Wednesday, December 5, 2012

So here's what I'm thinking for Sunday.

Arrival at 3:30 - 4pm
Start dinner around 4 - 4:30pm
Drink from then until we're done. : )

Roast Rabbit
Roasted potatoes and carrots with sage and rosemary
Mango Ice Cream

Argue among yourselves in the comments for the following.
A few people should bring booze of some sort.
I also need someone to bring a  salad. I'll have some homemade "ricotta" cheese to go with it...
Anything else you want to bring is also fine!

So far, the guest list includes
 - Paisley
 - The Pope
- probably Chef Wendy
- and someone I KNOW I've forgotten about...but can't figure it out...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Dessert

 I haven't blogged in a while, and, the food was good enough yesterday that I forgot to take pictures until dessert! So, as opposed to a overview of yesterdays food, I'll give you the recipe for the dessert!

What you see plated is a Raspberry and Peach in Prosecco Tart with Maple Whip Cream, Pumpkin Ice Cream, and a bowl of mixed fruit (also in Prosecco).


Raspberry and Peach in Prosecco Tart with Maple Whip Cream

Peel and cube 3 peaches and place in a bowl.
Add equivalent amount of raspberries (or any berry)
Add 1/4 cup of sugar and gently mix.
Add 1 250ml bottle of prosecco (or other sparkling wine)
Let sit for 4 hours in fridge or overnight.

Meanwhile, bake tart shells according to instructions on package.

Maple Whip Cream

Put 1 cup of whipping cream in a mixer. Whip for 3ish minutes until soft peaks form.
Add 1 1/2 tbsp of icing sugar and 1tsp of maple extract.
Whip for a minute or so more until hard peaks form.

Putting it all together:

Take the baked (and cooled) tart shell and place a little whip cream in the bottom. Arrange a few berry and peach cubes on top. Add a little more whip cream and garnish with a sprig of mint, and a little grated chocolate (see below).

Pumpkin Ice Cream

This is a very basic recipe:
Take 2 1/2 cups of whipping cream and 1 1/2 cups of whole milk. Add 1 cup of brown sugar, and mix on low until sugar is dissolved. Add 2 cups of pumpkin puree (spiced) and 1 tsp of vanilla extract mix until incorporated. If using real pumpkin or unspiced mix add cinamon, ginger and nutmeg to the ice cream. Taste until it's what your looking for.
At this point, you can freeze it in an ice cream maker, OR you can add a lot of rum and make pumpkin nog. Alternatively (if you don't have an ice cream maker) you can mix in about 1oz of alcohol (like Grand Marnier...) and freeze in the freezer. You'll need to take it out a few times as it's freezing and mix it again. This will keep large ice crystals from forming, and the alcohol keeps it a little softer.
Serve it with a little maple syrup drizzled over top, and some grated chocolate. I used 5 Chili Chocolate, a mix of 5 chilis, achiote, and sea salt.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lemon Honey Ginger Tea "Marmalade"

I saw a photo of this on Facebook this morning, so, after getting my roast in the oven, I decided to make it!
This is deceptively simple, and a great idea to have ready to go in the fridge for those days when you've got a sore throat, or just aren't feeling well. At its most basic what you are making is a 'marmalade' of lemon, honey, and ginger? If that sounds familiar, it should, it's the same thing that you make as a tea when you're sick! But, who wants to spend the time doing that when you're sick? I know I don't. So, make this ahead of time, keep it in the fridge and add a teaspoon or two to a glass of hot water and mix.

For this you'll need:
- 1 lemon
- a 1"x1" piece of ginger root (after peeling)
- honey (local is best)
- an 8oz jar (or 250mL, or 1 cup)

Slice the lemons fairly thin, removing the ends, but keeping the rind on the rest of the lemon. Remove the seeds and then cut in quarters.
Slice the ginger very thin. You should be able to get about 12 pieces or more out of the 1" cube of ginger.

Once everything is prepared, pack the jar with a layer of lemon, then ginger, and top that with some honey. Let that settle a little bit. Then add another layer of lemon, and ginger, and honey. Keep doing this until the jar is full (or you're out of lemon and ginger). Make sure the lemon and ginger are fully submerged in the honey.
I actually filled the jar and then added the honey. I think this was a mistake since it took a while for the honey to make it down to the bottom and needed the use of a chopstick to move the pieces around so that the honey could penetrate the mix. It was just a little harder and messier than it needed to be!

