Tasting The Macallan 1824 Series Scotch at #RaiseTheMacallan

March 19, 2014 Leave a comment
#RaiseTheMacallan Toronto Marc Laverdiere, Carly-Anne Fairlie, Dan Levy

Carly-Anne Fairlie & I saying goodbye to a man who educated us in the ways of The Macallan 1824, Marc Laverdiere.

On Wednesday, February 5 I was given the opportunity to taste the new creations from the brilliant minds over at The Macallan distillery in Scotland, their brand new 1824 Series. The series was named after the founding year of The Macallan distillery.

Wristband RaiseTheMacallan Toronto

When I got to #RaiseTheMacallan which was at the Shangri-La Hotel in downtown Toronto I was given a wristband to prove I was legit and, because I had run a bit late, I went straight into the tasting room as opposed to the cocktail time which had preceded the tasting session. (Wish I had made it for that! That’ll teach me to leave really super early when there’s a snowstorm!) I was riding solo because of the snowstorm so I was lucky that my friend Carly-Anne aka @carlyannedotcom was there to hang out with…because no one wants to drink, er taste, alone!

The Macallan Scotch Whisky Tasting was hosted by Marc Laverdiere, a Scotch Ambassador for The Macallan and a man who knows his whisky…interestingly enough though, he has a French accent!

Macallan 1824 Series Toronto Tasting #RaiseTheMacallan

When we sat down it was a very similar setup to the previous time at an event hosted by The Macallan, #MacallanTO. There are 4 new types of The Macallan in the 1824 Series. Going from lowest to highest price point they are: Gold, Amber, Sienna, and Ruby. They were, as expected, each delicious in their own ways but my favorite was the Sienna. It was also interesting how the folks over at The Macallan are now moving away from telling us ages of the single malt scotches and instead are referring to them by color.

1824 Series The Macallan in glasses

Because I am a helpful guy, I have included links to all of the 1824 Series listings on the LCBO’s website below along with the price as of March 19, 2014.

Happy “tasting”!

Have you tried the 1824 Series yet? If so, which was your favorite?

How To Save Your Facebook “A Look Back” Video

February 4, 2014 30 comments

Look Back Facebook

Today, Facebook celebrated 10 years of its existence and because of this august occasion they have decided to set up a program which compiles a personalized video which they call “A Look Back” and what others have been simply calling a “Lookback.” The Lookback shows you a highlight reel of your Facebook life. If you’d like to check it out you can go to Facebook.com/lookback. (Sidenote: In 4 days I will be celebrating 8 years on Facebook. Woah!)

The only problem with the video is, cool as it is, I don’t necessarily want to drive everyone to my Facebook page in order to see the video and I would like to be able to keep a copy for myself. Luckily, someone on the interwebs figured it out so I thought I would share it you, my readers. Below you’ll find my video uploaded onto YouTube and instructions for downloading your own video using Google Chrome.

(Note: The video it downloads is NOT the HD version just the 480p. If you know how to force it to grab the HD one let me know and I can add the info in here.)

And now, the instructions for how to do it for yourself!

  1. Open the link http://www.facebook.com/lookback
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+J to open the Console.
  3. Copy the whole code at http://textuploader.com/14qr and paste into the Console then press Enter.
  4. The Console dialog will gives you a link to the video for download.
  5. Right click the link and select “Save Link As” to download and save it.
  6. Do whatever you’d like with it! Upload it anywhere!
  7. Enjoy :)

In case you’re wondering, according to TIME Magazine Tech I have wasted this much of my life on Facebook assuming I have spent an average of 37 minutes per day on it since I joined. (An average person spends 17 minutes per day so I just increased it a lot.)

TIME How much time wasted on Facebook with 37min per day

Google+ Rolling Out Custom URLs To Users But Doing It Horribly

November 7, 2013 57 comments

Google Plus Logo

A few weeks back it was announced that Google+ was finally going to allow regular users to adopt Vanity URLs for their profiles and rid themselves of URLs like https://plus.google.com/105175761337711150993/posts (yes, that’s my real Google+ URL). Sounds great, right? Finally the common folk would be given on Google+ what most other modern social networks had from the outset, the ability to pick our own screen names and have a URL to link to which isn’t ridiculously unwieldy and next to impossible to remember.

All sounded fantastic until you went to the Google+ Help page and read their “Getting Started with Google+ Custom URLs” file. The second one reads:

“You’ll see the URL(s) you’ve been approved for. If you see more than one option, select the one you like best. You may also be asked to add a few numbers or letters to make the custom URL unique to you.”

So wait, I have to use the one Google approves for me? I can’t be Google.com/+TheDanLevy which is  my screenname on darn near every other social network I use? OK, well maybe they’ll lighten up some day and I’ll be able to change it, right? NOPE! Check out the sixth rule in the red box below

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Google Plus Vanity URL Rules

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“Once approved, this URL will be linked to your Google+ page or Profile, so be sure everything is exactly the way you want it. Once your URL has been approved, you can’t request to change it.”

I was feeling a bit pessimistic when I read that but friends who are way bigger Google+ users assured me, “You can request a different one if you have a valid reason” and “There is flexibility… You just have to request it…” so I decided to see what Google did when they finally got around to offering me a custom URL. Well, today that finally happened!

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Google Plus Vanity URL  Notification

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The notification appeared at the top of my Google+ profile page and I clicked the blue button excitedly. That excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I saw what Google was offering me as my Custom URL. Read more…

Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 & My #RogersSI Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

November 4, 2013 2 comments

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 in Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2

Since I got the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 as part of the Rogers Social Ambassadors group, aka #RogersSI, I’ve been wondering what is the best way for me to get some actual work done on this tablet. After I read Rannie’s review of the Microsoft keyboard I decided to dig out the Kensington Bluetooth keyboard, tablet case, and tablet stand to do just that.

Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 Keyboard on Lap

This post is actually this first thing I am writing on the keyboard while I lie on a bed and type up a storm with my keyboard detached from the case (it connects with magnets) and lying on my lap as the screen sits in front of me. The only downside I can see thus far is that the built-in virtual Samsung on-screen keyboard doesn’t know to automatically close when the external Bluetooth keyboard is connected. Luckily, I figured out that if I tell the Note 8.0 that I am going to use the Google Voice input it will give me the full screen with no keyboard.

Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 Magnets With Keyboard Removed

Using this external Bluetooth keyboard for the tablet increases my productivity a whole bunch. I still have to get used to the size of the keyboard as it is way smaller of a physical keyboard than I am used to. The portability of it is awesome though. If you have a tablet and plan on actually doing any writing on your tablet I highly recommend you grab a physical keyboard because it is an absolute game changer.

Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 Clips With Samsung Note 8.0 Plugged in

The only mild complaint I have with this keyboard is something which can also be seen as a huge plus: the tablet “clips” are 4 pieces of rubber which velcro onto the top of the stand. They do a great job holding the device – any device of a variety of sizes – but it is somewhat of a pain taking your tablet in and out of the clips. As I said, this isn’t a real complaint because this is one of the only ways they could have made this case into a universal case and keep the accessory useful for multiple devices as you continue to switch and upgrade from tablet to tablet over the long haul. One great thing about the clips, though, is that they leave plenty of room for the Galaxy Note 8.0′s S Pen to come in and out of the device, it mostly frees up the space for the speakers on the device, and every other port and button is fully and easily accessible.

 

One Simple Way The TTC Can Fix Signage: Visually Separating Yonge From University-Spadina

October 23, 2013 Leave a comment

TTC Map via TTC.ca

There is a whole bunch of news today about how the TTC has unveiled a pilot program of new signage which is supposed to make everything clearer and easier to understand because they’ll be using numbers as well as names for each of the subway and streetcar lines. What the folks at the TTC don’t seem to get is that people – especially those who aren’t from the city – is that the U shaped Yonge-University-Spadina Line is in of itself confusing to people. As I mentioned in a post in March of 2011 “Spotted: TTC Referring To Subway Lines By Color!” I think that this would end up making navigating the system way easier. Read more…

CONTEST: Win Tickets to Sander van Doorn at Dragonfly Nightclub in Niagara Falls

October 22, 2013 10 comments

Quick and dirty contest for my fans and lovers of electronic music. I was approached by the folks over at Fiction Productions to do a giveaway for a pair of tickets to the Sander van Doorn (SVD) show on Thursday, October 24 in Niagara Falls, Ontario at the beautiful and intimate Dragonfly Nightclub.

2013 Sander van Doorn at Dragonfly Niagara Falls poster

If you’ve never been to the Dragonfly it is a very nice club located inside the Fallsview Casino. The show is going to be super intimate because the place is pretty small and this is a pretty huge international DJ so if I were you I wouldn’t miss out on his set. In fact, SVD just got named Number 39 in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs for 2013 and you’re going to get to see him up close and personal.

Here is SVD’s most recent of his weekly radio shows also available directly here: https://soundcloud.com/sandervandoorn/sander-van-doorn-identity-203

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In case you don’t win, you can still grab your tickets at www.wantickets.com/sandervandoorndragonfly

You can also get yourself a hotel package at www.fictionproduction.com/packages

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HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST:

REMEMBER:  If you don’t follow the instructions on how to enter, you won’t have entered so read them carefully. (This line was originally only on the bottom of the post under Terms & Conditions but since people seem to have ignored it I am adding it here too.)

To enter the contest you MUST:

1. Like Fiction Productions on Facebook. Their page is at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fiction-Productions/628446607199857

2. Share this blog post. Share it on Twitter or Facebook (your call which but extra entry if you share it to both) and tell me the URL(s) of the post(s) in the comment section below. [NOTE: You can put both URLs in one comment. However, if you haven't set the posts to PUBLIC and I cannot see them they do not count as entries.]

Here’s an example of a tweet you can use:

Hey @TheDanLevy & @FictionPro send us to @Dragonfly_Club to see @SandervanDoorn! Contest deets @ http://bit.ly/1893Bwf

3. Tell me in the same comment as the one you’ve used for the URLs of your social media posts what your favorite Sander van Doorn track is (remixes of other artist’s music counts).

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

Contest is open from the time of this writing until 6pm Toronto time, October 23, 2013 at which point a winner will be chosen.

You are responsible for your own travel arrangements and accommodations (if necessary).

The winner will have 30 minutes to reply to their notification of winning which will be via the email you use with your comment. If you don’t reply, a new winner will be chosen. I don’t care how you reply as long as I receive the reply.

If you don’t follow the instructions on how to enter, you won’t have entered so read them carefully.

GOOD LUCK!!!

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED:

CONGRATULATIONS TO JENNA-LEE POLLARD ON HER WIN. HOPE SHE HAS A GREAT NIGHT!!!

My North York Public Library Card from the “Metropolitan Toronto” Days of the 1990s

October 22, 2013 2 comments

North York Public Library Card Metropolitan Toronto Front

This is my library card which I use every time I visit the Toronto Public Library to take out a book or 3.  It looks nothing like the current Toronto Public Library card and is from the early 1990s when North York was technically a city unto itself and a part of Metropolitan Toronto.  I am pretty sure this meant that I could use any library in Metropolitan Toronto but never really tried to because when Toronto amalgamated into the “megacity” and North York became fully a part of the city of Toronto it was 1997 and I was 15-16 years old. Still, I have kept this library card because Read more…

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