Hi there, welcome to my blog.

What's this all about? Well, that's a question I'm probably not even qualified to answer. I guess it started off because I had nothing better to do, but turns out that I kind of like it. So when I'm not working for The Man I like to take pictures, make videos and write about whatever else might seem like a good idea at the time.

From dragon boating to mountain biking, to road trips and travels overseas - this is me trying to enjoy life. Clock out at 5, eat, drink and don't forget to smile a lot.

The Time Machine


This is a personal blog, all opinions expressed are meant to be in good fun - if you are offended by heavy sarcasm and jokes that are in poor taste then this is not for you. If you have any copyright related issues please contact us via messenger pigeon.


Saturday, July 31

Biking with Tokyo Police Club

After that last fiasco, I had to somehow redeem myself (since I never roll up in the club like 6 chicks deep (unfortunately)) and what better way than with Tokyo Police Club? Yes.

Despite 3 consecutive days of dragon boating earlier this week, all that effort pretty much got cancelled out because of way too much good living after work every other day (damn you group deals). While, the plan for the next few days includes at least 2 hard rides out East, we all know that long weekends are notorious for hard relaxing as well.

Friday, July 30

Simcoe Day vs. Civic Holiday

A holiday for no real reason, what's not to like?

Civic Holiday, a statutory holiday celebrated throughout Canada under a variety of names by region, was established in honour of Simcoe by the Toronto City Council in 1869. Other Ontario municipalities and then other provinces soon took up the holiday as well, leading to its Canada-wide status, but without any attribution to Simcoe. In 1965, the Toronto City Council declared the holiday would henceforth be known as Simcoe Day within Toronto. Attempts have been made to have the official provincial name—still Civic Holiday—amended, but none have succeeded.

Now here is something to get you super excited for the weekend...and next year.

Thursday, July 29

You know when something seems like a good idea at the time...

But then you realize how it was not as cool as you originally thought? Well that seems to be the case when I chose the song for this video. I regret the decision immediately...well after seeing it in full and listening to the lyrics anyway...FAILBURGER WITH CHEESE.

Wednesday, July 28

Must be nice...

Don't exactly see a lot of these in my neck of the suburbs. I raced him in my Civic and won. True story.

Tuesday, July 27

News is news, just had to share.

Back off! Get your own sandwich!

The Toronto Star is sure reporting good news today - it's stuff like this that gets me through the day. Chatham seems like a rough part of Ontario...

CHATHAM, ONT.—Police in Chatham, Ont., have charged a woman with assault after her boyfriend was punched twice — the first time in an alleged dispute over a sandwich.

Investigators say a man made his girlfriend a sandwich Monday evening and when she only ate half, she said he could have the other half.

A short time later, police say the woman became infuriated that the sandwich was missing and punched her boyfriend in the face.

Police say later in the night the two became involved in an unrelated argument and she punched him in the chest.

A 27-year-old Chatham woman has been charged with two counts of assault.

She has been held in custody pending a bail hearing.


Toronto Burlesque Festival

No matter who you tell, it seems that people get the wrong impression when you talk about the whole thing. I'll admit that it's probably more sexy than most people are used to, but it's all in good fun. And like I said, except for the one or two drag queens, it's a pretty normal crowd that seems to attend this thing. I'm not a complete perv.

Come on folks, the Toronto Burlesque Festival is a main stream event (somewhat). It was even in the Toronto Star - that's how I found out about it.

Anyway, there are worse ways to spend a Thursday night than in TO hanging out with your friends. Variety is the spice of life once you get sucked into the machine after all.

Monday, July 26

NEWSFLASH: Dragon boat gets some media coverage.

Seems like I've been writing a lot about dragon boating lately but it's all I really got going on but it's all I can really think about this morning, as my body is mangled from what was probably the hardest 2-hour practice ever yesterday, and I'm looking forward to struggling tonight as well.

On the upside we did manage to hit up some pretty good food at this Pakistani place called Lahore Tikka House and I even managed to try out cow brains for the first time (salty, tastes like cooked oysters), which was pretty interesting. All of that eventually lead to the meat sweats but was satisfying overall (thank goodness I didn't have to drive home after as the itis set in hard). The place was pretty ghetto, but fitting as we were all drenched in Lake Ontario water + hardcore sweat after all.


On a more fun note, it's always cool to see yourself on TV. ALWAYS. I remember when I was on Rogers cable that one time for playing in some tennis tournament and then on the Speed channel the other during one of those random close up of cheering fans in the crows shots, and I almost shit my pants (twice). Maybe I did, I can't remember because the experience was just that intense.

