Wednesday, 13 December 2017

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!) ...

Monday, 11 December 2017

Yeah Yeahs Pizza, Toronto, ON

I had lunch today at Yeah Yeahs Pizza (on Yonge Street near the Summerhill subway station).  I had read about it recently on Blog TO about how it "comes to us from Nova Scotia".  I love love love pizza and I'm originally from Nova Scotia so I thought I'd check it out.

Old-school video games

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Knitted mittens

I made a pair of mittens this weekend.  I haven't made mittens in years and it's a pattern I've had in my head for more than 30 years.


Cast on 36 stitches. Divide between three double pointed needles (I used 5mm). Join together to knit in the round being careful not to twist the stitches.

*Knit one, purl one* (repeat) for 20 rows.

Knit the next row, increasing four stitches evenly (to 40 stitches total).

Knit nine more rows.

Increase one stitch lifting the stitch below onto the needle and knit into it, place a marker, knit 38 stitches, place a marker, increase one stitch lifting the stitch below onto the needle and knit into it.  Knit the next row.  Knit one stitch, increase one stitch lifting the stitch below onto the needle and knit into it,  knit 38 stitches, increase one stitch lifting the stitch below onto the needle and knit into it, knit one stitch.  Knit the next row.  Continue until you have 10 stitches between the markers (this is the thumb).  Put the 10 thumb stitches onto a stitch holder. 

Knit the next row, casting on two stitches when you get to the end (to make up for the thumb stitches on the holder).  Keep knitting around and around until you get to the top of your baby finger.

*Knit two stitches together, knit two stitches* (repeat) for a row.

Knit two rows.

*Knit two stitches together, knit one stitch* (repeat) for a row.

Knit a row.

*Knit two stitches together* (repeat) for a row.

Knit a row, pulling the yarn through each stitch as you go.  Pull the yarn through the middle of the mitten when you get to the last stitch to tighten the top of the mitten.

Take the ten thumb stitches of the stitch holder and spread across three needles.  Pick up five stitches around the thumb hole.  Knit around and around until you get to the tip of your thumb.

*Knit two stitches together* (repeat) for a row.

Knit a row, pulling the yarn through each stitch as you go.  Pull the yarn through the middle of the thumb when you get to the last stitch to tighten the top of the thumb.

Secure the loose ends of the yarn and weave the ends.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Toronto I ❤︎ Beer Holiday Festival, Toronto, ON

I went to the Toronto I ❤︎ Beer Holiday Festival today in the Queen Elizabeth Hall at Exhibition Place.  It was from 3pm to 10pm.  I along with my friends, Bruce, Christine, Darlene and Jennifer, had bought VIP tickets a couple months ago.

VIP tickets are $50 (+ applicable tax and service fees) online. Included in your ticket are 15 (4.5 oz. pour) tokens, an I ♥ BEER sampling glass and one hour early admission (2 pm).

Getting my sample glass

Friday, 8 December 2017

Mitred Square Dish Cloth

I finished a dish cloth this evening.  It was a fairly easy pattern once I mastered slip slip knit.


Using a US6/4mm needle, cast on 80 stitches.  I used cotton yarn.

Row 1: Knit placing a stitch marker after 40 stitches (at the halfway point)

Row 2: Knit to two stitches before the stitch marker, knit two stitches together, slip the stitch marker to the other needle, slip slip knit, knit to the end of row.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until two stitches remain.  Repeat row 1 once more. Cast off.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Book ~ "I is for Innocent" (1992) Sue Grafton

From Goodreads ~ Lonnie Kingman is in a bind. He's smack in the middle of assembling a civil suit, and the private investigator who was doing his pretrial legwork has just dropped dead of a heart attack. In a matter of weeks the court's statute of limitations will put paid to his case. Five years ago David Barney walked when a jury acquitted him of the murder of his rich wife, Isabelle. Now Kingman, acting as attorney for the dead woman's ex-husband and their child (and sure that the jury made a serious mistake), is trying to divest David Barney of the profits of that murder. But time is running out, and David Barney still swears he's innocent.

