Friday, 23 October 2009


The last time I wore my suit was for a somber event and I was mortified to find that the zipper in my pants had taken an exhibitionist bent on my behalf.  Zipping up and down repeatedly made no difference.  At some point the zipper would give up any functional pretense and bare my crotch for the world to see.  I did an exemplary job of finding cover at every possible opportunity.  And I remember saying to myself "I need to get this fixed as soon as possible".

And did I?  Did I get that zipper fixed as soon as possible?  No.  No I did not.  I waited til the last possible minute when I really needed that suit again and spent the night before with a steady hand and a pair of needle nose pliers trying to fix this damn zipper.

I did my best and it appeared that the zipper now worked but I was very anxious that it would suffer a relapse at a very inopportune time  I was then very concerned that the people I was meeting would think I had a bad case of crabs with all the crotch touching I would be doing to check zipper status.

I should have more faith in my work.  The meeting went well and the zipper prevailed.  I wonder what else I can put off until tomorrow.

Tullibardine 1993

tulibardineA highland malt I was fortunate enough to receive as a birthday gift.  Never seen nor heard of this malt before.  A 15 year old malt but extremely light colouring.  The nose is light with a hint of apple.  It draws smoothly and abruptly delivers a woody flare.  No sherry, just naked wood.  It very quickly dissipates to a light burn for an aftertaste.

A welcome change to the many sherry-tasting scotches I've been sampling lately.  Very dry and very smooth.  I like.

Got wood? 4 shots!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Famous Grouse


I’ve already run through my predisposed feelings for blended scotches in my Chivas Regal review.  Taking the empties back has renewed my interest in finding a more value oriented solution to my scotch needs.  A buddy of mine introduced me to this blend a while ago and I was really impressed at the time.  Time to take another crack at it.

And crack it open is what happens.  Again with the screw top.  Just seems cheap.  Like I should be drinking it out of a paper bag.  But, hey, if a cork is the only reason those other scotches cost twice as much, I’m fine with the twist top action.

The aroma is faint and sherry based.  Checked the bottle, 40% alcohol, so it’s got the punch but doesn’t show it.  Interesting.  I was actually nervous taking the first sip.  I’m really leery about “cheap” whiskies.  If they’re inexpensive, they usually have a sickly sweet taste that’s retch inducing.  But The Grouse came through.  The sweetness is light and fruity.  The aftertaste has a similarly light burn and hangs around a little longer than it should.  But at $30 I’ll forgive that minor transgression.

So, no real character or challenge and a slightly cloying aftertaste.  But, smooth and easy going and light on the wallet.  I think I’ve found my daily drinker.

Bargain.  4 shots!



This is a picture of $6 worth of bottles.  These bottles once contained $1794 worth of alcohol.  Instead of drinking all that, I could have purchased a big screen TV, or had the teeth removed from both my cats.  Ug.  This isn’t even a year’s worth of bottles.  I really need to find a new hobby.  I’ve kept every cork since I moved to Haileybury so next week I’m counting them all up to see what the total cost has been to stay sane up here.



We had some snow last week.  Not just some light drifting snow.  Serious snow with accumulation on the ground.  It didn’t last the day but it was enough to remind me that I have a sled in need of some rebuilding.  Got it torn apart this Saturday and found alot more in need of repair than I had expected.  Gotta get some parts on order now.  It’s going to be tight but I should be ready for November.

And, holy crap, do I miss my garage.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Aberlour a’bunadh

aberlour-abunadhDecided to splurge and pick up this bottle of Aberlour a’bunadh while in Ottawa.  I think I’ve had this before.  Can’t imagine why.  I don’t make it a habit of spending more than $90 on booze unless I’m celebrating.  Anyways, I was feeling giddy about extending the Aberlour streak.

I’m a sucker for marketing and the Gaelic name and wax seal totally drew me in.  The numbered batch indication also appealed to the snob in me.  The box also tells a pretty story about the a’bunadh origins and tasting notes.  But on to my impressions.

