Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sunny side up

Felix warms up on the roof of Chris and Kyoko's car

It's sunny out today. Still cold but really sunny which is hasn't been over the last week. Looked outside to see the neighbour's cat lounging on the car. I have a crazy ass cold, most likely from the crazy party weekend. I was pretty sure I was going to pay for that and now I am. Project is due today. The good news is that I managed to finish my section before getting the full on cold deal. Going back to sleep. bleh.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lucky as a Bagel

Montreal Bagel

I found a Montreal bagel in the back of my freezer. A good omen as I've been craving a bagel from the Fairmount bakery for at least the last week, so much so that I've considered travelling to Montreal just to pick up another dozen or so.

This may seem like an expensive proposition but it's not. Right now Canada Coach (or was it Coach Canada?) has a seat sale. You can get to Montreal via bus for as low as $1 (if you book online). That's cheaper than taking the public transit across town. Granted there are some restrictions like you have to travel between monday and thursday and not every seat is $1.

Then there's the time thing. Can I afford to take time out to travel there and back? As of today the answer would be "no" as I just got some work for Science North (see I told you the bagel was a good omen).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rest of the day

A different configuration every time.

I kept forgetting Carl couldn't see much of anything. On our walk to the Plucker Carl slipped on some ice walking up some stairs near the bus station. He seemed to be doing fine before that. An explanation is involved here. Last night while his head was in a pelvic thrust, I'm not sure if it was dancing or wrestling or both, Carl lost his glasses. Rather his frame was smashed. He still had the lenses but wasn't wearing them since the incident. This made him blind for the most part or at the very least have blobbo vision.

At the Plucker I ordered the, now "usual", coconut shrimp. I'm not sure why I order that dish on a regular basis. It used to be made differently, deep fried. I find that this isn't as tasty as it's predecessor but still I like to eat it. Also, every time I've ordered it, it always gets served in a different configuration. Perhaps in the back of my brain I wonder if it'll change back to the deep fried version.

After shovelling food into my system and I say shovel because I was starving, starving since 2:40am when I saw Becky eating a shwarma after the awards. I hadn't eaten anything for a few hours prior to that. That was over 12 hours ago.

It's hard to believe Carl didn't get any sleep, he's pissed drunk, almost blind, yet looks "normal"

From the Plucker we took a cab to Perky and Jett's pad and from there got a lift from Scott to Mainway where the HCRG practises. I took a few photos and then when practice was over got a lift back to Hamilton thanks to Dicey and Carla. I felt like a roller derby, camera wielding, hobo this weekend.

Judge Jody

HCRG girls line up for next drill.

Injured Carla Coma sits and watches

speaking of wipe outs

on the GO bus back to Toronto...

Ack! Is it morning already?

Nermal probably wonders how humans can function after an all night partying binge.

I woke up freezing, curled up in a cocoon made up of two blankets that were infested with cat hair. One of them was the size of a bath mat and really had no purpose being on me other than keeping my feet warm. The pillow was nice and soft compared to the hard wood floor. The only thing missing from making this scene look more harsh was maybe a pool of drool next to my head on the ground. Then again maybe it was there and I hadn't noticed it? No, the pillow would have absorbed any of that nonsense. Sorry guys.

Agh, the sun is seeping into the room.

How did I wake up here? It's not a big mystery as I didn't drink. There was no fuzziness from booze only maybe from bad sleep. For the first four hours of the after party I had been sitting in a lazy boy like chair. Only it didn't tilt back. In fact it tilted forward. The back was curved and there was a person sitting on the floor in front of me. It was the only place on the floor that hadn't been taken over by the accidental beer swamp. It was because I was in this embryo like body position that I eventually crawled up out of the chair to sit on the floor where it was more comfortable. I would find a pillow and lie down. One thing would lead to another and before long with the help of a blanket or two I was fast asleep with the party going on around me.

Derek's Party Tip: One should be careful when doing this. You should know the people you're falling asleep around. If the people get too drunk they could step on you, fall on you, drop things on you, or worse case do things to you that you don't notice until you wake up (ie. Shave off one eye brow, put a potato chip in your mouth, put hot chili peppers down your pants - yeah, I saw slumdog millionaire).