Anyway, it just so happens that the Banana Boat's team Captain was on eTalk on CTV during a segment called Jully in July, where Canadian singer Jully Black tries some fun activity in and around the T DOT. In this segment she paddled with the GWN Premier Women, which is probably the most winningest all female team in the sport (and I probably just made that stat up but they do win a lot it seems), to give dragon boating a try.

Check out the GWN Premier Women's site for a good looking crew. And by good looking team I mean a boat full of hot chicks, and not referring to their paddling skill btw. I think they're currently in Macau for the World Championships representing Canada at the moment so cheer them on.

Sunday, July 25

St. Catharines has crappy starts

The weird thing about the St Catharines Regatta is that the current is so strong on the river that the race times get super skewed as a result. The worst part is that with that strong current it's impossible to have a fair start as it is constantly sweeping the boats down stream even as you sit there.

It's hard to put the blame on the organizers because the river conditions are so crazy, but the starts gave some teams (including ours) very unfair advantages as some teams were doing their best to hold the boat dead while others are actually traveling through the start line with a fair bit of speed. The starter just instantaneously calls it when the boats are more or less lined up, but he never takes into consideration the fact that some boats have a running start.

It sucks to see your medal round race go to luck and chance.

We finished 3rd place in the B division. The time in the above race was 2:03 (yeah I know). You can see the rest of the videos HERE.

Friday, July 23

Now for something completely different...

I'm struggling pretty hard at work right now so I thought I'd blog rather than hurt my brain. It's all because we went to the Toronto Burlesque Festival yesterday and we didn't get out until way later than I would like to for a work night (I'm weak!). TGIF.

It was opening night and not knowing what to expect I was completely surprised with how fun the show was and even more so with the turnout (In a good way). I essentially thought it was going to be a huge sausage fest but apparently more girls than guys like to see this kind of thing and The Gladstone Hotel was packed. Not your average Thursday night at all, unless you're Mickey Rourke or something.

Anyway, it's not raunchy or weird as you might think, but rather a really fun/funny event where the women act and perform with confidence, they fling around gay and sex jokes like nobody's business and the audience totally gets into it.

Festival ProgramThe Gladstone Hotel

On a side note there are male burlesque performers as well...did not know that. Pretty much made the girls go ape shit even more so than with the other performers. I didn't know that this type of even was such a big photo op. A few creepy guys coming by themselves with tons of camera gear and video cameras FTL.

I'll post some of the crappy cell phone pictures I took later, I have to sort through the ones what are not safe for anyone...

Extreme mountain biking in Burlington!

Maybe just for me because I felt like I was on the brink of a heart implosion every now and again, but at least Jon let me lead for a while after I pleaded for mercy.

It's an interesting area in Burlington that we rode once again. From Snake Road you can enter the trails ride along the Bruce trail, and if you come out and ride along the roads you'll see eventually signs for Waterdown, Hamilton and Flamborough. I swear, at any given point if someone were to ask me where I was my best answer would be Ontario.

The convenient part is that if you get lost you can follow the train tracks back to Snake Rd. (if you choose the right direction). The inconvenient part is that it destroys your balls riding along the track (hello padded bike shorts). If it wasn't for the master of the trails' sense of direction riding next to me I'd be toast bacon.

Anyway, prepare for some video that is at 1000% of the original speed. If you're epileptic I would probably not watch it...

In related news, I find the GoPro video under heavy shade and overcast gets extremely noisy and the color gets very faded. For best results use in direct sunlight (is what they don't tell you).

Thursday, July 22

Honda Civic Powahaha

One of the things that I did when I bought my car was keep track of the gas mileage that I've been getting, just so I can get a grip on whether I actually suck at driving stick Civics are efficient as they say. It's grown into a spreadsheet since then, but it seems pretty useful to keep track of the costs of gas, maintenance (which I'll be adding to another tab) and financing like this to know exactly where I stand when it comes to the cost of car ownership. One step closer to getting my finances in check, I guess.

It's interesting to see that my mileage was no so great when I was trying to learn stick, but all in all it seems pretty good. I have yet to hit an actual 800+ km tank though.

It's a work in progress, much like my life.

Wednesday, July 21

Biking in the Burl!

Burlington, Ontario that is. Went for an evening ride with Jon-o-vision yesterday and had a chance to actually use my GoPro this time. Thank goodness I didn't pull any stunts on the trail like last time's tragic fall, but Jon took it relatively easy on me (Praise Science!) so I made it out alive.

