April 07, 2006

BusyBusy

Everything has been so busy lately. My office is undergoing YET ANOTHER freaking refit. Remember the last one? It wasn't so long ago. Argh. So work has been kinda nuts. Thankfully, I'm not going to be there on Monday, after they tear down a load of stuff and need it set up. Someone else is covering that for me (Thanks, Sharon!). It's going to be a zoo with some very upset people. I'll be busy too, meeting with my lawyer and doing the PDI on my house.

Since I last updated, I've done a bunch of stuff and I'm not sure I remember it all. Most recently, went to Yorkdale with Dave and saw the Apple Store. My fave: the 30" Cinema Display. It's much bigger in person. Yummy. We made some fattening breaded veal and cremini mushroom sandwiches too.

Went to Jen and Dan's place tonight for dinner. We had PC Lasagna (really nice and cheesy!) and some huge homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (very yummy, ate too many of them). Played a couple of games of Settlers of Cataan. Dan won both times (I -almost- won the second time, sorta... oh well!).

Several people expressed an interest in rubies and sapphires, I've just been too busy to deal with it - I'll send out further details via email to everyone. Still not too late if you want in! Just leave a comment/email.

Tired...

Posted by JAY at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2006

Trev's Bachelor Party


Went out for Trev's bachelor party last night, the gang is pictured to the left. Trev's on the right all by himself cuz Narvada and I were taking pix.

We started the evening out at Lola Steak Bistro (more on that in a separate review. We overate of course. I had lobster bisque and filet mignon. Trev had a prime rib steak, shrimp and lobster cocktail, several glasses of wine and several kinds of cake, including maple, chocolate and cheesecake! Sic 'im, Rucell! They also gave us a complimentary vodka/fruit shot that was really sweet and yummy.

From there...

we went to Mystique (recommended by a cook, dissed by the maitre d'). The place was empty except for us. A lovely woman in a red thong danced with real athleticism and flexibility, but it was uncomfortable because it was just us there. We left shortly thereafter to pursue more geeky pursuits.

We took the subway to the Eaton's Centre and went to a small arcade across the street. Played House of the Dead, Tekken (still got my magical button mashing skills!), foosball and air hockey. Heh, Narvada was non-plussed, asking "What is this, a sweet sixteen?" Pascale joined us at the arcade too.

Down the street was Zanzibar (no link? lame!), which was absolutely packed. I had a Corona and only drank 1/2 because I was designated driver... Others, however, had a round of beer, rye and tequila. There was a lot more activity (ahem) at Zanzibar, even though the dancers weren't as dance-y as the one at Mystique. Only -one- of us took a private dance... and it wasn't Trev. He was well behaved despite constant offers to buy him a lap dance. (Not me, Rucell, I swear!)

We went to a pizza place for chicken wings after and pigged out again. I drove home in Erich's car but he felt well enough (it had been hours and meals and water since the drinking) to drive himself home instead of crashing at my place (I did offer, though).

Bathroom breaks were the theme of the night. Narvada desperately needed one before the arcade. I was kinda desperate before the wings - I went to McDonalds and it was closed. There was however, a cleaning sink (not used for food) and I think I probably got caught by the security cameras zipping up my fly. And Trev needed to go badly AFTER the wings.

As for me, I'm dead tired now, so I'm a shower away from bedtime.

PS:

This was the gift that I gave Trev to celebrate his pending (or maybe not-so-pending) conversion to Roman Catholicism.

Posted by JAY at 01:57 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2006

PDI & Lawyer

This morning I had my house pre-delivery inspection. Surprisingly, to my pessimistic worries, it went really well. They had fixed the damaged step, which was my main concern. There was a bit of damage to one of the tiles as well and the cabinets in the washrooms upstairs need to be swapped. The exterior of the house is still incomplete - I don't have gutters yet. A painter was inside doing touch-up paint.

I was impressed by the light fixtures, they're the totally enclosed frosted glass dome type, edged in brass. Much nicer than what I thought we were getting! Also, the really nice wood trim on the stairs remains unpainted - whcih looks really nice. I wasn't sure if they were going to paint it white or not. Finally, there's stone dividers inset into the floor between tile and carpet. I didn't think I was going to get anything that nice. The tiled tub enclosures look really good. So, yay!

Afterward, I went to the lawyer's to sign papers and hand over the downpayment. So both boring AND painful.

Posted by JAY at 09:16 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2006

Closing: Interior Tour

I closed on the new house today, so it's the beginning of the end of this particular section of the blog. After 2 years, this is long overdue! This is the entrance to the house, with the staircase to the right and the kitchen to the left. All the lights, even the one in the bedrooms, are totally enclosed, which hopefully means that no dust will get in! You can kinda see the stone divider between the tile and the carpet. That's kinda nice, I wasn't expecting that.

This is the bathroom on the main floor. It's just a sink and toilet. There's a smudge on the left door that wouldn't rub off. If it doesn't come off with water later, I'll have to put it on the 30 day report.

Might as well take care of the other two bathrooms upstairs. This is the main bath upstairs. I went with the plastic white cabinets because I figure they'll be easiest to clean. In the PDI, the cabinets upstairs were wrong, and these were in the ensuite. I think they dented a doorknob in the master bedroom when they were moving them. Sigh.

This is the master bedroom ensuite. The mottled tile in the tub here looks really nice, but they're not in this pic. I went with wood cabinets in here because it's a bit brighter in this room - it's window faces south. All the bathrooms in the house have a window, which is nice.

This is the front bedroom that overlooks the street. The bedrooms are all pretty boring, the other 2 are just rectangular. This bedroom as a nook for my digital piano (did I ever write about that?) and I put a spot halogen over it so that I wouldn't have to have the room light on all the time.

I didn't bother with the living/dining area because, hey, more boring. The view out the back is pretty nice, but it's strictly temporary - when the farmer sells the fields, it'll be replaced by housing. Hopefully they'll leave the trees that are on the boundary line. (Heck, while I'm hoping, I might as well hope the farmer holds onto it!)


And lastly, here's the kitchen again. You've seen it before, but this one shows the tiles. There's a nick in one of the drawers that's bothering me, so I guess I'll put that on the 30 day report too. There's some dents in some of the moldings as well, upstairs that irritate. I upgraded all the wooden cabinets to maple instead of oak to get a less grainy finish.

There was an nice surprise too, they replaced my regular thermostat with an electronic programmable one. So that's cool, cuz I was thinking of buying one. I couldn't figure out from the manual how to get it showing Celsius instead of Fahrenheit though.

I don't know when I'm actually moving in. Right now, I'm just visiting it every other day or so and I've still got to set up the mailbox (ugh, supermailbox down the street). I still don't know how to pay the mortgage - I think it's automatically withdrawn from my account. I left the builder with a key so they could fix stuff while the house is unoccupied.

Sigh. I can't tell why the paragraphing and pictures aren't working like they are in http://jblog.nfshost.com/mt/blog/archives/2003_11.html#000018>this post

Posted by JAY at 10:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

Spending da Dough

... and making some too. The semi-quasi-good news is that I did some overtime (about 9 hours) to facilitate some office renovations. Hopefully, that'll offset some of the money that I've been spending.

As I mentioned earlier, my server drive mirror failed, so Trev was kind enough to pick me up one when he went to replace his laptop HDD. Bye-bye $100.

Today at the Superstore, I found an upholstered coffeetable/ottoman thingy marked down to 1/2 price: $99! I was going to pick one up tomorrow but they only had 5 left. My father suggested we go back immediately. I'm glad we did because in that hour 2 more were gone. We dropped it at the house and unpacked it. First piece of furniture! If only I could get everything else 1/2 price!

Posted by JAY at 10:47 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2006

Rehearsal Dinner at Cynthia's

Trev had his wedding rehearsal dinner tonight at Cynthia's, a local upscale Chinese-Canadian food restaurant. The bachelor party crew was all there (well, mostly) and the food was good. Thanks for the invite, Mr. and Mrs. V!

It's an interesting restaurant - service isvery attentive, the decor is very traditional, but the food is very North American-friendly while still being much nicer than Chinese fast-food takeout. So it's a less intimidating experience for non-natives than some of the Chinatown restaurants. I was stuffed and actually skipped dessert (a pattern, lately - I skipped it at Lola's too.)

My duty is just to take the red carpet to the church and roll it out. But they're not sure it's long enough, so I couldn't take it then. I didn't have to go to the rehearsal, just the after-dinner :-) Nice, huh?

Cynthia's Chinese Restaurant
16715 Yonge Street
Newmarket, Ontario L3X 1X4
905-836-8113

Posted by JAY at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2006

More furniture = more money

Got a great deal on some dining room chairs. They're large, stained wood with suede microfiber thick upholstry. Just $30 each! When you consider that these plain Ikea chairs were the ones that I was going to buy, this was a great great deal. (They were 1/2 price!)

I'm not sure if I'll use them in the kitchen or the dining room yet, though, because they're a bit big... and there's a great deal on kitchen chairs too. Hmmm.

The other thing is that since they were such a good deal, I bought 6 of them instead of the 4 that I had intended to buy, so... ended up behind money-wise, anyway.

Posted by JAY at 06:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2006

Trev and Rucell's Wedding


photo credit: Apex Photo Video
Trevor and Rucell had their Catholic wedding ceremony last weekend at St. Elizebeth Seton. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so I didn't get to take pictures. Hopefully they show up on his site some time in the next century. Unfortunately, due to the gargantuan groom's family, I didn't get to see too much of the ceremony, but what I saw was alternately cute and hilarious.

Read on...

The priest was an asian dude with one hell of an accent. He could possibly be forgiven his pronunciation of Rucell's name (Hi, Rooosel!) but he butchered Trayver's as well, somehow. Also, the man did [em]not[/em] like photographers and told the official photographer to take his camera to the bathroom. I sat with Erich's wife, Catherine, and we spent the time trying not to laugh. (Solemn Catholic ceremonies are not my strong point.)

I'll also take credit here for the too-short red carpet(s), which only made it halfway down the aisle, despite me picking up a second carpet at the hall that morning (and thus only got to the church minutes before the ceremony).