There is also strategic positioning to think of. example: if you're sleeping on the couch, is the couch an active area? Where others night push you out of the way or join you and squish the lfe out of you because it's "comfortable"? People don't always use common sense when under the influence.

Perky is still going. Take that Energizer bunny.

By the point I was losing consciousness most of the people that were partying had gone home or to get laid. Only the hard core smokers and drinkers were left behind. Most of them were tired and didn't move around much. conculsion: sleeping on the floor was A-OK! One of them, Carl, was amazed that I could fall asleep in the middle of the floor. I told him it wasn't really such a big feat as I would be paying for it later on. I was sure of it.

aftermath on the coffee table

As the sun slowly crept into the apartment it revealed all the things that were hidden in the previous darkness, empties, cigarette butts, Nermal the cat... People were actually surprised to see the cat and were wondering where he was hiding all night. He was lying on the bed... in plain sight. It's things like this that you notice because you're the sober one.

Waking up in the clothes you were in the night before is not what I'd call refreshing especially if you smell like smoke. I've noticed this more with the longer hair. The hair seems to suck up all and every odor you come in contact with. I had to get out before I vomited. I'm not big on cigarette smoke.

I waited for Carl to down another beer then it was off to the Plucker.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

HCRG awards for the 2008 season

The HCRG roller derby awards

The HCRG derby awards. This is where awards are given out to skaters of the HCRG. Among them were categories such as best improvement, best blocker, sexiest ref, best sportsmanship. They was even a best fan acknowledgement which went to Scott otherwise known as the HCRGs superfan.

The big highlight for me during the HCRG awards was being called up onto the stage to receive the coveted 2008 season T-shirt (designed and made by Cheese Grater). It's a nice black T-shirt with the new Hammer City Roller Girls design on the front and the list of the 2008 season games on the back. It's nice to be appreciated.

Once the awards were given out things shifted into party mode. Socializing, dancing, limbo, eating, drinking, the odd person getting half naked, the usual stuff. The partying lasted until about 3am.

GO bus to Hamilton

"What's going on?"

After photographing a house for a realtor in Pickering I took a GO bus from Union station to Hamilton. Normally the bus ride is bettwen 40 and 50 minutes on a good day. Good day being normal sunny weather conditions, average traffic.

Today the trip took one and a half hours due to some snow and crazy drivers. I had slept for the first half of the trip then woke up when the bus stopped for fluids. Stopped for fluids? Maybe windshield fluid. I'm not sure. The driver parked the bus on the side of the road and got out leaving us passengers in the dark (both literally and figuratively).

The second half of the ride was nutty. Being awake I was now aware of my surroundings instead of being in my sleeping ignorant bliss. Shortly after "fluid stop", the bus driver hit the brakes narrowly missing a car that cut us off. We all lurched forward. Some guy on the right side of the bus yelled at the car driver while giving him the finger. As if the car driver could see or hear the angry passenger.

The woman next to me had a cold of some sort and was making sucking noises with her nose as she tried to suck in the liquid that was coming out all over her hand. It was kind of disgusting and I desperately tried to find a kleenex or even some lens cloth that she could blow her nose into. Eventually she used her sleeve. The sleeve that was next to me. I tried sliding over to the left of my seat to squish against the window to create as much space between me and the nasel fluid cloth on her arm.

While all this was taking place I could hear the guy sitting behind me talking to his girl friend on his cell phone. During the conversation I found out that she was driving in a car twenty minutes behind us. I found it ironic that the guy at the beginning of the conversation told her to drive carefully but then proceeded to talk to her for another 10 minutes. She's driving and talking on a cell phone you idiot. The information wasn't even pertinent to her driving (ie. directions or road hazzards). It was what they were going to do for food after they met up. He wanted McDonalds so they could save time getting to whenever they were going to next.

By the time the bus pulled in it was 6:40pm. I had 20 minutes to make it to PepperJacks for the HCRG awards.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Impromptu Bowl

Candy Striker surveys the pins

On the way home from delivering a photo CD in the west part of town I bumped into Candy who I last saw in London Ontario during the Little bout of horrors roller derby bout. As it so happens, there was a bunch of people meeting up at the Bowling alley near where I live.