This cask strength bottle is strong in all aspects.  It’s labelled as 60.2% alcohol content.  The nose backs this up.  A whiff of this stuff will wake you up to be sure.  Aside from the alcohol shock, the sherry aroma is near overpowering.  Can’t say it did much for me but I didn’t let it stop me.

Not surprising, the flavour is similarly strong.  The first flash is sherry but follows quickly with a bloom of fruit and a dry undertone that coats everything from the tip of the tongue to the back of the throat.  That dry haze of a woody nature, hangs around for the after taste and is slow to dissipate.  An enjoyable tasting experience from start to finish but not something that can be rushed.  Five quick drinks and I’m pretty sure I’d either be passed out or blind.  Save for a special, leisurely occasion.  I think this bottle may actually last for a while.

Strong, bold, and not to be taken lightly.  4 shots!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Super Powers

A long time ago, I was engaged in one of those esoteric, philosophical debates typical of young males.  What would you do if you won the lottery?  What would your 3 wishes from a genie be?  Who would win in a fight, Superman or Iron Man?  And this would usually lead to the question at hand: If you could have any super power, what would it be?

The answer to that question has changed over the years.  From age 6 to 12 it was the ability to fly, no question.  From 13 to 17, invisibility (perv).  But at the age of 18 I had settled on the one and only super power I would want, given the opportunity.  If I could do ANYTHING, I would want the ability to inflict flat tires on other people through sheer will.

Yup.  Every time some asshole tries to sneak a left turn in front of somebody else’s green light, every jackass that runs to the end of a merging lane instead of getting in line with everybody else, the previously described antics of certain nit wits in passing lanes, BOOM!  Instant retribution.  With the snap of my fingers, I ruin their day without actually physically harming anybody.

I am a dreamer and I dream of a world where people rigidly obey the rules of the road and display every courtesy possible to fellow drivers for fear of having to pull out that jack and spare tire….

I think I need to take a break from these weekend drives.

Monday, 12 October 2009



Look at this picture!  Doesn’t this look like fun!  Surviving a zombie apocalypse to live for the search of twinkies and the joys of splattering zombies.  I saw the trailer for this movie back in August.  My brother-in-law and I were killing ourselves laughing at scenes such as these.  Since then, it’s been the only thing I’ve been looking forward to seeing in theatres.  And this thanksgiving weekend, I finally got to see it.

And this movie is just as fun as promised.  No message, no morals, just zombie killing fun.  Can’t wait for it to come out on Blu-Ray.  The theatre we saw it in was experiencing some technical difficulties with the sound and the music have a lot to do with the total Zombieland experience.  The cameo in the middle of the film is worth the entire ticket price.

If there’s a bad thing to say about this movie, it’s that there isn’t ENOUGH zombie slaying mayhem.  There are points in the film where people seem to be spending time talking instead of killing zombies.  These moments are quickly forgiven.



Picked up a propane powered turkey fryer for this year’s thanksgiving.  Picture is not exactly like the Wal-Mart special that I purchased but you get the idea.  I was practically giddy setting this bad boy up.  The first challenge was lighting it.  The gear seemed to have every modern safety experience except for a method for remote lighting.  So, in I go with my brother-in-law’s propane torch striker.  Bye-bye knuckle hair.

Then came the oil.  17 litres of oil.  My sister and I did some rapid shopping to find that quantity of oil at a bargain rate.  We braved Costco on a long weekend and bought 2 sixteen litre containers.  Boojah!

Next was turkey time.  Wearing some really cheap sunglasses and extra absorbent oven mitts, I placed the turkey in the oil.  And the oil proceeded to bubble over the edges of the pot.  Some nervous waiting with the fire extinguisher but everything seemed to calm down with a couple minutes.  45 minutes later, we had a fully cooked 15 pound turkey.  The extremities were a bit too crispy but overall a surprisingly moist turkey even on day 2.  I think next time it would be wise to brine or marinade the turkey, do a spice rub, and tie in the wings and legs for more even cooking.

A great trial run.  The next one will be even better.

Aberlour 12


Man, I could drink this all day.  No time for a long preamble.  The more time writing about this, the less time I have to drink.  I was a full-on Aberlour 10 addict when I first found a 12 at an Ottawa LCBO.  From that point, 10 was a lesser product.

