Category Archives: Uncategorized


It seems like no time at all has passed since I wrote my last entry about the Couch to 5K running program – but indeed it has. I’m in week 9 of the program – the final week. And yesterday’s run had us out for 30 full minutes of running.

And other than the hill at the end (living on a hill = nice view, shit for running), it wasn’t actually that difficult. Colour me shocked.

For the past few weeks we’ve been done with the intervals of walking/running, and just gradually increasing the length of the runs. This final week, we’re out for the full 30 minutes. Hooray!

I tracked our route with the excellent Gmap Pedometer web page, and despite being out for 30 minutes, we’re not yet at 5 kms. Generally we’re at about 4k, so once this week is over we’ll start adding a couple blocks every week until we can make 5k in 30 minutes. I’m not sure where we’ll go from there.

As for the health benefits – honestly running hasn’t done anything particularly stunning. It’s added the level of activity I need to not gain weight without being on a strict diet. I’m also sleeping a bit better, though don’t have any more energy through the day than while I wasn’t running. I don’t get any sort of runner’s high, and my sense of accomplishment at having made it through yet another week far outweighs any physical benefit I feel.

Still, I tell myself that it’s a good thing. Hopefully “Sober January” as it’s been dubbed in the House of Watkii, a focus on clean eating for the month and the addition of a day or two of weight training on top of the running will have us in Beach-worthy shape to spend a large chunk of February here:


Lost the Knack

Greetings from Beantown. It’s a miracle I made it in one piece. I have clearly lost my knack for effortless travel.

I started off the day by being late, followed by nearly leaving my wallet and passport behind on the check-in kiosk. Because I am awesome.

Of course, before the day started, there was the night before, which was a packing nightmare. I had *just* too much stuff I needed to bring (curse the work paraphernalia!) to use the carry-on roll aboard, but far too little to adequately fill my suitcase the next size up. So at the last minute I decided to throw in running shoes and workout clothes, just because.

Except, when I finally got to my hotel and unpacked, I realized that instead of my shorts, I packed a pair of Neil’s boxers that happen to be a nearly identical texture and colour. I could really use the workout though, so wish me luck finding a new pair with little hassle tomorrow.

The flights were a bit rough, but on time. I only got secondaried once, and my luggage wasn’t even inspected by the TSA, which is a rarity for me.

And now, at about 11pm in Boston, I’m aiming for bed, and hoping that when the alarm goes off at 7am, it feels more like 7 and less like 4.

101 for the Locals

You’ll remember that a while back I wrote about the Omnivore’s 100 – a list of the 100 foods whose consumption was deemed necessary by the Very Good Taste blog to consider one’s self a foodie.

Shortly thereafter, Vancouver Magazine published their own list of 101 (Vancouver-centric) Things to Taste Before You Die.

Here’s their list, and an Omnivore’s 100-style personal legend to go with it:

Bold – Things I have tried from those particular suppliers
Struck-out – Foods I’ve had, though not from the supplier they recommend
Italicized – Foods that have been on my radar for a while, but I haven’t tried yet
Left plain – Foods I had no idea were so high on the “must-try” list
(anything in parentheses are my own personal annecdotes)

