Archive for December, 2005

Sorry for the long delay, folks… but here I am, posting from my fancy antique desk in my house in downtown Toronto. I’ll give you a REALLY brief summary of the last week, so as not to bore you with too many details.

First off, Christmas in the Ottawa Valley was beautiful, but saying goodbye to Shari-Anne for a few months was quite sad (she’s in BC until March). My parents have a gorgeous new home and I’m looking forward to visiting often and bringing friends up for weekends at the cottage with access to more than a few new luxuries… like running water, showers and a hot tub. Yes, you read that right. The fall weekends will probably have a few more takers now. 🙂

After a brief (and warm) Christmas with family, I headed back to TO for the big move, that went well enough. We underestimated how much help we’d need moving, but everything got into the house well enough. Thanks go to Machina, Ben and Kenneth for showing up to help load and unload the truck. You guys saved our lives (backs… legs… forearms… well, you see where this is going).

My first night in my huge new bedroom was far from pleasant though. A dust-induced asthma attack kept me awake through most of the night, but I wouldn’t have slept that well to begin with. I was scared out of my wits in the middle of the night by the sound of two demons fighting above my head. It turns out that we have some housemates who haven’t been paying their rent. There’s a family of racoons living in our chimney (which runs past the head of my bed). Awesome, eh? We have a guy coming on monday to evict them, so until then… I’m going to grin and bear it. That means sleeping on a couch in the living room, I guess.

We’re having some problems with heat on our main floor (the vents don’t seem to be venting), so we’re going to have to take care of that ASAP, as the weather is turning against us.

We’re looking forward to having a rocking housewarming once we have everything settled (think mid to late January) and I’m sure you’ll all hear about it. I’ll post some pictures once everything has a place (that is, it’s not all piled in our front hall or main salon) so you can all salviate at our mansion. Guests are always welcome, too.

Well, I’m off to use my new asthma inhalers and prepare for a rocking New Year’s Party with some close friends. Happy New Year, everyone, and look forward to some good stories about racoon removal in the next few days… hopefully complete with photos and video.

Latah.

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Tonight is the church’s Christmas Service, and tomorrow I head off to Quebec and Shari-Anne flies home to BC for two months. I’ll be back in a few days to finish up packing and to start moving, and by the end of next week, I should be fully settled in my new digs (complete with a phone and an internet connection).

So, you can see that aside from a few days at the new Duncan Country House, I’ll be doing a lot of running around. Still, I’m really thankful for those few days with family to relax and really enjoy Christmas this year. I have a lot to be thankful for… good friends, leaving a nice apartment for a nicer house, my health (except for my stupid sinuses), a safe move for my parents…
Merry Christmas
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, and I wish everyone safe travels, feasting meals, and great times with friends and family.

See you in a few days!

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My webspace provider has been having some ‘problems’ this morning, so please bear with us while service comes and goes. This doesn’t happen very often, thank goodness, so it’s just a matter of gritting our teeth and living with it.

Also on the service outage front, after my lauding of Rogers yesterday, they managed to screw up our home internet account. Fortunately, they were kind enough to offer to send someone to fix it late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. Uh… yeah. So we had them credit our account until the end of the month, and we’re going to live without the net until we move. That means that since I won’t be in the office next week, both email contact and blog posts will be sporadic at best.

To those of you who will be stuck at work next week and were looking forward to regular updates here, I’m sorry. I’ll do my best to help you out… but I’m only human… or am I?

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“Faith that is sure of itself is not faith; faith that is sure of God is the only faith there is.”

Last night Dave and I went to see “It’s a Wonderful Life” and after the film I felt burdened by the idea of my life without me. I’ve thought of my story thus far, and all the people involved. Funny how there are those days where I feel so inconsequential, like hiding might be the better option. The movie reminded me of how we really do effect people and situations, how it does actually make sense that inspite of our frailty and failings, God can use us, we are designed to be His instruments.

I’m not sure what this means, yet. There’s a certain kind of wonder in knowing that no one has the same story and that through our humanity we are all necessary in uncovering yet a little more of the Greatness that is God.

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Last night, Shari-Anne took me out for a little treat. The Revue Theatre (one of Toronto’s Independent theatres) was showing one of my favourite Christmas movies of all time… “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Normally, I try to only watch it once a season so I don’t get sick of it, and I watched it a few weeks ago, but how often do you get to see a movie like this in theatre?