Here's a video he made from our last ride, I'll see if I can't throw together something from this ride real soon.

The GoPro is definitely coming in handy these days.

Monday, July 19

Mississauga Ribfest!

It's not every day that you get to consume like 5 pounds of meat/3000 calories in a single sitting but what they hay. While it's definitely not the best thing ever that you can do for your body, sometimes you just have to succumb to the deliciousness.


Ribs + Chicken + Pulled Pork + Beans + Coleslaw + Beer = WIN!

Friday, July 16

Banana Boat vs. Hamilton Dragon Boat Festival

First regatta of the season complete.

Paddles up young bloods!

Thursday, July 15

The 5 stages of driving stick

So now that I like to consider myself a somewhat capable manual driver (and can use my Civic power to pump out over 650KM a tank without even breaking a sweat (Hell Yeah!)), I thought I'd share a few notes on the whole fiasco adventure of getting here...

Here's something I like to call the 5 stages of driving stick.


You have just gotten your car and want to drive it everywhere. And you do, but you keep stalling at what seems to be all the most inconvenient places, often putting everyone's lives in certain peril. Empty parking lots and back streets are for losers, and you believe that (like most other things) the internet is the best teacher for the situation.

You realize that driving automatic took little to no pedal control and that moving from a complete stop is your enemy. You bring up the RPM before even letting the clutch out and your 1-2-3rd gear transition is a little rough. You also keep a keen eye on the tach when you should be keeping it on the road...

While driving, you get a calf cramp after an intense session at the gym and fear for your life while weaving through traffic. But at least you're still alive at this point.


You've done it - you can shift! At this point you're just driving anywhere you can for the hell of it, and switching as many gears as possible in the process. You try to shift as fast as you can and get all up in the VTEC just for kicks. You want to try every trick of the trade, from heel toe down shifting to engine braking even though you really don't even need to (most of the time).

You sometimes sit in that jackass position where you are leaned over, with your left hand at 12 o'clock and your right hand on the shifter and realize how much of an idiot anyone is sitting like this in an automatic. You then realize that you yourself are a jackass for sitting in this totally impractical and uncomfortable position.

You believe you can race any other car on the street simply because of your driving abilities and not because of your vehicle's performance.

You also wash your care like once a week.


Now that your car is nicely broken in paranoia begins to set in. You have a hard time telling whether your joy riding has taken it's toll or if you have actually gotten better at working the clutch.

You hear all sorts of stories about people having to change their clutches after a few thousand KM and you hope that you're not one of them. You read about self adjusting clutches, stage 2 flywheels and all sorts of other nonsense that you think applies to you, and you calculate how much it will cost to replace these parts.

You get your friends and family to drive the car around because you have no idea what's going on with it (since it's the first ever manual after all) and you stall for the first time in a long while.

Meanwhile, nothing is actually wrong with the car and you realize your left calf muscle is jacked.


Now that the clutch scare is over with you try to get you're efficiency up. You stay in 2nd while in traffic and leave some nice buffer room so you don't have to clutch in. You get into 5th as quickly as possible and you see your mileage soar like a majestic turkey vulture.

You believe that you can eat an drive at the same time, but then slowly realize that there is actually an advantage to driving automatic.


You now believe that you can now teach someone to drive manual even better than you've been taught. You don't really need to look at the tach anymore and getting moving at 1500RPM is easy peasy lemon squeezy. You also resent driving in stop/go traffic for anything more than an hour.

When you drive an automatic vehicle you go for the clutch when there is none and you also realize that you've never actually used the dead pedal before, and that it's extremely comfortable.

And while I'm not quite here yet, I believe at some point (when you have kids or something) you'll begin to hate driving manual. You bummed knee is probably giving problems and getting stuck in traffic is a royal pain. You also realize that your 2-door coupe probably isn't suitable for that car seat and your baby's mama.

And your left calf muscle gets even more jacked.

Now here are some random pictures to end this post.

Wednesday, July 14

Hump Day Continues...

On a pretty daily basis, one of the things I like to do as an afternoon break is walk around to check my mail (even though I get none), wash my mug, check the supply closet for new goodies (it's like Christmas when we get those gel pens) and then grab a coffee from the Tim Hortons downstairs (XL - 1 milk + 1 sugar, in case you want to buy me one).

Sometimes when I'm feeling like a fat ass fancy I get a donut. Today was one of those days.

Break Time

Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, July 13

Hamilton Dragon Boat Festival Videos

Or more precisely: The Lively Dragon Waterfest Hamilton Dragon Boat Event. Ain't that a mouthful?

