Loot Crate- September 2013 Edition!

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September’s Loot Crate theme is ANIMATE and I think this is my favourite one to date!

IMG_5635This Stimpy doll from Jazwares has a squeaky nose and elastic tongue. Oh, it also talks. Reliving some childhood Nicktoon days.

IMG_5638Egoraptor made this really creepy Pikachu sticker and Bizklimkit mashed Ninja Turtles and Storm Troopers in a magnet. Loot Crate made a sticker with the phrase “It’s Over 9000”, which comes from the popular Dragon Ball Z meme. Since last month’s crate, they’ve also included a handy dandy little zine explaining everything in the crate.

IMG_5634There was Family Guy or Yoshi branded lip balms in this month’s crate. I got Stewie! I’m very thankful to not be putting anything Quagmire on my lips.

IMG_5640Each crate also had blind boxes of either Futurama or Simpsons key-chains from Kid Robot. I opened my Futurama box to reveal Lord Nibbler.

IMG_5633Last but not least, was a TMNT vinyl figure from Funko. I was lucky enough to actually get my favourite Ninja Turtle, Donatello. Woohoo!

I wonder how Loot Crate will top this one next month.

Save 10% with the code ANIMATE here: http://mbsy.co/lootcrate/176357

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This Ain’t No Piece of Cake

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This board game is named Piece O’ Cake. However, when you assemble it and put it together, it is clearly pie.

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Anyways, the object is to gain as many points as you can by eating the most out of the matching pieces. You also gain points for discarding (or forfeiting) pieces you know you won’t have the most of.

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Simple enough. Here’s a photo of a sandwich, just because.

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What’s Your Evil Plan?

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“Evil Plans- Having Fun on the Road to World Domination” is a cleverly titled book from comic writer and entrepreneur Hugh MacLeod. In fact, I actually discovered the book because it was sitting in the discount book section at Chapters and it sounded both adorable and intriguing.

To those unfamiliar, MacLeod is the artist behind gapingvoid.com. He creates original art for businesses in hopes to spark creativity, not sit in the background like the majority of mountain-climbing motivational posters.

In Evil Plans, he encourages those who are unhappy in their careers to take the risk of leaving and to figure out their life calling aka “evil plan”. The book is written in short chapters, or tips which are then elaborated on with examples and anecdotes. Oh and of course MacLeod’s signature comics.

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I think my favourite tip by far was:

 “Don’t worry if you don’t know absolutely everything before starting out.”

It’s something many of people struggle with (I know I do) when changing career paths, or starting their own businesses. However as MacLeod states later in the chapter,

 “Interesting destinies rarely come from just reading the instruction manual.”

We may not be the most skilled or talented in whatever it is that we enjoy doing, but it doesn’t validate whether we’re able to do those things. The choice we can make is to find something that matters to us and well, just do it.

What is your evil plan?

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Why You Should Have An Online Presence

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I was having a chat with someone the other day about social media and I tried explain to an anti-social media person why it was important to have an online footprint professionally. I think nowadays social media is so accessible (with privacy statements continuously changing and all) that there really isn’t a line between what you can consider professional versus personal. The reasons are the same. This makes it even more important to own your online presence.

1.       To control what others find online. At bare minimum, it’s good to have a website that has a good headshot of your face, a mini biography about what you do and perhaps some work samples. A Linkedin or an About.me page is fine. This way you can provide an URL to your employers (or people you meet) for a first impression beyond your resume. Your employers are also probably going to Google your name so having a headshot is important to distinguish yourself from the other Joe Shmoe shotgunning a beer in a Youtube video. If you’re lucky enough to register the web domain with your actual name, go for it.

2.       Open yourself to new opportunities. I never went to school for social media. It was something I learnt by experimenting, while managing multiple websites. I was an early adopter of Twitter. Through it, I’ve met some of the most interesting and like-minded people who are now some great friends offline. I’ve also had the opportunity to do things I never thought I’d do (like meet Phoenix or dance on stage with Girl Talk). I also worked places I never thought I’d end up. I never applied to work at Exclaim. Despite not being a journalism grad, the director of operations actually found me online after meeting me at a show and sent me a Facebook message. There’s a lot of fish in that sea but you have to have some sort of bait to hook them!

3.       To be ready for what the future might hold. Maybe one day in the future, you might want to start your own business, write a book or even just raise money for that marathon you suddenly feel like running. Having a dedicated following on Twitter or Facebook (or whatever social networks you choose to use) takes time to build. However, a strong community can really aid to kick start that new project.

 

Union Burger and the Magical Coke Machine

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I’m stuck in Mississauga this week house-sitting. I was watching an episode of Burger Wars and ended up with a gourmet burger craving. I then researched to see if there were places besides chains where I have already been (Five Guys, Big Smoke) and stumbled on Union Burger.
photo 2The place is on Living Arts Drive, right across from Square One Shopping Centre. The interior design of the place was modern and sleek.

photo 4I ordered the Peppercorn Goat Cheese Burger. It had cracked black pepper, caramelized onions, lettuce, BBQ sauce and of course goat cheese. I couldn’t really taste the pepper as the BBQ sauce was a little over powering.

photo 6I chose onion rings as my side. The breading texture reminded me of Burger King’s onion rings, but crunchier.

photo 1I finally had the opportunity to try one of the new Coca-Cola freestyle machines.

photo 5The machine allows you to mix and match your own soft drink flavour. I stuck with a classic vanilla coke. Maybe next time I’ll be more creative.

