Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Novel Idea

Since putting my running on hold six months ago I have had a little bit of a vacancy in my free time. Yes, most of my time is filled by playing with my son and wife and doing family oriented things. Don't get me wrong, I love doing family stuff but I think everyone needs a hobby or something to call their own. I have gotten into tea and also went to a camera club a learned a lot about my camera and how to take better photographs. Apparently there is more to photography then just self portraits taken on a cell phone while doing a duck-face.....who knew? I enjoy all the new stuff I have learned about aperture, shutter priority/speed, and ISO. I had originally thought all those buttons on my camera were just for show and didn't REALLY do anything.

Along with photography I am now trying to read more...that's right...full actual books. Not choose your own adventure novels like I enjoyed up until grade 11. All kidding aside I have read a few books and go on streaks of reading if I read a few good books in a row. however it seems like whenever I read a bad book I stop reading all together. Maybe its the fact that I will finish the book no matter how terrible it is.

While at Cole Harbour Place library with the family I came across a section of books entitled "BANNED". OOOOH Scandalous. I saw the books 'Of Mice and Men' and 'Cannery Row' by John Steinbeck and thought why not.....They were banned at some point so they must be good or realistic like most banned books are. I grabbed the two novels and figured I would give them a shot. Especially after seeing the creepy picture of Steinbeck on the back of 'Of Mice and Men'. He looks like a cross between Salvador Dali, Hitler, and The MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD. Not to mention I feared if I did not sign out the books he would come out of the book and put his cigarette out on my face.

The power of persuasion , or just sheer intimidation, or  is it the look of  'I really don't care if you read this book or not'.  I guarantee that picture would not fly on the back of a book nowadays.

It only took 2 sittings to read of Mice and Men as it was a very good book. The reason it was banned was clearly because of the use of the 'N-word' or perhaps his portrait on the back of the novel. The writing reminded me of 'Johnny got his gun' in that it was written how people would have actually spoken, not unrealistic pretentious english. Kind of like reading this blog in all of hits horrible grammar glory!! The book is a good quick read and may spark your passion to start reading more or read more books like this. There is something about reading the classics. Maybe its so I can answer some random Jeopardy or trivia questions in the future, but I will continue reading them. Catcher in the Rye is next on the list. Admittedly I once tried reading War and Peace........After 113 pages I had no clue what was going on or who was who. I have since found out that there exists a book to help you read War and Peace that lets you see who the families are and stuff. I figure someone should just rewrite it and use Russian hockey players names and then I am sure I could follow it. Embarassingly I remembered the character Fedorovna for this reason. Come on, a book about the Malkin's, Ovechkin's and Datsyuks would be way better than Bezukhov's, Kuragin's and Rostova's.

Now if you haven't read Johnny got his Gun you should. Its a extremely realistic and unsettling book. Which is why it was banned as it does not glorify war and have everyone come out a hero. 

As a final thought "55% of quotes on the internet are made up" - Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Little things.....

I do not often get overly excited when I purchase things that I need. Especially small things. However this weekend I was at the Atlantic Superstore, which is the same as all the Superstores throughout Canada, and came across a travel tea tumbler that I have had my eye on for a month or so. I did not want to buy it online and pay for shipping and I had not been in a tea shop that sold them. So when I saw it I knew I had to buy it. The best part is it is only $14 and the reviews for it are great.......which cannot be said for a lot of  travel tea tumblers. Its called the Aladdin tea infuser mug. It has a built in infuser basket that can be lifted via a lever out of the tea once your tea had reached the appropriate steep time. Its ingenious design allows you to actually be on the move while your tea steeps and take the basket out of the tea without opening the mug. No other mugs allow you to do this. It prevents over-steeping and bitter tea. I have been using it the last few days and its awesome. Keeps your tea hot for quite a while and the mug does not get too hot to the touch. Also its a double walled BPA free plastic and its microwavable(not the lid) and dishwasher safe(not the lid).

basket  retracted into lid

Basket released into mug

I highly recommend buying this mug. Also if you drink coffee the basket filter is fine enough that you can brew your coffee on the go as well(I have not tried this). This mug is very solid...does not feel cheaply made and hold quite a bit of liquid...a lot more than many tea tumblers on the market. For the price and how well it works I give this product a 9.5 out of 10.

Along with my new mug I also purchased some genmaicha from David's Tea. $10 for a full tin(including the actual tin). My wife had informed me how much she like genmaicha from her time working at a sushi house and I also like the tea there so I decided to buy some. This was easier than trying to make my own by roasting brown rice(which I tried and was pretty happy with the outcome).  The tea is very good. Reminds me eating sushi at Opa sushi in Prince Rupert and other sushi houses. If only it came with actual sushi.

Tin full of nutty buttery genmaicha!!!

On Tuesday I received 4 free samples of tea from NINA's Paris, which is now available inn North America. I tried the Je T'aime tea as soon as I got to work. Its black tea blend with vanilla and caramel. It smelled amazing but I did not really like it all that much. I do not really drink black tea so its hard for me to really judge this. There were also 3 other samples in the package which I have not tried yet but I am sure I will very very soon. 

My new obsession with tea is starting to take up a great deal of cupboard space which includes kettles mugs, cups, tea tins and infusers along with lots of other things. 

My favorite mug for at home is my teal infuser mug from David's tea. I love this mug and it looks super cool along with my White chai from Teavana.

I am drinking so much tea that I am starting to look and feel different. i think it works for me though

Now to totally change gears and look at some major news in the world of running. South African runner, and National Hero, Oscar Pistorius known as the blade runner has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Oscar shot his girlfriend to death claiming he thought she was a robber and did not notice she got out of bed. When I heard this I assumed he had used some blades to kill her and not a gun. However word is that his excuse probably wont stand up in court and that he does not have a leg to stand on. Sorry It has been a few posts since I put in any inappropriate humor and jokes.

Until next time...............when in doubt, PINKY out!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pretty Fly for a White Chai

Since I have moved to Nova Scotia a funny thing has happened. I have traded beer drinking for tea sipping. Don’t get me wrong here, I still enjoy a cold pint of beer. Its just that I like the beer but it does not like me. I feel awful whether I drink one beer or half a dozen. However I have learned while raising a baby/toddler being hungover does not work. AT ALL.

Back to tea. Before September of 2012 I hand t really ever drank tea. Sure I had a cup of red rose or a sip of chamomile, but I had never been interested in tea. That changed early in September when an Xray student I was instructing brought in some tea. It was not in a tea bag which seemed very strange to me and it honestly kind of looked like a bag of pot(someone told me…..I wouldn’t know). The student explained to me that it was oolong tea from Taiwan. He put a couple leaves in a glass for me then poured some hot water on it and said to let it steep for a couple minutes. After waiting a couple of minutes I looked in the glass and saw the little balls of green had fully opened up and were full tea leaves. The taste was amazing and from that point I was hooked. Every day at work I would drink some and Mike(the student) would tell me more and more about tea and how much there was to learn.

Fast forward to today and I drink at least a cup of tea a day. I have slowly acquired a small collection of different teas and I am learning what I like and what I don’t. Until yesterday my favorite tea was Teavana’s White Ayurvedic Chai. Lots of cinnamon and spice mixed with white tea. It is uuper tasty before bed or just relaxing. It also smells amazing.

A white Ayurvedic Chai from Teavana

I said ‘WAS’ my favorite because yesterday I checked the mail and in it was a package from Mike of  high mountain Oolong!!!! Or gao shan cha(spring season) from MeiShan area to be more specific. I couldn’t believe how excited I was to receive this. It was like getting a free six pack in the mail when I was 19!!! I cant explain how good this stuff is. Its sweet and flavorful but also subtle. If you are a tea fan I highly recommend trying some good quality High Mountain Oolong.

Oolong from Taiwan.  Pictures don't do this tea justice

I have also been drinking some Organic Japanese Sencha. This is apparently Japan’s most popular drink. Its green tea and it is pretty good. This is similar to the tea you may get at a sushi place or a Japanese restaurant. However usually the stuff at Sushi places is Genmaicha which has toasted rice in it….which I have tried doing myself with pretty good results.

Davids Teas Organic Japanese Sencha

Well, I am going to stop going on about tea as I am in NO WAY an expert and anyone who is probably laughing at what I’ve said. I simply enjoy Tea and everything about it. Plus the added health benefits from drinking tea are hard to ignore. Surely I will post more on this topic, but I am sure most of you are saying ‘Oh, the humani-Tea’ by now. So I will stop.    
Lastly I just want to thank everyone who has been reading my blog. I like any feedback positive or negative. I would love some suggestions on what to write about as well.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Revelations, Realizations and other big words

Predictions (its a big word too!!)

I would like to start by saying that if you read my last post I was correct about the Super Bowl outcome. Not only did I pick the winning team but I also think that Boldin was robbed of the MVP award......but I digress.


Yesterday while at work a patient of mine asked me how old I was. I responded with '29'. That's funny because I am not 29 and haven't been for 4 years. Am I the only one who does this? Subconsciously do I feel like I am still in my twenties?? Or is it the memory loss that comes with old age that is starting to kick in? It was the first time I stopped and thought 'Holy crap, I'm almost in my mid thirties'. Never had I cared about my age, as it is true that you are only as old as you feel. With a toddler at home with endless amounts of energy, working full time, completing a big move etc, etc, I have been feeling a bit 'older' and run down. So it surprised me when I blurted out '29'. Shortly after I said 29 the patient did make a comment to my flecks of grey hair...Ok they may be more than just flecks....platinum highlights if you will. Using just for men, touch of grey is still a few years away though. All this reminded me of a story from around a year ago when I went to get my haircut at a local barbershop. I sat in the chair and the female hair dresser said 'you nice looking young man. how you want your hair cut'. then she got a closer look at my hair and said 'Oh, from the front you look like young man, but from up close your hair look like Old Man'. Really? That is a good way to get a small tip or no tip at all. Just insult the customer. She then said 'you should get hair cut like that', and pointed at a picture of a guy who looked like Mr.Petermen from Seinfeld.......seriously....Mr. F-ing Petermen.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that just because I have some grey it doesn't make me old. The fact that I wear depends and drink prune juice while watching old re-runs of murder she wrote does(I'm kidding). I've realized being 30 is great. Having a beautiful wife, and a young son, just makes life that much better and gives life a purpose and direction. I don't think I would have been as prepared for a child in my twenties or responsible enough to move across Canada. I have enjoyed my thirties greatly so far and they are only a third of the way through.


Well, as for revelations I don't have any. It was a big word that looked good in the subject and possibly helped keep people reading my ramblings on realizations.  

As for other big words : colloquialism, rhombicosidodecahedron, and CN tower.

You're Welcome

Touch of Grey


Touch of Grey I apologize for this video looking like it was shot through a potato.