Friday 30 November 2018

Chuck’s Roadhouse Bar and Grill, Cambridge, ON

I had lunch today at Chuck's Roadhouse Bar and Grill ... they opened about five weeks ago.

I ordered the roast beef dinner.  I asked Lina, my server, about it and she said it was freshly made so how could I resist?!  I'm glad I got it as it was delicious!  The roast was tender, the mashed potatoes seemed home-made and the gravy was good.  The corn was was the weakest part as it was a bit soggy ... maybe replace it with frozen peas?  I'd get this again.

Lina was friendly and took good care of me.

Chuck's Roadhouse Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Homewood Suites by Hilton, Cambridge, ON

I spent last night at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Cambridge.  It is just off the 401, east of Cambridge.  Missy checked me in ... she was friendly and welcoming.

A complimentary light supper is served during the week (the menu varies ... last evening it was soup and salad with grilled chicken) and you can buy beer or wine.  A complimentary breakfast is provided.

Here was my room ...

Thursday 29 November 2018

Duke & Duchess, Cambridge, ON

I had supper this evening at Duke & Duchess ... it's located at the end of a strip mall just off the 401.

There is a sign in the window that says they have entertainment Thursday to Saturday.  Whoohoo!  I asked the "hostess" what the entertainment tonight was (it's Thursday!) and she had no clue what I was talking about.  She didn't know they even have entertainment at all ... FYI, I checked online and they apparently have entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.

I ordered Butter Chicken with garlic naan.  It wasn't very good at all.  I had ordered it medium-spiced and it was bland and kind of flavourless.  Plus it wasn't hot so it may have been sitting around for a while.  The naan was greasy and not very naan-like.  I wouldn't order this again.

Monday 26 November 2018

Book ~ "Terry" (2005) Douglas Coupland

From Goodreads ~ In 1980, Terry Fox was just a young man with a dream. Three years earlier, he had lost a leg to cancer. Some combination of passion, idealism and sheer guts led to the impossible notion that he would run across Canada on one good leg and a prosthesis. His goal was to raise $1 from every Canadian to help find a cure for cancer. Twenty-five years later, the dream remains alive, and Terry's legacy has raised more than $360 million for cancer research.

"Terry" has been written with the support of the Fox family and the design reflects the style of Douglas Coupland's Souvenir projects, mixing more than 145 superb photographs of a previously unknown collection of family memorabilia with a very moving text about Terry's life and the Marathon of Hope. Printed in full colour, the book brings a profound moment in Canadian history, and the young man who inspired it, freshly to life.

Terry Fox was an ordinary young man living in Port Coquitlam, BC.  He was athletic and enjoyed running and basketball.  When he was 19, they discovered he had a cancerous tumour and his right leg was amputated at the knee.  With an artificial leg, he began running again and played wheelchair basketball.

On April 12, 1980, Terry began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research.  He hoped to raise one dollar from each of Canada's 24 million people.  He began in St. John's, NF, and ran the equivalent of a full marathon every day.  On September 1, 1980, he was forced to end his run outside Thunder Bay, ON, because the cancer had spread to his lungs.  He headed home to BC immediately to begin treatment and passed away in June 1981.

This book chronicles the Marathon of Hope.  I like the way it was written with bite-sized chunks of information.  Children and adults can read this book.  It is laid out with many full-colour pictures showing Terry's clothing during the marathon, people he met along the way, gifts and letters he received and more.

One of Terry's earliest supporters was Isadore Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons Hotels, who proposed an annual fundraising run in Terry's name. Terry agreed but insisted that the runs be non-competitive.  The first Terry Fox Run was on on September 13, 1981 ... over 300,000 people took part and raised $3.5 million. The Run has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research ... over $750 million has been raised (as of January 2018). I walked 5km in this Run in my 'hood the last two years and this past year became a volunteer.

The author is donating all of his royalties from this book to the Terry Fox Foundation.  The publisher, Douglas & McIntyre, is making a contribution to the Foundation by paying royalties at double the rate for every copy of this book that is sold.

Sunday 25 November 2018

Book ~ "The Loyal Wife" (2018) Natalie Barelli

From Goodreads ~ She thought they had the perfect marriage ... 

