Friday, July 29, 2011

Fantasy eBooks

I give the following eBooks 5 stars each. Note: You may find cheaper rates on the fantasy author's personal website.

Ebook (PDF): $15.99

A legendary warrior has come back to life and is on a murderous rampage on the streets of Waterdeep. Retired gladiator and Academy of Combat instructor Pierce O'Hiram is dragged back into service for the Harpers one last time in an effort to stop the killings.

Note: If you buy Rise of the Blade from the author's website it is only $12.


Ebook (PDF): $15.99

The Minotaur Emperor has been assassinated and the continent is on the brink of an epic war between minotaurs and humans. Wynic Doxon, the Arthian Royal Assassin, is asked to track down the assassin who killed the emperor and help prevent a war that would destroy the ancient city of Athex.


Ebook (PDF): $15.99

An evil army has set up camp in the northern reaches of the continent and plots are afoot. The heroes from "The Paladin Assassin" are ordered north to confront this new danger and to seek out the legendary Spear of Destiny. This book is part 2 of The Crimson Companions Trilogy.


Ebook (PDF): $7.59

A love story between a human barbarian and an elf female, set amidst the backdrop of the Korovian wilderness. Bandits, ogres, trolls and wild sex scenes. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No Such Thing As A Free Ride

I am going to recommend (if you have any interest in hitchhiking and the history of hitchhiking) the book "No Such Thing As A Free Ride"... written / collected by Simon Sykes and Tom Syke.

The book is an anthology of hitchhiking stories by former hitchhikers... including... dun da da duh! Me.

That's right, back in 1997 I took up hitchhiking and continued to hitchhike regularly until 2000. My longest adventure was hitchhiking in the USA, a story I retold in the book "No Such Thing As A Free Ride".

:)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cheetah Power Surge SUCKS

Cheetah Power Surge is an energy drink being promoted by the former head of Steelback Brewery Frank D'Angelo (he bankrupted the company by overspending on advertising).

Cheetah Power Surge is more of the same problem. Crappy product, with lots of advertising.

The problem with Cheetah Power Surge is that it doesn't just SUCK DONKEY BALLS, its really overpriced crap compared to other superior products on the market.


Energy drink Caffeine
(mg/L)
Caffeine
(mg/fl oz)
Caffeine per serving (quantity) Additional notes
180 365.5 10.98 130 mg (12 fl oz or 400 mL)
5-Hour Energy 1352.49 40 80 mg (2 fl oz or 59.15 mL) Does not list the actual amount of caffeine in the product but states "Contains about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee."
AMP Energy 298 8.93 71 mg (8 fl oz or 237 mL) American Rebel bib
Bacchus-F 303 9.1 30 mg (3.38 fl oz or 100 mL)
Battery 320 9.5 105 mg (11.16 fl oz or 330 mL)
Battery energy shot 1500 44.4 90 mg (2.03 fl oz or 60 mL)
Bawls 223 6.70 56 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)
Boo Bolt - best thing event 507 15.00 360 mg (24 fl oz or 710 mL)
Blue Charge 300 8.87 300 mg (35.195 fl oz or 1000 mL)
Blue Energy 337 9.97 80 mg No value for Caffeine in Nutrition Facts; Instead "Energy Blend" is listed which includes L-Carnitine, Glucose, Caffeine, Inositol, Glucuronolactone, and Maltodextrin.
Boo Koo 507 15.00 360 mg (24 fl oz or 710 mL)
Buckeye Juice 320 9.47 80 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)
Burn 320 9.6 80 mg (8.3 fl oz or 250ml)
Cintron Energy Enhancer 422.83 12.5 200 mg (16 fl oz or 473 mL)
Coca-Cola Blāk 194.43 5.75 46 mg (8 fl oz or 237 mL)
Cocaine (drink) 1120 33.14 280 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)[5]
Crunk Energy Drink 421.94 12.5 100 mg (8 fl oz or 237 mL)[6]
Emerge Stimulation Drink 300 8.87 75 mg per 250 ml can
Enviga 282 8.3 100 mg (12 fl oz or 355 mL)[7]
Euro Shopper Energy Drink 320 9.6 80 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)
Full Throttle 304 9 72 mg (8 fl oz or 237 mL)[8] Fuze Adrenaline
Go Fast 320 9.47 80 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)
Hustler 240 4.06 120 mg (16.9 fl oz or 500 mL)
Hype Energy 320 10.82 160 mg (16.9 fl oz or 500 mL)
Irn-Bru 32 320 9.47 32 mg (3.38 fl oz or 100 mL)[9] 80 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)
Jolt Cola 201 5.96 140 mg (23.5 fl oz or 695 mL)
King 888 330 10 80 mg (8 fl oz or 236 mL)
Kore 400 11.83 100 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)[10]
Kruidvat Power Booster 320 9.6 80 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)[11]
Lift Plus



