. With a deadline of Christmas Day, he attempts to help her heal in order to embrace a new future, and an unexpected love, just in time to celebrate the miracle of the holiday season.
Based on the best-selling novel by Anita Diamant, “The Red Tent” is a sweeping tale that takes place during the times of the Old Testament, told through the eyes of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob.
A man and his wife die in each other’s arms. The husband finds himself condemned to a special place in hell, blamed for her murder – a fact he refuses to accept. His punishment is to eternally re-live that last dreadful day.