Great.  Now my treadmill is broken.  Over the past couple of weeks, it has seemed increasingly reluctant to get going, no doubt mirroring my general attitude.  Every time I would turn it on, instead of immediately rolling like it used to, it would pause as if considering.  Again?  This guy just worked out last night?  Why doesn’t he pick on that lazy-ass elliptical?  And then gradually, almost grudgingly, it would stutter to a start.  But this morning, nothing.  It had clearly had enough.

So, I’ll just add “treadmill” to my growing list of home projects: dry walling the water damaged ceilings, fixing the bathroom skylight, recaulking the shower, installing the new oven, having a talk with the washer that seems intent on making a break for it. Lately, every time I use it, I come downstairs to find it has managed to make its way, a good half a foot from the wall, before unplugging itself and losing the volition to go through with its escape plan.

Ideally, I’d like to get most of these issues addressed before Saturday night when I’ll be hosting a party for the staff of the Granville Island Veterinary Hospital who have been putting up with my dogs for over ten years.  The plan was to follow Martin Gero’s lead and arrange for a food truck to park out front for the event, but this proved much more challenging than I’d imagined.

Given the fact that all of my guests work with animals, I thought it best to select a truck that would offer a vegetarian option.  That trimmed the list.  One of my first choices, La Taqueria Pinche Taco Truck (affiliated with the restaurant of the same name) was already booked on the night of my party – and their unavailability knocked every other Mexican-themed truck off the list since, let’s face it, there are not better tacos in town.  Two other top contenders, Vij’s Railway Express, Le Tigre Cuisine, and Roaming Dragon are also busy that night.  So are Blue Smoke BBQ and the Kaboom Box.  Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck never even responded.  Still waiting to hear back from Burger Bus, but it’s been several days now.

I’m also considering simply ordered a bunch of sandwiches from the almost fantastic Meat & Bread:

Tasty crispy porchetta sandwich!
Their signature crispy porchetta sandwich!

Only problem is they close at 5:00 p.m. every night.  5:00 p.m.!  As my writing partner Paul is fond of saying: “Well, they gotta eat dinner too!”.

Alternately, it might be fun to go with Japadog:

1And, for dessert, a little something from Beta5 Chocolates perhaps?

1Okay, party planners.  Thoughts?  Am I missing something obvious?

29 thoughts on “September 4, 2013: It shouldn’t be this difficult!

  1. Sorry to hear about all your errant electronics. I always blame (incorrectly) stuff like that on sun spots. And those CMEs can be a real pain, you know!

    Anyway, I don’t see anything wrong with Japadog and Beta5. Sounds like match made in Heaven to me.

  2. You probably do this, but if you haven’t, try oiling the treadmill belt. At least for the kind I have, you have to do this every couple of months. Your local sporting goods store should carry the oil if you don’t have it. Worth a try although if you haven’t oiled it in a long time, might be too late for the belt. And given your trip to Japan, the Japadog truck might get you in the mood and the dogs look great. If there is a vegetarian option, all the different toppings would be fun. Or you could skip the main course and go straight to the chocolate. Hard to be in a bad mood when there is chocolate on the menu.

    1. “Or you could skip the main course and go straight to the chocolate. Hard to be in a bad mood when there is chocolate on the menu.”

      Alas, no chocolate on the menu as dogs will be present.

  3. I think Japadog would be good, I’ve just haven’t found a dog of theirs that has hit it off with me. So far I’ve tried the Oroshi, the Spicy Cheese Terimayo, and the Kurobota Pork. All were good, but none that I felt I had to go back for. I’m open for suggestions on what to try at Japadog the next time I’m in Vancouver.
    I still have yet to try Meat and Bread.

    On your treadmill problem, you could have a treadmill belt that’s grabbing. I’ve had that with mine and was able to get some treadmill silicone lubricant that got it rolling again. This is what I used:

  4. G’day all

    You are a fine bloke, giving a party for your vet practice. Japadog and Beta5 sound like excellent choices.

  5. How many people are coming..?
    Find out what kind of cuisine most of them enjoy… Allergies…
    Then hire a Suishi chef [cooking & entertainment] and have an open bar, with a nice gift basket for any “designated-drivers”!
    Oh! And, if any are GATE-FANS, whack some of that Show Stuff you’ve been wanting to ge rid of into a gift bag or two…along with some of Akemi’s pet-treats..?

