Monday, October 30, 2006

Great weekend

We had a really good weekend. Friday night we went to Brian and Helen's place, for Bertis' freedom 36 party. He is leaving the law world and going back to something he loves, teaching piano. Of course he was there as well, and Chad and Nancy also made it out. Helen had goody bags made up and games picked out to play. We played pass the bag, where we all sat in a circle and passed a bag full of various wardrobe items around and around until the music stopped and the person left holding the bag had to pull something out and put it on. The person wearing the most items at the end (Which was me) won. The bag had lots of lovely ladies undergarments and scarves and various knitted things, it was really quite funny, especially watching Chad squeeze into a shirt that was Helen's size. We also had a game of Pin the tail on the donkey, which ended with a tie breaker round between Chad and Bertis. Some of the goody bags had bubble solution in them and that was alot of fun. We were blowing bubbles and the dogs were trying to catch them, well Elton and Yorky were trying to catch them, Tiff was having nothing to do with it. Lots of lovely coctails, laughs, and good conversations = really good time.

Saturday was a quiet morning. Our bookkeeper Trish dropped her computer by so Darrell could have a look at it, then we popped out to do some browsing. We found a nice throw rug for under the Dining room table on clearance. It's absolutely perfect as it has varying shades of green and a bamboo pattern on it, so it goes perfectly with the vase and giant bamboo plant in the center of the table. The rug helps break up the flooring a little for the eye. The flooring looks really great, but it was feeling pretty sparce with all that open space between the living and dining area, so this just breaks it up a little. We spent the rest of Saturday basically cleaning, trying to get rid of the thin layer of green dust created from cutting the flooring. Just when you think you've got it all, you move a pot or something and there's more.

Sunday I tried to get caught up on all the other household chores that fell by the wayside because of the new floor, like Laundry. I got most of it done, but we headed out around 5 to Bertis' place for dinner and a horror movie. Brian and Helen were there as well and Bertis and the Bonds dressed in Costume. Darrell and I were the spoil sports who arrived costumeless. Altough I was wearing faded jeans and a button up moosehead shirt over a t-shirt so Helen said I may have been dressed as a lesbian. Helen was dresses as a black cat with a feather boa, and in true cat fashion was shedding all over her chair... hehehe, Brian was dressed all in black with bat wings and black face paint, and Bertis was dressed as Clark Kent. Clark Kent You ask? yes, he was in a suit with the top buttons of the shirt open to reveal his superman shirt below. He had gone above and beyond decorating the inside of his house with carved pumpkins and candles everywhere, it was really nice. And he made "rest in peas" and "Rigga-mortis" (Named by Darrell) for dinner. The first was peas in a creamy sauce with a tombstone piece of toast and the second was a nice riggatoni pasta dish. Darrell & I brought everyone treats (Double thick caramilk Bars) and handed those out, then we watched "Scream", and had cake. We called it an early night being Sunday and all, and were home in time to catch Desperate Housewives then call it a night.

I've developed a runny nose today, so I'm not enjoying being at work, and hopefully I can get enough done that I may be able to stay at home tomorrow and get over it.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Feast October 27, 2006

Create a new candle scent.
bacon... who doesn't love the sent of fresh cooked bacon? Or Chicken Soup. Or Banana Bread.

Name one way you show affection to others.
I'm a hugger.

What is your favorite writing instrument?
Just your basic ball point pen.(Not that I actually write much anymore, I mostly type and print)

Main Course
If you were given $25 to spend anywhere online, from which site would you buy?

Are you dressing up for Halloween? If so, what are you going to be?
No I'm not. I don't normally go in for the Halloween dress up thing. I guess I could mismatch my belt and shoes and go as a straight guy.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tis Done!

We got the last of the Transition pieces put down last night and the floor is now completely finished. I still have to paint the walls and ceiling sometime this year and replace all the awful old moulding, but the floor is done. There are now only two rooms on the main floor of the house with their original flooring... their days are's a big number though because we have a pretty major renovation planned there and won't be able to afford it in the immediate future. It involves breaking through the bathroom wall into the spare bedroom closet and closing that off to extend the bathroom. Then the installation of a big whirlpool tub and separate shower... as I said, can't afford it now, in fact it may be a couple years off, so in the mean time some paint and little crack fill will have to suffice.

That's the thing about owning a home, you just finish one project and you're already planning the next five. I think if I ever came into a big chunck of money I would get into flipping houses. The market in Saint John is growing rapidly and I think someone with the right know how would make a lot of money. I love doing all that cosmetic type work, the tiling, flooring, painting... all that stuff is really fun to me, but I'd definitely need someone with more knowhow when it came to the big structural stuff... I mean I'm pretty good with the crack fill, but I've never tried or been shown how to actually do drywall... and while I'm good at changing a light fixture or moving a junction box...I'm certainly no electrician. I really like the idea of house flipping though, I don't know how the actual practical would go if I ever got into it, but the idea is nice.

I had a really good cardio workout yesterday and structured it differently than in the past. I started on the treadmill and alternated, running one full lap, then walking half a lap, running another full one. I actually managed to run an entire mile and walk another half mile in 20 minutes. Then I figured I'd try out the stair machine (never used it before)and did pretty good on it for a first timer. If I'd have known exactly how hard it was, I may have done it first instead of after the treadmill, but I got through the entire 20 minutes, 60 floors, set to random, and only having to pause a couple times near the end.

I bet I could head into our basement, hop on the eliptical trainer and sing "Willkommen" all the way through at this point even with the german accent and all the dialog. Maybe even get partway through "So What".

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Flooring is Finished !!! Mostly

Well we got it all down with the exception of three transition strips that we will finish after work today. The channel for one of them needs to be widened a bit and there needs to be a slight riser put in all of them because we used the 12mm flooring. Incidentally if you are thinking of putting laminate flooring in your house, don't cheap out and buy the 7 or 8 mm stuff for 99 cents a square foot. You really do get what you pay for. This is the third time we've done laminate, the first was the bedroom and we used the 8mm it was pretty good to work with and we were mostly happy with the way it turned out, the second we also used the 8mm in Mike and Kathy's living room... it was a different brand and wasn't as easy to work with, but the 12mm is by far superior to either time. Spend the extra dollar a square foot, buy the brand name stuff, and don't use anything less than 10mm flooring and you'll have the best results.

As promised pictures.......

Saturday (Day 01) ripping up old flooring and cleaning floor

Sunday (Day 02) Laying the Laminate

Monday (Day 03)finshed the hallway

Got past the odd angle and called it a night

Tuesday (Day 04) Finished just about everything

Under the dog pictures is where the Aquarium will go

Installing transition strips

It passes the Tiffy test

There is still a channel to widen at the entryway for the transition strip to go down, and a riser to put at the top of the stairs for that transition to be glued to. We have enough left over to do the landing in the stairway, so I am going to get some white semigloss and some red oak stain, then paint the backs of the stairs white and plane the existing paint off the stair treads and stain them to match the flooring (At least that isn't an expensive undertaking).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

OWW my knees!

We had a surprising weekend. Friday we left work early and hit O'Leary's for a beer, then went home had a little dinner, and popped over to our neighbours Dave & Kathy's place for a couple more beers.

Saturday we got up and really didn't have a plan of what we wanted to accomplish for the weekend. It was Darrell's first real chance for some down time since we got back, because he had to work last Saturday, so we intentionally didn't plan anything. We ended up taking a fateful trip to Kent just to look around and see what we could see. Well we saw 12mm laminate flooring on sale for $1.99 a square foot. From the moment we moved in, our plan was to take up the carpet in the living room, linolium in the hallway and dining area, and do the entire space with nice laminate flooring. Since it's an open concept house it is essentially all one floor. Once we did the ceramic tile in the entryway and kitchen we actually had five different sections of flooring from the kitchen to the hallway... we had tile in kitchen to linolium in Dining area, carpet in living area, tile in entryway, and linolium in Hallway... I hated it, but we weren't financially prepared to change it just yet. Well anyway, the flooring was on sale, so we bit the bullet, pulled out the Kent Card and took the plunge. After all we've redone six floors in the past couple months and none of them were ours... we really should have something to show for the bruises on our knees.

We got the flooring home and unloaded and proceeded to get right to work pulling up carpet and linolium, which was alot faster and easier than anticipated since the linolium was only partially glued in the Hallway and not glued at all in the dining room. Once we got all the floors stripped and cleaned we sat and watched a little TV then headed for bed.

Sunday we got up relatively early for a Sunday, and started putting the floor down. There were a few trips to the Kent store for various supplies (thank God for Sunday Shopping.... it was 20 years ago in BC), but we made it to the dividing wall that has the big dog pictures on it (Basically the edge of the dining area) and most of the way across the hallway, before stopping for the night.

Monday we headed into work as usual. I forgot my gym bag so I didn't get my work out in, but will make up for it today. Then stopped at Dolan Road Irving for some turkey Vegtable soup on the way home, then back to work once we got home. There was a bunch of stuff that needed to be done with plants etc since they were all sitting on the dining room side while we did the living room and that took a little while. I got to work finishing the hallway while Darrell starting on the dining room, then he popped out for more glue (yes we are actually using glue even though you don't have to... we found that some of the end joints in the bedroom laminate tend to pull a little and leave a very tiny gap... so the glue will stop this from happening), and then the power went out. So being stumped with no power, we decided to drive into Rothesay and get a coffee (surely there would be power there)... no good, they were also blacked out. We turned around headed back toward the airport (maybe that side would have power) it was all black up that way to. The glow from the city could be seen in the sky so we headed down Loch Lommand toward town figuring we'd eventually drive back into the power and find an Irving for Coffee. Just past Churchland road the lights came back on, so we aborted the mission, turned around, headed home and made coffee there. It must've been a big blackout though, from what we could tell it took out Rothesay and a huge chunk of East Saint John. At any rate we got back to work. I was on the very last row of the hallway when the lights went out so I finished that and started helping Darrell with the dining room. The part of the cabinet that juts out pastthe kitchen is on and angle and so is part of the kitchen floor, so the dining room wasn't a case of chop the end off the board and use the left over to start the next row. It required some extra attention and thought and was a lot slower going than the rest of the living room. We didn't actually finish either. It got be midnight and then started rounding on 1 O'clock by the time we got all the rows with the angles done, and instead of pushing on even later to finish the square section we called it a night.

Tonight we finish.....Tomorrow Pictures

Friday, October 20, 2006

Walk it off

Okay.. Today... Legs.... soooooooo Stiff and achey. But not so stiff and achey as in I overdid it, just stiff and achey as in stretch it out and walk around a bit.
It's all good.

Friday Feast October 20, 2006

What is your favorite beverage?
I don't know if I'd call it my favourite but I have it first thing everyday.... Coffee. The rest of the day I drink water. Every now and then I get a craving for a really really cold chocolate milk.

Name 3 things that are on your computer desk at home or work.
There's not a lot of room on my computer desk for much more than my computers. there are five moniters, a mixing board, a television moniter, DVD and VCR, stacks of blank DVDs, stacks of full back up DVDs, and more paper with scribbles and doodles and incomprehensible to anyone but me writing than you can imagine.

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how honest do you think you are?
I'm goning to go with a 9. I'm pretty much a call em like I see em kind of guy.

Main Course
If you could change the name of one city in the world, what would you rename it and why?
At the moment I'd rename Barrie Ontario to "Hell"... but that's just me being bitter from recent bad experiences there ... it's actually a very nice place.

What stresses you out? What calms you down?
STRESSES ME OUT....People with no regard for others. People with cell phones clutched to their ears when they're driving... No one needs to talk to anyone that badly and if you do pull the hell over. There is a lack of basic courtesy and manners infiltrating society.

CALMS ME DOWN......... Singing, Reading, Painting, The Dogs, Soaking in the Tub, 20 Minutes on the treadmill

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tore it up today!

Okay I don't like to brag... who am I kidding I do too, but I really tore it up onthe treadmill today despite aching thighs and calfs. I actually ran the first two laps... that's right all the way through at an incline of 3.5 no less, but that's not all. I wlked the third and then... wait for it.... yep you guessed it, ran the fourth, and walked out the rest of the twenty minutes. Then just for good measure moved it over to the eliptical trainer and did another 20 minutes on random level two. Those of you superfit cardio nuts will be saying to yourself big deal... but to mister 35 year old, only runs from danger, gut hanging slightly over belt... it's a pretty big deal.

Busy being Busy

I have been trying to stay busy, working on my Animation project primarily. It's still in it's infancy stages and hasn't taken hold of me yet, but I wish it would soon as it is too easy to be distracted from it. I'm sure it will click any time now.

I've been burning up the treadmill at the gym. I read some really helpful stuff on Amber's Blog "Cafe Physique" and realized I wasn't getting the best bang for my buck on the eliptical trainer, so I switched to the treadmill for the gravity resistance aspect of the workout. I've been pumping the incline up to 11 and power walking on a speed varying from 3 to 3.5 for twenty minutes at a time and I really do feel a huge difference over the Eliptical trainer. Yesterday I even ran the first lap.(which is kind of huge for me since I don't run unless I'm being chased by something.) This is really my first week back to my routine at the gym since we got back. I didn't do any weights at all last week, so this week I'm feeling that ache and throb a little more acutely. Mostly in my left shoulder which has been kind of gymped since I was just a kid. It's where I developed a cancerous tumour of the gland under that arm when I was six. It was cut out and I had big doses of radiation there, so it hasn't developed and is considerably weaker than the other side. My left bicep tries to compensate but it's not good enough when I do legs and shoulders like I did yesterday. I can pretty much only tone at the gym and not build since my shoulder is never going to be proportionate and all the muscles connected to it (Chest, Back, Arm) aren't going to develop proportionately either, so I'd start looking pretty lopsided after awhile...haha.

Last night I made a big dinner of Chicken Stroganoff (Not going to help get rid of the gut, but soooooo good) with red and yellow peppers.... yummy. Then we popped over to Bond's for a visit with Bertis and the Bonds. It seems like we haven't all been together in ages and I really missed them so it was nice to catch up and compare war stories of the last two weeks.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Weekend Update

We had a really great visit with Darrell's uncle Ken last week. After work on friday we all went out to Swiss Chalet for dinner and ate way too much. This is the first time Ken has been to visit since we bought the house last year so he wanted to get us a house warming gift and bought us a 55 gallon aquarium from Walmart before we went for dinner. Darrell was torn between the aquarium and a dvd recorder, but Futureshop was out of stock on the recorder model he wanted so fate made the decision for him. We've actually wanted to get an aquarium for along time now, so we're really happy, and besides when someone buys you a housewarming gift that expensive and extravagant it should be something people see when they come to your house. A dvd recorder would have just sat on the shelf, and while it would have been useful it is ultimatey just another component in your stereo/tv stand... an aquarium on the other hand is hard to miss. It also gives us a project we can work on together over the next couple months because the Aquarium kit comes with all the filters etc but no stand. We are planning to build our own stand and tank topper so that should be a really fun project. We looked around at the Aquarium Store in Barrie when we were in Ontario and found lots of stuff we really liked, and I took a lot of pictures of stands and toppers with my camera phone to give me ideas. We will probably stick with fresh water to start with since Salt water tanks are a lot of work and require a lot more equipment...not to mention that in a small market like Saint John with no real outlets the cost of salt water fish is outrageous and the selection is awful. In Ontario there are stores that specialize in just aquariums, fish, equipment, and extras so the selection is excellent and the prices are great too. You can get living corral, lion fish you name it. One of the stores we were in had a 2000 gallon tank with two black tipped reef sharks in it, unfortunately I think the skarks were way too big for the tank and it seemed really cruel once you got over the initial excitement of seeing them so close.

Saturday Darrell had to go to Miramichi to shoot an interview for CTV. He had to get up really early so Ken decided to get up and head on his way home at the same time. I got up and said goodbye to Ken, it was around 7am, then once everyone was gone I went back to bed. I slept in until 10 ish when our neighbour down the road rang the doorbell with his son selling apples for Beavers. The only cash I had in the entire house was a Quarter so I gave it to him (No I didn't take an apple). Turns out Little girls are now allowed to join Cubs and Beavers... what the hell? I thought we had girl guides so they could have their own club. Why is it that Men and boys can no longer have clubs for just men and boys without some Bull feminist trying to break the door in. There seems to be no shortage of Women's only fitness and women's only this and that... hell even the gym I go to has a women's only section... but heaven forbid you try to open a men's club. And really, what sick parent would want their little girl joining a club called "Beavers" anyway? It's the kind of Irony only Larry Flynt could enjoy. But... I digress.

After Marshall and his son left I stayed up awhile to watch Saturday morning cartoons unfortunately they were all repeats of the ones I watched three weeks ago so I switched over to trading spaces or one of those other design shows on TLC. I just relaxed and watched TV until about 3 with Elton and Tiff lazing beside me on the couch, then Elton hopped up and headed into the bedroom, jumped up on the bed and curled up for a nap. It seemed like a good idea so I joined him and slept until 6. I really needed it.. the last two weeks of traveling and visiting and late nights tiling really wore me out. Darrell called a few minutes after I got up and I drove in to pick him up at CTV where he was dropping off their cruiser, then we headed home and basically flopped in front of the TV again until we went to bed at 10.

I slept in again on Sunday morning and for the first time in two weeks I actually felt like myself again. We did a bunch of those mundane chores around the house like laundry and cutting the grass, then we headed into town and wandered around the Kent store. They had a bunch of large area rugs on clearance and we found a really nice one for the bedroom. Then we headed home and cleaned and rearranged the bedroom. There's still a bunch of chores and stuff that need catching up, but all in all everything is back to business as usual around our place. We ended up with a three hour TV block consisting of the New Show.. Brothers & Sisters, The Amazing Race {(The girl with the amputated leg and her husband or boyfriend whichever came in first last night) I was pulling for them in the beginning but he's starting to annoy me}, and Desperate Housewives to cap it all off.

Today I have a commercial to produce and some work to do on my Canaport animation, then a trip to gym on my schedule.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Settling in

We are slowly settling back into our routine this week. It's nice to be home and back to something regular. I'm still pretty bitter and angry about the events and expense of our wasted vacation, but I'm thinking of it less and less as the days pass. It wasn't a complete waste but it ended so badly it tainted the entire trip. It's certainly not completely over either... Darrell is eventually going to have to find a way to forgive his mother for the hateful things she said and reestablish some kind of relationship with her... she's his flesh and blood after all. Lucky for me I don't share that connection so if I never see or speak to her again I won't lose any sleep over it, and if I do, for Darrell's sake, I will be polite.

This week has been fun having Darrell's Uncle here on his vacation. We are both wishing we hadn't gone to Ontario at all, and just taken our time off now while Ken is here instead. Ken brought his dog Jake with him and Jake is getting along well with Elton and Tiff. We had a nice dinner out at Swiss Chalet on Wednesday evening (I've never been to Swiss Chalet before believe it or not.) It was so good we plan to go back tonight for dinner. I made a big feast of Fetucinni Carbonara with some red and yellow bell peppers, and mushrooms for dinner last night. I usually make fetucinni when we're having someone for dinner it's one of those things that never misses.

We don't have any set plans about what we're doing this weekend yet. I think Ken may be heading back to Ontario on Saturday or Sunday, so we're playing everything by ear.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Finally Home!!

We are finally home from Ontario, or Hell whichever you prefer.
We left last Wednesday and drove strait through to Barrie. We spent the first night(and every night after) at Darrell's Uncle Ken's and then went out to the school where Darrell's dad works for the retirement party the other janitorial staff was throwing the next day. Friday was his official last day of work and we were all suposed to go out for a big fancy dinner, but Darrell's sister's (Steph) asthma kicked up a fuss and we got a bucket of KFC instead. Saturday we drove around a bit and checked out some of the stores we don't have in Saint John, and basically took it easy.
Sunday we got started on the tiling of the kitchen floor. We were originally only suposed to do the kitchen floor and the front landing but by the time we had got to Ontario somehow it had evolved into the Kitchen floor, Front landing, Upstairs Bathroom, Steph's Kitchen, and Steph's Bathroom. We spent the next four days on our hands and knees like Hebrew slaves tiling the various floors. It was hard work and we were up until roughly 2 am each night completing it. Needless to say there wasn't really an oportunity for visiting.
Thursday we headed into Toronto and spent the day wandering the downtown. We found the jewellery emporium where we bought Darrell's chain a while back and picked up another for me. Then we headed out to Sheridan Nurseries in Oakville where we got a really really great deal on a couple palm trees and a jasmine vine (as if we need more plants) all for just $25.
We were planning to leave on Saturday Morning, but Friday afternoon Darrell's Mother and Sister started a big ugly scene that I won't even get into on this blog, so we grabbed whatever we had at the house (We had been staying at Ken's so it wasn't much), headed back to Ken's, packed and were on the road between midnight and 1 O'clock it's all a bit of a blur. Ken followed us out (He's on vaction and was planning to come out with us anyway he just hadn't planned on it happening quite the way it did.) We drove strait through again with several stops along the way to rest and get coffee. We've always noticed that every coffee place in Ontario serves coffee so hot it's like it's been brewed through a thermonuclear reactor, but I have come to the conclusion on this trip that it is that hot because it is pumped strait from Hell.
We finally pulled into our driveway around midnight on Saturday, unpacked a little and hit the sack. We spent Sunday unpacking and picking up groceries etc, and Monday was a fairly laid back day. Now I think I could use an actual week off to recover from our "Vacation".