Sunday, 28 April 2019

The Craft Brasserie & Grille, Toronto, ON

After the Toronto Wolfpack game this afternoon, Roger, Malcolm, Mary, Gord and I had supper at The Craft Brasserie & Grille in Liberty Village.

Though we were greeted and seated right away, it took a long time for our orders for food to be taken and then for the food to arrive.

I ordered a Grilled Chicken Club sandwich (minus the onions and lettuce) with a side salad (with no onions).  I'd had this a couple weeks ago there and both were good ... so I was looking forward to it again.  Today, though, it was a disappointment.  The salad was drenched with dressing and had onions and some weird green thing.  I couldn't finish it.  When I brought it to our server's attention, she said she has asked to not put any onions on it and then walked away.  Um ... okay.  My barely toasted bread was soggy and there were no tomatoes.  Plus the bacon was barely cooked (so it was chewy).

Toronto Wolfpack 52, Swinton Lions 10, Lamport Stadium, Toronto, ON

The Toronto Wolfpack RLFC is a Canadian professional rugby league club, based in here Toronto, which competes in the British Rugby Football League system.  In 2018, the club competed in the Championship, having begun to play in 2017 in League 1 and won a promotion in its inaugural season.  Gord and I have been going to the most of the games since 2017 and have been season ticket holders for the last two years.

The club is noted as being the first North American team to play in the Rugby Football League system, the first fully professional rugby league team in Canada and the world's first transatlantic rugby league team.  Their home stadium is Lamport Stadium (aka "The Den"), which is just a couple blocks from where Gord and I live.

Today the Wolfpack (10 wins/1 loss) were playing the Swinton Lions (2 wins/9 losses) in the Wolfpack's home opener.

The Wolfpack store, which is across the street from Lamport, was open.

There was a band playing outside Lamport as we were entering.

Here are me and Gord in our Wolfpack gear.

WWE wrestler Brian Cage was scheduled to sign autographs outside the east entrance of the stadium.  He was introduced before the game started.

The team flags were laid on the ground.

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Black Oak Brewing Co. Tour, Etobicoke, on

Today we did a tour at Black Oak Brewing Co (Horner Avenue and Evans Avenue).

You can pop in for a beer or two any time

You can buy glasses, teeshirts, beer to take home and even beer soap!

Owner Ken Woods conducted the tour.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Book ~ "Love & Courage: My Story of Family, Resilience, and Overcoming the Unexpected" (2019) Jagmeet Singh

From Goodreads ~ In October 2017, Jagmeet Singh was elected as the first visible minority to lead a major federal political party in Canada. The historic milestone was celebrated across the nation.

About a month earlier, in the lead up to his election, Jagmeet held community meet-and-greets across Canada. At one such event, a disruptive heckler in the crowd hurled accusations at him. Jagmeet responded by calmly calling for all Canadians to act with “love and courage” in the face of hate. That response immediately went viral and people across the country began asking, “Who is Jagmeet Singh? And why ‘love and courage’?”

This personal and heartfelt memoir is Jagmeet’s answer to that question. In it, we are invited to walk with him through childhood to adulthood as he learns powerful, moving, and sometimes traumatic lessons about hardship, addiction, and the impact of not belonging. We meet his strong family, including his mother, who teaches him that “we are all one; we are all connected,” a valuable lesson that has shaped who he is today.

This story is not a political memoir. This is a story of family, love, and courage, and how strengthening the connection between us all is the way to building a better world.

I am probably the least political person ever.  I don't follow politics, I don't care about politics, and I don't align myself with one political party.  When I vote, it is for how I feel about my local representatives and whether I think they are a good person, rather than the party they are affiliated with.

I've only been aware of Jagmeet Singh the last couple of years ... probably since he was in the race to become the leader of the NDP party.  He seems like a nice fella and I thought his bio would be interesting.

Jagmeet was born 40 years ago in Scarborough, ON.  His parents were struggling immigrants so he was sent to India to live with his grandparents for a year or so.  Jagmeet's father was a doctor in India and had to go through many hoops to be able to practice in Canada.  Once that happened, he accepted a position in Newfoundland and the family (his parents had two more children there) spent some years there until finally settling in Windsor, ON.

Jagmeet's father became an alcoholic and the family spent many stressful years living with his father's drunken rages.  Despite being in and out of rehab over the years, his father eventually wasn't allowed to practice medicine, which didn't help his mental state, and his family distanced themselves from him.  As the oldest, Jagmeet felt it was his duty to take care of his family, emotionally and financially, despite still being a university student.  The family went from being well-to-do to losing everything.

Jagmeet became a lawyer and offered free legal rights seminars across Ontario and provided pro bono legal counsel for people and community organizations in need.  His younger brother convinced him to enter politics so he could help more people in his riding, the province and eventually the country.

