Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Memories of An Old Friend

Daryl Lee was one of the nicest people I knew. He always had a smile on his face and never let the pressures of work get to him. When I first became a floor manager in 2005, he taught me a lot about how to do my job and I owe a lot to him. One of my favorite memories was when Tommy, Sony, him and I went to see the Russell Peters show for Tommy's birthday. We got front row seats and Peters even made jokes about Daryl (part of Peters' schtick). We had such a good time. There were so many good times. And even though I hadn't heard or seen much of him since the COB closed, I never forgot the good times. Thanks, buddy. Rest in peace.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


It's amazing to see how an entire country can put their support behind one person. I am of course talking about the Philippines and a certain athlete named Manny Pacquiao. Perhaps to the "outside" world he is just a boxer, but to his homeland he is a hero, a legend. He grew up from humble beginnings to become an almost religious figure. The fight is only an hour or so away, and it's pretty obvious he has the support of an entire nation (and even other countries) behind him. I can almost envision everybody in the Philippines watching Pay-Per-View right about now. I honestly don't think we have such heroes in North America (Britney Spears and Paris Hilton??). That's a shame.

Stress at Work

November has been a very stressful month at work. There's not much I can say about it other than the fact that a lot of things happened. A lot of things have been happening that one may not agree with, but I guess that's the way things are. As much as I could say that things could be different, and most definitely a lot better, it is not my decision. I can only suggest and hope that perhaps somebody listens and takes things to heart. I can try to keep that smile at work and try to put a smile on the faces of my coworkers but it's getting harder to do that.

The truly unfortunate thing is that the stress has affected my work at Mahalo as of late. I'm writing less and less and even the articles or tidbits I write have been of a lower quality than I am used to. There have been a number of projects at Mahalo that I wished I could have been a part of. I really wish I could spend more time there but I also need a lot of winding down time after work. The swing shifts also do not help as in the past while I've been unable to sleep well. Maybe it's just a sign I'm getting old.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I've made a promise to continue create more pages and do more work on Mahalo, even if it involves waking up early or staying up late. If I'm getting paid to write a page, then why shouldn't I be doing more? Even with my confusing schedule at the casino I should be able to devote a bit of time each day to write or update a page, or complete any assignments given to me. It would also give me time to properly write a page, as with my rushed schedule the quality of my work has dropped a bit as of late.

Besides, I will be going on holiday end of November for two weeks, so I should probably get as much done as possible before my trip. I don't want to lose my creativity, and hopefully when I get back I'll be able to devote as much, or even more, time as before. It is such a rewarding and relaxing job for me, and who knows, maybe I might end up more and more involved with Mahalo. It would take a lot to get me away from the casino industry (despite the stress and pressures) but for a long time, when people ask me if I had a choice what would I do: my answer is simply to write.

Sports on Mahalo

Earlier this year Mahalo had a different system where writers would create their own pages and then be responsible for updating them as facts or news changed. This was perfect for me as I was able to create a lot of hockey-related pages from scratch. Because the company is based in California, hockey is not as well known to them as other sports. As a bonus, I did a few pages on the Dallas Cowboys as well. The very first page I did was on the Dallas Cowboy jersey. With the help of my mentor Jeff Hoard (who luckily was Canadian and believe it or not a big Montreal Canadiens fan) we got most of the Habs pages going. I wrote pages on most of the Habs roster and updated the playoff page during the amazing run. It was with sadness that I had to update the part where they lost that last game to the Philadelphia Flyers. Maybe next year.

The system is a bit different now, we are no longer in charge of updating our own pages. Nobody really "owns" the pages anymore, they are just updated by whoever is available. I will explain this shortly.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Mahalo Pages

This week there are a number of categories of pages on Mahalo that have been assigned: actors, Black Friday sales, Thanksgiving, and coupons. Most of the actor pages are for TV actors who don't have a page on Mahalo. So far I've done pages on Paul Guilfoyle (Jim Brass on CSI), Bonnie Bedelia, and Brian Benben. Benben was on an HBO series Dream On that I enjoyed in the 1990s. There are a lot of actors left to do.

You can perhaps begin to see the enormity of this whole "project" of starting a search engine by scratch. Mahalo has been around a while but there are so many pages in so many categories. The old system (which was discontinued this past June) had the writers doing pages in their "preferred" categories but that has changed for the time being. I would love to continue writing pages about the Habs and anything to do with Las Vegas and gambling, but for now I have to do what is assigned. We do have the option of suggesting new pages to do, but we also have to do what is assigned.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Goals at Mahalo

Eventually I would like to be a part of the Quality Control Team at Mahalo. Currently there are three people who are working way too hard but doing a fine job of critiquing new pages and updated pages. It's been hard for me sometimes to put together a good page. I usually like to spend a lot of time proofreading my own work, and sometimes if I'm updating a page, I have to proofread somebody else's work. Updating pages takes about an hour a page. This involves checking for grammar, adding news if necessary, and making sure all the facts are still true. We frown on words like "current" or "today" as these tend to date the page. Pages have to be free from bias, so things like "Montreal Canadiens rule" unfortunately don't work (even if it is the truth).

It's too bad I can't spend more time with my writing, but hopefully with a more balanced schedule at the casino I may be able to.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Romer's Burger Bar

I'd forgotten to mention that last night Amy and I went to the grand opening of Romer's Burger Bar down in Kits (it is where Pinky's used to be). The grand opening was also a fundraiser for Pinups for Pink. We didn't win the 50/50 draw but we got a nice surprise when the owner, Jim Romer, treated everybody to a free meal (less alcohol), what a nice gesture.

As for the food, it was delicious. We both had.... burgers of course. Amy had the Maple Bacon Burger and I opted for the delectable Ultimate Kobe Classic. It was a $20 burger (no sides!) but it was delicious. We also ordered two types of fries on the side, the garlic fries and the truffle oil fries. Yum yum. And if that wasn't enough, we ended with what was called Drunken Doughnuts, 10 of them drenched with powdered sugar and then served with three sauces: Lemonchillo, Nutella, and Maple Whisky. I can't wait to go again!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I forgot to mention that on the weekend we went to see the new movie starring Bruce Willis and a bunch of big-name stars. We hadn't seen a movie in a while and it was a good choice. Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren were also in it, as well as Mary-Louise Parker. Maybe it was just your usual spy movie but I had a good time. Helen Mirren played her role very well, and reminds me a lot about Meryl Streep who also can star in just about any movie.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Acme Cafe

Amy had heard about this nice little cafe near Gastown and we saw a writeup of it in the latest Food & Restaurant Guide so our Sunday brunch adventures resumed after a short absence. She had an Americano and turkey sandwich while I opted for a very delicious Chicken Pot Pie and something called an Affagato, which is two shots of espresso with ice cream. Mmmmm. I must say the chicken pot pie was one of the best I've had in a long time.

Then the server tempted me with something called the Double Rainbow pie. Nice.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Life at Mahalo

So what do I do at Mahalo? Simply put, I write! It's one of my favorite hobbies so I'm doing something I like, and getting paid for it. I am a part of two departments, the Gurus and the Guides.

Gurus are in charge of asking and answering questions on various topics. The main "answer" site is located at Mahalo Answers but there are other more specific topic pages as well. One of the ones I am heavily involved at is on the Ask Inc site. Gurus are paid money for each question and answer they ask, subject to quality control policies that must be followed. Each question and answer must be a minimum number of words and include a video.

Guides are more involved with writing and updating pages. Mahalo is a page similar to Wikipedia, which you may be familiar with. Once on the Mahalo site, you can search for a specific topic (like Marie Osmond for example). A page comes up with a description or snippet of what you are searching for. As you can probably figure, there are a LOT of pages to do. My coworkers and I are basically in charge of writing an encyclopedia from scratch. It is a tedious process. Many pages are assigned but the guides are also available to suggest pages that they wish to work on. Due to my knowledge of hockey and gambling, I have been able to do a number of pages on River Rock, Aria Las Vegas, and Venetian Macau for example.

Guides also have to update pages that are already in the "system". The task this week is to do a lot of updates on the 2010 Senate Elections in the U.S. Yes that's very exciting for a Canadian like me but it's part of the job. I'm waiting for them to assign hockey page updates.

Anyways, if you have any questions, let me know!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Laugh of the Day

Amy and I were at Canadian Tire after a nice dinner. As we were leaving we overheard a lady and her companion attempting to return two of those red gas cans (those ones you get when you run out of gas). She said something along the lines of that they were broken and don't work. The clerk politely said that they don't do returns because the cans smell of gas. Yes, lady and companion, you were so smart thinking that when you ran out of gas and had to get two gas cans you thought you could use it once and then bring them back. You could have at least been marginally smart enough to WASH the damn things before you tried to return them.

Octopus Garden

Amy and I went to a nice little Japanese restaurant in Kits last night. It was a small restaurant with interesting decor. Other than the sushi bar (where we sat) and some rooms there were tables with chairs arranged so that customers had to cross their legs as there was no leg room underneath. Interesting.

Amy chose this restaurant because they served Wagyu Beef! Yay! The 4 oz steak (yeah that's it) was $35 but it was good. I could tell it wasn't the "real" Japanese-imported kind but it was well cooked nevertheless. We also had the usual Spinach Gomae, as well as a pan-fried Okara Cake, spicy tuna sushi, soft shell crab sushi, and bluefin tuna. Very nice.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where Have I Been?

There was a time when I would try to update my blog every day or at least every two days. But unfortunately that time seems to have passed. But I'm still here. I think everybody has an idea where I have been and what I have been doing. It's the four-letter word every dreads.... W-O-R-K.

Things have been quite hectic at the casino. A lot has happened in the past two or three months. The Party Pit has been going well as of late. We even have an unofficial Party Pit hostess Jessica who is great with the guests and even some of our VIP players upstairs. And of course the casino gets busy when the cage dancers get going at 9pm.

My part-time work at Mahalo is also going well. It is unfortunate that I can't spend more time writing for them but work at the casino comes first. But I enjoy what little time I can devote as I am doing something I truly enjoy. I'm writing little pages on topics that I love, what more can you ask for? If you are interested in working part time, let me know. Or email and mention you are interested in working for Mahalo. Include my name as I will get a referral bonus!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Memories of the PNE

Favorite Memories of PNE 2010 (in no particular order):

1) Pork Sliders and Korean Tacos at the Roaming Dragon (my official favorite restaurant)
2) Getting Fat BBQ Pork Rice from employees who probably will ask for EO when I get back (but thank you nevertheless)
3) Meeting new people from Boulevard and Fraser Downs
4) Hearing "Stayin' Alive" when I was taking a break but coming out to do a dance anyways (too bad they never played "YMCA" or something from MJ)
5) Passing 260 chips flat with my left hand to one player and 120 chips with my right hand to another player at the same time (love those chips)
6) Dealing roulette as if it was the early 90's. Nobody could spin the ball like Wes Smith and Jason Feng (too bad Wes wasn't there)
7) Spending dinner breaks playing the arrows
8) Thank you to Mr. Ken's Donuts for giving the staff free donuts if you asked. It was great for the first two or three days and then I guess I got tired of it. But the generosity was much appreciated
9) Discovering an uncanny ability to deal Texas Shootout as if I was an expert (that's for you, Raymond)
10) Having the time of my life

17 Days

And as quickly as it started, it has ended; 17 fun-filled days at the PNE doing something I hadn't done since I was a rookie Blackjack dealer in the summer of 1989. I'd vaguely remembered that summer as I did my one shift at the PNE, 8 hours of Blackjack and 4 hours at Crown & Anchors. I swore I'd never go back to the PNE. And even though through the years I kind of missed it, I never went to the PNE. But this year, there was a shortage of roulette dealers and an overage of management shifts at the Rock, so I asked, and was approved, to be a roulette dealer. It was a decision that many thought was silly of me to decide on. Why would I take a pay cut and work extra long hours? The answer was simple: I was doing something I truly enjoyed.

I averaged about 11 hours a day, sometimes in frigid weather. I dealt 4 hours straight on Red Dog on the first day (thank you Sager), and in the 2.5 weeks I got to deal the other games: Texas Shootout, Four Card Poker, Three Card Poker, and even a bit of Texas Hold'em Bonus in addition to Blackjack. But of course most of my time was spent doing the one thing I missed the most since I became a floor manager. I got to hear the sound of the roulette ball once again. I wasn't the same as I was back then. I made a few silly mistakes but in the end it was the time of my life. Give me the cold anyday.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I've worked a total of 21 hours in two days at the PNE, and I haven't had so much fun in a long time. If I'd only known how enjoyable working at the Fair would have been, I would have done it a long time ago, instead of waiting 21 years between stints. Yes, it was one find day in August, 1989 when I started my career at GCC at the PNE. That day I worked 8 hours on Blackjack and 4 hours on the wheel.

But fast forward to 2010. The first day I was dealing roulette (rather slowly at first but it all came back pretty quickly). It was a blast from the past to see old friends such as Lubna and Garry back with GCC (even if for a short time). Today started on roulette again, and then, as if I knew it would happen, I went to a game that I last dealt probably 15 years ago.... Red Dog. Who would have believed it? And it was fun, although four hours of it wasn't what I'd expected.

I have my one day off now and then it's back to the grind. And I couldn't have asked for anything better.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Michael Buble

Wow.... that's all I can say about the Michael Buble concert I saw tonight. The guy definitely is a great showman who not only sings but also entertains the crowd. There were a lot of great surprises, so don't read on if you're seeing the show on Saturday.

Just when I was expecting him to sing a lot of his songs and maybe other classic tunes, he tells a story of how when he was growing up he idolized one Michael Jackson. Then out of nowhere he starts singing AND DANCING to Billy Jean, complete with Moonwalk. He's one cool guy.

For Vancouver Canuck fans, the highlight was probably when he introduced John Shorthouse (yes, the play-by-play guy) and the two of them did a tribute to Tom Larsheid, the color guy who was retiring after 30 years. I may not be a big Canuck fan, but it was a nice touch to an already great concert.

Thank you Mr. Buble.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thought for the Day

How long would you wait in line for a heavily discounted meal, such as a buffet? One hour? 2? 3? 4? 5? 6?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

At First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified....

I had another great time at Pondok, channeling the spirit of Frank Sinatra and the disco era to sing my two "signature" songs. It was a welcome release for me and it was great to let loose, although maybe a bit over the top. But as I've said countless times before, karaoke is my guilty pleasure, my "anytime anyplace" activity that just makes me feel good. Maybe one day I'll get to perform live in front of people other than my friends.

And now, the time for PNE is near, my little break from the other place. I'm starting to look forward to it. I will hear the sound of the ball once again....

Saturday, August 07, 2010

PNE Rumors

Yes, it's true, I'm working at the PNE. No, it's false, I'm not managing, and no I'm not supervising (unless I am needed for those jobs which is unlikely). I've been dying to do something I haven't done full time since about 2004 when I came back to GCC. Yes, I'm dealing roulette. I haven't had the chance to say those wonderful three words... "Place your bets"... and "No more bets". Yes I'm taking a pay cut but with the long hours it will be the same. I have my reasons, mostly to have a little break from that other place. It's only for two weeks, I'm sure River Rock will survive. And no, I won't ask for EO.

I leave you with the first and last lines of the best casino movie of all time, "Croupier"

"Now he had become the still centre of that spinning wheel of misfortune. The world turned round him... leaving him miraculously untouched. The croupier had reached his goal. He no longer heard the sound of the ball".....

.... "Now he had reached the point where he no longer heard the sound of the ball... the spin of the wheel had brought him home to the place where he was born. The croupier's mission was accomplished. At last he was Master of the Game. He had the power... to make you lose.

I remember when I first saw the movie how incredibly real the movie imitated my life. Well, I get to hear the sound of the ball again.

Monday, August 02, 2010


My one precious day off was spent watching the Cirque du Soleil production of Kooza. While it was obviously not as much of a spectacle as the Vegas shows, I had a good time. The acrobatic performances were just as amazing as the Vegas performers, and in some cases even better. If you have never seen a Cirque show, I would recommend this one before it's too late.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Where Am I?

I haven't updated my blog too much as of late, and for that I apologize. The life and times of this random guy in the universe has been busy and even a bit stressful as of late. I won't go into detail as it is out of my place to talk about certain things but suffice to say that perhaps I haven't been the same. I still try to turn everything off when I go to work but of course at work things can be unpredictable. But then again every so often Dancing Queen or some song from the 80's comes on and I feel good again. My daily wish is that everybody at least has a good time there, and both the staff and players are happy. Last week when I went to karaoke with my good friends, it was a great release. It's my guilty pleasure and yes, I'll sing anytime (too bad I didn't get a chance tonight....). Maybe an hourly song by the floor manager.... hee hee... so anyways, I'm still here.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bamboo Shoots

After watching The Bachelorette tonight, I would now like to offer the most useless wastes of time on American television as of July 5, 2010. These people have no talent and yet want their 15 (and in some cases 20) minutes of fame. Alternatively they are people with some talent but have no idea what to do with their lives but waste away. But as usual the most pathetic thing is people still love them.

1) Kate Gosselin - Oh she's miles ahead of anyone else. Between subjecting myself to see her face and sticking bamboo shoots up my fingernails, I really can't decide.

2) Jake Pavelka - He has gone from the supposedly nice guy on the other Bachelorette show to now perhaps the most hated person on TV (next to #1). His interview was such a joke. Get off of TV please. Unfortunately, he'll get some sort of a reality show because the stupid American public will keep watching.

3) Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt - Well they're separated but together they are still silly wastes of time. Attention whores, probably next season of Dancing With the Stars will have one or both of them on.

4) Miley Cyrus - 17 years old and already miles ahead of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan in the lost cause category. She'll be pregnant in no time and be in rehab before the end of the year.

5) Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan - May their singing/acting careers end forever. Enough already.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Starry Night

Last week my family took me to Starry Night, an interesting new restaurant in Richmond. The restaurant was downstairs, and upstairs there were reflexology rooms (don't ask). I guess the best way to describe the restaurant is a higher-class Chinese-English cafe, similar to restaurants such as Cafe Gloucester and I Cafe. Unfortunately I was disappointed with the establishment. The service was very strange, as it seemed the wait staff had no idea what to do. We had to ask for bread and not once did they ask us if we needed anything, until the very end when we were just finishing up dinner.

As for the food, it was okay. I had a coffee-crusted ribeye, which tasted like a ribeye with coffee (depending on your taste this is either good or bad). My Manhattan Seafood Chowder was a bit too sour but adequate. Overall, for the price I would have to pay, I'd have to give it a fail.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Growing Old

I managed to get away from the slot machines and annoying people to spend 2 nights at Encil House, a bed & breakfast in Gibsons in the Sunshine Coast, for my ??th birthday. It was a welcome change from all the noise and hubbub of city life. One day, when my dream of becoming a full-time writer is realized, I may end up spending many weekends here. We had two gracious hosts in Keith and Taya, and they made us feel at home. You can't go wrong with a hot tub overlooking the waters. And the home-c ooked meal on our last night was too much (but also too good). If you are thinking of spending some time on the Sunshine Coast, I highly recommend this B&B.

As for the rest of Gibsons, it's a simple community with nothing in the way of city life. We had lunch at Smitty's Oyster House, and had some nice sushi the first night. We even found a Starbucks and a Sears, and the movie theater.

Friday, June 25, 2010

One Year Ago (Already?)

I remember hearing early in the day of the passing of one of the most iconic actresses I knew growing up. I was sad because I recalled how much I enjoyed Charlie's Angels, and "the poster". And then, many say unfairly to her, somebody else passed away. Most of us remember who that is. I can't it's been a year already since the passing of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

America's Got Talent (really)

Due to my schedule, I haven't had the chance to watch America's Got Talent until tonight. It's good to see for once that we are watching people who are actually capable of doing something, instead of all those silly shows that masquerade as reality shows. Last season, though, I was disappointed in the show because the American public voted for the "story" rather than the "talent" when they picked that country singer Kevin Skinner instead of the obviously more talented Barbara Padilla. Perhaps they will do it again this year. After all, who kept Kate Gosselin on TV far more than she deserved?

My early pick so far is the talented Dutch child who played Mozart on the keyboard. Wow.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I don't really know who Lars Eller is, but he doesn't have much pressure. He's only one of two players the Habs got for trading away the hero of all heroes, Jaroslav Halak. No pressure, my friend.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Back to the 80's

This is strictly a flashback post to the late 80's when I began my illustrious career with Great Canadian. Famous nicknames and quotes that only people from the old HIB would understand. Feel free to add any memories.

Nicknames of Staff

Christoff Smirnoff

Famous Quotes

Good show!
Me bet!
The line is busy!

People I Wish Would Come back to GCC

Andre D
Rick B
Randene N

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Three Days Off From Work, So I Worked

The end of another "long" weekend for me, as I managed to put together three days off in a row this week. My schedule will be temporarily normal (unless things change, and they have at the drop of a hat) with afternoon shifts. This will give me more time to write for Mahalo, and I'm even considering working the "Go Team" shifts every morning at 7am. There are three 4-hour shifts every weekday (700-1100, 1100-1500, 1500-1900), in which we clean up or add to existing pages on Mahalo. I'm also writing some sports entries in the meantime. It's a lot of work which I've had to juggle with my "other" work but it's starting to pay off. My last page was on Vancouver Tourist Attractions, and I may end up writing about the attractions individually, as well as starting on some Vegas pages. What more can I ask for? I'm writing about Marie Osmond, the Montreal Canadiens, and Las Vegas. Life is good.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Eat Vancouver

This was the second year that Amy and I have gone to this exhibition. Last year's edition was held at BC Place and I must say it was much better then. This year it was at the new Convention Center downtown. While the site was really nice, I thought the ballroom was a lot smaller. As a result, the place was packed with rude people who really didn't have any manner. Hey dipsh*t, we're lining up here for a reason, did you ask beforeod you rudely budded in? After a while I just pretended it was a Boxing Day sale and didn't even say "excuse me". What's the point?

Oh the food. It was pretty good. My favorite was salmon on a stick, so good I had two. Otherwise we enjoyed some of the samples but were not impressed with the lack of cleanup on the floor. There weren't enough garbage cans and they should have differentiated garbage bins and recycle bins more, as people were throwing garbage in the recycle bin. Oops. I'd say 2 stars out of 4.

Monday, May 24, 2010

No Regrets

To my most beloved team that I have cheered for since I was a tiny little boy who came to Canada in 1972, thank you. Thank you for making me believe in miracles and for teaching me to never give up no matter what happens. You beat two of the best teams (and two of the best players) in the league. And while I could waste myself wondering what could have been if the Bruins hadn't folded, I cannot do that. The Habs players should be proud of themselves for making a 43-year-old man feel like a kid again. To Jaroslav Halak, the ghosts of goalies past touched you these playoffs.

I congratulate the Philadelphia Flyers on well-played series. You also came back from insurmountable odds to make it where you are now. I could hate your team, but it was a great series. There is no "what could have been". Best of luck in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Letters to Juliet

Officially I only have two days off this weekend, but unofficially it's three, as I had Saturday-Sunday off and a graveyard shift Monday. Day 1 was spent mourning the Game 4 loss of the Habs, but then we went to see a very good movie, Letters to Juliet. It may be my favorite movie of the year. It starred Amanda Seyfried (of Mamma Mia! fame) and the story reminded me a lot about Mamma Mia! There is also an amazing performance by Vanessa Redgrave which may possibly bring an Oscar nomination. It was a very romantic story.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


The Forum Ghosts watched over the Habs last night. They were among the many packed into the Bell Centre as they saw Les Habitantes defeat the Penguins. The hockey gods stood behind Jaroslav Halak once again, and skated beside Mike Cammalleri. Maybe there is something magical about the playoffs and the Canadiens. It was pure magic tonight and the magic shall continue, whether it be Boston or Philadelphia, and then whether it be San Jose or Chicago. Forever Proud!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Summer of '79

Last night I went to a reunion for my elementary school, Sir Richard McBride. It was a chance meet people who were there in the 1970's. There were three of us from the "Grad '79" class (yes, I graduated from elementary school in 1979). It was a night full of sudden flashbacks when certain names (of students and teachers) were mentioned and memories came back, of the neighborhood grocery store, of Freezies and Hubba Bubba and that Coke dispenser. Amazing, that was 31 years ago. Where did the time go?

Thursday, May 06, 2010


I really have to sit down and decide on a schedule for my life. As much as I'm enjoying my "side job" working at Mahalo, I need to put aside some time (hopefully every day) to do some writing or editing. Right now I'm still considering it somewhat of a fun thing (even though I'm starting to make more and more money). I'm getting a lot of searches for some of my articles, but I need to put in an extra effort to get them to or near the top of the Google Searches. How do I make people more interested in the Montreal Canadiens Roster? Who wants to know more about Jaroslav Halak? Do people still want to hear about Marie Osmond? Do you buy Iams Pet Food for your pets?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Dine Out Vancouver: Beach House

Due to my schedule I'd never gotten the chance to participate in Dine Out Vancouver until last night when we decided to go to The Beach House in West Vancouver. There were other choices but unfortunately they were all booked up for the weekend. The rain ruined a very nice view across the water.

For appetizer, she went with prawns while I opted for a delicious carrot and ginger soup. We both decided on the Beef Shortrib for our main course (I wasn't in the mood for salmon or chicken). It was a generous portion of meat with creamy mashed potatoes. Toffee pudding and Napoleon Mille-Feuille completed a very beautiful evening. It's too bad that a) I have so many night shifts thereby making it unable to attend more Dine Out restaurants and b) all the restaurants are so busy!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Freelance Writing

Aside from the bad drivers in Richmond, and the occasional "stuff" at work, I am happy. My dream has always been to write for money and right now that dream is starting to come true. The last month with Mahalo I made about $200, which is nothing spectacular but it's a start. The more I write the more I earn. The more people search for my tidbits the more I earn. It's something called SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization. I'm learning more and more about it. Currently my Vertical Manager, Jeff, has given me a lot of tasks on the Montreal Canadiens, what more can I ask for? I've tried not to write too biased an article on Jaroslav Halak. I was also part of the GoTeam last week, where we spend 8 hours cleaning up other pages. It paid $10/hr which is cool. I'm getting a lot of projects to do which is time-consuming but I'm doing something I love. I have a page on Marie Osmond, and even a page on Amy's favorite actor in the world, Daniel Henney. And believe it or not, they assigned me a page on Iams Pet Food, even though I've never had a pet in my life. It's great.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


To Doug McLean and the rest of the TSN crew who didn't give them a chance, to all the Habs Haters out there who said they didn't have a chance, to those who laughed when they were down 3-1, you know where you can go. There is something called faith, something called believing, and tonight everything came true. There is something called cheering for your team through thick and thin, never giving up even when times are rough.

To the Washington Capitals, it was one hell of a series. Ovie, you are indeed amazing. But something happens when you don the goalie pads for the Habs in the playoffs. You become unbeatable. The longstanding tradition that started with George Hainsworth and was passed through to Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden, and Patrick Roy, well, it looks like the torch has been passed.

Thank you for 101 years, how sweet it is. Bring it on, Sidney.

Game 7

And so I sit in front of my computer, hoping to get some sleep. I've had a relaxing few days off, and took a short holiday for personal reasons. But the timing is good because in about 15 hours it's Game 7 of the Eastern Semi Finals. Will Jaroslav Halak stand on his head again? Will the little men Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta come through? Will Alex Ovechkin be shut down? It remains to be same. Either way, this is what it means to be a Habs fan. It's in my blood. Few people can understand the feeling. Of course I hope they win, and of course I hope they can beat the Pittsburgh Penguins. You never know.

Monday, April 26, 2010

High Tea, Ramen

This weekend our adventures took us to the Fairmont Vancouver downtown for high tea. My Mom had taken me here before so I thought Amy would enjoy it. Actually, we'd originally planned on going to the one at Sutton Place Hotel but that was booked full, and we discovered that the Fairmont had "walk-ins" so... we walked in. We chose our teas and then they brought us a nice two-tiered display of bite-sized sandwiches and delicious scones. Ooh those scones. Yummy. Afterwards we went for a nice stroll in Stanley Park. We couldn't decide on dinner (Kintaro again?) until we walked by a "new" ramen place on Denman called Motomachi Shokudo. It was a small little place. I had an "extra BBQ Pork" ramen which meant pork ribs were included, while Amy had some sort of a bamboo-based ramen. Delicious soup and ramen for me (Amy thought the ramen wasn't chewy enough) but not much in the way of meat. Still it was a good time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Date Night

It'd been a while since Amy and I went out for a movie, and even longer since we went for a matinee. But we'd heard a lot about this movie (and of course it stars two of my favorite actors, Steve Carrell and Tina Fey) so we went after lunch. The beginning was a bit slow but once the two got to demonstrate their comedic talents the film was quite enjoyable. Tina Fey is an amazing actress with a lot of potential. And Steve Carrell is hilarious as well. I hope the two of them do more movies together.

Monday, April 19, 2010

That Time of the Month

...when the hockey playoffs start. It's time for the dormant city of Vancouver to get on the bandwagon and pretend they are hockey fans (no not all but most). For me, it's time to start believing in the improbable. I remember way back in 1993 nobody thought the Habs would go far. They'd even fallen behind in the series against the Nordiques. And then Patrick Roy took over. This year they barely got into the playoffs but who cares? Anything can happen. All the series were at 1-1. You never know. Hockey is in my blood.

Monday, April 12, 2010


As I wrote at the end of March, I've started a part-time writing gig at, which is a search engine with a business model (don't bother trying to figure that out). Basically people do searches on the site and as their "answer" is clicked on, revenues are shared (basic Internet advertising). I managed to get accepted into writing/modifying some of the pages of the Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Cowboys, and even Marie Osmond! Payment is slow to begin but as time goes on, hopefully things get better and better. Some of the pages I'm managing are below.

Marie Osmond
Carey Price
Jaroslav Halak
Montreal Canadiens Roster
Montreal Canadiens Videos
Dallas Cowboys Videos
Dallas Cowboys Jersey

Locus Restaurant

Yesterday the Vancouver Brunch Adventures restarted after a sojourn to Las Vegas. Amy had come across a small place on Main Street that I must have driven by many times. The Locus Restaurant is situated on Main Street close to King Edward. It has an extensive menu for all meals. Amy had a Classic Breakfast with rosemary chicken sausage (?) while I opted for an interesting Pumpkin Spiced French Toast with a side of bacon. Both were delicious, perhaps one of the best so far. We will definitely come back to this nice find.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thought of the Day April 10

If they say that sex before the big game works, how come Tiger isn't at 20 under right about now?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Vegas 2010: Hotel

We stayed at the Vdara Hotel, which is part of the new City Center complex beside the Bellagio. There is also the Aria Hotel and Casino, the Crystals Mall, and the Mandarin Hotel. I was quite impressed with the design of the complex, especially our hotel. It was very "artsy" and very welcoming. Without a casino, the Vdara is a "boutique hotel", and the room was spacious, with a kitchenette, dining table and large "main room". The washroom had both a tub and shower. The big problem was the door would not shut properly and every time I had to manually close it rather than let it automatically close on its own.

The Aria Casino was not one of the best casinos I've visited in Vegas. It was a bit dark (not as dark as the Mirage) and unwelcoming. But the layout was pretty good.

Overall I liked where I stayed at. As said before, it was quite convenient as the Bellagio was just next door.

Vegas 2010: Food

I had a variety of delicious eats at Vegas. The first night, Amy and I joined her godsister and boyfriend at Michael Mina (at the Bellagio). The chef Michael Mina has a number of restaurants in Vegas, and this one was called simply Michael Mina. Then again maybe it's called Michael Mina at the Bellagio. Amy had a lobster pot pie which had high marks for presentation and preparation. I opted for a nice 6 oz. American Kobe Beef. Both were delicious but of course for me, 6 oz. of beef is nowhere near enough. This was my overall observation of the restaurant; very nice atmosphere but the value was lacking.

For breakfast the next day the four of us went to J.J.'s Boulangerie at Paris. We had nice waffles and continued on with the day.

Night time was buffet time. We'd heard some good reviews about the Wynn Buffet so that was our destination. At a price tag of $34.95 I was hopeful that the food would be good and I was quite impressed. I don't usually go to buffets in Vegas because I guess I would rather have good, fresh food rather than pick from a large variety of not-so-fresh food. A prime rib just out of the roaster is amazing, but at a buffet that isn't the case. Nevertheless I liked everything. I had a few slices of prime rib plus some really good veal shortribs (my favorite) followed by some good creme brulee. It wasn't brilliant but it wasn't too bad.

Wednesday we woke up a bit later than usual and only had time for lunch at Caesar's, at a nice little cafe called Serendipity 3. I had a "Hangover Omelette" which had bacon, mushrooms, and fries. It came with a side of waffle fries (yup, that's fries and fries); Amy had a turkey and brie sandwich. It wasn't too bad.

At night we went to one of my favorite restaurants, Voodoo (at the Rio). Their menu had changed since my last visit. I remembered having a Wagyu Beef cut last time for $120 ($15 an ounce) but this time their best was a 8 oz. A5 Kobe New York for $80. It wasn't as delicious as the Wagyu but it wasn't bad. Amy had a yummy Filet Mignon.

There are a lot of other nice restaurants in Vegas I'd like to try. Is that a good enough excuse to visit again?

Vegas 2010: 2 Shows

Our first big show in Vegas was Viva Elvis!, which was a Cirque du Soleil-ish show based on the music of some guy named Elvis Presley. I guess with the success of the Beatles-based Love, the Cirque (and Vegas) folks decided the "based on the music of" idea would work again. Well, while the music was awesome, the show itself was more like a musical than a Cirque show. There weren't any of the great acrobatic acts of shows such as Ka, Mystere, and O. While it wasn't the worst Cirque show I've seen in Vegas (nothing will beat the Criss Angel show for badness), it was a bit of a disappointment.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mini Update

I have somewhat of a part-time writing gig on (check it out), writing entries for the sports department (I'm writing some of the entries for the Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Cowboys). I am still in the early stages of the training process and so I'm not getting paid much for it. But as people come to my managed pages more and more, I will earn more revenue. Obviously that is something I hope will happen soon, but for the time being at least I'm doing something I enjoy.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Amy told me about a new Ramen place downtown that was supposedly better than Kintaro. Well how could I refuse, since Kintaro is my favorite ramen place? I was told that they had some sort of a ramen accompanied by pork cheek (yes, that means a lot of fat).

We made our way down to Robson Street (near Bidwell) and ended up having an enjoyable time. Plusses for this restaurant were the soup bases and the quality of the meat. But I really didn't enjoy the noodles, which were much tougher than "my favorite restaurant". And the price of my pork cheek ramen was more than it should be. Overall, I would rank it below Kintaro, still the champion!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Hangover

It seems like only yesterday that Vancouver (and Whistler) was host to the world. Now it seems as if the Olympics never happened. Downtown is back to the congested traffic. Richmond is back to the congested and really bad traffic. The Vancouver Canucks fans are whining about the lack of goaltending and making fun of other teams as they always like to do. I guess things are back to normal.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Undercover Boss

I came across an interesting show tonight that I'd never even heard about. No it's not Celebrity Apprentice. The show is called Undercover Boss, where CEO's of major companies go undercover in their companies to see how things operate. Tonight's episode was the CEO of GSI Commerce in the United States. I thought he was going to fire the cell center girl who was pretty rude to the customer.

To think there is. a reality show on TV that I might actually enjoy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


"Every day is a blessing"

Even though times are tough it's important to stay positive. Throughout this month I've had a lot of time to search my soul and find inner peace. There are a lot of things I need to change about myself and it's time I've started. I took a walk today, something I hadn't done in a long time (what I mean is I haven't taken a walk outside -- as opposed to the 10 kilometers I walk each night at work), and it was very refreshing. Life can be cruel sometimes but to complain and not do anything about it means nothing will be done about it. There are still things I need to sort out but with a clearer mind I know I can do it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Random English Questions

1) How do you pronounce Tsawwassen? I've always thought it was tah-WAH-sin but I've been told that it's the T that's silent as opposed to the S.

2) Why do you say "A History of Violence" but you also say "an historic era"? Shouldn't it be "a historic era"? This one really bugs me.

3) DISCLAIMER: Skip to step 4 if you don't like foul language... What is the past tense of "I shit in my pants"? Is it "I shot in my pants" or "I shat in my pants"? What about "shat"? I took a shit?

4) What rhymes with orange or month (or purple)?

5) The plural of the animal mouse is mice, it the plural of the computer mouse "mice" or "mouses"?

OK, now I need some sleep.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


What, Jason off on Saturday? Well after a week of unusual graveyard shifts, I managed to procure both Saturday and Sunday off. I took a nap after getting home at 8 in the morning than drove to Amy's where we started our weekend adventure.

Our first place of note was the 49th Parallel Coffee place in Kits. It was opened by the owners of Cafe Artigiano. She had an Americano and I had a single shot latte which was presented with the famed latte art.

After a short drive and excursion to Granville Island, Amy treated me to dinner at Maenam, an interesting "Asian fusion" restaurant. The menu was small but interesting. We started with a Hot and Sour Sloping Hills Pork Soup. I finally discovered what Sloping Hills pork was, as I'd seen it on a number of menus and never knew what it was. We shared three entrees: Chiang Mai Style Beef Salad, 8-Spice Fish (lingcod), and Pad Thai. In terms of taste I would rank the dishes as follows: Soup, Salad, Pad Thai, Fish. All were tasty but I'll have to say very small in size.

Dessert consisted of Carmelized Baby Banana Fritter with White Sesame Sorbet and a Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme. Both were enjoyable but once again small in portion. While I definitely enjoyed the flavors, I guess I wish there were larger portions!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

About Time

Evidently the May 8 Saturday Night Live will be hosted by none other than Betty White. There had been a big campaign on Facebook and others to have her as host. She rules.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Even though the infamous Japadog stand had been open on Burrard and Smithe for some time, I'd never tried it due to the price. But with all the hype and supposed 2-block lineups during the Olympics, I figured it was time to see what all the excitement was about. So I picked up Amy and we took a little walk up to the stand. Three hot dogs for $19.25 but I must admit it was pretty good. Still, $6 a hot dog, hmm.... then again I pay $3 for a cup of coffee sometimes.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Weird, it seemed as if the last three weeks were a holiday, when in fact the opposite was true. We were so swamped at work it seemed like I was at another job. But the excitement and craziness has died down now and it's more or less business as usual. Today was my first day back after Sunday's game (and closing ceremonies) and it was nice to have a relatively easy day. It gave me time to reflect on things and try to figure out what the future holds. Nobody knows really. Maybe I need a real holiday.

Monday, March 01, 2010


A lot of images and memories come to mind about the last 17 days, images I'll never ever forget. Here are my most vivid ones (what were yours?):

1) Joannie Rochette blowing a kiss to her Mom at the end of her skate. She redefined the word courage and determination.

2) Golden Goal - no other words are necessary. I don't even want to think what would have happened if it was the other team.

3) The first gold medal by Alexandre Bilodeau. We all knew there would be more but the first one is always the best one.

4) Patriotism in the streets. I guess the downtown residents can get some sleep now, or come back from their holidays visiting people elsewhere. I only wish this patriotism isn't a one-time thing. But the word bandwagon comes to mind.

5) My live Olympic experience watching both the Pairs and Women's Figure Skating Finals. It was touching to see how the fans cheered competitors from all nations. I did not hear one boo. This is what sports should be about, cheering for the effort.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Else?

Flashback to a late September day in 1972. I'd only been in Canada for 3 months, but I'd already discovered the game of hockey. I was a cute 6-year-old boy who rushed home from school so fast because it was Game 8 of something called the Summit Series.

"Henderson scores!"

And now, almost 38 years later.... Canada is once again on top of the world. I was going to post about how disappointed I was that they didn't blow the game wide open with their firepower. If this is truly our game then why are we struggling to keep a lead?

But no, I will post about how a nation breathed together a sigh of relief, about how a young kid from Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia made us all proud to be Canadian.

To the American team, you played great. Ryan Miller, you were next to unbeatable. Congratulations.

To the Canadian team, cheers.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


O Canada!

Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Flag Bearer

So who should carry the flag at the closing ceremonies? While I think that Joannie Rochette deserves the honor more than anyone else, I would understand if she declines due to the "festive" nature of the ceremonies. It won't be the hockey team because win or lose on Sunday they don't deserve it.


For the second time, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to experience an Olympic event live. Last week was the pairs figure skating final, and last night was the absolutely breathtaking women's figure skating final. It was truly an international affair, as we saw many flags from many countries all over Pacific Coliseum. Aside from Canada, there were many Korean and Japanese flags, and even a row of Finnish fans as their country was well represented.

The performance of the gold medal winner, Yu-Na Kim was amazing. She won by such a wide margin and it was fully deserved. The silver medalist Mao Asada had a powerful skate which maybe lacked a bit of the grace of Ms. Kim.

But by far my most memorable moment of these Olympics, and one of the most memorable of my life, was watching someone tune out the most saddest moments of her life to deliver a truly inspiring four-minute performance. Joannie Rochette taught me a lot about courage. No matter how sad or angry or down you are, sometimes you need to tune it out and turn it off and go on with your life. I don't know if I could have done what she did, but the whole country (and most of the world) was with her. And she had a loving mother watching from the heavens and smiling. When Joannie blew a kiss to the rafters at the end of her skate tonight, well, that was (I'm speechless here).

Congratulations to my Korean friends on a well-deserved medal. But to the Rochette family, merci.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our Game Again

I've had a lot of fairly negative comments about the hockey team, because they only play hard when they need to. The "blame Brodeur" reporting was uncalled for, because the whole team let me down. You don't score 2 goals in regulation against THE SWISS and expect me to be impressed. They played badly against the US and all I heard was, well it's better they play another game. That's silly. But at least last night they played like they should. Why couldn't they do that in their last two games? Is it too much to ask that they play 100% like the women's team?

Bring on the Slovaks.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Who says we can't own the podium? Right now we are tied for first in gold medals. I'm not saying the other medals aren't important but we have 4 potential golds staring at us in curling and hockey. And there are still many other events too. US may win in overall medals but wouldn't it be something if we win the gold medal race? Onward!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


What a night for skating, and strangely I'm still not talking about hockey. Yes, we won, as everybody "thought we would".

But tonight at the Pacific Coliseum I once again saw what being in the Olympics is all about. It's not about the medal, it's about the effort. If you put in your best effort and fall short than there is nothing more you can ask for. Two nights ago Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir put in their best effort and came up with the most beautiful four minutes I've seen in a long time. Tonight, Korea's Yu Na Kim gave an amazing skate to be in first place.

But she didn't have the best skate. Any Canadian, any skating fan, anybody with a Mom that they loved, well they all knew who had the best skate. To Joannie Rochette, I have no words to offer. It was breathtaking. You already won the gold medal for your effort in the face of adversity. O Canada.

Monday, February 22, 2010

O Canada

Tonight I was so proud to be a Canadian, and so proud to be a part of history. It was tonight that I saw what the Olympic spirit was all about. Yesterday night I lost a bit of my patriotic blood when I saw a disappointing performance from a bunch of overpaid skaters. Tonight I felt the blood rush back as I saw a beautiful skating performance from a beautiful 20-year-old lady and a dashing 22-year-old man. To Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, you have redefined grace and beauty and poise. They should put a picture of you two in the dictionary beside the word beauty. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thought of the Day 2

We should invite the curling team to play some Squeeze Baccarat. Think about it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


What an inspirational performance by Jon Montgomery to add to the Canadian Gold Medal Party! I doubt I'll ever get a chance to do the skeleton (or is skeleton a verb on its own?) because it's just a big to freaky for me. Then again I drive in Richmond almost every day.... oh but I digress.

"O say can you see, by the dawn's early light...."

P.S. To Melissa Hollingsworth: You did not let your country down. You gave it your best shot and I am proud of you representing the greatest country in the world. You will be back in 2014 and I can't wait to see you on the podium.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thought of the Day

I wonder if Maria Sharapova (or Monica Seles) would have made it big in curling. They scream enough already.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pairs Figure Skating Final

Ever since Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were robbed of a gold medal years ago, I'd gotten a bit weary of watching pairs figure skating because it's so much dependent on the judges. It is supposed to be a beautiful sport but there's a lot of favoritism. But tonight I enjoyed it once more.

I had the opportunity to hear some of my most favorite pieces of music:

Theme from Love Story
Theme from Romeo and Juliet
The Way We Were
Blue Danube

What more could you ask for? The Chinese pair that ended up second brought the house down with their inspirational performance. They were more or less perfect and fittingly won the free skate. But unfortunately they could only get silver. The gold medalists danced a safe but beautiful routine. While the Chinese have been known in the past to concentrate on the technical aspects as opposed to the "beauty", it looks like times have changed.

And to the two Canadian pairs, thank you for representing Canada. While you fell short of the podium, you have done our country proud.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Olympic Experience

I am very fortunate to have a girlfriend who won the lottery for two tickets to the Pairs Figure Skating Final tonight (as well as the Women's Final next week) so I had the rare and possibly once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing an Olympic event live. The event was great and I saw some amazing athletes.

What is so different between the Olympics and "regular sports" is how appreciative the fans are of ALL the performances. The crowd cheered for every team. They gave a standing ovation for a French team. I did not hear one boo. There may have been some surprising marks but all in all this is what fans should be. Cheer for greatness even if it's from somewhere else. Spend less time jeering for the other team.


Congratulations to Alexandre Bilodeau (and the rest of Canada) as we FINALLY won our first gold medal on Canadian soil. It was an amazing performance and such a beautiful story. As he said, the party is just getting started for Canada. Onward!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Happy February 14 depending on what it means to you. The end of my most adventurous week at work is over and now it's time to savor some moments with someone special. The Olympics await us in two days.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 1

My condolences to the family and team (and country) of the Georgian athlete who died as a result of the horrible accident during practice. I hope this doesn't put a damper on the Games. The moment of silence was very honorable and touching.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Here We Go!

It's finally here. After beating South Korea by two votes to get the 2010 Olympics, it's finally here. To all the athletes and coaches and volunteers and workers, God speed. And to the Canadian Olympic hockey team, kick some ass.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


While browsing through the 103.5 website (home of the greatest radio station in the world) I came across an ad for a board game about relationships called Synchrohearts, which turned out to be a wonderful game that I recommend to all couples. The game was shipped in a day. How's that for service? If you order early enough on Thursday morning there's a good chance you'll get it on Friday! Otherwise I believe it is on sale at selected retail stores in the Lower Mainland.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Despite a lot of my reservations about the "commercial" aspect of the Olympics, I still enjoy the torch relay and of course the sporting aspect. It's been quite exciting hearing about the torch as it nears the Opening Ceremonies. Yesterday one of my heroes, Rick Hansen, brought the torch into Richmond. It only seemed like yesterday that he started his truly inspirational Man in Motion tour. I remembered standing among a throng of people at Oakridge Center when he finished it all. He was one of my "picks" to light the Olympic flame but it looks more and more like a certain #99 will get the honor.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Next Step

To buy a place or keep wait until you get married...can we afford the mortgage...I have many questions to answer in the next while. I know I would have to make a lot of changes in my life.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Thank God it's Saturday (my Friday). It's been a big roller coaster of a week that is am one workday away from ending. But with the help of an amazing staff and cool managers we managed to get the new Salon Prive open upstairs and the new and improved (and louder) Party Pit running. From the dealers to the supervisors to Guest Services to Tricom, thanks for getting everything ready. I hope Saturday's shift runs smoothly, but I can't wait for my weekend. Then it's two days off before the double whammy Chinese New Year / Valentine's Day special.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Random Musings

Yes that was me in the paper on Tuesday. Yes that was me whining about the Olympics (what else is new?). Yes those were my Habs that beat the Canucks. That's all for now.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Craftsman Collision

I got my car back today from Craftsman Collision and I'll have to say I was extremely impressed with their service. Of course I wasn't thrilled that I had to bring my car there in the first place due to the ACCIDENT IN THE TIM HORTON'S PARKING LOT. But they fixed the dent, vacuumed the interior and even cleaned up the car a bit. I got a little gift basket as well. And even though I wasn't liable for the damage, I got to use my Air Miles Card! Good thing it was over $1,700 in damage! I'm that much closer to Vegas!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Other Casino (not that one)

Last night I went to bed at around 1am after saying goodnight to Amy, hoping for a peaceful sleep before going to work at 3:30pm the next day. It wasn't meant to be as in the middle of some dream about something I can't remember, I was awakened at 4:30am by Sylvia. Evidently the 6am floor manager in COQUITLAM called in sick and they needed someone ASAP. I was the last hope and so I managed to push myself out of bed, in for a quick shower, and then got ready for my trip to the Boulevard Casino....

FLASHBACK: A long ago when I was at Fraser Downs I remember for some reason I'd left my GPS at home and as if by chance that was the day that Highway 1 had a big detour and I found myself lost somewhere in Coquitlam. I managed to go through New Westminster to Cloverdale (quite late mind you, but I got there).

FLASH FORWARD: My car was being repaired due to the idiot in the Tim Horton's parking lot. My GPS is in the car. Now going to Boulevard from Vancouver is easy as I've done it before. But from Richmond I knew the shortest way was to get on Stewardson/Marine Way and make my way there. But somehow, perhaps burdened by lack of sleep, I took a wrong turn and found myself lost AGAIN (I turned left on Marine when I should have gone straight). Well, I managed to get there a bit late.

I hadn't been to Boulevard in a year or two, and not for a morning shift. It definitely was a nice change from the usually hectic River Rock days. Everything was well organized at Boulevard, and definitely not as busy as the Rock. It was relaxing and free of stress, and considering my lack of sleep this was perfect. But now it's back to the Rock. Oh well.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Well, I guess for me the only good thing about the Olympics is trying to figure out who will light the torch at the very end. Right now I am pretty sure it will be one of these people, none of whom have been torch runners during the journey to the opening ceremonies.

1) Wayne Gretzky

Well, I always thought Lemieux was the better player, but if you think Canada, you think hockey. And when you think hockey, I guess Gretzky comes to mind. It would make a lot of sense.

2) Rick Hansen

I remember his "Man in Motion" tour from years past. He has been a great ambassador to athletes all over the world.

3) Betty Fox

Of course we know her better as the mother of the most inspirational runner of all time, one Terry Fox.

4) Michael J. Fox

He's not an athlete, but he's Canadian.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Real TV

Here is a list of TV shows that I watched growing up through the years and really, really miss. They were so much better than most of the crap on now.

1) The Tonight Show with JOHNNY CARSON
2) The Donny & Marie Show
3) The Carol Burnett Show
4) The Price is Right with BOB BARKER
5) Happy Days - before the Fonz jumped the shark
6) The Dean Martin Roasts
7) Wonder Years

That's all I can think of for now, although there were many more. I could watch reruns of these all day long.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Le Gros Bill

Not many people of the newer generations would know who the title of this post refers to. But to anybody who follows old-time hockey, anybody who is a Habs fan (and many, many people who are not), they know that Le Gros Bill is the nickname of one Mr. Jean Beliveau. While he retired long before I got a chance to see him play, I have read so many stories of the classiest hockey player who ever lived. Just go on the TSN website and read how many letters of support there were for him, who suffered a stroke yesterday. Bruin fans who hated the Habs, Leaf fans who hated the Habs, any many other non-Hab fans had nothing but respect for this fine gentleman. He was the epitome of class, and all I can say is I pray for a speedy recovery. I can honestly say if the hockey players of today would have even half of the class that Mr. Beliveau possessed, the world would be a better place.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


My heart goes out to those people in the customer service industries. This is a vague category that encompasses many jobs but more or less share a common goal. While most of the time the employees deal with great people who show respect, other times the opposite happens. Supposedly, "the customer is always right". Now every so often something must be done to please the customer. Even if the bill says "no refund", sometimes a concession is made so the customer comes back. Even if the dealer and supervisor are sure that the player wanted a card and made a signal to hit (and then bust), sometimes a ruling is made in the customer's favor. That is part of the job.

