Sunday, 17 December 2017

Book ~ "16th Seduction" (2017) James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

From Goodreads ~ Fifteen months ago, Detective Lindsay Boxer's life was perfect - she had a beautiful child and a doting husband, Joe, who helped her catch a criminal who'd brazenly detonated a bomb in downtown San Francisco, killing twenty-five people. 

But Joe wasn't everything that Lindsay thought he was and she's still reeling from his betrayal as a wave of mysterious, and possibly unnatural, heart attacks claims seemingly unrelated victims across San Francisco. As if that weren't enough, the bomber she and Joe captured is about to go on trial, and his defense raises damning questions about Lindsay and Joe's investigation. 

Not knowing whom to trust, and struggling to accept the truth about the man she thought she knew, Lindsay must connect the dots of a deadly conspiracy before a brilliant criminal puts her on trial.

Lindsay is a detective with the San Francisco Police Department.  She and her estranged husband, Joe, are having supper at a restaurant when a bomb explodes in the science centre across the street.  Of course, they both run over.  Joe dashes into the science centre and while inside is injured when a second bomb is detonated.  Outside a man confesses to Lindsay that he was responsible for the bombing and was in wonderment at what he had done.  Lindsay immediately arrests him and though he denies his confession the next day, he is charged and the case goes to court.

Another of Lindsay's cases is people are dying of apparent heart attacks.  Her friend, Claire, who is a medical examiner and member of the Women's Murder Club, suspects that these people are, in fact, being murdered.

This is the sixteenth in the Women's Murder Club series (I've read them all). Though it is part of a series, it does work as a stand alone.  There are four members of the Women's Murder Club ... Lindsay, Cindy, Claire and Yuki, though the focus is on Lindsay.

I liked the writing style and it went at a good pace. I liked the short choppy chapters.  I thought this book was okay.  I wasn't crazy about the bomber story and thought it and the trial was far fetched.  The same goes for the serial killer storyline.  The point of view shifted ... it was first person perspective when the focus was on Lindsay and third person perspective when the focus was on everyone else ... but it was easy to figure out.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Toronto Rock, 9, Saskatchewan Rush 17, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

Gord and I are season ticket holders for the Toronto Rock lacrosse team games ... the Rock is a professional lacrosse franchise in the National Lacrosse League (NLL).  This is our sixth year going to the games and our fifth year having seasons tickets.

Tonight was the first home game of the season.  The Rock had partnered with the Downie Wenjack  Fund ... $1 from every single game ticket sold was donated to the fund.

The Rock were hosting the Saskatchewan Rush.

Bellosound provided the music during the game.

As a season ticket subscriber, a cowbell had come with our tickets, which we were encourage to use during the game.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Topbox - December 2017

My December Topbox arrived today.

For only $12 a month, you will receive a Topbox with 4 carefully selected, indulgent, beauty products. Then test the products in the comfort of your own home.

Here's what I received ...

Because I had renewed onto their new system a couple months ago, I received this thank you gift.

Total value = $60.89 value

Ipsy Glam Bag - December 2017

My December Ipsy Glam Bag arrived today.
  • 4 to 5 beauty products in a collectible makeup bag 
  • Monthly videos showing you how to get the Look 
  • Win free products in contests and giveaways

Subscriptions are $10US a month or $110US for a year.  Shipping is free in the U.S. and $4.95US per month to Canada.

Here's what I received ...

Total value: $31.88US (without the make-up bag)

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Cooking and eating with Matt DeMille

My friend, Rona, invited Franca, Liz and I to her home for supper this evening.  We usually meet downtown at a restaurant so this was a nice change.

Rona welcomed us with bubby and a charcuterie platter.

As a special treat, Rona hired chef Matt DeMille to prepare our supper and teach us about what he was preparing.

Matt DeMille grew up in rural Ontario, surrounded by a bounty of locally grown food, before farm-to-table was cool. Inspired by his French Canadian roots and the comfort food that filled his childhood memories, he knew at an early age that the kitchen was his calling. He completed Chef Training at George Brown College in Toronto and was hooked on the big city and it’s dining scene.

His first culinary job was with the Oliver Bonicini Group and he credits that with increasing his awareness of local food and wine. Matt has completed stints at renowned restaurants LeSelect Bistro, Enoteca Sociale and Parts & Labour, where he grew creatively and honed his love for Canadian-inspired comfort food.

Yearning for a simpler life, Matt made the move to Prince Edward County with his small family. Having grown up in the region, he helped to put Wellington on the food map as chef at PEC restaurant Pomodoro. In the late summer of 2014 he opened the widely acclaimed Drake Devonshire Inn, snagging a spot on Canada’s Best Restaurants List, 2016.

In 2017 he launched a small, in-house, interactive dining program that brings the best of PEC into your home. Matt is the host of CBC’s digital food series, All Things Food, exploring the stories, philosophies and creators of the most delicious food in Canada, airing in late 2017.

Preparing roasted potatoes
Matt and Rona rolling garlic thyme butter

Mill Street Beer Hall, Toronto, ON

After we went axe throwing, we had a late lunch at the Mill Street Beer Hall in the Distillery District.  It was a busy spot so it's a good thing we had a reservation!

Because the Toronto Christmas Market is going on, the restaurant is currently providing a reduced menu.  I ordered Fried Chicken Forestiere (without the wild mushroom sauce).  It was just okay.  The two pieces of chicken were boneless and a bit on the small side.  The chicken was tender but the outside was overcooked.

 The Beer Hall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL), Toronto, ON

Our Toronto work team got together for a holiday activity today.  We went axe throwing at the Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL) in the Port Lands area ... it was something fun to do outside the office.

Haydn got us started by showing us how to throw an axe.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Queen's Head British Pub, Oakville, ON

Gord and I had tickets to see the Tartan Terrors night at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts (the Tartan Terrors were excellent, by the way!).  We had supper before the show at the Queen's Head, which is a couple blocks from the theatre.  It's a cute pub.

I ordered chicken wings with honey garlic sauce.  They were good and definitely large.  They took care of my craving for wings.

Ennio’s Pasta House, Waterloo, ON

I had lunch today at Ennio's Pasta House.

Sarah, my server, started me off with some bread.  It was crusty on the outside and warm and soft on the inside.  Yum!

I ordered a Diet Coke and a Bambino pizza.  The pop came in a glass bottle, which you don't see often.  I love pizza and this was good.  The sauce was sweet and spicy, which was an interesting but tasty combination.

For a small pizza, it was too much for one sitting so I took half the pizza to-go ... I love leftovers!

Sarah was friendly and took good care of me.

Ennio's Pasta House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Best Western Plus, Waterloo, ON

I spent last night at the Best Western Plus on King Street N.

There is a lounge in the lobby that is open in the evenings

Here was my room (it was huge!) ...

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Book ~ "The Cure for Everything: Untangling Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness, and Happiness" (2012) Timothy Caulfield

From Goodreads ~ In "The Cure for Everything!" health-law expert Timothy Caulfield exposes the special interests that twist good science about health and fitness to sell us services and products that mostly don’t work. Want great abs? You won’t get them by using the latest Ab-Flex-Spinner-Thingy. Are you trying to lose ten pounds? Diet books are a waste of trees. Do you rely on healthcare practitioners - either mainstream or alternative - to provide the cure for what ails you? Then beware! Both Big Pharma and naturopathy are powerful twisting forces with products and services to sell.

Caulfield doesn’t just talk the talk. He signs up for circuit training with a Hollywood trainer who cultivates the abs of the stars. With his own Food Advisory Team (FAT) made up of specialists in nutrition and diet, he makes a lifestyle change that really works (mainly it involves eating less than he is used to eating ... much less) And when he embarks on a holiday cruise, dreading motion sickness, he takes along both a homeopathic and pharmaceutical remedy - with surprising results. 

This is a light-hearted book with a serious theme. Caulfield demonstrates that the truth about being healthy is easy to find (but often hard to do). 

Timothy Caulfield was the closing speaking at a pensions and benefits conference I attended in October.  I found him interesting and entertaining so thought I'd read some of his books.

Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. His interdisciplinary research on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, the public representations of science and health policy issues have allowed him to publish over 350 academic articles. He has won numerous academic and writing awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Trudeau Foundation and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

This book is about health and about the science associated with health.  There is a lot of information available to us about what to eat, whether to cleanse, whether to take supplements, how to exercise, whether you get your meridians centered, and more.  In this book, Caulfield seeks to answer the questions about these issues and other related questions.

He felt it was essential to experience the journey rather than just speak with the experts and read relevant research (his findings are listed in the large notes section of the book).  As such, there are four chapters in the book:
  1. Fitness - he went to a personal trainer (he includes his recommended exercise routine)
  2. Diet - he went on a diet (he includes his eating suggestions)
  3. Genetics - he got his genes tested
  4. Remedies - he tried different potions and procedures

Caulfield worked on the book for a year, interviewing experts and getting personally engaged in every topic he covered, before providing his conclusions.  In the process, he discovered some things about himself.

I like the writing style.  I'm not a science person and I understood for the most part what he was talking about.  If I wanted further information, I could check the notes section.  I found this to be an interesting read and I look forward to reading other books by this author.