Saturday, October 23, 2010

Almuric

FIVE STARS OUT OF FIVE

ENTERTAINMENT - Almuric is a rather unusual book by Robert E. Howard (the creator of Conan the Barbarian). The main character Esau Cairn is transported to a harsh, barbaric world and must survive against the strange creatures and races he meets there.

The initial premise is far-fetched (although seriously, its a fantasy book about an alien world, what do you expect?), but once you get past that there are many reasons why this book deserves 5 stars.

1. It is phenomenally well written. This book deserves awards for that reason alone.

2. The plot is engrossing. By the end of the book you are frantic to finish it so you can see how it ends. I ended up sitting in a restaurant in Chinatown reading the last chapter, eating Korean Bulgogi and drinking Corona just so I could have a good place to sit and read.

3. Who doesn't like the classic muscular hero who rescues the damsel in distress using brains and brawn? In Esau Cairn's case he is a bad ass boxer who killed a man and fled to another world using science. (Howard himself was an amateur boxer.)

4. The damsel in distress gives an interesting insight as to why Robert E. Howard committed suicide in 1936, along with being an unusual character in her own right.

5. The monsters and races of Almuric are exceptionally well thought out and very creative.

There is a variety of book covers that have come out over the years. I've decided to show the best ones here.

See Also: Conan the Berserker




















Search Amazon.com for Almuric

Monday, October 18, 2010

Looking for homes in Georgetown

Lately I've been thinking of buying a home in Georgetown Ontario and then commuting to work in Toronto via the Go Train. (Georgetown is so close to Brampton, but the prices are dramatically different. A home in Brampton or Mississauga costs about $500,000+, but the Weavers Mill townhomes in Georgetown are $289,990. That is a huge savings!)

[Right: A rendering of one of the townhomes from Weavers Mill in Georgetown.]

The reasoning is because homes in Georgetown are super cheap in comparison to homes in Toronto (like half the price!), but the real issue is a matter of convenience but I don't want to be driving in gridlock every day for 2 hours to get back and forth to Toronto.

Thus having the Go Train in Georgetown makes it super convenient and cheap. Plus Georgetown has that small town feel that is so much nicer.

When it comes to buying a home in Georgetown however I've discovered its cheaper to go for a new housing development, which is why I've been looking at Weavers Mill - Georgetown Homes. The Weavers Mill location is a new development in downtown Georgetown, so I will be walking distance from the Go Station and also walking distance from local shops, restaurants, etc. Super convenient.

A couple months ago I helped my friend Greg and his wife Karen move into a house in Brampton and I ended up staying the night in a guest bedroom. Monday morning we went to work on the Go train (from the Brampton station) and it occurred to me how convenient it was and how much easier it was than people driving to work every day. (I apologize if this sounds more like a review of the Go train!) Nevertheless that idea stuck with me. I see it as a major selling point for when I would buy a home in Georgetown.

Georgetown isn't the only place I am shopping for a home. I would still like to get a home in downtown Toronto, but the prices are just outrageous. Check out my other blog: My Search for a Home.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Home Improvements for the Winter

Looking to save money on heating costs this winter?

I recommend the following renovations and products to improve your home's performance.

#1. A metal roof. Why a metal roof? Because shingles fall off too easily in the winter, are damaged by the cold and the ice and end up leaking lots of heat. You save more money by buying metal roofing (you can get faux shingles if that is the look you want) which doesn't fall off.

#2. Insulated concrete. Now what the heck is insulate concrete you might ask? Well, concrete is what you use to make the basement of your home. Its the very foundation of your home. Some buildings also use it for the walls and ceilings, pretty much everything because its better than old fashioned wood and pink insulation. Less likely to burn too, lasts longer and way more energy efficient.