The sharp, sherry nose can give you pause but relish the aroma before diving in.  There’s a great flash of alcohol that clears the sherry smell and replaces it with a bloom of oak and a nutty aftertaste.  The burn and settle experience follows all the way down to the belly.  Fantastic.  It’s tough to just sip and contemplate this bottle.  It’s doubtful this bottle will see morning, let alone next weekend.  Yum.

Some disturbing news however.  I remember this bottle costing between 55 and 60 bucks.  A bargain for sure.  But I checked the LCBO web site just to be sure.  And found the only 12 year old Aberlour listed is going for $101!!!  This bottle I picked up in Ottawa and it was the last one on the shelf.  Sweet Jesus, I hope it wasn’t the last one to be imported to Canada for a reasonable price.  A search of the rest of the internet doesn’t confirm my suspicions one way or the other.  This bottle will be cherished even if it only lasts for hours.

My favourite….for now.  5 shots!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Just in passing

I'm pretty proud how I've evolved as a driver.  Growing up in Northern Ontario, traffic wasn't something I was conditioned to deal with.  When I first moved to Southern Ontario, driving meant being enraged.  The roads were too crowded and they were crowded with idiots.  But I eventually learned that it was better in the long run just to let those rage inducing incidents slide off my back.  Get cut off, give a little wave instead of the finger.  Someone's crawling in the fast lane, ease off on the throttle and enjoy the ride.

But today, all that psychological progress was erased.  I believe the passing lanes of Northern Ontario are a study of human behaviour.  And that study reveals that humans suck.

I will fully defend anybody's right to drive the posted speed limit.  But to drive on a highway 10 km/h BELOW the limit?  For fuck's sake, take a look behind you!  There are 5 tractor trailers and 30 cars lined up behind you waiting and praying for a passing lane to release them from the hell YOU have created.  Either put the hammer down or get off the road and let people by.

BUT, what you DON'T do is wait for a passing lane to finally show up and then SPEED UP!  You fucking asshole!  I don't know what it is about passing lanes but it causes some kind of psychosis in people and makes them drive 20 km/h faster than they were before they entered this Bermuda Triangle for sanity.  I can only imagine that they think that passing lanes are cop free zones that allow speeding or that they equate being passed with a traumatic slight to their ego.  Well suck it up buttercup.  You wanna drive 80 k, you swallow your fucking pride, keep it at 80, and soak up each and every one of those 35 angry glares you get as the soul train of hate passes you by.

Leafs Nation


New commercial on TV for “Leafs Nation”.  It’s pretty funny.  Most of the people in the commercial are under 50 and are shown explaining to other people their favourite Leaf moment.  All those moments to choose from how could anybody pick their favourite?  There’s that time they almost made it to the playoffs, then there’s that time they almost went to the final round, then there’s all that crap in between.  Besides mindless sheep remembering things that aren’t the Stanley Cup, there’s also the matter of reworking the national flag to include the Maple Leaf logo and colours.  Unacceptable.  The sheer arrogance of claiming our NATIONAL symbol as if this is Canada’s team.  You are not OUR team.  You are Toronto’s team.  We don’t like you.  Put your symbol on Toronto’s municipal flag.  I’ll just assume that’s some symbolic representation of a garbage strike.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Chivas Regal 12


I’ve developed a fairly snobby attitude towards scotch.  I’ll admit that.  And the first rule of being a scotch snob is that you turn your nose up to blended scotches.  It’s single malt or nothing.  However, true snobs will also tell you not to drink scotch with ice.  So I’m not a complete convert yet.  I try and keep an open mind and some recent bouts with different bottles of Famous Grouse have made me wonder if I’m all turned around on the subject of blends.

To see if blends really are worthy of my attention I picked up a bottle with some name recognition.  Chivas Regal 12.  A 45 dollar bottle claiming to be “rich, smooth, easy drinking” blend of a selection of Speyside malts.  All right.  I’m game.  Bring it on.

