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Of food, technology, movies, music, and travel—or whatever else strikes my fancy

Bosch, Poker Face, Fleishman, and more: Tips and recommendations

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I’ve gathered up some bits of wisdom of late that I’d like to share.

First up, how to…

…Figure out what streaming service a particular show is on

Netflix, Apple TV, Disney+, Prime, Crave, Tubi, CBC Gem… It’s nuts. So many services! I don’t subscribe to them all, but enough to make it hard to remember what’s where.

JustWatch Watchlist page

It’s even more confusing for Canadians, since US media will tell us a show is on a service we don’t have in this country (Hulu, Peacock, HBO+)—but that doesn’t always mean we can’t get it on a service we do have. Even more confusing, just because it’s on an American version of a service we have (like Netflix or Prime) doesn’t mean it’s also on the Canadian one. Could be on some other service entirely here.

This is why I love the JustWatch app. You select the streaming services you have access to and it serves up what’s on each. You can set up a Watchlist of every TV show or movie you’re currently watching, or plan to watch, and have one-page look of everything you’re currently caring about. You can mark off episodes or movies as you watch them. It will notify you when new episodes or a new season become available. And it has a pretty good recommendation engine if you need more to watch.

Of course, you can also use it to look up some show you’ve heard about, to find out if it is available to you at all, and if so, where.

…Watch Poker Face

Solid as I generally find the JustWatch app to be, one thing it doesn’t quite get is conventional cable. Particularly when it behaves unconventionally.

Poker Face is a procedural created by Rian Johnson (of Knives Out fame), starring Natasha Lyon. The premise is that her character, Charlie, can always tell when someone is lying. She uses this power to solve murders.

The JustWatch app informs me that this program is not available to me, but I’ve watched three episodes so far, with the use of torrents. It’s available on cable—but only through On Demand. Best I can tell, City TV owns the rights to this thing in Canada, but they’ve never broadcast it. You can just get it… on demand.

It’s pretty good so far.

…Rent movies for free

There is the library, for one. (Who also have a streaming service, by the way—Kanopy, for my library. Hoopla, for some other libraries.) But that’s more for older, more arty movies.

For more current stuff, you can use your Scene+ points to rent movies on Cineplex.com. I realize this would not be news to anyone whose had a Scene+ Visa card lo these many years. But if not, like me, you might not have realized that you really don’t need that many of those points to make a good dent in that rental price, down to it costing you nothing. And now that Sobey’s give Scene+ points, and with groceries being so expensive… I’ve seen all this points!

  • Top Gun: Maverick—Yeah, I know it was made to be seen on the big screen. We still enjoyed it on the TV. This was our New Year’s Eve watch.
  • Call Jane—About the Jane Collective in the late 1960s, who helped women access safe abortions when it was illegal to do so. Good thing those days are gone, eh? (Sigh.)
  • She Said—Really interesting look at the work behind the New York Times effort to break the Harvey Weinstein story.

…Access New York Times recipes for free

The New York Times does some good work—as in the above. It can also be pretty problematic, as in Hillary’s emails, COVID minimization, and trans rights.

The Cooking section is good, though, but to have access to all recipes, you need to subscribe. Which I do—small amount of money. But, if you do not want to, note that my subscription allows me to share 10 recipes a month.

Like this one:

Sheet-Pan Chicken and Potatoes with Feta, Lemon and Dill

So good! Crispy chicken, crispy potatoes. And not difficult. Says it’s four servings, but I’d say it’s more like for two.

…Score a Bosch dishwasher

After the cooking comes the cleaning, and while our current Bosch still works, it is getting aged and occasionally cranky, so we thought it might be wise to start the process of replacing it before it up and died. Particularly as supply chain issues continue to often mean delays between ordering and actually getting a new Bosch dishwasher. And as Bosch dishwashers continue to be the most highly recommended models, most places you look.

Our first attempted order, through Home Depot, resulted in a series of phone calls from them with new expected delivery dates, til four months went by without any apparent progress. “Out of stock”, said the Home Depot website. “Sorry”, said the Bosch website. “Supply chain issues.” We finally cancelled the order.

So I settled in for what I thought might be a long process of trying to figure out some other model of dishwasher that might do. Only to find that my first Google search turned up a “Bosch dishwashers: In stock” link from… Costco.

We’ve never had a Costco membership. Never particularly wanted one, despite other people seeming rather thrilled with the place. It always seemed very crowded and moderately cult-like, to us,

But, we did want a Bosch dishwasher.

So now we are the proud owners of Costco membership card, and they did indeed come through with a delivered Bosch dishwasher less a week later.

Recommendations

The next bit I couldn’t put into “tip” format; these are just some things I enjoyed, and thought some of you might, too.

In music: Adam Lambert’s High Drama

A number of people have made a point to tell that after watching the Netflix special The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story, they came away very impressed by Mr. Lambert. For some, it was a real 180 in their opinion.

If this sounds like you, well, you might enjoy Adam Lambert’s new album of covers, High Drama. The songs you know (and a few you don’t), reinterpreted.

In books: Canadian bios, of a sort

  • Son of Elsewhere by Elamin Abdelmahmoud, rides on this man’s beautiful, soaring prose as he tells his story of being a Black, conservative Sudanese immigrant to the very white city of Kingston, Ontario.
  • Run Towards the Danger by Sarah Polley is a series of essays from her extraordinary life, focusing on times where—with reason!—she felt under threat.

In movies (again): Speaking of Sarah Polley…

We actually went out to the cinema to see Women Talking on the big screen. It was a very excellent “act of female imagination”.

And a great Oscar speech

And one more TV show

Fleishman is in Trouble, available on Disney+ (at least in Canada), initially appears it’s going to be another man-focused show, where the women are the side characters, and the villains. But as it goes, it questions that, and gives you another view, and I really don’t want to spoil anything, but in the end, I found it really excellent, when I wasn’t so sure at the start. Great cast of Jesse Eisenberg, Claire Danes, Lizzy Caplan, and Adam Brody.

Podcasts!

Keeping up with these, man. A challenge. I’ll just mention two.

  • The new season of Commons, by Canadaland, on Monopolies, was really interesting. (Have also caught the Commons documentary series Thunder Bay, on Crave, which is… Quite something. Hoo, boy.)
  • If Books Could Kill unveiling the inaccuracies and lack of evidence behind the arguments in popular books like Freakonomics, Outliers, and The New York Times coverage of trans issues. I don’t listen to all episodes (because I haven’t heard of all these books), but these ones have been both illuminating and entertaining.

Restaurants!

OK, I’m nearly done. Thank you for scrolling so far down.

We recently went to Babylon Sisters again, first time eating indoors there (on a very quiet Wednesday night), and we really enjoyed the food, wine, and service. They are no longer using Little Mushroom Catering, but have hired their own chef, who did a fine job on items like burrata, ceviche, and marinated olives. No photos; sorry!

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