Archive for the “General” Category

As a special request from Kenneth, here’s a fresh (ish) blog post.  Ask and ye shall receive.

Our home reno is 99% complete.  The house is done, with just a few final touch-ups and final inspections in the coming weeks.  We have a brand new driveway (that the city cut up days after it was laid to replace our sidewalk) and we’ll get our new front and back yards late this summer or early this fall.  Before that happens, I have to build our new garden shed, so I’m hoping for some cooler, less humid weather. Then, we’ll be done.  What a relief.

Our boys continue to keep our lives interesting.  Seb (he’s no longer “Sebby”) just turned 7 and is growing like a weed.  If he grows up to have a desk job, he’ll be one of those guys who has a standing desk with a treadmill; he’s ALWAYS moving, and has the deep well of energy to keep it up.  His favorite outlets are baseball, soccer and hockey.  Sports, sports, sports.

Christian is turning into even more of a joker than Seb is, which is saying a lot! He’s hit a deeply inquisitive stage with a never-ending stream of questions, but mostly he just likes to chat, tell stories and make us laugh. We’ll be celebrating his 4th birthday later this summer and he starts Junior Kindergarten this fall, where we hope he gets more satisfactory answers to all his questions than we seem to give him.

Mojo has had a bit of a rough spring/summer.  Back in May, he got into a tussle with a porcupine under the cottage and ended up with a few dozen needles in his nose.  He recovered like a champ.  Then earlier in July he got a cut on his head that he scratched open into a bad gash that needed a couple of staples.  He just got his “cone of shame” off after a few weeks and is back to chasing his tail and the boys.  At 10 years old, he’s slowing down, but not much.

Now, this is the point in a post when I make an empty promise to start posting in here more…

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With two kids, a dog and lots of hardwood floors, I used to spend an hour or so every couple of days running a vacuum to keep on top of the dust, dog hair and various other fluff that would hide on our floors, but show up on our socks.  It was tiring and annoying.

Ahead of Black Friday, I scored a wicked deal on the entry level iRobot Roomba robotic vacuum (model 614).  It’s the entry model that doesn’t have the ability to schedule or operate it with your phone, which is fine for me.  I just hit start whenever we leave the house.

It does an awesome job as a vacuum (even getting stuff our upright missed), but its real virtue lies in the fact that I don’t have to do much for our floors to get clean.  I press a button and I empty the little bin.  Boom.  It can go on any of our floors, cleans any area rugs and is great at getting unstuck from under furniture.

Before buying, I’d done a fair amount of research, and the two biggest cons had me worried; it’s loud and the collection bin is small, so you have to empty it often.  It’s actually quieter than most uprights, which is insane for how well it cleans, and since it’s small enough to pass under furniture and get into tight corners, it makes sense the collection bin is small.  I just empty it and start the robot away again.

For a few hundred bucks, this is an awesome timesaver and our house is far cleaner than it was before.  I wouldn’t bother paying for scheduling or smartphone connectivity as the only feature I would pay more for is if it could empty its collection bin itself and keep cleaning.

Do yourself a favour and pick one up.

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After a nearly two-year hiatus, I’m back. To be fair, I’ve been busy raising two young boys and less young dog and we tore our house to the ground and built it back up again, so it’s not like I had lots of free time.
Enough winging and making excuses. Here’s what’s new:

  • The boys are now both well on their way to becoming men, which is both awesome and scary.
  • We’ve moved back into the house and it’s everything we dreamed of and more. We have so much space! We still have some exterior work to finish, including landscaping, but hope to have a series of housewarming parties once we have some furniture to fill it out a bit.
  • I’m back on the job hunt, so if you know of any internal communications roles, hit me up!
  • Well, that’s probably enough for now. I already spent too much time cleaning up my old comments (too much spam) and updating all the back-end stuff here, but I’ll be back. Well, it’s likely at least.

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    Toronto is currently in the midst of an up and down cold snap, with eight official Cold Weather Alerts (where the temperature drops below -15) so far in January.

    So it only makes sense that on a night when it was a paltry -23 our power would cut out for 2 and a half hours in the wee hours of the night, leaving us without any heat.  Hooray!  So last night I spent time bouncing from room to room making sure that Danielle, our four month old and our three year old were all comfortable and warm.

    Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep, but with two young kids I don’t get much sleep on a warm night.  So why even share this?  Well, apparently my blog was randomly bumped to a position of prominence in Joel’s feed reader and I wanted him to see something new.

    That’s all it takes to get me to post here, I guess.  I’m not above pandering.

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    We’re now three days overdue and it feels like much, MUCH longer. I’ve been working from home off and on and Danielle’s mom is now staying with us to help prep some frozen meals, wrangle Sebby and otherwise provided some very badly needed help maintaining our household sanity (thank you SO much, Linda).

    It looks like Danielle will be induced on the weekend, so we’ll get to meet our new little guy sooner rather than later, although he’s already late.  Aside from actually having the baby in our arms, we’re as ready as we can be, so we’re just playing the waiting game.

    The waiting game sucks.  Let’s play Hungry, Hungry Hippos.

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    I’ve been walking around for the last couple of days with the intro to “The Final Countdown” by Europe stuck in my head.  While I can’t guarantee this is the final time that I’ll be counting down to the arrival of a baby, after so many months, there certainly is an air of finality to it.

    We’re ready.  At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.  We’ve got all the baby stuff lined up and ready for action, our house is relatively well-stocked with food and Danielle is already off work.  We have contingency plans for who will look after Sebby if we have to jet off to the hospital and our dog Mojo has already started sulking in the full knowledge that his status in the family is about to drop yet another notch.

    It’s the sleep that I’m going to miss the most; not that I’m back to my pre-Sebby sleep levels (or even remotely close), but there was a pretty good rhythm going there for a while that is about to disappear for a couple of years.  I’m prepared for and, more importantly, willing to make that adjustment again, but we can all agree that sleep is pretty great.

    So, although the little guy isn’t officially scheduled to arrive until a week today (Wednesday, September 3), I have a very strong inkling that a post will show up in here before then to officially introduce Duncan baby number two to the world.  Or, at least to the world of those who read this thing anymore… so to Joel.

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    Below, in no particular order, are the things that I think about in those dark, sleepless moments at night which cause my heart to pick up its pace and sweat to form on my brow.  These are the random thoughts that fill me with dread:

    • Rob Ford could conceivably be elected for a second term as mayor of Toronto; Canada’s largest city.  That he’s even running is a shock, but his poll numbers indicate that he is very much a contender.  In any normal election, one would say “Well, he’s just one blunder away from blowing it all”, but since his entire political career has been an unending stream of blunders, I don’t see him doing, saying or smoking anything that could kill his chances.  He could get re-elected.  Insane.
    • For months, we’ve all been watching events in eastern Ukraine unfold with unease.  As some sort of military intervention by the “west” (NATO, UN… whoever, but without Russia on board, of course) looks more and more likely, I am constantly reminded of Vizzini’s “classic blunders” from The Princess Bride; the second (and lesser known) being – never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.  However, the first is – never get involved in a land war in Asia.  Wise words from someone who died tragically in an iocane powder duel.
    • Due to a number of factors, this year’s hazelnut harvest in Turkey has been dismal.  The trickle down impact of this is that there could be a worldwide Nutella shortage.  I love Nutella, but haven’t bought it in years and had no intention of buying it anytime soon, but that I could buy it any time and satisfy the tiny but near constant yearning in my soul for chocolate and hazelnut goodness has comforted me.  Alas, my comfort zone is broken.
    • Seriously, Rob Ford!?

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    It seems that when life is at its most frenetic, that’s when you find yourself having to chase stuff down that should have taken care of itself.  We’re mere days away from having Duncan baby #2 land on our doorstep (a figure of speech, not our actual birth plan), and I’ve got a long list of phone calls and emails that I’d rather not deal with right now.  Here are two prime examples:

    • The Canada Revenue Agency has RE-reassessed me for 2013 after I provided proper paperwork on my reassessment.  I think this is one of those “Grade One Crush” situations where the CRA thinks I’m cute, so they pick on me.
    • We had a new furnace and A/C unit installed in May (moving from oil to gas) and were told that our gas hookup would be scheduled in a matter of weeks; certainly before the baby comes.  It’s now 12 degrees at night in mid-August and still no word.

    Tasks like these are stupid little annoyances that I used to take with a grain of salt and just grind through (and of course, write a post in here to complain… so at least that hasn’t changed), but now that I’m a husband, father and minivan driver, it’s just one more thing on the pile.  Sigh.

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