Tuesday, August 31, 2010

nüvi 255W

I've been thinking about buying a GPS for a while.

I do a bit of travelling with my job and I MapQuest where I have to go and print off the directions. Gord travels a lot to fencing tournaments and uses MapQuest too.

It seems like all the cool kids these days have a GPS.

I decided yesterday that I wanted one ... I had to have one!

I stopped in at Best Buy this afternoon and talked to the sales guy about them. He recommended the Garmin nüvi 255W. I've heard of TomTom but apparently Garmin is the world leader.

The nüvi 255W are on sale there for $130 ... but were sold out. I stopped in at Future Shop and they had them ... but they were $140. Future Shop matches all their competitors' prices PLUS gives 10% off. Sweet!

Needless to say, I bought one!

I have to go to Burlington tomorrow so I can't wait to use it!

September 1 Update: It was fun to drive to Burlington (about 60km each way) today using the GPS! I let British Serena and then Australian Lee lead me at first ... but they couldn't pronounce Gardiner Expressway properly and that was weird. I found that American Jack was the best.

Geek Squad Universal Play & Charge Solution for iPod Car Install Kit

I bought my ipod in March.

I call it a brick because it's so big ... because it holds about 40,000 songs.

I discovered that the Monster receiver kit that I'd bought last year didn't support it ... so I couldn't play my ipod while I was driving. My old ipod had worked fine with it.

With the system we have, it plugs into the lighter and we have to tune in to radio frequency to use it. Once we get out of that range, we have to find another frequency. It's a pain, especially when we're driving!

Gord could play his ipod in the car but it wouldn't charge (his is a newer model).

I was determined to fix all that.

I discovered at Best Buy this afternoon that they have a built-in receiver system. It was $100 and they install it for free.

I got it!

I was so excited ... I couldn't wait to use it! Alas, my ipod wouldn't work with this system either. Sigh ...

Gord tried his and it worked. Yay! Sigh ...

So I loaded about 1000 songs onto my old ipod and it worked. Yay! So that's my car ipod.

September 1 Update: It was also to be able to listen to my tunes on my ipod! I listened to Pat Benatar's True Love on my way home.

Happy anniversary, Sarah and Joey!

Sister Sarah and Joey got married eight years ago today ... in a lovely park in Halifax, NS!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Book ~ "Genealogy Online for Dummies" (2008) Matthew L. Helm and April Leigh Helm

From The Dummies Store ~ Researching your genealogy online is like being a kid in a candy store. So many neat things catch your eye that it’s difficult to decide which one to try. That’s where Genealogy Online For Dummies comes in. This completely practical handbook helps you become a smart, discriminating researcher from the moment you start your investigation.

Unlike other genealogy books, this easy-to-use guide does more than show you how to access and use online resources; it lays out a sensible organized process you can follow to make your research more efficient and achieve your genealogical goal faster. You'll learn how to start your research before you go online, understand traditional methods of genealogy, identify Web sites that will be most helpful to your research, get vital information and statistics from government records, and much, much more Discover how to:

* Use basic online and offline research techniques
* Develop a plan for your research
* Integrate Internet resources to achieve your genealogical goal
* Create Web sites where family members can make contact
* Access domestic records for births, deaths, immigration, and more
* Research ethnic ancestry through international records
* Verify what you find
* Protect your research

Complete with a companion CD-ROM packed with valuable genealogy software, Genealogy Online For Dummies puts you in touch with all of the tools, resources, methods, and know-how you need to make your research into your family history a total success.

I started putting together my family tree back in the late 1990s and forgot about it until a couple weeks ago. I've picked it back up again.

This was a good book for providing weblinks on where to find out info. I've only gone to a couple sites so far but I've already discovered that my paternal grandfather came from a family of five (I have their full names) and what his parents' names were. Very cool!

It's a great book for newbies like me!

"Takers" ... then Kelsey's

Gord and I drove to Hamilton to spend the afternoon with his son, Ken.

