Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Thursday, February 5, 2009 has an iPhone app called the Livestrong Calorie Counter that works in conjunction with your DailyPlate account. You can look up their database on-the-go and add foods/exercises and then sync it with your online username/interface.
Thursday, February 5, 2009 9:54:32 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Fitness | Food#
Last week I started the Couch to 5k program again and started all the way back at week one again, thinking that it had been too long since my last run. Where I was gasping for breath a year and a half ago on the last interval, I was able to complete week one’s workout barely breaking a sweat.
Thursday, February 5, 2009 9:39:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Fitness | Food#
Monday, September 24, 2007

And by that I also mean Canada, parts of Mexico, certain parts of the Caribbean(cough) and Western Europe, just so you don't think I'm picking on the US.

I'm in Miami this week, I arrived yesterday afternoon and wandered around the Dolphin Mall outlet stores for a bit and then Macy's at the International Mall as they were open until 8 and everyone else was closed. After leaving, and on my way back to my hotel (Summerfield Suites by Hyatt, by the way... 37" LG LCD TV, in-room high speed internet, full kitchen, bedroom & bathroom separate from living area, and if you're a Cayman resident, you can get the $99 special Cayman rate) I indulged in a little dinner that I can't get in Cayman: McDonalds.

Usually when I get to Miami I have a Big Mac combo, but last night, just to shake things up a little, I had the Big n Tasty. Combo. And McNuggets. And a chipotle bbq snack wrap. And a coke.

I now have no need to go back to McD's for another year. Ugh. The snack wrap wasn't bad... it was one chicken strip in a tortilla with some bbq goo and cheese. I ate about 1/3 of it then opened it up and pulled the chicken out. Surprising no one but myself, when I added the snack wrap to my plate on, that little bastard was 320 calories! The Chicken McNuggets were probably the best tasting out of all of it, with the "hot mustard" sauce. Needless to say, I was a few hundred calories over the recommended limit for the day.

This morning I skipped the free hot breakfast at the hotel and opted for the portion-controlled "cup" of Raisin Bran w/ 2% milk and a 4oz cup of yogurt. Maybe one of these other days I'll try their sausage and eggs. Anyway, on to lunch, which is where this post came together in my head:

I was driving around the Doral area, just west of the Miami Airport and saw all the usual suspects: McD's, Wendy's BK, Subway... I always steer clear of BK, Wendy's and Subway, and even Quizno's now because they have those in Cayman and if I want any of those. Next to a BK was a Boston Market... I think I've been there once before, and in my head it was a bit like Chicken! Chicken! in Cayman: still fast food, but not quite as bad. I ended up having the 5oz Roasted Turkey meal with green beans and the mac & cheese. Sure the mac & cheese was probably as bad or worse than a large fries, but I offset it with the green beans and the lean turkey! Right??

What surprised me though were the other people there... most of them had purchased bottled water rather than a fountain soft drink, and aside from a few bad apples, most people were picking the healthier choices: veggies, veggies and more veggies. The girl ahead of me ordered veggies and green beans,with no starch at all, and a bottle of water. My heart began to lift and I thought there may be hope for the obesity epidemic (of which I'm part, obviously) until I saw the line at the BK drive through next door :)

Monday, September 24, 2007 10:47:22 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food | Travel#
Sunday, April 15, 2007

Last weekend was the Easter Long Weekend. A traditional time in Cayman to go camping! OK, whatever... I'm not sure what the history is on that, but every Easter weekend, people get all packed up with all their new camping gear, generators and all the comforts of home and drive a mile or two to the beach and set up camp. Does no one remember HAVING to live like that for nearly two months after Hurricane Ivan?? Anyway, it's tradition now and no one asks why, because it's tradition.

Good Friday afternoon Lee called me up and asked if I was up for a ride. Suuuuure, no problem, twist my arm to go for a ride around the island on my Vespa when it's nice and sunny. We met at his place in South Sound and took off the long way around South Sound and then headed east. We stopped momentarily near Pedro Castle as Lee's Vespa was really loud. He said he was having some problems with the exhaust and that Piaggio had issued a recall. We took stock of the situation but continued on and stopped again at the Lighthouse restaurant in Breakers. His exhaust seemed to be holding up, so we continued along to Frank Sound Road and headed for Northside with the intention of hitting Over the Edge for lunch.

As a side note, I was sent a link a few days ago about a scooter forum that was talking about the Piaggo recall ofthe Vespa 250GTS because of the exhaust leak. When we looked at Lee's, I asked what was around there that could be affected by the excess heat. The throttle linkage for starters, and a couple other components. What I didn't realize was right there until I read it in that forum post was the PETROL PIPE (the fuel line in English 2.0) is right there. I'd say that's pretty sensetive to heat! Sure enough on that forum post was pictures of a guy who had to hop off his Vespa GT250 right quick while he was on the motorway because it caught fire and BURNED TO THE GROUND. Fortunately nothing like that happened to Lee's Vespa, and since he's seen this forum post, he's welded his exhaust shut and has ordered an aftermarket replacement.

We made it around to Over the Edge and sat outside on the patio overlooking the ocean. It was nice, a bit of a breeze and only a few menacing dark clouds around. "Maybe we'll see a waterspout out at see if we're lucky."

Lee ordered a glass of the new beer on-island called Caybrew. I opted for a Diet Coke. Ten minutes later they brought us our drinks and asked if we were ready to order. I didn't notice it til it was too late, but the glass hadbeen sitting for those ten minutes with the ice melting, so when I poured in the diet pepsi, I could see it mixing with all the water. Bleah. Neither of us wanted a "big lunch" of Mahi Mahi with veg and rice & beans or anything so I ordered the hamburger. It's small, it's cheap, it's just right. "Sorry, no hamburgers today, already finish."

Over The Edge

How do you run out of hamburger on the first day of a four day weekend? Lee was going to have one too, soon that news, we decided to just have the beverages and then continue on to Kaibo or head back towards town and have a burger at Durty Reid's before it's closed down to make way for the new East-WEst highway. We asked for the check. She didn't know what we meant. We asked for the bill, still nothing. Finally Lee asked for la cuenta, and she nodded and disapeared for a few minutes. Finally she came back with the bill... $4.00 for the Caybrew draft. Not so bad. $4.00 for a can of Diet Pepsi? I called the waitress over and asked her if she made a mistake on the bill, and she just shook her head. I guess not. We grudgingly paid up and left, heading back into town to Calico Jack's on Public Beach. They were closed. We then headed down the road to the Sunshine Grill and finally got our burgers for lunch around 4:30pm. Seriously though... $4.00 for a fucking can of Diet Pepsi? Last frackin' time I go back to Over the Edge. OK, OK, I'll give them a pass and just make sure I'm in the mood for fish next time someone suggests it.