There’s no need to review this movie, but it’s an easy 10/10. It’s touching, entertaining, and both intentionally and unintentionally funny. Two great examples of the latter are when Bert finds George on the bridge and George yells out “My mouth’s bleedin’, Bert… my mouth’s bleedin’!”… pure overacting. Awesome. The other is at the very end… the look on George’s face while he sings ‘Auld Ang Syne’ is hilarious. Now, I’m not poking fun at Jimmy Stewart. He’s a phenomenal actor, but everyone has their moments.

Sort of on the same topic… but not at all, I called Rogers to switch our internet and cable for the new house and got a sweet promotional deal. Free digital cable and a bunch of free ‘Rogers On Demand’ thingamajiggers. Basically, that means that we’ll be watching more movies than usual… which I didn’t think was possible.

Now, I’ve never had any serious complaints about Rogers’ Customer Service, but I tried to switch my service using their online system. Holy crap, I felt like a trained dolphin. I had to jump through hoop after hoop after hoop until I finally got kicked out. In frustration, I prepared for hours on hold and called their 1-800 number. Not only did I get prompt service, but it was friendly, informative, and there was no sales pressure. Bravo, Rogers. Bravo.

On the other hand, Bell Canada is being a little less understanding. Although we’re only moving 7 or 8 city blocks (subway stops), not only do we have to pay a $55 reconnection fee, but we lose our present phone number (let me know if you want the new one). Since we found this out, I’ve had the reasons for the billing and phone number change explained to me by a friend who works there, but the Customer Service Representative didn’t tell us squat. Boo, Bell. Note that if you use a different phone company, you’ll likely be able to keep your number.

Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have work to do.

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UPDATE from May 1, 2012 at the bottom of this post!

Back in August, I posted the McDeal Menu from McDonald’s (the daily specials) and the listing turned out to be quite popular. I get a few new hits every week from people looking for some useful information, and finding just about the only useful nugget available on my whole site.

In that same fashion, Steve and Dan recommended that I put up the Subway Restaurant Daily Specials, which are impossible to find online. Dan sent me the listing of the specials from his local franchise in Ottawa, so I’m not sure if it’s locally specific or not. Noel let us know that it’s different in Manitoba, but I mean c’mon… Manitoba. I kid, of course. I’d post the menu for MB too, but he didn’t know what it was.

From what I understand (I’m more of a Mr.Sub guy), you can get a six inch sub for $2.99 + tax. That’s a pretty good deal actually. Maybe it’s time for me to switch allegiances.

Monday – Turkey Breast and Ham
Tuesday – Meatball
Wednesday – Turkey Breast
Thursday – Italian B.M.T
Friday – Tuna
Saturday – Roast Beef
Sunday – Roasted Oven Chicken Breast

Feel free to add any changes for your region in the comments.

UPDATE (May 1, 2012): Thanks to Dan for pointing out that Daily Deals are back, supposedly for a limited time.  It’s $6 for a foot-long and $4 for 6 inch.  Here’s each day’s deal:

Monday – Steak and Cheese
Tuesday – Subway Melt
Wednesday – Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki
Thursday – Turkey Breast
Friday – Tuna
Saturday – Subway Club
Sunday – Roasted Oven Chicken Breast

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Are you going to be in Toronto on friday evening? If so, then I’d like to personally (or as personally as I can in an anonymous public forum like this) invite you to a church service at the historic Enoch Turner Schoolhouse.
The Story of Christmas
The service will start at 7pm and will be chock full of really good music. There will be refreshments and hors d’ouevres afterwards as well. For all the details, check out the official invite on Grace Toronto.ca I really hope to see you all there!

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We can all look forward to a Christmas gift courtesy of TV Ontario this Christmas Eve. ‘Saturday Night at the Movies’ (which some of you may remember from this rave back in April) will be showing “The Wizard of Oz” in its entirety at 8pm. Since I’ve already had my annual viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” (also commercial free thanks to PBS in the States), I’m not sure if I can think of a better way to spend Christmas Eve than snuggled up on a warm couch with a glass of Port… or Scotch… (or one of each) and ignoring the man behind the curtain.

“The Wizard of Oz” is kind of like “The Sound of Music” in that they have both been tagged as Christmas movies even though neither have anything to do with Christmas. Perhaps it’s because they’re the type of movies that an entire family can watch and enjoy together.

Oh well, I’m off to see the Wizard… the wonderful Wizard of work.

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