Craft Beer, and Where To Eat in the Tri-Cities

For those that know me, you are likely fully aware that I’m a big fan of craft beer. In this blog, I’ll feature the restaurants that do it right and a small description of why I love the places so much. It’s easy to get lazy when it comes to finding the places to eat and support, due to how easy it is to just hit chains. They’re familiar, you know the menu, you understand what you like from there, it’s quick and easy… fully get it.

Arabella Beer Bar:

When they initially opened, I thought it was an extremely cool spot; they had a wicked selection of beer, excellent snacky food and a cool hipster vibe. Arabella doesn’t have TVs to fully promote chatting with people, instead of staring mindlessly at a sports game. Then, they went through a phase of constantly being slammed with people, extremely loud, music was even louder, and it was difficult to chat in a friendly setting. On top of this, they went through a phase of having A LOT of sours (yuck!). Recently, I decided to give it a few more chances, and to my happiness, they are back, and with a vengeance. Start with the food; they have a top-notch smash burger, the legendary chip truck fries that are deep-fried with a malt vinegar type oil, and many other incredible sharing options. Arabella has also honed on their beer selection – they have various top craft beer options and do an excellent job of mixing and matching Porters, Stouts, IPAs, Lagers, Barrel-Aged, Pilseners, etc., from the best breweries in Ontario. Also, their patio setting is excellent in the cutesy Belmont Village area… I highly recommend giving them a shot on a hot summer day.

Falls Road:

Right around the corner from my place is the hole-in-the-wall pub, Falls Road. The building is TINY, formerly an Enterprise car rental place. What makes this place unique, besides the fantastic regulars that can constantly be seen there, is their live music. Every weekend they get top-notch musicians, and being such a small establishment, the sound is fantastic. The pub food they offer is one of the best in the city, and they constantly upgrade their sauces and recipes, experimenting with new flavours. The craft beer selection is alright, they bring in a few of the different KW-craft beers, but that isn’t their specialty… they pour the best Guinness in the city, and it’s a wicked vibe there always.

The Bent Elbow:

The Elbow’s vibe is great. You sit down and receive a beer bible, which is a book that explains the flavour of each beer – they have blues/jazz/classic rock playing in the background. Harold is the snarly owner that loves to chat and knows his stuff in regards to food, beer, and sports. The food is excellent, coming in huge portions with a lot of flavours. The Elbow is the OG of craft beer bars, doing it around a decade earlier than everyone else… and poke fun at the Coors Lite and Bud Lite drinkers of the world by having the urinal flusher being a Bud Lite keg handle, while the Coors Lite keg is literally water. The beer selection is constantly revolving and has some misses and some hits, but it’s really about the against-the-grain vibe that makes it so appealing.

AOK Craft Beer and Arcade:

It was a happy day when AOK re-opened their doors post-lockdowns – they were only open for a few months before having to close down due to the pandemic, it was a great feeling. AOK has classic video games, ballpark-type food, and a wicked craft beer selection. The coolest thing about their bar is that you never know if you are going to have people hitting it up after work, a family with kids playing the games, or craft beer lovers. It’s a unique place that is run by a top-notch staff and is by far the most fun place to have a quick bite to eat and a couple of great pints. Whether you want to shoot hoops, play Tetris, classic pinball, Super Smash Brothers, AOK has it all… it’s very likely you will see me there at 5 pm on a Wednesday or Thursday weekly.

The Gator’s Tail:

The crown jewel of Southern Ontario. They do it all! Yuk Yuks, sports bar, karaoke, great service, fantastic cajun style food, and THE BEER… The difference between Gator’s and the rest is that if you want a Bud or Coors, you can get that, but the gem is their craft beer menu. Every single brewery that they bring in is the cream of the crop – they also specialize in IPAs, which makes it so difficult to choose a couple of beers, because I have to drive. There’s nothing better than going to Gator’s on a Sunday afternoon, watching 3 different football games at the bar area, having their famous gumbo, and sipping on a Third Moon and then a Badlands. I can’t say enough great things about this place, they are generally pretty quiet and have a really cool bar seating area… the owners are extremely good people, that take care of their employees, and the regulars are all super-nice.

If you haven’t checked out these places, I highly recommend checking them out. One thing that you’ll notice is that all f of these places are small businesses and their love of the food, vibe, and beer has earned them regulars like myself.

Sitting in a Steamroom with Roger Gaston

The world of the selfie is strange.  “Here I am sitting on a couch – well I’m thinking I should take a picture of myself and pot it.”  Could you imagine doing that before the smartphone?  Take the film into the camera place and it’s just headshots of you.  The camera shop dude would probably think that you are either a model or an actor.  “Nope, just felt like taking a picture of my face after finishing an episode of ‘Cheers’ – might put it up on the fridge even.”

Joined the gym again – I’m back at Movati.  It’s got a few nice bonuses there.  There’s a pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, smoothie bar, basketball court, etc… So far the steam room is the place with the most entertainment.  Old dudes just don’t give a fu** – the towel is barely hanging on – spreading those legs out for comfort.  Talking politics, weather, sports, or whatever other small talk topics that are common. I’m happy that I need my glasses to see properly.  I sit there with the head down making weird noises that are commonly heard while middle-aged men are attempting to relax.  Like all of the stresses from the week are being put into a puddle on that steam room floor.

Sara and I went to the Dominican over the holidays.  It was a nice week of rest and relaxation.  They offer a VIP package at the resort that we declined.  The extra perks were your own pool area, a bar that only that group could go to, and premium liquor.  While eating at the restaurant I could see into the bar area.  There was a dude sipping a Heineken watching the Bills/Patriots game.  He’d bust out a laugh every so often while chatting with the bartender.  They were having a grand old time.  I envision this man’s name is Roger Gaston from Quebec.  He hunts whales in the winter and owns a sweatshop in China.  Roger, you don’t deserve this luxury.  Sara stopped listening after I started whining about the Heineken being drunk.

End of year benefits season is over.  I still had some wellness dollars left on the last day and needed to use every last dollar.  I’m now the proud owner of a Navage and 3 dozen golf balls.  If you’ve never seen the Navage it’s that crazy device that you put up into your nostrils to clear out your sinuses.  Even a few years back when I saw the commercial I started laughing at how ridiculous it looked.  The bastard works – it’s extremely gross though.  I always wonder if it could pull the crayon out of Homer’s brain from that episode of the Simpsons.

navage2

Neil Peart passed away.  I wasn’t a huge Rush fan but Tom Sawyer really gets me jazzed up.  I think they should rotate the $5.00 bill every five years between Terry Fox, Gord Downie, Neil Peart, and manly (bearded) Justin Trudeau.

The family all pitched in and gave my nephew a Nintendo Switch for Christmas.  Precisely as predicted the first time I saw it being used it was the adults that played it while my nephew had to wait his turn.  “Just one more game Milo…  I know you’ve been waiting 2.5 hours, but this time I swear we’ll let you play it.”

My first real job was delivering a weekly paper to a neighborhood.  As soon as I got the job I thought to myself – I’m going to save 25% of it, give another 25% to charity, and then take the other 50% and spend it on CDs.  My first paycheque was $14.00.  I bought a Florida Marlins hat and then quit that stupid job.

The Lighthouse – 8.6/10

Brittany Runs a Marathon – 8.1/10

Cats – 9.2/10 (I actually didn’t see this movie – this rating is based on how much joy reading the reviews has given me)

As a teenager, I remember getting braces.  There was no option of Invisiline at that point – just grey steel.  Couldn’t they at least make it closer to teeth colour?   “No, no, we need the entire school to know that your teeth were fu**ed up.   Wait until your face gets full of acne as well.  All the bullying will toughen you up Daryl.”

Top 3 things that the majority of children were able to do with ease, but I struggled with it.

3 – Tying my shoes:  It took me quite a bit longer than the average child to pick this up.  I blame being a lefty (pretty shit excuse, I know).  I thought to myself one day.  “Well, I guess its Velcro shoes for life.  It won’t look weird being 38 and rocking grey Velcro shoes will it Mom?”

2 – Climbing a rope:  There were kids that would just whip up that rope in mere seconds.  I’d get two feet up and try to go without using my feet like I was Sly Stallone or something.  There wasn’t a lot of strength in the arms at that point (I lost multiple arm wrestling matches to young children).  I’d jump down and my gym teacher would shake his head disapprovingly.  After a few times, I would stretch my arms while grimacing to try to fake a slight injury.

1 – Going down the stairs like a normal human being:  I would put one foot on a step and then the other foot on the same step.  It would take me twice as long to go downstairs then the average child.  This one still boggles my mind, and I have no explanation for this.

Figure Four Leg Locks During the Holidays

The company had their work holiday party on Friday at Bingeman’s.  Later that evening we ended up at the Chainer (Chainsaw).  If you are not familiar with this bar it’s a place where you get every flavour of the human being in one place singing karaoke. There could be at any given time a 60-year-old man singing Britney Spears, to a 23-year-old playing pool against a 74-year-old war veteran, to a 45-year-old woman in a tracksuit that looked like she may have just gotten out of bed.  It’s always a good and weird time.

I’ve finally resolved the cheque and car issue. Here’s the final and maybe most painful exchange.  I think to myself that there’s no way this can end badly – finally having the documentation and cheque in hand.  The letter I received told me to go to a local Bank of Nova Scotia (I do this).

“Sir, did you purchase this car in British Columbia?”

(Trying not to laugh) “No, I purchased this car in Kitchener, Ontario”

“We can’t process this here to pay the loan off due to it being a BC loan”

“Ok (trying to stay calm), what needs to happen next?”

“We can send the paperwork off with the cheque and that will take care of the loan.”

“Great, do that… “I’m assuming that I’ll receive money back in the mail for the remaining amount I’m owed since this my loan is less than the value here?”

“I’m not sure if that’s how it works in this case. Maybe you should call the number on paper here”

“You mean the number for the Bank of Nova Scotia (the bank I’m currently in) to talk to an employee in British Columbia when I purchased and live in Ontario?”

“Yes”

“Ok…”

 

The whole Don Cherry thing makes me laugh.  This dude is going to do a podcast and be able to speak his mind on whatever topic he sees fit.  Think of it like this… When you watch shows on cable TV they have to walk every single line possible to not offend anyone (whether or not you agree with this it doesn’t matter – it’s the way it is).  This is one of the many reasons why cable TV sucks.  When a show moves to HBO or Netflix they can (practically) do whatever they want.  If you agree or don’t agree with his points of view he will not be (as) filtered with whatever he decides to do next.  I also bet that he won’t be nearly as entertaining because of this.  Half of his shtick was that he was able to get away with saying things that nobody else would dare to say.  This made watching him entertaining in a cable TV environment.

If you want to feel like an idiot attempt an Adventure Room with the level set to difficult.  I’d still be in there from 3 months ago if it wasn’t a game.  Who the fu** knows to breathe on the mirrors?  Screw you Adventure Room.

Figure four leg locks hurt.  As a child, my brother put me into one at the age of 6.  This went on for at least 3 minutes longer than it should of.  I still don’t know what could have possibly got me into this situation.  Just reading a Dr Seuss book – turning to page 5 then being ripped off of the couch and thrown into a wrestling move was an average Wednesday afternoon in Listowel, Ontario.

When banks see weird activity on your account they will put a hold on your card.  This happened recently to me.  When calling in their second question was what I purchased last Thursday afternoon worth $23.56.  What kind of question is this?  I felt like asking if I should take a stab at it (sounds like a lunch type purchase).  I’d have a better shot at Flyers trivia.  Give me a question like what was the worst Flyers signing in the history of their franchise (Ilya Bryzgalov)?

Top 3 most memorable holiday retail moments:

3) After a busy day at work one of the managers comes out and tells me to check the guy’s washroom (with a huge grin on his face).  This is not a good way to start a conversation.  I walk in and everything seems normal – until I check the urinal.  Somebody decided to go number 2 in the urinal… Really felt bad for the cleaning people that evening.

2) (Told by the GM of the store) older gentleman walks up to our GM of the store and asks where these arrows are taking him?  GM is extremely confused by this question and asks what arrows? The dude was pointing to the fast forward symbols (Future Shop’s logo) asking him where they led.  He was just walking in circles in the store…

1) A girl walks into the store with 4 huge bags of clothes (this is already on the radar for theft – who doesn’t leave giant bags of clothes in their car when purchasing a computer).  She asks for a Mac – asking zero questions.  I decide to have some fun with this.  “Are you sure you don’t want this $3k one instead?” Agreeing to take the higher end one I begin to fake put the purchase through.  “Oh shoot, I have to call for authorization – I’m going to take your card to the back.”  As I sit there and pretend that I’m doing this we have a camera and we can see this girl beginning to freak out as she’s pacing in front of the counter.  I then ask her for ID trying not to grin (we called the police already).  “Why do you need my ID,” she asks angrily.  “Because you have a stolen credit card and are attempting to purchase a $3k MacBook without asking a single question you dipshit.” (I didn’t say any of that).  She took off right after that and I won an award basically for not being an idiot.

Watching Gritty get Inducted into the Level of Excellence

Sitting in Smile Tiger having a muffin and a tea while writing this.  This is not a common occurrence.  This is mainly because I don’t want Sara to come home to a bachelor pad.  I’ve hired a cleaning lady to take care of things.  Some would call that laziness; others would call that smartly outsourcing.

Gritty (the new Flyers mascot) is absolutely my favourite thing right now.  There was an ad that had Jimmy Fallon and Ricky Gervais dancing in a room and Gritty wanders by and decides to get involved in the dance party.  Ricky and Gritty start shoving each other which ends up turning into a fight with Fallon trying to break it up.  Amazing!

Read an article about John Gibbons getting a spot in the level of excellence.  One division title, two playoff appearances, and .501 winning percentage over 11 or 12 years.  Only in Toronto would this be considered “excellence”.  Remember joke blog.  Please for the love of all things that are actually excellent don’t go down the rabbit hole of “I love Gibby” comments.  Stop typing, don’t do it, don’t hit enter… Damn it!

I’ve booked a trip to Arizona with a buddy of mine.  It’s always enjoyable to spend 4-5 days pretending like you are a retired old white man.  The streets are wide (not sure how anybody could possibly get into an accident), everybody is moving at a slow to even slower pace, conversations are only about sports or the weather.  I find this enjoyable for a very small amount of time.

I tried out for a football team when I was in Grade 9.  The thought was that I was very accurate throwing a baseball – football should translate well.  My first practice I took a fairly decent hit.  That was the end of the football dream.

There are at least 6-7 dogs that I know personally that I’m fairly certain I could beat in a 100 metre race.  I’m not talking tiny dogs – full size dogs.  Dogs don’t have the same motivation for success as humans.  I even know a few dogs that would fake an injury.  “oh, my poor paw, I stepped on a rock.” Quoting dogs is weird.

Went to the Rock Spa recently.  They have this steam shower thing that’s somewhat cool.  You sit on this stool and steam begins to rise from the floor.  It does feel kind of like you’re in a gas chamber, but once you get over that sensation it’s kind of neat.  They have a radio in there as well.  I assumed that the music would be pre-set to something soothing.  Nope, Bruno Mars was being ripped while steam filled my insides.  I did quickly think to myself “Well, this is how I go out”.

When I pass away I would like the line of funeral cars to go onto the 401 all the way to Toronto during rush hour.  This would entertain me from a distance.

You would think being a 40-year-old man that I could take care of myself properly.  Went camping recently with the family and I forgot my belt, toothbrush, and almost my pillow (twice).  Standing up to go to the bathroom I had to hold my pants up.  Brushed my teeth with my finger.  There is no way another human could be trusted in my care.

How many people in Canada and the US have been named Art or Chet in the past 10 years?  I’m going to go with under 90 people in total.  Chet always seemed to be the name of a dude that had one too many Bud Light’s and was going to pick a fight with a nerd (his words not mine). “Hey, why don’t you grab a book and read it.”  That was always Chet’s top insult.  Really got Art and Morris going.

 

Looking back on the summer I feel that it was one of the best weather wise in the past decade.  I give Mother Nature 9.2/10 for this past summer.  You are up in Radiohead album rating territory Mother Nature.  You should be very proud of yourself.

Eating Cotton Candy with a Couple of Hosers

Was at a bachelor party on Friday in Collingwood.  Went golfing with a buddy during the day celebrating his good news (I’m similar to dog – always looking to celebrate even if it’s not for me).  Unfortunately, I don’t quite have the stamina at 40 to rock an entire day and night of events.  Funneled a Bud Lite, drank a few IPA’s, and was in bed by like 10 pm.

It was actually much easier to funnel a beer than I remembered.  I haven’t done it in at least a decade.  The most entertaining part though is how your system reacts after the funnel.  Generally, it’s the largest and grossest belch.  Like your internal system is just saying “Daryl you are an a**hole for doing that to me.”

If you haven’t been to Cowbell Brewery you should go.  It’s in Blyth (practically the only thing there – unless you are going to see Mamma Mia).  The place is extraordinary.  Piles of beers on tap, beautiful interior, nice patio, and $2.00 hotdogs.  There was a brief second when I thought about ordering 3 hot dogs for lunch.  It’s only $6.00 I thought to myself.  Then common sense kicked in.  You will be sick for the afternoon and the staff there will think of you as the cheapest man alive.

Mamma Mia is the single worst theatre experience of my life.  Abba isn’t bad in a small dose (like a single song).  When you start to string together their music you begin to lose it mentally.  Everybody else is clapping and singing along; I have my head between my legs trying to figure out a way to roofie myself without the presence of the actual drug.

Went to my bro-in-laws new place in London yesterday.  While enjoying the outdoors we noticed that there was an owl in the tree.  It’s very confusing seeing any type of real wildlife in the suburbs of a major city.  It’s also humorous to me envisioning a small human being carried away in an owl’s claws.  Legs and arms flailing, and the faint “what the fu** is happening?” as they get carried further and further away.

Sara has nearly completed the PCT (around 200 miles away I believe).  Looking at pictures of her it looks like her hair has become a bright red with the sunlight exposure.  She looks extremely healthy and I couldn’t be a more proud husband of her accomplishment(s).  If you don’t know much about the PCT watch the movie/read the book Wild.  It’s a long distance hike from Mexico to Canada in the Western states.

I’ve never seen anybody purchase cotton candy at a ball game before.  I see these Hosers walk up and down the aisle with this giant fuzzy candy and never seen an adult put up their hand.  Fiberglass candy can’t be good for your insides.  Plus you look like a moron when you bite into it.  If you get it for your child they would have a stomach ache after two bites.  Now you feel like you have to take it home due to the $11.00 cost – so you are stuck holding this stupid troll doll looking hair candy for 6 innings.

Did you know where the word Hoser originated from?  Most people would guess it was the days of Bob and Doug Mackenzie (as I did as well).  This is not true – a Hoser is somebody that used to spray the ice with water in between periods of hockey games.  It was a crappy job with very little pay.   This was stated to a co-worker by an American prospect that we were calling into.  This useless Canadian fact was brought to you by maple syrup.  “Tap that tree and watch the gold flow.”

When it’s a sunny Sunday as it is today and it’s week 2 of the NFL season you really go through emotional anxiety.  It’s 29 degrees, but there is football on.  There are only a few nice weekends remaining, but the Packers play the Vikings at 1.  You could be golfing – you enjoy golf, shut up brain, I need you for fantasy football today and not for guilt.

Eating Christmas Cake While Attending Rib Fest

You always think that going to a classic car show is going to be an exciting adventure.  There will be all of these old-school automobiles.  Maybe I could look at the engine of one?  My interest will begin to peak.  This will result in looking into some automobiles on the internet – learning the amount of horsepower that the GM Rocket ’74 with bucket seats that have one single seatbelt that goes throughout the whole vehicle.  None of this happens.  I usually just end up with BBQ sauce spilled on my shirt from some mediocre pulled pork sandwich and a sunburn.  I’m happy that my brain didn’t open up to the idea of fantasizing about machines.

Since I was a minimum of 18 years old I’ve had internal conversations with myself of how much I would pay if I could snap my fingers and be on the couch in certain situations.  Fairly certain that I’ve gone as high as 5 grand. This happened one day driving back from Ottawa the morning after a Flyers 6-1 playoff loss in a car full of goons that all had minimum 22 draft beers each.

I’m really not sure where your brain goes during trips of a certain length.  It’s fairly similar to when Homer’s brain leaves him after he makes a terrible decision and his body just goes on autopilot.  Sitting on a plane for more than 12 hours I begin to go insane.  “No, I don’t want to watch Dr. Strange again.  I’m going to try to sleep with my upper body completely vertical.  Oh, my neck is snapped ahead and I’ve drooled on the floor – ok, good!  Maybe I will listen to a podcast about the reason that dirt is the colour brown.  How much longer until we get there?  9 hours! Where are the sleeping drugs?”

My old man used to play slopitch for a team in Listowel.  After the majority of the games, we would go back to his team-mates place that had a pool and go for a swim.  This house also had a hot tub which was great.  The Smith boys gained a reputation for eating the majority of the chips.  I’ve only witnessed my old man getting frustrated one time.  Somebody splashed water from the hot tub and it went into a bowl of the ketchup chips.  The Smith family piled into the car and went home within the next 17 minutes.

Everyone knew a kid that their eyes would look like a zombie from too much chlorine.  Dean, you need to shut your eyes when you go underwater.  Also, why are you going under water in a hot tub – this is a terrible decision.  They would bash their knee off of the stairs due to being fired up in the hot tub.  This would cause tears and then Daryl would also have to exit the hot tub.

There is an antibiotic that helps with chest congestion that also can cause Achilles tendon ruptures if you run too quickly.  Rarely am I ever in a situation that I am in full out sprint mode, but if I ruptured my Achilles Tendon playing “F” league slo-pitch I would never be able to look at myself in the mirror again.

Rib Fest is currently happening in Kitchener.  This is the prototypical event where you go in red hot.  Grab a full plate of ribs, 4 tiny beers (fu**ing hate their stupid cups), giant turkey leg, and 37 napkins.   You grab a table with 7 strangers and begin to go to work.  After 9 minutes you begin to hear a weird gurgle in your stomach.  Shrugging it off as maybe you are still hungry you move on.  Then the sweats begin to occur.  It doesn’t seem to be that hot.  My sweat also has a somewhat weird odor.  You spent $40.00 on this food and drink – you need to continue on.  Three-quarters of the way through the meal you notice that one of the buttons on your shirt has come undone.  It’s time to stop.  As you get up from the picnic table you slowly wander toward the exit with both hands on your stomach hoping that this will magically heal your angry body.  This is when you think to yourself – what a great Rib Fest, I can’t wait until next year.

Top 3 weird things served with Christmas dinner or around Christmas time.

3) Jello – it runs all over the place when put with hot food. Red mashed potatoes do not look that appetizing.

2) All of those giant nuts – You have to get the nutcracker out only once a year.  Make a giant mess and it’s extremely loud.  Grandpa shoots you that stare as he’s trying to watch the news.  “Kid stop eating walnuts.  I’m trying to watch the highlights of the parade down main street.”

1) Christmas Cake – it’s the absolute worst.  Let’s make the shi*iest cake (let’s add weird dried fruit to it as well to make it even worse) and serve during the best holiday.

Moaning and Groaning with Don Flamenco

Why do people put their heads in tight areas?  I’ve never understood anybody getting their head stuck in between two posts in the stairwell.  It’s pretty easy.  If you don’t need to put your head in an area that it may not make it out – don’t do it.

My favourite old interview comment is from the Beatles back in the day.

Reporter: Is Ringo the best drummer in the world?

John Lennon:  Ringo isn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles.

Currently I’m playing coed slo-pitch with coworkers.  Nobody takes things all that seriously.  Except for the 62-year-old man that we played against this past week.  He questioned the rules of the height of the pitch.  Then the ump went back at him saying that it’s always been that way.  The 62-year-old man was not satisfied with this answer.  He then began to throw the ball extremely low to prove some weird point.  We play in an “F” league coed slo-pitch league and the score was 11-3.   I would get more fired up if I had $5.00 on two raccoons racing against each other in the parking lot.

I turn 40 next month.  I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel different.  The only things that have really changed are that I actually care less about things, and it really affects me when I don’t eat healthily.  Oh, and when I first get out of bed it takes a minimum of 3 minutes to walk normally.  Generally, it’s a hard Frankenstein walk with a bunch of bones cracking, and a couple of fu**s thrown in there as well for good measure.

There is always one person in a group of friends that just says the wrong thing at the wrong time constantly.  Asking a woman if she’s pregnant when the answer could be 50/50 is maybe the most dangerous conversation that you could ever have.  I would rather go to a Luke Bryan concert at an outdoor stadium in Detroit in – 23-degree weather than load that question up.

Once again Descendants Brewery is doing something cool.  They are having an Arrested Development trivia night.  Stop doing cool things.  I dislike your beer.  Now, I still have to go to your stupid brewery because I can’t pass that up.  Oh, you also have delicious pretzels – fu** you.

Does anybody sit down with a bag of pretzels anymore?  They aren’t a bad snack, but really lack the flavor of others out there.  I just can’t envision myself walking up to the cashier with a bag of pretzels in the shopping basket.  Walking by the all dressed chips or Doritos section would be difficult.  I can eat these plain brown weirdly shaped things that make my mouth extremely dry… or I can rip into a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos and not feel my tongue and make a mess of everything.  Doritos all day.

Nothing will make somebody more upset than you getting the controller greasy from chips while playing video games.  Chips were blamed for losing to Piston Honda in Tyson’s Punch-Out so many times back in the day.

I’m fairly certain anybody that created those characters back in the day was extremely stoned.  There is a dude that’s from Paris that has a special dance across the ring with a rose in his mouth before he fights Little Mac.  He was so fancy that I wanted to beat the crap out of him as soon as I had my chance.  No idea why he upset me so much.  Felt like he was taunting me with that rose.  Like I was easy prey.  The anger is all coming back now.

Flowers are extremely stupid.  Sorry for those that enjoy receiving them (Sara does not for those that were thinking in their head “oh, well his wife might not think that”).  Flowers don’t do anything.  They don’t entertain.  They smell ok I guess.  They sit there and then they die.  If I could eat the flower for some crazy nutrition I may be happier with them.  Put gummy worms out and look at them. They are pretty and are delicious after.

Top 3 ways to have people do things for you in a family setting

3) Mention the long hours that you’ve been working.  “I’ve been shoveling all day, every day for the past 2 days – my back is just about going to give out.”  When they ask what you’ve been digging – just moan at a bit louder tone than usual.

2) Mention that you haven’t had time for just yourself in an awfully long time.  “I’m always thinking about everyone else.  You know it’s tough.” Generally, people will not question you on this one, but if they do… Just say in a bit louder tone “It’s tough”.  Doesn’t mean anything, but may get you off of the hook.

1) Make sure you have a mighty moan and a groan when you first sit down on the couch.  Everyone needs to hear this. You will receive at minimum one, possibly two drinks brought to you.

Eating Dandelions in Paris with Street Performers

I’ve taken a couple days off to rent a little house in Paris.  One thing that is noticeable when grabbing a place in this sleepy little town is that the conversations with the house owner really feels like you’ve been transported back in time.  “Oh, you’ll have to go out and see the deer with their fawn at 3 pm when the children all go out as well.  Then there’s Henry the Heron – you can see him from the patio.  You might get a glimpse of the beaver family as well.  They usually come out at around 5 pm.”  I have not said a word and it’s been a 23 min conversation.  Somehow, I feel more at ease and have just had a slice of homemade apple pie without knowing it.

Watched the first two episodes of Rostered On.  It’s a comedy about an electronic retail big box shop in the UK.  The jokes hit a little too close to home.  There was a scene about a man that had the settings on his toaster at the highest settings and complained that his burnt toast was from a faulty toaster.  The next thing that I remember is rocking in a corner with my Future Shop uniform clutched tight to my chest mumbling something about not being able to return a USB flash drive.

Is the World Cup over yet?  Generally, I don’t detest any single nation.  Every four years or so I find myself cheering only against one team – Portugal.  The reason is out of pure entertainment.  The fans are the most over-the-top whiners that I’ve witnessed.

Can’t imagine having the hoarding disorder.  There was a time that Sara and I did have a messy house, but this was caused by sheer laziness and not wanting to hold onto stuff.  There has never been a time that I thought “Oh, maybe this hairnet from the hotel will come in handy in a few years.  We should keep it around the house.  Especially since I’ve never used one in my life.”

The one thing that I don’t miss about living in a small town is knowing everything about everyone.  I don’t need to know what Mrs. Jackson’s two children’s marks were in Math in Grade 8.  I need space in my brain for old hockey trades and the name of the first album by the Beta Band.

How do you get into the street performer profession?  I’m not talking about the guitar players.  I’m referring to the break dancers, jugglers, etc…  Baking out in the sun and juggling fu**ing knives seems like the absolute last thing that I would ever want to do, let alone practice.  You have to spend countless hours becoming an expert in this craft.    The more re-tracing that I do on this profession the more ridiculous that it seems.  What’s the pinnacle – Vegas?  Nobody is looking up the stats on knife jugglers?  Well, one person – me, but nobody else.

An Ice Cream Truck recently came to my work.  As many co-workers ran out with glee to the ice cream truck they were turned away by the man – he was meant to go across the road to another tech company.  Many were sad, and a few confused on why he wouldn’t serve paying customers anyways.  The rest of the day just couldn’t live up to the moment of seeing that beautiful multi-coloured truck pull in and park for just that minute.  This life in tech moment has been brought to you by TWB Coop Brewery.  Where every day is like a Mumford and Sons concert.

Top 3 things that I knew as a child that other children didn’t seem to know/care about

3) Dandelions are not delicious.  There are thousands of these things everywhere.  They don’t even look tasty.  Had one of those yellow petals and it tasted bitter.  Little Georgie would just power through a minimum of 6 or 7 of these a day.  He’d have yellow stains on his pants.  Georgie didn’t have many friends – except the dandelions.

2) Being timed to get things by your parents is a trick.  “I will get this thing for you, but it will cost you a minimum of three chips old man.”

3) Getting dirty sucks.  “Alright man, you can roll around in that puddle if you want Joe.  Seems like a huge mistake to me.  You are going to look like sh** and your Mom is going to light you up when you get home.  Well, there you go.  Remember this conversation when you get home, yup lap it up like a dog as well – real smart Joe.”

Fixing the Election With a Slathering of Paint

Yesterday was the first day that it felt like summer.  As per usual nobody prepared for it while sitting on a patio at lunch time.  It’s always the same mentality.  “I’m invincible against the sun because of the lack of sunshine that I’ve received over the past 6 months.  Why am I wearing long sleeves and jeans?  Why am I melting?  Was the sun always this hot?”

Mini pitcher specials on a patio are dangerous.  I need to drink this at least 1.8x faster than a normal beer due to the temperature outside.  It’s also lunchtime – probably shouldn’t consume alcohol that quickly.  On the other hand, it is Friday, and mini-pitcher specials aren’t going to last forever (here they actually do).

The NDP is coming across like a desperate girlfriend calling me right now.  “Hey… remember that one time when we had a really great time together.  We could have that again.  Give me a call back.  Or, you could just text me your credit card details.  Send cash in a crow’s mouth, drop off empties at our downtown Kitchener office – whatever works for you.   Actually I’m not sure how this relates to a desperate girlfriend, and I’m too lazy to go back and rewrite this.

People always get up in arms about the election.  Here’s the simple way who to vote for.

PC:  Don’t take my money.  I’ve worked hard to gain this money and would prefer keeping the majority of it – if others can’t make this kind of money it’s not my problem.  Would rather not think about people that need help with any issues (not always).

NDP:  Require Government help with the same things the PC people (not always) don’t want to believe exist.  Don’t make a lot of money.  Are you in your 20s-30s? Money (or things money can buy) isn’t the first thing that comes up when thinking of the pursuit of happiness (they may turn into a PC person when acquiring more money).

Liberal:  In between the above two parties

*Remember folks – this is a comedy blog*

I’ve been on a soft 80’s kick recently.  Is Phil Collins the Godfather of soft 80’s rock?  That’s not quite as tough sounding as Black Sabbath the Godfather’s of Metal.  Maybe this is why he hasn’t gone by this.

Top 3 things that I would rather do then go to Boots and Hearts (country music festival)

3) Be trampled by a pack of llamas that were all wearing headphones that had Rage Against the Machine cranked

2) Live with a man that only enjoyed Nascar and Indian Cricket for one full weekend.  Any time that you tried to change the channel he yelled at you, while shaking a box of Kraft Dinner (not sure if he’s threatening me to have to eat it or use it as a weapon)

3) Have to wear “cheesy saying” t-shirts purchased from Walmart for one full year.

I tried chewing tobacco while in high-school.  This was a huge mistake.  Why do they call it chewing tobacco if you don’t chew it?  I did chew it – then I barfed.  This was before the internet told me how to do things.

People that could climb trees quickly always fascinated me as a child.  They would scale a tree in less than 2 minutes.  They would then sit proudly on one of the thinner branches (looking confident, but also a bit scared) near the top of a 25 foot tree.  Then there would be the nervous, and less confident scaling down which included a jump that was probably a bit dangerous. Maybe I should clarify here – I never actually wanted to do this myself, and was fascinated why anybody would want to.

Knitting always confused me.  Why would anybody want to sit there and make a blanket for hours on end?  I think as you soon as you hit the age of 36 you begin to understand that your brain’s RPM needs to be slowed down every once in a while.  I still don’t knit, but I get it.

My shower was fixed recently in my apartment building.  By fixed I mean they repaired the wall with a slathering of paint and fu**ed up my water pressure.

Walking Down the Bean Aisle on a First Date

May two-four weekend is nearing its end.  I’d like to think that I had fond memories of this weekend in particular in the past, but this is not the truth.  Generally, every May two-four started the same.  Weather looks decent during the day, but nobody seemed to care (or looked) that it was going down to 7 degrees at night.  We then would rock a total summer tent with a sleeping bag that was manufactured in Vietnam for 30 degree evenings.  Gordo would state the following line that we would believe at the time “Drink more whiskey – that will keep you warm”.  Slater would throw a picnic table on top of the fire, Vicky would be barfing outside of her tent, and Ox would be talking about grocery shopping in his sleep. Then the next day it would all start again.

One May two-four many moons ago I had an unfortunate incident.  My parents had just purchased me a beautiful Green Bay Packers jacket for Christmas.

Packers jacket

This jacket could fit 12 cans of Budweiser in the pocket out front.  Confidently I strutted around the camp site opening a beer whenever I damn well pleased.  As the evening progressed somebody threw a can of beans in the fire.  Knowing that this was supposed to blow up I took shelter with everybody else behind trees. The can did make a popping noise but no beans came screaming out.  I wasn’t going to be fooled by this again.  The same joker threw another can of beans in the fire.  All the fools were taking shelter – I was spending no extra energy getting behind a tree three feet away. I’ve outsmarted everybody I thought to myself. This was a mistake.  You could hear the can beginning to steam (this was my first doubt that I’d made the right decision).  This was followed by an explosion.  Beans had covered not only the beautiful green and gold, but my entire face.  On top of this part of the can had burned through the arm of the jacket.  There was a valuable lesson learned in all of this.  Don’t go camping on May two-four weekend.

Beans used to be a common household item for most families I believe.  The nature of the way that your body reacts to this underrated nourishment has severely derailed the sales.  I’ve seen many old men in the bean aisle loading up.  Beans aren’t bad I always think to myself, but you are being a bit aggressive here.

Tim Horton’s chili is actually passable.  This is a once every two week meal for myself.  The last 3 times that I’ve been to Tim Horton’s there have been multiple people to not only greet me, but it also feels like they were waiting for me.  It’s a strange sensation.  Usually, when traveling through the drive thru you can hear their tones of “holy fu**, another fu**ing car – when does it end?????”

Eating salad at a Subway seems like it’s wrong for some reason.  “You are going to use the same vegetables that you would put on a sandwich.  Who do you think I am… a peasant?”

Had a pleasant brisk walk to Smile Tiger Coffee today.  When I arrived they had War on Drugs cranked on the stereo.  Did the only logical thing – wandered around giving props to each person that worked there as they stared at me with a puzzled look on their face.

Ready Player One – 7.5/10

Isle of Dogs – 8.2/10

It’s extremely odd to react in any way when getting Id’d.  Just hand them your Government issued card.  Don’t get offended and don’t react like they just made your day.  They already feel uncomfortable asking for this.  Drawing attention to it will make it even worse.  Keep the line going and move on with your 6 Palm Bay’s and bottle of Rose.

Top 3 things that I didn’t know I had a knack for but I do:

3) Jumping into a conversation after figuring out that they thought I had said something different than I actually said. Sometimes I have a tendency to speak not only in a deep voice, but can also mumble.  This has given me the skill of this.   Here’s an example.

  • Would you like a bag?
  • No, I think I’m good
  • Yes, it has been busy here today. It comes in waves.
  • Well, at least that makes for a quick work day
  • Yes it does sir, have a great day

2) Knowing what food is in the household and the chances of it being close to expired.  ‘I bought that spinach on May 15th at 4:07 pm.  The expiry said that it would be fresh until May 22nd at 8:23 pm.’ Sara shoots me an odd glare and replies “What’s wrong with you?”

1) Picking out first dates at any location.  It could be a combination of their body language or how they are drinking or eating.  I’m sure it’s even more awkward to have a dude staring at them intently while he sips on his craft beer.