August 20, 2013
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Yesterday, one of my friends and his friends decided to gather for wings night, an event that is well known for an incredible deal on buffalo wings that are battered and fried, then seasoned with a variety of sauces (the more interesting of which were the bacon chipotle sauce and the roast peanut sauce). Every drink permits an order of up to 20 wings: at 10 cents per wing, we ended up ordering around 100 wings altogether, and as with ribs night the previous year, the total cost of the drinks we ordered was greater than that of the wings. I had been at the lab, testing my computer simulations on the day of the event: because the pub I went to is only a 15-minute walk from campus, I stuck around on campus until the sun began to set, and the offices on my floor had emptied out.
- Wings themselves are more substantial than the ribs: fried and battered, they are delicious. This time, I decided to avoid getting a pint-induced headache and went with a pair of ginger ales instead. Judge me as you will, but I still prefer things like ginger ale and sprite over beer. On the other hand, a rye and coke are perfectly acceptable for me.
- Contrasting last year, we had more people turn up this time, so we ordered a large plate of standard nachos. One of the attendees noted that he disliked peppers, tomatoes and olives, but their unique combination on a plate of tortilla chips covered with melted cheese made them enjoyable; indeed, between the nachos and wings, there was no need to order anything else.
Conversations soon turned towards medical school, graduate studies and the future, bringing to mind a similar event from a year ago. The conversation also reminded me of what I would need to do for the upcoming year, and admittedly, it is quite an intimidating thought to consider what kind of things will lie beyond the horizon as my undergraduate career draws to a close. Looking back, my degree has proven to be an incredibly enriching experience, giving me the privilege to work in a research and development environment through the implementation and testing of computer models, as well as learning how to present and publish research work, and last but not least, speak publicly about said research. For the present, I prepare myself for the future, and while I continue to wonder what the future holds, I do have the confidence to receive it as things unfold, whether it be relevant to my career or other aspects of life.
January 5, 2013
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The acquisition of the Master Grade Nu Gundam Ver. Ka. is a story that is worthy of its own post, albeit a short one. The day following a faculty Christmas party, a friend and I hit one of the hobby shops in the downtown core. It had only been five days since the release of the Nu Gundam, and I had settled on the kit as a Christmas gift of sorts. It had been a cloudy morning, and I was replaying “The Maw” in Halo before realising that I was to meet up with said friend for our excursion, which had become something of an annual Christmas break tradition. Because the kit was such a new release, I was not expecting the kit to have shipped so quickly, but upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised, for there it was, being one of two in stock at the shop. The fact that it was in stock give me the opportunity to purchase the kit, and I would build it on Christmas Day, finishing two days later. My thoughts on this beast of a war machine can be found here.
- Despite being called “New York Fries”, there are no locations in New York City, and in fact, New York Fries was founded in Brantford, Ontario by Jay Gould and his brother in 1983. The first time I went back in 2009, I had the classic fries with gravy.
- New York Fries are distinct from other fries in their preparations, which utilise a three stage cooking process which is cited to maximise flavour and produce crispy, lightly golden french fries. The difference can be tasted, and this year I went with “The Works”, a fries dish topped with beef chili, sour cream, a cheese sauce, green onions and bacon.
After I had purchased the model (my friend had picked the Real Grade Zeta Gundam), we made our way to The Core. Having been reopened since its renovations a year ago, entire area is revitalised and boasts more natural light owing to a massive skylight. The upper floors are occupied by the Devonian Gardens and a food court of sorts, with New York Fries being among them (yet another Christmas tradition, started when I purchased the HG 00 Raiser+GN Sword III). Following a break here, we would make our way home as the sunset began. Thusly, I now have a glorious Gundam model that acts to recall this late December day following the conclusion of my penultimate term as an undergraduate student.
October 29, 2012
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For some reason, deep fried potato fries seem to accompany almost anything, whether it is a good burger, a steak, fried chicken, corn dogs, fried fish and so forth. Fries also accompany gatherings nicely, offering a toasty countermeasure for those moments where one is indulging in the odd ghost story prior to Hallow’s Eve. In my case, the supernatural elements from the texts I was reading with a friend were paired with fries seasoned with lemon juice and herbs and accompanied by Tzatziki, a strained yoghurt (usually from sheep or goat milk) mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, and dill that is popular in Greece and Turkey.