First we saw a movie ... we saw Takers.

A notorious group of criminals continue to baffle police by pulling off perfectly executed bank robberies. They are in and out like clockwork, leaving no evidence behind and laying low in between heists. But when they attempt to pull off one last job with more money at stake than ever before, the crew may find their plans interrupted by a hardened detective who is hell-bent on solving the case. Starring: Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Jay Hernandez, Tip "T.I." Harris.

Not the greatest movie but I didn't think it was all that bad. Lots of action!

There was some freaky camera action (too fast and/or blurred) that was annoying.

I don't regret paying $$ to see it ... definitely worth watching when it comes on the movie network.

Afterward we had an early supper at Kelsey's. It's been a while since we've seen Ken so it was good to catch up.

And here we are ... Ken, Gord and me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Addis Ababa Restaurant, Toronto, ON

Gord and I have a list on our fridge of things we want to do.

One of the things was to try Addis Ababa Restaurant, an Ethiopian restaurant, which is in our 'hood.

We walked there tonight for supper.

There's Gord on the patio.

I knew there are no utensils involved. You rip off a piece of injera (Ethiopian bread) and scoop up your food with it. I didn't tell Gord ahead of time as he doesn't like getting his hands gunky. Hee hee hee!

Gord ordered Doro Wat (an Ethiopian favourite, tender chicken marinated in Berber red pepper sauce). I ordered Beye Ainetu (a combo of Key Wat [strips of Canadian Grade Beef braised Ethiopian style, served in a red hot sauce], Alitcha Wat [lean beef in a very mild and tasty curry sauce] and Doro Wat [an Ethiopian favourite, tender chicken marinated in Berber red pepper sauce]).

Both meals arrived on one platter with injera.

The Key Wat and Doro Wat were really spicy. The Alitcha Wat was surprising bland and I couldn't taste any curry.

Here's Gord with a piece of the spongy injera.

The meal was surprisingly filling and we left a lot of bread.

Gord had coffee afterward. It is a ritual. First they roast the coffee beans and bring 'em out for everyone to smell.

Here are Gord and our server with the coffee service which includes burning frankincense.

He liked it ... he liked it a lot!

It was a fun and interesting experience!

Addis Ababa Restaurant on Urbanspoon

O & B Canteen, Toronto, ON

After the Jays' game, Gord and I stopped in at O & B Canteen at King W/John.

It opened about a week ago in the the soon-to-open Bell Lightbox (the new King West epicentre of TIFF).

Here's Gord sitting on the patio.

Here's inside ...

As a snack, Gord ordered the Beef Brisket sandwich (croissant, havarti, sauerkraut).

I order the Chicken BLT (pain au lait, lemon mayonnaise) minus lettuce.

They were okay, not great. The service was slow and unorganized ... probably because they are so new.

The patio was a great place for people watching, especially since there were lots of people walking by dressed up and heading to and from the FanExpo Canada.

O&B Canteen on Urbanspoon

Toronto Blue Jays 5, Detroit Tigers 4

Gord and I went to the Blue Jays game today.

Here's our view of the CN Tower from our seats.

Our seats were great ... four rows behind the Jays' dugout. So close to the batters.

Here's Vernon Wells missing the ball ...

The dome was open. It was hot and sunny ... great day for a ballgame!

Travis Snider got out scampering home ... he wasn't happy.

Neither was manager, Cito Gaston.

We were happy to be there, though!

Ace was busting the moves during the seventh inning stretch.

The Jays won! Yay!

Great game!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book ~ "Organize Your Corpses" (2007) Mary Jane Maffini

From MaryJaneMaffini.com ~ When thirty-year-old Charlotte Adams returns home to set up her personal organizing business in the historic town of Woodbridge, NY, she's expecting to find clients who need professional help sorting out their clutter, collections and just plain junk. She's expecting to reconnect with her old school friends, the lovable misfits: Sally, Margaret and Jack.  She's expecting that her two rescued miniature dachshunds will help her forget her lying, cheating ex-fiancé and the square-cut diamond she's just tossed into the Hudson. 