Sunday, April 15, 2007 10:54:56 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [6] | Cayman | Food | Scooter#
Monday, April 9, 2007
It looks like bread, but it's more dense and is dark brown. Along with raisins, I'm trying to figure out by taste what else is in it. It's obviously spiced, and it's more of a sweet bread than a savory one. Im guessing cinnamon, ginger, maybe nutmeg but that's rather distinctive and I didn't taste it... who knows what else. I'll have to cheat and look it up.
Monday, April 9, 2007 2:44:05 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Food#
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What a week. I spent a lot of time this week traveling for work. I flew up to Miami last Wednesday and drove to Ft Lauderdale. On the way I popped into McDonalds for my almost-annual pilgrimage to the House of Mac. Once I was done in Ft Lauderdale, I hopped a flight on Continental to Houston and got the crappiest seat in the house: a middle seat in the last row, right by the bathrooms. Bleah.

I was looking for some Texas Barbecue for dinner, but Mother Nature had other plans. I was waiting on a friend to drive up from Austin, and it took her over four hours to make it up because of the tail end of the ice storm. Poor thing should have just turned around when she saw a car go off a bridge and go end-over-end into the middle of a field.

I asked at the front desk if there was a good barbecue pit around the hotel (Holiday Inn on JFK Blvd. Harsh old-school hotel. And I mean that. Old.) and the girl at the front desk said she wasn't from around Houston, and pointed me to the Saltgrass Steakhouse. A chain restaurant. While I was waiting, I checked them out online and seemed to be sort of what I was looking for. Then I waited. And waited some more. When I was done that, I waited a bit longer. I was sure she drove off the road somewhere and was sitting in a ditch, but she made it through at about 10:00. I wasn't sure if the place was still open, so instead we had dinner at a place called "Good Eats" that was attached to the hotel. Talk about your false advertising. Since they didn't have barbecue on the menu, I went with the next best regional dish they did have: Chicken Fried Steak aka heart attack on a plate. A cube steak, breaded and fried and then smothered in cream gravy. It was massive. I cut it about in half and aimed for finishing just that much. I did, but I paid dearly for it later on that night. If nothing else, it's cured my craving for a chicken fried steak for a few more years.

On Friday morning I ran into Zac (almost, not literally) on his bike in morning traffic. He said that he and Steph were going to Bed (which has just recently re-opened) for dinner and why didn't I come along? Sure thing, I've been meaning to try it out since they re-opened. We met up at 6:30 and ordered some appies and a bottle of wine. I got the roasted caprese salad, Steph got the goat's cheese crostini and Zac had their brie wheel. Yummo.

For dinner, I ordered the pork tenderloin roulade, as did Zac. It came with some veggies and mushroom risotto. Steph had the stuffed chicken breast, which looked pretty good. Everything was really good, except the risotto which was "just" good :)

Finally for dessert we had a menage a trois... Got your attention, didn't I? Like the stuffed chicken breast who's filling changes day-to-day, the menage a trois is a three-layered dessert that changes fairly frequently, too. Friday night was a macadamia nut brownie base, with a peanut butter cream middle layer, and none of us could remember what the third layer was when it was described to us because we were already "you had me at peanut butter cream!" I think it was some sort of creme fraiche or cheesecake, as it had that little tang to it. We contemplated ordering something else to share as well, but Zac said he was only going to have a taste. Once it showed up he changed his mind and we devoured it like a pack of jackals! It was soooooo good!

I asked Steph how she knew about the dessert before we even sat down, and it turns out that their roommate Vanessa is the chef at Bed now. How cool is that? I guess she was a responsible chef and did lots of tasting while she was making it and tipped Steph off that it was ZOMGAWESOME. She was right. I was wondering who was going to be running the kitchen there, as the chef who was there before Hurricane Ivan was Sheila of Pulled Pork fame and she's gone back to Vancouver to open a restaurant in White Rock with Batty.

Just to completely mess with my stomach and my palate, I'm back in Houston again today and once I was done the work I came here to do I headed off to get some lunch: Whataburger. Whataburger is a Texas thing. They may have some other locations, but I've only ever seen them in Texas. I ordered a bacon & cheese Whataburger "all the way". Only in Texas do they have diet Dr Pepper on tap, along with a jug of sweet tea and a jig of unsweetened tea. Mmmmmmm gutbomb!

I had dinner at the hotel restaurant tonight and it was better than the last hotel restaurant I ate at, but we'll see how the night goes. I went for the barbecue baby back ribs and they were actually pretty good. I prepared a zantac and glass of water for later though, just in case. The room & bed in this hotel are miles above the last one, but the wired Ethernet in the room is $9.95 a day. Lame. When I stayed in Houston at the end of December on my way back from Vancouver, I stayed at a Marriott Courtyard, and they had free wi-fi throughout the hotel. How much of a nerd does it make me that I actually go out of my way to stay in hotels that has free Internet access over other amenities? :)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 3:57:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food | Travel#
Friday, January 12, 2007
Wetpixel is announcing that Amazon has pulled all of their Shark Fin Soup products from all their various online stores after 10 days of merciless hounding and pounding by the inernet-at-large.

Behold the power of the internet! :) Now if only I could harness some of that power to get Divers Supply Grand Cayman to replace my dive computer that they hosed!

Friday, January 12, 2007 8:27:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Food | Links | Underwater#
Thursday, January 4, 2007

Ok I doubt it, but whatever. Shark fin soup is a delicacy in Japanese cuisine. There are some pretty scary things that are considered delicacies in Japanese cuisine. Then again, there's some pretty scary things in pretty much any ethnic cuisine. (Haggis anyone? how about some black pudding? Tripe? bleah to all of them!) The thing about shark fin soup is that they only use the cartilage of certain fins. The rest of the shark is bycatch. There are some pretty sick videos available on the net that show sharks being finned (ie their fins cut off) while they're still alive, and then chucked back overboard to die slowly and painfully. Add to that the bycatch when trawling for sharks includes dolphins, rays, mantas and just about everything but Jimmy Hoffa and it's all cast aside to get just the shark's fins.

If you're going to catch it, eat it. Eat it all. I have no problem with people hunting or fishing if it's going to become their food, or traded for food or whatever (sustenance fishing/hunting and I don't think you need a semi- or full-automatic rifle to do it). I don't subscribe to the "meat is murder" philosophy and I like my steak medium rare. I've been to a slaughterhouse before, when I was a teenaged line-cook who wasn't showing enough respect for what I was cooking. it was jarring but it didn't put me off meat.

Shark fin soup gets on my tits though. A couple days ago someone was searching around on Amazon and found a store that sold Shark Fin Soup. Wetpixel posted it up with directions on what to do to pressure Amazon to take it down. Divester picked up the story and ran with it, as did a few other scuba diving related websites and by the end of the day, it was offline. Congrats to the mob mentality of the internet! I thought I was seeing the old RSS feeds today when I clicked over to Divester and saw the same thing... but not! There's another store on Amazon selling a different brand of Shark Fin Soup, so the whole thing is starting up again. I wonder how long this one will take, what with the combined readership of Divester, Wetpixel and all the blogs that have linked to them.

