Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Mongolian Grill, north of Eglinton and Don Mills

Ah, the Mongolian Grill. Or more specifically the "Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill".

I have went there twice already.

Once for my sister's birthday event and another time on a date.

Located at 900 Don Mills Road in Toronto, it offers a buffet style meal plus your choice of drinks.

Price? Rather expensive. Expect to pay $70 for meal and drinks for 2 people (tip included).

The food was fabulous. I went back 4 times for more plates. My belly was completely stuffed when we left (the $70 didn't seem like that big of a deal honestly when your belly is that full).


The buffet includes bowls that you fill with various meat / veggies to be grilled for you on a giant hot plate, so you definitely get a hot meal and the entertainment of them making it for you. Oh and desserts too, including ice cream. I wasn't that fond of the rainbow sherbet, but the chocolate ice cream was awesome.

Drinks wise I recommend trying the ginger ale (which is more like Jamaican style ginger beer, which is to say spicy!) because you will definitely enjoy it.

I also loved the decor, including the archery on horseback themed mural below.


Bass Pro Archery in Vaughan

By Charles Moffat - Professional Archery Instructor

Yesterday I went to Bass Pro in Vaughan to buy some new archery equipment. (I already have over 10 different bows so this is nothing new to me.)

I got a new compound bow - a Diamond Infinite Edge. (I researched and chose this bow because it is easily adjustable.) $349.99

6 new arrows (Blackout X5 Envy 400s). $44.99

A compound bow case. $49.99

Patriot trigger release. $32.99

Subtotal $477.96 + HST ($62.13)

= $540.09 TOTAL

Oh and I got a Bass Pro rewards card (on which I have already racked up $10 worth of points).

The service was excellent and I guarantee I will be going back again sometime.

Other archery stores I recommend are "Tent City" in North York, "Basically Bows Archery" on Queen Street East, "The Bow Shop" in Waterloo and "Archer's Nook" in London.


I also took a number of photos of the store itself. I want to note also that Bass Pro is specifically a hunting and fishing store - so it really only caters to hunters. You can still get wooden bows there, but they're hardly the store's specialty. If you are looking for a wooden bow you are better off going to one of the stores I mentioned further above.





Battle of the Pacific



I am always amazed for the number of movies you can watch for free on YouTube. "Battle of the Pacific" is a 2011 film.

It is quite good, especially if you like war movies.


Mark's Work Warehouse issues apology

As way of an apology, Mark's Work Warehouse has sent me a $25 gift card because Mark's didn't honour their sale on men's outerware. Their sale said "all men's outerware". Apparently they couldn't fathom the idea that "all" meant "all", including men's outerware vests.

Proof that the squeaky wheel does get the grease. (And why it is worth it to squeak once in awhile so you get the sales you are entitled to.)

I will note they don't actually use the words sorry, apology, or apologize - but hey, I will take it as such.



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Popcorn popper

Who say that popcorn is healthiest than all other junk foods?! With the microwave gone due to damage inside that was no longer safe to use, I really wanted to have some popcorn! Sigh...I didn't know how long I could live without popcorn. BUT that was not too long for me...guess what?! I got the Bella popcorn popper at Wal-Mart a few months ago. 


                            

The store offered various Bella popcorn poppers in different sizes from largest to smaller and various designs. I bought the classic type popcorn popper that was almost similar to ones at movie theatres. 
One day, I invited my friend and his girlfriend to my place for a chat and watched a movie. It was my first time to use the machine. His girlfriend and I were not so sure how much we poured the popcorn kernels into the popping chamber. We didn't follow the instructions and that was so me who never follow rules! We turned it on and we watched it popping. I touched the machine...oh shit...it was so hot! No wonder why it had the hot air vents for! Ahhh...so much popcorn came out of the chute. Karma had bit my ass! HAHAHAHA 
So far the machine did it a super job! I rated it 5 out of 5! 

There are 27 rules to follow to avoid any hazard but I will not go through this tedious rules! 
1. Do not touch hot surfaces. Always wear oven mitts or use pot holders to handle hot appliances. (Leave it until it cool down, your bare hands won't be torched)
2. Children should not handle the machine without an adult supervision (unless your kid is smart enough to apply common sense)
3. Do not place it close to any liquids (unless if you want to destroy it, then go ahead and hopefully, it will not burn down your home. If that happens, I hope you have the insurance to cover the damage)
4. Do not operate it if the cord is damaged. If the machine functions not right, bring it to a qualified technician for examination, repair or electrical or mechanical adjustment. 
5. When not use it, always unplug it! 
6. Never add more than one measuring cap of kernels into the popping chamber at one time. DO NOT OVERFILL. (Oops) 
7. Do not add butter oil, shortening, water, salt, sugar or seasoning or any other substances. Damage will happen! 

Glad, I only told you the 7 rules! Wink

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fighting Spam with Canadian Laws

Industry Canada has FINALLY finalized its regulations under Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

Took the government long enough.

