Thursday, 18 August 2022

Book ~ "Heart Trouble" (1996) Mary Kay Andrews (Kathy Hogan Trocheck)

From Goodreads ~ Callahan Garrity has her hands full trying to expand her House Mouse cleaing business. So she's reluctant to take on a client in need of detective services, especially when that client is the most notorious woman in Atlanta - Whitney Albright Dobbs. Whitney is a wealthy socialite who, while under the influence, hit and killed a young black girl and just kept driving.

Whitney's light sentence has set the city's racial tensions on simmer and Callahan is not especially keen on helping track down Whitney's soon-to-be ex-husband's hidden assets. Against her better judgment though, Callahan launches a full-out search for Dr. Dobbs's dollars. But it only takes a glance to see that more than Whitney's alimony is at stake.

Callahan used to be a police officer and changed careers when she bought House Mouse, a cleaning service that she runs with her mother, Edna ... but she still does private investigating on the side.

House Mouse has been asked to bid on a big job but Callahan would have to hire more staff if they won the job and she's having issues trying to find people.  In the meantime, she has been approached to take on an investigation job ... a wealthy woman is in the process of getting divorced and she suspects her soon-to-be ex-husband is hiding his assets and she needs someone to look into it.  Callahan can use the money but the wealthy white woman is one of the most hated women in Atlanta ... she recently ran over and killed a young black girl while under the influence and got away with it because of a technicality. The woman agrees to pay Callahan double her normal rate so Callahan accepts.  On top of all this, Edna is having heart problems so her health isn't great.

The writing was okay, though it could have been edited better as there were words left out. The storyline was more racial-charged than I was expecting and there was a lot going on (too many unimportant side stories like Neva Jean's husband buying emus and Callahan's sister and brother-in-law moving in because they are renovating their house). The ending came quickly and I wasn't buying it. 

It is written in first person perspective in Callahan's voice.  Because it was originally written in the mid 1990s and is set in the mid 1990s (just before the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta) they are still using pay phones, answering machines, cheques, etc. Some of the terms used are now cringe-worthy such as the "N-word" and "coloured" which makes the book seem racist. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

This is the fifth in the Callahan Garrity Mystery Series ... I read the first one in 2018 and recently picked the series back up again.  It's not a great series but I'm now more than halfway through so I'll keep going to the end.

Burritoz, Toronto, ON

Burritoz opened last Monday at King Street W/Shaw Street. 

Gord got a burrito for his supper there last night and said it was good so I got one for my lunch today. I got a regular size with grilled chicken, rice, refried beans, corn, cheese, salsa and burrito sauce. It was hearty and jammed … good and filling. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I just finished knitting a pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens. They are fun to make.

I used 4 ply yarn and 5mm double pointed needles.

  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Monday, 15 August 2022

The Dime, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper on the back patio at The Dime on Queen Street W.

The food is cheap but good.   Gord had a chicken quesadilla. 

I had a Roadie Burger (with no lettuce or onions).

"Family Feud Canada", Toronto, ON

I saw a post on Twitter last month that you could get free tickets to a taping of Family Feud Canada.  It sounded like a fun thing to do so I order a couple tickets for Gord and I.

We had to be at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre downtown for 10:30am and would be there for the taping of two episodes.  You are advised that the entire duration (from arrival to departure) could be up to five hours but we were done in about three hours.

We had to sign a confidentiality agreement, our bags were checked and we had to go through a metal detector.  Except at the end when the answers to the win the $10,000 were revealed, we had to wear a mask (the camera is pointed at the audience during that segment).

It was a fun experience.  Our two episodes will air in the middle of October. It’s a lot of work being in the audience as we to clap and cheer enthusiastically often ... ha!

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival, Toronto, ON

The Summer Craft Beer Festival was back today for the first time in a couple years at Roundhouse Park and it was fun to be there. 

The gates opened at noon.  Gord and I got there about 11:45m and there was a long line-up to get in but once the gates opens, the line moved really quickly. 

Every year there is a giveaway to the first couple hundred  people ... this year it was a pink neon cap and we were there early enough to get one.  Whoohoo!

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Jack Astor's Bar & Grill, Toronto, ON (Front Street)

I met my pal, Franca, for supper this evening at Jack Astor's on Front Street. We haven’t gotten together since before COVID so it was awesome to see her and catch up. 

Franca ordered a Thai Sesame Stir-fry Bowl with chicken.

I ordered my go-to at Jack Astor’s, Chicken Parmigiana. It’s been a while since I’ve had it there and the first time I’ve had it with spaghetti, which worked well. The chicken had a funny taste, though, and I realized it was the cheese .. it was a bit burnt.

Monday, 8 August 2022

Book ~ "Third Wheel" (2022) Nick Spalding

From Goodreads ~ Jake Carlisle is living his best life, thanks to the crazily successful influencer channel he created with his best friend, Sy. Reviewing wacky hobbies and adrenaline-fuelled adventures, Sy has pushed Jake into doing more exciting stuff than either ever thought possible. Then disaster strikes.

When newbie Helena joins the team, Sy quickly falls head over heels for her. All of a sudden, with romance blossoming and the business dynamic shifting, Jake is horrified to find himself becoming the dreaded third wheel.

Being the odd one out was not what he signed up for. And he’ll do anything to get his best friend back - even if that involves a little light sabotage, an unhealthy amount of jealousy ... and one very unfortunate pair of tartan Speedos.

Will Jake be relegated to the background from now on? Or will he finally learn to stand on his own two feet and succeed at getting his life - along with his friendship - back on track?

Jake and Sy have been friends for 25 years and have a business together as influencers ... they do activities and then social media and YouTube posts about it. It sounds like a fun gig.  Sy feels they need a female host to draw in more viewers so hire Helena. Sy falls in love with Helena and suddenly it's Sy and Helena hanging out all the time and Jake has become the third wheel. Because of his friendship with Sy, Jake tries to go along with the new relationships but ends up feeling left out and resentful.

I've read many books by this author and thought this one was okay, though I found it wasn't as light and fun as previous ones. It is written in first person perspective in Jake's voice and it's as if he is speaking to me, the reader. I wasn't crazy about the main characters. Jake is a bit of a wimp and lets Sy and Helena walk over him (though he gets better towards the end). Sy lets his new relationship with Helena take precedence over his lifelong friendship with Jake. The author is English as are the characters so there were some references to I didn't know like an airing cupboard, a muggins, etc.  As a head's up, there is a swearing (lots of F-bombs).

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Fionn MacCool's, Windsor, ON

Gord and I had breakfast at Fionn MacCool's this morning ... it's in the lobby of the Four Points by Sheraton.

We both ordered bacon and eggs and it was good and hearty.  It was supposed to come with beans but we said we didn't want any.  The toast, though, wasn't very toasted.

Our server was friendly.  There must have been issues in the kitchen because it took a long time for the servers to get food out.