  6. It’s a shame La Taqueria Pinche wasn’t available! They were parked on 4th Ave one day and I popped over there for breakfast/lunch. Pretty tasty.

    I’d go with Japadog. You really can’t go wrong with Japadog.

  7. Japadog sounds like a good idea, but you could also add a few fun things yourself. How about different types of pate that looks like dog and cat food (in dog and cat food bowls, of course!), and maybe beef jerky and the like (to simulate chewy treats)? Bowls of Chex mix (or something similar) as kibbles. Halloween’s coming, so maybe you can find seasonal treats in the shape of rats/mice for kitty lovers, and bowls of Goldfish crackers, of course! You could have a lot of fun with this!

    Just to make you feel better, we’ve had the year from hell when it comes to things breaking down, and other disasters. Two automatic coffee pots died (I’m now using French press pots only), two microwaves died (the second just last week), $1000 plus in car repairs, $3000 in truck repairs, termites! (another $1200 out the window – literally, they ate a window), a new garage door (termites got into the old wooden one, too), and the satellite dish (fortunately I have a warranty plan that covered the cost of replacing and repair). On top of it my refrigerator and washer and dryer are all about 18 years old, so you just know they’re not going to last much longer.

    I’m in more debt right now to banks than America is to China. 😛


  8. Reports coming out that Ariel Castro has killed himself in his cell, to be honest he never should of made it to prison to begin with, he is the very definition of a monster and when a judge takes three quarters of an hour sentencing him you know it’s someone evil.

  9. I vote for Japadog and chocolate and pizza. 😀

    I do agree with Ponytail. I’m sure the vet gang will be pleased with whatever you serve. 🙂

    My washer used to do that dance, but it never unplugged itself. Yours is obviously smarter than mine was to get out of work. :p

  10. Please note that my daughter has worked with animals for many years. She works in an emergency pet hospital on weekends and as a research scientest the rest of the week (with animals). Not eating meat is the last thing on her mind. Don’t try for vegitarian options. Just because someone works with animals doesn’t make them adverse to eating meat.

  11. @ Randomness – That big coward – couldn’t even take a month of just a fraction of what he forced those girls to endure for years. He probably died viewing himself as a martyr, too, seeing as how he blamed the girls for their own captivity. A monster, a creep, a truly warped individual – in the end he got better than what he deserved.


  12. AND the picture tube just went on my old tv. 🙁 I am loath to give up my tv. We did buy a new flat screen a year or so ago, and I hated it and sent it back. The sound was high-pitched and tinny and the picture just terrible (I don’t have an HD satellite set-up, and probably can’t get it because of my trees). My old tv had a beautiful picture and great, full sound. I have no idea what to do now since I hate the new tvs (or, at least the ones I can barely afford).

    I’ve actually been discussing with Mr. Das the idea of getting rid of tv altogether. It’s such a time waster, and there is nothing worthwhile on anymore. The weather and news and some rugby I can get just as easily on the internet (though I hate the internet, too), and if we really want to watch a show we can always rent it, buy it, or watch it on the net. If I had my druthers I’d get rid of the tv AND the computer, but I know it’s not practical to get rid of the latter, not in today’s world. Blargh. I’ll probably just get a new tv, but I will NOT be happy!


  13. I find that, if I’ve bought a bunch of products at the same time, say, just after a move to a new city, they tend to all bite the bullet at about the same time. Is this what is happening to you?

    What about getting your evening catered? When in Vancouver for a Gatecon, I used “The Butler Did It” catering. They did a really good job.

  14. OK, stupid answer coming up, not sure about where you live but over here we love a good hog roast, the truck turns up offloads this huge bbq spit roasted hog along side of a stuffing and salad bar. Its a spectacular sight and the salad bar is amazing with things I’ve never even heard of before. The pork is normally served in different size rolls with tons of sauces to pick from and you just help yourself to stuffing and salad. I know you wanted a veggie option but the salad bar as I’ve said is amazing. LOL

  15. I would definitely serve that “Pepusi” from the Japadog menu. It must be good as they offer it in regular and diet. =)

  16. Maybe Meat & Bread closes at 5 so they can make sandwiches for all those parties in town.

    It does so happen that being home more means stuff wears out more.