The reception later was a lot of fun. It almost felt like a cultural festival! It featured a really good barbershop quartet called Bob's Yer Uncle, some really, uh... interesting karaoke, and some impressive Filipino stick dancing by Folklorico.

Food and drinks were also very good. Highlights were the pasta - a really nice ravioli with rose sauce and the veal tenderloin. (BTW, thanks Trev, for alerting me to the well done prime rib and switching me to the tenderloin! It wasn't even small... It was a good baseball sized chunk of medium-medium-rare meat!) The company was also very good. I sat with Narvada's family, Marcell and Catherine. Phil was propitiously absent, so Marcel got Phil's meal instead of the one he ordered when he was a vegetarian.

I was instructed to take advantage of the open bar and Marcel kept me supplied with drinks so I didn't have to fetch them myself. Rum and coke, ginger and rye, cranberry vodka, orange cranberry and vodka, wine and a bit of champagne - more alcohol than I've had for a long long time. (Made necessary partly by the karaoke.)

Another highlight was a hysterical video projection of Trevor and Rucell making out in slow motion and looking uncomfortable. Rucell trying with some success to determine who her husband was by feeling stomachs alone - she was doing well at first, but then got confused with Erich and Dave. If that doesn't get Trev back in the gym, nothing will!

So yeah, a good time was had by all! Except maybe Trev (hee!)

Posted by JAY at 11:02 PM | Comments (1)

April 25, 2006

Gem Choosing

I heard back from Dan of Dan's Data and he assures me that Pehnec Gems is a reputable company. So I've sent the following message to everyone who signed up. If you're interested and haven't signed up, just lemme know.

The email's below...

Hi Cathy, Pat, Dom, Dave!

I've bcc'd you on this but some of you know each other anyway. If you're not interested anymore, lemme know (I'll probably just take over the cost for your portion, if it's just one dropout :) )
I got what I was waiting for: confirmation from someone that I trust that has dealt with the company before.

Dan (of Dan's Data - Dansdata.com)says:
>So my question for you is: do you have any personal experience with
>the company?

Yep. I've bought stuff from them; they've apparently been around for
ages and are quite respectable.

So it's gem choosing time!

If you don't care about some aspect of your gem choice (say, cut or type or size) then just email me what you do care about and I'll choose the rest to get a variety.

Here's what each of you need to do:

* Go to http://www.pehnec.com/
* Choose what you want (preferably in a lot divisible by 5) - info below
* Email me with your choice (cut, size, lot, cost)
* I'll total it all up and come back to you with an approx. cost and what you'll be getting
* Cost will be = (Sum of all orders + Shipping&Customs) / 5 in USD

Some tips on choosing your gems:

1. Cut - the shape of the stone http://www.asia-gems.com/diamonds/diamond-cuts.php
http://www.landaujewelry.com/s.nl/sc.7/category.61/.f
2. Size - in mm, use a ruler! In general, larger = more expensive
3. Gem - the sapphires and rubies are real, the rest are lab manufactured
The cubic zirconia is graded - the more A's, the clearer/brighter
4. Lot size - divisible by 5. Larger lot = smaller size
5. Cost - remember that it's in USD and will be divided by 5
We'll try to keep it in the low $30s but if you want something more/less don't worry about it

Posted by JAY at 03:48 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2006

Unexpectedly Awesome

I'd just like to thank everyone and the universe in general for an unexpectedly awesome day!

Sean was able to get out of meetings today and join Dom, Renato and myself, for lunch at Swiss Chalet. And even though he whupped me at darts during morning break, I won the afternoon break session. Yay! (Heh, I'm on a bit of a roll, I almost NEVER win at darts!) I'm thinking that he doesn't play well on a stomach full of chicken. Not only that, he generously gave me an old vid card that he sorta kinda wasn't using - an ATi 9600XT that is waaay better than what I'm using now. I'm hoping that Elder Scrolls: Oblivion will run on it. Thanks!

Got home to an invitation from Jen and Dan to visit after dinner and play some games. That gave me enough time to whip up some cinnamon rolls. Despite running out of brown sugar, they turned out nicely and both seemed to enjoy it. We played 2 games that I hadn't played before: uh, an Art Auction game and "Tigris and Euphrates". They're kinda like 2 different aspects of Settlers of Cataan. The art auction game was all about selling and buying art at (hopefully, but not always) a profit. So a lot of monetary negotiation types of things going on. A lot of fun. Tigris and Euphrates is kind of uber-chess. Kind of like Settlers, without trading and without as much luck involved - wwway more strategy and rules.

Oddly, I won both games - just barely. Despite wildly different strategies, the auction game was very very close. And T&E was really hard - I won through a combo of luck and (mostly) getting good help and advice from Jen and Dan. So that win doesn't really count, I guess! Even little Naomi was cooperative - she slept soundly while we were having our fun.

Now I'm just really really tired, but in a good way.

Posted by JAY at 11:53 PM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2006

Ugh. Sick.

Gah. Wouldn't go to work tomorrow except that there's an install due. Might just go and get it done and then come home.

Posted by JAY at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)