Things I Love – Toques

There is nothing like a good toque. I’m a lucky boy who’s mum knits me a few a year. I refer to toques as Canadian formal head wear. My favourite is wearing a suit with a toque. As our days get colder I recommend reaching  for a good toque. From cable knits to fine gage you can’t go wrong. If its a little to lazy, try adding a roll to tighten that loose beanie into a proper watch cap. Heres a few shots from old Fashion du Jour. Thanks mum, now I need a red one, and maybe a cream to.


Things To Look Out For – Burger King

So, after what feels like an eternity of waiting the Burger King on the conner of Johnson and Douglas to open. Its pretty clear that the King shall be raining over his minions soon. Now, I have some experience in the fast food world. I worked at McDonalds from 2002 – 2004. I still hold a love of fast food. Theres nothing really like a greasy burger and some salty fries all for $5.50. So what does the King bring to the table. Items I am really personally excited about: The BK Stacker, Original Chicken Sandwich, Croissan’wich, Chicken Fries, and yes Poutine. I promise to provide a full review of Burger King’s service and food once opening day has arrived. Check out the aforementioned food items below or head over to Burger King Canada (here)

Things I Love – Designers Guild

I fell in love today. With some gentlemen’s camouflage. The Designers Guild is a proper… Capital P, Proper English design and wholesale fabric shop. Lead by a brother and sister team, always the best kind of team. They established the Designers Guild in 1970, and have continued to design and sell quality products. I dream of floral: bed sheets, curtains, chesterfields, wall papers, chaise-lounges, and so much more. I love this company, its like they make fabric specifically for me. That said they made thousands, upon thousands of colours, prints, and textures in a huge range of designs. Several of the fabrics show one of the features being cigarette resistant, love. I encouraged anyone who has a love of fabrics to set aside a large amount of time and check out the Designers Guild. (here)

Downtown Development – The Mondrian

Often I find myself looking over layout plans, and scratching my head, wondering how someone could call that their home. I really want to find a way to truly call downtown Victoria my home. The Mondrian looks like it could be my kind of home. The big question I have is how tall are the ceilings, enough for a loft bed? Starting from $169.900, checks can be made out to Chairman of the Board.

Fashion du Jour – October 24th

So, in the interest of fashion I thought I would share today’s Fashion du Jour post over here as well. I never give any details of items on Fashion du Jour. Ideally FDJ operates as gallery for the canvas that is daily wears. That said, clothes always have a story to tell. Today’s look is no different. From the toque knit by my mum, to the sports coat or slazer that was part of a blockbuster clothing trade with Kevin aka 84 of 84/85. The cape is a Morphine Generation sample piece that was given to me when I worked over at Still Life. The shoe, or my soul mate in shoe form, is a To Boot New York monk strap, and was actually the first thing I purchased as an employee at Outlooks for Men. The shirt is a custom Omega shirt, made in Canada, I have them come with their English spread collar which is almost spread enough. The jeans are Crate out of L.A. The socks are Marcoliani and the tie is Altea both power houses of Italian style. Don’t forget to check out Fashion du Jour for a dose of daily style.

Big Ups – Gerald Chang Photography

So, a few weeks ago one of our Outlooks clients Gerald asked if I would do a little photo shoot with him. Gerald might just be the nicest person in the world, so I quickly agreed. We met up on a classic fall day in early October. We had a fun time, and Gerald worked some magic. Last week he handed me a CD with sixty-one photos on it all the keepers. I worked that down to a selection of twenty-seven. So heres a little sneak peak of some autumn wears. Gerald just started up a wordpress and I am sure he will be posting some interesting photos check it out (here)

Well Designed – Braun – Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams – Lead Braun designer from 1961 – 1995. Here we shall look at Mr. Rams ten principles of design and a few of my favourite Braun products.  Thank you Mr. Rams

Is innovative – The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

Makes a product useful – A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

Is aesthetic – The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

Makes a product understandable – It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.

Is unobtrusive – Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

Is honest – It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

Is long-lasting – It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.

Is thorough down to the last detail – Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.

Is environmentally friendly – Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

Is as little design as possible – Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

The Military Industrial Complex – ICBM Transportation

For decedes the major threat to North America was an intercontinental ballistic missile. Today were going to take a little look into how these large obelisk’s of death are moved from place to place. So, We have trains, your classic missel silo, the modern mobile launcher with radar, then some in the classic mobile mid range style. The sheer cost of this equipment is unbelievable. Take a look.

Well Designed – Cecelia Ravine Bike Park

Where was this when I was fifteen. The fine people at the City of Victoria have worked with Alpine Bike Parks, to create a beautiful little bike park here in Victoria BC. Right off the Galloping Goose multi-use trail, its easy to get to and will provide some fun for riders of all skill levels. I cannot wait to get over there myself, and grab some pictures of the action. Maybe even borrow a bike, and give it a shot myself. Local videographer Brian Park has shot a wonderful little film that I have posted below, that just adds to the hype behind this project. Cecelia Ravine Bike Parks opens October 21, 2011.