Lucozade Alert 320 9.51 80mg (8.45fl oz or 250ml)
Lucozade Sport with Caffeine Boost 160 4.73 16 mg (3.38 fl oz or 100 mL)[12]
MAD DOG Energy Lemonade 320 9.64 80 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL) High energy drink but lemonade taste
Ministry Of Energy 320 9.46 160mg (16.9 fl oz or 500mL) monavie energy drink
Monster 338 10 80 mg (8 fl oz or 240 ml) Sold in 8,12,16,24,32oz cans, 16 oz Can with two servings per can yields 160 mg caffeine. 32oz Called "B.F.C."
Mother 424 12 106 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL) 108 mg (20 fl oz or 591 mL)
Mountain Dew 154 4.5 36 mg (8 oz.) sold in 8,12,16 oz cans & 12,16,20,24,34,68 oz bottles
Mountain Dew Energy 180 5.32 90 mg (500mL) Released in the U.K. in Mid 2010 and in Ireland Q1 2011. Sugar-Free contents TBA.
Mountain Dew MDX 198.6 5.88 47 mg (8 fl oz or 237 mL)[2] No Fear(drink)
NOS 542 16.25 130 mg (8 fl oz or 240 mL) Sold in 13.5, 16 and 22 oz containers that contain a total of 219, 260 and 357 mg of caffeine, respectively
Pepsi Max 194.43 5.75 46 mg (8 fl oz or 237 mL)[13][2]
69 mg (12 fl oz or 355 mL)
115 mg (20 fl oz or 591 mL)

Powerking 320 9.46 80 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)
Pure! 333 9.88 100 mg (300 mL) Listed ingredients, apple, cherry, strawberry, lemon and guarana
Red Bull 338 10 80 mg (8 fl oz or 240 mL)
Red Eye 321.21 9.50 106 mg (11.16 fl oz or 330 mL)
Red Rooster 300 8.88 30 mg (3.38 fl oz or 100 mL)
75 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)

Red Thunder 300 8.88 75 mg (250ml) Listed as 0.03% in the ingredients list on the can
Redline 937.5 31.25 125 mg (4 fl oz or 120 mL)
Relentless 321 9.64 160 mg (16.91 fl oz or 500 mL)
RELOAD 394 11.8 130 mg (11.16 fl oz or 330 mL)
Rip It 431.3 12.75 102 mg (8 fl oz or 240 mL)
Rockstar energy drink, original 337.55 10 80 mg (8 fl oz or 237 mL)[14] 160 mg (16 fl oz or 480 mL) 2000mg Taurine (16 fl oz or 480 mL)
Semtex 320 9.47 80 mg (8.5 fl oz or 250 mL)
Shark Stimulation 320 9.47 32 mg (3.38 fl oz or 100 mL)
SoBe Adrenaline Rush 312 9.23 78 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL) Sold in 250 mL cans.
Sparks (contains 6% ABV) 185[15] 5.44 87 mg (16 fl oz or 480 mL)[15]
Spike Shooter 1200 35.71 300 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)[16]
Tab Energy 304 9.0 72 mg (8 fl oz or 237 mL)[8]
Urge Intense 150
75
V (Australia and New Zealand or Holland only) 287 8.61 31 mg (3.38 fl oz or 100 mL) 78 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL)
Vault 196 5.88 47 mg (8 fl oz or 237 mL) 70.5 mg (12 fl oz 355 mL)
117.5 mg (20 fl oz or 591 mL)