1. Raspberry Wheat Ale – Granville Island Breweries
2. Salmon Tacones – Go Fish
3. Gyu Yukke – Gyoza King
4. Thomas Haas’ Double-Baked Almond Croissant – 49th Parallel
5. Rabbit Sausage – Cioffi’s
6. Smoked Beef Tenderloin –JN&Z Deli
7. Hercule De Carlevoix cheese – Mount Pleasant Cheese Shop
8. Clayburn Raspberry Jam – Sugar & Co
9. Chef’s Chicken Salad – Koon Bo
10. Honey Doughnuts – Honey Doughnuts and Goodies
11. Foie Gras Parfait – Pied-a-Terre
12. Raincoast Crisps
13. Dark Chocolate Carmelitas – Chocolate Arts
14. European Deli Hummus – European Deli** (Obviously I’ve had Hummus, but never from the European Deli)
15. Lavash Bread – Yaas Bakery
16. Nk’mip Pinot Noir
17. Arepas – Baru Latino
18. Kashk-eh-bodem jahn – Kashcool
19. Chocolate-Walnut Rugelach – Siegel’s Bagels
20. The Doug Special – Vera’s Burger Shack (this one’s a bit hard to classify – I’ve had many meals at Vera’s, but I know enough to know that in my world, the Doug Special is a mistake I will pay for in spades)
21. Mariage Freres Tea – Urban Tea Merchant
22. Vanilla-Salt Chocolates – Wendy Boys (formerly of Lumiere) (I’ve had plenty of vanilla-salt chocolates. omg yum. also, where’s Wendy cooking these days?)
23. Penne with Wild Boar – Cioppino’s
24. David Wood’s Chevre
25. Savary Island’s Tourtiere
26. Black Hills Alibi
27. Green Party Cocktail – Ocean Club (I’ve been to the Ocean Club, no idea why I missed this supposedly iconic cocktail)
28. Cricket Bread – Vij’s (Perhaps this can help with the other list’s “bug-eating” thing)
29. Deep-Fried Zucchini Blossoms – Cioppino’s
30. Japadog
31. Kobe Meatballs – Italian Kitchen (totally not worth the hype. grinding the meat up kindof defeats the kobe-ness)
32. Topanga Cafe Chocolate Cake (I lived across the street from Topanga for 18 months and had no idea they had chocolate cake. I am kicking myself now. Hard.)
33. Deep-Fried Frog’s Legs – Phnom Penh (I’ve always wanted to try these, had no idea where to get them)
34. Sablefish – Finest at Sea Seafoods (this is now my go-to fish & supplier of choice – simply amazing)
35. Wild White Salmon – Elixir
36. Friulano Salumi – Moccia Italian Meat Market
37. Abalone – C
38. Polenta Fries – Cascade
39. Vegetarian Poutine – Templeton
40. Venturi-Schultze Balsamic Vinegar (we stumbled upon VS entirely by accident while agritouring a couple years ago. Their Vinegar, Brandenburg No.3 and Indigo are life-altering).
41. Solly’s Kosher Pickle
42. C Citrus Salt
43. Spot Prawns
44. Ambrosia Apple
45. Barese Sausage – Columbus Meat Market
46. Ramen at Motomachi Shokudo
47. Pan de Sal – Aling Mary
48. Taboo Absinthe
49. Tiger Blue Cheese
50. Shiitake Mushrooms at Bo Kong
51. Mission Hill Oculus Cherries
52. Georgian Baguettes – European Breads Bakery
53. Double Chocolate Porter – Phillips Brewing Co (the venue we were married at had a keg of this beer among others. We had an open bar, and our guests drank it dry. If you like Chocolate Porter, “good” is an understatement for this one.)
54. Rosemary Raspberry Sea Salt – Maison Cote
55. Scallops in Octopus Bacon – C (I’ve never ordered these at C, but last time I was there these appeared, compliments of the chef. I’ll now order them every time hereafter. Transcendent.)
56. Lamb Bacon – Fuel
57. Bad Girl Hazelnut Truffles
58. Xiaolongbao – Lin’s
59. Liege Waffles – Patisserie Lebeau
60. Stock Market’s Hot Porridge (is there anything better on a cold morning than hot porridge?)
61. Butter Baked Goods’ Marshmallows
62. Beer-Injected Fried Oyster – Nu
63. Soda Bread – Savary Island
64. Stellaport
65. Smoked Bison Carpaccio – Boneta
66. Dodonis Feta Cheese – Pantheon Supermarket
67. Stamina Roll – Blue Water Cafe
68. Osake Premium Sake – Granville Island
69. Burrata – Les Amis du Fromage
70. Moroccan Chicken Wings – Habit
71. Sweet Georgia Browns – Purdy’s
72. House Special Pho – Thai Son Vietnamese
73. Sandwisches at So.Cial
74. Quail’s Gate Old Vines Foch
75. Financiers – Ganache Patisserie
76. Hy’s Stuffed Potatoes
77. Ethical Bean Coffee (the Watercooler AM Brew of choice)
78. Farmhouse Alpine Gold Cheese
79. Muc Tuio Rang Muoi – Phomn Penh
80. Chocolati’s Hot Chocolate
81. Fuel’s Fried Chicken
82. Cru’s Macaroni and cheese (currently served with a melt-in-your-mouth beef shortrib. Winning combo.)
83. Blis Maple Syrup
84. Thierry Busset’s Tiramisu – CinCin
85. Natural Pastures Mozzarella di Bufala
86. Milsean Dark Chocolate
87. Tofu Doughnuts – Congee Noodle House
88. Oysters with Horseradish Snow – Gastropod
89. Biltong – African Breeze
90. Hazlenuts – Canadian Hazlenuts
91. Ukranian Church Perogies
92. Eleni Olive Oil
93. Sumac Ridge Steller’s Jay Brut
94. Pupusas – Rinconcito Salvadoreno
95. Belacan
96. Cocoa Nymph’s Ila Chocolates
97. Blue Fig Martini – Chambar
98. Naam Miso Gravy
99. Quadra Island Honey Mussels
100. Gelato – Brazza
101. Matsutake (Pine) Mushrooms