#3. PVC Trim. Now I admit when I hear the letters PVC, I think sexy goth chicks. On a house trimmings is all about mouldings and details which makes your home look good. In the olden days it was made out of wood, but these days you can buy it made out of PVC. It doesn't rot like wood does, its durable, attractive to the touch, environmentally friendly and maintenance free (ie. no need to stain or paint it all the time like wood).

And while we're at it, don't forget the damage the cold wind can do to your skin. So for the ladies out there remember to use natural skincare products, like those from the Soya Boutique.

Last but not least, if you're getting old chances are likely you have a sore back. Thus doing your own snow removal will be the kind of chore you will begin to dread and could eventually kill you. You could hire a teenager from down the street, or you could get it professionally done by The Snowmen. Your choice.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Einstein Wrote Back

Upcoming review of "Einstein Wrote Back" by John W. Moffat... I've been asked to write a review of John W. Moffat's book. I still have yet to receive a copy of it, but when I do it should make for some interesting reading.

What is really weird to me is how much John W. Moffat resembles my father and my uncle... I blame the Moffat genes. Apparently all Moffats look the same.

Synopsis:

"John W. Moffat was a poor student of math and science. That is, until he read Einstein's famous paper on general relativity. Realizing instantly that he had an unusual and unexplained aptitude for understanding the complex physics described in the paper, Moffat wrote a letter to Einstein that would change the course of his life.

Einstein replied to Moffat and they exchanged a series of letters in which they discussed the theory of general relativity and Einstein's current work on unified field theory. Moffat met with Einstein's longtime colleague, the legendary Niels Bohr, at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. Astonished by the young man's self-taught knowledge of theoretical physics, Bohr directed Moffat to Britain, where, after interviews with influential physicists including Erwin Schrödinger, he was enrolled in the graduate physics program at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1958, Moffat was the first student in the College's more than 400-year history to earn a physics PhD without a prior undergraduate degree.

Moffat and Einstein did not continue their correspondence, as the great man died shortly after Moffat began his studies. However, Moffat continued, over the next fifty years, to modify and expand on Einstein's theory of gravity.


[The photo of Einstein on a bicycle is courtesy of the Bicycle Mechanic.]

Einstein Wrote Back tells the story of Moffat's unusual entry into the world of academia and documents his career at the frontlines of twentieth-century physics as he worked and associated with some of the greatest minds in scientific history, including Niels Bohr, Fred Hoyle, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac, Erwin Schrödinger, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Abdus Salam, among others.

Taking readers inside the classrooms and minds of these "giants" of modern science, Moffat affectionately exposes the foibles and eccentricities of these great men, as they worked on the revolutionary ideas that, today, are the very foundation of modern physics and cosmology."

UPDATE: I give the book a solid 4.5 stars. The book was a very good read. I shan't ruin it for you, but I will say my favourite parts were in the first half of the book.

The book also features correspondence with other big physicists of the day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pizza companies in Canada suck

Honestly... Canadian pizzas are horrible. I have yet to find a good quality pizza maker in Canada (or the USA).

Sure there is Pizza Pizza, Pizza Hut, Dominos and a host of other fast food pizza places in Canada, but they all SUCK.

And its not just fast food / delivery pizza either. Restaurants with waiters... their pizza pretty much sucks too.

The best pizza I've EVER had was from a local pizza shop in Suyudong in Seoul, South Korea. The Korean pizza chef made the pizza right in front of you, using all fresh ingredients and roasted it in front of you too. And the price was reasonable and the service was fantastic

Delicious.

So why can't someone copy what I saw in South Korea and just do it here? Do it properly and you won't even need to advertise. People will just start bringing their friends to the place because it will be that good.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Upcoming Review of CSN Boxing Products

We will be doing a review of CSN Boxing Products in the near future. The products we will be reviewing are:

Amber Sporting Goods "The Champ" Boxing Focus Mitts - $21.95
Amber Sporting Goods Double Mouthpiece - $5.95. in clear / white.
Amber Sporting Goods "The Champ" Velcro Boxing Gloves - $23.95
Amber Sporting Goods MMA Quick Wraps - $7.95
TKO Sports Boxing Wrist Wrap - $4.99

Total value is $64.79.

