Tag Archives: Canadian

Meeting The Ultimate Prairie Bitch – Alison Arngrim

Most people will remember Alison Arngrim as the wickedly evil bitch, Nellie Oleson, from the television series “Little House On The Priaire.” The show ran from 1974-1983 and since I was born in 1975 so much of my experience of “Little House” was in reruns in the early 1980’s when the show aired on one of the three channels my family had while growing up in the rural areas outside of Calgary. You see in Calgary, which sits in Canada’s Prairie region and the outskirts of Calgary didn’t look so different from the scenery of the show. Also Calgary is well known for the Calgary Stampede celebration where the entire city embraces it’s Wild West past and is home to Heritage Park Historical Village which preserves many Little House era buildings in a town like setting, so the “Little House On The Prairie” show didn’t seem quite so removed from the 1980’s I grew up in.

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Boston’s Gourmet Pizza Brings Canadian Pizza To Encinitas

It seems when it comes to pizza, you often are faced with several choices, such as New York Thin Crust style verses Chicago Deep Dish style. Then it’s often between mom and pop locations and the “chain” places. And even within the “chains” you get a choice between the cheap and mediocre places, like Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Domino’s, and Little Caesar’s which are to pizza what McDonald’s is to hamburgers. And there are even more premium chain places like Round Table Pizza, California Pizza Kitchen, Sammy’s Woodfired Pizzas, and Chicago UNO, that offer better pizza experiences. Joining the foray of the premium style chains, one of Canada’s most popular pizza chains, Boston Pizza, are expanding into the United States branding these locations as “Boston’s Gourmet Pizza” and positioning themselves as a restaurant and sports bar offering two experiences under one roof.

You may be asking, if Boston’s Gourmet Pizza originates from Canada, why do they call themselves “Boston’s” instead of some city in Canada? Well the answer to that lies in its history, as Boston Pizza was started by a Greek Immigrant to Canada in 1964. When he was looking for a name for his pizza place that he was starting in Edmonton, Alberta, he felt with The Boston Bruins, The Boston Red Sox, The Boston Celtics, and even Boston Creme Pie, the name Boston was recognizable and established. In the words of founder, Gus Agioritis, Boston meant “Big Leagues.” The company grew quickly through franchising quickly and today has over 325 locations throughout Canada and over 50 in the US since the company first expanded into the US in 1998.

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How I Met Your Mother Is Surprisingly Good For A Sitcom

While one of the disadvantages of not bothering with cable or other access to broadcast television is that I don’t stay current on “hot” shows while they’re hot. So I tend to get to them a little bit late if I get to them at all because I usually wait until I can rent the DVDs of a show one season at a time or hopefully they’ll make their way to the Netflix instant streaming so I don’t have to bother with a disc being mailed. The advantage to this is that I get to enjoy the show commercial free and several episodes at one time. In a way it’s kind of like taking a crash course in show. Recently one of the shows I’ve rented from Netflix is the “How I Met Your Mother” series.

As far as I know, “How I Met Your Mother” is still on the air producing episodes, and I’m sure if I cared enough, I could Google it and and find out for sure, but in all honesty it doesn’t really make much of a difference to me because I’m not going to be watching it when it broadcasts. I had added the first season of the show to my Netflix rental queue ages ago and it finally made it’s way to the top of the list and it was delivered to me on DVD courtesy of the US Postal Service. While I was a bit reluctant to start a television series, this one actually was a lot of fun so I added all the other available seasons to the top of my list. I made my way through all four of the seasons that are presently available on DVD in about three weeks time. So instead of having to suffer through four years of waiting, I got it all in a very short period of time.

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Google Me – A Look Into One Man’s Experiences Googling Himself

Thanks to Netflix’s ability to stream movies directly to my television using their Instant Streaming technology, I took the opportunity to check out a really interesting documentary called, “Google Me.” The film is a look at what happened when Jim Killeen looked up his own name on Google and decided to see what would happen if he met the other people around the world who shared his name. The movie is a fascinating journey as Jim meets six other men named Jim Killeen from all walks of life.