Virgin Tequila 3381.23 100 200 mg (2 fl oz or 59.15 mL)
Glacéau VitaminEnergy 317 9.375 150 mg (16 fl oz or 437 mL)
Wired Energy Drink / Wired Sugar Free 198.73 5.875 94 mg (16 fl oz or 473 mL)
XS Energy Drink 334 9.88 83 mg (8.45 fl oz or 250 mL
Zipfizz (Test Tube) 188 5.56 100 mg (.398 fl oz/11.83 mL, suggested mix with 16-20 fl oz water) Caffeine content calculated based on mix in 18 fl oz or 532 ml.

Now as to why Cheetah Power Surge sucks donkey balls so badly... look at the list above and count the number of professional energy drinks with caffeine in them. ITS ALL ABOUT THE CAFFEINE. And to some extent the sugar.

Cheetah Power Surge has ZERO caffeine. Its just ginseng flavoured water. Now ginseng does give a wee boost if you eat some, but Cheetah Power Surge only has ginseng FLAVOURING. If there is any real ginseng in it there isn't enough to provide an actual energy boost. Complete and utter RIP OFF.

So there you go, if you are buying Cheetah Power Surge and expecting it to do anything like a normal energy drink, you are a complete and utter moron. You would get better results from Coca-Cola because at least that has caffeine and sugar in it.

Online Personals

LOVE - The first online personals website I am going to mention on here is Ashley Madison, which uses the slogan "Life is Short, Have an Affair"... In the effort to review as many personals websites as I could I created profiles on every personal website in this list and tried them all out.

However when it came time to delete my profiles I discovered something unusual. Ashley Madison won't let you delete your profile unless you pay them $19. So instead I've changed my profile on there so it makes fun of the Ashley Madison website.

Another site I want to mention is cheaterville.com, which allows people to track / mock people who cheat when they're caught in the act. Amusing. I shall have to go there and make a list of people I know cheated.

Goth Personals Canada - Goth Rencontres Canada - I admit I am biased towards this website. I own it.

♥ Plenty of Fish - FIVE STARS. This is the only Personals website I give a five star rating to.

♥ OK Cupid - Four Stars. I highly recommend this site.

♥ Match.com - Very expensive. You can't even RECEIVE messages unless you pay them. 1 star and it doesn't deserve it.

EVERYTHING BELOW HERE IS SUCKY.

♥ Love.org
♥ Datehookup.com
♥ eHarmony
♥ Love Compass Personals
♥ 4ppl
♥ Soulmatefind.com
♥ Date.com
♥ Justsayhi.com

Note: Craigslist Personals are a complete waste of time if you are looking for love. Much better if you just want an exercise partner or to make new friends.

Red Riding Hood - 3 stars

ENTERTAINMENT - I don't mind that the first half of the 2011 film "Red Riding Hood" rips off the plot from Jaws. Its actually pretty kewl.

Its the 2nd half of the film where it turns into a whodunnit that falls short. Still an enjoyable film, I give it 3 stars out of 5.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Harry Potter 3D

Saw Harry Potter twice this past weekend. Totally worth it. I give it 4.5 stars out of 5.

See more details at "Harry Potter beats Dark Knight".

Toronto Companies I Like and Don't Like

#1. Hotels

I really don't like the expensive ritzy hotels in Toronto.

Mostly because they're RUDE to people based on the way they dress. Why should I wear really nice clothes all the time just so I can be treated with respect? Absolutely nonsense. I would rather dress comfortably and go somewhere where I am at least treated like a person.

Thus I really dislike the following hotels in Toronto:

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Sheraton Centre
Delta Chelsea
Gladstone Hotel
Hilton Toronto
InterContinental
SoHo Metropolitan Hotel
One King West Hotel
Pantages Hotel
Courtyard Toronto
Marriott Toronto

Places I do like...

