Grocery Store Rules

Do not park you cart in the middle if the aisle
Do not drive on the left side if the aisle unless you are in Britain
Do not get into the express lane with more than 12%.more grocery ite.s than posted limit
Do not bring your goddamn dog I to the store. Even if it us in your coat.
Do not strike up long drawn out conversations with cashier if there are people in line behind you
If it is busy and it is a bag your own groceries store, bag them as cashier is ringing them in
Do not wait until the cashier has finished before you have your payment ready
Do not pay on the left side of the scales/scanner as that is where the next person’s things are
Do not pay by cheque
Do not ask for lottery tickets are a regular counter. Go to the loser counter
Do not buy cigarettes at a regular counter. See previous point
Don’t say “witty” or snide things and turn to give other people in your line a “knowing glance”

That is all

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A Singing Mime – yeah, I know..

Sometimes for fun, I do sketches of celebrities.  I do them over a seven minute timeframe badly and try to get my friends to guess who they are.  Then other days I go hog-wild and just sketch weird things like, oh, a singing mime. Damn Singing Mime

At Present, I smell Quite Nice

Old Man In Hotel

The above photograph is what my hotel room desk looked like ten minutes ago.  As I patiently waited for my Surface(tm) tablet computer thing to update whatever files it downloaded recently, I lay out all the little snacks I brought with me from home.  It certainly isn’t that I don’t like to wander the streets of Toronto on occasion in the evening but tonight I just want to stay in.  That said, being in a hotel room is not like being at home when one is a grazer. I like to have little snacks all day and don’t really go in for big meals so this time of night I am usually having a piece of bread (whole grain OF COURSE) with some PB and honey before bed.  Oddly, they don’t have bread, PB or honey in hotel rooms (except the more posh places at $8 a slice/ounce) so I have learned a long time ago to bring a few cans of (DIET, jeesh stop judging me) pop, nuts, fruit etc. Tonight is a rare treat as my wife made me one of my favorite things, homemade hummus, the night before I left. Nom frigging nom nom..

As noted already, I currently smell very nice.  I just had a sweetly hot shower in a tub with one of those higher quality multi-selection shower heads.  Bliss. I desperately needed a shower as I had just forced myself to run four miles (six point four kilometers for people in the twenty-first century) on a treadmill after noshing on a healthy whole grain club sandwich and a big salad.  Forced, because frankly overt the last two weeks my running and my TRAINING for yet another half marathon has taken a bit of a turn.  I should have known it was coming, it happens every year in about August, I caught a summer virus.  This after a week off where my training was cut back for “marital” reasons (to keep my wife happy).  Last Tuesday, I felt sore in the neck and shoulders.  I assumed it was because I ran pretty fast the night before.  I slathered myself with Tiger Balm and went to bed.

Note: Tiger balm is great.  It smells like an apothecary from the 1800s.  It is exotic and warm and tingly and makes you want to PUKE if you put too much of it on in the vicinity of your head, wrap up like a human burrito and go to sleep. Just letting you know.

Next morning and all the next day, my head was stuffed up.  I assumed it was allergies but being a Very Cheap Man I balked at purchasing my usual go-to allergy meds and grabbed some daytime cold tablets. Took a few, felt better.  Took a few more that night, again, felt a little better.  Went to bed, took two more.

Note: Taking daytime cold tablets at night will either keep you awake or make you have fitful insane dreams about murderous clowns and zombie rapists. Just letting you know.

Thursday, I had no choice but to go to work.  I had booked the afternoon of the next day off as my kidlings were coming back from being away for two weeks at summer camp (hence our previous week of MARITAL VACATION).  I arrived with a hodgepodge of inappropriate pharmaceuticals to treat my ailment and managed to finish the day having managed to only choke down a protein shake and some soup and a tea.  That night was an influenza-like evening of nausea, pain, dizziness, headache and misery like none I had had since a few very bad hangovers in the nineties or perhaps when I had Swine Flu (H1N1) in 2009. I did not sleep that night well even though I had gravolled myself up like a convict on a cross Atlantic extradition flight.

