I call this photo gallery from today’s walk The Detritus of the Canadian Dream. Enjoy.
Who do you think you are, Benjamin Franklin? (Sunday Chuckle)
Yesterday around noon, some tornado-force winds ripped through town with a healthy dose of rain. All told, I read that 38 hydro poles went down along with numerous trees. It took about seven hours to restore power to where I live.
Some areas still had electricity, so Jen and I went out looking for a place to get lunch. Lots of intersections with no power to the lights. We drove past a Tim Horton’s with no electricity. The three employees were our in parking lot with brooms clearing debris, and had pylons blocking the drive-through. Yet in our brief time driving past, three cars drove into the Horton’s looking for coffee. As if Tim Horton’s have their own nuclear power generator in the basement, or like the customers could magically turn on the power for them. The girls with the brooms just stared incredulously at the numbskulls who thought that this was the one business on the whole street with power!
Sunday Chuckle: Doug Ford explains “lockdown” vs. “shutdown”
The premier of Ontario explains what a “lockdown” is vs. a “shutdown”.*
Sunday Chuckle: Otters Like Coffee Too
A few weeks ago, Mrs. LeBrain was on her way home and she stopped at her regular Tim’s to get her evening coffee. Unfortunately the OHL team the Erie Otters were in town, were thirsty, and arrived at Tim’s first. Standing in line were about 30 big-kid coffee orders waiting to be made.
Unwilling to go home without her Tim’s, and already planning to take a cab the rest of the way, she came up with a plan to cut the line.
Within minutes her cab had arrived…and she was ordering her coffee in the drive-thru. Meanwhile inside, Tim’s were were still taking orders from the Otters’ defence.
Pretty clever, I’d say!
SF19-1: Brand New
New vehicle. New tent. New canopy. New chairs. New camera. New Kiss Crocs. New jokes. New songs. Same old me.
I have the meat, now I just need the Meat. I have specially curated a number of 8 gig flash drives full of music, including the entire Kiss catalogue. There’s an old riddle dating back to at least 2015: “How many versions of “Beth” does it take to wake up Uncle Meat?” We’ll find out!
I’m in a Bosstones mood so let’s rock! I will be openly campaigning for enough votes to get this song on the Countdown in 2020.
#689.5: A Tribute to Superdekes [VIDEO BLOG]
A Coda to #689: Fuck iTunes
#689: “F*** iTunes” [VIDEO BLOG]
GETTING MORE TALE #689: “F*** iTunes”
Once again, here is something that came about due to a conversation with Superdekes over at Arena Rock. In his review for Bon Jovi’s iTunes exclusive live album Inside Out, Deke said:
Inside Out is an iTunes only live release, which is kinda cool in a way to make guys like Ladano scoff at the no physical product tag!
He’s right and I scoffed right away.
In jest, I made this video below. I like to call it “Fuck iTunes”. Everything is meant in good fun. Enjoy the video.
#665: Rant Random II: A Canadian Complaint
A sequel to Getting More Tale #509: Rant Random
GETTING MORE TALE#665: Rant Random II: A Canadian Complaint
Saturday, March 3 2018 was a gorgeous afternoon. Because I had been on the radio from 12:30 to 2:30 am, I didn’t get out that morning. I usually like to run my errands before noon on the weekends if possible, when things are less busy. I needed my beauty sleep that day. That’s how I keep my youthful looks after all.
With the windows down, I hit “play” on Rush’s Clockwork Angels and headed out. The sound of “The Wreckers” filled my speakers. Stop #1 was McDonalds. The parking lot was pretty full so I knew they’d be busy, but what I saw upon entry really pissed me off.
You know those kiosk terminals you can order from now? My McDonalds has four. And all four were being taken up by a single family. A mom, a dad, and two young children were all ordering separately…and slowly.
“Mommy! Mommy! What do I push now?” said the young girl, as her mom was ordering for herself. “Here sweety,” she said as she paused her own order to help the child. On the other side, dad was doing the same for the son, who couldn’t figure out how to order. Then, they all passed around a debit card so they could each pay. I stood there at the front of a loose “line”, watching this unfold in agonisingly slow detail.
