04 Dec 2013
On Monday, I had the opportunity to check out and try Parts & Labour’s new burger place to taste their different burgers before they officially launched. As of today, they are now open to the public from 11AM to 11PM daily. Their menu has 7 different burgers on it ranging from the P&L pictures above, to a Castor burger with peameal bacon, to an Italian burger with a lot of spice and a lot more marinara sauce. They also had a vegetarian option called the Big Tempeh that I tasted a bit of – but it wasn’t for me. I like a nice chunk of cow on my burgers!
The burgers are all $9, with exception of a basic no-frills ‘Hamburger’ that was only $8. Additionally, they have a wide variety of sides from french fries to poutine to coleslaw and even a kale caesar salad. Oh, and if you’re in the mood to appease your sweet tooth, they even have a delicious soft serve ice cream. (I should have ordered a milkshake!)
P&L Burger is located at 507 Queen Street West, which is a couple blocks west of Spadina on the south side of the street. You really can’t miss it.
02 Dec 2013
Guys, November is over so you can do away with those mustaches and other unkempt facial hair! I mean, at the end of the day your ghastly facial hair is up to you in what you do with it – but I personally like to keep my face nice and trimmed. I’ve used a fair number of different razors, trimmers and other facial hair weed whackers over the years so when Phillips’ approached me to try their new Click & Style tool, I told them I’d give it a shot but would also be fully honest.
Now, first off the Click & Style has three different heads to it.
- A dual rotating smooth face trimmer called “Smooth Face”.
- A combed beard trimmer that they call “Perfect Stubble”.
- A longer rotating trimmer for body hair called “Groomed Body”.
- The kit also includes 3 different length combs, a cleaning brush and a carrying case.
Because I don’t have a beard and imagine I would look terrible in one – I didn’t test out the Perfect Stubble tool. But I did try both the Smooth Face and the Groomed Body attachment.
The Smooth Face attachment advises to shave in either a wet face with shaving foam or you can also shave dry. It does a fairly good job at cleaning up the hairs on my neck and cheeks, but I found that it didn’t work as well on my chin and under my nose. I felt it was a good two step tool to trim longer hairs before taking a razor blade to get even closer. Cleaning it was also very easy as you can shake it out easily. If you let your facial hair grow a little bit too long between shaves, this is a perfect tool to clean you up.
The Groomed Body attachment recommends using a comb – which I did. Now, I did a little bit of manscaping and it worked exceptionally well for that purpose. Very simple to do, takes no time at all, and is just a breeze overall. Again, very easy to clean as well. I had no problems with this as well and give it top marks! If you’re wanting to clean up parts of your body, or for dudes with muscles who do their chest – this thing works wonders.
This really is one of the best tools I’ve had the pleasure of using! As an added bonus, it’s also entirely waterproof which was a real surprise. I’ve used similar tools that didn’t perform as well and weren’t ‘shower safe’, so I was impressed! It’s rechargeable, and has a rapid charging feature where you can plug it in for a few minutes and it will charge sufficiently to get a full shave in. I’ve been using it for over a month now, and have only needed to charge it one time, which gives you an idea of the battery life.
In regards to price, I have personally used inexpensive tools and very expensive ones – and the cost to effectiveness of this one seems pretty accurate. It retails for between $70 and $100 (from the retailers I’ve looked at online). It is the kind of thing that will last a long time! I don’t know for sure if the blades are replaceable, but I imagine you can source them online years down the road!
Overall, I would rate the Phillips Click & Style a Solid B+.
29 Nov 2013
Dell has provided me with ongoing technical support on my computer and I wanted to pass on some valuable information they provided to me for Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping! (They haven’t paid or provided anything for this, but when I ran into a problem earlier in the year, they immediately helped me remedy the problem! But I legit felt this was valuable information for the audience that has been following along with the project!)
While on the subject of online holiday shopping, it is important for consumers to have a safe and secure online shopping experience – risk-free of cyber criminals. Below are some safety tips to share with your audiences from Dell IT security experts, in order keep the cyber experience safe this holiday season:
- Make sure your computer is up-to-date with anti-virus and malware detection software
- When buying online, always use a credit card that limits your fraud liability. Avoid using debit cards to prevent fraudulent transactions
- Always type the URL of your favourite shopping websites. Don’t use links provided in online ads and emails as they may direct you to bogus websites set by cyber criminals to extract personal information
- Be wary of holiday gift cards and coupon offers sent via email. They are often a trap for information-stealing Trojans or provide a backdoor for hackers to collect your personal information
- When making online purchases always look for the HTTPS on your browser’s URL window. The S (as opposed to just HTTP) indicates the website has another layer of security
- Never open unsolicited emails with links to attachments even from people you know. ALWAYS verify with the sender that he or she actually sent you the email with the link
- Never open or respond to emails from your bank (or any financial institution) that ask you to verify or update your banking certificate, password or token. Banks rarely ask customers to update/disclose sensitive information via email. Always check with your bank before taking action
- Avoid using weak or default password for any online sites
Enjoy all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping everybody! Please let me know what you ended up buying so I can live vicariously!
25 Nov 2013
I recently had the opportunity to check out the Canadian Club Brand Centre located in Walkerville, Ontario. For those unfamiliar with Walkerville, it’s actually now a “Heritage Precinct” of Windsor, Ontario. Hiram Walker, the founder of Canadian Club chose the found the city of Walkerville with a plan in mind – It would be a model town that the world would come to envy. Hiram Walker’s main ambition though? Club Whisky. Originally producing his first barrel of Club Whisky in 1954 in Detroit, he packed up and moved across the river in large part due to the rising popularity and movement towards prohibition. One of the rules the US set on foreign producers of whisky was that it had to indicate the country of origin – and thus Canadian Club was born in 1858.
That’s all for the history lesson for now. Now, onto the Brand Centre. We arrived in the early afternoon after the long drive from Toronto to be greeted by Tish, the main lady responsible for all things at the Brand Centre. This was a woman who was passionate about her work! Everything she talked about that day was done so with excitement and intrigue. I imagine her jobs is pretty repetitive, but from the way she spoke you couldn’t tell. We were going to be given the all access tour of the brand centre, which included some additional places and spaces that the regular tour did not cover. But first, it was time for a drink!
Throughout the building was historic items including bottles, pictures, and documents. Every year that Canadian Club was produced, they have an original bottle from the batch. Every time the packaging has changed, they have a unit of it. Everytime a cross promotion was done, they have a unit of it. Just the historic value of this alone was wild. They even have some original paperwork dating back over a century during the prohibition era which mentioned throwing someone into the fired ovens. Naturally, when you’re in the business of alcohol during the prohibition era, there’s going to be some questionable activities – but Canadian Club doesn’t shy away from it which I found incredibly refreshing and impressive. You can’t change history only learn from it, so it makes me crazy when people try to sanitize it.
While exploring the Brand Centre, we came upon some pretty interesting things. Well, things that I found interesting anyway. First up was Hiram Walker’s personal cannon.
Jesse Ship found a bottle of Whisky that was well over 100 years old, that surprisingly Tish said we could try if we really wanted to (but that it was probably not very good). So I took a little bit in my glass and had a sip, and sure enough it was Whisky, but it was incredibly harsh and made my throat hurt for a good hour afterwards. Probably not one of the better ideas I’ve had, but alas I wanted to try it. Based on Jesse’s glass, I had about 1/8th of that.
The room where this was found was recently uncovered to have a pool underneath it. A pool that hasn’t been explored yet and despite there being a hatch, we were not allowed to go down into it for fear of what could be down there. I sadly resigned myself on this one. Plus, I was also promised there was an underground tunnel that we could go down into shortly. And an underground tunnel I did receive. It was formerly a tunnel that went under the Detroit river and connected the Canadian Club building with a US building. It has since then been sealed over, but exploring it was pretty cool!