I also wonder if Amazon will go through it's own stores looking for other stores carrying it and remove them as well, or will it be up to the eagle-eyed surfers to find it and direct a campaign against it.

Thursday, January 4, 2007 10:08:26 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Food | Links | Underwater#
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Going back to Red Robin last night brought back a lot of funny stories, a bunch of "where-are-they-nows" and an old familiar bout of indigestion, too!
Thursday, December 28, 2006 9:59:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food | WWW#
Thursday, December 14, 2006

I've had this post, uhh, percolating on the back burner for awhile now... heh heh.

A couple months ago, I left work mid-morning to go get a coffee at Cafe Del Sol. I used to be fairly regular there, back when I had to leave the house at 6:30am to try and avoid traffic. I'd get in to town around 7:30am, so I'd pull in there and have a caffe latte and weeze the juice off an open WiFi hotspot in the area (using SSH and Privoxy to tunnel all my traffic, just to be safe) until it was time to go to work.

As I sat there surreptitiously people watching while doing a little web surfing, I tended to see the same people at the same times every morning. You could tell when someone was running late, and the staff behind the counter knew most of the "regulars' " orders and started preparing it while they were still standing on line.

After I bought a Vespa, I could leave later in the morning, as instead of 60-90 minutes, my commute was down to about 15. I would then pop in two or three times a week, later on in the morning and see a completely different group of people. These people were less stressed than the early morning peeps, probably because they lived closer to town and didn't have to sit in traffic.

This out-of-habit mid-morning jaunt caught me off-guard because I didn't recognize ANYONE in there at all. The crowd was completely different. Instead of office-workers (mostly) grabbing a cup of joe on their way to the office, this crowd was the stay-at-home moms and the lifestyle of leisure followers who rose early, went for a walk, or to the gym and then popped in for a coffee for something to do.

So, just for shits & giggles, if you happen to frequent a coffee shop at the same time every time you go, try mixing it up a little and see if you notice the same sorta sorta.

Thursday, December 14, 2006 8:42:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Food#
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
The first thing I noticed about the coffee was that it wasn't bitter or burnt tasting. The coffee tasted like, well, coffee. Strong, but not bitter, full-tasting (I think foodies call it mouthfeel) but not overpowering.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006 8:31:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food#
Friday, December 1, 2006
I was just reading the newspaper this morning and saw a quarter-page ad announcing the re-opening of Casanova restaurant. That was one of my favorite restaurants to go to on the island before the hurricane. It was also a great 'date' restaurant. Their original location was in the Fort George building and they took a wave through the oceanfront windows the night of/before hurricane Michelle trashed a lot of the west side of the island. They were closed for a few weeks while they built a new wall and even a small (illegal) patio but it was presented as a fait accompli. (sometimes it's better/easier/cheaper to beg for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission). Ultimately the planning dept/gov't got their way and the building was scheduled for demolition to erect the new cruise ship terminal. HazMat Jenny, G, Darlene and I went there for the last night of operation and it was a HUGE party...

Tony and the boys moved down the road to the former Wreck bar and transformed it into their new location, with a bigger, better patio on the water. I remember talking to Mario while they were renovating the old Wreck bar and asking him if the new place was going to have the same ambience as the old place and he said to me in his thick accent "Buddy, when we did the old restaurant, we were broke. This place is going to be awesome" and it was... until Hurricane Ivan came along.

Fast forward two years & change: The old building and it's patio have been demolished (or rather they finished the job that Ivan started) put in pilings and re-built the whole building out of concrete and block and put it up to three floors. The last time I talked to the guys, they said the ground floor was going to be shops/offices with the restaurant on the 2nd floor and huge patio and then a 3rd floor private dining room type of thing. I don't know if that's still true, as I think the kitchen is on the first floor now, but I'll find out soon enough!

Friday, December 1, 2006 7:30:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food#
Sunday, November 5, 2006

Last night was the Taste of Cayman. Last year was canceled due to weather, so this year should have been even bigger. Nope.

The moved the venue to Boatswain's Beach, the new Turtle Farm which was a really dumb move. I realize that there's a huge push on to show off Boatswain's Beach to the public for many reasons, but the bottom line is that Boatswain's Beach/Turtle Farm/Cracked Conch area cannot handle the amount of traffic/cars that were going to show up. Boatswain's Beach parking lot was overfull, Tortuga Rum parking lot was triple-parked with people blocking other people in, because they could, Cracked Conch/Divetech's parking lot was a zoo, and cars were lined along both sides of the street almost from Sharon & Seb's old apartment through to nearly Coconut Bay.

For as long as I can remember, Taste of Cayman had been held at Safehaven. It kinda sucked if there was rain (and really, when does it ever rain in Cayman in the summer/fall?) but there was tons of parking, and a huge empty lot that people could park in behind the "grounds" plus all the parking at Sunshine Suites, Cayman Falls, the Westin and also the entire Safehaven (Now Regatta) office park.

Anyway, enough bitching about the venue, let's get on with the food. We entered and turned right. The Marriott Beach resort was right there, and they had a fruit punchy type drink, ginger-glazed beef, jerk chicken & some sort of fish dish. The jerk was good, not TOO hot, but still a good zing on the tongue. Their beef was pretty good, too. Just past then was Island Supply who had cheesecakes and whatnot, so we skipped over them (for now, we're not crazy) and headed to Chicken! Chicken!, Cimboco and Breezes. They had Conch chowder (I don't like conch, but I tried it and it was very VERY good) They also had some Chicken Chicken, uhh, chicken, caribbean cornbread and caesar salad. Yum, Yum and yum.

We realized then that we were at the end of the line, so we turned around and headed the other way (dumb booth setup, but I guess you gotta work with what you got, but I don't want to get back on the venue thing) Heading back the other way was the Cayman Sea Salt company with... wait for it... sea salt! The first thought was "how are they going to promote it?" but what they had was a selection of fruits and veggies and even chocolate, sprinkled with their salt. I made a beeline for the choccies, and everyone looked at me like "salt on chocolate?" but it was good. They also had tomatoes. mmmm tomatoes... moving along we made our way through the rest of the "booths".