Anyway, here are some videos from our races at this joyous event. It was a huge tragedy that my 16GB memory card ran out of space just before the final 2000m race was about to begin, but let's put it this way: at least I have 16GB of who knows what to sort through so I can make a more playful team edit.

F Division Final, Race 27

Round 2, Race 16

Race 39 - 250m Bonus

You can see the rest of the race videos HERE.

Sunday, July 11

The drought is over! ...and miscellaneous debris.

So we did it - F division Champs! We threw down 2:34.90, 2:27.97 and 2:25.77 in our final. While that was nowhere as impressive as last year, my happiness level is through the roof as I finally have something to show for this sport. Damn those 1st years who got medals in their first regatta ever, lol.

Anyway, I thought it was pretty clear that we had a lot of first race jitters (just check the differences in our times!), with half of the boat being brand new and all. The marshals were also all over the place as we never got to warm up even once (I'm pretty sure I pulled my groin (again)). And the fact that we were short an entire bench caused a lot of moving around of positions all over the boat as well. Despite all that noise we managed to somehow make it through.

Not bad for our first race of the season, but as our coach said: We got a shit load lot of work to do. Pimpin' ain't easy.

I also managed to get in a morning mountain bike with Jon today, and let me tell you that biking ain't easy either. That or Jon has deceived me for years and is secretly a cyborg since he totally disgraced my fat ass with his mountain biking prowess (aka fitness level and trail savvy) as I was literally left in the dirt. Meanwhile, I managed to fly over my handlebars into a soft pile of mud. That was pretty much the most extreme part of the ride...that and also being on the edge of dying from exhaustion or a cliff at any given point.

On top of that, after showing no general interest in the World Cup, I also managed to watch it. While my previous soccer cup watching total pretty much comes up to 0.5 hours of some game 2 weeks ago, I have to admit that watching the final was pretty exciting. I especially enjoyed the jump kick to the chest and the fact that the ref was dropping yellow cards like they were hot. But really, any excuse to get together with friends over food and drink is good enough for me.

Then to cap it all off, we ended up getting some ice cream and watching Predators, which was definitely not one of the best things in the World. Damn the HST because I forgot to bring some of my beloved coupons and had to pay up.

So now I'm officially burnt out and going to bed at 9:30. Monday morning, here I come.

Saturday, July 10

First regatta of the season/Opponents prepare to be crushed.

Banana Boat hits the Lively Dragon Waterfest in Hamilton, Ontario today. It's our first regatta of the season and even though (some of) our team's work ethic has been a little less than stellar this year, I'm hoping we can still win something...

Let's hope we don't burn out go out in a blaze of glory like last year.

We're also registered to do a 2000m this time too...we'll see how that goes...

Friday, July 9

Ottawa River whitewater rafting with River Run Adventures

It's like no matter what song I choose, YouTube wants to complain about copyright. Looks like I'll have to dust off the old keytar and synthesizer and start to make some tunes of my own pretty soon...

Thursday, July 8

Bye Bye Bosh. Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat.

Not that I'm a huge Basketball fan or anything, I just happen to have these pictures laying around...

Flickr slideshow widget strikes again!

Wednesday, July 7

Extreme adventure rafting/The GoPro lives...

So I'm still slowly sorting through this rafting footage (heat wave has turned me into a bum is making me lazier than usual) and I'm still pretty surprised that that GoPro made it out alive since it is called Extreme Adventure Rafting after all...


While I'll admit that I was pretty scared about the whole waterproof part, I now have a fair amount of confidence in the housing and the strength of the mounts (although I opted not to bring it out for a second day...also had nowhere to charge it). It withstood the rapids, the constant banging against my paddle and scraping up against the boat and rocks.


While skiing and biking with the camera is one thing, being completely submerged in water and getting hammered by rapids is another.


The part that I was most afraid of was the top flipping open and the camera ejecting just like us out of the boat. All it really takes is a flick for the thing to disengage.


A smarter version of me would have stuck a piece of duck tape over the top just to make sure but apparently I wasn't that clever at the time. All I did really was tie a shoelace around one end, tie the other end to my life jacket and hope for the best.


Anyway, watching the videos, 6 person rafting is really more violent that you would imagine. When the guide flips the boat you pretty much go instantaneously from your seat into rapids, with a nice face full of water.


As a spectator you can see the part where someone falls like 4 feet off a vertical boat onto the guy next to you (which is probably why I have bruises all over), but from a first person point of view you're basically sitting one second and in the drink the next.


