Randoms

Long time no update. Let’s see, what’s new?

  • Last weekend we went to the Interior Design Show at the CNE. Overall it probably wasn’t worth the price of admission, but we did get a few good ideas for our new loft. The one I like the best is the concept of a “dressing room”; here’s an example picture:

    Example Dressing Room

    They say it’s an ideal conversion for a large walk-in closet or a spare room. Unfortunately we have neither. I was hoping we could convert the area taken up by the existing closets, but after looking at our floorplan again, I don’t think there’s enough room. If we gave up the terrace and enlarged the master bedroom there’d be plenty of space (we’d probably never use the terrace anyway), but exterior modifications aren’t allowed. Sigh, so much for that.

  • In truth I probably got more excited over the peripheral food-related things at the design show. One booth that was hawking floor tiles was luring people in with free samples of parmigiano reggiano. They had a whole wheel of the stuff, the ones that sell at Pusateri’s for a few thousand dollars each. There was also a stand selling fresh lemonade; half a smashed lemon (with its juice) in a cup, and the rest filled with sugar water. It looked good, but it was merely tolerable.

  • Speaking of Pusateri’s, late last year Ernest’s family came up to talk to the Bauer Lofts salespeople and to look at the model suite. The salesman was telling them how Vincenzo’s was moving into the building as well. They stared at him blankly of course, since Vincenzo’s is local to K-W. So then he explained, “It’s kind of like Pusatano’s in Toronto.” They continued to stare at him blankly. “You know, Pusatano’s, the gourmet supermarket?” So “Pusatano’s” is now our nickname for Vincenzo’s.

  • After the design show we went to a restaurant called Izakaya. It’s a Japanese word referring to a Japanese-style bar/restaurant. In Japan it’s supposed to be a place to drink and get some reasonably priced snack foods like noodles, dumplings, grilled meats, etc. Well the one in Toronto is crap; you can get better tasting food for much less money in Richmond Hill and/or Scarborough.

  • Back to the lofts, the first round sold well enough that they added another 3 floors (15 total now), inserted at floors 7, 8, 9. The original units on those floors get pushed up for no additional “floor premium” charge. Woohoo! Now we’re on the 12th floor, further above the rabble.

  • I’ve gotten unspecified rumblings that my worthless toilet paper (a.k.a. stock options for my non-publicly traded employer) may soon be not-so-worthless anymore. Guess it’s time to break out the Charmin instead.

  • A while ago, Bonnie thought it would be fun to play “Shag, Marry, or Push off a Cliff”. Here’s a description of the game, quoted from this Amazon.com review:

    “Each of the players suggests three names…. The person on the player’s right must then decide, if they absolutely had to shag one of them, marry another, and push another off a cliff, which it would be. It is usually best to pick three which are similar in some way.” Examples: Russell Crowe, Mr. Darcy, Hugh Grant. Or, Muammar al-Qaddafi, Ayatollah Khomeini, Idi Amin. The author then adds a caveat of typically Jonesian sensitivity: “It doesn’t matter if any of them are dead as it is only a game.”

    Never one to make things easy, Bonnie chooses three of her (non-dead) high school friends, ones she still keeps contact with too. Sigh, it’s a question requiring a careful answer, on par with the classic, “Does this dress make me look fat?”, only this one’s not so easily sidestepped. So I figured I might as well just answer it truthfully; if she didn’t want to know she shouldn’t have asked. Which is exactly why I didn’t ask a similar question in return. 😛

  • Has anyone noticed that the mainstream media seems to be starting a backlash against excessive consumerism and debt? It’s suddenly “cool” to not buy stuff. Check out this Toronto Star article, this New York Magazine book review, this MSNBC Q&A, and this San Francisco Chronicle article. Even Oprah’s on board.

    I mention this because if this movement gains traction it will be the start of things ending badly. Consumers not consuming in unison means reduced demand for goods and services, which means people out of jobs, which means people with less money, which means a further reduced demand for goods and services, etc.

    When “not consuming” becomes the popular thing, it’s even worse because there’s little that central banks and governments can do to stimulate demand. They can lower interest rates to zero and drop money from helicopters, but if people choose not to spend, they can’t be forced. Just talk to the Bank of Japan, they have plenty of experience in this area.

  • Since starting work in Waterloo almost 3 years ago, I’ve always wondered why 680 News (a Toronto-based AM radio station) comes through loud and clear during my morning commute, but in the evening it’s all static. I never bothered to look it up until recently; here’s the explanation.

  • Last month I went to Chicago for work; actually, it was an hour outside of Chicago in a tiny suburb. I spent 4 days in a motel by the side of the interstate, having fast food for almost every meal. I’ve complained before about always being sent on crappy trips like this for business; well I showed them this time. On the last night I drove into Chicago and had the most expensive omakase dinner at this restaurant.

    I sat at the sushi bar and since I didn’t really have much else to do, I took pictures of each dish. It seemed like that was a first for them though. After the first couple of pictures, waiter asked (jokingly I think), “You don’t work for another restaurant do you? Heh, heh.” Several courses later, the sushi chef behind the bar asks (this time seemingly seriously), “Do you work in the restaurant industry?” I wonder if that’s the reason they incorporated a live lobster into the omakase, then waived the charge at the end.

  • A couple weeks ago I was at Morty’s with some work people, and somehow the topic of Urban Dictionary came up. One of my co-workers used to be an editor for UD, and mentioned that the strangest/filthiest thing he came across during his tenure was “spider man”. The ensuing conversation went something like this:

    1: That’s absolutely nasty, imagine what would be going through the mind of a woman on the receiving end of that.
    2: Imagine what would be going through the mind of a man on the receiving end.
    1: Huh, how would that work?
    2: Think about it for a bit.
    2: Wait for it.
    3: I guess I could see that.
    1: I still don’t get it.
    3: Well I guess the woman could kind of go like, ‘Back at ya!’

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