Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Bar Fancy, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Bar Fancy (Queen W/Dovercourt), which is in our 'hood.  We've been there a couple times.

The entrance is off an alley

Cafe Neon, Toronto, ON (Wallace)

I had lunch today at Cafe Neon (on Wallace Avenue, west of Lansdowne).


It's a small place and I sat at the counter.


I ordered a Neon Burger (with no onions or lettuce).  I made it a combo by adding fries and a Diet Coke.  I got the burger cooked medium and it was a good burger.  The patty was juicy and flavourful.  I'd get it again.


Leda was my server and she took good care of me.

Cafe Neon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 29 October 2018

Renovations ~ 2018

Gord and I live in a condo that is about 20 years old.  When it was being built, Kitec piping was very popular and that's what we had in our place.  It has since been discovered that the piping corrodes and it's no longer being sold.  In fact, there is a class-action lawsuit happening.  It's not going to be a small leak when it fails ... it will catastrophically explode.

I'm on our condo board and we spent two years deciding what to do.  Do we wait and see what happens?  If there is a leak, though, it would affect many units because of flooding.  The fact that we have Kitec piping is on the status certificates, thereby making our condos perhaps less desirable to buy.

As a board, we decided to have the Kitec piping replaced and all units had to have it done (we gave everyone lots of notice).  The corporation would be responsible for the cost of replacing it in the common elements and unit owners would have to pay to have it removed and replaced from their units.  The cost averaged about $4,500 per unit because it was done as a bulk project (it would cost up to $10,000 to do it on your own).  The project started in April and was pretty well finished by June.

Our turn was in June.  Many holes were made in our walls, bulkheads and ceilings to remove and replace the piping.  You could have the holes repaired on your own or pay extra to have them done as part of the project, which Gord and I did.

Our kitchen
Our hallway
Our bathroom
Our bedroom
Our spare room ... they'd hit a pipe when they
cut the wall and flooded the room, hence the big fan

Friday, 26 October 2018

Knitted afghan

I finished knitting an afghan tonight.  I used just over four balls of Jump Rope Blanket Yarn By Bernat.


Cast on 4 stitches using 8.5mm needles (I used circular).

Knit 2, YO, Knit to end.

Turn work.

Knit 2, YO, Knit to end.

Turn work.

Keep doing this over and over and over and over and over until there are 165 stitches.

Knit 1, K2tog, YO, K1, K2tog, knit to end.

Turn work.

Knit 1, K2tog, YO, K1, K2tog, knit to end.

Turn work.

Keep doing this over and over and over and over and over.

Cast off the final 4 stitches.

The final product weighed almost three pounds and was about 4.5 feet by 4.5 feet.  It's really soft and warm.  If you want it bigger, keeping adding stitches before you start the decreasing rows.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Live Theatre: "The Royale", Soulpepper Theatre, Toronto, ON

When I saw that The Royale was playing at the Soulpepper Theatre, I thought it would be a fun play to see with my pals, Trish and Yvette.  Trish and I have done boxing classes and Yvette was our boxing instructor.


Canadian Premiere 

Told in a boxing ring over six rounds, "The Royale" is an electrifying adrenaline rush that shows us the deeply human cost of making history. From playwright Marco Ramirez (Orange is the New Black, Daredevil) comes a story inspired by World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson – who at the height of the Jim Crow era – became the most famous Black man on Earth.

Gord, Trish and Yvette met beforehand at a restaurant near the restaurant.  I was driving in from Waterloo and traffic was brutal so I missed supper and met them at the theatre.


The stage was set up at a boxing ring.


Here we are ... me, Gord, Trish and Yvette.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Book ~ "Be Prepared!" (2018) Frankie MacDonald and Sarah Sawler

From Goodreads ~ Ever wonder where clouds come from? Or how meteorologists predict the weather? This brand new book, starring Nova Scotia's favourite weather reporter, Frankie MacDonald, and written by author Sarah Sawler, shares stories from Frankie's early years, along with facts about all things sunny, rainy, snowy, and stormy. Filled with pictures, graphics, and advice from Frankie himself, this book has everything you need to Be Prepared! 

Frankie MacDonald is a Canadian amateur weatherman in Sydney, NS.  He has autism and is known for his boisterous online weather forecasts.  Frankie posts his videos to his YouTube channel, where they have received millions of views.  His weather report videos include warnings for his home province of Nova Scotia, a snowstorm in Winnipeg, heavy rainfall in Vancouver, and storms around the world.  He has published over 1,200 videos on YouTube, mostly weather forecasts, but also competitive eating and how to properly shovel snow.

I'd never watched any of Frankie's videos but I've heard my sister, who lives in Halifax, NS, mention him.  It sounds like he is a celebrity "back home".  She borrowed his book and I thought I'd read it to find out more about Frankie.

I thought this book was interesting.  It's more of a biography about Frankie and his family, his challenges being autistic, having a photographic memory and more.  There are snippets about weather facts throughout.

It's a quick read as it's a short book.  It is written a level that a child, those who are child-like and even adults will like.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k, Toronto, ON

Today is the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k.  It is the 29th edition and was expected to attract more than 25,000 runners from more than 70 countries.

I'm not a runner but I'd signed up to walk the 5km.  Though I've done lots of 5km walks on my own and in charity walks/runs, I've never done this one.  I'm doing it in the Charity Challenge in support of the Annex Cat Rescue, who I volunteer with.  I raised $460 ... thanks to Gord, Leanne, Shirley, Dawn, Mary, Kathy and Shawna!