As soon as the little girl finished on her terminal, I jumped on, to emphasise my pissed-off-ness.
Parents: It’s really nice that you used a Saturday at lunch hour rush to teach your children (separately) how to order from a McDonalds terminal, but don’t you think there are better lessons to learn? Such as how to take turns and share something?
Back to the car with the food, and back to Clockwork Angels with windows down. Next up: first single, “Headlong Flight”. I drove over to Tim Horton’s to get Jennifer a coffee. Yes, they serve coffee at McDonalds (and some would say better coffee) but I had to make a special stop because Mrs. LeBrain does not drink anything but Horton’s. And it was a nice day, and a great album to hear with the windows down.
My second complaint of the day, and a frequent one: if you’re in the drive-through at Tim Horton’s, and it’s busy, don’t leave an entire car length between you and the car in front of you. There’s nothing more frustrating than being next in line, but not being able to get close enough to the speaker to order. If the guy in front had just moved ahead a few feet (he had plenty of room) this wouldn’t be an issue.
So I rolled down the windows a little further and let the parking lot hear some “Wish You Well” from Clockwork Angels. That’s Geddy Lee and he’s a national treasure, people.
Coffee in hand, I headed back home with Geddy, Neil and Alex. Not a bad album to go out on, by the way. If you have to retire it’s nice to be able to go out on a high note like Rush did. It felt like a very Canadian afternoon — out celebrating a warm day in March; always a joy when it happens. It’s great to be Canadian, where the biggest complaint you have is about the line at Tim Horton’s. Keeping our minor peeves in perspective, let’s be glad to be Canadian.
#355: “The man’s hot piss warmed my freezing cold hands”
RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#355: “The man’s hot piss warmed my freezing cold hands”
Once upon a time, in a Record Store not far away, there was a manager named Joe. Some people call him “Big Nose”. Some people just call him Joe. Two things about Joe you must understand: 1) Joe doesn’t give a crap about what anybody thinks, and 2) Joe doesn’t really know boundaries. Joe is the one who told me he had a crush on my mom. Joe is the one who introduced me to the Open Door Piss. I like Joe, don’t get me wrong. He was pretty much the only one at the Record Store that I could confide in towards the end. He is trustworthy, 100%. A solid individual. He was the best support I could have had. But I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that Joe is different from just about everybody you know.
The Tale goes like this:
Joe and Uncle Meat were driving from Waterloo to Windsor, to go and visit Tom who was attending teacher’s college there. It was December, and a cold one it was. By this time, Tom sold his own branch of the Record Store, so he could continue his education and become a teacher. Joe and Meat were travelling in Joe’s old beat up piece of shit. It was the quintessential “old man car”. It was huge, ancient, and nothing worked. I’m amazed it made to Windsor and back, honestly. One of the features that no longer functioned was the heat, which is a pretty darned important thing during a Canadian December.
Sometime during the three hour tour, Joe had to piss. Pulling off highway 401 to pee isn’t Joe’s style. Instead, he re-invented the piss jug, but with a large Tim Horton’s coffee cup. After relieving himself in said cup, he passed it to Meat!
Meat, all this time, was freezing his ass off in the passenger side. His hands and fingers in particular were as frigid as icicles. Although being passed a cup of piss in most situations isn’t a position you want to be in, this time it wasn’t so bad. The cup “felt like a hot double double in my hands,” says Meat. Still warm with Joe’s body heat, the piss-cup helped Meat regain some of the sensation in his digits. “What’s the greatest gift you can give? The warmth from inside of you. The man’s hot piss warmed my freezing cold hands,” according to Uncle Meat.
After warming his fingers, Meat rolled down the window. He carefully prepared the cup for ejection. He managed to throw it while only getting a surprisingly “minimal amount of piss” on his arm.
Neither Uncle Meat nor I condone littering, but sometimes life hands you a warm cup of piss, and you have no choice in the matter!
#347: Hortons (featuring Mrs. LeBrain)
She’s back with another guest shot! Enjoy this two-fer Tale.
RECORD STORE TALES Mk II: Getting More Tale
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.
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.