Leave it on the counter for a few hours, tap the jar or roll it around a little bit if there is air trapped below the honey. After a few hours, check to see if you need to add any more honey. If you don't, then go ahead and hide it in the fridge for a few weeks at least. Eventually the lemon and ginger will break down forming a marmalade like substance.

Add a teaspoon of that to hot water and you have an 'instant' tea for illness.

Friday, August 17, 2012

What Did I Capture...

On the night of August 12th, I went out to see if I could shoot the meteor shower over the City of Toronto. I didn't even see a single meteor that night before the clouds came in, but I did see 'something'. EXIF data shows that the photo below was taken at 11:03PM, though, I tweeted what I saw at 11:02PM (so, 11:01 - 11:02PM is a likely timeframe). The photo was shot from about 10 feet from the waters edge adjacent to the H20 'beach', shot north over the Skydome.
This was a 10 second exposure, and the light 'flash' lasted approximately 5 of those seconds.

What I saw was what appeared to be a light, growing in intensity, then snapping out. There was no visual movement across the sky, it stayed in the same place. Note, it MAY have been moving, just not visible as such to the naked eye. I've seen something similar to this before, being close to the flightpath of the Island Airport, it's looks similar to a plane coming at you head on, barely being able to see it, then it gradually getting brighter. However, you can see some movement in the airplane headlights that was NOT visible with this.

Photo 1 - Full Shot of Location. (If anyone wants a reference, the CN Tower is 1815' 3" tall)
(Click for Larger View)

Photo 3 - Reference shot, taken immediately after previous photos.

(Click for Larger View)

If you think you know what it is, please leave a comment.

EDIT- Here's a 'better' view of it's location in relation to the stars. The object in question is the white object to the North East of the bottom of the Big Dipper, just to the North East of the smaller reddish star.

EDIT 2 - Removed photo 2 to avoid confusion.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Smoking in the Oven Part 2

I decided to do this in two parts to keep each one shorter.

When we last met, we were waiting 4 hours for the ribs to smoke in the 175f oven.

After 4 hours, the ribs should look like this. Because this was done in a 'smoker' that didn't allow the smoke out, it kept the ribs moister as well.

Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet.

Baste the ribs in sauce. No, I won't give you the recipe for the sauce.
Move the rack up in the oven.

Place the ribs back in the oven, under a 500f broiler this time. Baste the ribs with sauce every 5 mins or so, turning once over 20 - 25 mins. 



Smoking in the Oven

If you're like me, you like smoked foods. Not chemical flavouring, but REAL smoke. And, if you even more like me, you don't have any place to do it. But fear not, you do have a place where you can control temperature to the degree that you need for smoking. Your home oven. Now, this isn't traditional smoking where you use a lot of smoke chips and create a lot of smoke to bathe the meat in. There is very little actual smoke produced during this, but since it's all captured, you don't lose much smoke.

What you need:
- Dutch oven
- Pan that fits tight in the bottom of the dutch oven
- Screen that fits over the pan
- Smoke chips (small handful, you don't need a lot)
- Brulee torch (possibly)

 Heat the dutch oven over medium heat.

Take it off the heat after its almost hot, about 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add the wood chips and spread them out, use a spoon as the pan will still be hot.
If you wish, you can use the brulee torch to start some of the chips on fire. This step is not necessary, so if you don't have a torch, don't worry.

 Put the pan in the bottom of the dutch dven. This will catch any drippings from the meat, protecting the wood from getting wet.

Make sure there is room around it for the smoke to flow. This is probably just a little too much meat.

 Put it back on medium heat until you can see a little bit of smoke coming up from around the drip pan. If you don't see any after about 5 minutes, increase the heat a little bit.
You don't want it really smoking, just a gentle smoke.

Put it in the oven preheated to 175f. for 3 or 4 hours.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Street Pizza!

So, I was wandering around downtown yesterday and I came across this: a wood burning pizza oven on the sidewalk. I love a good pizza, and there is nothing better than pizza cooked in a real wood burning oven. Unfortunately they were packing up when I came by. so I didn't get a chance to have any, but next Tuesday, I'll be there!

You can find this oven at King and Spadina every Tuesday from what I understand.
More info at
So, today was the day that Pat Tabler and Buck Martinez took to the sky high above the Rogers Centre to raise money for charity. Here's a few (bad) shots that I got from my window. I'm pretty certain based on timing that this is them. Still, not bad from over 2000' with only a 200mm lens.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Test link to

Twitter and Facebook

Test 3

Published with Blogger-droid v2.0.6
CN tower with rainbow

Pasta maker

Pots and pans

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Culinary Idea

I have lots and lots of ideas, I rarely write them down. This one has been gnawing on my brain for a while...