When Kinsey Millhone agrees to take over Morley Shine's investigation, she thinks it is a simple matter of tying up the loose ends. Morley might have been careless about his health but he was an old pro at the business. So it comes as a real shock when she finds his files in disarray, his key informant less than credible, and his witnesses denying ever having spoken with him. It comes as a bigger shock when she finds that every claim David Barney has made checks out. But if Barney didn't murder his wife, who did? It would seem the list of candidates is a long one. In life, Isabelle Barney had stepped on a lot of toes.


It's the 1980s and Kinsey Millhone is a private detective in Santa Teresa, CA, in her thirties.  She is renting space from her lawyer, Lonnie Kingman.  Six years ago, David Barney was acquitted of killing his estranged wife, Isabelle Barney, by shooting her through the spy hole of her front door.  Isabelle's first husband, Kenneth Voigt, is suing David in the civil courts to secure the fortune for his and Isabelle's daughter, Shelby, and has hired Lonnie as his lawyer.  After Morley, Lonnie's private detective, passes away suddenly, Lonnie hires Kinsey to continue with the investigation.  Kinsey discovers that David has an alibi and everything he says seems to be true.  There are many who could have killed Isabelle so Kinsey doesn't lack possible killers.

In the meantime, William, the hypochondriac brother of her elderly landlord, Henry, is visiting from out of town.  He and Rosie, the cranky owner of the local Hungarian tavern, surprisingly hit it off.

I liked this book and found the story interesting.  I did find there were a lot of characters and I had a bit of a hard time remembering who was who.  It's written in first person perspective in Kinsey's voice.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

This is the ninth in the "alphabet series" featuring Kinsey Millhone.  Though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone.  I discovered this series in the mid-1990s and have read them all.  Since the series will soon come to an end (I finished the latest, Y is for Yesterday, in October), I am starting at the beginning and rereading them.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Book ~ "The Late Show" (2017) Michael Connelly

From Goodreads ~ Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none, as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two cases she doesn't want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner's wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine, they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won't give up her job, no matter what the department throws at her.

Renée is a police officer who works the night shift (aka the late show).  She gets called out to investigations and then hands them over to the day shift officers.  Two cases happen one night that she has a hard time letting go and she ends up putting in lots of her own time with the goal of solving them.  One is a transgender prostitute who is found badly beaten and left for dead.  The victim is in a coma so Renée must do the digging on her own to figure out who had done it.  In doing so, she puts her own life in danger.  The other case is a shooting in a bar which Renée suspects may involve a dirty cop.  As she investigates these two cases, her superiors keep telling her to back off, which only makes her want to solve these cases even more.

This is the first book I've read by the author.  It caught my eye because I enjoy reading these kinds of books and the fact that it was a female detective made it sound more interesting.  I found, though, that is was a hard book to get into and I finally gave up on it about 75% of the way in.  I wasn't crazy about the writing style and I didn't feel any connection to Renée.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

Renée is a surfer in her spare time and that's how she gets rid of her stress and feels a connection to her father (who died in a surfing incident when she was a teenager).  There was too much time spent talking about surfing ... the water, paddling, cleaning and waxing a board, etc.  Even though she is a police officer, she is basically homeless.  She uses her grandmother's address (hours away) as her home address and spends a bit of time there.  She sleeps in a tent with her dog on the beach (she drops the dog off when she's working with a critter sitter) or she sleeps in the the "Honeymoon Suite" at the police station.

Though I didn't enjoy this book, I'm open to checking out others by this author.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Nove Trattoria, Toronto, ON

I had lunch today at Nove Trattoria on Yonge Street, just south of St. Clair Avenue, with work colleagues.


I ordered Pollo alla parmigiana.  I love chicken parm and this was delicious.  There was a light coating on the chicken and the chicken was really tender.  The tomato sauce was tasty.  The spaghetti was tossed in a garlic oil and was good.  It was a nice contrast to the tomato sauce and cheese.


 I had chocolate raspberry tartufo which was yummy.


