Sunday, July 24, 2011

Smooth Move, ex-lax 

We made the big move yesterday with maybe only slightly less effort than Cadel Evans' big move in yesterday's time trial (vaulting him from 3rd to 1st!) The heat was less today but still over 30 and warmer with humidity factored in (I think it topped out at 37C today compared to over 40 on Thursday). I keep thinking it's probably fine weather to sit on a patio with a beer but just ungodly hot for moving.

Luckily our movers were great and very professional and had moved both of us by just after lunch. Then we went on an expedition to find a fan for me which took longer than the move!? Finally got one at Rona.

We still have a few things to move out (small stuff to put in storage) and we got a dumpster "bag"; a huge vinyl bag which you unfold on your lawn and call a crane to come pick up. It's like a soft dumpster that costs a little less than getting a dumpster. But we have 2-3 weeks to do all that — should be done with a week left to clean up.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Maillot Jaune 

Thomas Voeckler (in the Maillot Jaune) and his teammates (in Europcar green).

I finally looked up the phrase Phil Liggett keeps using during the Tour de France instead of Yellow Jersey; "Maillot Jaune". Turns out, "maillot" is really just another word for shirt or jersey.

The word is also used for "maillot de bain" or swim suit or even "tank tops" or any kind of shirt made from stretchy "jersey-like" fabric.

I guess the word "Jersey" doesn't translate because it's the place name where the fabric was first made. Its first uses being underwear then later for athletic and swimming garments.

Apparently CoCo Chanel outraged fashionistas by using the fabric for items other than underwear and is credited/blamed with it's acceptance.

Olympic swimmers (LOC)
A trio of Olympic swimmers in their jersey-knitwear swim suits. I find it hard to believe the guy on the left is an "Olympian" but it's easy to see the patriotism of the chap in the middle. "How can I call more attention to my crotch? Ah, yes, this should do."

Another bit of trivia: I always assumed the term "Tank Top" came from the military, being a sleeveless undershirt worn inside a tank due to the heat. It actually comes from swimming as it described the sleeveless top you'd wear when swimming in a "tank" or pool (early above ground pools were referred to as "swimming tanks"). This is all starting to sound like an Abraham Simpson story, “I wore on onion on my belt, as was the fashion at the time…”

Of course, this trivia comes from Wikipedia so it could just be absolute crap.

*There’s also a Paris subway stop called Porte Maillot but it seems to derive its name as a version of the place name, Maille (confirmation required), like the French mustard company, “Maille”, which has no connection whatsoever to the Tour de France.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some of "The Weight" has Lifted

Ryder Hesjedal celebrates after helping Thor Hushovd win Stage 16 at the Tour de France (Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateau to Gap

Ryder Hesjedal had his best day at this year's Tour de France. After a disappointing start getting caught behind at least two large peleton crashes earlier in the tour, Hesjedal has been working doggedly for the team and today briefly led a break away as he crossed the Col de Manse but was caught on the descent by Edvald Boasson Hagen and teammate Thor Hushovd. Probably realizing he didn't have the speed to beat Boasson Hagen and Hushovd, he worked with his fellow Garmin-Cervélo rider, to ensure Hushovd finished atop the podium. A fine day's ride, 161.6 km up the Alps. I couldn't be happier for him. Here's hoping he has a successful last week.

Labels: ,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Signal Hill 

Thus far my trip back to Newfoundland has delivered big family meals, some physical activity, sight-seeing, whales spotted, sun, wind, fog and rain. Here's a few photos from an afternoon outing to Signal Hill. On a sunny day you've got amazing vistas of the city and of the Atlantic Ocean, and if you're lucky like we were, you may even spot some whales.

Music is Black Hole by Kenseth Thibideau

There was also a wedding going on while we were there and a local had with him his enormous Newfoundland Dog (it may have been a small black bear though). There was also an ominous and beautiful fog bank that struck the hills and tumbled down into the city below. It was actually a really hot day and earlier, Mike and I had done a surprisingly fast 10 KM run (53:48 mins). The temperature really drops at night of course. After a decade in Toronto, you sort of forget how cold it can get at night (daytime high was mid 20s while at night it dropped to 10C).

Today, while others are seeing the visiting Cirque du Soleil, Mike and I are hanging back with Dad making Carnitas (see Mike Kurtz's recipe here) for supper tonight which we'll serve up with salads and mojitos. It's probably out of place on a day like today when the winds are knocking over trees and causing general havoc. All in a day's weather on the Rock.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Canada Dry Day 

Take a tipple from a bottle of ginger ale you made yourself. It's like a science experiment gone right!

It's a been a hot weekend here in Hogtown. It started to feel like the Big Smoke as the sky grew hazier and hazier. Hopefully that haze will be broken with the recent showers.

But what can you do when there aren't any showers to break the heat? Just reach for some olde-fashioned homemade ginger ale. I just made some and it's a lightly fizzy, refreshing drink that goes well with white rum or gin. It's easy-peasy.

For a litre bottle, mix a ½ cup of sugar, with ¼ teaspoon of yeast. Poor that into an empty 1 litre pop bottle.

Grate enough fresh ginger root to make about a tablespoon's worth. Set aside in a bowl, then squeeze the juice of a lemon over the ginger.

Pour this into the pop bottle over the sugar and yeast mixture. Top up the bottle with water but leave about 2" of air space. Shake to combine.

Cap the bottle tightly and leave on the counter for about 24 hours. This gives enough time for the yeast to ferment and create just a little bit of fizz (not soft drink "fizz" but more like a light beer "fizz"). Pop it in the fridge to cool and once it's cold crack it open (slowly) and enjoy.

Labels: ,

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Seen in June

The great looking, romantic existential crisis comedy from Woody Allen, image via

I saw a lot of comedians in concert or in documentaries this month. Seeing into the mind of a comedian is a scary thing. A scary funny thing. Other than those documentaries/concert films, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris was probably my favourite of the month. It was a return to a lighter, frothier, romantic, philosophical Allen that has been absent for awhile. It also just looks great and Paris in the summer is something everyone can agree on (ask the army of riders making their way to Paris right now in le Tour de France).
Read more »

Labels: ,