Hemingway's at the Hyatt was pimping their new Thursday special, a Brazilian barbecue (the name escapes me at the mo, but those types of places are getting popular in the US these days) I tried the beef and chorizo, with black refried beans, and they were yummmmy. The Westin had tuna burgers with various dressings... wasabi mayo, fruit relish, etc. The Ritz-Carlton had quite a line-up for their offering: hand-cut french fries tossed in truffle oil and topped with parmesan cheese. Sounds great, but because of the demand, they couldn't keep up and the fries I got were undercooked and soggy. MJ said that she's had them at Periwinkle (one of the restaurants there) and that they were really good, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Sunshine Grill was there, they had marinated flank steak, but it was gone by the time I got there. I've had it there before though and it's good. It's in their Jamaican Chop House tacos. They also had their Chopped Salad which was good but reminded me of the last meal I had before I tried that detox regimen a few months back, so I didn't finish it.

We went back around towards the cheesecake booth and stopped in at the Cayman Sea Sense booth. Danny and Marnie from Off The Wall were manning the booth. I walked up with my plate in my hand, held it out and asked what kind of fish they were serving... Danny laughed and called me an asshole, but I don't think Marnie knew (at first) that I was just joking and gave me a dirty look :)

We made it back around to the cheesecake booth and got a little hunk of plain NY Style cheesecake, a hunk of Reese' peanut butter something, and a little square of chocolate chip cheesecake, and then they POURED BAILEY'S ALL OVER IT. Bliss. After that we grabbed some beverages and sat down at one of the tables and I started sliding into food coma.

We left around 10:30 and made our way down to Aqua Beach where Ratskyn was playing, and stuck around there til closing. (Midnight, because it was Saturday). Zac's family is in town, so they were all there, we were all there, Renee made an appearance all the way in from where she lives now (Cayman's equivalent of The Boonies) but overall it was kind of a quiet night at Aqua Beach. Between the Taste of Cayman going on and the Full Moon Beach Party at Calico Jack's, I guess everyone was elsewhere last night.

We got home about 12:20 or so and I crashed. Hard. Food Coma was waiting for me and as soon as I was horizontal, I was out like a light. I slept HARD right through, all the way up until nearly 11 this morning when I realized that the song in my head in my dream was actually the alarm clock. Just another Sunday in Cayman, everyone's coming over later to sit on the beach, drink beer and watch the bikinis parade by like one of those conveyor belt sushi restaurants. Life is good!

Sunday, November 5, 2006 10:46:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food | Links#
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Go on, pop my balls in your mouth. You know you want to... :)
Sunday, October 22, 2006 11:27:59 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food#
Saturday, September 23, 2006

People who have known me since dirt was still new know that when I was a teenager, I worked in restaurants for a bunch of my formative years. I started in the dishpit at 15 and moved up to prep cook and then line cook when I was 17 and had worked almost the entire line by the time I was 18. I worked with a bunch of degenerates, but they were NICE degenerates. I saw the sex, the drugs, the alcohol, the more sex and more alcohol on a daily basis as well as a succession of Kitchen Managers and Assistant Kitchen Managers of all types and demeanors (I'm talking about you, Russ, you Irish bastard.. and I mean that in the nicest way :) ) So I know what 'being slammed' is all about: on a Friday night when the ticket printer just doesnt stop printing, servers are screaming for their food, the kitchen detritus is building up to knee-deep, the grills and burners are full, the commands are flying back and forth but in the end it (usually) runs like a well-oiled machine, cranking out a few hundred covers and enough adrenaline that when you finally finish around 1:30 in the morning you're too wired to go to sleep.

A couple years back, when Seb found out that I used to work in kitchens, he told me about this book that I HAD to read. It turned out to be Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. I read it. I laughed.. I laughed some more. By the end of the book, all those memories of Jeff the psychotic grill man, Franco the broiler, James the sautee guy who was a +1... anything you had done he had done one better.. Stuart with his Veronica Lake/Robert Plant hair, Mike the prep cook who got up and danced and yelled when he "shot" someone at paintball only to take about 30 paintballs to various parts of his body as soon as he did it and even Dave, the likable goofball who single-handedly destroyed half of the kitchen and burned both hands, two arms and cracked a rib when trying to do some "flair" on the line shortly after the movie "Cocktail" came out. I also realized just how much truth there was in the book ABOUT said sex, drugs, alcohol and rock 'n roll and that in my naive teen years just didn't see it, or blocked it out.

Last year Fox came out with a TV show based on the book. Right away fans screamed about how it couldn't do the book justice and that Bourdain was a sell-out. Out of curiosity I turned it on and watched the four episodes that aired before it was canceled (way to go again.. and again, Fox!) and they were actually quite funny. Sure the "plots" were loosely based on some events and characters in the book, but if you looked past that to a sit-com based in a restaurant, it was pretty funny.

Which leads me to the title of the post. In the TV show the hostess, Tanya, is a cute, complete bubblehead. Between my previous employment in restaurants, my experience as a patron of restaurants and most importantly, my recent interaction with a certain hostess at a certain restaurant, I've come to realize that the stereotype is well-earned. Thank you for taking a simple request to write something down and making a complete dog's breakfast out of it!

Saturday, September 23, 2006 8:29:45 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Food | Rants#
Sunday, September 3, 2006
Im kinda craving a cheeseburger. :)
Sunday, September 3, 2006 8:57:15 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food#
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
This morning, im achey and have a bit of a headache hangover. I've been sipping water since about 4:30 this morning after I woke up and am about to get in the shower and start getting ready for work. I'll stay on the "more natural" food regimen for the rest of the week as well, but I'll leave the supplements out til the weekend.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006 4:47:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Food#
Sunday, August 27, 2006
  • Headaches
  • Cramps
  • Possible diarrhea or constipation
  • Bloating
  • having to eat a lot of green vegetables

For at least the last 20 years I've been subjecting my body to a veritable cornucopia of crap. Garbage in, not always all the garbage out. Starting tomorrow, I'm doing a seven day cleanse. Psillium, brown rice & apple pectin in, along with milk thistle for the liver in... hopefully all the crap (literally) out.

I was going to follow the Master Cleanse routine after reading up on it all last week and speaking to people who had done it before (Heather & Tex) and prepared myself for it. All I needed, to start tonight (and tomorrow morning) was some herbal tea with Senna in it. I stopped in at GNC on Friday evening after work to find some, and right next to it was a shelf full of different "solutions" for cleansing. I looked at all the boxes, talked to the staff and decided on a Zand Quick Cleanse kit instead. Rather than having to mix up all this lemonade with maple syrup and cayenne pepper, allI had to do was pop the fiber supplement in the morning, and evening, and the milk thistle (among other things) supplement after lunch and dinner. Every other night, there's a "mild laxative" to take at bedtime as well. The Master Cleanse is also a fast, all you get for the 7-10 days or whatever is the lemonade. The Zand Quick Cleanse is for use with your "regular diet". ha ha. MY regular diet? I don't think so, that's what got me here in the first place. Starting tomorrow there's no sugar or caffeine allowed. I think the caffeine is going to be the hardest part to get over. I don't drink a lot of coffee like most people I know, but I do have a cup of tea in the morning and then usually a diet coke or a diet dr pepper at lunch time, and sometimes one with dinner. I've been trying to cut out added sugar and things with high fructose corn syrup in it, or at least minimize my exposure to it for the last couple years, so that won't be as much of an 'addiction' to break.

So every day this week,in addition to whatever else I feel like posting, I'll be keeping notes and posting up what's going on with the cleanse. I'm warning you now, Im not going to pull any punches in describing what's coming out of me, or how it feels or anything like that. I probably WON'T take pictures of the toilet bowl, unless I see something truly... shareable.. but I definately wont be posting them to flickr or anything like that. I'll make sure that each post has a "read more..." link so that if you don't wanna see it, then you can ignore it, but if you click it and then get grossed out, then it's your own fault.  Those of you reading it via RSS, well you'll just have to take your chances :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006 7:56:23 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food#
Sunday, July 30, 2006

Last weekend a bunch of us congregated at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club to board Gordy's new boat, the Aquasition. He's had it down here for a few months now, and is just getting his charter operation up and running. To celebrate the launch of Aquazure and also a warm-up, pre-going away party weekend for Sharon, we rounded up a couple coolers full of cold frosty beverages and went for a cruise in North Sound.

Aside from the usual suspects (Miller Lite for John, Kokanee for FNG and Michelob Ultra for Gordy and myself) I also brought along a little something I whipped up last Saturday: Minted lime syrup. The reasoning behind it was simple: Mojitos without all the work and utensils. Saturday afternoon I made a simple syrup and then steeped 2 packages of mint leaves in it and then soaked a half-dozen limes in it before straining it and pouring it into a Nalgene bottle to bring on the boat. 2oz of white rum (which in the end we forgot to bring) 2 oz of the syrup, over ice and topped with some club soda and a mint leaf garnish and that would be it. No muddling, no half-inch of sugar sitting in the bottom of the glass, just pure, refreshing, alcopop.

The Lido Deck

We headed out towards Stingray City to see if we could catch up with Zac, who was working that day. As we got out towards the sandbar, we saw Moby Dick was anchored at the barrier reef, so we pulled up alongside and dropped anchor. Zac was in the water with some customers, looking for the baby nurse shark that had been hanging out around the barrier reef lately, so we climbed up on the bow and cracked open a couple cold frosty beverages. Zac's boss Mark was on the boat and he jumped in the water and swam over and had a beer with us, and then later on Zac swam over to say hi, but conscientious boat captain that he is, forwent the beer. What a guy! Eventually, they pulled up anchor and headed back to the dock and we stayed there in the afternoon sun cooling our jets with dips in the water and more frosty beverages. Little Naiya Pearson was out with us the whole day and was super well-behaved. She even let me hold her without squeaking and squawking AT ALL and even posed for a few photos (soon come). Finally with the sun starting to slide past "right overhead" we decided to pull up anchor and make our way over to the Kaibo Yacht Club.

Kaibo Yacht Club

We tied up at the end of the pier and mosey'd over to the bar for some refreshments (because we didn't have enough on the boat already. Kaibo Yacht Club is a funny old place. Back in the day, it used to be THE place to "be seen" on Sundays. People with boats would go and tie up and hang out there, and people who didn't have boats suddenly wished they did. Kaibo is also the scene for Mardi Gras every year, too. Part of that draw is the restaurant that used to be upstairs. Back in the day it was called Cecil's and was a very New Orleans-styled restaurant. Crawfish Etoufee, gumbo, oysters casino and rockefeller, that sorta sorta. In about 1999 they remodeled the inside and it was really slick. Most of the tables were outside on the balcony behind mosquito netting and best of all, they had a free ferry service from Safehaven. Just before sunset you'd board the boat and have a sunset cruise across North Sound, and then dinner upstairs at Cecil's. After eating way too much and then stuffing some fresh beignets down for dessert, you'd get back on the boat and have a starlit cruise back to Safehaven, and then it was only 10:00 or so! As of right now, the restaurant is closed and the ferry is not running. Taking a page out of the Almond Tree/Treehouse book, the Kaibo Beach Bar has expanded their menu to offset the restaurant not being there anymore. We didn't eat this time around, by MJ told me that the food there at the bar is really good. I'll have to put it on my list of places to go.

Calypso Grill

As the sun started to set, we climbed back aboard and made our way into the sunset headed for Morgan's Harbor in West Bay. To drive that would take about an hour or so, barring any traffic jams. It's about as far as you can possibly drive on the island. On Gordy's boat, it only took about twenty minutes to scoot across the sound. We found space to berth at the pier and tied up. I knew beforehand that we were going to the Calypso Grill for dinner, which is a semi-fancy place, but assumed that we'd all look like we were on the water all day. I assumed wrong. :) I ended up way underdressed for dinner, but I figured I could pull it off with chutzpah and balls. I did. :) If you like seafood, you'll like Calypso Grill. If you're like me and aren't particularly big on seafood, then you'll still like Calypso Grill, although you'll have to study the menu a little harder. Freya, Gordy and FNG all put a debit in their karma bankbook and ordered the seabass. I had a little taste of it, and it was pretty good, but seabass are approaching endangerment so I wouldn't order it myself. Knowing what I know of the Calypso Grill, I ordered a salad, and then the Calypso Shrimp which is an appetizer, for my main. I was saving room for dessert! They have a few "regular" dessert items, like Sticky Toffee Pudding and their chocolate bread pudding, but I went for the dessert on the daily specials menu: Mango crepe with coconut and pineapple ice cream. Freya was sitting next to me and ordered the sticky toffee pudding on the assumption that we'd share both. The sticky toffee was good, but the mango crepe was better. Best of all was the ice cream. I'm not that big on coconut for the most part, but hot DAMN that was some of the best ice cream I've ever had! There were a couple orders of bread pudding down the other end of the table, but I'm sticking with the mango crepe and coconut ice cream as my pick of the night.

Just as we were finishing up, G-Love caught the eye of a dark-haired lass at the bar and struck up a conversation with her. As usual, women travel in pairs and this one had a friend with her as well. Seeing the opportunity for G Love, I selflessly assumed the role of Wingman and chatted up her friend. He invited them back on the boat with us and we cruised back to the yacht club where all our cars were parked. G and his lady friend were deep in discussion, leaving her friend caught in the crossfire. I suggested she ride back in my jeep and her friend could ride with G Love and they could finish their conversation in his car with a modicum of privacy. We came back to my apartment (which is right next to where they were staying, at the Westin). We went upstairs briefly and I mixed up some drinks for us. I broke out the rum and the minted lime syrup that we didn't get a chance to try and whipped up a batch of mojitos for us to take down to the beach. We sat on the beach sipping our mojitos (which turned out pretty good, all things considered) and chatted with the girls. Eventually G made his move and they "went for a walk" down the beach leaving us on the chaise lounges. We actually had a lot to talk about, as she was in online marketing, and I'm a huge nerd. We both realized we were in the wingman role, made the most of it and had a good conversation. A  little later on, I walked her back to the hotel and went home. Gordy showed up awhile later to drop off their glasses and collect their shoes.

A long day? Yes. A fun day? Definately. Monday afternoon I talked to Gordy on the phone and we laughed and said the previous night was like it was "back in the day" when we were both divemasters at Bob Soto's. The difference being that instead of meeting girls at the Seaview and giving them a ride back to our rathole apartments on the handlebars of our bicycles, we met them at a classy place like Calypso Grill, went for a cruise with them on his yacht (it went from boat to yacht as soon as they got onboard) and then jumped in my jeep and his beemer and went back to my condo on Seven Mile Beach next to the Westin and the Ritz-Carlton :)

Sunday, July 30, 2006 12:01:01 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food | Pictures#
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Part 1 of a look at the exceptional hiring practices of Vancouver restaurants
Sunday, April 16, 2006 8:44:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food#
Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Most of the time, I'm pretty jaded about all things tropical. I guess it's just what happens when you live there for so long. Growing up, I was never more than an hour away from the Pacific Ocean, and less than an hour away from deent skiing, and a few hours away from Whistler and Blackcomb, before they became the huge destinations that they are now. Road trips out to White Rock or Crescent Beach for fish and chips were mainstays of the summer, skiing at Grouse Mountain and Cypress Bowl were good ways to pass the winters. What do they have in common? You always take for granted the things that you get used to.

I got pretty stoked a couple weeks ago. My friends George & Darlene were down visiting with their little girl, Maddie and staying at Sunshine Suites, which is pretty much right across the street from my apartment. My friend Allison was down then, too. We decided to all meet up for dinner, and since it was an early night, because Maddie had to go to bed early, we decided to just have something to eat at the Sunshine Grill, which is right off the pool deck at Sunshine Suites.

20050623SunshineSuitesBBQ 002

Sunshine Grill has always been there. I remember having lunch there with Jenny a few times back when we were dating, and I always remember hearing about them winning 'best in show' or whatever it's called at the Taste of Cayman for their fish tacos. Other than that, it never really stood out to me. I also hadn't been there since they re-opened after Hurricane Ivan, until that night a few weeks ago. (well ok, we had dinner there one night after Matty & Jules' wedding, but they weren't open as a restaurant yet, we just used their tables and had a cookout)

Sunshine Grill is an "outdoor" restaurant, although it is completely enclosed with screens to keep the mozzies out. They have a fairly substantial bar, and the $g(Pusser's Painkiller) is their signature drink, which I've had once. Years ago when Jerry was the manager there and I don't remember much else after that. One cool thing they have there is a big-ass fan hanging from the ceiling. Seriously. It's a BIG-ASS FAN. the blades have got to be about eight to ten feet long.

George had chicken quesadillas that night, and I remember thinking to myself as he was served "Shit, I should have ordered that..." until I saw my dinner placed before me: a Cobb Salad wrap. It was a monster. There had to be close to a pound of shaved turkey in there, along with some cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon and some ranch dressing right in the middle. I could only eat half of it. The fries that came with it were really good, too. I talked Allison into getting the fish tacos, as it's their signature dish. They come in an order of either two or three, so I convinced her to get the three, and I would have one, to give it a try. I'm not much of a seafood lover, but they were pretty damn tasty. Grilled mahi mahi, lettuce, tomato, guacamole in flour tortillas. Yummmmmmmy!

It was so good, we went back there for lunch a couple days later and SPLIT a Cobb salad wrap. The next week we went back again, I think it was a Thursday night, but the kitchen wasn't serving the regular menu that night. Thursday night is a bbq buffet that looked and smelled good. Im a sucker for bbq, but no one else was in the mood for it, so we walked over to Legendz instead. The bartender did make us promise to come back on Saturday night, when they had a steak & lobster special (I think it's every Saturday) of an 8 Oz strip steak and a lobster tail for 24.95. That's cheaper than pretty much anywhere else on The Rock, and judging by everything else I've had there, I would put some cash down betting that it was better than pretty much anywhere else on The Rock, too.

I walked over to Legendz tonight to have a beer with John, and while I was walking (stumbling?) home, the marquee up at the roadside for Sunshine Suites said "BEST BURGER IN CAYMAN" in big capital letters. That sounds like a challege to me, so I think I'll have to make plans and check it out on Wednesday or Friday night this week.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006 8:17:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Cayman | Food#
Thursday, March 9, 2006

OK, so I admit, the title is somewhat misleading and was written to evoke an image of a horror movie, or at least some horrid nickname of a genocidal maniac. But no, this is somewhat tamer than that. It isn't even as bad as the old campfire story we used to tell the younger kids at Cub Camp about "Artie Chokes, 4 for $999 dollars at Safeway".

If you happen to live in the first-world (or even the second-world) you probably will read this and wonder what the big deal is, but for me, it was impressive. Im sure I'll probably get used to it and take it for granted once I eventually move back home one year and get used to service like that, but for now, it was a good experience.

Here in Cayman, your supermarket choices run from A to B, and if you feel like driving out that far, C. Foster's is the big supermarket with two big stores and a little store, all with an IGA affiliation. Kirk's Supermarket is in George Town and seems to have a non-advertised affiliation with Safeway, as while I was home I found a lot of "house-brand" products at Safeway that we   have at Kirk's. Finally there's Hurley's Marketplace out at Grand Harbor. They have Presiden't Choice stuff out there, which is nice for homesickness days.

Of the four stores that I go to, Kirk's has the best produce and hard-to-find items, Foster's at the Strand has a pretty good butcher, and Hurley's has lots of parking... Really, I can't think of anything to say about Hurley's other than the PC brand stuff because it's "so far away" (it's all relative) that i hardly ever go out there.

When I was home last week, I went down to the "new" Safeway at Willingdon & Hastings (there was an old one there and they tore ir down and built a bigger one) because my mom liked the butcher there. Not like Alice liked Sam the butcher, but she liked his work, gutter-minds. Anyway I went down there with her to get some steaks for dinner. They have the "baseball" cut steaks which is a top sirloin that's about two and a half inches thick, and cut round, so it looks kinda like a baseball. Tastier, too. Anyway, they steaks looked GOOD. Nice and red (with or without Carbon Monoxide I don't know), moist-looking and mmmm it's makin me hungry just thinkin about it.

The butcher came around, he looked like he was maybe 20, curly blonde hair and chubby, rosy cheeks (remember this is Vancouver, it was bloody cold) He looked like a little cherub... with a big knife. We told him we wanted four of the baseball steaks and get this... he pulled out the tray and asked us which ones we wanted! WTF is THAT all about??? Here it's point, grunt, smile and accept what they give you!

SO to recap, you probably don't think that's such a big deal if you live in a 1st world country, but to me that was something! Our grocery stores arent even OPEN on Sundays, and you're lucky if the checkout girl says hi to you and isn't talking on her cell phone while she's swiping through your stuff, hands you your change without even looking and starts shoving the next person's groceries through while you're still trying to put your change away and grab your bags.

Thursday, March 9, 2006 2:43:57 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food#
Monday, February 6, 2006
T-minus 8 days and counting!
Monday, February 6, 2006 7:40:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food#
Friday, October 7, 2005

I had dinner at home with the parental units last night, Mom picked up some steaks at Clancy's (ohhh sooo good) and had some Chilliwack sweet corn (I don't think it was Peaches & Cream strain, but it was still gooooood). After that Ork came and picked me up and took me to a poker game. What I didn't see at the time was that she also stopped by the Valley Bakery and picked up some jelly donuts! Valley Bakery jelly donuts are the hands-down best donuts in the world. Better than Tim Horton's, better than Krispy Kreme, better than Dunkin Donuts. If you're ever in Burnaby (one of the 'burbs of Vancouver) it's on East Hastings St near Gilmore.

A few years ago when I came home for my 30th birthday, I met a bunch of guys that Ork hangs out with, and we had a bbq out in Coquitlam (steaks from Clancy's again... a trend?) turned out that one of them I went to high school with. We sat around that night and played 4-player HALO on a huge tv screen and had such a blast that I went out the next day and bought an Xbox and took it back to Cayman with me. That group of guys never took a shine to HALO2, so we never got a chance to all play online together, me from Cayman, them from Vancouver. The new hotness is poker now, someone bought a set of chips and they all get together once a week or so and play a few hands, just for chump change.

I haven't played poker with real people for years, so it was fun and it lent an air of The Sopranos to the proceedings, as we were playing in the backroom of a shop in the industrial district of Port Coquitlam. First game we just had a $5 buy-in and the second one around when a few more people showed up we played one for $10.

I hadn't really seen these guys for a couple years, aside from running into Nick and Chris at a Starbucks when I was here last christmas, so they had no idea about any of the crap we went through  with the hurricane last year. When I said that we were patrolling the house with machetes, or describing having to crap in a plastic-bag-lined bucket, they were kinda shocked. Everyone knows what New Orleans was like after Katrina, but no one knew that, aside from the floodwaters staying around afterwards, it was just as bad last year in Cayman.

As usual, the talk degenerated as the night wore on and more Molson Canadian was cracked open, and at one point, near when we left, I was laughing so hard my face hurt and I had tears running down my cheeks. I think it had something to do with an open-face roast beef sandwich, or a badly-packed kebab.

Friday, October 7, 2005 9:35:11 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Food | Travel#
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
The weekend in Toronto was awesome, and it's 28c there unusually, but back here in Vancouver, it's definately October.
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 8:48:25 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food | Travel#
Saturday, September 24, 2005

Last night we were going to head to McCoy's for a couple drinks and maybe get a bite to eat. John was already over at my house, we were stting up his new laptop, and then Sharon the Fearless showed up and we piled into her car and headed down there. Just as we were arriving, Zac called us and said that he and Steph were at DJ's Cantina and did we want to come and have a pitcher of margaritas with them. Sure thing, sounded good to me!

They have good margs there, by the way, and the food, while presented a little foofily, is really good. We finished the pitcher and started on another, and then another, and then we settled up and went to Calico Jack's. I decided I better stick with the same poison, so I had another lime margarita and nursed it til nearly midnight when it was time to go.

I didn't really feel all that drunk, I wasn't off-balance, I wasn't slurring, I didnt have any visual disturbances, but this morning, holy crap! I felt like ass! Deep-fried ass! I crawled out of bed and went straight to Hell. The Esso in Hell, West Bay that is. I got some gatorade and went home back to bed. I thought some lunch would help, so I had a nice big “Cheeseburger in Paradise” at Coconut Joe's. Still felt like ass. Came home, took a nap (from 2:30 to 6:30!) and finished off the bottle of gatorade and took some more advil. At this point Im thinking maybe dinner will help?? we'll see what happens. Probably not the best night to go to Thai food, but I made the mistake of asking where everyone else wanted to go. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2005 4:13:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food#
Monday, September 5, 2005

Seb's going on vacation for a few weeks on Wednesday, and his birthday is in a week or so, so we (I) decided we should go out for a few drinks tonight (as opposed to tomorrow night, as getting up at o'dark hundred to catch a flight still drunk or just starting a hangover is no fun). I asked him where he wanted to go, and he said let's go to the Triple Crown Pub, which just opened up along the beach.

It looks like they tried hard to make it look like an authentic Irish pub, but at the same time make it look shiny and new and trendy. It was too bright in there to be too authentic, but they had a lot of wood and a lot of Guinness art on the walls. They also had some brickwork inside making two arches to “split” the bar into two halves. Judging from the brickwork and tiles, and the fact that the owner of the place is one of the guys from Edoardo's (good Italian restaurant) , if the whole Irish Pub thing doesnt work, they can re-decorate and re-open pretty quickly as an Italian/Pizzeria place.

The menu was quite big, and had your usual restaurant things, and they also had some pub standards. I had the bangers & mash tonight, which was pretty good. Jules had the steak & kidney pie which looked and smelled REALLY good and Matty & Renee both had a Chicken & Ham pie, which was in some sort of a crepe instead of pastry. Someone else ordered the individual beef wellington, and that looked and smelled real good, too. I don't know which one I'll try next!

We arrived just before 8:00, and the building that the pub is in (which is brand new and un-rented as yet, aside from the pub) had flashing lights coming from the second floor, and I said “Oh, maybe they've opened a disco up there or something?“ turns out it was the fire alarm. We went around the front and into the pub and it was business as usual. When you went to the bathroom, you could hear the klaxon still buzzing upstairs from the fire alarm going off, but we ignored it and carried on. Around 10:30- two and a half hours later -a fire truck pulls up in front of the pub, along with another emergency vehicle behind it. Four firemen climb down and start walking around. Five minutes later they come out of the kitchen and are looking around at the ceiling, and then they see it: a smoke alarm with a solid red LED. Above the bar where we were sitting. Apparently the smoke alarm was sensetive enough that people smoking in the pub set it off (smoking in an Irish pub? say it ain't so!) Worse than that was that it took the fire department two-and-a-half hours to show up?!

