Tuesday, 27 November 2012

I've finally made it!

Big news everyone! I've finally made it as a creative writer! No I didn't win any awards. No, I didn't get any recognition from agencies or make an ad go viral. What happened is I'm officially listed in Broadcaster Magazine.

Boom, right there! For everyone to see!

What's that? You've never heard of Broadcaster Magazine, you can't find my name, and that looks like a page of gobbledegook? Well check this out!

Yup, that's me, in bold 5.5 size font. They even spelled it right.

In case you can't already tell, I'm pretty much the only person jacked about this. Broadcaster is little publication that delivers to a niche-market of media places in Canada. So chances are you're never going to see it unless you work at a station or go to media school; and that's if you're inclined to read it all.

Pretty much I just get really excited to see my name in print. This is why my favourite shirt is in fact one that has my name on it and nothing else. I fully admit it's a little weird.

So let everyone know, Jake Hammell is officially in the Broadcaster Magazine 2012 fall buyers' guide issue. It's a big deal. There's only several thousand other names in it! 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Sucker for Packaging

Here's something some of you may not know about me: I'm a total sucker for clever or interesting product packaging. For example last week I made my decision on what coffee beans to buy based on how bad-ass the product name was. I settled for "Rocket Fuel."

Once again on Sunday I was sucked by packaging. I was in a new wine store in Edmonton (shout out to Wine and Beyond, check it out) and since there was a pile of wine and beer I'd never heard of I figured I'd try something new. Well, lo and behold there was an entire wall of these on sale for $20 a can

I walked by it at first, but no matter what I did I kept coming back to the Wall of Weifbier. Finally I gave up and grabbed a can. I couldn't resist the lure of the 5 litre mini-keg! In case you can't tell how big it is, here's me posing with my find:

I told myself I'd save it for a weekend of partying, since 5 litres is about 15 cans of beer, and split it with someone. But last night I couldn't keep from playing with it. I really really wanted to crack this thing open.

And I did! It's pretty good, it's a wheat beer that tastes almost identical to Hoegaarden, one of the most popular European style wheat beers in North America, but at a much cheaper price.

So in this case my impulse decision making based on packaging really panned out well and you can expect on my next trip through Edmonton I'll be stopping to grab a good dozen of these. 12 packs are so last year! It's all about the German Mini-keg now!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A Trip down Memory Lane… and into Bonanza

This week a coworker took me to lunch at Bonanza. I don’t remember how it came about, but months ago he said he’d take me since nobody besides us ever wants to eat at Bonanza.

I haven’t set foot in a Bonanza since I was at most 11 years old. A trip into Brandon (and possibly Minot, ND) often guaranteed at stop at this famous steakhouse. As I walked through the doors yesterday I was reminded of years gone by. For those who’ve never been, allow me describe it to you.

 Located on beautiful 8th Street Saskatoon. Such a scenic location!

Bonanza isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experience. You begin it as soon as you step in the doors a cattle chute of high-wood panels that gently guided you to the till where you order your meal. EVERY meal comes with the salad buffet.

Once you’re seated, you lay into the salad bar, which is an unorganized rodeo of lettuce, dressing, bacon bits, cheese, and perogies constantly mobbed by the elderly who you carefully navigate around. Finally, you return to your seat and wolf down as much of your salad/perogie meal as you can before the waiter brings your steak.

This isn't the actual salad bar from yesterday, but I'm %800 sure the ultra-nineties gold trim was there

The steak itself is decently sized, and well prepared considering it only cost $11.50. After you struggle through another massive course of steak, complimented by garlic bread, & a baked potato or fries, you lay back for a breather.

But no, you’re not finished yet; the best is yet to come. Yesterday I didn’t complete this final leg of the Bonanza Experience, but when I was a kid, this was my favourite part:



No human body over 12 years old is designed to handle the quantities of ice cream that Bonanza encourages you to consume. You can’t help but serve yourself monstrous, gargantuan, bowls of ice cream one after the other until you pass-out from dairy overload.

 I remarked to my coworker that I can see why my parents would take us kids to Bonanza: You can’t beat the sheer quantity of food you get for how much you spend. He replied,

 “…And then the kids pass out after eating, which would be great for the car ride home!” 
 It all makes perfect sense now. My parents didn’t just enjoy the food; they were after the Bonanza Blackout that follows. I completely understand too, wrangling three to five kids during a two hour drive home would take some effort.

Sadly the Bonanza in Brandon, like many others across Canada closed its doors long ago. It was nice to revisit though, and I don’t see why people are having such a hard time believing me when I tell them I actually had a really decent meal there. Next time someone visits me in Saskatoon, you KNOW where I’m taking you for dinner...