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It was late afternoon when he invited her into his garden.

“Oh wow,” she said, “It’s beautiful!”

“Thanks, I work hard at it.  I’ve actually been away for a couple of weeks; looks like there’s weeding to do.”  He started absently pulling up small and large shoots and collecting them in one hand.  “Want some raspberries?  Or a tomato? Food tastes best fresh off the vine.”

“Some raspberries would be lovely.”

He knelt down, picked some with his free hand and passed them up to her.  As she ate, he continued weeding.

“Mmm… these are – whoa, what are you doing?  You just killed that flower!”

“What, this?”  He was holding a pink tulip, that he had pulled out, root and all.  “It’s just a weed.”

“It’s a beautiful flower!” she said, aghast, and took it from him.

“It does look nice, but it doesn’t do anything useful.”

“It’s not enough for it to look nice?”

“Not really.  The garden is already colourful, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but –”

“Raspberries, squash, tomatoes, pears, apples, yellow zucchini, cauliflower.  They look nice and taste good.  See those little tufts? Those are carrots, and those behind you with the white flowers are potatoes.  And next to the house are the herbs: rosemary, chives, mint, basil, and so on.”

He tossed all the weeds on the compost heap. “Everything in this garden is a food.  I like tulips, but I don’t want them in my garden.  I’ll pot it and you can take it to plant at your house.”

“I’ll do just that,” she said.  “That’s actually impressive that this garden is all food.  Those raspberries were delicious; you must eat well.”

“You’re right, they’re delicious and chemical-free.  If you stay for dinner you’ll see just how good it can be.”

She grinned.  “Thanks, maybe I will.”  Then her smile faded.  “But I don’t think you can call a tulip a weed.”

“Sure.  A weed just means an unwanted plant.  And tulips don’t any more belong in a patch of raspberries than dandelions do.  A potato plant in a flower garden might be called a weed.”

“All right, you’re off the hook.”  She kissed him on the cheek.  “Now, about that dinner…”


Most people don’t normally like skin or lumps in their mashed potatoes (come on, skin is delish, and good for you), but in restaurants, I like them, because they are evidence that my food is made from potatoes, and not a mix.

The internet lounge I’m posting from allows smoking.  UGH.

On Christmas, a few of us went to the point and climbed down some rocks.  It was a cool outcropping of sedimentary rocks, and I wondered how they were formed (I don’t remember enough) and eroded.  I found large rocks to hit against the thin layers exposed from the side, and I thought of humans learning such things tens of thousands of years ago.

Best damn ice cream cake ever.

I had given up on ice cream cake. It was never the same as real cake – and if I wanted ice cream I much preferred just ice cream.
This could be a game changer. We had an ice cream cake from one of the local deluxe ice cream places. But this ice cream cake had real cake in it. It was 2 layers of cake with 2 layers of ice cream, equal portions. A beautiful ratio.
This is monumental on its own, but the ice cream is also top quality delicious ice cream.
I’m blown away. It wasn’t just okay. I would choose this.

Pizza chains

What do the following intersections have in common? Queen and Bathurst, Woodbine and Danforth, St Clair and Vaughan, Gerrard and Greenwood, Church and Wellesley? Answer below.

Today I learned Pizza Nova, a pizza chain based in Ontario, is family-owned and operated. They’ve been my favourite pizza place since I was a kid. There was a Pizza Pizza across the street, but of course we always chose the better pizza. The thin, crisp crust with fantastic toppings? Hell yes.

So why is Pizza Pizza evidently the most popular pizza in Ontario? They don’t have the best pizza (it’s really just all dough), they’re not the only chain that lets you order online, and they don’t have the best deals (Domino’s has much better pizza and fantastic prices). So I can’t figure it out.

Some ideas of why they’re successful:
They marketed pretty well. The 967-11-11 song was really catchy. But I preferred 4-3-9-oh-oh-oh-oh Pizza Nova any day.
I think they employ(ed) some business strategies that make their chain the default choice. Especially for large orders; it seems like everyone buys Pizza Pizza for large functions, and then it’s in people’s minds when they next order? I don’t know too much about the psychology of marketing and consumer choice.
They place their stores in great locations: the corner lot. Visible from about twice as many places, whatever it costs for a corner lot is probably worth it. Most Pizza Pizza stores I know are at corners. This is the answer to the question at the start of the post.

What I do like about Pizza Pizza:
– the dipping sauce
– when they first introduced fries to the menu, they called them Fries Fries.

What I prefer about almost every other chain:
– the pizza, i.e. the whole reason you’re getting food in the first place

Ad Idea: Ritz

Inspired by Mitch Hedberg, who said he didn’t get Ritz crackers to eat with toppings (“They’re not little edible plates!”) and would rather have a Ritz on a Ritz.  I think that would be a great ad campaign.

Ritz crackers – so delicious, you’ll top them with more Ritz.

A Guide to Eating Healthy When Living Alone

A guide to healthy eating when living by yourself: Buy a lot of fruit and veg at the grocery store. You know *you* have to eat it before it goes rotten, because nobody else is going to. And you don’t want to waste all that money by tossing out $20 worth of food every week. So you keep eating all the healthy food you’ve bought, and problem solved!

This also means that when you’re out, you can more or less spoil yourself and not worry about fat/sugar/salt content, because you eat properly at home.

The Other Bunny

Cadbury’s Mini Eggs are now available year-round courtesy of “The Other Bunny”. Fantastic! Cadbury makes the best chocolate of all the non-gourmet brands.

Clearly they’re hoping to increase their market share, and who doesn’t love those pastel colours, especially in dreary fall weather. But does that mean that come Easter, Mini Eggs are no longer a special treat?

Thanks, Cadbury, I’ll try to do my share.