Archive for April, 2010

Each morning, I walk Danielle to her bus stop and bring Mojo as the start of his morning walk.  When her bus arrives, we take a stroll around and through the nearby schoolyard so he can sniff and pee and do all the fun things that dogs love to do before breakfast in the morning.

This morning, I was walking him across the street (at an intersection) while a van approached, and didn’t slow down as it approached the stop sign.  I started running, so Mojo did too and we narrowly missed being run down by a soccer mom with a van full of kids.  She was chattering away on her cellphone and holding some papers in her hand (the same hand that held the wheel) and in spite of my yelling at her, she didn’t notice us any more than she noticed the stop sign.

Thankfully Mojo is a fast runner, and loves any chance to pick up the pace, so he would have been fine.  I think his burst of speed and the pull on the leash pulled me the last few inches that, at the very least, saved my foot from being run over.  It was that close.

Given that my heart was pounding out of my chest, as she sped away, I didn’t even get a look at her license plate.  I was too distracted by the three kids watching me through the back window without their seatbelts on.  They had seen everything, and looked just as worried as I was.

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the government stepping into our private lives to dictate our behaviour, but I’m a big fan of the cellphone and texting ban here in Ontario, and while it might not have helped this particular driver pay more attention, it couldn’t have hurt.  I just hope those kids make it through the day.

Comments 2 Comments »

Sorry for being ‘persona non grata’ around here lately, but it’s been kind of an insane week with some pretty intense Pulse demos and meetings.  Alas, things have cooled very briefly, so I’ll be back in fine form.

I had a Canadian Moment last night at the Toronto FC game versus Montreal.  While sitting in the stands enjoying a very lively and entertaining game of soccer, most of my section was trying desperately to watch the Montreal Canadiens game on a TV in a field-level bar 50 yards away, and we even worked out a signalling system with some guys sitting right by the window.  When Montreal finally won, a huge cheer erupted from our section, and was followed shortly by a cheer further up where the Montreal Impact supporters were sitting as the news spread.

So, you tell me; what’s more Canadian than completely ignoring a live soccer game so you can barely watch an NHL playoff game from 50 yards away?  Nothing, my friends.

The whole thing reminded me of playing ‘foot hockey’ in elementary school at recess.  Our school (like most) didn’t allow kids to bring hockey sticks to school to play road hockey on the paved playground, so we set up two nets with pop cans and played hockey with our feet; kicking around a tennis ball.  I’m sure you did it too, and you probably called it foot hockey as well, but in the rest of the world, it’s known as soccer.

So in honour of the TFC win last night, for the rest of the Habs playoff run I shall refer to ice hockey as ‘ice soccer, with sticks’.

Comments No Comments »

On Saturday, Danielle and I decided to check out the source of the constant cookie smell in our neighbourhood and wandered up to O’Connor just north of St.Clair to the Peek Freans cookie factory.  There’s a factory outlet store there that’s open Monday to Saturday and it’s a feast for the senses (and the wallet).

I fought the urge to buy a garbage sized bag of Fruit Cremes (the cookie with the circle of jam in the middle you can see from on top) for a mere $7.  Instead I got a small box for $1.  We left with our pockets $11 lighter but we had about 8 different types of cookies.  There was very little wrong with any of them; mostly missing the packaging and some had a few broken cookies in them.  I assume they’re sold at cut rate deals because the packaging got messed up or the cookies were broken or whatever.

I’m currently enjoying a $1 bag of Chewy Chips Ahoy for breakfast.  Yes, you are jealous.  If you’re in the neighbourhood, check it out, or stop by our place to enjoy the Fruit Cremes of our labours.

Comments No Comments »

Yesterday was an insane day filled with meeting after meeting, but all of them were good, so I didn’t mind working a 12-hour day hitting the pavement and overtaxing the battery on my laptop.  The next few days will be even crazier as we gear up for a really big meeting next week, and while I try to squeeze a little relaxing weekend time in with Danielle and Mojo in our yard.

On a less happy note, Mel’s Diner in Waterloo is no longer.  It burned to the ground yesterday, along with the whole strip mall it was part of.  I only mourn Mel’s, where I spent many a groggy morning getting as much grease into my stomach as I could, so that I could face the day.  It’s also the place where Mike Brubacher first convinced someone I was his little brother, where Jared came up with the name of our band (that never was) and where I learned that a footlong hotdog could be nothing more than two normal sized wieners stacked end-to-end in a really long bun.

In memoriam, I will have a big greasy breakfast this weekend with some crappy coffee and imagine the bust of Elvis watching me eat it. RIP.