Alpine Bike Parks: Cecelia Ravine park from Brian Park on Vimeo.

Autos – Lancia

Hot damn. You think Subaru owns rally. Nope. Most winning manufacture on the World Rally circuit  – Lancia. Single automobile with most wins – Lancia Delta. You want passion in your vehicle… Look no futher. Sure they don’t share that same Ferrari, or lamborghini styling but they sure share the passion. So, before you make a purchase of a classic Italian super car, don’t forget about Lancia. 

World War Three Could Be… – North Korea / Russia – South Korea

For a long time we have been told to fear North Korea. I in no way fear North Korea taking an offensive against us in North America. The worries lay with the region as a whole. In recent years Russia has been investing in large capital project in North Korea. From the Trans-Korean and Trans-Siberian railroads, to oil and gas pipelines. The threat we now face is Russia needing to protect these assets. With a leader as possessed as Kim Jong-Il, its hard not to worry about the safety and security of our world. Hopefully cooler heads prevail…

Autos – Subaru WRX STI

From meet function. Subaru meet WRX STI. This name has been a power house in the world of rally racing.  Although, no long making cars for the world rally championship (2008). They are still making cars for the road, as well as road racing. I sure wouldn’t mind putting some of that rally influenced technology to good use on some asphalt.

Verus – Avro Arrow – F-35 Lightening – JXX

Damn you Diefenbaker. I promise to do a more in depth post about Diefenbaker and the cancelling of the Avro Arrow program. That said, were hear on a different note today. So, as you may know I have a little bit of an obsession with the military industrial complexes of our world. Although, its not really fair to put the Avro Arrow up against a post modern fighter, It would do a much better job at protecting Canadian sovereignty then any modern fighter ever could. Now the F-35 and the JXX, Well lets just say that I have a feeling that the Peoples Liberation Army might just have the upper hand here. I don’t think we know so little about this plane because its harmless. China has dreamed of making a fifth generation strike fighter on home soil. The JXX is the completion of this dream. These super fighter have the Avro Arrow to thank, the idea of fly by wire, and mach speeds. It was our country that lead this dream of flight. If only our Canadian ideals of peace, and security through respect, could have been realized over the skies of the world.

Wasting Time On – Forza Motorsport 4

Ohhhh the beauty of racing. I have always held a special place for auto racing games. I can think back to playing Gran Turismo one on Play Station in 1999. Then slowly moving up the Turismo ladder, two, three, and four. Then jumping over to the world of XBox, I picked up Forza three. Instantly I was in love. Although, very similar is several aspects to Gran Turismo. Forza challenges you to hit every apex, make the perfect pass, reach for driving excellence. Combined that with an extensive car collection, and added top gear content, its a very complete experience. As video games change so frequently, I find comfort in the fact that for over ten years, I have been driving super cars down the cork screw at Laguna Seca raceway. Or battling around the Nürburgring ring searching for the final straightaway. Just now its in a 2011 Ferrari 458 in HD. 

Recommend – Chris Savage Selected Works

Arguably the great family in the world, another Savage with an eye for art. Chris Savage has some serious talents with a pen. And currently his skills are on display at Discovery coffee here in Downtown Victoria, at the Discovery Street location. For more examples of Chris work check out his tumblr (here) or head on over to Discovery coffee for a french press, and some fresh art.

Things I Love – Adidas Safety Shoe

I have owned these shoes since way back in 2008. They were one of the early Adidas Original collection. They are complete with a steal toe, a oil slick proof sole, and they are covered in rubber poka-dots. I searched online to try and find more info and I was unable to even find a photo. I have send off an email to Adidas Canada to try and get some of the history behind this interesting shoe. To see what they look like on check out Iain’s Fashion Du Jour (here)

Things I Love – Hot Showers

I would have to credit at least 90% of my ideas to a warm shower. I am very much a morning person. But, I can not get going without a nice hot shower. There is so many good times for a shower: after work, before work, to wake up, before bed, after physical activity or just as a way to refresh ones self. Remember to keep em’ showers short, we don’t need to be wasting energy or water here. And most importantly don’t forget to give thanks for the ability to know what warm water feels like.

Products for Life – Mineral Water

I have always had a place in my heart for cola. Unfortunately cola will always hold a place in the destruction of teeth. So a few months back I decided that I was going to start drinking more sparkling mineral waters. One of the better decision I can recall making in recent time. They really make everything taste crisper, a proper french press coffee with some sparkling water. recommended. Life is all about enjoyment in moderation. So moderate in some mineral water!

