Cabin Cooking; Ribeye Steak and VEGGIES!!

Cabin Cooking – pictures are worth a 1000 words right? Well here are a few thousand words!! Let me just say, thus steak from Meatcraft Urban Butchery was awesome. And the veggies from the Desert Hills Ranch in Ashcroft…wonderfully fresh and full of flavour.

I started with a beauty of a ribeye steak from Meat Craft Urban Butchery and rubbed it with some of the Re-Up BBQ rub before dropping it into a searing hot cast iron pan.

cabin cookingAbout 30 seconds on each side and then I fired it in the oven, under the broiler for exactly 5 minutes.

cabin cooking

After five minutes I took the ribeye steak out of the oven, turned it over, and put it back under the broiler for another five minutes.

cabin cooking

After five minutes, I took the steak out from under the broiler and let it rest while I dished the veggies onto our plates. For veggies we had green cauliflower and purple cauliflower from the Desert Hills Ranch in Ashcroft BC.

We also had corn on the cob. Is there anything sweeter than corn picked, cooked and eaten on the same day?

cabin cooking

All in all, a wonderful meal. Cabin cooking. I love it.

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My Vlog About the World Not Being Fair

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Male Celebrities as Role Models

Celebrities are often seen by ordinary folk as larger-than-life figures, almost as though they were a completely different life form. Nonetheless, they are human too, although some do stand out as role models for fathers across the world. This article takes a look at how some male celebrities have handled fatherhood and what lessons can be learnt from these super dads who juggle a hectic career and their responsibilities at home.

Male Celebrities as Role Models

Photo credit to the Huffington Post

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington is known for bringing gravitas to the characters he has played. And his seriousness is carried over to his family life. He said in an interview with CNN that he makes it a point to attend every important event or activity that involves a family member even if it means flying in to the town they are based in to spend a few hours with them. It doesn’t matter if he is on a film site shooting a high budget flick, Washington always makes time for the important things in life.

Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt’s career has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. His next Hollywood blockbuster is Jurassic World 2, the follow-up to the hugely successful 2015 Jurassic World. The first instalment, which featured a slimmed down version of Pratt garnered worldwide acclaim and bridged new gaps in the film and gaming worlds. This unique marketing approach saw a Jurassic World-themed digital slot game launched by Slingo as well as a number of other innovative techniques to get the film out to new demographics.

But Jurassic World isn’t the only film that brought Pratt a hoard of new fans recently. His role as Star Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise saw him embraced by superhero fanatics.

However, not everything has been easy sailing for Pratt. The world recently got wind that he and his wife, actress Anna Faris, announced they would be getting divorced. Nonetheless, they both committed to take care of their family, and they have requested that the media respect their privacy during this trying period. Pratt is a known family man, and even though the separation is sad, he won’t let that get in the way of being the best father possible.

Michael J. Fox

Michael J. Fox’s advice for men is to make sure that they make themselves available at all times to their family. He also went on record saying that parents shouldn’t let time pass by, because doing so could result in a lost moment. While these interruptions may disrupt what they are doing, the reward is that they get to make precious memories with their loved ones, which is a worthy trade-off.

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr., best known for his role as the superhero Iron Man, advised fathers who are raising teenagers to make sure that they remain grounded, even if they are born into rich families. He said, “There are some parents who have really done it right and told their kid, ‘You know, we have this dough, none of this is for you. You have to get your own.”

Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell suggests parents not to use their busy schedules as an excuse to spend less time with their family. An article featured on the Telegraph showed that his advice was for them to allot dedicated time for their families, such as scheduling a talk with family members twice or three times a week so that members remain in touch with each other.

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We Cook Scrambled Eggs Gordon Ramsay Style

On my most recent trip to the family cabin my daughter and I tried cooking scrambled eggs Gordon Ramsay style – and I would say we had some success. Have a look.

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Ba Lé Sandwich Shop

Ba Le

I went out searching for another beautiful Vietnamese sub sandwich. This time I followed up on Beyond the Rhetoric – my fellow foodie’s recommendation and stopped at Ba Lé on Main Street just south of Hastings Street.

Ba Le

Ba Lé is a simple affair. Vietnamese sandwiches done quickly. You walk up to the counter, tell the man which sandwich you want, hand over the cash (cash only place) and wait a couple of minutes for your sandwich to be prepared.

Ba Le

Being a first timer I took a risk and asked which sandwich he recommended. He said the barbecue pork or lemongrass chicken sandwiches were my best choice.

I went with the barbecued pork sandwich and was not disappointed. A decent amount of fillings inside a perfectly crispy French baguette. I would have liked a little more of the barbecued pork but for $5…this is a very good sandwich value.

I will return and have no hesitation in recommending the Ba Lé Sandwich Shop.

  • Ba Lé is located at 638 Main Street in Vancouver.
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Beet Greens and Eggs for Breakfast

Breakfast today was two eggs from the place we always stop in Agassiz fried sunny side up and perched atop a little nest of beet greens from my front yard garden.

