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Dec 16, 2011 -

Makisu All You Can Eat Japanese Restaurant, Lethbridge

I was dismayed to see this week that another sushi restaurant had opened up in Lethbridge, with this one being just around the corner from The Apartment! EEP! However, it is of the ‘all you can eat’ variety, so my expectations were low.Β  The ‘dinner buffet’, as they call it, is $26.99 plus tax. There is a huge assortment of things you can order, and you can place multiple orders. I took a fair sample of the menu, pleased that almost all portions were tiny. I ordered a mountain of food, but did not come anywhere near stuffing myself.

The offerings were really hit or miss. Let’s see if I can remember everything. πŸ™‚


The salmon nigiri tasted old.

The eel nigiri tasted like an aquarium. Eep!


The chicken teriyaki was icky. The flavour was good but the meat was gristly.


Presentation was a bit sloppy, but that’s par for the course for an all you can eat that goes through great volumes.

The shrimp tempura was a bit slimy.

The miso soup was bland and it had mushrooms in it.

The tuna handroll was bland. I had ordered spicy tuna, which would have been delicious, but they brought the wrong topping. The nigiri and rice were good though. With the right topping it would have fit in the next category.

The gyoza (dumplings) tasted more oily than anything else.

Green tea ice cream was okay, but I had ordered one scoop each of the red bean and mango!

Service was very slow an inattentive (I didn’t want to be there all night, so I didn’t reorder the mistakes).


I asked for more pickled ginger and got a mountain of it.

Once I was able to get someone’s attention, my water refill came quickly.

The yam and brocoli tempura were flawless.

The octopus nigiri was so awesome I ordered two pieces.

The ‘Toyko’ roll with salmon and mango was great; a very plain roll with the mango giving it a little something extra. Really glad I tried this.

The spicy salmon and spicy tuna were each delectable. I ordered tuna in the first round and it was so good I got both tuna and salmon in the second round!

The masago (roe) nigiri had perfect flavour and texture.


I had given up on my ‘tuna pizza’ but am so glad it came and that I finished with it. It was a thick fluffy rice cake encased in fried panko topped with thin slices of tuna sashimi and drizzled with the sweet sauce that usually comes on eel rolls. Totally worth the wait!

I really got my money’s worth at Makisu. That said, I’ve decided that with sushi I prefer quality over quantity, so I am more likely to go to O-sho or Dono if I want to spend $30 on dinner, or Umi if I want something quick. I can’t believe how many sushi options there are in Lethbridge and that I still have one left to try!

The table next to mine had a group of sushi novices and they quickly figured out that, hey, the gal at the next table knows her way around the menu! And could you help us figure out these chopsticks? They wound up being rather unadventurous, but provided quite a bit of amusement.

I’ve been remiss in my Japanese studies, but I had one incredible moment tonight. I was gazing at the bowl that held the sweet dipping sauce for the tempura and thought “Oh, isn’t that cute! It says oishii!” It took a moment for me to realise that a) I had read the wordΒ  the way I read a word in English, that is as a word rather than individual letters and that b) I didn’t translate it into English. It means ‘delicious.’

Well, I sure hadn’t planned on spending three hours on dinner (although the time away from home did me some good), but I have work to finish for tomorrow, so back to the grindstone I go.

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Alberta, Canada, Finances, Restaurants, Travel, Work    4 Comments
Dec 13, 2011 -


This morning, there was a notification from UPS that my iPad was out for delivery! I went down to the office early and stuck close by so I wouldn’t miss the big arrival.

Well, 4PM rolled around and nothing, and I had to go to head office for a few matters. I locked up and decided to walk since the weather was so lovely. I was in for a surprise when I arrived. My office manager decided to get me a personal holiday gift and presented me with a lovely gift box containing an assortment of liqueur-filled chocolates! How nice of her! I was sent away with a stern warning not to indulge in them and then drive after. She was right; they are potent (and yummy!)! πŸ˜€

I got back home around 4:30 and there was another e-notification from UPS, that due to ‘external circumstances’ delivery had been pushed tomorrow. This notification was time stamped 11:30AM. So I spent all day waiting for nothing! πŸ™ And I have to start all over tomorrow!

