The Grand Tour – Netflix

I’d seen previews of this show while watching other things on Netflix but never really understood what it was all about until Cathryn and I watched an episode. Making that decision proved to be a good choice.

It’s called a British television series about cars but The Grand Tour is much more than that. You don’t have to know anything about cars or be a motorhead to appreciated the show. Granted, they talk a lot about cars – mostly sports cars, but they produce the show in a tent while they travel around the world to different locations.

Using the car theme, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May discuss everything from engine size to comfort levels, making fun of each other and some of the vehicles they are describing. They build, compare, race, and even destroy cars across the world.

Although the show is presented from a tent, it’s recorded in front of a live audience. Cathryn and I both get a kick out of the show and neither of us are car buffs. If you’re looking for something different on Netflix, take forty-five minutes and give it a try. It’s a fun show.

The Fourth Horseman – David Hagberg

The Fourth Horseman (Kirk McGarvey, #19)
by David Hagberg
Edmond Gagnon‘s reviewSep 10, 2020 


This was my first novel by David Hagberg, and although I enjoyed the overall story, I feel it’s been done to death – secret agent saves the world from nuclear destruction.
I had some difficulty starting the book, probably because of way too many characters with military or political titles to remember, not to mention the many Arabic names.
Once the story unfolded I found it very predictable, even though it was apparent the author was shooting for mystery and suspense.
The plot evolved well but didn’t have to be so complicated.
The Fourth Horseman was an okay read but I’m not running right out to find another book by this author.

Dragon Teeth – Michael Crichton

Dragon Teeth
by Michael Crichton
Edmond Gagnon‘s reviewSep 06, 2020 


This book took me completely by surprise. I’ve never read Michael Crichton, but have seen his Jurassic Park movies. I am intrigued by dinosaurs and archeology so I bought this book for something different to read.
The story is about two real life archeologists who stop at nothing to outdo each other. They head west separately, into the Badlands and Indian territory, in search of undiscovered bones. The rivalry between the two scientists include insults, trickery and other deceptions that keep the story moving and add unexpected plot twists.
What made this novel particularly interesting to me was how the story intersects with the Indian wars of the time, including colorful characters like Sitting Bull, General Custer, and Wyatt Earp, adding drama, action and suspense.
Dragon Teeth was a quick and fun read.

Patios in a Pandemic

1_5020583Who doesn’t enjoy sitting on a patio on a sunny summer day, sipping their favorite beverage or indulging in a picnic that is prepared by someone else and delivered to your table? Why is it then, that it took a world pandemic for cities like Windsor to get their heads out of their arses and do the patio thing right.

Other cities have been doing it for years, and not just in Europe. Restaurants and bars have been after the city for years, trying to give patrons what they want, allowing them to enjoy the long summer season that our area has to offer. Past downtown business owners must be cursing the city, seeing the success newer establishments are enjoying.

Back in the dinosaur age, when I used to walk a beat downtown, I couldn’t understand why they didn’t shut down Ouellette avenue. There was barely any place to park on the street and it eventually had to be barricaded because of bumper to bumper traffic that cruised up and down the strip.

But hell no, we couldn’t do that permanently. Where else would those ten cars park and how could businesses take deliveries? There’s something else I learned working downtown – there are alleys that run behind all those businesses and parking garages that very rarely operate at capacity.

So, I guess there really wasn’t any good reason to allow patios to expand onto sidewalks and into parking spots, because I haven’t heard anyone complaining about it. If you haven’t seen what’s happening in Leamington, Kingsville, Essex, Belle River, Amherstburg, and even good old Windsor, check it out. Cold drinks and good grub await you in pandemic patio paradise.

Halt & Catch Fire – Netflix

imagesWith everyone spending more time at home the last six months, I’ve been seeing lots of posts for recommendations of what to watch on Netflix. I don’t know about you but sometimes I spend more time searching for something decent or different than I actually do watching a show or movie. There is a ton of crap out there.

If you’re looking for an interesting series that is binge-worthy and runs more than one season, try Halt & Catch Fire. I know, it’s the stupidest name I’ve ever heard for a show but it was a nice break from all the psycho and serial killer shows. It’s an American AMC series that runs four seasons and showed from 2014 to 2017.

The show is set in the early 80’s when the computer industry was in its infancy, and it follows a mis-matched group of entrepreneurs who want to create the next best product that will change the world. The main actors have been around some but there are no big names to recognize.

Cathryn and I both found the show likeable, her more so because she didn’t have to keep track of a body count or close her eyes during gory scenes. It was cool to see old computers with dial-up modems that some of you other old folks should remember working on. You’ll recognize some big names like IBM, Atari, and even Yahoo. Check it out if you’re looking for something different.