The 5km started on Lakeshore Blvd., just west of Ontario Place and I walked there (about 2.5km).  It was about 0C so brisk.  It felt warmer when the sun was out.


There were different "corrals" ... the fastest corral started first at 8am.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Book ~ "The Kids in the Hall: One Dumb Guy" (2018) Paul Myers

From Goodreads ~ It’s finally here -  the definitive, authorized story of legendary sketch comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall. Meticulously researched and written with the full cooperation and participation of the Kids by Paul Myers, "The Kids in the Hall: One Dumb Guy" features exclusive interviews with Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson, as well as key players from their inner circle, including producer Lorne Michaels, the “man in the towel” Paul Bellini and head writer Norm Hiscock. 

Marvel as the Kids share their intimate memories and behind-the-scenes stories of how they created their greatest sketches and most beloved characters, from the Chicken Lady and Buddy Cole to Cabbage Head and Sir Simon & Hecubus.

"The Kids in the Hall: One Dumb Guy" spans the entirety of the Kids’ storied career, from their early club shows in Toronto to their recent live reunion tours across North America - and everything in between. Along for the ride are a plethora of fans, peers and luminaries to celebrate the career and legacy of Canada’s most subversively hilarious comedy troupe. 

You’ll read tributes from Seth Meyers, Judd Apatow, Garry Shandling, Paul Feig, Mike Myers, David Cross, Michael Ian Black, Brent Butt, Jonah Ray, Dana Gould, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Richter, and Canada’s newest comedy sensation, Baroness Von Sketch. 

Perfect for diehard fans and new initiates alike, The Kids in the Hall: One Dumb Guy will make you laugh and make you cry ... and it may even crush your head. 

The Kids in the Hall is a Canadian sketch comedy group that formed in 1984.  I was a fan and watched their show in the late 1980s/early 1990s.  As such, I thought it would be interesting to read about them.

The book starts with the childhoods of the Kids and ends with what they are doing today (as of 2018).  In the 1980s, Mark McKinney and Bruce McCulloch were known as "The Audience" in Western Canada and Kevin McDonald and Dave Foley were known as "The Kids in the Hall" in Toronto.  When McKinney and McCulloch moved to Toronto, they connected with McDonald and Foley and the four become the Kids in the Hall.  Scott Thompson soon joined the group.

The Kids in the Hall performed regularly here in Toronto in the mid-1980s and eventually caught the eye of Lorne Michaels who helped them get their own show, which ran from 1989 to 1994.  When that ended, they made the movie Brain Candy and then went their separate ways and did various things.  They got back together years later and have done a short TV miniseries and some tours (Gord and I saw them on their 2015 tour).

I liked the writing style.  There were many interviews with the Kids, plus others including Seth Meyers, Judd Apatow, Garry Shandling, Paul Feig, Mike Myers, Brent Butt, Bob Odenkirk and Andy Richter.  The Kids were honest and didn't try to hide when there were issues when they were working (or not working) together.  It's nice that despite the hostilities over the years that they are back to being close friends again.

It was an interesting book which The Kids in the Hall fans will enjoy.

Pre-race: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k, Enercare Building, Toronto, ON

Tomorrow is the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k.  I'm not a runner but I will be walking (briskly) the 5km.  Though I've done lots of 5km walks on my own and in charity walks/runs, I've never done this one.  I'm doing it in the Charity Challenge in support of the Annex Cat Rescue, who I volunteer with. 

Our race packets were to be picked up today or yesterday and Gord and I went to get mine this morning.  In the packet was a race shirt, bib, product samples, etc.

The charity I'm walking for

There is also an expo with lots of vendors, services, etc.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre, Ottawa, ON

I spent the last couple days at the CPBI Ontario Regional Conference.  It was held at the Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre so most of the attendees stayed here.


Here was the view from my room ...


Here was my room ...

My bed was comfy!

2018 Canadian Pension and Benefits Institute (CPBI) Ontario Regional Conference, Ottawa, ON

I have been at the CPBI conference since Wednesday.  They are in different parts of the province every year ... this year it was at the Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre. In addition to being the chair of the entertainment committee for the past two conferences (I've been a conference volunteer on the entertainment committee for six years), I was also co-chair of the conference itself this year.

All delegates checked in on Wednesday ...


All delegates received a thank you gift of Belgian chocolates


Wednesday night there was a welcome reception in the LIFT Resto Lounge.


There were workshops and plenaries yesterday and today in the pension/investment and benefits streams.  First thing yesterday morning was our key note speaker, Justin Kingsley ... Adapt or Die. He was funny, entertaining and inspiring.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

National War Memorial, Ottawa, ON

After I left the Terry Fox Statue, I headed to the National War Memorial.

The National War Memorial, also known as “The Response,” is a cenotaph symbolizing the sacrifice of all Canadian Armed Forces personnel who have served Canada in time of war in the cause of peace and freedom--past, present and future. The memorial is the site of the national Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11. 

The National War Memorial was first unveiled in 1939 to commemorate the response of Canadians in the First World War 1914-1918. Over the years, the memorial has come to symbolize the sacrifice of all Canadians who have served Canada in time of war and was rededicated to their honour.

My timing was perfect as I got to see the changing of the guard at 4pm.