Let's have some fun. What would it be like to have
Trips and Treats go
to a specific country? I'm actually not a foodie, as you will see.
Just a reminder that one would bring along a specialist/fan for certain
things, e.g. wine or coffee or chocolate or whatever.
What would it be like if Trips and Treats went to Canada?
Canada has more to offer than you might think.
You could head to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island on the far west coast
and eat a rich nanaimo bar, then head to Prince Edward Island
on the east coast and have the intense berry taste of an
Anne of Green Gables raspberry cordial (grab some potatoes while you're
in P.E.I). In between is a huge country.
There are restaurants from west to east.
Just the prairies alone has nice places to eat.
Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations food show had an epecially nice episode on Vancouver.
That was a triumph of stitching together a narrative, editing.
He has good stuff from Quebec too, but that's complicated by the fact that
it's two episodes, actually two different shows.
Tim Hortons coffee is quite popular. I go to Second Cup.
There is an interesting ritual at work places where someone makes a
Tims run, and when that person comes back there is the social experience of people sharing a box of timbits, smaller doughnut-like balls.
People associate Canada with maple. Objectively it is what it is, but I feel that doesn't get it right. We'll look at four things.
1: Industry. Maple sap is harvested in Quebec and surrounding areas,
traditionally in their cabanes à sucre. I'm sure maple is presented to
tourists. The tree's leaf is on the flag too.
2: Maple syrup. We put this on pancakes - but no more than others do.
3: Maple candies. Maple candies, maple syrup in a hard candy, are a novelty to be tried here
and there, but not something you're going to get repeatedly
(ice wine maple candies have me curious). I will guess that the vast majority of Canadians have not had them.
4: Added flavour. Okay, you got me there. Maple is often added as a
flavour for things, maple bacon, maple flavour coffee, people like maple
cookies. I like
maple fudge, from Quebec.
I've never encountered beaver tails. Whatever is going on with those, it's not going on around me.
Date squares are a Canadian recipe name.
I like date squares.
You could get some
poutine on a boozy Montreal night.
I think people in Quebec have mixed feelings
about poutine. On the one hand it is indeed tasty, has a role, and has left a
big mark. On the other hand, try to imagine if France, with its proud
culinary traditions, was known for its deep-fried corn dogs.
Every time I finish eating poutine I say to myself "I understand why I
got that". If you said poutine when I was young I would have no idea what
you were talking about.
While you're in Montreal you could grab a bagel. Bring along bagel
expert Ari to debate whether or not they are better than a New York bagel.
I don't have strong opinions about Canada's chocolate bars.
Coffee Crisp is trotted out for these things. "A nice light snack" sums it
up. It does contain coffee, although it is hard to detect.
It is said that Canada's chocolate (bars) is better than the American
chocolate. Not my department.
And there is the miniature world of Canadian potato chips. I like
the cheesy and salty Hawkins cheezies. I like the local, indigenous
Tomahawk chips, certainly salt and vinegar, helped by the packages.
I've recently taken a shine to Ms. Vickie's
sea salt and malt vinegar (well, that lust and guilt cycle).
Yes, there are ketchup chips. I'm not sure I've ever had the all dressed.
I like to sing the praises of Ontario-based
Brio. Not everyone shares my opinion. I find it's best at cooler
British Columbia has wineries.
Canada's cocktail is caesar
recipe and picture,
Canada makes rye whisky (whisky spelled that way, by the way). I've been to
the Crown Royal distillery in Gimli. I won't soon forget the smell of all
the barrels resting in a massive warehouse. There are the inevitable craft brews. Although I don't touch beer, spruce beer has me curious.
I'm not a friend of alcohol, and I can never really like wines.
What I did like was
this honey mead from Ontario (contrast that with the mead from
Australia, which I threw out).
This seaweed gin from Newfoundland got some buzz
company, and after getting it from a Newfoundland man I found the buzz was merited.
(I just bumped into a six-hour video grading all the
For programarama, we could have three or four Simpsons episodes.
One chosen by the selector, one chosen by the group, one taken from an
Internet list, and one a remixed Treehouse of Horror.
So which three (four?) Treehouse of Horror bits should be used?
I like the clones one. There is the
Shining parody. The toaster time travel one is highly rated by fans.
The Satan/forced doughnuts
"The Devil And Homer Simpson"is famous. Clown Without Pity is the cursed purchase/killer clown
toy episode. I think I would put in the season 24 one where they have a black hole in their house.
(It turns out this is not Treehouse of Horror.)
