Eaton Centre Christmas Chaos
Ikea and I have a love/hate relationship.. Whenever I visit the store, I feel inspired by their showrooms. Like any good showroom, they exude a sense of empowerment. “I can do that!” I say… And I often do.
But as high as Ikea can lift my spirits, is balanced by how low it drags me down as I find myself hating them – time after time:
- The initial visit is almost always dreadful.. Especially during busy promo event weekends like “back to school”. Its easy to get lost in the showrooms but lord help you when you want to get the heck out of there and end up being blocked by some family of 10. Move it people!!! You can take your chances with the shortcuts between departments but that’s like a game of Snakes and Ladders and, more often than not, I usually get the snakes as I find myself at the beginning of the board.
- Ok.. So you finally get home and get the instructions only to find this amorphous man telling you what tools you’ll need. What he doesn’t tell you is whether that panel that goes on the side is the one with 2 medium holes and 1 small hole or the the one with 1 medium hole and 2 small holes… Don’t worry though, you’ll know when you’re almost finished and realize you picked the wrong one… Where’s that CTRL + Z button when you need it?
- Moving Ikea furniture… You’re damned if you disassemble it, and your damned if you don’t
- Cuz no matter what you did for step #3, you know you’ll be back at Ikea at the return/exchange counter waiting 45 minutes to replace a couple wooden pegs.
I left nice and early this morning so that I could arrive at work early…
- and yet 20-30 minutes later, here I am at this bus stop..
- insufferable rain…
- drenched work pants – fresh from the dry cleaners (downside of being tall – the umbrella only protects my torso -_-)
- along with about 15 unfortunate people
- York Region Transit is on strike so only a core network of routes remain in service.
…I knew something was amiss when the bus finally came and let the passengers disembark on the drenched grass before the bus stop…
Engage iPhone > Unlock Screen > Camera > Begin Video Recording
I took one pic of the new Toronto Rocket trains side-by-side a few days ago at Bloor Station, and have not been able to pick a winner since…
Hard to believe that I’ve used one phone consistently for one year… and counting. That’s easily the longest period of time I’ve ever used a single phone for considering I’ve used at least 60 different phones in the past 6 years (modest for some, I’m sure..).
What I find even more surprising is that I haven’t had a scintilla of desire for another phone since I got the iPhone 4 on July 31, 2010. In fact, I hardly even care about other phones anymore, save for the exotic Nokia N9.
In the past year…
- The iPhone 4 has been my communicator, camera, bank teller, food finder, news & weather channel and so much more for me…check out my post about why it’s the best device out.
- 1,001 analogous Android devices have come and gone. If I wasn’t ‘involved’ in the industry, I wouldn’t even know their names…
- I won a Nokia N8 at an event. Like a true Symbian user, I keep the firmware updated but, like a typical iPhone user, I just can’t bring myself to use it
- I’ve missed Nokia’s great camera qualities… but that’s about it…
- I’ve been labelled an “Apple fanboy” by some. Apparently when you use, appreciate and advocate quality products, that’s what you are…
- …Meanwhile, most of the competition is still trying to catch up and are still trying to figure out what hit them….
- # of drops that left a mark on the iPhone: 2
- # of times lost: 0
- # of times taken in for service: 1 (to get cracked glass on the back replaced. The people at the Apple store did it for free.)
- # of warranty replacements: 0
- # of apps: 123
- # of songs: 3,110
- # of videos: 4
- # of photos: 4,666
- Total talktime: 6 days, 5 hours
- Total data transmitted: 8.8GB
- Favourite case: None.. I like it naked
- Favourite imaging app: Camera+
- Favourite productivity app: 2Do
- The Holy Bible
- Favourite jailbroken feature: 5 icons on the dock
- Favourite unspoken feature: rating music in the iTunes app
- Favourite photos taken with my iPhone 4:
| | | |
- Favourite video taken with my iPhone 4 (best part is with 30 seconds remaining):
Admittedly, I’m dying to try out the Nokia N9 and the next Nokia Windows device. I’d also like to upgrade my iPhone 4 to iOS 5 as soon as it’s commercially available. In the end though, I have a feeling that I’m just going to retire for another year with the next generation iPhone. I’m too entrenched in the iTunes ecosystem to explore half-baked alternatives.
A couple weeks ago at work, I was talking about how good Craft Burger is (now known as Big Smoke Burger) when a colleague started telling me about this amazing place called Five Guys that I have to try out.
So I did… And, to tell you the truth, I was left scratching my head wondering what all the hype was about. In and of itself, the burger is good and worth trying – I just wouldn’t have high expectations.
The Menu & Prices…
…are straight forward. You have plenty of free toppings to accompany your choice of a “Hamburger” or “Cheeseburger”. Both versions have a “little” version which consists of one patty instead of two.
