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.