The plan was to meet up with Candy to give her back a bag of sunflower seeds she gave me one morning in Las Vegas. Back during rollercon (yes, a while ago). Of course as events happened to unfold I ended up wearing bowling shoes and one thing led to another and I was bowling for two hours with a bunch of strangers. Once Candy showed up I knew two people, maybe three if you count the guy wearing a T-shirt of a band that I knew the lead singer of (The Hyena Dog Robbery). Granted I didn't know him but we connected because of the shirt he was wearing.

The bowling was fun and because I was eating potato chips my bowling nickname became "Chip Fingers". Hopefully it wasn't because I was getting chip greese all over the little grapefruit of a ball (we were playing 5 pin bowling).

Do photographers dream of pipe cleaner sheep?

Sheep made by Robin Polfus

I was trying to go to sleep early and realized I didn't post anything today. While cleaning through the apartment I found this sheep. It's made from pipe cleaners and wool. High quality construction.

If anything I should take the time out to appreciate this as there was a lot of work involved maybe even the chipping of teeth. Seems like yesterday but in reality it was over 12 years ago (maybe more). If that's the case than it's a thanks that should have been said a looooong time ago. Thanks Robin!

and now for the pitch...

Looking for a gift with...
  1. super duper quality?
  2. created in Canada by a Canadian?
  3. the unique thumb print of a talented creative artist?
  4. a product made with child-free labour?

Then you need to go to

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Crystal Experiment

There are approximately 10 tablespoons of mix in the little silver sack that resembles dyed blue salt. The dye is handy.

While adding water to the mixture I found that my container had a leak. It started spraying out the side leaving a trail of liquid on the counter. Had it been transparent it would have been harder to see in order to wipe it off.

As the manual states the stuff does stain so it's good that I had my newspaper covering the counter and a soapy sponge ready to clean off the counter. I also had a back up container ready.

The solution is very blue and almost opaque. It's no wonder you need a flashlight.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stuff not included

This is a continuation of the last post...

After reading the instructions for the Space Age crystal growing kit I've come to the sad realization that the person buying the kit (ie. me) needs more stuff. How aggravating!

When I was a kid and got a toy that said "Batteries not included" I was upset. However at least the manufacturers put a notice on the box of this deficiency. My parents being the smart people that they were bought batteries separately and packed it in with the present. Come my birthday, Christmas, or whatever fun day it was I would get the whatever it was all good to go.

The science kit I picked up yesterday lacks a whole bunch of things. What is worse is that they don't list the items on the outside of the box. It's not until you're ready to do the experiment and open the box that you realize you have to find all these other items.

To try to be fair, in most households the items are pretty common. Then again some are not. Does everyone have safety goggles? Granted I do, and they're designer one at that but I'm a nerdy geek (so I've been told). In my case only a few things on the list were readily available in my home.

The items required are...

1. Container for mixing the solution - the instruction manual (sheet) recommends cutting a coke bottle in half.

2. Container for crystal growth

3. a rock (10 cm in diameter, and up to 2.54 cm in height) - they couldn't provide a base for the crystals to grow on? I picked this one up at the Beach.

4. rubber gloves - to protect hands from touching the Ammonium Phosphate and pulling out the rock from solution

5. newspaper - to lay over things that may get stained (ie. table)

6. flashlight - not really needed but handy if you're in a dim room.

7. magnifying glass - also not really needed for the experiment to work but handy for observation. ( so yeah, the only magnifying glass I own is part of a Lego set)

8. safety goggles - the instructions do not say anything about safety goggles yet warn you about getting the stuff in your eyes. I have added this as something one should use.

9. Measuring cup or utensil - kind of important to have especially if you require an exact amount of water or crystal mix.

Another interesting observation I have made is that, for a science kit, the instructions for the use of the ingredients is poorly written and really not very scientific at all. There should be an action method, something like the Joy of Cooking book uses. List the items required. List the actions taken in a specific order. Use millilitres instead of grams if talking about fluids and specify the exact amount to use.

