Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A fun tag!

Instructions: Remove the blog from the top, move all blogs up one, add yourself to the bottom.

Jersey Mum
Full Plate
Misadventures of Mommy Laural
Michael's Blog

Five people to tag: I don't really have any blogging friends to tag, so anyone who wants to do this, go for it!

What were you doing 10 years ago?
1997.. Lets see.. that would have made me 21... I think I was just finishing my second year of university, and trying to find a job. I had moved back home, and probably getting ready to party the summer away.

Five Snacks You Enjoy:
  1. Homemade Nacho's
  2. Peanut butter on toast
  3. Wine
  4. Smart Food
  5. Beef Jerky
Five Songs That You Know All The Lyrics To:
  1. Wish you were here - Pink Floyd
  2. If it be your will - Leonard Cohen
  3. What do you do for money honey? - AC/DC
  4. Heaven - DJ Sammy (orig. Bryan Adams)
  5. Add it up - Violent Femmes
Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire:
  1. Pay off my debts.
  2. Pay off my friends mortgages / student loans
  3. Buy a large home with a 7 car garage.
  4. Take a long vacation
  5. Purchase 7 really nice cars, one for each day of the week.
Five bad habits:
  1. Not getting enough sleep
  2. Eating too much crap
  3. Avoiding phone calls
  4. Procrastination
  5. I'm a packrat
Five Things You Like To Do:
  1. Drive fast and yell at other drivers.. :)
  2. Listen to music
  3. Cook (well.. BBQ counts!)
  4. Play with Matty
  5. Facebook stuff
Five Things You Would Never Wear Again:
  1. A Tracksuit
  2. Jelly anything
  3. Cheesecutter caps
  4. Anything in pastels
  5. Silk shirts

Friday, May 04, 2007

The ABC's Of Me!

Thanks for the tag sweety!

A - Available or Single? Nope.. In love and married.. Plan on keeping it that way too.

B - Best Friend? Does anyone truly have only one best friend? Today I'll pick Zac, as I've known him the longest.

C - Cake or Pie? Pie... Blueberry or cherry.. Mmm.. Cherry pie..

D - Drink of Choice? Vodka - straight shots or Gin & Tonic

E - Essential Item(s)? Fingers, toes.. and my wallet..

F - Favorite Colour? Purple

G - Gummi Bears or Worms? Gummi bears!

H - Hometown? Peterborough, Ontario

I - Indulgence? OHhhh.. Homemade nachos as a midnight snack.. so baaaad...

J - January or February? Although my Birthday is in January, I  much prefer February.. more miserable weather, and Valentines Day! I love Valentines.

K - Kids? Just one.. for now ;)

L - Life is incomplete without… Love, devotion, trust & companionship.

N - Number of Siblings: 1, my sister who lives in Australia.

O - Oranges or Apples? Apples.. Oranges are too messy.

P - Phobias/Fears: Being alone & Being buried alive.

Q - Favorite Quote:
“I love you, and because I love
you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than
adore me for telling you lies.” -Pietro Aretino

R - Reasons to Smile? Laural, Matthew, compliments, & smiles.

S - Season? Winter.. Nice, cool, curling.

T - Tag Three: Wow.. I really need to de-lurk from a whole bunch of blogs before I do that..

U - Unknown Fact About Me: If I told you, it wouldn't be unknown anymore would it?  ;)

V - Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? Complete oppressor of animals.. Mmmmm.. GO MEAT!

W - Worst habits? Um.. Road rage, lack of sleep, snoring, eating, not exercising.. shall I go on?

X - X-rays or Ultrasounds? X-Rays... So much cooler!

Y - Your Favorite Foods: Lasagna, macaroni and cheese, and sushi... how very random of me.

Z - Zodiac: This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius...

Thursday, April 26, 2007


When you go looking for something special,
a goddess concocted by some lonely night fantasy,
and you find it,
and she’s everything you ever dreamed she’d be,
don’t forget the precious reality of a dream come true,
so many are out there dreaming still.

If you begin to treat her like a novelty when the newness has warn off,
reject her emotionally and bodily,
forget your ears have ever heard her needs,
leave her alone to the reality of her own thoughts,
take for granted she has human needs,
beyond trophy packaging,
the crown is bound to slip,
the wings are sure to weaken,
and the angel that you’re pushing away
will surely fall.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

I've been tagged?

So apparently my beautiful wife has tagged me. So without further ado:


  1. I'm a man of few words, and this is apparent in my on-again off-again blogging style... but no one bugs me about my lack of posting when I do have something to say.
  2. I think it's cool that people out there have any interest in what goes on in my life.
  3. The odd comment I do receive is one hell of an ego boost.
  4. It affords me opportunity to showcase my best renovation helper, Matty.
  5. It helps me to keep this jello-esq mass of a brain from turning completely to mush..
I think I shall tag... hmm.. lemmie think about that..

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Exercise is a drag...

Having managed to survive to my 31st year, it's come to my attention that things are not as easy as they once were. I've noticed that the learning curve of new knowledge is gradually getting steeper. I'm sure this is the technology generation gap beginning to catch up to me. There is so much interesting technological knowledge out there that I really just can't be bothered to keep abreast of anymore.