Other places we got to explore in the Brand Centre included the original speakeasy, along with a look at the grounds which were beautiful. The building alone have been meticulously cared for. Everything from the exterior brick, to the interior tiles was cared for to the point where it looked brand new. The entire experience had been a great one – the combination of learning and drinking was a good one! At least at the Canadian Club brand centre it was. I highly recommend anyone interested in alcohol or history come check out the CC Brand Centre!
With the end of the day, it was off to dinner and then to retire for the evening – another half day of activities were planned for tomorrow including a closer look at production! (While I won’t get into my hate for the hotel we stayed at, that was none of Canadian Club’s fault but rather just the staff/policies of the hotel.) But all the day two stuff will have to come in a second blog post, as this one is getting pretty wordy! Check back later in the week for Day 2!
Buytopia and Yogurty’s have teamed up to take on their nemesis, winter. Now, right off the top this is a failed strategy because winter is coming whether we like it or not. You see, winter is this thing called a season which is a title given to a period of time that is cold, windy and snowy. It cannot be stopped. Well, maybe it could be stopped but it would require more global warming or perhaps weather control – tangent but I read all about weather control recently and how it’s an ongoing thing, especially in the Pacific. Maybe they should get in touch with that guy and have him redirect some hot air?
Back on topic, this is also a failed strategy because Yogurty’s is actually delicious at all times of the year! It’s not just a treat for summer. Want proof? Here’s an awesome treat – take a big cup of hot chocolate, and scoop any of the following Yogurty’s on top: Amaretto, Caramel Latte, Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, Mint Chocolate, Smores, Snickers or White Chocolate. The combination of hot and cold is great!
But, even if you just want to enjoy Yogurty’s, it’s still a good time! And no better time than with a special deal:
Thanks to Buytopia, I’ll be enjoying some delicious Yogurty’s this weekend!
15 Nov 2013
There is one thing I absolutely love doing (and miss dreadfully), and that is shopping for new pieces of technology. Whether it is the latest remote control device like the Sphero or a brand new cellphone, I am all in to spend hours looking, testing and finding the perfect device for myself or members of my family (well… to an extent). In fact, I recently helped my dad pick out his first real laptop, and we got an incredible deal from a Best Buy Open Box item and it is working like a dream!
Well, the truth is, not everyone has the same passion as I do. Not everyone has the same understanding of technology, what to look for and what to avoid. (And not everyone has a great grandson like me who’ll help them find the right cellphone for them, even if they are looking for something that really doesn’t even exist. No grandpa, a phone doesn’t just respond to your voice commands when the phone is upstairs and you’re in the basement, and no it can’t be connected directly to your engine to tell you what’s wrong with it… yeah that would be cool, but it just doesn’t exist in a consumer phone. Yes, they should invent it… look grandpa do you want the one with the bigger buttons you can actually see, or the one you’re going to call me every single day saying the screen doesn’t work? The second? Great…)
Thankfully, Best Buy Mobile has everything you need! They have an incredible selection of phones and carriers meaning you can comparison shop right in-house and not have to check out all those different stores for their prices and plans. You also have access to the Best Buy experts who’ll be able to answer any question you might have and give you peace of mind that you’re making the right selection for you. And hey, if you have a question after you purchase your phone, just contact the Geek Squad online and their remote support will answer any question you might have, OR if you’d prefer, just come back to the store and their experts will help you out.
Finally, Best Buy Mobile will do all the setup work for you so you can Walk Out Working on your new phone! They do all the setup, allowing you to get to work immediately and not have to worry if your phone is properly configured. Quite frankly… probably going to get better service with them than you would from your own tech savvy friends/family! And hey, if you decide it’s time to upgrade… Best Buy will offer you gift cards for your old phone! (I think I have a couple old one’s lying around… wonder if they’ll give me a couple bucks for them?)
Best Buy Mobile, with the Holidays coming up – this is a perfect pairing!
And they provided me with a gift card, that I intend to use to get some cool toys to donate next month!