Seb really had no idea what was going on, he thought it was going to be me, him, John, Matty and maybe Zac if he was back from the Velvet Revolver concert in Miami (bastard) or not. John made a bunch more phone calls after I sent out the initial text messages to the four of them this morning and there was probably about 15 or so people there. Jules had the night off, so she came out. Peter & MJ (no im not kidding, his name is Peter and her's is MJ... we just call him Spidey), Paulie & Catherine, James & Lucy and a friend of hers named Megan, Martin & Jo came out, who we havent seen in months, Sharon came out (we still haven't scared her off for some reason) and then me, Renee, John & Matty.

Once everyone was there, we gave Seb a card from us guys, and we had a little package for him, too. Being the jet-setter that I am at work, I had a 1gb iPod Shuffle picked up for him, along with the sport case. He had one already (that I picked up for him in Miami back in March or April) but he killed it pretty quick by wearing it inside his shirt while working in non-air-conditioned environs and basically drowned it in sweat. I sent him a link from Hackaday on how to take apart a Shuffle and even brought home an X-acto knife to try it with. It's already broken, what harm can there be, right? Well he tore the ribbon cable that attaches the USB plug to the rest of it, so it was a lost cause. He was kinda moaning about it a couple weeks ago so I decided that I would get him another, along with the sport case which is more or less water resistant. The boys chipped in and I brought it home tonight and wrapped it up and put it in a gift bag. The next trick was how to get it out of the house and bring it with without arousing suspicion. I put a couple books in my backpack to make it laptop-weight and told Seb when he asked why I was bringing a backpack that it was John's laptop that just arrived from Miami. John's laptop is still in Miami (yeah yeah, im workin on it) but Seb knew that John was expecting it, so he had no clue...

I made sure everyone had a drink and then I stood up and got everyone's attention (including half the rest of the bar) and said that since it was your birthday, we had a couple gifts for you that you could really use... Matty & John started chuckling, but I had thought about what I was going to say earlier on today. I didn't write it down, but just remembered the bullet points. Being the king of $G(double-entendres) that I am... “We know you haven't had too much luck with the ladies lately, so me and the boys decided to get you something to keep you busy on those long and lonely nights. In fact, if you're discreet, you can even use it on the long plane ride to London on Wednesday... (the iPod) Seb didn't know what to expect at this point, and Matty just started laughing then. I continued... “But just in case youo find yourself in a situation that warrants it, we also got you some protection!” (the waterproof case) so with that I handed him the bag and dared him to open it in front of everyone. The poor boy thought we bought him a dildo or some other amusement or toy for self-gratification and a box of condoms, and he was like “no f-ing way Im going to open that in front of everyone” but we insisted.

When he pulled out the iPod he started laughing, and then I said “there's more in there...” and he pulled out the waterproof sport case he really started laughing, because one of those would have saved his old iPod. At that point, my talky bit was over so I picked up my glass and got everyone to raise em up and cheers him for his birthday (no singing $wiki(Happy Birthday) though, didn't want the RIAA all over our asses for royalties). After that we just got him really really drunk.

And I forgot to bring my camera.

Monday, September 5, 2005 9:19:46 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food | Gadgets#
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
New Cayman restaurant reviews.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 9:45:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Cayman | Food#
Friday, June 24, 2005
My body is telling me today that I've been burning the candle at both ends this week.
Friday, June 24, 2005 3:57:21 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food | Topside#
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
Im on day 2 of South Beach diet again.. Im miserable and cranky (as if you couldn't tell by my earlier post)
Tuesday, June 7, 2005 5:24:46 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food#
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Traffic report: There was an absolutely gorgeous sunrise this morning. orange-rimmed clouds, fingers of god, and a general all-round rosiness to the whole morning. The bad news was I saw it because I was sitting in traffic that early.

I left at 7:08, saw the traffic practically from my driveway, so I took the Detour Through Hell from last week, and this time I continued down Batabano to Morgan's Harbor, hung a right and did a little early-morning off-roading down the dyke roads. It spit me out back onto the main road near the yacht club at 7:22. Im not sure if it was because I was elated at skipping all that traffic, or if it had some other cause, but traffic seemed to move right along, as well. I made it to Cafe Del Sol by 7:35, they had Thursdays paper still, so I got bored and came to work early and was here by 7:50.

Today's Rant: People who park in handicapped spaces while handicapped people make handicapped faces. I don't think I've seen more than one or two license plates or placards signifying a handicapped parking permit in the seven years that I've been here. Somehow though, the handicapped spaces always seem to be taken. Point in reference: the handicapped spot in front of Cafe Del Sol. I think most people down here are confused as to the meaning of the handicapped parking symbol. I think that they think it means “Hey, we reserved this space for your shiny new monstrous SUV. Park here! You Deserve it!“

Restaurant Notes: Saturday night Seb & I joined our neighbours Sue & Dave for dinner at Edoardo's Restaurant. I had been there a few times before over the last seven years and it was pretty good. Good atmosphere, good food, caring waitstaff, but the menu prices were a bit high for all of that. Last time I was there wasn't a particularly good experience, but that could have been due to my company just as easily as anything else. With that in mind, I accepted the invitation and off we went.

The first thing I noticed was that there was some new construction. The old patio that used to be framed in and protected by mosquito netting/screens was now part of the shell of the building with big arched windows in the front. When we got in, the right-hand side of the new addition was the bar and a tiny lounge. We waited (and waited) for our neighbours to arrive and were seated as soon as they got there. Dave used to be a server at Pappagallo's and currently is working at Ragazzi while Pappagallo's rebuilds after the hurricane and is quite the somellier. He picked out a Cloudy Bay pinot noir that I had a little sippy sip of, and it was purdy darned good. I really don't know my ass from my elbow when it comes to wines, so when something like this comes along/happens I usually make sure and make a note of it for a future time.

I ordered a caprese salad to start, and the four-cheese penne for my main. It had Parmesan, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola and Cambozola cheeses in a white sauce. Yum. I wasn't quite sure how I'd like it, as I don't usually like really strong cheeses. The salad was yummy. I don't really know where on this little rock they got their hands on heirloom tomatoes and yellow heirlooms. I was at the grocery store on Saturday and (as usual) the produce dept sucks. I know they're doing the best they can with what they've got, but one of the things I enjoy when Im NOT on the rock is going to the supermarket and looking through the .3 acre produce dept at all the fresh (not black or borderline molding) produce on display. But I digress... Seb ordered the filet on Dave's recommendation, and Dave ordered it as well. I had a bite of Dave's and it was nice and tender and juicy. It was almost as good-looking as the steak Cipher was eating in $imdb(The Matrix) when he does his “I know this steak doesnt exist...” thing except this steak really DID exist.

Dessert followed, I had the amaretto cheesecake, and someone else ordered the banana toffee pie. For the four of us, it came out to less than $200 including the wine which wasn't too bad. I'll definately put Edoardo's on my list of places to go again (especially since Cafe Casanova hasn't re-opened yet)


Tuesday, January 25, 2005 5:30:25 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Food | Rants#
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