May 27, 2015

Hello? Helllo?? HELLO!!??


May 25, 2015

Hobo Gauntlet Podcast - Episode 8

As per the post below, on episode 8 I'll touch on good places to hide a body in Toronto, I'll rant about my day at the Jays game, an ass clown update and my ban from Tanki Online.

Musically, episode 8 is all over the map and we'll hear from, among others, The Hawaiian Pups, Ministry, The Stills, Love Spit Love and Suede.

Best Places To Hide A Body In Toronto: #49 - Don River

This cozy little spot is perfect for your first or second murder as it's close to the downtown core, but juuust slightly off the beaten path. I won't tell you exactly where it is know..evidence and all. 

No Shank You

I commented on this over on Toronto, who was complaining about tiny coffee cups often found at breakfast diners. I have a related irritant regarding tiny diner coffee cups.
Maybe I'm labelled a pain in the ass by servers who attend to me, but I always prefer a fresh, clean cup when they come around to refill your coffee. In other words, don't pour fresh coffee over the few remaining ounces of cooling coffee in my cup. Servers will often come by and say "would you like me to warm that up for you?" Um, I don't want that hellish alchemy at all thank you very much.
If I'm at a bar and my pint is nearly done, the bartender doesn't say "would you like me to cool that down for you?" and pour new beer over the old beer. If he or she does, that tells me there's an excellent chance I'm getting knifed at that bar.

May 20, 2015

May 19, 2015

Hobo Gauntlet Radio - Episode 7

Musically, Episode 7 of HGR throws the proverbial net wide, ranging from Jonathon Richman and The Modern Lovers to OMD to The Doors to Harvey Danger.

Meanwhile, your host provides an update on his obsession with Tanki Online and how it has delayed the production of new podcasts. He also touches on the unbelievably fantastic sports town that is Toronto, re-lives the summer of ’86 and he shares a story about a cowboy hat as mentioned in the Guilty By Association post below. Episode 7 clocks in at an hour and eight minutes.

May 16, 2015

Guilty By Association

Stopping by Betty's yesterday it was busy as usual, so I took up residence at my B location, which is a little standing spot near the bar. I don't mind it at all, and I'll typically grab a table or stool when something opens up.

Now take a look at the photo. As you can see, nestled up right beside me was a hat. Let be more specific. A cowboy hat. When I first got there, I didn't even notice it at all. I don't wear hats. I think once in 1992 I put on a cowboy hat in a store, but that's about it.

In any event, a few minutes later a woman was walking by. She paused, looked at me, then looked at the hat, and then back to me. "Nice hat", she says.

Now a time comes in every man's life when he must make a decision. In nature, they call this phenomena fight or flight. How exactly do I handle this particular situation? Don't get me wrong. I'm married so I'm not trying to conjure up a little tryst or anything, but who am I to argue with millions of years of evolution? After all, I didn't pursue this situation - it found me. My back is up against the wall here. Here I am innocently having a pint (waiting for my wife I might add), and it was what it was.

So just for shits and giggles, let's pretend for a second that I was single. If this woman legitimately likes the hat, then I have to pretend it's mine because I'm already halfway through the door so to speak. So in this case I'd say something like "Thanks. It's from Texas."  Of course, the downside of that is that I have to pretend I own a cowboy hat which, for me, is very embarrassing. On the other hand, if this woman is being sarcastic (and, Betty's being Betty's, this may very well be the case), I have to distance myself from the hat as quickly as possible and respond with: "What hat?" As you can see, the proximity of the hat to myself reduces the believability of this comment, but whatever - I could work that whole angle too by saying, in an Australian accent: "that's not a hat...THIS is a hat", and pulling out a bit of kleenex from my pocket.

Anyway, in the end I opted for a variation of both scenarios. "Why thank you. I just flew in from  Dallas because I left it here by mistake last week." She just looked at me, confused. She wasn't sure if I was being sarcastic. Just then, the rightful owner of the hat stepped in. See, the hat's owner was siting at the bar and must've noticed that two strangers were talking about her hat. So, she intervenes and says "oh.. that's MY hat". She said it to both of us proudly. Like it was a new purchase, and she was over the moon because someone was discussing it. Then, she went on and on about where she got the hat and how it matched her cowboy boots.  "See!!?", she said to us both excitedly, pointing to her shiny black cowboy boots.

You just can't make this sort of shit up.

May 15, 2015

Hobo Gauntlet Radio

Episode 7 of HGR is on the way - in the meantime, I'm posting episode 6 below since I'm testing a new way of uploading these shows. And, don't forget to visit my fine feathered friends over at Girth, where eventually all my podcasts will live too.

9/11 On Ice

No word if Disney will produce it, but based on the new Mirvish show now playing in Toronto,  9/11 On Ice could be making it's way to Broadway, Chicago, London and Toronto at some point. Sure, maybe it'll take a hundred years, but we'll get there.


May 12, 2015

Bon Voyage Captain John's

Infamous floating Toronto landmark Captain John's Restaurant will be erased from Toronto's history by the end of May. 

You can, however, still get a flavour of the joint if you visit Betty's patio in the city's lower east side. Word is that if you lick the sign, you can taste 50 years of trout that has imprinted itself, forever.

Bon Voyage, and Bon Appetit.

May 3, 2015

Of Atmosphere And Ambience

It's certainly a cliché by now, but one of the wonderful things about living in Toronto is the sheer diversity of ethnic foods you can experience. When I first moved downtown in particular, it was a mouth-watering, eye-opening experience.

This is the beauty of multiculturalism. When we sit at each other's dinner tables, the world becomes just a little smaller, making us collectively appreciate that we have more in common than we have differences.

So, last night my lovely wife and I decided to dine at Young Thailand, a decent restaurant located in Cabbagetown that has never disappointed. The food is always fresh and moderately priced, but one thing that keeps us coming back to this particular establishment is the restaurant itself. It is set up as a tranquil oasis, with Thai inspired furnishings and even a little babbling brook. We also like the dimmed dining room which adds to the relaxed atmosphere.

As we entered last night we noticed our favourite table was waiting for us - tucked in the corner and away from the windows, nestled right beside the babbling brook. We approached the table gleefully and as we sat, we both noticed the serene, dream-like Thai music permeating the room - it was the chillaxin' favourite from Motley Crue: Smokin' In The Boys Room. Yes you read that right.

In about a second the entire atmosphere had changed as we realized the nature of this cacophany coming from the sound system. It was very off-putting, but we figured - maybe an anomaly. But we were soon disappointed again - this time it was Huey Lewis And The News. Sorry let me write that again. Huey Fucking Lewis And The Fucking News. In a Thai restaurant. On a Saturday night.

This is where Guns 'n Roses grew up.
It was soon evident that the place had decided to forego traditional Thai music to match the lovely decor and setting. It was some Saturday night classic rock show on a local radio station complete with voice-tracked morning DJ and even better...commercials.

So then we debated - we shouldn't have to and it's a valid request but do we ask the server to change the music? There are probably a dozen other people in the restaurant and we can't help think they aren't wondering the same thing. When our server does come by, in my best Canadian oh-so-polite passive aggressive way, I say "Do you ever play Thai music over the sound system?". She says "oh no, just the radio."

And it's really too bad, because as usual, the food was outstanding. For appetizers we had the veggie rolls. For mains there was the bbq beef, spicy curry noodle with shrimp and to top it off, a generous helping of Thin Lizzy's The Boys Are Back In Town.