08 Nov 2013
A few weeks ago, I agreed to do a program with USA Rice wherein they would provide some recipes and a gift card to go out and buy the ingredients. The caveat was that it had to be brown rice… cue my panic for two reasons.
1. Because I lack the correct cooking pots (I have a crock pot) rice is always a tough one to cook and requires extreme discipline to cook white rice properly. Normally I’m pretty good at cooking my favourite way, on the stove.
2. I have almost no experience with brown rice. I made it once before, but it didn’t turn out – and that was with the correct pots and lids and butter and utensils.
But regardless I took up the challenge, if I failed it wasn’t for a lack of trying!
The package contained the 11 different recipes including: Arroz con Pollo, Brown Rice Cuban Burgers, Brown Rice Power Bars, Gluten Free Brown Rice Espresso Brownies, Herbed Crepes with Cheese, Rice, Spinach and Mushrooms, Mexican Style Stuffed Peppers, No Bake Chocolate Date and Rice Truffles, Salmon and Rice Chowder, Sesame Shiitake Fried Rice, Turkey Tortilla Soup and Two-Tone Rice Salad with Shrimp and Feta. (Click any of them for a Word doc recipe.)
Well I decided to take on two – the GF Brown Rice Brownies. You can follow the exact recipe in the link above, but it starts with creating your chocolate mixture.
Next, with the cooked rice you’re supposed to use a food processor to fold in the other ingredients… however I lack a food processor… So I did my best, which just turned into a glob of rice that was all sticking together. Not so good… so I did my best to break it up as much as possible and then added it to the chocolate… mixed it in and poured it into the only baking ‘tray’ I had to make muffin sized brownies. Not going to lie though – the taste was delicious. The consistency was exactly like normal brownies with on exception. They didn’t work in some of the rice bits (again my fault for not having a food processor) because in the baking process, some of the larger rice pieces turned into crunchy bits of inedibleness. I intend to try them again in 2014 when I’m not doing this project and hopefully have a better consistency!
After all of this, I had some leftover cooked brown rice – so I decided to tackle another recipe which I can happily say I aced! The Mexican Style Brown Rice Stuffed Peppers. I followed the recipe pretty accurrately though I used orange peppers instead of green (because I don’t like the taste of the modern day green pepper – tastes a little… off.) The other thing I did to kick these up a notch was to include some Nando’s PERi PERi Garlic hot sauce! Needless to say, they turned out incredible and fed me like royalty for a couple days.
Takeaway from the entire experience? Well, brown rice isn’t as scary as I thought it was. Yes, it certainly takes a lot longer to cook and if you don’t have the correct pot with a well fitting lid, you’re going to need extra care to cook it properly. But it’s actually pretty tasty. It has a little bit more natural flavour than white rice does, but nothing unpleasant.
Actually, I was incredibly impressed with the Gluten Free Brownies and the consistency… so big takeaway there! Just wish I had the correct tool.
Guess what I’m doing on Friday? Seeing Classified perform live at the Phoenix, and you could come too!
Starting on Friday, Captain Morgan is putting on a legendary concert series, aptly named Rock The Boat. The concerts have stops in three of Canada’s biggest cities, giving fans across the country the chance to party with the Captain and learn how it’s done. Each Rock The Boat concert will present a big act at a small venue, and showcase Captain Morgan’s truly adventurous nature – making it the only chance for fans to party with the Captain in the most authentic and legendary way. Featuring Classified, local DJs, fire performers, the Morganettes, and samples of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, this not-to-be-missed event will be a legendary night to remember for the Captain and all of his mates. If you want more information and how to RSVP, go check out www.facebook.com/
But, how about guaranteed tickets? Sound good? Great! I have 4 pairs of tickets to giveaway to the concert on Friday!
In order to win, you must answer ONE of the following trivia questions. The first person to answer any one of them correctly will win a pair! Each questions can only be answered once, so if a question has already been answered correctly, move on to another one!
- Was Captain Morgan a real person and if so, who was he?
- How long has Captain Morgan Rum been around?
- How long is Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum aged for?
- What city was Classified born in?