Beet Greens

The eggs and beet greens were all sitting on a couple slices of toasted homemade wholewheat bread.

The slices of tomato were store bought.

Simple. Delicious. Nutritious.

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Burgers at the Dewdney Pub

My buddy and I were travelling through the very smoky Fraser Valley yesterday in my gasoline powered car (more on that soon) and we needed lunch.

We could’ve stopped at the Mission Springs Brew Pub in Mission or Rocko’s Diner in Mission but we chose to slip out of our usual ways and so made a hard left turn onto River Road in Dewdney and pulled into the Dewdney Pub – also known as the Church of the Blues.

Dewdney Pub

I’m glad we did!

My travel companion and I both had the lunch special – double bacon cheese burgers. The bacon was cooked perfectly crispy and the cheese was melted right onto the obviously hand formed beef patty.

Just the perfect amount of ooey-gooey goodness in the burger.

For a side dish I had a bowl of Manhattan Clam Chowder that was good. Lots of clams.

Funny story; they do have a very limited number of beers on tap and I asked why they didn’t have more local “craft beers”.

Best answer ever; “We don’t have much call for that kind of beer out here. People like Bud, Canadian, and some Pabst. That other stuff…people out here don’t drink that.”

The Dewdney Pub looks a lot like a place you might expect to see the Blues Brother walk into. Great little Pub.

  • The Dewdney Pub is located at 8793 River Road, Dewdney, BC,
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Traveling the Scenic 7 and the Fraser Canyon by Electric Vehicle

1945hr update – note to self. Don't plan an EV trip with a guy who plans to (literally) climb a mountain the same day as you want to drive the Scenic 7. My driver is still stuck on the road so we'll have to postpone this trip for the time being.

1815hr update – My driver is stuck on Hwy 1 somewhere between Chilliwack and Coquitlam thereby delaying our departure.

Later this afternoon I will be departing from Coquitlam Centre in a Nissan Leaf and traveling along the Scenic Hwy 7 to Hope, BC and then beyond up the Fraser Canyon to the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers at Lytton BC.

We'll be making a first stop to "top up" the Leaf batteries in Mission BC. Because there is only a level 2* charger at the place we'll be stopping in Mission, we anticipate being there for about an hour to get enough charge to get us to Hope where there is a level 3** charger.

I will update as we travel.

* A level 2 charger can fully charge a car like a Nissan Leaf in approximately 3-4 hours.
** A level 3 charger can charge a Nissan Leaf to 80% in 20-30 minutes.

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My Visit to the Royal Columbian Hospital 

Last Tuesday I was at home, playing Lego with my kids when I was quite suddenly doubled over from a pain in my abdomen. Within 30 minutes I knew that I was not just having a “stomach ache” so I had my kids call their mom to get her home ASAP and an ambulance to come to the house to get me.

The ambulance and my wife arrived virtually simultaneously so I knew my kids and I were all in safe hands.

Without going into too much graphic detail about what happened to me I will say that I “experienced” something like a herniated bowel; definitely an extraordinarily painful circumstance to find oneself in.

As a result I had to have emergency surgery to repair the obstruction to my guts or I risked having my bowels “burst” leading to my body essentially poisoning itself.

Royal Columbian Hospital

The surgical team discussed with me my options and the risks involved in the procedures. Although I was thoroughly medicated I understood the risks. I also understood the risks of not doing surgery.

Approximately four hours later I came out of the operating room (the “OR” to the hospital staff).

The surgeons had initially tried to do laparoscopic surgery but the problem was more serious than that allowed for. So they opened me from above my belly button to just below the bottom of my rib cage.

Royal Columbian Hospital

Those are the surgeon’s nails – not mine

After fixing up my guts they stapled my stomach closed again. Yep. They stapled my guts shut. I’ll forever have an epic scar on my belly.

But forgetting about me for a minute, the most eye opening part of this experience was seeing how the people who choose to work in the medical field treated me and the other patients I had the good fortune to meet (hi Irene – I hope you are doing well!! Miss you!!).

It is a funny thing to say but I ALWAYS felt like they cared about me as a human being and not “just a patient” they were required to administer healthcare to.

No, each and every person I encountered treated me with kindness. Beginning with the women driving the ambulance and the ER nurses who had to put up with my outrageous hysterics (I didn’t like having a tube stuffed up my nose, into the base of my eyeball, and then another 56 centimetres down into my stomach – trust me, you wouldn’t like it either).

Royal Columbian Hospital

And in the seven days that I was in the a Royal Columbian Hospital following my surgeries, the nurses, residents, the pain management team, and the surgeons, each and every interaction continued to be one of kindness, care and concern for me as a human being.

Whether I needed an extra blanket to warm my legs or a moment to stop the dizziness as I stood up, or an encouraging word to keep on with my exercise routine (walking to the toilet and then back to bed) the nurses and care aides were there beside me.