If adults can't write instructions properly how can we expect children (12 and over) to understand them? Because of this I looked up the web to see if I could find anything to make things clearer. As a result I found the chemistry section on

Another point to make is getting a rock that's 10 cm in diameter. With only 10 ounces of liquid getting a container wide enough for the rock would mean that the water level would be pretty shallow for crystal growth. I went through a lot of containers to find that the optimum one would be a plastic container that used to hold whole mushrooms.

What should be a simple science experiment watching crystals grow has become more of a treasure hunt for things not included with the kit. Thank goodness it doesn't require batteries as well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crystal Method

The Kristal Space Age Crystal growing kit

It was sunny out today. Odd, as it's been pretty cloudy for the last few weeks. Actually now that I think about it, it's been warm all weekend. I didn't go out much. Evidence of the warm weather is the melted snow and the dry sidewalks. A nice change for sure.

I ended up at the beach. I wanted to get out to shoot something, anything. Being couped up inside these last few weeks has been driving me nutty. The exception being the time spent indoors playing Warcraft before my account expired in January. It was good to be able to walk outside without stepping in snow or better yet without stepping in slush. The choice of putting on boots or walking around in wet runners was unappealing. Yeesh.

Anyhoo, one thing led to another and before long I was standing inside Mastermind toys, a toy shop located in the beaches. Specifially I was standing in front of a section of science kits. From solar panels, to circuit boards for beginners, to microscopes.

As I kid I was given a microscope, I wonder what ever happen to it, but as for other science "toys" not so much. My cousin Bryce got an electronic kit and I remember helping him make a radio out of it (and a 9 volt battery). My parents never bought me one but I made up for it once I took applied computer science. I went nuts buying all my parts from a surplus store. I got about 3x more stuff for the same amount of money than the kits sold through Ryerson.

Before leaving the toy store I picked up this "Space Age" crystal growing kit. It was $6.95. A seemingly reasonable price until you discover that you need to get more things. More on this later. The other weird thing I noticed was the amount of warnings all over the box, instruction manual, and bag containing the space age sustance.

"Contains chemicals that may be harmful... blah, blah, blah... adult supervision... blah, blah...not recomended for children under 12". Okay I'm paraphrasing a bit here. You get the idea.

Another odd thing. The product is made in Canada but there's an American flag on the box. What's up with that? Looking more closely the American flag is in a box with the warning of usage. Does that mean the makers are targeting Americans specifically when they give the warnings of usage? Maybe they don't want to get sued as the American public, unfortunately, is known for suing the crap out of one another.

The contents - The magic powder, the plastic base, the instructions, and a popsicle stick.

Another odd thing. The black plastic pedestal has slots in the mold that looks like it was designed to hold specific things. Like maybe a bottle or test tube and a 9-volt battery. Did this kit have other stuff in it when it first sold? Perhaps over the years, due to money constraints, the manufacturers got rid of the extras and didn't bother to change the mold of the pedestal? Why bother including it? It looks pretty cheap.

Close up of the pedestal slots.

At any rate the kit looks like fun. I'll post more about the kit as I play around with it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Through the macro lens

Batman from the 7783 Lego set

Today being "family planning day", a relatively new Canadian holiday (this is the second year I think), I decided to do some macro photography. No rhyme or reason other than to shoot something, anything, for the fun of it.

Later on I'd find that lighting small things can be quite challenging as you may not want a huge wash to light everything. Either use smaller lights or make a snoot the size of a dime (or smaller). Flags with tiny holes work well too.

Robin, the boy wonder

Mister Freeze

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Colin's rant

Colin and his Linux portable computer

Met up with Colin today for dim sum. Among the many technology topics we covered was the memory battle between SD and compact flash. Here are the observations from that discussion. Note: there may be other factors like price to consider if you're looking at buying memory or devices and this should by no means be the only place you stop for information. But it is a good jumping point.