For this reason Vigorate Digital hosted a live event here in Toronto on the morning of January 23rd, 2014 - and I attended on the invitation of a friend. (And also because I wanted a chance to throw rotten vegetables at anyone who dared to defend spam as a means of advertising.)

Vigorate Digital does email marketing in Toronto and is therefore one of the companies that is keen on staying on the right side of the law by making sure their advertising campaigns are "opt in", "user consent" and therefore within the new regulations.

Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into effect on July 1st 2014... but what exactly will it do to spammers? Arrest them? Cut off their fingers? Slap them with a hefty fine? I would like to know.

After a little research I have determined it is to be a fine administered by the CRTC - which as we all know, has been completely incompetent when it comes to slapping fines to companies using telemarketing. The fine can be up to $10 million CDN - which means that the CRTC will be going after bigger companies / individuals, and they aren't going to be that worried about small mom and pop operations.

The big thing CASL is pushing is the idea of user consent - meaning users sign up or in some way ask for commercial emails to be sent to them. Without consent, those spam emails will be deemed illegal. (And there is a big complicated list of ways that consent or non consent can be determined.)

However after going through all this I have a hunch that most of this will result in a bureaucratic traffic jam when millions of spam complaints pour in and there isn't enough people to manage all the complaints and levy the appropriate fines.

Let alone collect the fines.

And what is the penalty for unpaid fines?

Imprisonment? Probably not. It is probably just more fines or "interest" on those fines. Which won't get paid.

So my problem with CASL is that while it seems like a nice idea, it probably has no teeth when it comes to catching the spammers who choose to just ignore the laws.

Another problem I have is that this does nothing to stop political organizations or charities from sending you spam - in which case I think those should also be required to have consent. Because if they're asking for donations, trying to sell some politician's book, it is basically commercial anyway.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lumber Yard in Ajax

I was browsing a lumber yard company's website recently when I came across the following joke posted on their website:

One morning I was at the lumber yard counter when a young guy came in and asked for a 4x2. 'You mean a 2x4?' asked the guy working behind the counter.

'Let me see,' the young carpenter said.

He dashed out the door. A moment later, he entered to tell the lumberman, 'Yeah. It's a 2x4.'

'How long do you want it?' asked the somewhat frustrated gentleman at the counter.

Off the kid went again. When he returned his answer was, 'A long time. We're nailing it to the deck.' 

 Now I admit it isn't hysterical funny, but I thought it was amusing that the lumber yard company had liked it so much that they posted it on their website.

The company in question is Mar-Lyn Lumber in Ajax, which sells a variety of wood products including...

  • Plywoods
  • Lauans
  • Pines and Spruce
  • Mouldings
  • Laminates
  • Engineered Wood Products
  • Natural Tentest
Now I ended up not buying anything from them - and I will point out that their website is really poorly designed and looks like it was last updated in 1996. But I think that is probably par for the course when it comes to lumber yard websites.

I also think that their company slogan is a bit funny and odd too.


They do apparently pride themselves on being able to find any kind of material - new or used - to fit a client's needs.

I did contact their email asking about a particular product and they were very helpful however, so I must say their customer service is top notch.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Attack of the Snowmen Car Commercial

I love the commercial below.

True, it is a car commercial for the 2014 Nissan Rogue - and this post is in no way an endorsement for the SUV itself - but it is a ringing endorsement for the good people in marketing who made the commercial.

Someone should make a mock apocalyptic movie called "Attack of the Snowmen". I think it would be hysterical.

They could even make a sequel called "Attack of the Snowmen 2 - The Icepocalypse!"


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Archery Lessons in Toronto

Some people call it the Katniss effect.

Whatever the reason, the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Avengers, Arrow (Green Arrow), The Walking Dead, Revolution, Reign and every other recent movie and TV which has archery of some form in it is promoting archery as the hottest growing sport in North America.

Young girls and boys are keen to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow and the shortage of archery schools in Toronto has never been so apparent - with waiting lists for people looking for archery lessons in Spring and Summer 2014.

The sudden surge in archery's popularity has been connected to the Hunger Games book and movie franchise, with Jennifer Lawrence topping the current box office as ace archer Katniss Everdeen in the recent film Catching Fire. But it isn't just the movies and TV shows that is fueling the archery movement. Some argue it is because some people want more personalized sports and have lost interest in team sports like baseball, hockey and football.

“Without a doubt it’s because of the movie. It’s the only thing we can account the huge increase in numbers we have,” says veteran archer Joan McDonald, who coaches the Canadian Olympic team and teaches students interested in Olympic recurve archery. Note - Getting into Olympic recurve archery is really expensive! It is about $2,000 for the equipment and another $20,000 per year for an Olympic coach.

“We certainly have more girls sign up than I’ve had for years and years,” says Joan McDonald, adding that enrolment in an all-girls Olympic recurve class tripled in just three years. She now operates a waiting list of people wanting to get into her classes - and the waiting list is over 30 people waiting for their turn to have the former Olympian coach them in archery.