Friday.  Misery.  Picked up kids, try were both sick. Took them to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and slept through 30% of it.

Saturday, saw doctor, was told it was a virus (no shit Sherlock ) and immediately started feeling better.  No, seriously. On the drive home, no prescription given, no new drugs purchased, I slowly started feeling better. It took until two in the afternoon today, the following Monday to eliminate the virus from my system.

Back to why I smell good and why that is important.

So, work finished, meal finished, in a hotel in Toronto Canada (where everyone is wearing sweaters and jackets because they seem to despise any temperature that isn’t what I would call comfortable) I decide to get back in training mode and run.  I run. I run faster than I should.  I am very sweaty.  The pool is currently being used for some sort of Islamic convention gathering and overcrowded so I decide to head to my room.  I take a wrong turn on some stairs and find myself on the 26th floor elevator landing.  A very nicely dressed (and likely nice smelling) crowd of six people in their early twenties is clustered around the doors waiting and chatting.  I keep my distance.  When the elevator arrives I tell them to go ahead “I’ll get the next one, I’m pretty disgusting right now”.  They insist that it is okay and after another attempt to dissuade them I get in the car.  I tell them “I’ll stay near the doors”.  They laugh.  A big fat guy from some place south of our borders gets on and I look back and say “You still have time..” they laugh and big guy looks back at all of us with a scowl, likely assuming we are laughing at his expense. Next floor, another guy gets on.  Then another.  I look around me “Warned you..” they laugh nervously, big guy turns around and scowls again (maybe he thinks I am threatening the kids with my water bottle).  Then I realize I haven’t chosen a floor.  I reach and see that I am on an elevator that doesn’t go to floor six. I choose floor two, being the next floor it stops at.  I stand quietly.  I hear shuffling away from my general location.  Fat guy looks back menacingly.  Floor two arrived and I rush off, find the RED elevators that go to floor six and head “home”.

Now I smell nice.

Note: Garlic (as found in items such as hummus) has the innate ability to make the eater especially if one eats large quantities, to exude the smell of garlic from their skin.  No amount of gum or soap will completely remove this smell completely.  It begins to be apparent approximately six hours after eating for most people and can be evident for upwards of twelve hours.

My meeting tomorrow is in ten hours

Toronto Food Update

This is typical of what we eat at home. Maybe this is why I find TO food boring…

Pickled onion, pea sprout and pea salad in a vinaigrette (all homemade) and barbecued chicken tenders with a soy glaze.

image

Posted from WordPress for Android by that guy that runs the place

Toronto Needs Flavour

I travel to TO a fair bit.  Over the past nine years I would hazard a guess that I have been to the self proclaimed “center of the universe” (okay, Canada) approximately fifty times, half of those being overnight or longer trips.  I have eaten at fast food, more posh restaurants, small family run takeout places and street vendors and I will say it right now, you have ruined ethnic food.  Where I come from, there is a vibrant Cambodian and Portuguese community mixed with a hodge-podge of other ethnicities and very large European contingent of locals some of whom have been in the area since the late 1700s (my family included).  We are largely multicultural with none of the ethnic violence that seems to simmer in Toronto.  We also have more restaurants per capita than most other cities in Canada.  If you go to any ethnic restaurants, or even white-bread, vanilla German or English places to eat, there is taste, flavor, spice that mimics that one finds in the associated country of origin.  There are fusion places, straight up shawarma or pita places, Cambodian and Thai places with heat and sweet taste.  I am used to variety and options.  Toronto, relative to where I come from, you frankly need to pull up your socks at least downtown.

