I do not have one cohesive thought to turn into a thorough blog post. You’ll just have to settle for these things rattling around inside my brain.

I have been out for sashimi twice in one month. This isn’t really a record, just something to note. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it and how much a part of my life it used to be. Luckily we have a good restaurant within walking distance of my place.

The laces in my boots need replacing. They came with these thick laces which have a white string inside. The thing is, it isn’t a straightforward operation. There seem to be some preventative measures in place to make it difficult for me. I never thought I would see the day I needed to watch a YouTube video just so I could change the laces in something.

Winter has finally arrived. I have shoveled numerous times and been victim to the snowplow a couple of times. My students have said that they find it beautiful –but only the first time. After that, they start to ask questions that display more of their unhappiness than happiness. At least they usually shoot one or two videos for social media when they are happy.

I’ve been reading a lot during my commute. I haven’t found that diamond in the rough book yet, but I am sure I will find a great one this year sometime. I haven’t set goal for the number of books. I just want to be either entertained or informed.

This time last year, I was hastily putting together a trip to Morocco. This year, I have volunteered to teach a bunch of one to one classes after my workday normally finishes–so any trips will have to wait until after that at least. I should also save my money to pay down my mortgage. I am not currently affected by the increased rates, but that might happen in the future.

I have chosen a few irregular movies from Netflix. I don’t know if I have bad taste in movies or if I am subconsciously choosing movies that challenge the norm. Again, maybe I am trying to unearth a classic that nobody else has found. I should probably stop doing that.

I just watched An Eye for Beauty. It was a film full of beautiful scenery from the Charlevoix area of Quebec. The images were so beautiful in fact that I wanted to pack up and move there. As for the movie itself was a bit….actually, I cannot put my finger on it.

I am waiting for a few of my shows to return to the TV schedule. I wonder if some of them have been cancelled without me knowing about it. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

Posted in books, comfort food, ethnic food, food, food blogging, Japanese, movies, perfect moment, snow | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Fast Walker

Photo by Stanislav Kondratiev on Pexels.com

When I was young, I was often accused of being a fast walker. I was also a loud talker–but that is a story for another day. I distinctly remember one of my friends telling me to slow down as we made our way to the comic book shop. I didn’t think I was rushing, but he certainly did.

This morning I turned right onto the street perpendicular to mine to start the short but arduous trek to the bus stop. In my peripheral vision, I spotted a moving shadow in the darkness that is early morning still. I knew I was ahead and expected to lose them along the way. I was leaving late and I was a little afraid of missing the bus. In addition, I was, after all, a fast walker.

Not so, it turns out. The shadow quickly closed the distance between us and the sound of feet crunching on snow became insistent. Within metres, he (as I quickly discovered) passed me and was in the lead.

Vainly, I tried to maintain pace, but could not. With each step, this lanky person was widening the gap. It was the longer stride, I told myself. He probably had drunk several cups of espresso I wagered. I reassured myself that he was probably trying to get to the earlier bus.

I felt better when he broke into a bit of a trot–a feat made more impressive by the heavy work boots he was wearing. However, I still felt cold grip of age and luring intensity of Christmas food indulgences. In light of yesterday’s cycling plans/dreams, this does not bode well.

Posted in bus, commuting, perfect moment, speed, Viva, walking, York Region, YRT | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bike Shop Saturday

I am not entirely sure what made me want to go to the bike shop. It could have been that the weather has been rather mild. It could have been that I saw people out riding their bikes. It could have been that I was thinking of my birthday and had presents on my mind. Either way, I found myself in the bike shop on Saturday after doing some errands. If the title or picture haven’t given it away (because I haven’t written the title yet, or inserted the picture) I should explain that the bike shop is a special brand of kryptonite. I hardly ever leave without buying something.

