Archive for October, 2011

Dear friends (and others),

Some of you are stalwarts at this annual event, while others are hearing about it for the first time.  Rest assured, you are all being cordially invited because you are human and eating food is a requirement for life, and if you read this blog you might just be disgusting enough to get a kick out of this food in particular.

Of course, I’m referring to the annual pilgrimage to Dangerous Dan’s Diner on Queen Street East (at Broadview) where we will try our best to take down Coronary Combos in the battle to show those uppity vegans who’s boss.

The seventh annual trip will take place on Sunday, November 20 at 4:00pm.  In keeping with tradition, this year’s trip will be on the same day as the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, so keep that in mind for your commute to the holy shrine of beefdom.  In case you’re wondering why, we’re holding it in the afternoon to avoid both the lunch and dinner rushes, and so that everyone taking part really only has to have one meal that day.

For the uninitiated, these burgers are ridiculously huge, but not altogether untasty.  To get an idea of what you might be in for, check out 2009’s public invite and the photos that followed, after we rode the burger bus.  Then, tell me that you wouldn’t love a photo like that for your Facebook or Twitter profile pic.

As always, spectators, friends and significant others are more than welcome (this event is open to all genders), but we encourage anyone not taking part to be supportive rather than judgmental.  After all, consuming these combos is a feat of arms, as it were.

Feel free to forward this along to anyone who might want to take part, watch or even document this event for future posterity.  If you know anyone with first aid skills, or who is particularly handy with a defibrillator, they would be welcome too.

Mark the event in your calendar, share it with your friends, make sure your camera (and stomach pump) are charged and ready to go and for goodness sake, start training now.  I hope to see you all in the land of beef in a few short days.

If you’re coming, just leave a breif comment here to let me know.  The folks at the diner have asked we provide numbers so they can have enough cows killed ahead of time.

Thanks, and see you there!

PS: I have every intention of bringing my son to witness this annual feat, and also to compare how big he is compared to the burger.

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I have returned from the hinterlands and our house has now replaced much unwanted furniture with much wanted furniture.  Hooray.  Sadly, the only beings in the house to enjoy the change are me and Mojo as Danielle and Sebby are in Minnesota for the week.  Boo.

My chariot for the trip was a rented Dodge Caravan, and I hate to admit it, but it was a pretty sweet ride.  If I find myself needing to make the jump to a Mini-Van, I won’t be too heartbroken.  Great seating, lots of power under the hood and little luxuries like stereo controls on the steering wheel, multi-zone climate control,  stow and go seating and more cupholders than a small stadium.  Given how far we drive, and how much stuff (and various mammals) we travel with, I imagine a vehicle like this is in our future at some point, and I won’t mind.

What I do mind is coming home to a to0-quiet house and trying to sleep.  I miss Danielle and Sebby very much, and while I will make the most of my week alone by getting caught up on sleep and chores, I would rather be tired and behind on my To-Do list if it meant having them around.

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Every once in a while, cottage owners the world over share in the same tradition.  Namely, renting a van to bring some large pieces of furniture from the house to the cottage, and some from the cottage to the house.  It’s a never ending cycle.

I’ve rented a van for this weekend and will be taking the old couch from our basement and our coffee table to the cottage and bringing back an antique cabinet for our dining room.  We got a brand-spanking new sectional for our renovated basement, so we don’t need the tiny loveseat that was down there when we moved in, but it’ll look great in front of the woodstove.

Since Danielle and Sebastian leave on Saturday for a week-long trip to Minnesota to visit his Grandma, Grandpa and  other Great Grandma, it was a good time for me to go.

In 48 hours, I’ll be on my way to the cottage with Mojo beside me and a pile of furniture behind me.  It’s going to be rad.  Yes, rad.

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When the first Occupy protests started in the U.S., I was pretty impressed that people with so many different ideas of an outcome could come together to demand more from the large companies their government had to bail out in the last recession.  Demanding accountability is a great idea.

However, now that the protests have started in Canada, I’m a little perplexed.  First, I expected to see scores of protestors on way into my office at King and Bay streets, but there were only a handful of folks with signs.  I guess they decided to sleep in a bit, no doubt due to camping out in the frigid temps last night.

Our banking regulations ensured that our banks stayed out of the quagmire that hit the States so hard, and our financial systems have been surprisingly responsible in dealing with the outcomes.  That people are protesting that ‘bankers’ make more than most people in the world (or even North America) is a bit odd seeing as profits up here aren’t nearly as high, and even those protesting are still richer than most of the people in the world.

I would have liked to see Canadian protestors targeting US organizations that helped lead to the current financial woes, but I guess I get that they don’t like the idea of big companies earning profits during times of hardship.

It’s safe to say that I plan to stay out of this protest and focus on keeping the job I already have, lest I become even MORE of a 99% type person.

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Danielle went above and beyond in her anniversary gift to me this year by giving me the gift of music.  Between our home renovations and the arrival of Sebby, I haven’t had as much time to play my guitars as I once did, and I’d mentioned a passing interest in taking some lessons to force myself to play, and to improve my skills, especially on electric guitar.

Well, lo and behold, she’d been filing all that information away (including the guitar shop where I thought I would get the best service for the best price) and she paid my registration fee and bought my first and last lesson.

Now, all I need to do is get my guitars in for a set-up (the guitar equivalent of getting your car tuned up) and I can schedule my half-hour per week that will eventually turn me into Jimi Hendrix.

She also sent a really nice bouquet of flowers to me at work.  I’m spoiled.

For her, I went  a little more traditional.  Historically, the 4th wedding anniversary is celebrated with gifts of linen and/0r fruit, so I sent her a fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements and got some really nice 400 thread count Egyptian Linen sheets.  Even if she’s not sleeping through the night because of a crying baby, she can at least lounge in relative comfort, right?

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With a forecast for a dreary, rainy morning followed by a sunny and crisp afternoon, today’s weather reminds me very much of the weather exactly four years ago today.  That morning, I woke up at my cottage to a light drizzle and prayed that the weather would clear by early afternoon, which it did.

Later that day, I visited a local church with some family and friends and by the time I left the building, I had a new piece of jewellery on my finger and beautiful woman by my side; a woman who has been there ever since.

Since our wedding day, we’ve gone from being newlyweds to dog owners, homeowners and now parents.  It may seem  surprising that in a time as short as four years, we’ve been able to build an entire life together, and a fantastic one at that, but it’s not surprising to me.  I knew Danielle was perfect for me when I proposed, I affirmed it at our wedding ceremony, and it’s been evident every day since.

Happy Anniversary, Danielle.  If four years feels like a short amount of time, it’s only because we’re so looking forward to all the wonderful years that lie ahead.

Here’s hoping the sun peeks out to shine on us today like it did that gorgeous day we were married.  If it doesn’t, I couldn’t care less; we have more than enough sunshine in our lives anyways.

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I was not raised in what you might call a ‘seafood household’.  Every once in a while, we would have Highliner fish sticks, but growing up, we had a standard menu of beef, chicken and pork.  That’s not to say our dinners were bland, far from it, we just stuck to eating meat that had lived on land.  Neither of my parents were raised with fish in their diets, so that’s how we lived too.

Fortunately for me, our close family friend (whose son was my childhood best friend, and so I spent a lot of time at his house) is a proud Cape Breton native, and he cooked fresh fish often.  My parents were pretty surprised to learn that I loved the taste of fish (the fishier the better) from a young age, but I was also being served VERY fresh and well-prepared seafood.

On our way home from my parents on the weekend, we stopped off at Red Lobster in Peterborough, and it was my first (and last) time eating there.  I’ll start by saying the biscuits were delectable, but that’s about it.  What the seafood lacked in freshness, the fine folks at RL attempted to cover up with deep frying, garlic butter and salt.  You couldn’t even taste the fish.

I’m not sure what was more disappointing; that our meals were bleh, or that I’d broken a 33 and a half year streak of not eating at Red Lobster.

Now, to make up for my transgressions, I’m going to have to splurge on some fresh salmon or shellfish and and eat myself stupid.  I might, however, stop in to Red Lobster for some biscuits to go.

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Life has been moving along at a pretty quick pace lately, so finding time to play ‘catch up’ in here has proven tricky.  Rather than not updating this blog because I can’t find time to post everything that’s happened in the last few months, I’m going to give up on trying to summarize everything and just move forward from today.  I’ll play catch up as time allows, including photos of our ever-growing little boy.

We headed up to the Ottawa Valley this weekend for Thanksgiving weekend and were treated with August weather and beautiful leaves.  Graham was stuck in Toronto, but Grandma (or Great Grandma as she’s now known to me) and Danielle’s sister came over for the weekend, so there were lots of free hands clamouring to hold little Sebastian.

As if I haven’t been tired enough lately, I was rendered nearly unconscious by a massive dose of turkey and trimmings that will take weeks to recover from.  Kudos to mom for putting on such a great spread.

I’ve learned that the days of being able to do long drives with as little stopping as possible are long gone, and I’m going to get to know all the little places to pull over between here and the cottage quite well as our family grows and grows.  Yesterday’s surprise find was the public boat launch on Eels Lake (just south of Bancroft) which was a very pretty place to stop and stretch our legs mid-route.

Now that I’ve resigned myself to not having to do a massive post in here to bring you all up to speed on the happenings in our lives since July 16, posting should be more regular and just as scatterbrained as always.  You’re welcome.

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