     I've been watching a lot of cooking shows lately. A better thing to say is that they're on in the background quite frequently. While 'watching' those, I get little ideas here and there. Today I made Bacon Ice Cream, but that's a different story... The final piece of the puzzle was fit in today for my idea. Guy Fieri did a special DDD on Worth Our Weight, an apprentice program for people who have faced major challenges in their lives. They do not pay for tuition and come out of the program with culinary and restaurant management training.

     Then there's Chuck's Day Off, where the chef prepares food for a wide variety of people who 'work' for his restaurant. Be it staff, suppliers, or just friends. It's a cool idea to bring people together for a meal who ordinarily would not eat together.

     And of course, Chopped with their secret ingredients, and Iron Chef with the theme ingredient.

     Now, in my mind, I've put them ALL together. Everyone into the pool as they say...

     My idea is NOT a cooking show. In fact, it would be seen as a community service. The idea: a soup kitchen for the homeless, staffed by the less fortunate.

     What I would envision is something like Worth Our Weight, taking in the underprivileged, those who have had difficulties, and those who simply cannot afford a proper culinary school; and giving them a place to learn and thrive. These people would be supplemented with either volunteer grad students OR chefs from around the city, kind of like a mentorship program That's where Chuck's Day Off comes in, chefs who are not working would have the ability to come in and 'teach', or simply cook meals in a different venue, while others gleaned info of what they were doing.

     Chopped and Iron Chef give me the idea of essentially NOT buying many products. IE, ingredients are given to you, and you make do with what you have. Obviously some things will need to be bought, but with the number of grocery stores, the Food Terminal and various Farmers Markets, more than enough food is ditched on a daily basis to make at least one restaurant work.

     I have two trains of thought on this. One is simply for the homeless. The other is a little more complex and has regular customers coming into the kitchen and paying for their food, which then in turn subsidizes the feeding of the homeless.

    I'm not in any sort of position to make any of this happen, but if any of YOU are, feel free to take this idea and run with it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Phone test

Here's a test blog from my phone.
Edit test

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Delete -A -Tweet

I caught a tweet this morning from the Toronto Police Service about the need to delete a tweet due to the legal authority having expired for some of the information contained within the tweet to still be public. This does happen from time to time due to the way some laws are written. It's a good idea to be able to remove certain information from twitter as some people only follow a few, and I've seen tweets re-tweeted that are a few days old and the information is either no longer valid, or the crime itself has already been solved, or the missing person has already been found.

Some people tweet a lot and may not be able to find the tweet that needs to be deleted, which could run them afoul of the law. Though, I don't think this has ever actually come up, it would be good to have 'protection' against this. Basically, I think there should be an app for twitter developed for Police Services, and other services where information can/needs to 'automatically' expire.

Key features should include:

- a "tweet/link tracker" to keep track of tweets/re-tweets so ALL information can be removed.

- auto-deletion of tweets after a certain time period, settable for each tweet, follows for all re-tweets and associated links.

- manual deletion of tweets, including all re-tweets for removal of 'event' based conclusions. (IE, missing persons).

- A "store house" for the original tweet, since it's an electronic communication and I think the information has to be kept.

At it's most base, the application should be able to remove all traces of the particular tweet from twitter, no matter how it's been re-formatted, including links changed, but still going to the original location.

So...who wants to develop this!

 A Police Officer smiles as a group of cyclists pass by Yonge/Dundas Square - Sunday June 27, 2010

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Few Thoughts...

A Few Thoughts...
Below are some thoughts about the OIPRD report. They're disjointed. Some are as they came up, some are things that pop into my head as I'm writing other things. I'll note pages when I can. I did not read the report front to back so I may have missed some things.

I'm not sure if it's my reading of it, or the way the OIPRD hedges things, or what, but they mention protesters IN the interdiction zone. They show the interdiction zone to be the fence. As far as I can tell, this did not happen (page 3). They did mention the interdiction zone and the outer zone together, which, if this is what they meant (being in the outer zone), well, that's just bad investigation reporting.

I don't recall if any charges stuck from Queen's Park or not. If any resist arrest, failure to comply, or various other charges, they should be immediately vacated and any and all information expunged from court system AND Toronto Police. At this point, any resist arrest charge pretty much stands as self-defense.