Food in (downtown) Toronto promises excitement.  From Caribbean to Thai to sushi to bland old Kelsey-style places have signs and menus that imply traditional food excitement for your mouth.  What you get most everywhere I have gone is as follows:

  • Bland French fries (called “frites ” at places trying hard to sound posh) that are cooked in ancient oils (possibly waste TTC lubricants)
  • Lots of random meats on “chiabatta” buns
  • Spring mix salads with fruit based dressings
  • Lamb (I like lamb, I do,  but it seems to be the new thing to toss ground lamb in food in TO)
  • Sweet potato things cooked so much they taste like orange colored sweet starch mush
  • Thai food that has the flavor of buffet “Chinese” food cooked by Indonesian people afraid to upset locals who strive to make it sweet and palatable to Americans who just aren’t in TO this week
  • Cold soups made with strange ingredients that look nice in the (always far too shallow) bowl (deep plate) but taste like a smoothie someone left on the deck for an hour in the sun
  • Tofu (I like tofu, just noting that outside of Toronto it is served in something spicy and flavorful since TOFU IS FLAVOURLESS)
  • Fish and Chips (overcooked)
  • Salmon (always with the goddamn salmon)

Tips for the traveler who likes flavour: Small ethnic family run places. Eat at the small places and avoid anywhere that you see people in suits and anything close to the financial district.  People who work in downtown TO go out drinking most EVERY NIGHT after work except the small percentage who live near downtown.  They have a huge commute and wish to avoid the slog in traffic, so they go out and have a few beer with their besuited colleagues and soon want something to eat before they head off home. They order salty carby sweet things that satiate their empty souls.

Sorry Toronto.  I like your people and your things to do, but you really make me want to pack a lunch when I visit.

I like

Walking the street downtown

On a summers eve
The sun, set
Stars shining above
Masked by the lights
But there nonetheless

On a night with no curfew
The air, warm
Cars passing by
Their engines revved by men
Trying in vain to attract a mate

Into the darker hours
The memories, vivid
Childhood friends and I playing
Our eyes on the town hall click
Our ears primed to hear our mothers calling us home

Toward the early light of day
The attitudes carefree and drunken
The pub long closed, eating pizza
Calling it a night but dragging it out
Our minds not on tomorrow
But here, now, joy

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The Wyrm

Phillip was five when he first saw the wyrm
He found it behind the woodshed
White as a sheet, tiny, laying so still
Phillip was sure it was dead
Reached down and he poked it aside
It moved shot like a toothed rubbed band
He screamed and he ran to his mother inside
But no mark could be seen on his hand

Phillip was twelve when he next saw the wyrm
By now it was long as his arm
Down by the creek near the sandbagged flood berm
A weak albino thing’d do no harm
So brave as a boy twice his age, twice his size
He pick it up neat with a stick
Sunlight flashed in it’s cataracted pink sightness eyes
And it bit his arm neatly and quick

By twenty-five, incidents wore from his mind
He’d wiped them from his memory
Returning home when in financial bind
Wandered to lay ‘neath old tree
Watching the clouds in sun dappled shade
A warm thickness slid across his legs
He tried to stand up though his strength it did fade
His limbs little good more than pegs

And the albino wyrm rose level with his head
It opened it’s mouth, nary sound
And it swallowed him whole, live, vision it went red
Then it borrowed back under the ground
When Phillip awoke he was cold, he was wet
Nothing to see, merely sound
And he wriggled and writhed, cloaked in grassy damp net
He a wyrm newly borne of the ground

100 Things I Like – part 3

Sawing wood (literally)
Heavy blankets
Quiet children
Autumn winds
WWII aircraft
Fireworks
Explosions
The smell of diesel fuel in soil
A hotel room with no mirrors except in the bathroom
Shampoo that smells like apples

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100 Things I Like – part 2

Diet cola
Haircuts
Lavender
Devo
Frogs
Silver
Nice new white cotton shirts
Clouds and cloudwatching
Thunderstorms
Pens (felt tip, not ballpoint)

Posted from WordPress for Android by that guy that runs the place

100 Things I Like – Part 1

In no particular order, things I really like (no people):

1.  Watermelon
2.  Good Quality Chocolate
2.  Twenty-four hour, non-drowsy, allergy medication
3.  Cats
4.  Hoodies
5.  Horror short fiction that is scary, not just hack and slash gore
6.  Lists
7.  Coffee (good coffee)
8.  Football (both kinds, country AND western)
9.  Watches
10.  Snakes

More to come…

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