Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Edward de Gale, Toronto philanthropist

This isn't really a product review. Its a kudos.

Kudos to Edward de Gale, a local Toronto philanthropist and social entrepreneur who donates his time (and sometimes his money) helping others who are in need.

Toronto needs more people like Edward de Gale. So kudos to him.

In contrast we could use less of our idiot mayor Rob Ford. The guy makes Dumb and Dumber look smart.

And if you've never seen the comedy Dumb and Dumber then I strongly recommend you go watch it.


Check out all the good work he has done over the years.

  • Share The Warmth

  • City of Toronto: Community Service Volunteer Awards - 2002 winners

  • Housing Awareness Event - 2006

  • Homeowners get burned over heating costs - Globe & Mail

  • Gouged customers shocked by power costs - Toronto Star

  • Extreme cold brings out the rescue squads - Toronto Star

  • Price increase hikes demand for 'power bank' - Ottawa Citizen
  • Oblivion Review

    Better than I thought it was going to be.

    No spoilers here.

    So I got dragged to this movie by a friend who didn't even know it was an alien movie and #2 doesn't know how to spell Tom Cruise (she spells it Cruz...).

    After bickering about where to sit I sat closer to the front of the theatre and she sat at the back. We figured oh well, we can discuss the film AFTER instead of during, much to the happiness of the people sitting around us.

    Without the spoiling the film for anyone I give it 4 stars. It was a pretty decent film, even though I kind of despise Tom Cruise. I suppose if it had been an actor I actually like I might have given it 5 stars or 4.5. Hard to say.

    What was kind of weird was the soundtrack... It kind of felt like we were watching Tron Legacy. *cough* Which is probably because it was directed by Joseph Kosinski, who directed Tron Legacy. So small surprise there.

    Even the plot is a bit like Tron Legacy too. And similar to Avatar in a weird way.

    The good news is that the plot was nicely tied up in a bow too, which means no chance for a sequel. Which is good because I don't want to see Tom Cruise in "Oblivion II".

    Sunday, April 28, 2013

    Mouthwashes Review - Scope Vs DualBlast Vs Listerine

    When it comes to cleaning your teeth toothpaste is very important.

    But I would argue that rinsing your mouth out afterwards with a good quality mouthwash is every bit equally as important to kill all the germs in your mouth.

    Or at least 99.9% of them.

    Scope is the brand I've been using for years. It is the brand my parents use, continue to use and the brand I am most accustomed to.

    However a number of years ago Scope came out with several new flavours including Citrus and Cinnamon. I didn't really like the cinnamon, but the Citrus flavour was so good I completely switched over to that and ditched my old Scope.

    But then they took the Citrus version off the market a few years ago.


    So now I am back to the old mint flavour, which sucks in comparison.

    As a result I am now in a constant search for a new mouthwash that tastes as good as the citrus version.

    I've tried various bottles of Listerine. They ALL taste horrible and ingredients wise its the same stuff (alcohol) which is cleaning your teeth and killing the germs. I'd rather swish my mouth with vodka than use Listerine.

    The old mint Scope is boring... But I still buy it regularly.

    Today I tried DualBlast Scope - the Icy Mint flavour. Meh. It is okay but nothing special.

    Hey Scope executives, if you bother to read this, bring back the Citrus scope!!!

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    2013 Zombie Movies

    Lots of zombie movies coming out this year.

    "Gallowwalkers" is a zombie movie starring Wesley Snipes - a zombie movie / western.

    "World War Z" is a zombie apocalypse movie starring Brad Pitt - with super fast zombies.

    UPDATE - World War Z is kind of a sucky movie. Good graphics, but the plot is a tad boring. I give it 3 stars out of 5.

    Also on the horizon is "The 4th Reich", a zombie movie starring Sean Bean - with zombie nazis.

    And... The Harvard Zombie Massacre... starring nobody famous, but interesting because it has "smart zombies".

    And last but not least...

    The remake of "The Evil Dead" is already out in theatres. Haven't seen it yet. Not sure if I want to, the originals were so hilariously good.