I enjoyed this book and though I obviously don't know him personally, I like Jagmeet as a person from what I read.  It confirmed what I thought ... that he seems like a nice fella.  As an Indian, he has experienced racism and doesn't want what happened to him (being called names, getting into fights, etc.) to happen to others.

I liked the writing style and appreciated his honesty.  I like that it wasn't about politics ... it was about him personally and his family, all he went through and how it has affected who he is today.  I like too that I learned about what being Sikh is but he wasn't preachy about it.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Book ~ "Think Like a Dog: How Dogs Teach Us to Be Happy in Life and Successful at Work" (2019) Scott MacDonald and Sadie

From Goodreads ~ They're loyal, loving and big-hearted - dogs are our best friends for a good reason. Yet they have much more to offer than just love and friendship. Let Scott MacDonald and rescue dog Sadie show you how to have a more rewarding life and a more successful career in "Think Like a Dog".

With whimsy and insight, Scott and Sadie offer important lessons in loyalty, persistence, leaving your mark and always being a great sniffer. Scott reveals what Sadie and other dogs teach us about successful work habits and organizational strategies for outstanding business success.

Want a better, happier, and more satisfying life? Want to be successful? Start by understanding a dog's perspective and applying the lessons learned! 

I enjoy reading books about animals, business books and how to be happy(ier) in life ... this book is a combination of all three.  And how could I resist with the picture of Sadie on the cover?

Scott MacDonald is a retired CEO and had a career working on commercial real estate projects throughout the world.  Sadie is his rescue dog.  Together they have written this book to provide us with their advice, wisdom and experience.

The lessons/chapters include:
  • Looking for treats
  • Being persistent
  • Communicating better
  • Living in the moment
  • Planning your escape
  • Avoiding certain dogs
  • Knowing when to bark
  • Watching out for hoses
  • Embracing change
  • Being a good sniffer
  • Chasing cars
  • Earning trust and choosing partners
  • Eat, sleep and play
  • Being loyal
  • Training people
  • Everyone needs a job
  • Selecting the right leash
  • Taking advantage of opportunities
  • Getting the basics right
  • Leaving your mark
  • Sadie's twelve most important lessons for a better life

Sadie starts each chapter with her view of the lesson as it relates to her dog world.  Then Scott gives us his perspective on how to put the lesson in place from a human's perspective.  Also included are stories of Sadie's doggy friends and other dogs as they relate to the lessons, pictures of Sadie (so cute!) and cartoons.

I liked this book and I liked the writing style.  Sadie's point of view was more fun but what else would you expect from a dog?  Both Sadie and Scott provided good reminders about how to be happy in life and successful at work in their own way.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Ipsy Glam Bag - April 2019

My April 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 ...

  • Make-up bag
  • THEBALM COSMETICS theBalmJour Creamy Lip Stain (Namaste!) 
  • PURLISSE Watermelon Energizing Peel + Polish 
  • TARTE Double Duty Beaut Base Tape Hydrating Primer - smells nice ... like coconuts
  • LAURA SANCHEZ Moods Eyeshadow (Martini Olive Green)
  • EYEKO Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner
  • Sunday, 21 April 2019

    Stackt Market, Toronto, ON

    Gord and I walked to Stackt Market this afternoon.

    Stackt Market is on a previously vacant 2.6-acre plot of city-owned land at Front Street and Bathurst Street and has a two-year lease on the land.  It opened about a week and a half ago and businesses will fill about 120 containers offering various goods and services.  More than one business can operate out of the same container, which range from 140 to 1800 square feet. The market offers leases to tenants ranging from as little as two days to 18 months.

    Thursday, 18 April 2019

    Union Chicken, Toronto, ON

    I had a late lunch today at Union Chicken at Union Station.  I had lunch there last week and it was good.

    I ate in the restaurant
    There is a take-out part

    Monday, 15 April 2019

    Free samples at - April 2019

    A couple weeks ago, I had answered an emailed survey from SampleSource and a box of free goodies arrived today.  This is the ninth box of samples I've gotten from them over the years.

    Here's what I received ...

    Looks like some fun stuff for Gord, Crumpet, Muffin and I to try ... there is something for us all!

    Topbox - April 2019

    My April 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 ...

  • Sebastian Professional Dark Oil: Hair Styling Oil
  • Brune Nail Polish (#05) 
  • Hadaka Butterful Harula Butter Cream (Marula)
  • Yves Rocher Concentrated Shower Gel - Mango Coriander - smells nice
  • Saturday, 13 April 2019

    Book ~ "Emily, Gone" (2019) Bette Lee Crosby

    From Goodreads ~ 1971. When a music festival rolls through the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia, the Dixon family’s lives are forever changed. On the final night, a storm muffles the sound of the blaring music and Rachel tucks her baby into bed before falling into a deep sleep. So deep, she doesn’t hear the kitchen door opening. When she and her husband wake up in the morning, the crib is empty. Emily is gone.

