Friday, March 24, 2006

More gearhead stuff

As a follow up (boy that sounds like about 50% of my business email) to an earlier posting re: cars where I showed the pic of the beautiful Audio race car...this article in the Post today was another story about Audi's world leading automobile (racing) technology - The "R10's 5.5-litre, twin-turbo V12 diesel pushes more than 650 horsepower and 812 pound-feet of torque".

Time to grab a diesel ?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Art of Noise

Dad just forwarded this beauty...

New Honda Civic Ad, incl. even better making of mini-documentary.

Thanks for being such a good surfer Dad. Just think how much other cool stuff you'll find when you really have some free time when you retire. We've got to think of some new title, like...
Collaborative Virtual Enjoyment Catalyst.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

An early morning photo blog

Grab a coffee. Good morning.

Sideways friends

It's the weekend, time for movie inspired deep reflection...I won't go on too much right now, let's just say that Sideways is a great, great movie and even better when enjoyed with a decent bottle of wine by your side. The best thing about this movie (watching now for the second time) is that it really made me think a lot about my good friends.

Thinking of you all.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Happy Birthday T.O.

Happy Birthday to Toronto, 172 years old today.

An excerpt from
A Very Short History of Toronto... the 17th century, indigenous peoples opened trade with the French, who subsequently established trading posts in the area in the 18th century. [The community]
passed to British control in 1763, and the creation of an urban community began 30 years later when colonial officials built Fort York and laid out a town site. That community, "York", became the capital of the province of Upper Canada (now Ontario). It also grew as an important commercial centre, and, in 1834, with 9,250 residents, it was incorporated as the "City of Toronto".

Hope to see in our fantastic city soon.

I'd like to thank...

Reporting on the Academy awards the morning after, movie fan - PJMixer...

I'd like to thank...Mom and Dad for introducing me to the music of Johnny Cash when I was young...otherwise I wouldn't have been interested in seeing Walk the Line (fab movie, too bad Joaquin was competing against Philip). And there again, is the connection to all things music in my life.

Of all the nominated movies I didn't see this year, I did manage to see 4 of the big award winners - Reese; Philip; Rachel and Crash. Can I pick 'em or what.

Biggest surprise - Reese. Best speech - Clooney. Most deserved - Philip (great performance, great career roles, although I wasn't a big fan of Capote) and Crash (everyone I know loved this one, best movie I've seen in a long time, gotta see it again now).

I heard Syriana was a great movie, so I'll give a nod to Clooney. But Brokeback Mountain ? I actually don't know anyone that's seen it !

Sunday, March 05, 2006

For car lovers

I'm beginning to consider car options for later this year as my current lease on my Passat Wagon expires in November (after all, isn't half the joy of the big purchase the research).

I took the kids to the auto show a few weeks ago and started to do a little research online. I often take a browse through the Driving section of the National Post on Fridays and I came across this article about VW's Direct Shift Gearbox that is in the new Audio A3 3.2. Luckily this little gem is too small to consider as our replacement family car, so I'm not seriously tempted (just keep your fingers crossed that my old Mazda keeps running and I'm not made to make the decision on whether I really need a second car).

Don't get me wrong, I'm still a big fan of using public transport whenever appropriate, and I'm a happy man when I take the subway to work most days, but the need to drive on a more regular basis would really tighten the justification screws for some leading edge German engineering.

As you may know cars are in my blood, with my Dad being a huge car nut. He's proud to have been in the industry for 50 years and is about to formally retire at the end of this month. Thanks Dad for giving me the appreciation for: the beauty of the body curve; a handbrake turn (which is a cinch in an icy parking lot - very popular the kids in the backseat - maybe they're also getting the bug);
double clutching and heel-and-toe (which I still can't do); Formula 1; and the excitement of seeing a new model for the first time on the street - what was "that" ?

If you're interested my shortlist for a replacement this year is:

Mazda6 Sport Wagon
Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons
Volvo V50
VW Passat Wagon

Plus perhaps a few more interesting choices if I consider a used vehicle !

My buddy DK at work is also in the market for a new car this year, and he keeps asking what he should buy - and with his budget it may be exciting to do a few test drives for him !

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans

I miss her.

But I've heard she's coming back.

Without deliberately focusing on her, she's come up quite a few times this week and is in my mind now. I don't think it's a coincidence that it's
Mardi Gras, I glimpsed a few shots of bourbon Street earlier this week and it appears 'Nawlins is back.

Unfortunately I've never been to New Orleans for the big party, but I have great memories of my three visits there. Actually, I almost lost faith in her last time, right up to the last night, when I went for one last lap and sat down to listen to a jazz band, talk to the musicians and reconnect with everything I love about her. That wiped out all the unflattering images of this dirty town and some of the bad memories of the "worst hangover of my life".

With no real planned theme for tonight's dinner, I reached for a New Orleans cookbook my brother bought me a while ago and decided on Trout Meuniere Amandine. That of course set off the theme and the sound of
Harry Connick Jr. (singing the title of this post) is still lingering in the background.

I'm not sure what it is about New Orleans, of even the feeling you get in the south. It can be one of
laissez faire and it comes as a pleasant surprise if you travel there. Even a cab ride from the airport will reveal a slower pace of life than what meets the eye on TV America. You get a genuine feeling that people value the simpler things in life. There are of course exceptions, but the average Joe (or Jenny) in New Orleans seems like the real McCoy. And I've got to thank my Bro again for a couple of things: introducing us to some very fine Southern folk, especially my sister-in-law CS and her wonderful family; and tainting my music collection with an odd alt/country track here and there.

Unfortunately, don't think I can close here, without giving you a pointer to the latest
embarassing Bush moment (AP video, MS Internet explorer probably needed) on the Katrina cock-up.

Gotta grab a
bourbon and put on Wild at Heart, but first, where's that Iko Iko song ?

If you're still looking to help New Orleans out, The American Red Cross is probably a good charity to donate to.

p.s. Yes, Mom - we had pancakes on "Fat Tuesday" (
Shrove Tuesday)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What a Fl├╝gellauf !

Maybe it's the time of day, but I thought this was funny in the Guardian Unlimited !