  17. …life is like a pendulum, slowly bobbing from side to side – one side is the dark side and the other side is the bright side. And so it is with the house. Once you have corrected the imbalance with all the things that have gone wrong, it will be smooth sailing for some time. So I have found.

  18. Joseph: I had this problem with my washing machine, it turned out the floor had gotten wet a few times and warped, the washing machine was no longer level and the feet were no longer secure against the floor. The drain was partially plugged with lint and dog hair and every time it drained, the drain hose leaked causing floor damage.

    I took my Jack Russel Eddy to the vet the other day. I try not to take him unless I absolutely have to because he goes nuts. Urine, feces, anal gland expression, growling, snapping. I’m not a weakling but I can’t keep him still if my life depended on it. His just might.

    Eddy has a large lump on the right side of his chest, one that is growing and interfering with his right leg now. He’s started to limp when he first starts to move, although it goes away the more he keeps walking.

    The vet says it isn’t dangerous in itself although it is pushing on his leg. But the vet is afraid after the surgery Eddy would get into his stitches, even if we put a cone on him. My guess is he’s right, he’s managed to wriggle out of cones, collars and just about every restraint we ever tried. Eventually I just spent every second with him and harassed him when ever he tried to eat his previous stitches. But trying to beat a Jack Russel at his own game is a fools errand. He has an endless supply of energy, he is always up for more and he is the most stubborn dog I’ve ever had.

    Randomness: I’m not a big fan of the death penalty. For this guy, and his crime, I’d make an exception. If it wasn’t for the problems with the criminal justice system I’d happily make slavery a capital offense.

    In other words, good riddance to bad rubbish.

  19. Brunch would be nice and Meat & Bread could throw in salads for the vegetarians. I’m sure they would appreciate any food gift you mentioned. You could make some lasagna to drop off and they would go crazy for it. Food is a fantastic way of saying thanks!

    So sorry about all the recent house carnage. That’s the way it happens sometimes. When I hit a rough spell, I try and remember all those people that lose homes in disasters. OR How about that guy in Florida that got swallowed by a sink hole!? I bet he would trade problems with ya! 😉

  20. Did you hear that, that science guy Bill Nye will be a contestant on Dancing With The Stars.

  21. Well, provided you get your new oven in time….I’d say go with a make/bake your own pizza style dinner. You provide the doughs and all the toppings and sauces(red, alfredo, creamy garlic, etc.) and let people create whatever they want. They could come up with everything from a nice thin Margherita to a stuffed, meat tornado! This allows you to accommodate the meat eaters and the non-meat eaters alike, provided you give the latter a wide variety of veggies to choose from like grilled zucchini, barbecued corn, pan seared string beans, etc.(damn, now I’m getting hungry!). Plus, it adds a bit of fun to the evening. Just make sure you set times for pizza insertion and removal. A lot of times people just keep putting them in and taking them out of the oven whenever they like and inevitably, some pizzas get burned. This is because the oven is over-cycling itself to keep up with all the drops in temperature. When that happens, standard cooking times fly out the window and food gets ruined. So be careful with that, but otherwise I think that’d be a lot of fun!

    -Mike A.

  22. That is such a thoughtful thing you are doing. I think either restaurant sounds good, but if you can’t have Beta 5 because of the chocolates and dogs, I bet Akemi could whip up a wonderful tiramisu! Or cookies. Or just about anything else.

    I went to see if Mercury was in retrograde. Sometimes it can wreck havoc with electronics (as well as communication).

    But maybe some of the things that did break happened during previous ones? It is a real phenomenon. It’s about to happen again.

  23. @dasndanger @Mike

    I couldn’t agree more. Even though he escaped judgement in this life, we can only assume by now that he’s burning in hell where he belongs, they say God is forgiving but I doubt any divine being could forgive someone like Castro.

  24. My work colleagues ask me to stand away from any important computers when I’m in a bad mood. They tend to start fritzing. The software caper can make you want to throw very expensive computers out the nearest window. Which given where we tend to do our work on site, can be a bit of a hike. So you have to be committed. With this in mind, bad mood Joe?

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