“I keep turning people away, which I have to tell you hurts my soul,” says Joan McDonald, who keeps an eye peeled for Olympic talent. “Maybe I’m missing someone that could be really good.”

But thankfully there are other archery coaches in Toronto.

#1. Cardio Trek Archery Lessons

One such coach is Charles Moffat from Cardio Trek, who is a sports trainer / personal trainer who has been featured on the CBC, TSN and writes articles about archery accuracy for magazines. Cardio Trek offers archery lessons in Toronto where you can get 10 two-hour lessons for $520. Or you can sign up for a single lesson for $60 to see if you like it. All equipment is provided by the trainer.

Note - For special events like Halloween, Cardio Trek also offers zombie archery targets and similar "for fun" archery targets for a variety of events. The poor zombie on the right side here got what was coming to him. :)

#2. Elite Archery Lessons Toronto

Another company available is run by Micah of Elite Archery Lessons Toronto, which offers 20 three-hour archery lessons for $2,000 and *gives* you $500 worth of archery equipment as a signing bonus. So you get the lessons PLUS you get to keep the equipment.

#3. The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

The JCCC offers kyudo lessons, beginner and intermediate. But they only offer the lessons on Saturday mornings and admittedly kyudo is probably NOT what you are looking for. Kyudo is more like Japanese tea ceremony and is a very slow methodical process - and if you lack patience you are more likely to fall asleep during a kyudo class. The equipment is provided in the beginner class, but for the intermediate class you need to buy your own equipment.

#4. You Could Teach Yourself

Yes you could even take the DIY Approach to Learning Archery, in which case you should read the Canadian Daily article written by Charles Moffat of Cardio Trek. So this is a real possibility. You could buy your own archery equipment (costs you about $350 for all the equipment, $1,000+ if you want to learn compound bow instead, or $2,000+ if you want to do Olympic recurve). Thus you can learn archery by yourself, but if you discover it is harder than you were expecting then you might want to hire one of the above coaches to teach you archery the proper way.

Learn more about archery in Toronto by visiting the Archery Toronto website.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Frank Baum's Magical Stories


Written by Tamyka Bullen 

Recently, I started collecting Frank Baum's classical books about the adventurous world of OZ. Probably, his works were just the seeds for next generation writers to bring more fantasy and magics in novels in the Christianized countries. Christianity doesn't allow any magics as they believe that they are the practices of the devil.  When the Wizard of OZ movie was on the T.V; my blood rushed, I took the seat excitedly before it had started. When the movie started, my eyes fixed on the rich and colourful world full of fascinating creatures such as Tin Man, Lion King, Scarecrow man, flying monkeys, Munchkins, Witches, and the fake Wizard! Because at my time, closed caption for Deaf people didn't exist. I was fascinated with magics because all my life, witchcraft was my number one obsession. Years later, the Disney company decided to sell the DVDs of the movie, I rushed to the HMV and bought it. 
Yay yay yay...OZ: The Great and Powerful movie came out on the theatre. I was like WHAT!!! I WANT TO WATCH IT. I waited until the DVDs were on the shelves in any stores, I bought it and watched it right away. The movie was so good. I started to develop my admiration for the Green Witch. Eventually, I bought the Wizard of OZ monopoly game from the bookstore and the LIFE magazine featured fully on the Wizard of OZ. I have all Frank's books of the Wonderland of OZ. In the future, I will buy my favourite characters, Dorothy and Wicked Witch of the West! 
Here are the pictures of my collection so far! 

Frank Baum wrote fifteen stories about the OZ.


I bought this magazine a few months ago because the movie is still the number one favourite for 75 years! 


I used to play the Monopoly game with my family when I was a kid. When the bookstore was selling this game with the Wizard of OZ features, I was like I MUST HAVE IT! So I have it! Lalala lalala 





Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tom Jones - A Foundling, the BBC Mini Series

One of my favourite mini series of all time is a BBC production of "Tom Jones - A Foundling", which tells the story of an orphan boy adopted by a wealthy nobleman...

And the chaos that ensues as the rascally boy comes to age.

Written by Henry Fielding and first published in 1749 it has nothing to do with the singer "Tom Jones", who is himself named after the fictional "Tom Jones" from the book: "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling".

The plot includes rowdiness, drunkiness, swordfights, lies, schemes, wanton females (and males) and a great deal of humour.

Which is to say it has lots of things going for it. Part comedy, part soap opera, part three-musketeers-style duels.

In other words it is really entertaining television. In its original book format it included an handful of moral and ethical dilemnas that forced Henry Fielding's contemporaries to think hard, ideas that by today's standards of marrying for love, honesty in a relationship, fidelity and so forth - doesn't seem so unorthodox these days, but instead just helps to make a great comedy / drama.

And you can watch all of it for free on YouTube. :)





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