    The Call - Movie Review

    "The Call" is essentially just a remake of "The Silence of the Lambs", except with three major differences - the main character is a 911 operator instead of a FBI agent, the whole "Hannibal Lector" bit is skipped entirely and replaced with a lot more action, and the ending is quite different but I don't want to say how (no spoilers here!).

    Overall I give "The Call" 3 stars out of 5. Its not a spectacular movie, but its not bad either.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

    I am surprised nobody has made a Hollywood blockbuster remake of this classic film - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

    Maybe that is because the original Disney film starring Kirk Douglas is just so awesome all on its own.

    Butchered Pork, Much Tastier than grocery store pork

    Earlier this year I bought a pig.

    Or rather half of a pig.

    My sister and her husband purchased the other half of the pig.

    Now I am not talking about a cute little tiny piglet either.

    I am talking about a huge boar weighing several hundred pounds.

    This pig we purchased was then butchered and made into...

    Pork Chops
    Ham Roasts
    Spare Ribs
    Butt Chops
    Side Pork (similar to bacon)

    And so forth...

    Now there is a huge fundamental difference in the quality of the meat you get from your grocery store and the quality of the meat you get from an Ontario farmer and a local butcher.

    #1. Butchered meat tastes waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better.

    #2. Healthier too. No additives and dyes.

    #3. The meat is fresher, locally grown, and the pigs in Ontario are better fed.

    #4. The sausages taste way better because they are made from better quality parts of the pig instead of from the poorest quality parts of the pig.

    And to top it all off... its cheaper to buy a pig and get the meat butchered this way. Costs about half as much as buying the same quantity of meat from a grocery store.

    If you buy meat straight from a butcher you will still be paying a mark up price like you would in a grocery store. But when you buy the pig yourself and then pay for the butchering, you cut out the mark up price and save yourself a bundle.

    So better tasting, healthier pork in your freezer... and more money left in your wallet. Its a win-win scenario.

    The only downside is that you need a nice big freezer with lots of space to store a whole pig's worth of meat.

    Which is why in my family we buy a pig and then split it between siblings. Saves us space in our freezers.

    Buying your pork from the grocery store??? That is for suckas.

    Scrub Free??? Pfff!!!

    Ever tried Scrub Free on your bathtub, sink, toilet or shower?

    Chances are likely you still had to scrub the bathtub, sink, toilet or shower afterwards.

    In order for Scrub Free to do what it claims in the TV commercials you have to spray a LOT of it on the surfaces you are trying to clean. And then wait 3 minutes to see if it worked or not.

    And sometimes you may need to go back and spray it twice, and even then have to scrub the specific surface you are trying to get clean.

    That being said it is still better than some older products on the market because this product does still reduce the amount of time spent scrubbing.

    See my new post on this topic at Scrubbing Bubbles Vs Scrub Free.

    However there are also lots of similar products now on the shelves too, including:

    Scrubbing Bubbles
    Clorox Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner

    As to which of the three products is BEST, I haven't had a chance yet to try out the other two. But seeing as my current bottle of Scrub Free is almost empty I shall try to remember to buy 1 of the others and test it out.

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    Idea for a T-Shirt

    Note to self.

    Get the following printed on a t-shirt:



    I come up with funny ideas for t-shirts on a regular basis but I am also forgetting to write them down and have them made into an actual t-shirt. Maybe if I write them down here I will remember to have the t-shirt made.

    Will Canada's lack of a penny spur coin collections?

    I have a sizable collection of coins in my closet.

    Most of it is Canadian silver dollars, about a hundred of them.

    Now the reason why silver dollars are so valuable is two-fold...

    #1. They're very rare.

    #2. Silver is very valuable these days.

    And as a bonus, depending on the age of the coins, they can be worth even more because of their age.

    However if I was to sell my coin collection, I am not sure how much I would get for them.

    If I check various websites online their value (depending on the coin) varies between $10 to $25 per coin.