Remembering Normal

Screen-Shot-2020-04-07-at-2.57.37-PM-290x300

We used to avoid guys who looked like this on the street or near dark alleys.

Doesn’t he remind you of a horror movie character?

If you saw him in your bank, you’d call the cops to report a holdup.

Is that guy wearing makeup?

I think that might be my dentist, I’ll wait to see if he recognizes me.

Gee, I thought only Asian tourists dressed like that.

Honey, does this match my outfit?

Why are my glasses always fogging up now?

Don’t worry, nobody cares how you look anymore.

Nice hat, it really compliments your facial features.

Hey, wait, that is my dentist. Sorry Doc, I didn’t recognize you with the hat.

The Twisted Apron

14570422_1091268287589115_8873685703102609259_nI’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that dining out anywhere these days (during the pandemic) is a challenge. Obstacles include finding a restaurant that is open for business and one that has a deck or patio, if you hope to eat there and not have to take your meal home with you. In considering our limited options, weather also has to be taken into account.

As far as dining out goes, what I miss the most is my weekly breakfast out. Cathryn and I are both good cooks but it’s still nice to get out once in a while, and sit back while someone else prepares your meal. We lucked out on the weather yesterday and took advantage by looking for a place to have breakfast.

We’ve both been to the Twisted Apron on Wyandotte Street in Walkerville, but current world events kept us away for months. On arrival, we were immediately seated at a table in the morning shade, on the patio out front. Their menu isn’t as expansive as it normally is, but we were able to order our own versions of Eggs Benedict.

101037693_2893417674040825_423327361266614272_nThe tables around us quickly filled up and I noticed new arrivals disappeared around the corner of the building. I asked our server if they had another patio in the alley but she said the overflow was using picnic tables in the parkette next door. It’s a great idea that shows how inventive our city’s eateries can be in trying times.

To take advantage of their underused kitchen, the Apron has opened a Pop-up Bakery. We couldn’t leave until scoring a freshly-baked loaf of sourdough bread and an ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie. Both were awesome. It was a card day.

106988612_3021690817880176_9071467345503491723_n

Our service and food was great, as usual, and I couldn’t help but smile upon leaving – seeing people enjoying their breakfast in the park. In that moment it looked like the world was almost normal.

Cross – James Patterson

13128Cross (Alex Cross, #12)
by

James Patterson (Goodreads Author)
15204490

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

Jun 02, 2020


I love James Patterson’s Alex Cross character so it was hard not to like the book. I was a bit surprised at how fast I zipped through this and the last one I read, maybe it has something to do with the one and two page chapters.
The plot and overall story were good, as usual, but I was confused about the age of Alex’s kids and who their mother was. I had to Google the answers. It was also hard to keep track of his love interests and which job he was working, and when. Thank you Google, again.
I guess it’s my fault for not reading the series in order, I swap books with friends and read them on a whim, when I don’t feel like writing.
This book fell short of my fourth star because I thought the ending fell flat, and it was quickly laid out to tidy things up.

Four Blind Mice – James Patterson

53625Four Blind Mice (Alex Cross, #8)
by James Patterson (Goodreads Author)

15204490

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

May 31, 2020


I usually like to rag about Patterson because of all the other writers who gain attention from using his name, but this story is his, and a good one.
What made the book more enjoyable for me is his protagonist, Dr. Alex Cross. I liked the character in other books he’s in, as well as a few movies based on his exploits.
The story moves well, and is a fast read with hardly any fluff. There’s just enough backstory to keep you in the loop, and the other characters added depth to the story.
The plot seemed predictable, but a couple twists kept me curious right until the end.
A truly enjoyable book.

Pegasus Descending – James Lee Burke

234490Pegasus Descending (Dave Robicheaux, #15)
by James Lee Burke

15204490

Edmond Gagnon‘s review

May 24, 2020


Crack a Dr. Pepper and get ready for a good ole down south, back bayou country story with your favorite ex-alcoholic veteran cop, Dave Robicheaux. This one’s typical Dave, acting out against the bad guys and an arrogant District Attorney at the same time.
His sidekick, Cletus Purcel, adds action, drama, and suspense, keeping Dave on his toes while trying to look out for him and his own family, which includes a three-legged racoon called Tripod.
There’s enough murder, mayhem, and built-up suspense, with a couple plot twists to keep you flipping pages in this one.
I couldn’t even finish the last James Lee Burke novel I read, probably because it lacked Dave Robicheaux.