New Thing #276: Ride a New TTC Train



I’ve been trying to hitch a ride on the new TTC subway trains since the day they threw one onto the Yonge Line months ago  As much as I tried though, there was never one waiting at the precise times I’d make it to the platform. There were a couple of instances where I could have caught one if I ran around and over to the opposite platform, but it would have been dicey. 

Lucky for me though, there happened to be one waiting for me when I got off the Bloor Line this morning. I sprinted past a few folks just in time for the gleaming silver doors to close behind me. I stared in amazement at the brightness, cleanliness and roominess that these new cars had to offer. 

I walked the length of the train: if only because I could. Removing the barriers between the trains is brilliant and allowed me to walk as far as I needed to find a comfortable place to sit. The LED signs that tell you what your next stop is are ideal for those times I nod off on the way home. 

Everywhere I turned there seemed to be some pole or handle to grab onto and I never knew how quiet a subway ride could be before. Nary a squeak nor squeal came from the brakes a single time during my ride.  

When I had to remove myself and board an old train back to work it was overwhelming just how poorly lit and showing their age the old fleet is. The noise alone is was enough to make me long for the a full rollout of the new cars. 

They just can’t get more of these trains on the track fast enough for me. At the very least they need to get some running on the Bloor Line so I have more chances to take advantage of this luxury.



New Thing #275: Fermented Lactic Product

There’s a reason the Mmm Bear fermented lactic product has been sitting in the back of my fridge for so long: I’ve been scared to drink it.

The cute mascot paired with the clinical. lawyer mandated name served as a pretty good warning to avoid this drink. But if I could find enjoyment in a peanut butter and onion sandwich, surely I could find something endearing about this white, milk-like liquid.

But no, this is just terrible. And I think I can still feel it burning the back of my throat.

New Thing #274: Take My Family To The Movies



Although Shauna has taken our little girl off to the movies a couple of times, and we watched Monsters Inc. in the gym at her school, I haven’t actually sat and watched a film together with them in an honest-to-goodness theatre before. Lucky for us, The Muppets came to town.

I’ve been pretty excited to see our fuzzy friends ever since I heard another Muppet movie was in the works. I’ve been more excited to share it with Audrey though.

The Muppet Show was one of my favourite things to look forward to when I was a kid and I was hoping some of that magic might rub off on Audrey.

And I think it did.

Every so often my gaze would drift to the that little body lost in the oversized seat she was sitting in. And every time she’d be popping back a bit of popcorn or sipping on an oversized straw with her eyes locked on Kermit or Miss Piggy. When she got restless she sat on my lap a bit and we watched together. And she laughed at the chickens, so she’s definitely my kid.

All in all, a pretty wonderful experience. And yeah, if you ever liked The Muppets go see this movie, it’ll make you happy.

New Thing #273: See a Burlesque Show



This is why I love Toronto.

Where else could I go to see a geek themed burlesque show where women (and men) perform as great villains from pop-culture.

The Evil League of Sexy put on by the Underground Peepshow might well have been the most fun I have had out in years. 

The performers were smart, sexy and sometimes laugh out loud funny. I came to tears watching a head-to-toe sequinned Freddy Krueger nearly go the Fully Monty.

A magnificent Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty (pictured above) tantalized the couple hundred people who filled the Toronto Underground Theatre. An amazing portrayal of GladOS from Portal mesmerized us. An array of science fiction, horror and comic books characters entertained us for hours but for me the Wicked Witch of the West stole the show. By the end of her performance she had completely transformed herself into a flying monkey with pasties twirling at breakneck speeds.

It’s amazing how much sexier a good old fashioned tease is rather than what passes for sexy in a strip club. It’s also amazing how much fun everyone had during the show. It wasn’t sleazy, it wasn’t weird, it was just a huge crowd of people having the fun.

I can’t wait to go to We Put The Spring in Springfield: A Simpson’s Themed Burlesque Show, happening in, of course, Smarch.

New Thing #272: Install Windows on my Mac



Techincally this post should be entitled “Attempt to Install Windows on my Mac”.

