Thursday, 28 April 2016

Big Drugs

I found out awhile ago that if I order my medication though the online pharmacy MediTrust than my benefits cover 100 percent of the cost instead of just 80. I made the switch and enjoy the convenience of delivery. However, I don't know if I previously was getting name-brand versions or if various generic versions are available but my new pills are MASSIVE. Check out the image to the right, they have literally doubled in size, and I take three of these guys every night. The smaller pills with the lighter grey are the kind that I have been taking for years. This drug isn't the only one with a size increase either, the other one that I ordered is also bigger, the only ones that stayed the same were birth control.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Both Sides Of Black Creek

He shuffled slowly across the ice of Black Creek before taking off at a quick jog over the snow on the far side. A silent run up the east bank, paws softly flicking the powder with each step. He stayed upright to cast a shadow in the figure of a man.

Six new colonies had taken root in the east valley and with them came wicker baskets filled with fruit. Taking one back across the creek could feed the herd for a week. The trees wouldn't stay for long, often planting a few sweet pieces of  fruit before moving passed to root further along to the south.

The herd was weak, spending too long each day asleep in the branches of the beech trees that grew locked to the west bank. First it was the gradual thinning, bones forming as the warm cushion of fat receded, next their coats would turn greasy, then dull, then start to fall out.

Digging the fruit up from the ground would be too slow to feed everyone quickly enough. The herd would start to deplete if he wasn't able to get a basket back to them. The trees slept at night, it was the right time to try to take the big prize.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Two Moves In

From I Could Pee on This

Something's Wrong

Something's wrong
Why are the walls a different color?
Something's not right
When did we get these stairs?
Something's off
How did the kitchen move across the floor?
Something's going on
Who changed all the homes outside?
Something's very odd
Why are you mispronouncing "Georgia" as "New York"?
Something happened
When you put me in that carrying case
And someday soon
I will figure it out

by Francesco Marciuliano

Monday, 25 April 2016

Not As Pretty, But Practical

Our electrical upgrades were completed last week. We used Falstaff Electrical and got a lot of stuff done. They did an amazing job, responded well to our requests, and even though it was a massive amount of money we were happy with the price, as we had anticipated much higher.

I asked to have a separate line for a future hot tub run out to the back yard. I don't think we will ever even get a hot tub but it wasn't a lot of money to prep the extra electrical and having that option adds value to the property. After the electricians completed the request they actually wrote future hot tub on the enclosed circuit box, which was really cute and feels a bit like a long-long-long-term backyard goal now.

Moving the electrical panel, getting a new one, and upgrading the service to 200amp doesn't seem like the most interesting of home improvements but I actually am quite excited about it. The electrical at Casa Verde was terrifying before. Seriously, nothing was to code, in fact some things were so far from code our house inspector would just look at them and say, "Nope."

In the before photo above you can see the the door to access the panel is quite small, which meant that most of the old 100amp panel was hidden behind the wall and not accessible. It was also located above the stove. In contrast to that disaster, the improved panel is pretty awesome!

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Iz Fail Zem All

Jason and I are moving this weekend so Two has been at Teri and Greg's. This week she helped Teri do some marking, based on the expression on Two's face I am guessing she wasn't too impressed with the students' work.
Yes, Failz Zem
Two and Teri
Photo by Greg (I think)

Friday, 22 April 2016

Coaching Question - Part Three

I spent a few weeks considering Evan's question. After a long thought process, I determined that professionally I want to be considered the following:
- Respectful 
- Positive 
- Confident 
- Honest 
I think that I could easily use these words to describe myself. However, I also know that they would not necessarily be the first four that those who work with me now, or ever have, might think of. In order to bring these characteristics more to the forefront. I am trying to remind myself of them daily. I also want to continue to put into practice behaviours that better reflect these parts of myself.

On the other hand, these are the four personal attributes that I hope would be used by my friends to describe me:
- Funny
- Outgoing
- Generous
- Honest
It might be the same case as the first list, that I think I am these four things but that they wouldn't necessarily be the top four picks in my friends' minds. Turns out that I have a duplicate and just need to be the type of person who can be described using seven words instead of eight.

I would love to read your lists, leave them in the comments! Do you have two different ones for work and friends? What are your overlaps? Try to just use three or four, it is an interesting way to self evaluate.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

A Wonderful Surprise

I had an amazing time at a small, low key, short notice, wedding over the weekend. Jason's friend announced a couple of weeks ago that he would be getting married and the few of us who were honoured to be invited got to share in a beautiful evening. In the same fashion that I blogged about the previous wedding of one of Jason's friends - I am just going to include a picture of us at the event. However, please know that both the bride and groom, the casual and private people that they are, looked incredible!

At Pierre and Erica's Wedding
Jason and I 

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Coaching Question - Part Two

I can easily say that I would want the words that colleagues might use to describe my personality to be different than the ones I would want from my friends.