My ability to learn and adapt to new technologies is about be tested in an extreme way. Back in December I started working at a new architectural firm., and last week it was announced that we would be changing the way we work. The good old standby AutoCad (which I have been using ever since I learned how in grade 10) is being replaced by Revit. Not only is it new software, but an entire paradigm shift in the way buildings are designed and documented. Initially I was excited by the chance to learn this new way of doing things, and then it hit me. What if it's not as easy as I think it will be? What if I just can't? Of course I dream of diving into this, and rising to the top, soon to become the Revit superstar in the office... Only time will tell.

Since I titled this post as exercise, I guess I should get around to that too. It's amazing how you take your body for advantage, until one day you realize that a few trips up the stairs isn't as easy as it once was. How there are aches and pains in places you didn't even know you had... How you get up from the couch with a grunt or groan, as your wife looks on in horror trying to figure out what kind of furry animal decided to die over in the corner... And the snoring! Or so I've been told. I hadn't even realized that in the last 5 years, I've managed to put on 50lbs of additional weight. A quick trip to the doctor confirms that yes indeed, it is time to loose weight, get some exercise, and stop the sleeping habits of a 20 year old insomniac (well, actually, no one should be living on 3-4 hours of sleep a night). So I've started taking a good look at what I eat, mostly portion wise. I make sure to take my vitamins every day, eat/drink as many servings of vegetables as I can, and watch my portions. No more midnight snacking, and lots of water.

I've also started exercising... Nothing major yet. Just some walking (2.75km a night, increasing gradually). I'm certainly not going to be out running a 5k anytime soon (proud of you for wanting to do the 'rat race' this year sweety!) I've also managed to assemble some weights, figure out the timer on the rowing machine (20min of rowing is not like it was in high school...bleh), and even grabbed some fitness videos (I know you're laughing when you're reading this Laural!)

"It doesn't matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations. If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light, it doesn't matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week, or ten thousand years - we turn on the light and it is illuminated. Once we control our capacity for love and happiness, the light has been turned on."
-Sharon Salzberg

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Birthday Weekend!

So, I managed to turn 31 this weekend. Caught me quite by surprise actually. New years resolutions (the secret ones I told no one) are coming along quite well.

Firstly, I'd like to thank Laural for giving me such a great weekend. My first birthday gift was really quite a surprise, and early surprise... A new digital camera! I was floored. I'm loving our new Kodak C743 and all it's 7.1 Mega pixel goodness! Of course, it replaces our older Fujifilm FinePix 2650, a definite workhorse of a point and shoot digital camera. Of course, I had mentioned at some point over Christmas how the camera needed to be replaced, especially since the tiny LCD display was beginning what I was sure was the "shimmy of death". I guess one too many trips bouncing across the floor, and Matthew using it as a hammer every now and again was beginning to take it's toll.

The new camera's proving ground was today, at Monster Jam! (A Christmas present I would definitely recommend to anyone out there that loves noise, trucks, and children looking on in awe). Of course, that wasn't the end of the weekend goodies... Gift cards to my favorite store, cash, and...

Pink Floyd Boxers!!!! (Dark Side of the Moon indeed!)

But that wasn't the end of it... Since Laural was commuting by train to work in Toronto everyday, my big Christmas idea for her was an iPod Shuffle. I picked the shuffle, because it was small, cute, and super lightweight (for working out, etc.). Almost immediately I was jealous of Laural's technological superiority, and she took ample opportunity to make sure I knew I didn't have an iPod. Of course this was apparently her way of dropping subtle hints that her parents and she had split on ....

a 4GB iPod Nano for me. Mmm... Green.. This is by far one of the sweetest pieces of electronic crack ever developed. I am truely addicted to music, and this is just what I needed! I will fill out the rest of todays post with pictures from the new digital camera of Monster Jam, and other assorted birthday shots.

Matthew posing with the "sugar coated cake of doom!" I swear this kid will be on the Food Network decorating cakes in the near future...

Laural, thanks for such a great birthday. All the thought and effort you put in really made my weekend. I'm so lucky to have such a great wife... and such a great friend... and a child that loves loud things and wrecking trucks just like daddy!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Home Renovation Project #3

Yes, I know I skipped projects #1 (Small bathroom makeover ) & #2 (kitchen repainting), but I promise I'll post pictures of my beautiful wife's handy work soon.

Having determined that our recent electrical fiasco was not something I had done (see Laural's posts Christmas Traditions ... New and Old & Let There Be Light!, and finding a great deal on a 5+1+1 programmable thermostat (on sale for $39.99 at Canadian Tire) tonight, I decided that it was time to get rid of this beast:

Now I understand, that 30 or so years ago, this thermostat was probably quite technologically advanced. It even had humidistat controls built right in! However, in this day and age of expensive gas, oil, and hydro, it just wasn't up to snuff... Especially considering my new thermostat claims that I can save almost 33% on my energy costs (if I was working in a lab, with a white coat, glasses, and paid to test such things). And so it begins...