The report mentions “hundreds” inconvenienced. That's pretty low considering there were over 1000 arrests. (page 9)

The repot mentions time and time again that officers were following orders. Those orders were illegal as you've stated. Any Officer who said they were following orders should be reprimanded. Following orders hasn't flown as a valid excuse in a LONG time.

Early on the report mentions developing a guideline for Breach of the Peace in regards to how long to wait after declaring the assembly unlawful (and communicating EFFECTIVELY such). Later you mention it has to be 30 or more minutes (as per legislation). Why not say that in the first place.

Clearing Toronto Police arrest records shouldn't even be up for discussion. Anyone who was arrested and NOT charged, anyone who was arrested/charged and the charges subsequently withdrawn, should have ALL records expunged. No questions asked, and no procedure to complete on behalf of the wrongly arrested.

A human chain is NOT a 'violent' tactic. Throwing rocks...THAT's a violent tactic.

MySpace? People still use that?

Page 15 mentions previous riots at Queens Park. It doesn't mention the outcome of the investigation into those events. Would it surprise ANYONE that police didn't keep good notes, and did not effectively communicate dispersal orders, and therefore, charges were vacated. Some of the same problems as now...

Here's something I said at the time: I bet they declared ANY group an unlawful assembly and ONLY communicated that to officers. Well..they did.

Page 78. “It wasn't an option for us to question the MICC” page 79. Uh, Officer, if you can't question your orders, you can leave you badge and gun on the desk. It's your duty to question orders. You should ALWAYS ask yourself if this is legal, and if you feel it isn't, or is CLOSE to being illegal, ask for clarification. If it's STILL illegal in your mind, FULL STOP.

“It's like walking into Court or the ACC, you have to show your bag” (Page 88). Dear god, if our officers can't tell the difference between a Provincially (or Federally) protected building, and a PRIVATE need to get out of the force. YOU represent the Government, as such, you HAVE to follow the Charter. The ACC is a PRIVATE building/enterprise and, as such, can do WHATEVER THE FUCK THEY WANT. (within reason).

Crowd described as “curious and passive”. By all means, beat them then, that'll piss them off and give you the violence you want. Actually, no, wait. The correct thing would have been to turn around and leave.


We see this with almost every Summit, and usually along the same time line. People will 'predict' what WILL happen. They are ridiculed and told it'll never happen...and it does. Then, we get ridiculed for calling the cops on their behaviour, predict AGAIN what will happen and get ridiculed further. Then we're proven right some 18 – 24 months down the line. Wash, rinse, repeat. It almost gets frustrating to see the same thing play out time and time again. I have a suggestion to ANY area holding a Summit. READ. READ A LOT. Read every single after-action report. Read every single inquiry report. Read every single report that has come out in the last 10 years. You'll soon see the pattern. Identify the pattern and you can fix the problem.

And hey, if you DO fuck up. Apologize. It's not hard. And in the long run, it'll save you a lot of grief.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

OIPRD - What's the Point?

I'm just going to put this out there. I'm not going to format this at all. What you will see below is a set of scans from the "Investigative Report" from the OIPRD. Below that will be a page by page response to the report. Corrections to basic facts, as well as questions that should be asked.

Note, I have tried to contact the OIPRD two times and have not received a call back.

Refutation of OIPRD Report

Please note, some of the notes are mere observations.

Page 1:
Cover. Report is dated March 9 2012. Mail was stamped on March 8 2012.

Page 2:
My age is listed as 32. I was born December 12, 1980. At the time, I was 29, I am now 31.

I was not approached by two officers. I approached them, as they were blocking my path from King St. to John St. as I was going home to 250 Wellington St W.

I complied to the search after questioning the officers about the reason for the stop and if I would be allowed to pass if I did not consent. The answer was no, therefore I granted the search.

I was unable to identify them, as they were not wearing visible badges. They were wearing rain gear, which did not have a place for the name badge to be attached.

Page 3:
Criminal Code was not reviewed for charges:
265. (1) A person commits an assault when
(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;
(b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or
(c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

Page 4:
My age is once again listed at 32.

Accuracy. It was at the intersection of King St. and John St., not near.

While I asked the officers about consenting to the search, they implied that is was the Public Works Protection Act. They did not outright cite it. I asked if I could pass without the search and the answer was no. As a side note, they only searched my bag, and not myself. I had my camera under my jacket as it was raining. The strap was not visible. They did not even inquire what the bulge under my jacket was. You imply they did not examine my camera. They could not have known I had one, they did not ask about one.