But what is unfortunate is that this "privilege" is abused. And no, I'm not going to start ranting about the casino industry. That I will reserve for another post (and most likely on my other blog). I just don't like it when people think abusive language and gestures are acceptable just because they are "valued customers". Yes, this applies to my job, but it happens in other industries too. Today my girlfriend had to deal with an extremely rude tenant who thought that by yelling and screaming, things would be done faster. Do they expect respect when they themselves cannot show any? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". It is unfortunate that certain cultures are less respectful than others.

I think back to the urban legend that in some restaurants if you complain enough about the food the chefs will do something "gross" to your meal.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Town Hall

I hadn't seen Sam in a long while so he called me up for lunch today. We decided to go to the newly opened Town Hall Restaurant (once Saltlik) on Alberni. It was very spacious with a pretty nice menu. I'm sure the night time scene is pretty cool. We started with a Chorizo Clambake, which we ordered mainly because we just wanted to see what it was. Basically it's clams with chorizo and double-smoked bacon. It was pretty good but we only got 6 clams so it wasn't that good a deal. Sam had the chilean sea bass and I opted for the bodacious rib-eye because I just wanted to see what it was. Basically it was a bodacious rib-eye with skinny fries that were quite tasty and numerous. It was a nice restaurant with fairly overpriced items.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Hockey is obviously a part of Canada. One can argue that it IS Canada. There are diehard fans all over the country. I have cheered for my Habs for, wow, 39 years now. Habs fans are everywhere. I know Maureen and Brenna who worship the Flames. There are frustrated Leaf fans who never give up. Oiler fans, Senator fans, and even the Canuck fans who seem to enjoy their reputation of being whiners (that's for another post). But in about a month, all the CANADIAN fans will get together and cheer for Team Canada. I have to admit while I don't have a lot of positive things to say about the Olympics themselves, I'm getting hyped up about hockey. I still recall coming to Canada in 1972 and watching perhaps one of the greatest hockey series ever. Who can forget Paul Henderson scoring THE GOAL? It only seemed like yesterday.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

Refuel Restaurant

Once called Fuel Restaurant, this establishment was renamed after some story that I'm not sure about. It was a small restaurant close to Kits. Amy and I shared some spiced pork ribs, then for appetizers Angela (who showed up late...) shared spaghetti carbonara and crunchy pork cheek (?). They were yummy! For the main, Angela had an ox tongue salad, Amy the seared rare albacore tuna salad, and I completed my pork theme with the sloping hill pork. While the dishes were small they were quite tasty. We couldn't stay for dessert, but hopefully we will soon. They also have a brunch menu!!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Bucket List #1

Inspired by my friend Lisa's blog, here is my long awaited Bucket List (Version 1). People may or may not remember the 2007 movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson called, surprisingly, Bucket List. Basically two patients on their last days write up a list of things they want to do before they leave the Earth. My bucket list is based on things I would like to accomplish or do within the next two years (might as well set a goal). Some of these things I've tried but was unsuccessful. But here goes.

1) Have a crossword puzzle published in the New York Times, but barring that, any major publication. For those who don't know, the infamous Sunday crossword puzzle in the New York Times pays $1,000 to the author! Daily crossword puzzles in that newspaper pays $200. Other publications pay a bit less but nevertheless this is a goal of mine. And for all you aspiring cruciverbalists, visit The Cruciverb Website.

2) Have some form of my writing published. I've been inspired by many positive comments from readers of this and my other blog about writing freelance. Maybe I'll end up writing the next Harry Potter or Twilight. Maybe I'll end up doing movie or restaurant reviews for some major publication. But I'm going to do something.

3) Go to New York for the second time. I had a rushed trip there two years ago. Why you ask? It was to enter, here it comes folks, the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. I didn't get a chance to see this beautiful city in detail, and I must again. I remember standing in the middle of Times Square in awe. Dare I say it was more beautiful than Vegas.

4) Find my passion in life. No, I'm not talking about my relationship, which is wonderful. I have to decide what I want in life and make an effort to find it. I can sit around and whine all day but if I don't have a solution than there is nothing I can do.

5) Visit Europe. I've been to Vegas. I've sort of been to New York. I was born in Hong Kong and even though I haven't been back there since 1996, I've been there (I do want to go there though). I've heard such wonderful things about Europe. France, Italy, England, they all sound wonderful (perhaps these countries should each be a separate bucket list item). Perhaps a trip to the real Monte Carlo, a ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower, tea with the Queen, and seeing Rome. Sure beats looking at Oak Street Bridge every day.

6) Do karaoke at River Rock during Party Pit nights. Anybody reading this?

I'll start with those for now. My friend Lisa had more items, and I'm sure I'll find more as time goes by.

Monday, January 04, 2010


Not long ago, a friend asked me the following question (well I turned it into a two-parter). It was very tough for me to answer.

1) You are on the ill-fated Titanic (or some other luxury liner) and the boat is about to sink. Before you is a lifeboat. You have been instructed that there is room for you and one other person. You look beside you and see: Your Mom, your significant other, your child. Of the four of you, two people can go on the lifeboat, and the decision is yours. Who do you select? Are you one of them? If you select yourself then skip #2.

2) Same situation but YOU have to be one of the people on the lifeboat. You can select one other person to be with you: Your Mom, your significant other, your child. Who do you choose?

I added #2 because (well maybe it's just me) I assume most people would pick somebody other than themselves for #1. But anyways, enjoy your moral issue of the day.

In case anybody is wondering, for me it was really difficult. My Mom brought me up and everything I have accomplished in life is more or less due to her (and my family). But then again, she has had a wonderful life. I have a significant other who I promised to be with "till death do us part". Hmmm. And of course if I had a child, perhaps it is time to let him or her carry on my heritage.

#1: My significant other and my child
#2: If I had to be on the boat, then it would be with my significant other

Abigail's Party

The first brunch of 2010 took place on Sunday at Abigail's Party, a nice little place on Yew and 1st. She had a Mescalero Scramble (chorizo, corn, peppers, cilanto, cheese) while I opted for a really delicious Short Rib Hash, possibly one of my favorite dishes during our brunch adventures. We'll definitely have to come back to this nice place.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 Resolutions


I went for a checkup and I'm more or less in good health except my cholesterol is a bit high, and my blood pressure is high normal (sometimes above normal). It will be tough to give up my favorite foods but I will cut down. Don't worry Keg, I'll still be a customer but I won't be coming for the Omega Cut as often as before.


If I have a bad day at work, I usually end up having a bad day outside of work. I need to at least try to forget everything. Or if I need to vent, just vent and forget about it. Easier said than done?


Be clean.

I'm working on my Bucket List for 2010-2011, a list of actual things I want to accomplish within the next year or two (or three). In the meantime, greetings to all.