Obviously there’s nothing on here I wouldn’t eat or try.

Things I can’t believe didn’t make it on the list, especially since it included a dish from a restaurant that no longer exists (Lumiere), and some less than stellar items (people need to give the Italian Kitchen Kobe Meatballs a rest. They’re novel, but not that good):

-Oyama’s organic Berkshire Pork Sausages
-Polderside Farms Organic Chicken
-Tojo’s Sesame Marinated Tuna
-Memphis Blues pulled pork sandwich
-Latte from Cafe Artigiano
-Little Qualicum Cheeseworks San Pareil

And that’s just off the top of my head.

For the locals: how many of these have you tried? What would you add to the list?

For the not-so-locals: do you have any regional delicacies that people should definitely try when they come to your area?

Out of the Closet

I know, it was ages ago when I promised a post about our closet organizer install. And I’m realizing that a) I hate the pictures, and b) there isn’t really much of anything to say about it.

I can say that if you’re living in a small space, maximixing what you can put in your closets is kindof a no-brainer move. I can’t believe we didn’t do it sooner. Of course, I’m now itching to find a whole bunch of pretty containers to put things in that make the closets really looks gorgeous and organized (instead of the hodge-podge of cardboard we’ve currently got). In the meantime, there are some pictures up on flickr showing a bit of the before and after.

The real big news though, is we finally bought the first piece of major furniture for the new place: the couch!

It’s the key piece we needed in our plan to really start changing our layout around, and it arrived Monday.

In the Old layout, we had a small couch in the living room, with the TV and a side-chair. We didn’t really have a coffee table, since our old one was gigantic and didn’t fit the space, so we were using a collection of trays and stools to fill in. We also had the piano in the 2nd bedroom and some bookshelves in the sun room.


With the new couch & big ottoman, we’ve now (follow along carefully here) moved the bookshelves out of the sun room (with a ruthless pruning of our book collection), relocated one into the office and the other into the dining room (getting rid of our existing sideboard). The piano moved out of the office into the sun room (to become our music room/library), and the small couch and TV moved into the office to make it a TV room as well.

new couch

The biggest adjustment for me so far is the fact that the TV is no longer in the main room of the house. Let me say that again: the TV is no longer in the main room of the house – I have to go into a separate room, on purpose, to watch television. Y’all remember how much I love my TiVo, right?

This completely changes how I interact with my home. I don’t watch as much TV – which is the goal – but it’s still very strange. So far I listen to podcasts while I’m making dinner or puttering around (instead of having the TV on), and we’ve been chilling out in the evenings, reading books or *gasp* just talking instead of zoning out in front of the tube.

That said, while I’m enjoying the change in scenery and activity, I could certainly use some podcast recommendations. I really like This American Life, and enjoy the combination of banter, humour, geekery and useful tips on Lipgloss and Laptops – so anything along either of those lines would be great. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some couch-sittin’ to do.

good mail day


Originally uploaded by peechie.

Today was a banner day in terms of postal deliveries in my world.

My shoes arrived (and as you can see, I went with the Louboutins), and I’m typing this on my new xo laptop.

Shoes and gadgets both on the same day. I’m not sure which I’m more excited about!