At the same time though, rafting is also really exciting and super fun provided you can swim...otherwise I think it would basically be a struggle for your life. Pansy.


You can embed a flickr slideshow? Who knew!

Sunday, July 4

Whitewater Rafting on the Ottawa River with the GoPro Camera

They might as well call it whitewater swimming because that's pretty much what the 6 person adventure rafts are all about. Since we were basically a boat of the manliest men on the river, our guide took every opportunity to flip our boat as intensely as possible to hammer us out. It also helped that we were with a group of brothers who do the trip yearly and have the same guide each time - they definitely knew what was up.

I've never been rafting before so I wasn't really sure what to expect, but taking in face fulls of water is it. Lots of paddling, flipping, swimming and fun. I didn't think you would flip the boat so much but man was I wrong. Basically every run on a rapid that you come across (which you can surf on) ends up with the guide flipping the boat and everyone swimming for their lives. Ok, maybe not for their lives but back to the boat at least. It's a more violent motion than you would expect as basically everyone falls on each other (and I have the bruises to prove it).

There are two types of rafts on the river: a 12 person boat which is a huge behemoth of a raft that is impossible to flip, and it basically cruises down the river like a dead whale. Then there's also the 6 person, which is highly maneuverable, much less stable and can basically flip on a dime when the guide wants to. The 6 person is definitely not for the faint of heart as there were many people who chose to sit out after the first run.

If you don't know how to swim or aren't a strong swimmer then this is definitely not something for you. Let me tell you that it gets pretty sketchy when you come up under the raft in the rushing water - you just have to remember not to panic and then GTFO.

Anyway, here are a few clips from the first day until I get some more time to throw an edit together.

A look at what we were up against...

Here's Kevin holding on for dear life before he went head first...

This is what it looks like to take a swim in the Ottawa...I lost my shoe here...

A more or less successful surf before the flip...I even managed to pick up an extra paddle...

Us just getting soaked for the heck of it on the first rapid...

After seeing the other companies and boats on the river, I would definitely say that River Run is the premiere choice for rafting on the Ottawa. I think they are one of the only ones that allow you to choose 2 days of consecutive 6 person rafts and they were really a world class crew.

Saturday, July 3

Air Canada San Francisco to Toronto Time Lapse Video

Air travel has been pretty sparse for me this year, as I'm not exactly an international man of mystery, and most of my 2010 vacations have included driving great distances so far. I found this in the archives and thought I'd share it with y'all while I'm away drowning in the Ottawa river.

Point and shoots have come a long way...

Friday, July 2

Tighten all those bike parts or you might regret it...

So I was out riding earlier this week while suddenly my pedal decided to bail out on me right after a short hill climb. Luckily I was able to hold it together and avoid any real injury (because I'm a pro) but the one crank arm suffered a little wear and tear as it jarred loose and flew off, killing a family of beavers in a nearly creek.

Unfortunately, my multi-tool didn't have a huge hex key for the bottom bracket (I think that's what it's called), so I had to take a walk of shame and call home for emergency evac.

The off-road bike trails in the suburbs of Mississauga aren't exactly the most intense thing you've ever ride, but they're easily accessible and you can cover a ton of ground on the relatively flat gravel and dirt tracks. None of them really loop back because they follow along a handful of winding creeks or rivers so it's sometimes easy to lose your bearings (at least with my sense of direction). Luckily you know that a roads or main intersection isn't that far away if you need a point of reference.

I've only really been getting into riding recently but it's been surprising to see how many mountain bikers you'll see in full gear and Camelbaks riding around after dinner. If you think about it, it's actually pretty convenient for a quick evening spin considering you don't have to drive out anywhere and the trail entrances are just around the corner...and that you're in Mississauga after all.

So much for a leisurely evening ride...

Thursday, July 1

Going whitewater rafting and the GoPro is coming with me

You can't blame Canada for having it's birthday on a Thursday, but you can blame your work for not giving us the Friday off (in a perfect world). Anyway, like a lot of Canadians I took a vacation day to hit up some whitewater rafting on the Ottawa river. It'll be a first for me but I'm predicting 4 days of awesome.

I've decided to take the GoPro with me because its supposedly waterproof, but I have no idea how I will be mounting it. Jon and I combined shipping and bought some accessories for the cams (which arrived super fast btw) so we'll have a few options to choose from. Looks like I'll also have to tie it to my helmet with a shoelace or something just in case because apparently the camera sinks just like me...

This could be epic win/fail.