She's not expecting to find her first client dead in the debris of a historic home. Not even a little bit. The death of the tyrannical retired teacher Helen "Hellfire" Henley makes the news in a big way. That's got to be bad for business. Naturally things get worse when the police find Charlotte's pen under the body. This is particularly tricky since Charlotte's former friend and current nemesis, Sgt. Pepper Monahan is in charge of the investigation. Try organizing your way out of that, lady.

This is the first book in Maffini's Charlotte Adams series ... and I liked it. I'll read the others.

The story moves along at a good pace. The main character, Charlotte, is likable. The other cast of characters are quirky but also likable. I didn't figure out the ending, the "who dunnit", which is always a fun surprise for me.

Charlotte has a soft spot for animals, as does her pal, Jack, which I liked. Charlotte's two dogs are in dire need of training and discipline, though ... I didn't find them cute.

There were a lot of references to the fact that Charlotte and Pepper, the head of the police, had been best friends in school but hated each other now. It would have been nice to know why.

Better editing would have been nice as there were a couple typos in the "organizational tips" at the beginning of each chapter.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stone Willow Inn, St. Marys, ON

My home away from home in St. Marys was the Stone Willow Inn.

There are no hotels in St. Marys ... just two inns at opposite ends of the town. It was a five minute drive to downtown.

I chose the Stone Willow Inn because on their website it says they have Internet in the rooms. The Internet was sketchy ... it would work for about 30 seconds and then not work for a couple minutes. And the only site that seemed to work was Facebook.

The room was cute ... the door to the right was to my balcony.

Two queen beds just for me!

My balcony was the middle larger one above the entrance in the first picture. This is looking northwest.

This is looking northeast.

And this is looking northeast about 6:15 this morning ... a lovely sunrise.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wildstone Bar and Grill, St. Marys, ON

I didn't feel like heading downtown for supper this evening so I ate at the restaurant in the inn, the Wildstone Bar and Grill.

It's not a large restaurant and has the feel of a hotel restaurant. There were a couple other tables of people.

I ordered the Berkshire Pork Loin de Martines (pork grilled and finished with maple demi sauce). I got it with whipped potatoes, no veggies.

It was good.

I glanced at the dessert menu and the Berry Lava Phyllo (homemade mixed berry compote and whipped cream, sandwiched between layers of crisp phyllo pastry) caught my eye.

It was good too. My only complaint is that the taste of the chocolate syrup on the plate didn't seem to blend well with the berries and whipped cream so I avoided it.

Marnie, my server, was very friendly and took good care of me.

Wildstone Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

St Marys, ON

I have a meeting first thing tomorrow morning in St. Marys so I'll be spending tonight here.

I'm staying just outside of town so took a drive in to explore.

St. Marys has a population of just over 6,000. The town is also known by its nickname "The Stone Town" due to the abundance of limestone in the surrounding area, giving rise to a large number of limestone buildings and homes throughout the town.

This old water tower says "St Marys - a town worth living in".

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame moved to St. Marys from Toronto in 1994 and opened in 1998. It is dedicated to preserving Canada's baseball heritage. Since opening, 75 members (46 players, 23 builders, 2 honorary, 4 honorary teams) have been inducted. It includes professional ballplayers, amateurs, builders and honorary members who have helped popularize the sport in Canada.

The Quarries, consisting consist of two former limestone quarries, are a popular swimming spot. The area became a popular swimming spot with locals after filling with water between 1930 and 1935. In 1945, the town bought the quarries along with 50 acres of surrounding land, and now manages it as a public recreational facility.

I took a walk around the downtown area ... it's a cute town.

This is the Thames River.

Here's the downtown ...

I stopped in a couple craft shops and bought some yummy chocolate at The Chocolate Factory.