Well Designed – Phillips Beer

So I very rarely drink, and truth be told I have never had a Phillips brew. But, I can attest from several friends, and from serving Phillips at Fort Street Cafe, that there are well crafted. That said, were here to look into the aesthetics behind Phillips Beer. Just looking at the labels you can see that they follow a total art principle . Compound that with a visit to their website (here). It is obvious that they really love what they do, and they make sure that everything they do its to perfection. Even their brewery has the “Phillips” looks to it. Even their delivery trucks currently have graphics that make it appear as if kegs are rolling out the back. There is nothing like a local company that is doing it better than any of there counter parts nationally, and internationally. If you  read to this point you deserve a Phillips!



Things I am Not Down With – Interac Chip’s

The year was 1984, our friends over at RBC, CIBC, TD, Scotiabank and Desjardins decided that we needed to be able to pay with more convenience. And for years we have, Interac has changed our lives. I would say for the better. Think of things like using an ATM at 2am, or the ease of payment with your card at 2pm. Its fast, efficient, and rather secure. This was until the advent of the “chip”. Suddenly our fast payments became slow, and sluggish. It is not often that technology takes a step backwards. So hopefully Interac 3.0 figures out a truly fast and secure way to move monies from here to there.

World War Three Could Be… – China / Taiwan

Welcome to a new Category Chairman of the Board – World War Three Could Be… We will look into some of the hot spots of world conflict and which one could lead us down the path of world war. First in the series we will look at a conflict thats leads us down a strange diplomatic road. So, Japan was in control of Taiwan after the first Sino-Japanese War, Japan held control from 1845 until 1945, when they were forced to give the island to the Republic of China. Then in 1949 the Peoples Republic of China was formed on mainland China. The Republic of China government resettled themselves to the island of Taiwan. Even as of today the Peoples Republic of China still lay claim to the island of Taiwan, as they feel they are the political successor to the Republic of China’s government. It should also be noted that at no point, has the peoples Republic of China controlled any portion of  the government on Taiwan. Now, you may ask how are we headed to world conflict over this. Well, Taiwan is viewed as an advanced economy by the IMF, and as a high-income economy by the World Bank. Taiwan Plays a major roll in the production of technology, primarily consumer electronics.  In 2007 the Taiwanese Government put forth a motion to write a constitution, and establish the name “Taiwan” official. This has upset the Peoples Republic of China. Western powers have been long time supporters of Taiwan. The United States, France, The Netherlands, Israel and South Africa, all supply, or have supplied the Taiwanese with arms. In total Taiwan spends 2.4% of their GDP on military arms. Compare that to some of the other industrialized nations like United Kingdom at  2.7 %, France at 2.5%, Canada at 1.5% or Japan at 1%. Taiwan is far from the super powers with Russia at 4.3% or the USA at 4.7% and China at 2.2% of GDP.  Still how will all this lead us to world war. Well, if China were to invade Taiwan, the United States would forced to act due to the 1951 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. A treaty between Japan and the United States. By China crossing the Strait of Taiwan, this could be seen as an act of aggression against Japan, thus the United States is bounded by the treaty to act. It is pretty clear that China could wipe out Taiwan in an afternoon of boating and flying. But it is the global repercussions that have stopped this from happening… So far…

Histories Heights of Realness – Lester B Pearson Suez Crisis

Today were going to take a look into one of the early oil based conflicts. In July 1956, Mr Abdul Nasser decided to nationalize the Suez Canal Company. Which was French run with the British government being the largest shareholder. In private the British Cabinet concedes that Mr. Nasser actions are legal. England and France were headed to lose pride and influence, within North Africa, and the Middle East. At the same time, France was stuck in a tricky conflict in Algeria, and saw Mr. Nasser as the nexus of pan-Arab nationalism. France needing the conflict in Egypt to come to a front played a move that we still suffer from today. France saw its chance with the newly formed state of Israel. France supplied the Israelis with arms, thus allowing the British and French, to play the roll of worried peacemakers when conflict arose. This is when Mr. Pearson comes into play. He had been working as the peacemaker between Egypt – Israel, England and France. Once his diplomatic efforts failed, Israel invades Egypt, and England, and France attack Egyptian positions as peacekeepers. France and England are condemned at the United Nations. As the situation worsens Mr. Pearson propose the first United Nations Peace Keeping force. Canada having no seat on the Security Council would need to appeal to the General Assembly. After four days and sleepless nights of negotiations. The General Assembly overwhelming supported Mr. Pearson’s proposal for peacekeepers. Within two weeks UN forces arrive, England and France completely withdraw. Israel remains in Egypt until the spring of 1957. The UN peacekeeping force remained until 1967, when Mr. Nasser expelled the force on the eve of the Six Day War with Israel. Back home the Liberal party is removed from power in an election. Mr. Pearson goes from a high profile to back bench. That is until October 1957 he receives the call that he has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Then in January of 1958 Mr. Pearson is chosen leader of the Liberal Party and eventually becomes Prime Minister in 1963.