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Random Thoughts

20 September 2005

update on the best purchase i've made this year

after 8 months of use, i am totally convinced that the electric toothbrush i bought earlier this year, in january, is the best purchase i have made in a long, long time.

not only do my teeth feel cleaner these days, 9 months since my last dentist check-up, my gum health has improved noticeably. it used to be that whenever i brushed my teeth, my gums would start bleeding, but not anymore. now, i can scrub and poke till the bristles fall out, but my gums remain intact. however, they still bleed occasionally when i floss. that's something i'll have to work on ...

since the brush heads are swappable, such a purchase is ideal for larger families since everyone can share the same toothbrush. the brush heads last about 6 months and cost slightly more than the equivalent that one would have to pay to buy regular toothbrushes. plus, electric brushes get the job done using VERY little toothpaste.

while i'm on the subject of oral hygiene, i want to talk about my dentist, but that will have to wait until next time ...

11 September 2005

is "authentic" korean bbq better than the "usual" fare we enjoy?

for the first time in i-don't-know-how-long, we went to a korean bbq restaurant OTHER than the so-called "usual" place at midland and finch. today, ming, mike, kristy and i went to a place called sariwon, an authentic korean restaurant, on yonge just north of steeles.

this was my first time at this restaurant, and i had no idea what to order from the bbq menu. we finally decided on beef tongue, marinated beef, and a type of pork that looked like thick bacon. the nice thing was that as part of the dinner, we got all sorts of appetizers. there were the usual korean cold vegetables such as bean sprouts and kimchee, but there was also vermicelli, and an excellent spicy korean soup that put the soup at the "usual" place to shame.

the meat was good, but unfortunately it was not all-you-can-eat like the usual place. the marinated beef was the best bbq'ed beef i have ever had. the pork was a little too fatty, but tasted great as well. the beef tongue could have used a little more marinating, and it should have been sliced a little thinner.

we also ordered a little something special to go with our meal ... a bottle of korean vodka, called "soju". at $17.99, it was very pricy, but we decided to give it a try anyways. it's hard to describe soju. it's very sweet, and it gives you a warm, glowing feeling after it goes down ... similar to japanese sake, but sweeter.

so, was the $33 per person meal worth it? given that all-you-can-eat-and-drink costs about half as much at the "usual" place? it's hard to say. the quality, ambience and service at sariwon were miles better. however, in terms of quantity and sheer value, the old place wins hands down. i guess each place has its own appeal.

06 September 2005

canadian go open

i've been playing go for over 6 years now, but this past weekend was the first canadian go open of my career. it's partially been because the tournament hasn't been held in toronto too often in the past. in any case, i had a great time. the tournament was held in a hotel, instead of the usual community centre or go club.

before the tournament started, i was extremely out of practice, not having played in ages, and i decided that i would be happy with a 3-3 record. on the first day, i had one win and 2 losses. the second game was a little disappointing, as i held my own against a 3-dan, and actually held the lead in the middle game, only to lose it in the endgame.

at the end of the first day, two professional players from china played a simultaneous exhibition against us tournament players. one of the pros was kong jie, 7p, one of china's best young pros. i wound up playing against the other pro, who was 5p (i don't remember what his name was), and i was totally destroyed. the 4-stone handicap he gave me was nowhere near enough. however, the game was very refreshing, and showed just how much room for improvement there is in my game.

on the second day, i redeemed myself, getting two wins against one loss, thereby achieving the goal that i set out for myself. unfortunately, at this tournament there were no consolation prizes for the non-winners. oh well. i did get to meet many go players from outside of toronto, including players from the usa and quebec, which was great.

the 2006 open is going to be in edmonton. since philip's going to u of alberta for his phd, maybe i can crash at his place next year? hehehe ...

05 September 2005

labour day sucks

and yes dear readers, today is the day of my least favourite holiday of the year.

but why, you ask? well, as a kid, i always dreaded this day because it meant the end of summer and the inevitable return to school. and, it had this meaning for me every year until 2003, when i was finally free of higher education.

then there was last year, when all sorts of shit seemed to hit the fan in more or less a 2-week span.

this year, labour day marks the end of my wonderful week-long vacation. i don't really feel like going back to work, but i can only afford to go on a week-long vacation once every 3 to 4 months. i've already figured that my move to my new home in march is going to take at least a week, and i'll have to save up some vacation days for that. so, i'll probably be chained to the office without escape until at least christmas.

interestingly, many adults with children claim that labour day is their favourite holiday, cause they no longer have to worry about babysitting their kids during the day. i wonder if my perspective on labour day will ever change, even if i do someday make it to that point in life ...

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