Of course I would be remiss for not mentioning the team of people who were continually keeping the hospital clean. Now that is a hard working bunch who very quietly and unceremoniously go about their jobs.

Royal Columbian Hospital

Anyhow, that’s enough for now. I’m slowly working myself back to eating real food (I’ll never really enjoy Jello again).

I’ll just end off by saying how grateful I am for the kind and compassionate care that I received from the medical professionals at the Royal Columbian. Now I’m going back to rest.

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Electric Vehicles Vs Gas Powered Vehicles

Seeing as I am quite seriously considering the purchase of an electric vehicle, I decided to do some cost comparisons of electric vehicles to comparable gas powered vehicles.

The four specific vehicles I chose to compare ON PAPER (I did NOT drive any of these vehicles – this is strictly a numbers comparison) were the:

  • Mercedes GLE
  • Tesla Model X
  • Toyota Yaris 5-door
  • Nissan Leaf

As you can probably guess, I compared the Mercedes to the Tesla and the Toyota to the Leaf.

I based mileage calculations on people driving 20,000 km per year with gasoline priced at $1.35 a litre and electricity at $0.20 per kilowatt hour. The Mercedes MIGHT require a higher grade of fuel which would cost more per litre.

The Mercedes GLE has an upfront cost of $138,000 – that is the cost with all the upgrades I added to it to make it as comparable to the Tesla as possible.

The Mercedes GLE –

  • Fuel economy of 17.3l/100km means 3460 litres used per year.
  • Fuel tank capacity of 93 litres means a range of 535 kilometres – if you run the tank dry.
  • Based on $1.35 a litre for regular gasoline, it will cost $23.36 to travel 100 kilometres.
  • At $1.35 a litre that is $4671 in fuel cost per year for 20,000km of travel.

The Tesla Model X, equipped similarly to the Mercedes GLE described above has a price tag of approximately $200,000. It could be more slightly more.

The Tesla Model X – 

  • Battery capacity is rated to take you 465 kilometres – if you go to an “empty tank”.
  • Fuel economy is more difficult to ascertain but based on the figures supplied on the Tesla website which assumes a price of $0.20 per kilowatt hour, it will cost $4.20 to travel 100 kilometres.
  • Continuing with the $0.20 per kilowatt hour, that is $840 in fuel cost per year for 20,000km of travel.

For me, the extra $60,000 up front cost would probably make me lean more towards the Mercedes than the Tesla. However, many people who have driven Tesla electric vehicles say that the driving experience of the Tesla is significantly more enjoyable than any other car on the road. Still, $60,000 more up front…

So, if you are like me and more likely to be considering the purchase of a 2017 Toyota Yaris 5-door or a Nissan Leaf as a new car, here are some facts on those cars.

The Toyota Yaris – 

The approximate price of a 5-door Toyota Yaris is just under $20,000. You can drive that price up by adding some options.

  • Fuel economy of 6.6 litres per 100 kilometres means 1320 litres per year.
  • Fuel tank capacity of 44 litres means a range of 670 kilometres – again assuming you are going to run the tank dry ( not advisable).
  • Based on $1.35 a litre for regular gasoline, it will cost $8.91 to travel 100 kilometres in a Toyota Yaris.
  • At $1.35 a litre that is $1782 per year in fuel costs per year.

The Nissan Leaf SV –

The mid range electric vehicle in the Nissan Leaf series costs approximately $39,000 although you can get a base model Leaf for just under $33,000. When you deduct the $5000 BC government grant AND the Scrap-it grant of $6000 (a grant you get if you hand over your current car) the price of a $39,000 Leaf drops to approximately $28,000. Obviously, the $33,000 Leaf will drop to $22,000.

  • Battery capacity of the Leaf is rated to take you approximately 150 kilometres – that’s to a fully discharged battery – similar to a gas powered car, not advisable!
  • The cost of charging a Nissan Leaf – at this time is pretty minimal – I call these the “golden years” of owning an electric vehicle because so many of the charging stations are still free (yes – this is almost guaranteed to change in the coming years but for now, many public charging stations are still free).

One of the really important issues to get over when considering the purchase of an electric vehicle is “range anxiety”. The reality is, the vast majority of drivers travel 50 kilometres or less per day. And, if you do travel significantly more kilometres a day, well and EV probably isn’t for you!

The bottom line, if you are considering a high-end luxury SUV like the Mercedes GLE, you should consider the Tesla Model X as an alternative. Yes, the initial cost is significantly higher, but the cost of fuelling the Mercedes is $4671 a year compared to the $840 a year for the Tesla.

And the case for the Nissan Leaf is even more compelling. $28,000 up front and virtually no cost for charging…compare that to the $20,000 Toyota Yaris which is a fuel miser in its own way, but will still cost about $1800 a year to fuel.

And finally, I have not even considered maintenance costs. There are no oil and lube jobs for electric vehicles and no tune-ups to change spark plugs or other filters. Another cost saving.

Looking at the dollars involved and my driving habits, I know that my next car will definitely be an electric vehicle.

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