I have never been able to ‘put on’ an alternate persona for work, or other situations that may require me to act differently. Suggestions to have two separate selves for professional and personal life feels fake. It also know how challenging it would be to learn to do this, because I have tried before and always failed.

Evan encouraged me to, “Be authentic. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Adjust your approach while remaining genuine.” This was reassuring. I realized that I can still be true to myself and be described by four words by colleagues and a different four by friends - I can be all eight!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Done Painting, For Now

Jason and I finished painting yesterday! Actually that isn't true, we have finished painting what we are going to do before moving in this coming weekend. With Mom's help a couple of weekends ago, and my Aunt and Uncle's help last month, we got a good handle on what needed to get done. Check out our finished dining room paint job:
I don't have a good before picture to put together a comparison at this time but you should just know that it was yellow, all yellow, very very yellow. I feel like I achieved the look I was going for and I am really happy with it!

So excited to move in, but not looking forward to all the packing we need to do this week to get ready for moving day on Saturday.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Coaching Question - Part One

I spent the last six months attending some sessions with business coach, Evan, from Evan Thompson and Associates. It is a good point in my career (early 30's, not a manager but also no longer in an 'entry level' position) to work at professional development that was focused on soft skills instead of knowledge gain. It was interesting and valuable to concentrate on improving communication at an interpersonal level instead of thinking on the high-level communication style that marketing lends itself to.

The most profound challenge that Evan presented during our sessions was to determine what four words I would want people to use when describing my personality. It is interesting to try to put who you are into just four words.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Panda On My Shoes

Panda Sits On My Shoes
Photo by Me (with my phone)

Friday, 15 April 2016

Winning The Lottery

I just finished readying The Happiness Equation. I didn't connect with it the same way that I did with the various books by Gretchen Rubin. However, I think it would be incredible to Neil Pasricha speak; I got the sense from his book that he would be a very powerful speaker. Neil is also the person behind the website 1000 Awesome Things and the subsequent Book of Awesome series (I think Erin AH gave me the first one a while back.)

One of the interesting concepts or "Secrets to Happiness," presented in The Happiness Equation is learning to like what you have. He basically says that our constant desire to want 'more' is stressful and a barrier to happiness. Focus on being happy with what you have, where you are, and who you are in the present, he calls this Secret to Happiness, "Remember The Lottery."
We live on the only place that can possibly support life.
Being alive means you've already won the lottery.
You are among the wealthiest people in the entire world. The average world income is five thousand dollars. Are you higher than that? Then you're in the top 50%. And if you're higher than fifty thousand dollars you're in the top 0.5%. Do you need much more than 99.5% of people alive? You either have the money to buy this book or you have the time to read it. Either way, you have it good!

You already have more than almost everybody on the planet.
You have to remember the lottery.

Because you've already won.
By Neil Pasricha

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

These Are My Guys

I am in a Fantasy NHL Playoff Hockey Pool at work. (We are using the Sportsnet platform.) I have done lots of hockey pools before, but just picking teams on the bracket, never actually choosing players. These are the guys I chose for the first round of playoffs that start tonight. (Hockey playoffs that don't include any Canadian teams! Not a single one made it, which hasn't happened since 1970.)

I first made my picks based on a combination of ESPN suggestions, former Leaf/Ottawa players whose names I recognized, names/teams that I like, etc. I decided that this didn't seem like a winning strategy so I reached out to Rob for some suggestions. I also got a lesson at lunch as to how 'player value points' work and heard about various strategies. I also now have some clarification on how points are determined. Then I made some changes to my original picks to end up with the players above. I wonder how I will do?

This has reminded me of making my Fantasy Baseball Team from the Brantford Expositor when I was really little. You had to cut out the entry form from the newspaper, fill it out, and mail it in. I always got Bon to help me with my picks since I only knew of Roberto Alomar and didn't follow baseball at all. I have no idea why I used to participate in that as a kid but I remember doing it for a couple of years in a row.

Bad Habit, Good Habit

For almost over a week now I have been dealing with a cold. Between work, preparing/painting Casa Verde before moving in, and packing up Rrunuv Bayit - I am scared of burning out. I am being careful to get enough sleep every night and take cold medicine to keep myself functioning, however I feel pretty foggy from it all.

I have also gotten into a bad habit of getting a little bag of potato chips (Miss Vickie's Original) and a chocolate bar (Crunch) from the vending machine almost every weekday afternoon. I usually buy them on my way out the door to have on the bus during my evening commute. Or, if I am staying later than usual then I have it at my desk in the late afternoon. So unhealthy! But, I get so much comfort from it. Also, when I can't breath and everything tastes disgusting because of all the grossness from the cold, it is nice to actual enjoy eating something.