And speaking of programarama, maybe it is best to chew on just one genre,
and take it from there. It would be more manageable, as
well as fun. I remind you that the principle is we get one episode per
show, although that's going to be violated.
One could have ten episodes
of spacey science fiction, including six Star Treks and Doctor Whos. I
would do one Space 1999 and one Farscape. There are other spacey sci fi
shows, most of which I have not seen, including Blake's 7, old and new
Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, Firefly, the weird Canadian-German Lexx,
and the respected show The Expanse. I almost forgot about
The Mandalorian! (which I've never seen!) The Dune miniseries is, alas,
And The Orville! (which I've not watched!)
As many as ten animated episodes, including a lump of Simpsons.
I like the idea of a small nonfiction "genre".
Episodes that more or less stand by themselves are preferred over
slices of bigger stories. Classic Doctor Who was multi-episode serial stories, while modern Doctor Who is more standalone episodes.
I get fiction ideas. Nothing will ever come of it.
I've been overflowing with ideas. Here are some buckets in which to put
1. Sleigh Trek. This is the big one recently. Sleigh Trek is just a
temporary placeholder name. This has the skeletal structure of Star Trek, including a traveling government spaceship
with a structured civilian crew in uniforms with a scientific agenda. However,
it moves in different directions than Star Trek, more peaceful and easygoing,
even fun, more realistic, not least
when it comes to biology, and it does not have the Star Trek brand.
2. Gopher. This is about
a group of people who provide intelligence to superheros for money.
I never could nail down a name for the group and the story. These
people live in the ordinary, real world, yet they also touch on the larger-than-life, different-rules world of superheros.
Did you know that Batman smokes cigarettes?
I can square the circle
here by avoiding the lack of realism as well as violence of superheros,
but I could still use the pixie dust of fantasy that they offer. (It
would use original characters, like Red Dart, not Batman).
This is hopelessly shallow yet wide at the same time. More than anything
else it's an excuse to have a line or two, maybe just a name, of yet
another exotic character, like the Jazz Monster. Gopher would be a grab
bag of people with different talents who somehow hold together and make
money. They gather intelligence in Canada, but pull in information from
elsewhere. It's not an intelligence
gathering organisation when you get down to it; it's more like a call
centre acting as a go-between, for example that lady whose sister has been
killed. It deals with superheros and supervillains, also some ghosts and
special criminals. Is this a secret organisation with regard to the public, superheros, supervillains and the police?
The whole thing is interesting but too ungainly and unworkable.
3. Celsius. Celsius is a tighter version of Gopher. It is one young man,
working as "Celsius" who gathers intelligence for superheros. His
feet-on-the-ground girlfriend acts as a foil. This is more focused
and manageable than Gopher.
I have mixed feelings about the name and
thermometer symbol. Are we doing anything with a temperature theme?
4. Stopwatch. Pocket watch is a nice symbol, Stopwatch is a better name.
The main character is placid, rounded Marvin Montre, who has a girlfriend. This
has a time theme. What can be done with a time theme? Oh, a bit of this
and that. Timekeeping devices. This is interesting and original, although
only so much juice can be squeezed out of the lemon.
Do superheros ride the bus?
I have a neutral attitude toward superheros.
The superhero movies, a 20-year run of films, have never attracted me.
I didn't read the comics. They're silly, unrealistic, and there is the
tricky matter of violence. When I was young, if anything I disliked comic books even more.
On the other hand this superhero business clearly has provided a lot of
entertainment to people, and I'm not going to criticize that. The
unrealistic nature of superheros provides the pixie dust of fantasy,
and the violence can make the story exciting.
And maybe I could get some entertainment here or there.
So it all works out to neutral.
I'm inclined to make themed characters.
People become jealous. I associate this with younger females, but it
could be anyone. I get jealous.
Jealousy is referred to as the green-eyed demon.
There could be a beautiful green gemstone.
.. and I don't know what to do with this.
Sam runs toward a person. However, it turns out to be a case of
"Sorry, I thought you were someone else. But you're just you."
Sam walks away from the random person.
They once had an experiment where they had a video of young people with
basketballs. Participants in the experiment were told to count the number of times players wearing white passed the ball.
So participants counted the number of times the ball was passed by
players in white. However, participants failed to notice the gorilla
that shluffed through the group, thumping its chest in the middle.
I watched The Departed, a Martin Scorsese film that more or less borrows its
plot from a 2002 Hong Kong film called Infernal Affairs.
This involved a group of criminals who have a spy in the police, while the
police have an undercover agent in the criminal gang.
So this belongs in the Games section, Fiction and Media.