 The staff were friendly and took good care of us.

Nove Trattoria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Mitred Square Dish Cloth

I finished a dish cloth this evening.  It was a fairly easy pattern once I mastered slip slip knit.


Using a US6/4mm needle, cast on 80 stitches.  I used cotton yarn.

Row 1: Knit placing a stitch marker after 40 stitches (at the halfway point)

Row 2: Knit to two stitches before the stitch marker, knit two stitches together, slip the stitch marker to the other needle, slip slip knit, knit to the end of row.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until two stitches remain.  Repeat row 1 once more. Cast off.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Live theatre ~ "It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play", Lower Ossington Theatre, Toronto, ON


This evening Gord and I saw It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

Faced with a life of dreams deferred, George Bailey sets out to throw himself from a bridge — until a dotty angel-in-waiting shows him what might have been. Don't miss this beloved holiday classic, brought to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast!

Revisit Bedford Falls, fall in love again with George and Mary, and discover the magic of an angel named Clarence! It’s Christmas Eve in 1947, and inside a radio studio, a live broadcast brings to life Frank Capra’s timeless film in all of its feel-good glory!

Be a part of the live studio audience and join the cast and crew as they take you on a journey through the most important evening in one man’s life. It’s the perfect holiday outing for the entire family and, who knows, an angel might even get his wings!

It is playing this month at the Lower Ossington Theatre, which is in our 'hood.  We saw it there last year and enjoyed it.


The play takes place on Christmas Eve 1946 in New York before televisions were in every household and people listened to radio for entertainment.  The premise of the play is that five actors are performing It's a Wonderful Life and it's being broadcast live over the radio ... and the audience watching the play is the audience for the live broadcast (we were prompted to clap when the "Applause" sign lit up).

The actors were good and we enjoyed this production.  They started playing their roles as actors right away.  "Freddie" shook the hands of everyone sitting in the front row (which we were) before the "play" started.  They all played various parts and were continuously switching back and forth between characters and voices.

It was interesting to watch them as actors playing actors of a radio show.  There were even two "commercials" during the broadcast.  The sound effects were imaginative ... mashing Corn Flakes for the sound of walking in snow, etc.  We discovered that sitting in the front row we missed seeing the actors doing the sound effects as we were too low.  We'll sit higher up next year.

Roywoods Ossington, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Roywoods Ossington.  They have another location on Fort York Blvd. (I've been to it and liked it) and recently opened this one on Ossington Avenue.

Friday, 1 December 2017

King Rustic, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at King Rustic.  They just opened a couple weeks ago and used to be located kitty-corner to their new location (King Street W/Strachan Avenue).


Gord ordered the Herb Fried Chicken Dinner.  He said it was good and he'd get it again.  I tried a piece of his chicken and it was delicious, especially when dipped in the accompanying sauce.

Halifax Donair, Burlington, ON

I had a meeting in Burlington this morning and had lunch today at Halifax Donair.  It is a take-out restaurant with a small eat-in part against the window.


I ordered a large donair.


What is donair?

Donair is a Middle Eastern dish made of roasted meat cooked on a vertical spit. In a prepared dish, seasoned meat is stacked on a vertical spit in the shape of an inverted cone. It is turned slowly, cooking against a vertical rotisserie. A tomato, onion or pineapple may be placed at the top of the stack for additional flavouring. The meat is cooked by an electric burner.

The rate of roasting can be adjusted by varying the strength of the heat and the distance between the heat and the meat, allowing the cook to adjust to varying rates of consumption. The outside of the meat is sliced vertically in thin, crisp shavings when done. While cooking, the meat is shaved off the stack with a large knife.

Donairs are a big thing back home in Nova Scotia so whenever I come across them on my travels, I try them (amazingly I wasn't a fan of them until just a couple years ago). This was an okay donair. The meat was spiced nicely but a bit greasy.  It was messy and I ended up eating it with a fork rather than as a sandwich.


The staff were friendly.  It was a popular spot at lunchtime.

Halifax Donair Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato .