Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Dear UrbanSpoon Commenters – I Don’t Care About Your Life Story, Just Tell Me About the Mac & Cheese!

Drink Urban Lounge (New Westminster)

Ever since we moved to New West, we’ve been meaning to check out Drink Urban Lounge1. It’s just down the street and anytime we walked by the place we said, “That place looks cool. We should go there sometime”, but for some reason, we never remembered it when trying to decide on where to go for dinner. In a fit of indecisiveness about where to dine last night, I pulled up Urbanspoon to see what was around and it reminded “Oh yeah, that place!” And then I looked at the reviews.

Here are just some of things mentioned by people in their reviews:

  • I came here because I was out walking my dog.
  • I came here because I was out shopping with my mom.
  • I was worried that leaves would fall into my beer because I was sitting on the patio.
  • I dropped my garlic bread on the floor.
  • I don’t like to make huge commitments, so I get appies and drinks.

You know what all these things have in common? I don’t care about them. I want to know if the food is good and if the drinks are good and for the love the the FSM, I really don’t care about what you were doing with your dog. If you want to talk about the minutiae of your day, get a blog.

Annoyed, I then checked it out on Yelp, which provided marginally better reviews, though they also contained some of the same type of crap (e.g., I went here because the other place I go was showing UFC; the waitress is moving back to Alberta at the end of the summer). The one thing that did appear in several reviews, however, was that the mac & cheese was to die for. And so went there.

As it turned out, the mac & cheese was, in fact, to die for. It had three kinds of cheeses and short rib in it, and came with garlic bread. And I would punch a baby dolphin in the face to get me some. They also scored points from Devon for having Guinness on tap. I had a Sam Adams Boston Lager2, which I’ve never had before and which was pretty freaking delicious. The atmosphere was cool, the wait staff were great, and did I mention that the mac & cheese was to die for?

Other than the mac & cheese, the menu was pretty standard pub fare, but the drinks menu was quite extensive and the prices reasonable, so I imagine I’ll go back and try some of those at some point.

Image Credit: Posted by Raul P. on Flickr

  1. As per usual, I have no affiliation with this business. Just blogging about it ‘cuz that’s the way I roll. []
  2. For the record, I went on a 16 km bike ride earlier in the day, which totally entitled me to the calorific meal! []

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Review: Copper Moon Pinot Grigio

Copper Moon Pinot GrigioIt takes like nothing. Seriously.

I recently was looking to buy a bottle of wine and thought I’d try something I hadn’t tried before. I wanted a white and considered buying my favourite one – Prospect Winery’s Ogopogo’s Lair Pinot Grigio. But then I thought, “Oh no, let’s try something different!” Not too long ago, I’d had a very nice wine from Copper Moon – I think it was a Malbec, but I wouldn’t swear to that. Anyhoo, my wine buying logic went thusly: I like Copper Moon’s Malbec and I like Prospect Winery’s Pinot Grigio, so why not give Copper Moon’s Pinot Grigio a try. Seemed like sound logic, right? Wrong! Copper Moon’s Pinot Grigio tastes like NOTHING!

The lesson here, kids, is to never try something new. Or maybe that you should try new things, as long as they aren’t Copper Moon’s Pinot Grigio. Or perhaps the lesson is that you only should buy wines named after lake monsters. Yes, I think it’s that last one.

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Movie Review: Final Destination 5

Warning: there will be spoilers.

Yesterday a group of us went to see Final Destination 5, a documentary about bridge safety. In preparation, Kalev and I watched Final Destination 1 on Monday night. Because, you know, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to follow the plot without having seen number 1.

There was much excitement in Vancouver over this movie because it was filmed here and the trailer prominently featured the Lions Gate Bridge collapsing. As it turned out, most of the people who worked on this movie appeared to be in the theater watching it with us last night. Before the movie started, we noticed several people wearing Final Destination 5 t-shirts. And after the big bridge collapse scene, the audience erupted into applause. Also, everyone in the theater stayed at the end of the movie to watch the credits to see their own names at which point they cheered loudly. Not that I’m criticizing – I’d totally do that if I ever made a movie.

As for the movie itself, it’s everything that one could ask for in a fifth sequel of a cheesy horror movie franchise. People die in grotesque and ridiculous ways that defy all laws of reason and physics; laser eye surgery is performed by a surgeon who doesn’t look at the patient’s chart before the surgery starts (necessitating the surgeon to leave the room with the laser on and the patient strapped down onto the surgical table) on a patient who just walked in the door and said, “I want surgery!”1; and has a pretty fun twist at the end. All in all, a good evening. And I’m sure glad I had my laser eye surgeries before I ever saw this movie!

  1. They tried to cover their bases on this one by having the surgeon say “It’s been a while since your initial consultation,” but even if you’d been in for consultation, there is no way in hell could walk in and gets surgery done the same day, with no one there to give you a ride home afterwards, etc. []

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I Drive A Lot. And A Review of Fuelly.

I took my beloved Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car in for its 45,000 km service appointment this week, so I figured it was as good a time as any to write an update about my beloved car. Also, it gives me a chance to tell all y’all about the new fun website I’ve been using to track my gas usage (spoiler: it makes graphs!)

Ever since I got my car, I’ve been tracking my mileage. To do this, I’ve been using a handy dandy spreadsheet1. And because of this, I can easily tell you that in the 2 years and 2 months that I’ve owned my car, I have:

  • driven 45,609 km2 – that’s an average of 57 km per day!
  • used 2,839L of gas
  • spent $3,656 in gas and about $1,300 in other car maintenance-related expenses3

But I was recently introduced to Fuelly 4, a website that tracks your mileage for you… and gives you pretty graphs and infographics! Being a graph-loving nerd, I naturally had to try it out. Fortunately, Fuelly lets you import data so I could just import the data I’d been tracking on my handy dandy spreadsheet and viola – graphs!

fuelly 1

fuelly 2

fuelly 3

fuelly 4

Aren’t they pretty?

If you are interested in my ongoing tracking of Zaphod’s mileage – and who wouldn’t be, really? – you can “follow” me on Fuelly.

  1. Spreadsheets. Is there anything they can’t do? []
  2. For my American readers, that’s 28,340 miles []
  3. e.g., regular service appointments, deductible for replacement windshield, replacement of flat tire. []
  4. As per usu, I have no affiliation with Fuelly other than that I use their free service []

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So Nice Creamer – A Review

So Nice coffee creamer

You wanna try some of this? Well, you have to read the whole posting, because there's a contest at the bottom!

As you know, whenever I talk about a product or service on my blog, I usually say something to the effect of “just for the record, this company didn’t give me any money, free products, or backrubs to get me to talk about this.” Usually I say it resentfully, because I almost never get free products to review and you know how I feel about free stuff. Well, this time I can tell you that I am, in fact, reviewing a product that I was given for free for the explicit purpose of reviewing on my blog. Well, they gave me a voucher and then I went to the store and traded in said voucher for said product. OK, I actually went to like four stores, because I couldn’t find it in the first three stores I tried1. But then I asked what stores carry it and that made it a whole heck of a lot easier to find. Also, before I accepted this deal, I said, “OK, I’ll do this but only under the conditions that I’ll say I got the product for free to review and that if it sucks, I’m going to say it sucks.” And they were all fine with that, so here goes2.

Now, the first thing I should point out is that when I got the email asking if I’d like to review “So Nice for Coffee” – a soy-based coffee “creamer” – I was all excited because, like I said, I rarely get products to review. And then there was the tracking down of the product – after consulting with my contact who was working with So Nice, I found out that Choices carries it. So then I went to Choices, found the creamer, did a happy dance that I found the creamer, walked up the checkout and as I’m standing in line, the following thought pops into my head: “Beth, you drink your coffee black.” Seriously. Amidst all that hoopla, it hadn’t occurred to me that I don’t even put cream in my coffee, making me a rather crappy person to review a coffee creamer type product3 (This is probably why people generally don’t ask me to review things.) Anyways. I said I was going to review it and damnit, I’m reviewing it!

Here’s what black coffee looks like:

Black coffee

And here’s what coffee with So Nice creamer in it looks like:

Coffee with So Nice Creamer
So if you are going for “this product makes my coffee lighter in colour,” it totally works.

The next step, of course, was to taste it. So I tried it and it tasted fine. It definitely doesn’t taste as dairy-like/creamy as regular cream does, but I don’t like things that taste that creamy4, so that’s fine with me. It’s definitely thicker than soymilk, which tends to be rather watery, so when you add soymilk to coffee it barely changes the colour. The creamer also does seem to take a bit of the bitter edge off the coffee, which I think is the reason that people tend to put cream in their coffee, isn’t it5? Personally, I like the bitterness of coffee, with just a hint of sweetness from the tiny bit of sweetener that I add, but that’s just me. If you like cream in your coffee but are looking for a dairy alternative, this might just be the thing for you. Oh yeah, and it’s made from organic soybeans, in case you are interested in such things.

Of course, you really need to try it for yourself to know if you like it. And, as luck would have it, the fine people from So Nice gave me four vouchers for a free So Nice creamer to give out to my readers. So now I feel like I’m a very special blogger, because I can run a contest! To enter into my little contest to win your very own So Nice creamer, just leave a comment on my blog about why you want to try this soy-based creamer. Or you can just compliment me – flattery will get you everywhere, including into my draw. The contest closes next Friday (JuneJuly 22, 2011) at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. I’ll take the names of whoever has commented by then and use a random number generator to pick the winners. Because random number generators are cool. Then I’ll mail the voucher to the winners. And perhaps the winners will even be people who like cream in their coffee!

  1. See how much I work for you, beloved blog readers?? []
  2. Basically, you now know that I can be bought and my price is about $3. At least, I think it was $3. I wasn’t paying all that much attention at the cash register, what with having a voucher and all []
  3. Honestly, this is what it’s like to live with my brain. Sure, I can do all sorts high-level research, planning, teaching freaking university courses, but then my brain forgets to put 2 + 2 together. Ask Kalev about the time I forgot it was his birthday even though a couple of days before I emailed him to apologize that I’d sent his present late and it wouldn’t get there in time AND on the actual day he referred to the day in a text message as “Kalev Day” and I *still* forgot it was his birthday! []
  4. And, honestly, I find 2% milk tastes too creamy for me! []
  5. Perhaps people who drink cream in their coffee can enlighten me? []