Welcome to JTC Inc.

Chaps: because if they had an ass, they'd just be called pants.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The JTC Shit Pubs In Toronto

After the overwhelming response to our Top 10 Pubs in Toronto list, we decided that in true JTC-fashion, it was time to stop being so damn positive and upbeat, and talk about the pubs in Toronto that we think suck pretty hard core.

So, here - in no particular order - are some pubs that we think are pretty shit:

1. The Unicorn
"An Irish Rovers Free House" indeed. The thing that pains me about this one, is that the Unicorn used to be a decent pub. We've been there tons of times, and have made quite a few stops in here on pub crawls. Shit - I used to live on the same block at this place! But over the years, something happened...the food and the service both became shit. I think I realized I had no desire to ever go back there, when one time I spent about 45 minutes just trying to pay and leave. Also, this place can really take crap live music to new depths of suckitude, especially after you hear "Mustang Sally" for the fifth time.

2. Sensual Lounge

The name? Crap. The place? Crapper. It does deserve a hat tip as being the place where we came up with the oft-referenced "Breast Milk White Russian" (give a lactating woman a shit-load of Kahlua and voila!), but major points are lost for taking no interest in serving us, not being able to give us beer, and for the high likelihood of being shot.

3. Bier Markt
Ugh. Wait in line forever. Join the mosh pit of suits at the bar. Pay $9 for a beer to impress your friends ("It's from Kazakstan!"). Gun. To. Head.

4. The Brunswick House

This was Co-Co's addition...I don't really have much of an issue with this place. I remember going there when I was 19 (and younger), and singing along to "Roll Out The Barrel Of Fun". But I trust Co-Co - it's obviously a shithole.

5. The Drake
You know...the problem with being better than everyone else is that sometimes people think you're pretentious.

Aaaaand, a couple other quick places we want to mention:

First off, Allen's. You know...this one really pains me. I'm extremely conflicted. I like the place, and the patio is terrific. The food is good, and they have a great beer and scotch selection. Buuuuuut...the service is just shit. One time when I was there, I ordered another beer. After about 20 minutes of waiting, I then asked the same waiter for the bill, which he brought me after another 20 minutes. No acknowledgement of the beer order was made. More recently, I went there at 3:30pm on a Monday, and was told that there was no room for me on the patio...unless I was ordering food. Fuck off. I can't bring myself to ban this place outright, but it's officially on probation.

Next, let's talk about the establishment that the JTC Board has designated as "Most Anticipated" - Commuter's Lounge. We've never been there, but buried in the basement of the transit hub that is Union Station sits what can only be described as one of the scariest looking establishments we've ever set eyes on. Last year, before an evening event at the convention centre, I told my friends that we'd meet here. Hilariously, when I showed up, everyone was nervously standing outside, and I was greeted with, "Are we seriously going in there?" Hilarious. We didn't, and not a day goes by that I don't regret that choice.

Finally, as previously mentioned and never discussed since, I recently completed the Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid. In honour of this impressive waste of time, the JTC Board has unanimously voted to enjoy a "Post-Ironman Pub Crawl" in late August (you can bet your sweet ass we won't be visiting any of the places listed above...apart from Commuter's Lounge). Given my recent lack of alcohol consumption, leaving me with the tolerance of a malnourished 8 year old asian girl, we will soon get to find out the answer to the below vexing equation:

Even with two buttons to choose from, there was a 100% chance of him screwing it up

This one is pretty much real-time reporting kids, enjoy.

Just minutes ago, I was walking back from a meeting in a building next to my office with a colleague of mine who is far less intelligent than me. Ok, I’ll narrow it down a little more – he’s far less intelligent than my hot feces.

That was mean. Sorry hot feces, I take that back - you’re way smarter than him.

So the Mensa convention begins with him chatting uncontrollably about his upcoming vacation during our walk back to our building. I try to interject to stop the onslaught of audible diarrhea that I couldn’t possibly care less about, but the look in his eyes tell me both that his brain is a vacuum, and that this story is going to go on for a while.