What Jim found was more than six other Jim Killeen’s but was only able to get six of them to agree to meet with him and be interviewed on camera. Additionally he also asked each to submit to a DNA test so that ultimately it could be seen if any of the family blood lines for any of the men are related. What he found in his Google search ended up meeting an Irish Priest, a retired cop, a father of eight, a Scottish traffic engineer, a sexual swinger, and even an Australian CEO. As Jim gets to know each of these men, he becomes inspired to take it to the next level and not just have the experience of meeting the other Jim Killeens all to himself, he gets them all together and using Google, found the perfect place to do it, Killeen, Texas.

In the process of meeting these Jim Killeens and looking to create a film about the experience we also see Jim go through the trials and tribulations of securing permission from Google to do the film, and even teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and winning money on a poker circuit to be able to finish the film. Ultimately, this makes Jim Killeen a lot more of an every man as you can’t help but emphasize with him with every minor setback in the process and celebrating the triumphs as we discover how seven Jim Killeens from around the globe who most likely would never have met without a little search engine called Google.

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Ghirardelli 86% Cacao Chocolate Is Nasty

In my time on the Belly Fat Cure, one of the earliest things recommended was very dark chocolate, first Jorge Cruise was recommending the Green & Black’s‘s 85% Dark Chocolate, and more recently the Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie 85% Cacao dark chocolate. Both offer dark chocolate with only 5 grams of sugar per serving. I’ve never been a big fan of dark chocolate in my life so I’ve resisted trying either brand…until now.

Pretty much my indulgences in Chocolate on the Belly Fat Cure have been in the form of sugar free chocolates such as the line of sugar free chocolates from Hershey’s which includes miniature sized candies of several Hershey owned brands like Hershey’s (Chocolate Bars), Reese’s (Peanut Butter Cups), and York (Peppermint Patties), which have been fine, but sometimes not quite as indulgent as I would like. I’ve also just allowed myself to have the chocolates I do like but only in very small tiny portions, such as a single Dove square, or my favorites imported from Canada such as mini Aero bars and mini Coffee Crisp bars. I’ve actually done quite well with those, I ordered some from Canada in July and I still have a sizable number of the mini bars left and it’s now February. In the old days they wouldn’t have lasted a week, much less 7 months so far.

So I happened to be in the store and saw the Ghirardelli chocolate, and thought I’ll give it a try as I can have four squares of it for a single serving. So I got it out to the car, and opened up the package and broke off a small piece and bit into it, and let’s just say, I quickly posted on Twitter that not only was it my first ever purchase of the 86% Cacao chocolate, but also my last purchase and that my opinion of it was that it was “Fucking Disgusting.”

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Where Have All The A&W’s Gone?

Every once in a while I get a craving and generally nothing really satisfies it until I get what I’m craving. And today I was just getting the bug to have some food from an A&W restaurant. I grew up in Canada and A&W’s are one of the first and larger fast food chains in Canada. I’d even go so far as to say they are far more popular in Canada than I’ve seen here in the United States (using in Southern California anyway). Usually when I get a craving for A&W its due to nostalgia for the Canadian A&Ws. I know the last time I got a craving for A&W and went to one of the ones here in San Diego I was disappointed because American A&Ws are nothing like the Canadian ones. The menus don’t offer the same items and the food doesn’t even taste the same. So I knew I was probably setting myself up for another disappointment but it’s been a couple of years since I last went to A&W but I was willing to chance it.

These days A&W is one of the “brands” of restaurants part of the YUM! Corporation which consists of all the restaurant brands bought up by the Pepsi Corporation. (In Canada, A&W’s were started by the American A&W’s but were sold off in 1972 and have no ties to the American A&W operations) I’m not sure if YUM! is just a new name for the division, a spun off & separate company, or even sold off, but anyway, they are home to familiar restaurant names, like Kentucky Fried Chicken (or KFC), Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W, and Long John Silvers. Pepsi originally bought up these restaurants so they could ensure these restaurants served only Pepsi products as beverages. One of the concepts YUM has been doing in recent years is putting in single locations that offer more than one brand in one restaurant. Usually it ends up being a KFC or Taco Bell co-branded with one of the other not quite as popular brands.