- With a plate of fries and ginger ale in one hand, and iPad in the other, a friend and I spent the afternoon scrolling through both modern and classical ghost stories, murder mysteries, supernatural events and paranormal locations.
In experience, a good ghost story is one that pushes the limits of reason and logic, playing on the inner depths of the human psyche and setting them in a familiar environment. Thus, ghost stories associated with poignant moments and strong emotions are more haunting than slashers, on the virtue that most small arms (think things like the M249 SAW) are sufficient to cut down a mad axe-man: conversely, stories associated with human nature and suffering are far more moving.
October 14, 2012
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Corn dogs are hot dog sausages coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter and deep fried in oil. Their origins are disputed, but it is most likely that they were first in the US by the 1920s, and were popularized nationally in the 1940s. Corn dogs are often served as street food and at fairs, and in experience, some small town cafes offer them as a lunch item. I tried my hand at cooking corn dogs and fries yesterday afternoon to great effect, and the corn dogs themselves reminded me of a short but superlative trip I took back during the summer.
- The distinct ‘fairground’ flavour of a corndog comes from the cornmeal batter. I prefer adding a bit of ketchup and mustard to mine to liven things up a little. The fact that the corndog is on a stick makes it a highly mobile food, allowing it to be carried and enjoyed with minimal mess.
- Fried potatoes seem to go well with anything: burgers, fried fish or shrimp, wings, ribs, hot dogs, etc. I prefer oven fries, which are thicker cut and more tender than conventional fries.
- Despite passing by the Vermillion lakes every time I’m in Banff, whether I’m headed into or out of the Banff area, this view never grows old.
- This time around, I was behind the wheel on the Trans-Canada highway. I’ve driven here a handful of times now: the first was during the Canada Day Long Weekend, where traffic was insane. The next would be the trip to the Banff Park Lodge Chinook Brunch that I mentioned in my Master Grade 00 Seven Sword/G post and finally, the road trip that I’ll mention shortly after…
It was during summer 2012, where I was taking a short two-day road trip into the mountains. On the second day, we stopped briefly in Invermere, BC for lunch at the Bistro: while corn dogs and fries were on their menu, I opted to go with the jumbo dog, a freshly-made bratwurst on a bun served with a plate of fries. Once lunch concluded, the remainder of the day was spent exploring various sights in Kootenay National Park, including Sinclair Canyon and Marble Canyon. The skies in all of our pictures were a beautiful colour of azure, and I do not believe it was the camera adding colour. The weather following the MCAT was spectacular, and the trip was an excellent post-exam vacation that I thoroughly enjoyed.
August 23, 2012
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Expectations probably suggest that discussions about the future are dead serious. However, I think it is quite possible to discuss these matters in a relatively friendly manner, especially as the previous evening has demonstrated. I had met up with a few friends from my program, who were discussing their own futures and some of the criteria for application to a medical school and review strategies for the MCAT. We would eventually head over to Kilkenny’s for dinner, where the conversation eventually diversified into various matters on economics, computational technologies and the nature of the HYRS program. Being Wednesday, it was 3 cent ribs night, and our party of three ordered some 110 ribs, alongside some Irish Nachos.
- If ribs cost 3 cents each, and we ordered a hundred 110 ribs, the overall cost before tax would merely be $3.30. Thus, the individual drinks ordered would cost more than the ribs themselves. At that stage, the ribs themselves are sufficiently substantial to become considered a meal in its own right.
- Fries can technically be substituted for the waffle-cut fried potatoes, and the potatoes are typically dipped in sour cream or salsa. The melted cheese holds the entire plate together, making for some interesting results when one attempts to pull the fried potatoes apart. For some reason, meat and potatoes always goes exceedingly well together.
110 dry ribs and 11 sauces results in an interesting menagerie of flavours: my personal favourite remains the honey mustard and the tangy BBQ sauce, although after some 20 odd ribs or so, the flavours become less distinct and the enjoyment process sets way to a Man v. Food style race to finish said ribs before they cool. As an interesting aside, Irish Nachos technically do not have Irish origins. So-called because of their substitution of waffle-cut fried potatoes in place of tortilla chips, Irish nachos are topped with shredded jack and cheddar cheese, green onions, jalapeños and diced tomatoes. This bar food tends to disappear very quickly with larger parties, and pairs rather nicely with meats like wings or ribs.