Archive for October, 2009

Since I was finally feeling better, I decided I would do a little raking in the backyard yesterday and got sucked into a vortex of a job that was bigger than I expected.  I originally just planned to rake out our parking spaces while the cars were gone and put all those leaves in a big pile in our backyard.  Then I figured I may as well rake and sweep our back deck and the pathways behind and beside the house.

I ended up with a pile of leaves about 6×6 feet and at least waist-deep.  Well, when you get a pile that big, you may as well bag up as much of it as you have bags on hand.  With only three leaf bags in the house, I only got about halfway through the pile, but I did have fun shoveling leaves from the pile into the bags using my snow shovel.

Since our yard and deck open onto a public alley, and we have very friendly neighbours, a few dog-walkers and passersby commented on my ‘unusual’ way of raking leaves.  How else do you get leaves off your lawn and into bags?  I figure I’m doing it the easy way.  Is there another less difficult way?

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Yeah, so by now you’re sick of hearing about how sick I am, so instead I’ll tell you about how I cheated death on my way to the bathroom last week.

It was after dark, but there was plenty of ambient light from the moon and the lights in the house so I headed to the outhouse without a flashlight.  Just behind the house, a couple of deer were making a late dinner of the leftovers on the ground from an apple tree.  I didn’t want to disturb them, so I tried to be as quiet as possible as I headed down the path to the outhouse.

Just as I got to the door, I noticed a dark lump on the ground near an old rotten stump about 10 feet away.  I figured a tree had fallen earlier in the evening and went to open the door when the lump made a ‘harumph’ sound and got up on its hind legs.  It was a bear and it scratched its chest, harumphed again and then dropped back to all fours while turning away from me to trundle off into the woods.

It’s pretty uncommon for a bear up there to get rough with person unless it’s a mother who is protecting her cub, so these ‘friendly’ bear encounters are actually quite common, although that’s the closest I’ve ever been to a live one and it’s not something I care to repeat anytime soon.

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What’s worse than being waylaid by a stupid cold?  Wanting little more than to sleep and lounge around but having two dogs jockeying for your attention.  It’s pretty understandable given that they’re getting used to having one another around all the time and that we live in a pretty lively neighbourhood with lots of stuff to bark out the window at.

Hopefully they’ll leave me alone long enough that I can go through some photos of this weekend and get them up both here and in Facebook.  That is, in between doses of Neo Citran.  Good times.

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After a week spent chasing after my 3 year-old nephew and my 7 month-old niece while dog sitting for two dogs, I’m pretty wiped out.  This is basically just a message to let you know I’m not dead (but I do have a nasty cold) and that a brief encounter with a bear didn’t end in a mauling.  More to come on that later.

Right now, I’m nursing my cold and going through a plethora of photos from a week of insanity in the hinterlands.  Hopefully you’re glad to hear I’m alive and regular posting will resume this week.  If you’re not glad to hear that, why would you even be reading this anyway?  I guess so you could find out when I’m finally mauled by a bear and you crash my funeral.  Well, not this time, bub.

Time for some Neo Citran and to play with the dogs.  See you tomorrow.

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Since everyone else out there is chiming in about what’s wrong with the Leafs, I figured I’d give my two cents as well.  I’ve read that their 0-5-1 record is the fault of everything from players, training and coaching, but I truly believe that the fault falls squarely on the shoulders of the fans.  Yes, that’s right.  The problem is YOU.

For decades, the Leafs have been the most profitable team in the NHL because of rabid fans who complain about a lack of success on the ice, but still buy up overpriced seats and merchandise.  Why on earth would the team management even try to make a run for the cup when that will only increase expectations for the team?  Remember what happened when the Jays won the series for a few years, but then stepped down into suckitude?  The fans stopped coming and the wells of money dried up like all the tears of joy from our last cup win in 1967.

MLSE is a business where profit is a simple equation of income minus costs.  If you keep your costs low and your income high, you have huge profit.  We’re paying top dollar for a cut-rate low-cost professional hockey team.  Imagine paying $9 for a loaf of bread and then complaining when it’s not as good as it used to be.  You wouldn’t do it.  You would buy a different loaf of bread, or make it at home.

I propose that we stop spending on the Leafs to encourage the management to put more effort in on our behalf.  So far, the fan has been furthest from their minds.  Make it clear to them that all those dollars they’re pocketing are from us, and they’ll put us into their profit equation.  They need to earn us back as fans.

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If all goes according to plan, we’ll be heading up to the cottage this weekend where I’ll be staying all week.  It’s going to be awesome, but hearing words like “frost” and “flurries” in the forecast means I’ll be burning through an awful lot of firewood to keep things cozy in that little house.

My sister and her two kids are coming out for a visit from BC, so I’ll be spending the week with them and this weekend, my sister-in-law will be dropping her dog off with us for a few months of dogsitting.  Danielle has to head back to the city for work so I’ll be pulling double duty with the dogs all alone.  We’ll see how that goes.

Since I’ll be persona non grata online, that means I’m looking for a few guest bloggers for next week.  Who’s interested in writing up a post for a day next week?

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For our anniversary, we decided to pamper ourselves at one of Toronto’s most well-known luxury hotels; the Park Hyatt in Yorkville.  It’s where visiting rock stars and pro athletes stay so we figured if it was good enough for them, it would be good enough for us.  Wrong.

We paid quite a bit for our room, but figured that all the bonus extras would make it all worthwhile.  It turns out that the Park Hyatt is an a la carte hotel.  That is, if you want anything (literally anything) they’ll bring it right to your room, but you gotta pay, and pay a lot.

In the future, when we want a pampering, I think we’ll try someplace else.  At the very least, it’ll have a swimming pool.

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We had a great Thanksgiving weekend despite being far away from our families.  We had a great meal with some friends on Saturday and on Sunday we were at an awesome Greek wedding.  It was a fantastic party and a timely reminder of why this weekend is so important to us.

Two years ago today, we were married on a beautiful fall day in the Ottawa Valley.  It was the greatest day of my life, and we celebrated it last year in style by pampering ourselves with a 4-star night in Madrid, Spain.  This year we’re keeping the tradition for our anniversary celebration and staying at one of Toronto’s nicest hotels for a night.  Since we make each other feel like royalty all year long, we figure we can relax like royalty for one day.

It’s hard to believe we’ve only been married for two years, especially given the amount of stuff that’s happened in such a short time.  We’ve taken three international vacations and countless road trips to Ottawa, Montreal and anywhere else our path has taken us.  We’ve added a dog to our family, made tons of new friends and celebrated with all our old friends.  It’s been a pretty full two years, and we’re looking forward to many more.

So, if you’re enjoying a fine beverage of some kind this evening, we wouldn’t mind at all if you made a little toast to our long and happy future together.

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