No cork.  Twist top.  Sweet Jesus, what am I?  A hillbilly?  Alright, alright.  Some concessions must be made.  The smell was my next indication that I was in trouble.  There’s a light hint of that sickly, sweet aroma I associate with rye.  It smells cheap and it gives me a headache.  It took some effort but I took the plunge and took a sip.  Not as bad as I was expecting.  The cheap sweetness didn’t show up in the tasting like it did in the smelling.  But there’s still a mothbally feel to it that hangs around for a while.  It doesn’t relax, it just makes me tired.  Fancy name, fancy bottle, not worth my time.  Still an aspiring snob.

2 shots.  Blech.


Power finally came on Sunday afternoon and I headed back up to New Liskeard to try and get some supplies at the Canadian Tire.  To get there from my place you have to drive through downtown New Liskeard.  Downtown New Liskeard consists of two blocks at right angles to each other.  Driven through it many, many times.  This time I found the street lined with people holding signs.  They were standing maybe 10 feet apart, each holding a brightly coloured cardboard sign that either praised Jesus or denounced abortions.  These messages were delivered in both French and English which I thought was a very inclusive touch.  All in all, maybe 30 people lining both sides of the street.  Just standing there.  Watching me drive by.  Judging me.  Just about the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen.

Drove on by and kept on to Canadian Tire.  Canadian Tire, of course, had decided to remain closed for the entire Sunday.  That was probably announced on the radio too.  Turned around to drive back through town but when I got to downtown, all the sign holders had disappeared.  Creepy.


Yah, so, I woke up Sunday morning, no power.  Okay, that’s cool.  It happens.  There was some lightning through the night.  I was sure they just had to do some repairs.  I had some plans for the day but I could wait a few minutes for the power to come on to get my coffee and eggs.  Two hours later, I was starting to think something was up.  So I’m starting to jones for some caffeine by this point.  Screw it.  I’m heading up to New Liskeard to hit the Micky D’s.  I roll into New Liskeard and get a real bad feeling from all the dark houses.  The whole friggin Temiskaming Shores area was down.  So, no surprise, I roll up to McDonald’s and they are closed.  The Tim Horton’s has a generator and a 60 car lineup.  Not an option.  Head back home.  Cook up some breakfast on the bbq and reconsider my plans for the day.  Now I’m jonesing for an internet connection.  Blackberry still has some juice so I check the Hydro One web site and find that this was a PLANNED outage expected to last from 7:00am to 2:00pm!  Seven hours!  F me.  So I start doing some house chores.  Run into my neighbour at one point and start talking about the power outage.  He knew all about it.  Apparently everybody did.  Had been on the radio for weeks (I listen to satellite radio).  It was in the papers (I don’t read newspapers).  Hydro One had called everybody and left a message (I never updated my phone number from Huntsville). 

So, the point of my little story is that there is a gaping hole in my media consumption with regards to local events.  It just doesn’t present itself on any web pages, podcasts, or television that I subscribe to.  That’s why I find myself sitting around on a Sunday morning with no power, or driving in the middle of a bike parade, or unable to get to Earlton because of some plow match.  There’s gotta be some rss feed I can subscribe to somewhere to give me a heads up on these things.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

So it begins!


Hockey season starts tonight!  And it got kicked off in the best way possible: A Toronto Maple Leafs LOSS!  The only thing better than watching my team win is watching the perennial shoulda-won-the-cuppers lose.  Of course I have free reign to talk smack until the Sens play their first game on Saturday.  New goalie, new flakey sharp shooter, some possibly talented forwards.  There’s some question marks but alot to be hopeful for.  I think we’ll be in the playoffs but what I REALLY want for Christmas is a clean sweep of the season series with the assbags of Ontario.  GO SENS GO!

NCIS: Los Angeles


Oh dear sweet Jesus, it’s even worse than I could have imagined.  There’s been some changes since these clowns were introduced in the NCIS crossover.  They now seem to be run by the little costume designer from The Incredibles.  She’s small but she doesn’t take any crap from the field hardened agents.  She’s comic relief?  I guess?  And their headquarters now seems to be in some spanish bordello.  And this is a division of the Navy?  It just makes no sense.

I won’t waste any time on describing the acting “talents” of LL and O’Donnell.  The picture to the left says all that needs to be said.