Doritos Heatwave

First saw this at my local 7-11, but bought it at my Sobeys.

I’m normally not a big fan of spicy chips, my spice tolerance is pretty low. That said, I wasn’t sure what ‘heat’ really meant so I gave it a try at work. The first part of the chip was a nice sweet BBQ, it was very enjoyable. It takes around 5-10 seconds before the chip turns on you and becomes slightly spicy. I was able to tolerate this amount, so it wouldn’t be considered as a spicy chip to many.

Birthday Cake Froot Loops & Maple Cheerios

I found both of these at my local Sobeys, they are both released to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

I tried both of these for breakfast on Saturday.

Birthday Cake Froot Loops

Honestly, I couldn’t taste whatever the birthday cake flavour was. I think I smell a bit of raspberry, but certainly not like any birthday cake I’ve had.

Maple Cheerios

This one would have to be my winner out of the two. The best way to describe this would be Honey Nut Cheerios, but with maple syrup. It still doesn’t beat out the Honey Nut ones.

Firework Oreos

Looks like I missed my May 1 post.

Purchased from Sobeys in Waterloo, ON.

I think this is one of the lucky times that Canada gets an Oreo flavour before the Americans. The taste is basically a regular black and white Oreo, but with pop rocks inside the filling. The first one I ate was eaten like a regular Oreo and no desired effect was felt. The second one, however, I left to melt in my mouth and it created the desired popping effect.

It’s a gimmick flavour for sure, it’s a welcome addition to the regular cookie but not one to weird out on.

Weird Passion Flakies and chip of the year?

Weird Passion Flakies

My blogging routine is lacking, but once a month still counts right?

I came across new ‘Limited Edition’ Passion Flakies during a routine grocery trip and obviously had to try them. Apple-Cinnamon and Pumpkin Spice.

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I normally think if pies when I think of these flavours and having them as flaked pastry just doesn’t work for me. I’m not a huge fan of anything pumpkin flavoured and knew it immediately as I took my first bite. The apple-cinnamon was only slightly better, but it seems to taste more artificial than it should be.

Chip of the year?

I thought the Chalet Sauce chips earlier this year couldn’t be toppled. I was wrong. After having my parcels delivered to the wrong post office again, I stumbled into the Valu-Mart and noticed a few new flavours of their World of Flavours chips: Thai Curry and Turkey Stuffing.

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Naturally, I bought them. I don’t think I’ve ever had Thai Curry in its non-chip form before but this chip is surprisingly good. It has a very small hint of curry mixed in with a refreshing lime-like taste. It was well liked at work too.

The Turkey Stuffing one was okay. I won’t complain about the accuracy like I do with other chip brands, President’s Choice seem to know how to do it right. I just don’t think it works well as a chip.

Boardgames

I’ve played a handful of new (to me) boardgames in the past month and I’ll go through them all in the next post.

Boardgames: Floating Market & Imhotep

It’s been a while since we’ve played new games on our Thursday nights. So us playing two new games was exciting.

Floating Market

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Floating Market was a recommended game when I was looking around for a game similar to Manila and Camel Up.

The game plays heavily on random chance with a huge roll of various dice at the end of each round. It takes the gambling aspect of both Manila and Camel Up and turns it up to 11. Each round, everyone contributes one of their dice to the big roll and place one of their people on various spots on the board. Spots can either earn them fruits (you need 5 of 7 to win), coins (which you can purchase fruits directly with), give a player special abilities to earn fruit/coin or effect the outcome of the roll. There are 7 boats that can earn fruit, each boat has a range of values which coincide with the roll.

The roll is statistically insane, there are D4, D6, D10 (values 0-9), D12, and negative D6. Players choose which one they want to contribute in a round and do not get back their dice after the round. Potentially, in a 5 player game, there could be 9 dice being rolled at the end of the round.

I like the game, the random chance makes it interesting and the general strategy is to not depend on it to earn fruits.

Imhotep

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Imhotep was one of the runner ups to the Spiel de Jahres 2016, losing out to Codenames.

In this game, you are building structures with your blocks. You have four options during your turn: collect blocks, place block, sail ship, or play an action card. That makes it a bit tricky to plan your moves because you can’t (normally) place a block and sail a ship to the site you want. You’re effectively planning for the worst outcome and possibly a bit of backstabbing.

The 5 sites are:

  • Market – earn cards that could give you points immediately or end of game, add blocks to various other sites, or give you an action card
  • Pyramids – literally build a 14 block pyramid with blocks, with certain block positions which are worth a few more points than others
  • Temple – earn points per round based on which block is visible from the top
  • Burial Chamber – earn points at the end of game based on how well your blocks are grouped
  • Obelisks – earn points at the end of game based on the height of your tower

The game is simple to pick up, there isn’t any information hidden from other players so it takes a little bit of deep thinking to come up with an optimized strategy to maximize point output.

 

Lay’s World Favourites & Swiss Chalet

Just for completion sake, the 3 flavours from the World Favourite’s contest:Thailand (Thai Sweet Chili), United Kingdom (Cheese & Onion), and Canada (Bacon Poutine). I thought I had a picture of them but I can’t find it.