Tamra never dreamed she would marry someone like Mike Mitchell: handsome, rich, a wonderful husband ... until she finds out that Mike is having an affair.

But Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and Mike Mitchell should have remembered that before he made a fool of her. Because Tamra knows something about Mike. Something he did. Something evil. And she was prepared to carry the secret to her grave.

Not anymore.

To make matters worse, Mike’s daughter, Madison, has come to visit for a few days and Madison doesn’t like Tamra. Well, that's too bad, because Tamra doesn’t have time to argue. She’s too busy ruining Mike’s life while remaining, on the surface at least, the perfect, loyal wife.

But when Tamra's plan spirals out of control, she finds that things are not what they seem. And now, it's too late.

Tamra is in her early thirties and has been married to successful older businessman, Mike, for about six years.  Tamra thinks all is well in their marriage until she discovers he is having an affair.  He had cheated on her four years ago but they had moved on ... or so she'd thought.  Because he is secretively in the process of leaving her (and if he does, she will be left with nothing), she decides to strike first and get her revenge.  She knows something about Mike that is going to bring him down and she sets on a course of action to make that happen.  The author doesn't reveal all the details of this event right away and the reader keeps learning more and more as the book goes on.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it.  The story is told in first person perspective from Tamra's point of view so we are able to get inside her head.  I like the writing style ... I found it amusing and a bit quirky.  The editing could have been better as there were a couple typos.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

Tamra had started out with nothing.  Her mother had left the family when she was twelve, her father drank himself to death and they lost their house, her brother left when he was 18 and she has no idea where he is, and she had lied to her husband when they met about her job and education.  So she is now always conscious about how she looks and acts (though she does still err sometimes on the trashy side) and is grateful and appreciative for what she has today ... hence her need for revenge since it's being taken away from her.

Friday 23 November 2018

Dog & Bear Pub, Toronto, ON

Today should be the last day of our major renovations and our kitchen is still a mess.  So Gord and I had supper this evening at the Dog & Bear (Queen W/Dovercourt), which is in our 'hood.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Book ~ "Tales from Under the Rim: The Marketing of Tim Hortons" (2011) Ron Buist

From Goodreads ~ "Tales from Under the Rim" is a behind-the-scenes look at a simple business that became a Canadian icon. "Tales from Under the Rim" chronicles the rise of Tim Hortons, from its humble beginnings to a national institution. The recipe was simple: it took "one hockey player, one favourite barber shop, one former drummer, and one police officer" plus "the luck hard work brings" to transform a once unknown donut shop into one of Canada's leading franchise operations.

In this bestselling business memoir, Ron Buist shows how Tim Hortons became a second home to millions of Canadians. It includes the grass-roots marketing strategy that defined the early years, the Tim Hortons habit of listening to customers, and the whole story of Roll Up the Rim to Win, the no-frills contest that has become a defining feature of Canadian life.

Ron Buist spent over 24 years as Director of Marketing at Tim Hortons (he retired in 2001).

Tim Hortons was founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton and Jim Charade (who owned the donut shop next to Horton's barber).  Initially the restaurants sold hamburgers and chicken and weren't successful.  Ron Joyce bought out Charade's shares in 1966 and assumed control over operations after Horton died in a car crash in 1974.  He expanded the chain into a multimillion-dollar franchise, eventually selling it to Burger King's parent company in 2014 for $11.4 billion.

I found this book to be interesting for the most part.  It provided details on how it came to be and how it's grown to almost 5,000 locations around the world.  It also covered how marketing campaigns such as "Roll Up the Rim" and "True Stories" were developed.  According to the author, there was very little money and he had to do things creatively.  There was carpooling, catching red-eyes to avoid hotel costs, etc.  There was also a chapter on how Tim Hortons has given back to the community.

The book was originally published 2001 and republished ten years later.  There were typos in the version I read (the 2011 version) so I would have thought they would have been picked up and fixed from the original version.  I didn't read anything that indicated it had been updated to 2010 ... it stopped in 2001.

Ipsy Glam Bag - November 2018

My November 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 is what I received ...

Be the Breath Meditation, Laya Spa & Yoga, Toronto, ON

I worked from home today and Gord and I attended the lunchtime Be the Breath Meditation.

A midday meditation designed to bring your breath, mind and spirit back into balance. 

We will begin the meditation with small movements and pranayama (breathwork) to calm the mind and to allow the body to sit comfortably for the 30 minute partially guided breath focused meditation  (lying down will be encouraged for those who prefer!). All levels are welcome. This meditation is run on a sliding scale basis $5-$15!

It was at Laya Spa & Yoga (Queen Street W/Ossington Avenue), which is in our 'hood, and led by Alisa (she is there every Wednesday).  Meditation and yoga are held in the building next door on the third floor.  We have attended other sessions by led by Alisa in the past.


Another relaxing session and I look forward to doing it again.

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Blaze Pizza, Toronto, ON (John Street)

Gord, Trish and I saw Bohemian Rhapsody this evening (it's good!).

We had supper beforehand at the new Blaze Pizza (at Richmond Street W/John Street) beforehand ... it's been open for about three months.  We've been to their Dundas Street E location many times.

You can order one of their signature pizzas or build your own ... we built our own.  There are lots of ingredients to choose from.

That's my pizza ... with regular sauce, extra mozza cheese, pepperoni, ham, bacon and tomatoes.  It was good!

Jessy's Pizza, Toronto, ON

I had lunch today at Jessy's Pizza (on Dundas Street W/Roncesvalles Avenue).

Jessy's Pizza is the largest locally owned pizza franchise operating in Nova Scotia (the first location opened in 1992, a few years after I moved away).  They just opened this first location outside of the Maritimes about a month ago here in Toronto (this location).  I'd read that they have Halifax-style donairs so I thought I would check them out.

I got a medium donair with just the meat, tomatoes and donair sauce.  I liked that the meat was thickly cut (some places here in Toronto cut it up small and fry it to heat it).  My only issue was with the sauce distribution ... there was none at the beginning and it was loaded at the bottom (which made it messy and drippy by the time I got there).  Next time I would rewrap it and shake it before I ate it so the sauce is all throughout it.  It was a tasty donair and yes, I'll be back.

Mariah and her husband are newly transplanted from Halifax and run this location.  She was friendly and we had a nice chat.  She took good care of me.

Jessy's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday 19 November 2018

Book ~ "Don Messer: The Man Behind the Music" (2009) Johanna Bertin

From Goodreads ~ Don Messer was more than a household name in Canada: he was part of family life, the background music in Canadian kitchens, first on radio, and then on television. 

Private and unassuming, Don was everyman, and yet someone singular and special: a devoted family man, a rigid Calvinist, band diplomat, lover of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a musical prodigy who from the age of seven knew and played directly to an audience ... an audience that eventually protested in unprecedented numbers on Parliament Hill upon CBC's sudden cancellation of his show, Don Messer's Jubilee. 

Through collected personal anecdotes and careful research, Johanna Bertin shares the inner complexities of the man family and friends knew: the man behind the music that warmed the hearts of three million fans.

Don Messer (1909 - 1973) was a proud Canadian, fiddler, radio broadcaster and TV band leader.  He was known for his "down-east" fiddle style and "old-time" music on radio, TV and concerts.

Messer was born the youngest of eleven children in rural New Brunswick.  He began playing the fiddle when he was five, eventually playing weddings, square dances, etc. as he got older to make money.  He moved to Boston when he was 16 and spent a couple years working at Woolworths.  During that time, he took music lessons. 

When he moved back to New Brunswick, he started working in radio and formed different bands, which eventually had air time on radio.  He moved into TV with Don Messer Jubilee in 1956, produced in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on CBC and broadcast across Canada.  When it was cancelled in 1969 (there was a national uproar and protest), the show was then produced in Hamilton, Ontario, on CHCH until his death.  During all this, he and his band toured across Canada many times.

I watched Don Messer Jubilee when I was a kid (back then we only had two channels and you watched what your parents watched) and as I am originally Nova Scotia, I enjoy "east coast" music.  I thought his story would be interesting and it was.  Messer had the reputation of being shy, controlling and distant so it was interesting to learn more about him.

I liked the writing style.  In addition to telling his story, the author also included interviews with Messer's relatives, friends and colleagues.  Throughout the book, there were pictures of Messer, his family and colleagues.  The background and stories of some of the main players in his band (such as Charlie Chamberlain and Marg Osborne) were included.