Blue Jays vs. Rangers

I was really looking forward to this game, busy season at work is finally calming down so time to enjoy the nice weather. But unfortunately, the weather didn’t co-operate. We were expecting to work on our tan with the dome open during the game but it was pouring rain so the roof was closed for the game. Oh well, it was still a good game. I love sitting up in the 500 section by the dugout, especially in the first few rows, it was a clear view of the whole field. The fans are more crazy up there, staring in all the human waves, shouting out.

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Throwing out the first pitch today was a Sasquatch to the Blue Jay. It was weird .. don’t know what the story behind it was and why. Hutchison was pretty good on the mount today. It wasn’t one of those high scoring blow out games like the Blue Jays have been hammering out lately. Actually, it was the opposite, Jays only scored 3 runs and Rangers were able to chip away 2 runs. There were some scary moments where they were going to get more runs. But the relief pitchers were able to hold on, and we won 3-2! We usually blow any close leads we have, we usually only win when we have a big lead.

And as a bonus, it was white panel hat giveaway, another new hat for me this summer! Love it. 🙂

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The Main Event – NKOTB, Nelly, TLC

It’s great that bands are coming back for reunion tours more and more, as back in those days, I had no money to go to concert. I can now re-live my high school life and get to enjoy the music that I used to like. I’m not sure if this comes with age but old songs seems to last longer than the new songs now days.

Back in 2013, NKOTB came to Toronto for their concert with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men. This time, they are touring with TLC and Nelly. The Toronto stop was one of the last stop for the tour vs. last time, Toronto was the beginning of the tour. We learned from last time that they start pretty much on time as they have a packed schedule. And we were right, the concert started at around 7:20pm, not like the usually ones that start after 8:30pm. The entire concert was nearly 3.5 hours long, was over around 11pm. Good thing I lived close by so didn’t have to waste time commuting. Majority of the fans were older than us, so we felt young, many are moms and tonight was their girls night out. Lots of them were all dressed up like they were going clubbing which was kind of weird.

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A lot of them were standing up from the very beginning dancing and singing along with it. We were the “tired” ones that tried to enjoy the concert sitting down. We were able to this time as the seats in front of us were empty so our views were not blocked while sitting. The stage was the 4-faced stage, they tried to have equal amount of time facing each side of their fans. Donnie was really trying to get us Canadians to pumped up making lots of references to Toronto and Canada. They had a “Quick change cam” on the big screen while they were changing and he purposely wore a Canadian flag undies to get the crowd roaring. It was a pretty creative idea and fans were exciting to watch them change instead of waiting. They sang many of their oldies including songs from their very beginning, back in 1986. Wow, I didn’t even know any English then.

The stage was simple but they had the raise platforms which they made a very cool effect going up and down with the 5 of them on different ones. It was a good creativity and lets the fans see all of them instead of them blocking each other. Also, with the different lighting steams really brings out a nice backdrop, not needing any dancers as a background to make it exciting.

Our seats were pretty good, in the centre, 14 rows up and by the aisle. But there were so many people going in and out of their seats, can’t people just sit still?? We were in the 100 sections which I thought is permanent seats, but it feels like they were just add ons. The seats were comfortable and were nailed to the ground. But as everyone was standing and dancing away, we didn’t have to move and our chairs were rocking back and forth with the music. I was starting to get a little motion sickness from it at the end, that’s how bad the chairs were rocking. People were screaming so loud, my ears were ringing all night after, didn’t get my hearing until the next morning.

Why CPA membership fees so expensive??