Thai Sweet Chili was interesting, it was not overly spicy and had a bit of sweetness to it. Personally I’ve never eaten any Thai food so I don’t know how to really compare it.

Cheese & Onion was probably the best flavour out of the 3, it tastes like exactly what it was advertising.

As always, I am disappointed by the poutine flavouring, nobody ever gets it right, not even the king of chip seasoning Ruffles. Bacon Poutine had a taste but it definitely wasn’t bacon poutine. Is bacon poutine really quintessentially the Canadian flavour? Poutine by itself is our national dish, no need to add bacon to it.

A few weeks later, Lays decided to release something that would have been a much better presentation of Canada.

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A Swiss Chalet exclusive (until November 1 2016), I am thankful that my sister tipped me off about these when these were released because they sold out quickly. It tastes almost exactly like the sauce, at least how I remember it. A bit of savoury mixed with a small amount of sweet in a chip, it’s almost perfect. I don’t know how else to describe it but this is hands down the best of the new flavours Lays has released in years.

Lay’s Passport to Flavor

I picked up the 4 new Lay’s flavors on my annual trip down to Columbus which coincides with the release of the new chips.

Chinese Szechuan Chicken, Indian Tikka Masala, Brazilian Picanha, Greek Tzatziki

Greek Tzatziki

In Canada, we had the tzatziki flavour before in a kettle cooked chip, so the taste was not new. However, with the wavy chips, something changed. It actually works a bit better as a wavy chip than a kettle chip.

Brazilian Picanha

Ruffles has a steak flavoured chip available here and I wasn’t able to pinpoint what it was supposed to taste like. Ruffles usually gets the flavour right, especially since they specialize in wavy chips and can load the ridges with flavour. But for the steak flavour they had, I just wasn’t tasting it. The same goes for the Brazilian Picanha chips.

Indian Tikka Masala

I don’t think I’ve ever tried the real thing. Indian food is known for its use of spices and this one was no different. It was an interesting taste, a lot stronger than what I had anticipated. Out of the 4, this one is the most flavorful chip.

Chinese Szechuan Chicken

Another chip where I haven’t tried the real thing to compare to. There was a bit of a kick to this chip, which is always welcome but I’m not a fan of spicy.

 

The next post will be the Canadian World of Flavours chips, and a bonus flavour that came out this week that should have been the Canadian flavour.

10 Years in Waterloo

(I’ll get back to the food stuffs shortly, I have the Lay’s world flavours of chips coming up)

Our house, as seen in 2007
Our apartment, as seen in March 2007

September 2 2006

The day I moved out of my parents house and started my undergrad at the University of Waterloo. I remember it was rainy to start the day, not heavy rain, just enough to make us quickly bring the stuff in from the van to our apartment. Felix had moved in early in the morning, Brian and I came around the lunch hour. Kim, our landlord’s preferred handyman was busy making last minute changes to the house.

We hadn’t decided which room we would be occupying, so we drew lots. I got the biggest room and one of the most problematic ones in years to come. And we settled in, computers were the first thing we unpacked, we had no real Internet access since our modem was scheduled to be delivered on September 5th. Dial up was still an option for us and we connected to see where we were supposed to meet for our frosh week activities.

After our first dinner in the house, we decided to walk around the city. Details are a bit fuzzy, but I vaguely remember us walking all the way to Chapters at King/Weber to pick up a map of Kitchener-Waterloo. We proceeded to walk to UW campus along University Ave and down Westmount and make a big circle home. Walking along Erb St, Felix noticed a bookshelf that he picked up the next day. It started raining as we approached Caroline and Bridgeport. By the time we reached the Sobeys at the Bridgeport Plaza we were soaking wet and wasn’t sure whether to walk north or south. Luckily, I remembered the Shoppers Drug Mart was south of our house and spotted it in the distance.

10 years.

10 years in Waterloo.

10 years of countless memories and life changing events.

Holy grail of USB OTG adapters

I’ve been looking for the smallest USB OTG cable that could fit into my bag. Why do I need USB OTG where I go? It’s a complicated story, but my passwords are split across 3 things:

  1. Prefix password: Something that I type that’s in my head, as passwordy as you should have a normal password.
  2. Yubikey padding, I carry around 4 Yubikeys with me everywhere I go and they have passphrases that I use to log into various servers.
  3. Domain suffix, just something to keep passwords different if 1 and 2 happen to be the same.

So, for the most part, a lot of apps now use app codes that let you log in with a much simpler password that you can generate from a valid session. However, not all services allow that. Google allows people to generate app specific passwords if they need to set up 3rd party mail clients, but connecting a new phone requires the Google password.

So that’s why I carry one around — for emergencies. I’ve used many OTG cable/adapters in the past, my first one was a cable that only worked with my Yubikeys half the time, might be a loose connection or something.

The second one that I found is actually the smallest USB OTG adapter in the world. Just one slight problem:

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There’s no way to physical attach the Yubikey to it without holding it against it and hoping the contacts touch. So the hunt continued until today, when the holy grail of USB adapters arrived.

I bought two and took off the plastic shell on one of them:

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The metal casing around the Micro USB head comes off, they probably realized the plastic shell is keeping it connected and didn’t need to spend time on it.

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