CSN Stores online sell a variety of products, including kitchen/bedroom/bath supplies store allmodern.com, exercise/fitness equipment store FitnessEquipmentAndMore.com, cooking supplies store Cookware.com, and dining room table store DiningRoomsDirect.com.

I picked boxing equipment because of my personal interest in classic boxing. I was tempted to try yoga equipment instead, but I thought boxing would be a fun activity to try with a boxing buddy.

Maybe in the future we will do a review of yoga equipment too.

Payless Shoe Source

I've been buying business shoes from the same place for 5 years now: Payless ShoeSource

Available locations in Toronto

673 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z9
(416) 920-8377

237 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M5B 1N8
(416) 362-6415

1000 Gerrard Street East
Toronto, ON M4M 3G6
(416) 465-5709

1200 St Clair Avenue West
Toronto, ON M6E 1B4
(416) 652-2111

Lawrence Square
North York, ON M6A 3B4
(416) 789-9609

Their website is payless.com.

If you don't live in Toronto, I recommend doing a Google map search for in your local city to find the nearest location.

FYI: I really only recommend Payless ShoeSource for business shoes. If you're looking for steel-toed boots I recommend Marks Work Warehouse or Canadian Tire.

:)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Looking for glasses in Toronto

Are you looking for glasses in Toronto?

I recommend the following location:

Sherbourne Optical
600 Sherbourne Street
Toronto, ON M4X 1W4
(416) 925-7186

I`ve been there twice now, their service is always the BEST, their selection is the same as any other glasses store, and they don`t charge an arm and a leg for an eye exam (the last time I was there he gave me a discount, a mere $50 for an eye exam).

Services and Food Reviews

I've decided to expand the things I review on this blog... namely I will also be reviewing various services and even restaurants, but they will usually be based in Toronto since that is where I live.

I give FIVE STARS to the following restaurants:

Papaya Restaurant
545 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1Y5
(416) 944-9731

Regency Restaurant
Quality Indian Restaurant
1423 Gerrard St E (Little India)
Toronto, ON M4L1Z7
(416) 778-7366

Rol San
323 Spadina Ave (Chinatown)
Toronto, ON M5T2E9
(416) 977-1128
(Note: The Rol San may look like a dive, but the food and service is very good.)

Sunset Grill
1 Richmond St W
Toronto, ON M5H 3W4
(416) 861-0514

If you love burgers I also give 4 stars to the Hero Burger locations.

I don't recommend the following restaurants:

Fresh (anywhere)
McDonalds (anywhere)
Forget About It, King Street West (seriously, that place has the absolute worst service I`ve ever seen and the food was served cold).

Product Reviews of Canadian Products: Beer

Do you love Canada?

Do you support buying things Made In Canada?

Me too.

That is why I have created this blog, to promote products which are made in Canada, sold in Canada and bought by Canadians.

Quality products, for the most part. And to be fair I won't be pulling punches. If I think a product is crappy I will tell you its crappy.

And now without further adieu...

Molson Canadian is crappy. Seriously, its just a cheap crappy beer. Like Budweiser or Miller. I know, we all love the "I am Canadian" TV commercials that Molson did, but that doesn't excuse the fact that their beer is horrible.

If you want to buy a good Canadian beer I recommend the following companies:

Sleemans
Steam Whistle
Alexander Keith's


Want to avoid the really bad beers? Do not drink the following crappy beers:

Steelback
Moosehead
Molson
Labatt
Kokanee
Coors
Buzz
Brava

If Canadian beers aren't your thing I recommend the following beers:

Guinness
Heineken
Corona
Marca Bavaria
Cafri

Happy drinking! But seriously, why go for the imported beers when you get beer made in Canada which is just as good.

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