    And if I check the price of silver online it is currently hovering around $23.50 per ounce... which means I might get better value for my silver if I took it to a "cash-4-gold" place which also buys silver.

    But what about the rest of my coin collection?

    Well there are websites which specialize in coins online auctions whereby I could sell each coin (or a set of coins) to prospective buyers in much the same way people sell things on eBay. So it is possible I could sell my collection that way. Or expand my collection if I felt the desire to do so.

    In Canada the Canadian mint has also decided to get rid of pennies as part of the national currency. All pennies currently in circulation are slowly disappearing, either being gobbled up by banks and resold back to the government, or being set aside by people who think the pennies might be worth something eventually someday.

    Well, its partially true. The old pennies (the older the better) will certainly be worth something. But any pennies made during the 1970s, 1980s or more recently are basically worthless. Only the pennies dating from 1960s or earlier will be worthy of any true value for collections. (Unless they have a printing error on it.)

    I do think however that this shedding of pennies may cause more young people to take an interest in coin collecting. In 50 years coins may disappear completely out of circulation and everyone will be using "change cards", which works a bit like a credit card or debit card, except its only good for small purchases.

    These change cards are also being referred to as "Value Cards", but basically it will result in people becoming more dependent on credit and debit cards - and more dependent on bank accounts.

    It is even a scary prospect to some people, because such prepaid "Value Cards" signals an economy even more dependent on credit - credit which has become an Achilles Heel to the USA's economy in the past, and will no doubt be the source of future problems as government overspending in many countries and household debts continue to skyrocket.

    As of April 18th 2013 Canada's National Debt is now $609.6 billion.

    Of which each Canadian's personal share is roughly $17,400.

    Canada's consumer credit debt reached $477 billion in December of 2012 and continues to grow. Divided evenly between Canada's population of 35 million that means the average Canadian has approx. $13,600 in credit debt.

    Taken together that means the average Canadian owes $31,000 just in government and credit debt.

    The lion's share of which is government idiocy, followed by mortgages, and then credit cards / lines of credit, car loans, personal loans, etc.

    And now back to the issue of coins.

    If someone were to sell off a coin collection, how much of their personal debt could they get rid of? Probably not a lot. Most people don't have coin collections laying around worth thousands of dollars. I would wager my old coin collection is worth less than $2,000 altogether.

    But if anyone out there wanted to make me an offer to buy my coin collection for $1800 (or a better offer) I'd probably snap my heels and shake their hand. They're just collecting dust in the closet anyway.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Escape from Planet Earth

    As aliens movies go...

    "Escape from Planet Earth". Meh. Kinda lame.

    I imagine even kids would find this movie kind of boring.

    Yes, it has some funny bits. But its not overly exciting, the plot is James Bond-esque (evil villain planning to destroy all the planets), and the sibling rivalry between the two main characters is more childish than realistic.

    But to be fair it is a film for children - except I think it fails even as a children's film.


    All the best parts are in the movie trailer. So watch the trailer and skip the movie.

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Dark Skies - An alien movie that makes Signs look tame

    Dark Skies is a movie about a family being visited by aliens interested in abducting their son. As alien films go it is actually pretty good - even better than Signs - which was an awesome movie all by itself.

    So if you loved Signs, yes, you will probably love "Dark Skies" too.

    I give it 4 stars out of 5.

    Definitely a good film to watch with a girlfriend / boyfriend so you can grab them during all the scary bits.

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    Why does Skim Milk have a bad rep?

    When I was much younger I was raised on raw milk.

    My parents bought it from a dairy farm north of where we lived.

    However when my younger sister developed an allergy to something in the raw milk we ended up switching to store-purchased milk.

    And I remember the switch clearly, because the store-purchased milk tasted watery in comparison.

    Whereas raw milk is more creamy and rich.

    Thus when comparing different types of milk....

    2% milk

    1% milk

    skim milk

    There really isn't that much difference between them. The only real difference is the amount of fat content found in the different types of store purchased milk.

    Raw milk (which is boiled before you drink it to kill the bacteria in it) tastes absolutely amazing because it has all the original creamy goodness in it.