Hopefully, tomorrow I will be able to post from my new toy. In a way, it’s good that it didn’t get here today since I have a project this evening, one that I am procrastinating on right now. Maybe I should get back to work if I want to get to bed at a reasonable hour. πŸ˜€

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Communications & Electronics, Finances, iPad, Nice Folks, Social, Technical, Work    4 Comments
Dec 8, 2011 -

Learning To Be a Manager

Linda’s comment to my last post has made me realise that I have been unnecessarily cryptic about the work I’m doing this winter.

So, let’s see if I can clarify that a little. I’m managing a four-building, 119-unit, apartment complex. How I got this job is still a little beyond me. I interviewed for a receptionist/accounting assistant position, but they were looking for long-term. Happy with my credentials, they sent me to do rent collection at their two apartment complexes, saying that I would be part-time and bouncing around until they got permanent managers for both complexes or I chose to leave, whichever came first.

I spent one afternoon at the other complex and then found myself here full-time. I think it was on my second paycheque that I noticed a notation that said I was being paid for being a manager. Um, okay, I guess that means I’m in charge of this complex!

I’ve never been a manager before. Oh, I’ve been a low-level supervisor, but I’ve never had any real sort of empowerment like this. I also have absolutely no training for this level of responsibility. I’m learning by the seat of my pants and the experience has thus far been successful. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in how I’ve dealt with certain situations, but my over-all performance has been surprisingly satisfactory. I have discovered that I am someone who can handle having power over others. Even the tenants with whom I have had Words have said I’m great to deal with, approachable, flexible, and fair.

One of the biggest challenges about being a manager is learning to go from jobs that were very task-oriented, where my days had a set pattern with specific things that needed to be done, to having a job that is situation-oriented. That is, while I do have a certain number of tasks to complete, they are not on a set schedule and the bulk of my time is spent dealing with issues that crop up. I can’t really ‘plan my day’ because any number of things could come up to derail that plan.

This job has taught me a lot about dealing with people. One of the first lessons I learned was to talk to people before sending ‘official’ letters of reprimand. If I had done that, I would have known that their file was very one-sided, that they were not dealt with fairly, and that an on-going long-term battle could have been resolved years ago. Well, I learned all of that, but only after having very hot words with a tenant. But I listened, mediated the issue he was having with a staff member, and resolved it. It’s amazing how people can be so convinced that their stance is the correct one that they fail to see an obvious resolution. That tenant and I got off to a very rocky start, but we’re on amiable terms now. Another thing I learned with this case was that saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong” does not lessen your authority.

This was evidenced by the same tenant who taught me another lesson, to look at the big picture. His wife asked if they could have a cat. They had been denied on numerous grounds for reasons I won’t get into. I approved them. My reasoning was thus, number one, they asked; they didn’t try to sneak the cat in. Number two, they didn’t balk at the conditions, which included paying a non-refundable deposit. I could have said no, they would have gotten the cat any way, and we wouldn’t have had that extra money set aside in case the cat trashes the carpets.

Another thing that I have learned is that while I don’t usually need to be told twice to do something or to have my work inspected, I am quite possibly an exception. If I tell a contractor to go do X and Y, I can’t just take their word that these things were done, unless I want to spend an hour cleaning up a mess.

One thing I haven’t had issues with is delegating. I’ve had plenty of jobs with subordinates to delegate to. I just sometimes have a hard time sitting and doing my bookkeeping while the housekeeper is vacuuming around me. I always feel like I should be helping her when we are both doing our job! I do do small repairs and maintenance jobs since our maintenance man is overworked, like changing light bulbs, unclogging faucets and sinks, and changing washers in leaky taps. I am also responsible for monitoring our boilers, a job that amuses me since it involves walking around with a giant wrench.

Being an apartment complex manager also means being a counselor, a mediator, a parent, a friend, a confidant, a teacher, and even an adversary. I am like the governor of a small community and it is my goal to see that this community hums along smoothly.

That said, unlike some managers, I am not on duty 24/7. In fact, only people with access to the building in which my apartment and office are located can reach me after hours as I do not have a phone hooked up (I negotiated the right to use the office phone for personal calls), nor am I reachable via the intercom system. This was something I stipulated before agreeing to work for the winter so that I can keep my own business as my top priority. I work about 30 hours a week, with weekends and most of the morning off, and this is working out just fine. Tenants are aware that I am available evenings and weekends by appointment and many are taking me up on that.

So that’s what I’m up to this winter. Feel free to ask questions in the comments and I will answer them if I can.

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Finances, Work    3 Comments