    Vicki Robart is one of the thousands at the festival but she’s not feeling the music. She’s feeling the emptiness over the loss of her own baby several months before. When she leaves the festival and is faced with an opportunity to fill that void, she is driven to an act of desperation that will forever bind the lives of three women.

    When the truth of what actually happened that fateful night is finally exposed, shattering the lives they’ve built, will they be able to pick up the pieces to put their families back together again?

    It's 1971 and there's a big music festival happening on a farm outside the small town of Hesterville, GA.  Lots of "hippies" invade the town and there's loud vibrating music all weekend.  The townsfolk complain but there's nothing the local sheriff can do since it's outside the town.

    The Dixons live not far from the festival.  Tired from not getting a lot of sleep all weekend, the rain comes masking the sound of music and Rachel and George finally get a good night sleep.  When they wake up the next morning, they discover their baby, Emily, is missing.  The sheriff investigates, posters are put up, a reward is collected and ads are placed in newspapers but Emily is never found.  Hoping for the best, it takes years for Rachel and George to move on and they pray that Emily is being raised in a loving home.

    Vicki and Murph are at the festival.  Stoned and hungry on the last night of the festival, Vicki convinces Murph to stop at a dark house so she can ask for food.  The door is unlocked and Vicki walks in.  Instead of taking food, she discovers Emily asleep in bed.  Vicki had given birth to a stillborn whom she named Lara a few months earlier and thinks God is replacing Lara with Emily ... and Emily grows up as Lara.

    I thought this book was okay.  I loved the concept of the story ... a baby is taken, the girl grows up and discovers she was kidnapped at birth.  I was interested to know how it was discovered and what were the repercussions.  Then the "how" happened.  Up until that point, the book was a solid 4/5 as I was enjoying the story and the writing style (it's written in third perspective).  When the "how" was revealed, I thought "SERIOUSLY?"  It was way too coincidental and I wasn't buying it.  The happy ending was nice but it was too neat.  It dropped to a 3/5 for me.

    If you are looking for a nice clean wholesome story, you will like it.  I've read many of this author's books and this is her style.  Though I am not religious, the characters in this book are.

    The Craft Brasserie & Grille, Toronto, ON

    Gord and I had supper this evening at The Craft Brasserie & Grille in Liberty Village with some friends.  Gord was celebrating his recent retirement and his recent birthday.

    Below are Dawn, Liz, Darlene, Craig, Alfred, Kevin, Gord, Sox, Christine, Rosemary, Rona, Jacob, Roger and Martin ... Ian joined us later.

    Everyone ordered a variety of dishes.  I had a Grilled Chicken Club sandwich (minus the onions and lettuce) with a side salad.  My sandwich was good as was the salad.

    Everyone seemed to have a good time and it was great to see everyone.  Brigin was our server and, though it was busy and we were a big group, she took good care of all of us.

    The Craft Brasserie & Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Friday, 12 April 2019

    Toronto Rock 13, New England Black Wolves 12, Scotiabank Arena, 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 the Rock were hosting the New England Black Wolves.  Toronto had already secured a playoff spot.  This was the last home game of the season.

    We got there early enough to watch the teams warm up.

    Tonight the Rock retired Jim Veltman's #32 in a ceremony before the game ... he was the first captain of the Rock.

    Thursday, 11 April 2019

    Book ~ "Daisy Jones & The Six" (2019) Taylor Jenkins Reid

    From Goodreads ~ Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity ... until now.

    Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

    Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant and, with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

    Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

    Daisy Jones was a young groupie in the late 1960s and living the life of drugs, booze and sex.  She had everything she wanted including money and freedom and her parents seemed more caught up in their lives than hers.  When she is about twenty, she records a record that is a big hit.

    During this time, Billy Dunne and his brother, Graham, have started a band called the Dunne Brothers, eventually renamed The Six.  They are also on the rise.  Billy has been dating Camila and she moves with him to L.A. when the band relocates.  The band starts to draw attention and head out on tour.  Camila discovers she is pregnant and though Billy loves her and marries her, the fear of being a good dad gets to him and he gets wild on the road with booze, drugs and women.  Camila eventually makes him make a choice ... clean up or he loses his family.

    A producer suggests that Daisy and The Six get together to record a record for even greater success.  They do and they become Daisy Jones & The Six.  While Billy struggles with sobriety, Daisy is out of control on drugs and booze, yet there is a creative spark between them.  Their record and popularity explodes and they have to deal with this on the road.

    This book is the story of how Daisy & The Six came to be, their internal struggles, their tours and the eventual break-up of the band.

    I liked it this book.  I found the writing style interesting and it worked for me.  It is the compilation of interviews the "author" had done in researching for the story of the band.  The book is laid out in chronological order of events and is told in chunks from interviews with the band members, Camila, the producer and even a hotel concierge.  This worked for me as I got the different points of view of the events from different perspectives.  For example, at times Billy thought everything was great whereas band member, Eddie, was extremely pissed off at the same situation.  As a head's up, there is swearing and drug use and drinking.