We arrive at the ground floor of the elevator to our building to go up to our floor, and he erroneously hits the “down” button. This wasn’t a hand-eye coordination issue – it’s not like he was looking away and missed. He had a choice of two one-inch diameter round buttons, one on top of the other, and he was looking directly at it when he hit the one on the bottom. Granted, they aren’t labeled “up” and “down”, but I think they ruled out the necessity for labeling when they had this guy accurately work the buttons during prototyping:

Immediately after seeing him press the wrong button, I start trying to cut off the continuing saga of his hotly anticipated vacation with warnings that he’s pressed the wrong button, in order to allow him the opportunity to correct the error as opposed to my pressing the correct button for him, which might make him feel a little like I’ve pulled up his pants.

However, after refusing to be interrupted at the height of his excitement in hearing himself talk, it appears he might as well not be wearing pants. I press the “up” button as time is starting to burn and I’ve got people to do - and he doesn’t even notice.

As his previously called “down” elevator comes in it’s proper priority order, he begins to board. Flabbergasted, I begin to exercise emergency conversation-interrupting techniques, such as shouting his name and sending out visible hand signal warnings. Something like “Bob… BOB! Dude! You’re getting on the wrong elevator…” *waving hands in the "don't do it" motion, which looks like jazz hands, but with a concerned instead of happy face*.

I then immediately felt like I might have layed on the verbal warnings a little thick and a little loud, realizing that if I just don’t board, surely he’ll get the message and get off and perhaps my yelling wasn’t necessary.

Oh, people, it was necessary. My verbal warnings went unheeded and unheard over his continuing one-way dialogue. The elevator door closed, and to my astonishment, he went on his downward journey without me. How he continued to tell his story while the elevator door closed between us is something science can't explain. I shook my head and boarded my upward elevator which arrived shortly after his departure.

I wonder if this fucking tool understood what I was yelling about as he instructed his elevator car to double-back from the basement.

I’m still not sure how this guy makes it to our office every day.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday is a Great Day to Go Fishing

As previously discussed in this space, surging energy costs are a terrifying reality. It really shouldn't be too long now until we live in a post-apocalyptic world filled with anti-semetic Australians and their dogs.

Recently, a glimmer of hope came into my inbox, courtesy of the Toronto Star. Curiously, this is the same publication that pointed out that despite the fact I don't drive my car much at all, my life will also soon be ruined by high oil prices. Anyway, the Star is giving away $1000 in free gas weekly over the course of the summer, which is going to be great for all of us who envision ourselves more as the 'warlords', and less as the 'peons' in our doomsday future.

But then, after re-reading The Star article, I thought about the people who perhaps were struggling to make ends meet...those who perhaps don't want gas, but would be more interested in, say, $1000 in free ball point pens. I immediately jumped to action:

Subject: Saturday Star Gas Giveaway Contest

Hi there,

I recently received an e-mail promoting the "Saturday Star Gas Giveaway Contest", where lucky subscribers have the chance to win $1000 in free gas. I think this is a great contest, but I was wondering if you would consider modifying the prize. As per recent reports in numerous media outlets, including the Toronto Star (
http://www.thestar.com/article/455107), the high price of oil is affecting the cost of many consumer products. As I rarely drive my car (I'm extremely fond of the TTC), I was hoping that instead of $1000 in free gas, you would consider perhaps offering $1000 worth of some of the consumer products listed in your article which are being impacted by skyrocketing prices. Say, $1000 of ball point pens? Or of driveway sealer? Maybe a combination of these items (nylons, mops, garbage bags, etc.) which adds up to being worth $1000?

Please let me know your thoughts.


I'll let you know when I hear back.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WTF Volume 6: T in the Park

The company sent me into the field to report yet again, this time to the Scottish music festival T in the Park. Camping in the rural fields of Scotland would itself be a delightful trip, but couple that experience with 80,000 rabid, drugged up Scottish music fans and you’ve got yourself a hell of a weekend. Unfortunately, having been so busy polluting my own body, I didn’t have time to send a postcard and hence am just reporting now. So, in classic WTF fashion, here’s a rundown of some of the highlights:


WTF Factor: Gagging

15% alcohol + more caffeine than several cans of red bull + tastes like Red Wine's dirty cousin + cheap as chips = best seller among Neds and generally the entire Scottish concert-going population.

Throwing pints over the crowd

WTF Factor: Closing eyes and sighing

It’s not only that these assholes toss their full pint in the air to spray down on people's heads, it’s the fact that they paid around eight bucks Canadian a pint to do so.

Throwing pints of urine over the crowd

WTF Factor: Closing eyes and crying

Seriously, sometimes it wasn’t beer. Fucking animals.