Compact Flash pros
  1. Drivers built into compact flash card. This makes for backwards compatibility with old devices. Derek says "I can plug a 16 gig card into my 1997 Psion and it works." The same can't be said for SD cards which now have a second generation of memory out, SDHC (secure digital high capacity). Because the SD devices themselves carry the driver information for the memory cards it doesn't guarantee that the device will support higher memory configurations even if SD cards are made available.
  2. nice size (according to Derek) for human handling.
  3. various read/write speeds available

Secure Digital pros
  1. nice size (according to Colin) for smaller devices (ie. cell phones, PDAs).
  2. form factor more idiot proof. You can't put the card upside down in the device by accident where as compact flash devices have pins that can be crushed if you place the card in upside down. However Derek thinks that if you're crushing the pins you are a complete knob that should not be using electronics at all. Don't even think of borrowing any of his equipment.
  3. Sandisk makes SD cards that can transform into USB keys, so you don't even need a reader attached to your computer.
For more information on both standards you can go to the Compact Flash Association Homepage and the Secure Digital Association homepage.

As a personal side note I am weary that the big selling feature of secure digital according to their page (as of feb 15 2009) is that it's the de-facto standard and they don't seem to mention anything else.

The web site looks pretty slick in comparison to the CFA website. On the first page of the CFA website, there is talk of the memory speed, the backward compatiblity of the new versions, the tests going through an X-ray as part of carry on and checked in baggage at airports.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Liquid Shoot

Spiked drink or Love Potion?

Valentine's Day. February 14th, 2009. A crappy day to go out as a single guy as most good restaurants are full with couples that reserved days in advance. Same goes with movie theatres, parks, the beach, and any other interesting venues. Candlelit dinners swarming with the guys selling flowers table to table. Yeesh! It's a good night to stay in and be productive.

I finally manged to empty most of my front room with all the boxes and junk clearing a large space. A space big enough to set up my flashes around a table. It's nice to use the flashes as they generally sit around in boxes waiting for the next photo shoot on location (someone else's location).

I'm not sure why but I've been wanting to photograph flowing water. Shooting with a strobe is great because you can freeze the water in motion. The first day I bought my first visatec solo 1600B I shot a pot of boiling water. Frozen in a photo the pot of boiling water looks more like a pot filled with hair gel. Kind of neat.

The pot I shot way back then shattered a few months ago in the kitchen disaster of 2008. I am potless but thought I'd still shoot moving water. Armed with a measuring cup of dyed blue water, some fake ice cubes, a J-cloth to soak up poor aiming, and a camera on a tripod with a shutter release cable, I went ahead full tilt. After a few hundred shots trying to get the water just right I decided to take my photography outside and play around with custom filters. Kind of neat for experimentation.

Love is in the air

As I write this I'm still photographing. Now back inside I'm trying to think of other things I'd like to shoot under studio lights.


It's cheesy but it kept me busy for a bit.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The cat came back

Pumpkin flakes out on the chair behind me

Around 10:00pm, give or take half an hour, I was woken by my landlord calling my phone looking for her cat. I was pretty groggy and surprised that I fell asleep in front of the computer fiddling with some image software. 10pm? That's like 6 hours before I usually go to sleep.

Pumpkin (the cat) at times will sneak over to visit. I'll let him in to let him lounge around. This was not the case this time. I felt a bit of concern and not being able to get back to sleep anyway I ventured off to the local Shopper's Drug Mart to get some food.

On the way back to the apartment I was joined by the cat who heard me from the other side of the street. He came out from around Andrew and Isako's place. The jiggling of his tags gave him away as I'm sure the jiggling of my house keys alerted him.

I let the cat in where it slept for a few hours on the chair behind me (see photo). When I woke up the cat was gone. Apparently he woke up, pushed his way through my apartment door and went out with the new tenant.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Marshmallows: not extinct

Colored marshmallows in my hot chocolate.

Someone told me a while ago that they though small colored marshmallows couldn't be bought any more. While picking up other groceries, lo and behold, I stumbled across bags of colored tiny marshmallows. I bought a pack so I could throw some into my hot chocolate.

Anyone notice that the marshmallows that come with the hot chocolate powder are so small that they dissolve in the hot chocolate by the time you're finished stirring? Why put marshmallows in at all?