At least I am back to keeping up with my good habit of spinning, specifically going to the Top 40's class and staying overnight at Tessa's after. I missed last week because it was the worst day of my cold (the sore throat part was impervious to medication and hurt terribly.) It is going to be slow going having really cut back from spinning while I get ready to move but I need to keep it up and start attending more often again.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Could You Read This?

------- From Facebook

I think this is another example of a "you are special" trick where pretty much everyone is special. The image above was accompanied by text saying; "90% of you can't read this." Though, it could be a comment on the fact that less than 6% of the world's population speaks English, or maybe a discussion about general literacy? I read it pretty quickly (but my style of reading is a bit different since I tend to skim anyway.) Did you have trouble deciphering the short passage above? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Plants Grow

I think this is one of the best Before and After's I have ever done! And it isn't even about house renovations. Way back in the mid-2000s when I lived with Anna, she had a plant. In fact when she went away to France for a semester I stole the plant and put it in my room. Well, I visited Anna for her birthday this past weekend, which involved an amazing game of Pub Golf that I will blog about soon. The plant has grown. I know this seems obvious, but it really struck me how long we have know each other that the plant could get so big - but it has been 10 years. So check out almost 10 years of growth on this thing:

Thursday, 7 April 2016

TB - July 2007

Throwback Thursday - Scroll to the bottom of the month and read up. Or click on the earliest post in the month (to view the post and the comments) then keep clicking Newer Post until you finish the month.

Oh to be young in July again! This seems like such a nice period of happiness after a long stretch of depression. I am not manic and sad things seem to still happen - I mention a crush that wasn't panning out, I think that was a colleague at Subway. In general though going through this month is a lovely read where I seem to have really found myself. Definitely immature, very 'newly independent' and living the student life-style. However, you can see the early stages of my friendship growing with ERin and Kristen. Also Steph and Teri left lots of comments and get mentioned in posts. It just looks like it was such a nice, easy, fun month. Makes me excited for summer this year!

Noted Post: I still love the post comparing Hamilton to Mordor, thanks to a funny comment made by ERin during lunch at GeoConnections.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

$4? Seriously Dollarama?

One of the sad parts about moving soon to Casa Verde, is that it will increase the distance from where I live to where I like to shop, Dollarama. Right now there is one less than a block from Rrunuv Bayit, but the closest dollar store to Casa Verde is a Dollar Tree. I don't like to branch away from my main love of Dollarama, especially as it is a Canadian company, but they keep raising their prices! There are rumors that later this year there might be more increases and we will start seeing products at $4. I totally understand that they need to do things because of how bad the US Dollar is. Then again, everything at Dollar Tree is $1.25, I have never been but that detail makes me want to go check it out.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Story Of A Hole

Like the great 'photo essays' that came before (Tigers, Toddy, Posts from Paris)  I want to tell you a story, and I am going to do so with pictures...

So, Jason and I have purchased a house.
It has many great aspects but needs some renovations.
Let's follow the path of one of the smaller ones.
One we did ourselves...

So, in the Master Bedroom, during our inspection:
What is hiding behind that big dresser?
And that mirror on the wall behind?

Oh, it is a really really old AC unit!
In a built-in hole in the wall, great.

(Makes sense though, you can see it from the outside.)
There is it, between the two windows for the Master Bedroom.
Yes, the smaller of those two windows is in a closet.
I don't understand it either.

Thankfully Uncle Dabo (Dave/David) came with Aunty Nicky.
He helped Jason brainstorm and build a solution.
First they had to address the heat loss issue:
The hole around the unit got packed with insulation.
We 'borrowed' the insulation from our contractor.
Our basement is full of cool building supplies at the moment.
The green bit to the right is a piece of tape.
This is how I leave requests for people at the house.
That one was asking that the electricians remove the outlet.
They did, the hole has no live wiring anymore.

Next they cut the piece of paneling we bought.
Electric circular saw didn't hold charge well.
This part took the longest.

Afterwards though it looked great:
Adjustments were made and it fit perfectly.
Literally seamless after I added a bit of wood filler.
(Painting has started in the Master Bedroom,
it will be light grey, goodbye hole, goodbye yellow!)

Check out the Before and After:
(I will post another when the painting is finished.)
Massive massive thank you to my uncle for coming by (twice).
This wasn't the only thing he helped with.
We are so grateful for the expertise and assistance!!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

The Scenic Route

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A Sunday post about my Dad, named after a song that he loved.

Heading to Ottawa yesterday, Jason suggested that we head off of the 401 and take the Thousand Islands Parkway. I asked to do this almost every time we drive between Toronto and Ottawa, and Jason never wants to! I think since his new job is a transit commute (instead of driving) trips up to Ottawa aren't as hard on him now.

It was so nice to take the slower and prettier drive, Dad would often choose to take the 40-kilometer side road because it is more interesting to be beside the water. If we had time, and remember to us time is elastic, Dad and I both always prefer the scenic route.

I also saw, and totally recognized from the building (and then later saw the name), the place where Erin and Matt got married.