In any case, all of the ones in San Diego county were KFC/A&W’s and oddly enough all of them are in the South part of the county, none of them were in North County. So none of the locations are conveniently located for me. So I headed off to the closest location that Google maps pointed me to. I even checked it on the street view to see the location before going there and sure enough, there was a KFC & A&W combination store. However, when I got there, the signage for the A&W was gone, just the KFC remained. From the dirt on the walls where the signs used to be, it looked like it must have been a recent removal. Continue reading Where Have All The A&W’s Gone?

Trying Hodad’s, One Of CNN’s Top 5 Burgers In America

Hodad's BurgerIn one of those the truth is so strange it sounds like fiction moments, I was listening to Mary Occhino on my Sirius Satellite Radio because I woke up fairly early this morning. Her show now airs here in California between 4 am and 7 am due to the recent addition of Rosie O’Donnell to the Sirius XM Stars channel lineup. I decided to give Rosie O’Donnell’s program a try and stayed listening to her show.

During the Rosie Radio show, she was discussing how she and her daughter are addicted to one of the coffee style drinks at Dunkin’ Donuts. So I ended up checking out Dunkin’ Donuts webpage and on a long shot checked to see if any were in town. And it came up with no results. But a Google search yielded some different results, and so I ended up on Yelp.com where some local reviewers of some local donut shop were reminiscing about how that particular shop used to be Dunkin’ Donuts at one point in time. On the right hand side of the page was a Canadian Maple Leaf that caught my eye. Naturally as a Canadian, I had to see why there was a Canadian Maple Leaf on this page of reviews for a local donut shop that used to be a Dunkin’ Donuts however many years ago.

The Maple Leaf image was basically being used as a profile picture and it was tied to a list called “Comfort Foods” that was under a header called “Related Lists.” So whoever this person is had prepared a list of locations on Yelp, that he or she felt were great comfort food locations in San Diego, so out of curiosity, I clicked on because I’m assuming that he or she is also Canadian like me, so maybe they would have similar tastes.

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Sugar Free Nanaimo Bars – The Second Batch

Nanaimo Bars PanAfter the successful attempt last week of making Sugar Free version of the Canadian dessert, Nanaimo Bars, I decided to make a second batch and this time allowing the custard layer to firm up before adding the top chocolate layer. And by placing the pan in the freezer after adding the custard layer and taking a few minutes to clean up the kitchen some and them making the top chocolate layer worked wonders this time in getting the right level of separation of the layers in the finished dessert. The chocolate layer was easy to spread on top of the custard without it mixing in.

As seen in the photo above, I don’t have an 8×8 square cake pan, so I have been using a 9 inch round cake pan instead. I think this causes the custard layer to not be quite as thick as it would have in the slightly smaller pan, but still works great. I’m still really pleased with the results of this dessert and it’s been a very delicious treat. I need to whip up another batch and take a pan into Jorge Cruise’s office so I can introduce him to another incredible dessert that works well with his Belly Fat Cure program.

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Busy Week Full Of Pride In San Diego

Pride FlagAfter having attended the last two San Diego Pride Parade’s in the last couple of years and having to work, I decided this year I was going to make sure I saved a few days of time off so that I could take part in the festivities this year. And with the Chantal Kreviazuk concert in Los Angeles last week, I decided to add a few more days to my time off request and as a result I was able to take part in quite a few activities.

On Tuesday night, after I had stopped by Jorge Cruise‘s office to say hello and show off the results of my 47 pounds of weight loss using his incredibly awesome Belly Fat Cure program, I treated myself to a late lunch at Which Wich sandwich shop in Hillcrest and then because I was in the area, I saw The Center for San Diego’s LGBT community was hosting a Bear Pride Bingo event that a lot of my local friends were attending, so I quickly sent in an RSVP and headed on over to the event. For $15 for a packet of bingo sheets, $2 for a dabber, and $1 for an optional game, I was set. I didn’t win any of the games but came very close on a few occasions. I did happen to know a couple people who did win, namely Vito Grandolfo and Tim Palmer. I even went with Vito and his friend Earl Shearin over to Brians’ American Eatery for a post-Bingo bite to eat. (Many thanks to Earl who wouldn’t let me pay for my meal.)

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