Any place that is a Toronto bed and breakfast, especially any that are downtown and offers something unique. The good thing about bed and breakfast places is that they appreciate your business and a lot more and you will get way better service.

I am tempted to say I also like The Drake Hotel, but that place is too noisy with the bar.

#2. Restaurants

I hate Greek restaurants. I've got nothing against the people, but it just feels like cheap overpriced garbage that they're selling you.

Lets list a few more places I hate.

Ethiopian House Restaurant
4 Irwin Avenue, Toronto
REVIEW: ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. The bread was all mushy and sponge-like. The food was spicy (normally a good thing), but tasted like crap. Spicy crap and mushy bread = WORST RESTAURANT IN TORONTO. It was overpriced too.

Forget About It
325 King Street West, Toronto
REVIEW: Food was cold and delivered late, the decor was lame and certainly not worth the money we were paying, and the manager was rude to us when we complained about the poor service. I can see pissed off customers throwing a brick through the window of this horrible place. I would love to forget about that horrible meal.

In comparison I'd rather go to Chinese, Korean, or Indian restaurants... most of the Asian restaurants are reasonably good, although some of them seem overpriced when you see how small the portions are. If you go to a restaurant and it seems like they only served part of your meal then you're getting ripped off.

I also love ALL the Sunset Grill locations. Breakfast places are usually good, but don't go to the Eggsmart places because they're CRAP and roach/rat infested.

#3. Clothing Shopping

The Eatons Centre - Plenty of variety, but nothing alternative. The shops for men's clothing rather suck.

Yorkdale - Really glamourous, but not much variety. Very blah. Men's clothing again is shortchanged here.

Queen Street West - Definitely a good place to shop if you're a man or a woman.

Yonge Street - Lots of variety, and increasingly more variety... my favourite shops along Yonge Street are: Central Surplus (army goods, good place to go for manly things), Hairy Tarantula (which doesn't sell clothes, but what the hell), American Apparel... I mention American Apparel because that is where I managed to find my green hoodie with no logo that I was looking for forever.

Yorkville - Overpriced and people often behave rudely. Yorkville really isn't really a good place to shop. Its more a place to get your nails done at a Yorkville salon, maybe go to a ritzy gym / yoga centre where you can be pampered, check out the local art galleries and then go home. Its really a place to be pampered. Shopping there is for the brain dead.

Whatever you do don't buy any clothes made by Peter Nygard or any other sweatshop owner.

#4. Entertainment

My favourites are:

Art Gallery of Ontario (free on Wednesday nights)

Any of the art galleries on Queen Street West (free booze on opening nights!)

The Ontario Science Centre

The Toronto Public Archery Range

Beaches (swimming, sand, sun, what's not to like?)

The movie theatre on Richmond Steet. Formerly the Paramount, but now owned by Scotiabank. I still call it the Paramount.

The SkyDome. I don't care if Rogers changed its name to the Rogers Centre. Its still the freaking SkyDome to me.

The Philosopher's Stage at U of T. Low budget productions by university actors, but well made and alternative. 2011's production is "Lysistrata - The Sex Strike" and is playing from July 20th to August 6th.

#5. Air Conditioning and Heating

See my post about air conditioners.

Zonelife is a company from the Kitchener-Waterloo area, but if you need a heating furnace they do sell them in Toronto. They also offer geothermal units, boilers and pool dehumidifiers.

#6. Shipping

I am boycotting Canada Post. The Canada Post strike annoyed me and lost me a customer for my business. If they don't want to work I am not giving them my business.

I therefore am recommending Purolator and UPS. I've used them both in the past when I was a shipping / receiving clerk for a pharmaceutical company and they both had excellent service and rates. I continue to use Purolator now because they have an office walking distance from my home.

For larger shipments across Canada I recommend sending air freight because you'll get a better deal straight from the middle man and cut out the sales clerk.

#7. Places to Exercise

Seriously people... parks, beaches, anywhere public. Fancy gym memberships are not necessary. See my blog post: My Fitness Costs = Practically Nothing.