…was juicy and tasty and would easily put other established joints like Johnny’s and Harvey’s to shame. I’m not a man of excess, so I went with the little cheeseburger topped with mayo, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and hot sauce.
I’ve begun to classify burgers into two categories, those that need ketchup and those that don’t. Typically, gourmet burgers such as those from Big Smoke or BQM, don’t need ketchup whereas burgers from Licks, Johnny’s, or the highly-overrated Hero burger, do.
This burger definitely falls into the category that requires ketchup and I can confidently tell you that this burger has nothing on Lick’s, where the patty is fresher, larger and tastier (you shouldn’t need TWO patties to have a decent portion). Even the shredded cheddar cheese from Lick’s runs laps around the processed slice of unmelted cheese I got @ Five Guys.
Lick’s continues to reign supreme in its category as far as I’m concerned.
…are good and potato-y, no complaints here. They do serve a lot of fries though. Think of a regular fountain cup of soda full + another cup full thrown into the paper bag for good measure… except the 2nd cup of fries aren’t in any container so the paper bag turns into a grease cloth.
…this joint is a slice of Americana where you get good food and bigger portions. If you’re in the area and looking for a good burger, stop by but at the end of the day, I’d rather drive a bit further in search of Lick’s.
|Licks > Five Guys
Five Guys > Hero
Five Guys > Johnny’s Burgers
Five Guys > South St. Burger Co.
Five Guys > Harveys
…When a politician named “Weiner” gets embroiled in a scandal involving a picture of a man with his pants down posted on Twitter, I can’t help but wonder…
Yeah, I said it.
I’ve had a draft of this post ready for almost a year now. I figured I better get it out soon before the next-generation iPhone drops and makes this obsolete… Then again, the iPhone will probably just reinforce this list with another 5 reasons.
Without further ado, here are the top 5 reasons why the iPhone 4 is, by far, the best device out there…
1. The applications…
You’d be hard pressed to find an app out there that isn’t supported by the iPhone.
My iPhone allows me to measure the threads of a screw, order a pizza, measure pregnancy contractions, have the Bible read to me, take 360º photos, watch movie previews and order tickets, resume playback from where I left off at home on Netflix, and tons more.
Not only that but there’s a new update just about every day for these apps as they continuously evolve. The support is amazing.
And that’s only half of it.
There are an immense amount of hardware applications available for the iPhone 4 as well. Notwithstanding the infinite amount of designer cases available, you can also find credit card readers, home theater systems, alarm clocks that you can get at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Beats by Dre headphones, which offers dedicated controls compatible with all iPhones, iPads and even the MacBook Pro.
2. The media…
People tend to forget that the iPhone is also an iPod. It’s one of the best devices out there for music.
I love the way I can give a song 5 out of 5 stars on my iPhone so that I can make a playlist of my top dance hall or top rock songs in iTunes.
I love how the number of times I’ve listened to a song is synced so that I can easily make a playlist of the ‘most listened’ to tracks… Or least listened to for the under-represented…
Even the way it manages photos is good. I find other phones tend to consolidate all pics into one album. I don’t want to scroll through pics of my family in order to show someone a scenic pic I took somewhere.
The iPhone allows me to sort by event, by the GPS location where the photo was taken (places), by the faces in the pic, and by smart albums (eg. All pics with a 5 star rating or all pics from 2010).
The biggest opportunity for improvement here though is better integration with other social networks.
3. The browser…
I love being able to quickly access almost any webpage at any time.
The speed and way it renders text makes it a pleasure to use.
Sure there’s no flash but in all honesty, flash is a little overrated. The only sites that I find myself missing out on are those almost tacky, amateur websites for restaurants and venues… you know… the ones where music starts involuntarily blaring through your speakers when you least expect it..
4. The finesse…
Whether its the ‘Tap to focus’ function during a snapshot, the smooth Visual voicemail implementation, the dedicated ‘back to top’ option, smooth landscape/portrait rotation transitions, the amazing responsiveness, the consistency or the sheer simplicity of it all, for 4 years and counting, the iPhone delivers the best usability experience, bar none.
5. The sex appeal…
The iPhone 4 is a smooth, polished and sharp looking device. It’s slick glass surfaces, deep black colour and vivid ‘retina’ display give it pretty good sex appeal as far as phones go these days.
Not only that but there are very nice skins out there that complement the phone rather well and are guaranteed to attract even more attention to an already spectacular device.
This wood grain skin I rocked a few months ago gave it a whole new lease on life…
Nothing is perfect, but this is as good as it gets these days.
At press time, the iPhone 4 is the only phone that I can confidently recommend to pretty much anyone and as such, gets a 5 star rating in my books.