They’re not the best burgers in the world but Union Burger has some affordable and tastier alternatives to the fast food chains.

Union Burger on Urbanspoon

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Drumsticks

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Yesterday I felt like wrapping something in bacon and I happened to have a bag of drumsticks in the freezer. They turned out moist and delicious so I thought I’d share the recipe.

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Ingredients
Chicken drumsticks
Rosemary (you can use dry or fresh)
Bacon
Garlic Cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

IMG_4348Mince the garlic and the rosemary and toss them in a bowl with the chicken to season the drumsticks.

IMG_4349Wrap the drumsticks in bacon! I started from the stick and made my way to the meaty part. Sprinkle any leftover garlic and rosemary on top of the wrapped drumsticks. When you’re done stick them in the oven for an hour or until bacon is nice and crispy.

IMG_4360And serve! I paired mine with home-made fries I made in the oven at the same time.

Rabbit and Other Meats at Big Crow

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Situated behind Rose & Sons is what looks like someone’s fancy backyard picnic. We probably wouldn’t have stumbled on Big Crow if we weren’t specifically looking for it.
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Rose & Sons is pretty new and they’ve already added this cool looking BBQ cook-out to its backyard. You can see the cooks grilling everything on the make-shift fire pit situated in the back.
bc5 The atmosphere was very laid back. We were seated in between two other sets of customers. Plates are meant to be shared so we chose 2 selections from the “little crow” menu and one from the “big crow”.

bc2 The crow sizzling bacon (“little crow”) had a sweet ancho chili BBQ sauce. It was served with thuet bread and a little slaw, which we realized later were the only veggies we ate that night.

bc3Also from the little crow menu was the miami ribs served with a creamy tzatziki sauce. This was a meal where using your hands and getting messy was necessary.

bc4Our “big crow” and larger of the selections was this 1/2 rabbit. I’ve never had rabbit before and it reminded me a lot of pheasant. They were coated in a sweet and spicy hot sauce.

bc1To wash down all the meat, me and Nash both had sweet teas.

We realized after we ordered that all we ordered was meat, but it was delicious. Like Homer in Simpsons said, “You can’t make friends with salad!” I’m not sure what will happen when the weather gets to cold to eat outside, so get your meat on while you can.

Rose and Sons Big Crow on Urbanspoon

Moleskine Celebrates The Cassette

photo 1I love Moleskine notebooks and I usually have one in some shape or form around me at all times. During NXNE, I lost my mini-staff paper ruled book I was using for concert reviews. Funny story, it’s actually somewhere on the other side of the world. A musician had found it while in town for the festival and I told her she could keep it.
photo 4To celebrate the cassette’s 50th anniversary, Moleskine recently released this Limited Edition Audio Cassette Notebook. I bought the pocket one to replace my old concert notebook but a full-size is also available.
photo 3Inside the covers are some cassette and analogue-style decals. The spine even has player controls.
photo 2They included some stickers and of course their official booklet. Tomorrow is Cassette Store Day but I think this is the farthest I’ll go in supporting the cause. The only cassette I’ve ever owned is Pokemon the First Movie’s soundtrack.

Introducing.. Tracks Only

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As you know, I run music blog Ride the Tempo, which promotes independent Canadian music. I decided today to launch at Tumblr called Tracks Only, to have a platform for quickly sharing some of the great non-Canadian music that I find. It’ll be tracks only, letting the music speak for itself.

 

 

 

Loot Crate- August Edition!

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It’s time for another Loot Crate unboxing! This week’s theme was CAKE in celebration of Loot Crate’s 1 year anniversary.

I made this unboxing video as the next instalment of my vlogs for all those that like to watch videos instead of read!

IMG_3737I don’t watch Walking Dead but my character in these Funko blind boxes is super adorable. I’m sure you fans out there can recognize who she is.

IMG_3735It’s not a Loot Crate without some Loot Crate stickers.

IMG_3733I am now a scientist in Portal’s Aperture Laboratories with this lanyard, tattoo and bracelet.

IMG_3734My favourite item from this month is this caffeine molecule T-shirt! They accidentally sent me a medium, but that’s okay. It would actually make a great gift for Nash who’s been sleepless with work. Also in the box was a $5 coupon for more shirts at Shirt Woot, so I can go order some more cool novelty tees. I’ve been browsing through their catalogue and I kind of want EVERYTHING.

IMG_3736A birthday party has to have some candy of course. I wish they included like 10 more packages because I ate it in two seconds.

Sign up in this link and the code SEPT at checkout for a 10% discount: http://mbsy.co/lootcrate/176357.