I threw some of the larger mini mallows into the hot chocolate after I completed the stirring process, placed the cup on my desk and forgot about it for a few minutes. When I finally remembered my drink, I noticed that all the marshmallows melted into a mosaic of color (see above) creating a layer of sugar on the hot chocolate surface.

Next time I should just buy a bag of normal sized large marshmallows and stick just one on top of the drink.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Oven time

Pork roast in the oven

Since just before Christmas all my meals that I've eaten at home have been made in the crock pot (slow cooker). While the food was starting to get good, I managed to solve the dry meat issue, I decided today to cook using the conventional oven.

It was a small pork roast with carrots, onions, garlic, celery, potatoes and homemade apple sauce, all submerged in a cheap $7 blackberry merlot. The pork came out great but there was something with the taste I didn't like.

It might have been the blackberry flavor or the potassium sorbate that this particular bottle of wine uses to preserve the flavor or maybe it was the sulfiting agents (whatever those are) that don't seem to be listed on my other bottles of wine.

Let it be known that I'm no wine expert. I don't do taste tastes or look at the legs of a wine. Heck, I don't even sniff the cork. I've only been using wine in my last few batches of crock potting and what I can tell you is that the Merlot from Baron Philippe de Rothschild (france) and the the Little Penguin Chardonnay (australia) taste great in cooking. They are relatively inexpensive (around $10 to $13 a bottle).

My cousin Lance told me you get what you pay for when it comes to wine. For $3 more I could have gotten another Merlot from France. Ah well. Live and learn.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

From panties to practice

21:00 Hanky Panky Panty Party

Morgan Lindsey models at Club Absinthe

It was a pretty crazy busy photo weekend in Hamilton these last few days. All starting with the Hanky Panky Panty Party (say that five times fast) at Club Absinthe. The Hamilton fashion designers of Blackbird studios created a nice collection of evening wear, ranging from sailor themed outfits, bikinis with leopard print, to baby doll outfits.

What makes the clothing line from Blackbird studios unique is their custom silk screen prints. Targeting the punk music and alternative scene there's images of skulls with sailor hats, burlesque dancers, air bombs, and cat women to name a few. For more of their current collection and information on the designers themselves go to

There were also three bands that played that night. The Orphans (with Ginger St. James), The Lorrainas, and Poisoned Aeros. I only stayed for the first two bands and missed the Poisoned Aeros. I had to leave before midnight in order to get to the Plucker for Gillian's (Trevor's sister) birthday. Also, truth be told, I wanted to get to the plucker before the kitchen closed. I was starving. Shooting girls in panties does that to us photographers.

Scora Luchadora and Judge Jody man the panty table

Lasha singer of the Lorrainas does the hair whip thing.

The Lorrainas

00:00 Gillians birthday at the Pheasant Plucker

As luck would have it by the time got to the restaurant, ordered my meal, ate my bison burger, and socialized downstairs, then made my way upstairs of the Pheasant Plucker, I found that I had arrived just in time for cake. Lydia's chocolate Guinness super moist cake.

Gillian and Trevor

The socializing didn't last long as my ride to where I was going to crash was leaving. I was there for about two hours but it seemed to quickly rush by. A bunch of hurried good byes and I was off to Mel's place.

02:00 Mel's place

At first it seemed like I was going to fall to sleep straight away but around 4:00 found myself getting up for water. I had wobbled into the kitchen to land smack in the middle of some conversation between Rebecca and Noel. Something to do with Police and parking tickets or maybe it was speeding tickets. It's all a big blur. The conversation drifted, Rebecca managed to sneak out of the room, and conversation I had with Noel incorporated the subject of crows, the universe, and we humans not being that perfect or intelligent or something to that effect.

Just when I thought I was getting back to sleep I heard someone wondering around. It was Steve who while looking for his shoes. White shoes. He woke up Meg. From 9:00 to 11:30 my sleep was disrupted by Meg blabbing about getting a grilled cheese sandwich. There were other voices that were added to the din of her cheese sandwich mantra mostly for her to be quiet and go back t o sleep. In the end the grilled cheese won.

