Friday, June 23, 2006

Morning bike ride

Now that the weather is nicer, I have been riding my bike to work. It's much faster than the bus, mostly because I go straight to the office instead of taking a slow route through town. Keep in mind though, the best way to describe me on a bike is 'casual'. I may wear my helmet, but generally I'm in shorts and a T-shirt, ideally wearing my Birko open toe sandals. What can I say? I like the feel of wind between my toes.

On my typical daily ride I tend to go along a pedestrian/bike path built along one of the busier roads. This saves me the headache of dealing with traffic and it's quite nice. There is even a bridge at one point, with lots of trees around. Well today, one of the branches was broken, and the bridge was completely blocked.

Or mostly blocked. I really didn't want to back track to a point where I could avoid the bridge - that would be at least an extra 5 mins added to my ride. So I took a closer look at the foilage - sure enough, with some persistence I could force my way through the branches to the other side so long as I kept to the far edge of the bridge. Once through, I continued my ride, content in the knowledge that I was able to overcome my little obstacle. But really I was happy that I managed to find the lazy-man's path through the branches rather than riding around the bridge.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Relaxing on the patio

Summer is here and it seems like this is the first year we are actually using our patio. I really enjoy being able to hang out there in the evenings after work, watering the plants and just hanging out in the shade. Or even better, to enjoy a cold drink on a warm night. About the only thing that prevents us from really enjoying it much at night are the mosquitoes, but once it dries up around here like it usually does, that shouldn't be a problem.

Of course, the patio furnature we have is in dire need of refinishing - and the cushions in need of outright replacing. But that just means we don't care if the dog or cats hop up and if we spill something, that's not a big deal either. It's a quiet place where I can pretend I'm a gardener as I water my dozen or so potted plants, and Louise can bark at a few passing cars if she likes. Sophie, well she would hang out there all day if we let her - we have already had at least one request to relocate a litter box out there.

And of course, now that the laptop has the wifi card installed, I am able to hang out on my patio and browse the internet (or update my blog) while sipping back a cold vodka and cranberry drink, or beer, depending on my mood. Yep, just sit back and relax.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More reasons to love Coffee

Like I needed more reasons to justify my favorite drink. Well actually I do. If only coffee didn't get such bad press at times. I mean really, how is it ever going to be able to compare against green tea, with all it's 'health benefits' and such?

Well today I stumbled across a link that shows that cofffee helps protect one from lethal radiation. Not convinced? Kachadpillill George, the head of the research team, said "It does suggest that coffee might have some beneficial effects in protecting against radiation." Yay coffee!

A few days ago, we learned that coffee may actually protect the liver from the worst ravages of alcohol. Suddenly, drinking your Bailey's in coffee sounds like a pretty good idea. Then today, someone shows me a link to a new style of coffee press that supposedly makes a very good cup of coffee. You can see a video of it here.

Just when I thought this blog post on coffee was going well, I get directed to this piece of disturbing news. I don't care how rare civet coffee is, I want no part of a cup of joe that has been passed through the digestive tract of some mongoose-cat hybrid animal. My condolances also go out to the workers who have to sift through this animal's crap to collect the coffee beans. Times must be rougher than I thought.

Okay, so obviously one can take the whole coffee thing too far. Maybe cutting back on coffee isn't such a bad idea for me after all. I can always resume drinking lots in the event of a nearby nuclear detonation, I suppose.

Monday, June 12, 2006

More concrete to pour

So this weekend I resumed my entryway project. I used up the last of the original bag offloor leveling concrete, and set about mixing up the next bag.

One small problem became readily apparent: this was different stuff, and they didn't give a proper mix ratio. And what they did give didn't seem to make much sense.

One good thing about all these do-it-yourself renovation superstores is they become the functional equivalent of technical support. Not sure how to use that bag of cement? Call Rona (or Home Depot, or Home Hardware, etc.) and ask. They are only too happy to help. So that's just what I did. The person on the other end of the phone wasn't entirely sure what the answer to my question was, but he at least gave me the amount of water required for the whole bag. Some simple math divided it down from there, and then I was ready to mix, if a bit skeptical.

The difference between the old stuff I had and the new is that this was self-levelling cement. So it poured out like a soupy pudding mess, slowly settled into a level puddle and then hardened into place. The finish was much smoother than before, so I'm very happy with the product. I used up the entire bag, and will probably go through another one by the time I get things to the right height.

So basically, I'm one step closer to putting down the vinyl floor in the entrance.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I had a great weekend - how about you?

The weekend started Friday evening - with me winning the lottery! Ye-haw. I won $1 on the extra, making me a believer in that extra cash grab. It put me in a good mood and I had a great night. We weren't celebrating my win per se, but it was a good night. I can't remember now, but I think this was also the night I was talking with a friend and learned that she is getting married. More good news!

On Saturday I won a couple bucks on Super 7. Another amazing day was had by all. Okay, not entirely. Louise was upset when we went out for an hour or so without her, but that's par for the course, and later she got to meet a boxer puppy.

Sunday brought forth the discovery of yet another dollar won, this time with Lotto 6/49. My wife made me breakfast in bed, and later we went out to get some plants for the balcony. A garden on the balcony is the perfect size for me. It gives me the excuse to hang out there without it becoming so big as to be a chore. Louise particularly liked the trip to the plant store as she got to ride in the wagon.

I also re-connected with an old friend on the - one who had been out of touch for several years. I wasn't sure if he was in jail, dead or what. Turns out, it was probably none of the above. Oh well, I guess things are more dramatic in my imagination.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

So is anyone else ready to ditch cable TV?

So now that all the season finales are done, we find ourselves watching a lot less TV. We have even started to wonder why we still get cable TV, since most nights there isn't anything we want to watch on the tube. Now that a lot of networks are encouraging viewers to download the shows the day after they are aired, I'm left contemplating life after cable TV.

All in all, I don't think it would be that bad.

We already have high speed internet, courtesy of a DSL line. I was also happy with the high speed service offered by the local cable retailer when I had it. I'm a price-conscious shopper when it comes to internet - I'll switch for a lower rate. If internet also offers me TV content for the same price, it seriously devalues my cable TV subscription.

Come to think of it, the resolution and overall picture quality is way better on either of our monitors as compared to the TV set.