When I bought my first pair of cycling shoes, I had my eyes on a different pair than I ended up purchasing. They looked cool and they were in my price range. What they weren’t was comfortable. They were ill fitting and in a fit of practicality that I am not usually able to manage, I went with the pair that fit well. The cool pair came in fantastic black. The well fitting pair came in white. I asked if they came in black, but was rebuffed. They probably came in black but the store wasn’t interested in ordering them for me. Since I wanted to get riding, I reasoned that colour was hardly important, but I never stopped to wonder how grimy that white would become. Despite my reservations the shoes have served me well. Most importantly the Boa closing system was fantastic. I love that and wish I had it on my street shoes and boots–maybe someday.

Fast forward to Saturday and I tried on a couple of pairs of shoes. They both came in black, fit well, came with the Boa closing system that I liked, and were in my price range. When I had pretty much selected mine, the store owner or worker (I go so infrequently that I get confused) asked me if I wanted to try on a 600 dollar pair of shoes. Who wouldn’t say yes to that? Was this a sneaky sales tactic? Probably. Did it bother me? No. No matter how good those shoes were, there was no way I could afford that. I’ve got some cycling related expenses this year (new helmet, cycling computer, …..carbon wheels) and that kind of money is already spoken for. If I had extra money, I would be putting it away for house stuff (kitchen renovations, paying down the mortgage before I become a victim of increased rates).

Skeptically, I tried on the shoes. The fit was good. The use of two Boas was especially welcome as it made for better feel. The real thing was that the colour was awesome. I have to admit it, for a brief few moments I was tempted. They looked so good. Looking at the photo you might also conclude they looked cool. They also came in a neon blue, but that didn’t really inspire me.

A day later, my landscape is covered in snow and only Zwift will see my new shoes. I guess that’s fair.

Posted in bicycles, bike shop, cyclery, cycling, cycling gear, cycling shoes, perfect moment, shoes, shopping, spending money | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Meaning of Non-Stick Pan

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who put forth their guesses. I really enjoyed reading them and wanted to respond immediately, but that wouldn’t give some people enough time to post their speculations. It was probably one of my most read posts in quite some time–though to be fair, I did post it on Facebook.

In case you missed it, you can read the post here. In yesterday’s post, I asked people to guess the meaning of the expression “He’s a non-stick pan” which was used to describe a person appearing on the (ahem) reality show called Love Without Borders.

I admit, here in west, we usually refer to slick politicians who can get away with murder as “Teflon”–as in nothing sticks to them. In fact, I am pretty sure that John Gotti’s nickname was the Teflon Don. However, this was not what my girlfriend was getting at.

For the record, my girlfriend is from Iran and she was translating a phrase in Farsi to English.

Basically, my friend Kristin was right. In this case my girlfriend was trying to explain that this person had no positive traits and that there was nothing alluring or inviting about him. He was unlovable. He had no personality and couldn’t attract anyone. This was meant to contrast the person he was set up with who was warm and romantic, but didn’t seem to be making any headway.

Though this sounds rather harsh, you have to remember we were just dishing about reality TV participants who were in a rather unreal situation.

Thanks for playing everyone.

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A Non-Stick Pan

Yesterday, my girlfriend and I were watching Love Without Borders (Don’t judge me. I love a good train wreck–I watched every episode of Taipei Diaries) and we were remarking about the different characters–sorry, real people. I guess I have my suspicions about “reality TV” and whether or not it is “real”. I tend to think of everyone as characters or caricatures.

I digress.

We were discussing the personalities on the show and she called one of them “a non-stick pan.” I wish I could have taken a picture of my face at that particular moment. It would have made for a good explanation of bewilderment or at the very least confusion. I couldn’t work it out. I had to pause the show and get an explanation.

Rather than explain it to you, I am going to put it out for you to guess what she meant. While most of you do not know my girlfriend, you might still be able to intuit what she meant. I am curious.

Please let me know by commenting below. Despite asking for your names and other information, you can just leave those boxes blank if you wish. I really want a lot of comments. Please feel free to share with any of your social media friends. It wasn’t obvious to me, thought it was quite clear to my girlfriend.

Posted in blog, blog posts, growing your blog, increasing blog traffic, questions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Nostalgia in Snack Form

One of my coworkers went back to Japan over the Christmas break. I was a little envious because I haven’t been back in more than a decade. I almost went back in November when I considered going to Vietnam for a hiking and biking tour (I would have made a stopover in Japan) but instead went to Sri Lanka via Carcassonne. She asked me if I wanted her to bring me back anything. That’s probably a dangerous question because I want everything.

I settled on a box of Hi-Soft caramels. These are things that I had been able to get in Canada, but the last few times I visited the Japanese store, they were nowhere in evidence and no amount of pestering (in either Japanese or English) could entice the staff to search the storeroom for me. Thankfully she brought me a box.

In addition, I have been saving a tube of Marble chocolates (similar to bitter chocolate smarties). My birthday is coming up soon, so I think they will figure in a quiet moment of personal celebration. Either that or my temptation will get the best of me and I will eat them both sooner than expected.

Posted in birthday, chocolate, Japan, Japanese, Japanese snacks, snacks | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Kind Monday

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Here is some wisdom direct from the vault of the super-obvious. Friday can’t see to come fast enough and Sunday night arrives far too soon. My head and my bed say I should be there now, but the keyboard has other ideas. It would rather I type out words than join one of my recuring dreams of travel or bookstore searching. For those that write, I suppose this too is obvious.

The clock ticked past midnight as I was typing this. Hello Monday, I only ask that you be kind.

Posted in dreams, Mondays, perfect moment, sleep | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Cute and Creative

While my decorations are put away, I suspect there are many out there who have not yet put away their tree and ornaments (not to mention the outdoor lights). If you fall into that category, rest assured that you are not the only one. The library still has their very cute and creative Christmas booktree up.

I thought this was really cute and I am sorry that I didn’t visit at all in December. I think this is a design idea worth sharing.

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A quick look at the calendar tells me that the days are getting longer, but my experience over the past week made me doubt science. Every day, getting on and off the bus was really just strolling in darkness. I know it was just the grey winter sky, but it really wasn’t particularly pleasing.

Friday, perhaps fortunate that my students had no desire to hang around and ask me questions, I exited the building quickly and caught the earlier bus. Though the bus driver was no Formula One ace on loan to York Region Transit, I managed to make it home early and was greeted by a pleasantly bright sky. I finally felt like the days were getting longer.

Posted in commuting, perfect moment, public transportation, transportation, winter, York Region | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Are You a Planner

While cleaning up this morning, I found my 2022 planner under a pile of books. I bought it at the dollar store some time after the new year began. My girlfriend bought one and so did I. I am not sure if she inspired me to do so, or if I had decided before I went. I really can’t recall. It cost me four dollars and with tax that brings the price to 4:52. I chose a black and white covered book. Perhaps I was feeling melancholy. Perhaps there was nothing better.

There must be some part of me that thinks writing things down in a planner is important. I’ve bought lots of them over the years. I even have a leather bound one back when they were popular. I bought it in Japan and loaded it with lots of accessories–kind of like those binders we had in middle school–but for adults and business executives. If I remember correctly, it is called system techo. I still have it and it is really good shape. It still has lots of useful information in it. I just have never bought the calendar pages for it.

I have been in an out of the dollar store a few times over the past few weeks. I even went there today. However, I did not even consider getting another planner. In fact, neither one of us even mentioned it. It’s probably a good thing because as I look at the 2022 version, the thing is completely blank. There isn’t one single entry and I doubt I even opened it once in the past year. I know I planned stuff, and I certainly had a full schedule. I made lots of to do lists and to buy lists–none of them featured in this book.

I guess I can consider that a lesson learned.

Do you use a daily/weekly/monthly planner? Is it paper of digital?

Posted in dollar store, dollar tree, dollarama, plans | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments