New Thing #307: Zipfy Mini Luge

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My mother-in-law got myself and Audrey matching big person/little person versions of the Zipfy Mini Luge this Christmas.

I was a bit skeptical when I first opened up the midget racer. It’s just so tiny…and more than a little phallic looking. But I soon found myself zipping down the hill next to Audrey and going faster and further than I ever had on any other sled.

It takes some getting used to in terms of steering (as the video clearly shows) but by the time I left I was really getting the hang of it.

Oddly enough, I found the kid-sized version much easier to keep straight than the adult. I suspect it has something to do with my total lack of an ass.

Can’t wait to hit the slopes again!

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New Thing #306: New Canadian $100 Bill

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I’d forgotten that our new bank notes had started going into circulation last month until I saw one for myself today. While I was standing in line at Loblaws the lady infront of my some cash back after her purchase. The teller offered up one of the shiny new hundered dollar bills if she wanted it. And of course she did.

And showing our friendly, trustworthy nature as Canadians the woman then offered it up for the rest of us to take a look at. It’s pretty awesome. 

The clear polymer parts of the bill really stand out in a futuristic way while the design surrouding them feels traditional and ornate. It’s a really great blend of the old and the new from a design perspective.

I only wish I’d been able to touch it, but I thought it would be a little awkward to ask someone if I could gently stroke their money. 

New Thing #305: Crema on the Danforth

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It’s not much of a secret that I frequent the Crema Espresso Bar at Yonge and Bloor rather frequently. I love their coffee and it’s conveniently located about 3 minutes from my office. 

But, even though I’ve passed it many times on the Danforth, I’ve never frequented their newest location until tonight. After a rather enjoyable visit with an old friend and colleague I grabbed a cappuccino to see how it stacked up to its brother’s. Pretty well is my assessment.

Plus, out of the three Crema locations I’ve been to, this is by far the most inviting. It’s warm and has plenty of seating and, at least in the evening, it’s fairly vacated. Perfect for a little quiet espresso time.

 

New Thing #304: Drive With Snow Tires

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When I was in high school I’d make sure to leave extra early for school on mornings where there was a fresh fall of snow on the ground. I wasn’t trying to beat the traffic or take it slow, I just really wanted to be the first and only car in the student parking lot so that I could do donuts in my parents’ 1976 Malibu Classic.

Now that I’m a little older and have trouble risking my life on a daily basis I thought it wise to finally invest in snow tires. After a bit of a debacle at Canadian Tire a month ago I’ve been waiting just as eagerly as my daughter for some damn snow on the ground.  

So tonight, with some gross, slippery, wet snow covering the car and the street I finally got my chance. After two decades of driving I now know what it feels like to have control in the snow and it feels amazing.

Sure, it’s not quite as much fun sliding around corners but now I can stop on a dime instead of sliding thirty feet, watching my life go by in slow motion. Incidently, the first time that ever happened I was driving my mother somewhere back in my home town. It remains the only time that I have ever dropped the F-bomb in front of here. We have not spoken of it to this day.

Now I wonder what they’re like on ice!

New Thing #303: The Manchurian Candidate

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I borrowed the 1962 version of The Manchurian Candidate from my friend Scott some three years ago and can finally return it to him guilt-free. I can also thank him because, for the most part, it’s a damn good movie.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have had troubles wathching black and white films in the past. It’s not so much for the lack of colour, but the shear straigt forwardness of the storytelling. You don’t get that with this film.

The story jumps around in time, Frank Sinatra actually proves himself as a great actor and the ending actually shocked me. It’s dark, ruthless and holds up to today’s standards for a good thriller. 

I’d say that’s not too shabby for film that’s nearly fifty years old. 

Oh, and did I mention that Angela Landsbury is a total bitch in it? For all of us that grew up with Jessica Fletcher solving every murder on the eastern seaboard that’s something to see.

New Thing #302: Automatic Milk Frother

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Well this sure was a nice surprise under the tree this year.

I saw this automatic milk warmer and frother on the Internet a while ago and mentioned it in passing to my wife. Then, like most things I see on the internet, I promptly forgot it existed. Thankfully she didn’t.

I’ve been neglecting my espresso machine when it comes to cappuccino making because my machine sucks at steaming milk. And actually so do I. This really takes all the guess work out of it; a few minutes after clicking the button you’re in business.

What a yummy Christmas this has been.

New Thing #302: Automatic Milk Frother

Well this sure was a nice surprise under the tree this year.

I saw this automatic milk warmer and frother on the Internet a while ago and mentioned it in passing to my wife. Then, like most things I see on the internet, I promptly forgot it existed. Thankfully she didn’t.

I’ve been neglecting my espresso machine when it comes to cappuccino making because my machine sucks at steaming milk. And actually so do I. This really takes all the guess work out of it; a few minutes after clicking the button you’re in business.

What a yummy Christmas this has been.

New Thing #301: The Five Doctors

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Every Christmas Eve my wife and I curl up in front of the television to watch some sort of terrible piece of entertainment. It all started with a bootlegged version of The Star Wars Holiday Special some years ago and, well, has only gotten better from there.

This year I wanted to see The Five Doctors, a Doctor Who special from the 80s that (sort of) reunites five incarnations of the Doctor into one storyline. I say sort of because Tom Baker makes about a two minute appearance somewhere near the start and a two second one at the end.

And although not nearly as bad as watcing Bea Arthur serenade an alien in a Star Wars cantina, it was still pretty aweful. 

 

New Thing #300: Watch Labrynth

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Although a seminal movie of the 80s, I just never really had the desire to watch Labrynth.

So, some twenty years later I am struck by two things:

1. David Bowie has a rather extensive package
2. You need to be a 13 year old girl to enjoy this movie

New Thing #299: The Kraken Black Spiced Rum

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I like rum, but historically I’ve stuck to the light stuff. Recently though, I’ve branched out into the darker stuff and you don’t get much darker than the bottle of The Kraken that my partner Tim gave to me at work today.

You also don’t get much better. 

This stuff is overwhelmingly good. Spicy, full of flavour and just shy of overpowering. And the label and unique bottle shape are just top notch design work. 

I can’t believe I’ve never tried this before. Release The Kraken indeed.