All I wanted to do was play a few little indie games that never came out for the Mac on my computer. Is that so wrong? Apparently someone doesn’t want me to go down rabbit hole because, despite my best efforts, I still haven’t managed to get Windows running correctly on this machine.

I have a feeling I know why, but usually I can bend a few things here and there and find a work around with fairly little pain and suffering. 

Six hours later, I’m still where I started: nowhere.

My last hope is installing this thing off of a USB key, but my grand search has unearthered four 1GB or less models which are worthless for this endeavour.

My kingdom for a 4GB USB key!

New Thing #271: Relax Riesling



I’m not really a riesling kind of guy, but after a pretty intense day at work the label on this sucker convinced me I should try it out. 

Relax Riesling is, well, a riesling. Since I normally shy away from the sweet wines, I can’t say that my palette is very discerning up around the four mark. Everything just ends up tasting like sugar to me and I can’t pull out much else. 

If I had to guess, I’d say this wine was fine if you like that sort of thing. It’s affordable and I love the blue bottle because it reminds me of Romulan Ale

Wow, I almost got through that entire post without saying anything geeky.

New Thing #270: Tim Hortons Latte



Tim Hortons is selling espresso based drinks now. So, yeah, I couldn’t resist trying a latte today from the donut slingers down the street. I think you can safely guess how high my expectations were going into this one.

I’ll say this: Tim Hortons makes a fine cup of warm milk.

For the life of me I couldn’t taste anything resembling coffee in this mechanically made mess. At least the milk wasn’t scalded though, so I could at least treat it like a bland hot chocolate to warm me up on the walk back to the office. And were the chocolate sprinkles really neccessary Nice Lady Behind The Counter? 

So, the good news is that it didn’t make me wretch. The bad news is that it isn’t a latte by any stretch of the imagination.

New Thing #269: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen



I think I vaguely knew that the terrible League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film was based on a graphic novel. But then again, after seeing that movie I never wanted to think upon the premise again, it was just that bad.

Boy is this comic ever better than that shitty movie.

The idea of pulling together great Victorian era fictional heroes and villains into a ragtag covert government team is too delicious not to like. At least when Sean Connery and bad CGI isn’t involved.

I pretty much just devoured the first series of this tonight. Everything from the art to the writing is befitting the age in which the story takes place. I especially love the extra care that went into including Victorian styled comic book adverts in the back pages of each issue.

I am once again left befuddled at how Hollywood can take such rich source material and bugger it all up for the big screen.

New Thing #268: Apple Pie Shot



When I mentioned that I had picked up a bottle of ??ubrówka Bison Grass Vodka to my partner today at work, he told me about a shot I should try with the stuff.

So I picked up some pretzels and granny smith apples on the wya home and and poured out an ounce of the spirit.

It sounded simple.

1. Eat the pretzel
2. Down the shot
3. Eat the apple slice
4. Revel in the taste of a piece of freshly baked apple pie

Unfortunatey it tasted like a pretzel followed by a shot of vodka followed by a slice of apple.

Oh well, at least they were all tasty on their own. 

New Thing #267: Toronto Santa Claus Parade



I’ve been living in Toronto for going on 14 years and this is the first time I’ve ever made it to the annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade.

It helps that I have a little girl bursting with Christmas cheer to get me out into the cold November air on a Sunday afternoon. It also helps that it was extrememly warm by November standards this year, hitting 14??C while we were out.

Armed with a latte (boosted by some concealed Kahlua that was magically revealed from inside a friend’s bag) I was ready for the three hour parade.

It was spectacular. Marching bands, floats, costumed children, clowns, clowns and more clowns made their way through the street. There was a dinosaur float featuring my favourite dinosaur (the parasaurolophus pictured above) AND a video game float with Ratchet and Clank. It’s like they knew I was coming.

Santa finally made his appearance preceded by the good old Mounties and then we made our way back up the street home. And any chance I get to walk on a street usually teaming with cars and trucks just makes my day.

I can’t wait until next year.