    The milk you purchase in a store however is triple pasteurized. I know this because I grew up near the small town of Teeswater, which is home to the Teeswater Creamery (founded in 1872) and we would get tours of the creamery since the school was just down the street. It is the oldest creamery in Canada that is still in operation.

    So what is triple pasteurization???

    Well basically you boil the milk, skim the fat off, and continue boiling it down until all the water is gone and you are left with powdered milk.

    That powdered milk is then re-added to water, boiled all over again, re-skimmed, and boiled down a second to into powdered milk again.

    Seems silly doesn't it? But wait!

    They do it a third time! Add water, re-boil it, and re-powder it.

    Then the powdered milk is shipped to wherever it needs to go in powder form. Then water is re-added to it. Its boiled again so the atomic bonds of everything hold together, and then it is package and shipped to the store.

    Oh and in the case of 2% milk and 1% milk they also RE ADD FAT to the recipe. It is fat that was skimmed off earlier in the process, pasteurized and labeled "cream", but its really creamy fat that they're adding to the mixture.

    And then it is sold to idiots in groceries stores at a higher price because lets face it, fat tastes better.

    Meanwhile skim milk, which in North America has 0% fat in it (in the UK it is approximately 0.2% fat), gets a bad rep from ignorant morons who think that skim is less healthy - when in reality skim milk is actually MORE healthy because it has zero fat content in it.

    It just doesn't taste as good as its slightly more creamy counterparts 2% and 1% milk.

    And certainly no where as good as raw milk.

    Raw milk also has a bad rep too. It is illegal to sell raw milk in some countries, including Canada.

    The reason is because of the name. People think it is literally "raw". Not realizing that it has in fact been boiled once already to kill the bacteria before you drink it.

    The difference really is that when you purchase raw milk straight from a farmer then the farmer has either already boiled it for you, or you go home and boil it yourself on the stove before cooling it and drinking it.


    So skim milk, which is extremely healthy for you, has a bad rep because of its complete lack of fat in it. (I personally love skim milk.)

    And raw milk has a bad rep, despite being free of bacteria because its been killed in the boiling process, because it is illegal to sell raw milk to people - purely because the boiling / pasteurization process isn't "government approved".


    Some people also diss Chocolate Milk! How silly is that? They claim that chocolate milk is made with less quality milk and then they just add chocolate and sugar to it. And yes it is true, there is chocolate and sugar added to chocolate milk, but it has nothing to do with any "less quality" at all. It is made with the same triple pasteurized powdered milk that all the other store bought milks are made with.


    For extra protein, I recommend mixing skim milk with whey protein powder (preferably the chocolate flavoured kind). The company I recommend is Six Star. Good for people who are into weightlifting like me.

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    DropBox - File sharing with your friends and your gadgets

    DropBox is a handy file sharing service which is available for your PC/Mac, your SmartPhone, your tablet, whatever gadgets you have basically...

    It allows you to transfer files between various gadgets easily, and also to share your files with friends quickly and easily.

    To sign up for DropBox just click here!

    Calvin Klein Socks = Itchy!

    So my mother bought me socks for Christmas.

    Haven't worn any of them until today. They are black dress socks and I was originally planning to wear them to business meetings, funerals, weddings, etc.

    Except now that I have them on (wearing them right now) they are incredibly itchy. I am not allergic to any fabrics, they're just plain itchy socks.

    So I check the label to see what brand they are... Calvin Klein. Which is a brand name...

    And while you would think a brand name company like Calvin Klein would know enough to avoid making itchy socks, apparently there is always exceptions to the rule.

    They're so itchy its difficult to concentrate. I keep wanting to bed over and scratch under the surface of the socks.

    So now what? Do I throw them out? I can't wear them to a funeral, I will keep wanting to bend over and scratch constantly. They're basically garbage.

    Fortunately I have other black dress socks I can wear to meetings, funerals, weddings, etc. So its no big loss. But I do feel the need to warn people against buying Calvin Klein socks.

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