11:30 Cat's cast off

Mel's cat in the process of getting it's cast removed

At 11:30 everyone in the house was awake or at least groggy enough to feel awake. We watched, while I photographed, Noel taking the cat's cast off while Melanie held the cat in place. The procedure took 15 minutes. Noel was gingerly taking his time as he didn't want to freak the cat out more than he had to, that or cut the cat's foot off by accident. By the end of the procedure the cat seemed okay and started licking his foot.

Rebecca uses the cat hair band-aid as a moustache

13:00 the Pheasant Plucker

The Humongous breakfast at the Pheasant Plucker

By 13:00 we had made our way to the plucker where we ordered breakfast. I had the Humongous breakfast (that's what it's called). It had eggs, bacon, some kind of pancake thing, rye bread, a roasted tomato half, fried potato cubes, refried beans, something that looked burnt (was it blood pudding?) and haggis. Yes haggis! It's the reason I ordered the humongous breakfast.

For those that don't know haggis really isn't that exotic (at least not in this day in age). It actually tastes like liver pate. At least that's how it's prepared at the Plucker. It's quite yummy on bread. The black burnt thing was another story. It was very dry. I mixed it in with the beans to get it down. Otherwise I recommend a tall glass of water.

By 14:30 we had finished eating and Melanie and the rest left to go back home to go to sleep or to the bus station to go back to Toronto or Burlington. I stayed behind. After all in two hours I was going to be picked up by Mean Little Mama to go to Mainway at 16:30.

I was tired and time seemed to pass really slow. I caught myself napping with a hot chocolate in front of me. It seems I was just awake enough to order one every now and then. There was some TV show on bald people or hair on the CBC. There was no sound or sub titles so I could only guess what was going on. Then Jeopardy. With no sound I couldn't take part and could only read the questions. The same with Wheel of Fortune. I couldn't believe that show still airs.

16:45 Mainway - Deathrow Dames Meeting at 17:00

We arrived at Mainway early. Little Mean Mama bought some food and before long the rest of the Deathrow Dames showed up moving the meeting into a less noisy room. A cold but less noisy room.

Miss Carriage tells the other Dames that clawing the opponents face is bad.

Hah! Actually I don't know what Miss Carriage was talking about. I think they were talking about shirt design or something. At that point I had been going in and out of consciousness.

19:00 Practice at Mainway

Super Dave over sees the skate drills

Practice started at 7pm, taking up the Gardens and the Forum areas. The Gardens had the Death Row Dames where as the Forum was being used by the Hamilton Harlots. At 8pm the drills were consolidated into the Forum where the travel team was doing the drills.

Dicey does some jumping

I shot a few hundred random photos of the girls skating jumping and what not and before long it was 9pm. I hitched a ride back to Hamilton with Dave and Amanda and made it in time for the 22:00 GO bus.

22:00 GO bus

It was there I bumped into Rebecca who by coincidence was taking the same bus ride back to Toronto. She was armed with a coke and two bags of chips. I rememeber helping her eat some of the chips and fell asleep for most of the ride back.

Rebecca and I on the GO bus back to Toronto

I got home just before midnight. Because of the nap I had on the bus I spent the next four hours sifting through photos.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Boggle at the Only

Our game of Boggle

Met up with Neil and Darryl tonight at the Only Cafe. It's a bar on the Danforth that's been around forever. About 19 years ago I got hammered on my first beers. At the time it had been located across the street from my friend John. It was also around that time I realized I wasn't a beer drinker. Too gasey a beverage. I'll stick to the hard stuff in large glasses with the umbrellas and fruit.

I'm not sure why Neil picked this place as it seemed like a random choice but it didn't matter. While the large selection of different beer brands was lost on me I did like the fact that they had a section next to one of the tables with a bunch of board games. The standards. Scrabble, dominoes, cards, boggle... Boggle!

We played a few rounds with Darryl pretty much dominating the score for each round. For those that aren't familiar with this classic, it's a word scramble game. A grid of 4x4 letters are presented in front of you and within a minute you must find as many words, 3 letters or more, in them. It's rather a fun game that you don't see much of anymore.