Ok, I never understand this but my annual CPA fees are due again and every year, I ask the same question. Why are the CPA fees so damn expensive??? $1,085!!! What the hell do they do with our money??? We have no unions to fight for us, we have no perks. Our Professional Development courses are super expensive on top of it, no discounts. So why?? Yes, we are professional organization but other professional associations are not as expensive as us. For example, family physicians pay about $3K but they get reimbursed by the Government so they really only pay $1K, but they are doctors, they make at least 3x of a CPA. Nurses pay about $200 only, similar to Dietitians, Social Workers, Engineers. The lawyers pay about $800 for their annual membership fees and they make more than CPAs. How is this fair considering the association does nothing that I can see. The only thing tangible they did was they merged the CA, CMA, CGA together to CPAs which I was SO against yet none of our concerns made any changes at all.

Konnichiwa

We always have a weird eating schedule on weekends, after brunch, you get hungry around 2-3pm, but it is also a time when many restaurants close for the afternoon in preparation of the dinner rush. There are a lot of Japanese restaurants in Baldwin area, and since it is a nice sunny day, many people are out in the patio. We decided to try Konnichiwa. They were open for another hour before they close for the afternoon.

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I got the chirashi don, it’s the first time I had it since back from Japan. There was a wide variety of fresh sashimi. Of course, it is not as fresh from the ones in Japan but it is comparable. We also got the soba noodles with tempera and sushi set lunch special. It was pretty good, I like their soup base. The food was pretty good, it is not cheap but compared to other high name Japanese restaurant in downtown, it is reasonably priced.

Konnichiwa
31 Baldwin Street
Toronto, ON
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New Waterfront bike path

Well, it’s been a few years but the new waterfront bike trail is finally complete. And it is beautiful!!! I was down by the waterfront for the Redpath Waterfront Festival and the major construction at Queens Quay is finally done. Last week, it was still all fenced up and roads with holes everywhere, but somehow they got it all done and cleaned up in a week for the opening this weekend. There were so many bikers today on the bike path testing it out.

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The renovated path starts from the Music Garden all the way to the Corus Quay, passing by the H2O park, Harbourfront Centre, Redpath Sugar Refinery. The wide designated bike lanes and new pavements makes me just want to renew my bixi pass and start riding again!!! Hope the warm weather will still till at least October for me enjoy!! 🙂

Crepes a GoGo

My friend recommend this place for a quick snack. There is usually a lot of people in line as the place has limited seating. But today, no line ups and we grabbed the last table. Their speciality is crepe of course, I went for a sweet one – Big Ben Brie – brie cheese and raspberry jam. It was freshly made, served still hot off the pan. The crepe was thin, soft and the brie was melting out of the crepe. It ended up to be very messy at the end.

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Crepes a GoGo
18 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto, ON M4W 3Y8
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Toronto Pan Am Games

The 2015 Toronto Pan Am games are just about the corner. I was super excited that Toronto was the host city, it’s a start from bidding for the Olympics games. But now that the date is getting closer, and how the city is dealing with the traffic flow, now I am starting to get scare. I don’t understand why they have put all these extra rulings and temporary HOV lanes for the game. I mean, will majority of the visitor be renting a car and driving to the events?? I doubt it, I’m sure most visitors will be taking transit. So why does the residents of Toronto to suffer??? The regular HOV lanes will be 3+ people instead of 2+. All the other major parts of the highway and main arteries are converting to temporary HOV lanes. Is this what other cities do when they host the games??

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So now during the event, basically, half of my commute roads will have a new HOV lane. And majority of the people who have to drive to work will not have 3+ people in the car, meaning we will all be cramped in the 2 remaining lanes. OMG, I can just imagine how more congested the roads will be compared to the regular rush hour. The city is telling Torontarian to take transit, work from home for the Pan Am games period. I wish I can but it will take me 2+ hours to take transit to my work, I have no patience for that, 4 hours to commute for the day, no way! Maybe I can convince my boss to work from home. It’s going to be a horrible commute from end of June to August.  Apparently, the HOV signs on the roads are already rubbing off. Haha! Hmm, after this, I might not want Toronto to win the Olympics game.

But still, I can’t wait to see the opening ceremony, got tickets to that! And since I live by the major venues, I can get there on foot and don’t have to drive.