The first thing I did was pop off the cover... Actually, let me rephrase that... The first thing I did before messing around with this was to make sure I disconnected the furnace circuit at the fuse panel, after I read something about killing myself and blowing up my house if I wasn't careful... Next I pried off the temperature assembly, being careful to watch it slip out of my hand (mercury filled switch and all) and bounce merrily down the dining room to the glee of Matthew ...

... who had decided to watch and see if daddy would kill himself today. Sorry Matty... Wait for daddy to play with the big tools for that!

Verifying that the switch and it's silvery goodness was still intact, and my family and I would not be getting "Mad Hatters Disease" from my butterfingers, I unscrewed the thermostat from the wall and moved in for a closer look at the wiring. 5 wires, 5 contacts... Good stuff.. Flip to the 5 wire heating/cooling wiring diagram on my new thermostat and I immediately notice, wire colour, and terminal designation seem to have no meaning what so ever in this industry. Great... Off to the web. I was lucky enough to find two good resources here & here, which I learned a lot from (and got lots of nice warnings about dying from to boot).

Super... Armed with my new info, I began to sort the wires out again.. But old homes have LOTS of surprises for anybody who wants to renovate. I turned over the thermostat and counted 7 wires... 7 wires? Only 5 are connected. Ok, I can deal with a few extra wires. They're obviously dead, and of no use.. One big warning from my research kept talking to me... Never assume that a wire colour is correct for the function it should perform. Right, visions of my gas furnace coming to life and blowing out the roof like santa in a hot fire come to mind. Time to head down to the furnace and verify wire colours / terminal designations right from the source. Off come the covers on the furnace, displaying even more warnings, and symbols of death and destruction. At this point in time I'm really beginning to wonder if I truly am as "handy" as I think I am... I went down there looking for a simple wiring diagram, that would tell me what various terminals on the furnace controlled..

What I got was this mess of wires, and the accompanying wiring diagram. Now I did take electronics in high school, and being an Architectural Technologist, I've seen my fair share of mechanical and electrical drawings & diagrams. But those drawings come with legends, and an engineer that you can hound for hours if need be with questions. No problem.. I study the diagram, figure out what terminals go where and what they do. Then I look up on the circuit board, and... 4 wires from the thermostat.. Hmm.. 5 wires on old thermostat, 7 wires in wall, 4 wires to the furnace... and one wire, which must be magic, switches it's colour from black to blue somewhere between the furnace and the thermostat. Ok.. White wire, check.. Red wire, check.. Green wire, check.. Yellow wire, check. Mystery Black/blue wire? well.. turns out it's blue in the ceiling and wall, connected to the black one above the furnace, and then.. goes nowhere.. another dead wire. I write my findings down on a box (only thing handy) and head back up stairs.

Armed with my beautiful box/notepad I affix the new thermostat to the wall, and begin attaching the wires to their proper terminals. Install the batteries and close the cover. Set the time on the thermostat, flip the switch to heat and.... damn it... run downstairs to screw the furnace fuse back into the fuse box. Voila, the heat flows from the furnace. I flip the switch to cool.. I hear the a/c compressor click.. Another job well done.

Now then... The next task..
Post Christmas clean up.. Gah..

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The List

Owning a home you get to do stuff to (we used to own a modern condo, with little to do to it) makes you dream of BIG things. Unfortunately, with those big things, come a multitude of little things to be fixed, wired, renovated, updated, repaired, re-repaired, re-wired, etc.

So I present... THE LIST! (a work in progress)

1. Unpack remaining matthew boxes.
2. Orgainize Matthew bedroom, closet & Dresser
3. Remove doors from matthews closet, store in basement.
4. unpack remaining linen closet/bathroom boxes.
5. organize linen closet
6. hang new blind in master bedroom
7. unpack remaining clothes boxes, and orgaize closet and dresser (mike)
8. move laural dresser to bedroom
9. hang silver/grey shelves in office
10. unpack books & office supplies in office.
11. finish painting kitchen
12. patch wall in bathroom, touch up paint on patch
13. clean bathroom mirror
14. organize workshop, hang tools, etc.
15. sort thru boxes in storage (laural and mike together, in the new year)
16. get remaining boxes & stuff from parents house
17. hang coat rack in hall
18. re-arrange living room to suit tall cabinet
19. unpack breakables and keepsakes, place in china cabinets
20. Mike to run 3 conduits from basement closet under stairs for new phone/data/cable lines to house
21. Mike patch and repair any damage created when running conduit
22. sand & prep green walls to recieve primer & new paint (colour to be determined)
23. Prime green walls & paint (in new year)
24. mike lift all basement ceiling tiles around perimeter of foundation and seal top of foundations with expanding foam.
25. Mike investigate soffit over entrance way for possible lack of insulation (matt's cold bedroom)
26. Mike pull trim off of windows and doors, reseal & insulate as required.
27. Mike seal & insulate as required all duplex boxes in exterior walls.

Sadly, this is just the beginning...