GALLLERY: Christmas Phase One (Christmas Eve)

MORE new music!  MORE gratuitous photos of meat!

A wonderful family night was had by all.  My sister Kathryn and her husband Martin Melvin hosted dinner this year as they have for the past three.  Dinner was the same one it has been since 1984-ish: fondue.  Beef and chicken.  Kudos to Melvin who did not trim the fat from the beef, specially for me, because I love that shit. Photos:  I gave this Soda Stream unit to Jen for her birthday this year, but we just set it up yesterday.  I an enjoying my first sip of home-made cola!  Pretty cool.  #cupface


And gift giving!  Kathryn and Melvin open their new hats, and I received some new music!  (The Marillion, like Ratbat earlier this week, was a gift to myself from myself!)  #lebrainsdadcupface

#347: Hortons (featuring Mrs. LeBrain)

She’s back with another guest shot!  Enjoy this two-fer Tale.

#347: Hortons

IMG_20141117_173614LeBRAIN’S TAKE:

Here’s one thing I never understood, either in the Record Store days or today:  People who are obsessed with Tim Hortons coffee.  I’m married to one and I still don’t get it.

I worked with people who never showed up at a shift without their double double in hand.  I worked with others who had to do a daily Tim’s run.  I served customers who left their empty cups on our shelves, or at the front counter.    That was always a favourite of mine, and it’s not unique.  I’ve shopped at many stores, finding the brown empty cups sitting there on shelves.  Somebody else’s problem, right?

I fail to understand the obsession. Jen has to have one (large decaf with three cream and one sweetener) every single day.  There was an old urban myth (an untrue one) that Tim’s put nicotine in their coffee to keep you hooked.  The only reason that myth has such long life is that Horton’s Addiction (HA) is so prevalent in Canadian society.

Now that Burger King, an American company, has bought out Tim’s, I fear for our friends south of the border.

I see a future littered with brown cups.  I envision our American friends unwittingly becoming addicted to Hortons’ secret brew.  I picture, somewhere in the US, a record store manager not unlike my younger self, pulling empty brown cups from their shelves as I once did.

Just say no to Tim’s.  Make your own coffee at home.  Hell, just drink water!  Don’t fall into the trap of Horton’s Addiction, an affliction for which there is no known cure.

IMG_20141214_171037_editMRS. LeBRAIN’S REBUTTAL

50 years ago, one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history decided to expand his horizons, and open a coffee & doughnut [his spelling] empire.  That man’s name was Tim Horton, and he made a damn good cup of coffee.

One thing that is very special about “Timmie’s” (as we call it) is its consistency.  Your coffee in Kitchener Ontario will come out exactly the same as your coffee in Kitchener BC.

Every coffee drinker has their ideal cup of coffee, and sometimes it takes years to find that combination of cream and sugar that is right for you.  When you do find it, Tim Hortons has dispensing equipment designed to maintain that perfect coffee for you, no matter what size you order it or where you order it from.  (The only exception to this rule is Splenda sweetener which is dispensed by hand from packets.)  Rival chains such as Starbucks make the customer add their cream and sugar themselves, creating human inconsistencies.

I love the texture of the cream; the feeling inside takes me to a special place.  It also doesn’t hurt that they use 18% cream, a treat in itself.

Contrary to the way LeBrain makes it appear, I really do like all kinds of coffee.  My Keurig machine is well used in the LeBrain household, but Tim Hortons is the champion, and whenever possible that brown cup will be in my happy hands.

Even LeBrain himself knows that if he ever does something to get him in shit, a five minute trip to the drive-through can fix the situation!

The two greatest things on this planet are hockey and coffee.  There was a man who brought those two worlds together, and his name was Tim Horton.

SNEAK PEEK: Toronto Treasures 2014

I spent this morning collecting and converting my video files from last Saturday’s Toronto trip, and I’m looking forward to making another video.  Phase one of the video creation is done, the conversion of the files.  I’ve imported all the files into my video editing software, and now all I need is some background music and I’m good to get going!  Since I don’t have a finished video to show you, I thought instead I’d post yet another teaser.  Yeah I suck.

These magic boxes were in Chinatown, $1.99 each, and are they ever cool:

Here are some cool Kill Bill Hallowe’en costumes we saw while stopping at Yorkdale to pee:

And here’s me, coffee in hand, beginning the long process of video file conversion! Cupface on!

IMG_20141025_085411For Aaron’s sneak peek, click here!

VIDEO: LeBrain’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Challenged by Cupface.

VIDEO: The Cottage in the Woods 2


If you missed the original story about the Cottage in the Woods, please check out Record Store Tales Part 308.

Another long weekend in Canada has come and gone.  This time we came with a side mission: visiting Condor Fine Books in Kincardine, Ontario.  We’ve been going there for years, and the owner is a really nice guy.  He has a crazy selection of old and interesting books, with a healthy section on UFOs and the paranormal.  That’s alright by me.

I hope you enjoy my latest video, with book finds and lots of scenery.