And I strongly recommend against Extreme Fitness. Completely ripoff with a strong sales pitch. Its all talk and zero customer satisfaction.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Fitness Costs = Practically Nothing!

I read a newspaper article today about "Easy ways to cut your fitness costs"...

And seriously, a lot of what the article said was a no brainer.

Speaking for myself my fitness costs in the last year have dropped from roughly $1000 annually to almost nothing now.

And the answer is to how I did it is because I just got smarter about how, why and where I exercise.

#1. WHERE: I only exercise in places that are FREE. ie. Public parks, community centers, the Toronto Public Archery Range, at home.

#2. HOW: I only buy equipment I know I will use, will never break and will never need to be replaced or fixed. Once I have said equipment I never have to buy it again.

#3. WHY: I now exercise for FUN. I pick athletic activities I actually enjoy, or take a boring activity and make it fun in some way. For example right now I am doing boxing in the park twice a week with a friend, archery once / week at the Toronto Public Archery Range and these are fun activities. I do all my weighlifting and yoga at home while listening to the kewlest music I can find.

I've also put in some extra effort into finding exercises that are not only more beneficial, but fun to do.

Now the newspaper article I mentioned above doesn't mention any of these things... their suggestion is based on deals and coupons. Things like Groupon coupons which offer discounted 20 yoga classes or 20 kickboxing classes for a mere $30. I admit those are pretty cheap, but if you factor in trasnportation costs it still doesn't beat FREE.

(I admit I do spend $5 per week to get to the Toronto Public Archery Range, but that is it.)

In addition there is also things like FREE SWIMMING at the beach or public pools. FREE running or jogging.

And you can advertise on Craigslist to find exercise partners. Again, free.

The newspaper article meanwhile was pushing iPhone workout videos which cost $2.

You can also get free eBooks online loaded with lots of free exercise advice and tips, more than any website would offer.

And there is free workout videos on YouTube. Come on people, the exercise industry doesn't need your money. You do, for all the new slick and slim clothing you can buy when you are thin and sexy!

You'll be beating the guys away with a purse filled with money you've saved by not wasting your money on fitness things / memberships you don't need.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Boycotting Scotiabank

This all started when I received spam from the Scotiabank of Canada offering to give small business advice.

I clicked the link, which led to a page with a phone number.

So I called it using my trusty Google phone...

And waited 18 minutes before someone finally answered.

And then the poor lady online was confused. She didn't know ANYTHING about the spammy email Scotiabank was sending me, nor the so-called business advice Scotiabank was claiming to be giving out.

So yeah, totally boycotting Scotiabank now.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Conan in 3D: Must... See... This!

ENTERTAINMENT - This is the way Conan was meant to be seen!



See Also: Conan the Berserker

Lexx - 4 Stars

Lexx was a sci-fi TV show which ran for 4 seasons. It was mostly filmed in Canada and a bit in Germany.

On a scale of weirdness Lexx was a 10 all the way. The show seemed to be deliberately designed to freak out people with a level of weird raunchiness hitherto not seen sci fi films.

Every low budget sci-fi show that has come after is nothing more than a rip off from Lexx (with bits from Star Trek, Star Wars, etc).

Plot wise I won't ruin it for you, but I will give you some history.

The show aired from April 18th 1997 to April 26th 2002.

The main character was "Zev" of planet B3K, a renegade love slave who changes bodies several times during the story line. (If Captain Kirk and Spock can do it, sure why not.)

Other primary characters are Stanley, security guard 4th class. He's the average Joe character who surprising is made captain of the ship (Ironically he wears a red shirt); and Kai, an undead and emotionless (and therefore logical) assassin.

And I don't forget the ship, which is alive and basically a giant space insect.

I give the series 4 stars for sheer weirdness, ingenuity, plot and enjoyability. The minus 1 star is for weirding me out too much. So in theory some of you might give the show 5 stars because you like that sort of thing.

After Lexx came out there came a slew of similar TV shows like FireFly, Farscape and similar shows. Frankly I don't have time for such shows any more. There's just too many of them.



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