You imply the officers searched and did not find my driver's license. That was not what they were searching for, as I stated to you and to them that I do not have one. They also did not ask for my wallet, which is typically where a license is stored.

Page 5:
My conversation with Cst. Drummond was paraphrased. It should have been noted as such.

Page 6:
While it is true I harbour no ill feelings towards the officers, that is not the point. It doesn't matter how small the violation is, it's a violation. I cannot harbour those feelings, as, at the time, I was under the impression that it was legal. It was not until after the revelation that the Public Works Protection Act did not apply there, as was implied by the officers when I questioned them about the search, that I concluded the search was illegal. All the ill feelings I could direct toward the officers fall solely on the feet of Chief Blair.

Page 7:
A more full explanation of the evidence is needed. What is “all available information”. Does this include deployment records?

Again, as I was under the impression it was legal at the time, I did not ask their names. Badges were covered by rain jackets.

Page 8:
**information already covered above**

I note that you do not actually determine whether the search was illegal, only that since no officers are identified, you cannot proceed further. That may be the case, but you should be able to 'substantiate' a complaint WITHOUT identifying anyone.

Page 9:
Based on my reading of referenced material: R v. Mann (2004), as the officers did not articulate a reason for the stop, though they implied the Public Works Protection Act, which also had no effect in the area, the search was illegal.

Again, as they did not articulate a cause, did they just not tell my what crime they though I had committed, or was about to commit? Or, did they not have cause.

Notes and Questions:

I note that we talked about the lack of preparation by those officers at that particular 'check stop'. In particular, there is no mention that there were no evidence bags, or anything in which to seize property. This was discussed and is important, as they were stopping everyone entering the area, and had no visible means of taking control of seized items.

The two investigators that were in the meeting room should have been noted.

Case Law appears to support the claim, and I would dispute the unsubstantiated finding and instead call it incomplete due to the failure to identify the officers involved. Failure on my part due to their own misconduct of not having their badges visible.

There is no note that this is also part of the systemic complaint, which was my understanding. Is this the case?
Was this solely unsubstantiated to to the lack of indentifying the officers involved, and therefore not being able to interview them? Have you ever had an “in absentia” finding of 'substantiated'?

Even if this was an investigative detention, that was not articulated either, and would only allow the officer to pat me down, which he didn't, and not search my bag, which he did.

I would surmise that a reasonable person would conclude that since I had to submit to the search to go home, and was not in the restricted area (nor trying to enter it) that I was in fact detained.

You cite Section 10 a and c of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which implies that I was detained, and yet not the other relevant sections. Those being Section 8 (Search and Seizure) and Section 9 (Arbitrary Detention).

I was not free to pass to return to my home. At the time, there was no reason to bar people from the area. The damage happened later that day. It is only reasonable to conclude that I was detained by the police. Whether it was 5 minutes or 5 days does not matter. Whether I dislike the officers for this does not matter. What matters is this was an error on the part of the police and this behaviour needs to be corrected.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Not Necessarily A New Years Resolution

While this is not really a New Years Resolution, it could be seen as one, or used as one. Either this year, or next.

The idea I’m putting forth is to challenge yourself in whatever you do for fun. If you’re a photographer, put yourself out of your element and shoot something you have never shot before. If you normally shoot portraits…go and shoot some wildlife (with your CAMERA…). If you normally shoot flowers, go and shoot a protest (but be careful!).

If you like to cook, try adding different ingredients that you have never used before. Don’t look for a specific recipe to use it in. Buy the product and THEN find a recipe. See if you can substitute it for something else, or prep it in different forms for different parts of the meal.

Different. Do something different.

If you challenge yourself, you’d be surprised how much incidental knowledge you can attain.

Not Necessarily A New Years Resolution

While this is not really a New Years Resolution, it could be seen as one, or used as one. Either this year, or next.

The idea I’m putting forth is to challenge yourself in whatever you do for fun. If you’re a photographer, put yourself out of your element and shoot something you have never shot before. If you normally shoot portraits…go and shoot some wildlife (with your CAMERA…). If you normally shoot flowers, go and shoot a protest (but be careful!).

If you like to cook, try adding different ingredients that you have never used before. Don’t look for a specific recipe to use it in. Buy the product and THEN find a recipe. See if you can substitute it for something else, or prep it in different forms for different parts of the meal.

Different. Do something different.

If you challenge yourself, you’d be surprised how much incidental knowledge you can attain.