Comments 1 Comment »

Yesterday was April 20th, which isn’t even a full month into spring and over two months until the official start of summer.  A colleague came over and we had a two hour meeting around my patio table (unofficially sponsored by Moosehead brewery) and by the time the meeting was done, my face and lower arms were beet red.  This is the earliest I’ve ever gotten a sunburn (previous best was May long weekend).

It’s a doozy too.  The insides of my elbows look like they’re smeared with red lipstick and my forehead at my hairline isn’t faring much better.  Ouch.

All of this has me worried that we’re in for a long, hot and sunny summer, which would be welcomed by most Canadians, but not this lover of snow and cold.  Thank goodness our new place has central air and a frigid basement.  I can hibernate during the days and only come out at night once the evil sun has gone away.  I’d prefer for this to be my last sunburn for 2010, especially since I have no idea where our suntan lotion was packed away.

Comments 4 Comments »

Between my recently insane meeting schedule, working on websites and unpacking our house, I’ve been trying to keep up with the news, and it hasn’t been easy.  The two biggest stories I’ve been following are the volcano eruption in Iceland that basically cut Europe off from North America, and the neverending saga of Helena Guergis and Rahim Jaffer.

Both stories share a lot of things in common.  There is lots of smoke and very little fire, the story itself doesn’t change from day-to-day but is so important that is has to stay on the headlines and once both of them settle down, we’ll barely remember them.  That’s the nature of news, I guess.

A few friends have either had travel plans changed, or had loved ones screwed over by delays for flights, so I can see at least secondhand how the eruption is screwing things up for people.  Still, I would love to get to Iceland to see it for myself.  I’ve always been keenly interested in the severity of mother nature’s fury, from extreme weather (see Thundersnow) to the more deadly earthquakes, mudslides and tidal waves.  So, it would only make sense that I’d love to see a volcanic eruption, from a safe distance away.

I was never all the interested in volcanoes until Danielle and I took a helicopter tour over an active one in Hawaii’s Big Island on our honeymoon.  The helicopter had no doors, so during steeply pitched turns, we were almost hanging out the sides, and the view into the lava fields was spectacular.  I think I took 3o0 pictures.  Especially interesting was the housing development that was partially cut off by lava and partially destroyed.  Homes sat abandoned with neat lawns, playgrounds and intact roads.  Crazy.

So hopefully the crazily named volcano hasn’t affected you negatively, and like me, you’re enjoying all the awesome photos and news footage.

Comments 1 Comment »

After an insanely busy weekend, our house is looking much better and far more lived in.  We’ve set up all the beds with box springs, thanks to Instructables, and I even have a desk in the spare bedroom/office.  Our yard looks much better and will look even better when I put together the new electric lawnmower I picked up (after learning the gas one that was left behind is in no great shape).

It’s nice to have a place that I can work on, bit by bit, and I’m looking foward to a summer filled with major and minor renovations.

We were also blessed to have two sets of houseguests this weekend.  My parents were down from Ottawa for my Uncle’s memorial service on Saturday and Danielle’s mom and stepdad where up from Montreal last night on their way to Minnesota for a few weeks.  Thanks to everyone for their help moving stuff and for the awesome housewarming gifts.  We look forward to many more houseguests in the months and years to come.

Now it’s back to real life, which is nice because it doesn’t include much packing, unpacking or furniture moving.  Time to rest my muscles and start working my brain again.

Comments No Comments »

With two sets of parents set to visit over the next few days, the pressure is on to make our house a little more ‘visitor friendly’.  That means installing blinds to keep out the pesky morning sun and cutting and moving the box springs upstairs so no one is sleeping on a mattress on the floor like some junkie in an opium den.  I’m not knocking that particular design aesthetic, but it’s not the one we’re going with.

One major advantage of our new house setup is that our den is downstairs in the basement, which means our TV is no longer the focal point of our house.  That means we can’t have it on while we’re preparing meals or cleaning dishes or just hanging around in our main living area.  That’s good because there are better things to have on than mindless TV when you’re doing those things.  For example, I’ve fallen back in love with CBC Radio’s daytime programming.

I’m also finding that we’re asking “What’s on TV?” a lot less.  Rather than just flicking around for the least objectionable program, we only head downstairs to watch the shows we really want to watch.  It’s pretty sweet.

I’m guessing that we’ll be spending even less time down there as the weather gets better and we opt for the backyard instead.  It’s like watching a nature channel in HD, only better and with no commercials.

Comments No Comments »