Peeing anywhere

WTF Factor: Smirk

Most were mannered enough to do it at the fences, however one dude just took it out and pissed in the crowd at center stage. I felt like I was in a herd of cows.


Women peeing anywhere

WTF Factor: Disturbing eroticism

It might be a little sexist, but I somehow find this more shocking, mostly due to the complexities created by obvious anotomical differences. There were two levels here; “Classy”: using a P-mate (holy shit I could write en entire article on this instructional page alone), or “Ultra-Classy”: squatting in the open, with your creamed clam exposed.

Dying at the concert

WTF Factor: silently mouthing *wow*

I mean, it was the time of my life, but getting stabbed 11 times, isn’t going to get you fame. Just have a campfire, get wasted and go to bed like the rest of us.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Surging energy costs to break household budgets: A JTC panel discussion

As the Toronto Star points out, although the price of oil is predominantly felt at the pumps, the quick and continuous rise of oil prices will most certainly bring about a Mad Max-esque society of rioting consumers fighting to survive. The article plays out cost scenarios for a variety of common household items likely to be affected by the wide-ranging effects of high energy costs. With this important topic deserving of some analysis, two of your directors, JohnnyM and Coco The Monkey, sat down to discuss the end of the world.

JohnnyM: How's tricks, Coco? What do you make of this awful situation and brilliant article?

Coco The Monkey: The article lists a range of common household items that are petroleum-based and will rise with the cost of the barrel, or will increase in cost due to links to oil prices through distribution or manufacturing. Frankly, I'm a little worried about the unavoidable nylon-toothpaste-pillow-mop-ice-cube-tray-trash-bag-ballpoint-pen-based riots.

Johnny: Did you say ice-cube trays? Holy shit! I go through like 10 ice-cube trays a week! (straps on riot gear)

Coco: I used to buy $0.99 ice cube trays and then get about 20 years of use out of them. Thanks to the price of oil, my ice-cube tray costs could possibly double, putting me out another dollar every 20 years. Not sure how I’m going to afford that. And don’t even get me started on mops. I don’t think I’ve heard of a more high frequency, matter-of-life-or-death purchase. We’re fucking doomed.

Johnny: The people I feel for are the bank robbers who rely on putting nylons on their face to conceal their identity. You need money, so you’re going to rob a bank; can’t rob a bank, because you don’t have enough money for nylons. It’s a fucking no win situation.

Coco: Fuck nylons, what about mailing letters? No, not email - you know, the kind where you get out a quill and ink, grab a piece of parchment and send a message as a value alternative to the pricey telegraph? These days, I’m sending like one or maybe even two of those each year! If Canada Post goes ahead, as the article describes, and raises the price of a single stamp from 52 to 54 cents, and by two more cents each year in each of 2010 and 2011, my annual mailing costs are going to skyrocket from just over a dollar, to somewhere in the neighbourhood of a little bit more than just over a dollar. It’s absolutely frightening.

Johnny: All of this is so scary to talk about, but someone has to talk about it – it’s too important not to.

Coco: No shit. For another gasp, take a look at the article's example of driveway sealer costs - a possible 37% increase! That means my favorite, airport-grade brand could go from the affordable price of $27.49, to a sorry-kids-you’re-not-going-to-college price of $37.66!

Johnny: This driveway sealing thing has me really concerned. While I’ve never bought driveway sealer in my life – and don’t actually have a driveway – I feel certain that there are some cracks requiring petroleum-derived sealers SOMEWHERE in my house.

Coco: What a disaster.

Johnny: I feel sick, and I’d love to take a nap to try to get rid of this pounding headache I’ve developed. Unfortunately, I throw away my pillows after each use, and due to the SOARING COST OF PILLOWS, I’m completely screwed.

Coco: I could cry, but I'm worried my tears might be petroleum-based, and if so, I can't afford to.

Johnny: The only saving grace in all of this is that I feel protected from the recent sharp increase in the cost of ballpoint pens. I steal a box of those a week from work, so it’s all good. Maybe I can sell those pens on the sure-to-be red hot ballpoint pen black market to buy my pillows, stamps, driveway sealer, nylons and ice cube trays.

