Poutine Festival

The Poutine Festival is on at the university – at lunch a swarm of chip trucks show up on campus to peddle their gourmand variants on the delicious Gravy/Fries/Cheese Curd Quebecois recipe.

Behold the Shwarma Poutine – it’s not going to win any prizes for looks (like something a dog might yack up) but it was an unexpectedly strong contender for my best of the fest pick. The standard trio of fries, curds and gravy make up the base, but our inspired chef threw on chunks of slow-roasted shwarma chicken, fried onions and mushrooms, and a layer of garlic sauce that bled down into the mix. I was cynical at first, but the garlic and gravy were actually a power couple – it was like an explosion of flavour. Word of warning though – you’re going to need the whole box of breath mints when you’re done or everyone’s going to know exactly what you ate.



While Natasha was shopping for clothes I ran next door to check out “Sail”, an outdoorsy store at the Trainyards in Ottawa. They’ve got a pretty huge space, and have an impressive selection of camping gear, sports clothing and gadgets. I was a bit surprised to see the hunting section upstairs – I’ve seen guns for sale in Canada before (rarely), but usually the hiking and hunting community are separated by their philosophical viewpoints.

The other half of the upstairs area was dominated by fishing – where I learned that, (like any other hobby I suppose,) you can drop multiple thousands of dollars on high-end equipment designed to outwit a creature with a brain smaller than a lentil. đŸ™‚ I mean compared to a hook with a worm on it, dropping some of these lures in the water must be like deploying the stealth bomber. But man – choose wisely! They have walls upon walls of brightly coloured tackle – It was bamboozling. I was starting to worry this was all a distraction from the giant hook about to snatch me up. First you’re hypnotized by the lures, then a chocolate bar dangles tantalizingly into view…


Monitor EUREKA!

Our monitor went dead (black screen) a few months back, but I couldn’t shake the suspicion that there was probably some repairable component blown on it, so I kept it around in my workshop planning to “fix” it. Let me state clearly: I have only the most rudimentary self-taught understanding of electronics. I can follow plans and do simple circuit-building, but “fixing” consumer electronics, for me, usually involves poking around with a multimeter, rubbing my chin a lot, and saying “hmmm” until I get frustrated and throw it out.

So this weekend I went way in over my head and studied the board for a few hours, soldered off a pair of suspicious capacitors and replaced them with $0.35 of new hardware. Imagine my surprise when… IT WORKED! ARISE, MY MONSTER! YOU ARE ALIVE!

WOOT WOOT! I am apparently smarter than I look!


Life Goals

I am deeply ashamed to admit that though I’ve spent a large fraction of my life on bicycles, I have never, ever, managed to properly pop and ride a wheelie. Everyone else managed to figure this out when they were twelve – I blame my preference for 10-speeds as a factor in my late unicycling development. All of this is going to change, though, because THIS SPRING, I VOW TO MASTER THE WHEELIE.

Don’t be surprised if you see me this summer riding gangsta style through your neighbourhood on one tire, winking at your mom. (Yes, I am aware that I’m 37 years old.)



I keep the blog family friendly, but I just want to put this out there – I can say with some certainty that  you’ve never really lived until you’ve seen a lovely girl with a glitter-covered plunger on her head performing the scintillating dance of the Daleks. Kudos to Loretta-Jean (SFW) of Nerdgirl Burlesque for her far-out performance at the oddly commingled board-games and burlesque night at the Clocktower pub. I never once, even the tiniest bit, considered that human-eradicating garbage cans could inspire that kind of … lasciviousness. CONGRATULATE.