Coco: Exactly - if there is anything to learn from this article and it's rational doomsday forecast, its that it will be important for all citizens to start clearing out the canned food and making space in their bomb shelters for the necessary ballpoint pens, mops, and tar-based sealers that will soon be bartered in these underground markets. This will save the average citizen from having to go to the seedy, mob-run house and office supply gangs for their needs. If we don't start hoarding now, well be at the mercy of the cartels flying Bics and Swiffers in from Colombia.

Johnny: Horrifying.

Coco: No shit! However, what really concerns me, and is not mentioned in the article, is the inevitably prohibitive cost of the most critical of petroleum-based products - petroleum jelly. That's right, no longer will the average working class labourer be able to afford the luxury of a generous daily coating of Vaseline. Just imagine the impacts to productivity when our working men and women arrive on the job chapped and chaffing, and having had to bare-back their masturbatory sessions. Oh, the humanity.

Well, that's all the time we have today. I'd like to thank our panel members, us. Your panel will return next week when we discuss investment strategies for the new century, with specific focus on the effects of rising sea levels on the price of coconuts.

Did I read that right? Dammit! I fucking love coconuts.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The JTC Top Ten Pubs in Toronto

We here at JTC recently realized that we love pubs, we spend a lot of time in pubs, and we support a lot of pubs financially, and yet we never seem to write much about pubs. Realizing this egregious error, we sprang into action, ran to a pub, and quickly put together the earth-shattering:

JTC Top Ten Pubs in Toronto!

Here they are, in no particular order (except I put the best one first):

1. The Only Cafe
General comments: Hands down the best pub in Toronto. Coincidentally, about a 5 minute walk from my front door.
Place in JTC History: The start of "Remembrance Day Pub Crawl I: The Forward Danforth". Curiously, also the starting point for the more recent "Reverse Danforth", which Co-Co was pretty horny for.

2. The Rebel House
General comments: Quite tiny, but one hell of a pub - great food and a good beer selection
Place in JTC History: Visited during "Descent into Madness '07". Co-Co was ridiculed here for his directional idiocy, in making us change directions during a pub crawl.

3. The Dora Keogh
General comments: Fuller's London Porter ON TAP? Fuck and yes.
Place in JTC History: The ending point for "Remembrance Day Pub Crawl I: The Forward Danforth". Notable for the fact that I couldn't feel my hands and was having trouble seeing at that point. Wouldn't Mom be proud.

4. The Fox and Firkin*
General comments: The first of our entries that requires an asterisk, meaning that explanation is required: we wouldn't REALLY recommend this pub anymore, but felt compelled to include it because...
Place in JTC History: Not only did we hit this pub on about 8 different "Descent into Madness" and 4 "Roaring Bender" pub crawls, but it was the birth place of our hit sitcom - "Human Style" (still in development).

5. The Auld Spot
General comments: A Scottish pub? On the Danforth? And they have Mill Street Tankhouse on tap? Check, check and check.
Place in JTC History: Hit on all Danforth pub crawls (both forward and reverse), and the site of a damn fine St. Paddy's Day if memory serves.

6. Scotland Yard
General comments: Probably the only real pub on The Esplanade, and the least pretentious place near the centre of the universe that is King and Bay. Currently losing points for removing one Golden Tee machine, and taking Tankhouse off the taps because, "people don't drink dark beers in the summer". What. The. Fuck.
Place in JTC History: Current site of the JTC weekly after-work meeting, and where we wrote this exquisite list you're currently enjoying.

7. The Granite Brewery
General comments: A damn fine micro-brewery. Coincidentally, less than a 5 minute walk from my old apartment.
Place in JTC History: The start of many a "Descent into Madness" pub crawl

8. The Rose and Crown*
General comments: Deserving of the asterisk because it...uh...is shut down. Interestingly, the web site is still active.
Place in JTC History: Hit on numerous pub crawls (noting a pattern here?), and also one of the places that I lost the JTC notebook.

9. The Irish Embassy*
General comments: Keeping good diplomatic relations with the Irish is very important to us. But despite that fact, this place gets an asterisk because it's kind of annoying going there and finding all tables reserved, and a mosh pit of suits around the bar, however...
Place in JTC History: Original site of the weekly after-work "JTC Operational Metrics Meeting". In fact, the recurring invitation on my calendar still reads "The Embassy" as the location.

10. Well, we don't actually have a 10th, because we decided that there weren't ten pubs in Toronto that deserved a place on this list - that's how discerning we are. Of course, if you have a suggestion, feel free to add it to the comments.