Archive for April, 2005

Monthly Archive

I cut my grass for the first time tonight, and I must say, it was kind of fun. Of course, I only did my front lawn, not the rear, and I think the “fun” part of it had more to do with the fact that it was the first time I’ve ever cut a lawn, not just the first time I cut my lawn (although that is quite fun too). But, as I was reminded later in the night (“you know you have to do this once a week, every week”) I’m sure the novelty will wear off eventually, much as the shovelling of my driveway did after the foot or more of snow we got one day.

I’m not sure why my mother never let me cut the grass when I was younger (and by younger, I mean early teens, not four years old or anything. No child slavery in my family. Except for the cleaning of the bathrooms, but I think that’s slavery at any age.) It wasn’t difficult persay. Tiring, yes, but that may have something to do with the fact that I have a manual mower, not a power mower (yay triceps!). But all in all, I would say that it was fun.

I originally figured that since I got my house at the end of September, there would be no need to cut it before winter started and I could put off the purchase of a lawn mower until this spring. But as the snow melted and I began to look around, I soon came to the conclusion that perhaps my lawn was getting just a little too wild (either that, or my neighbours mow their lawns in the middle of the day. Which is perfectly possible). Anyhow, I was planning on buying the lawn mower last weekend and doing the inageral cutting then, but the rain/snow storm that arrived put off my plans. Then on Monday I got a notice in my mailbox from the city (standard notice, not actually directed at me) that reminded people that their lawns should not be longer than 6 inches or they could be fined and I decided that maybe I shouldn’t put it off any longer.

I was a little torn in my decison to get a manual mower vs. a power mower, but since I don’t have a garage or a shed, and I didn’t fancy leaving my mower out in the elements to rust away on me, the manual mower was really the only option that could be carried up and down the stairs to my basement.

Unless of course I went for the goat option that was presented to me last weekend. But I think two (sometimes three) cats is more than enough.


deconstructing … everything

I really should not be left alone in my house. Every time I have more than a few minutes to spare, I start taking something apart.

The carpets in the living room and dining room.

The bathroom walls.

The bathroom tiles (which I painted one day since I figured I wouldn’t have the time to replace them anytime soon).

The dining room floor (that ugly linoleum under the carpets? It started to lift up from the floor and attack my socks so it’s days are numbered).

The kitchen cabinets (primed, but not painted).

And my latest … the flooring that runs through my front hall and kitchen.

It always starts innocently. With the carpets, I was just trying to get rid of the musty smell. With the bathroom, I was just trying to take down some wallpaper. With the dining room .. well those tiles were just ugly, so I didn’t mind that they decided that they should go too.

Today, while taking up staples (from the carpets) I noticed that the hardwood actually extended under the linoleum by the front door. So I lifted up the corner to see how far it went, but I couldn’t really see. I gently stuck a screwdriver under the linoleum and pried it up a bit, but that didn’t give me an answer either. So what did I do? I took off the baseboards and stuck the screwdriver under the linoleum again and started yanking away at it. It turns out that the hardwood only extended about two inches, and after that I was met with the same ugly tiles that are in the dining room. At least this confirms my thoughts that the yellow originally came from the kitchen since it didn’t seem to match anything else in the area. The problem was, after I had pulled the linoleum up that far, I couldn’t put it back down because I had also pulled up the staples holding it to the floor and they no longer wanted to go back down. Which really left me with only one option – yank it up some more.

So I’m now left with two levels in my front hall – the linoleum that covers it and the kitchen, and the tiles that were below the linoleum. And it really leaves me with only one option – rip up the rest of the linoleum (at least until the kitchen door).

Which is actually okay with me because the linoleum in the kitchen was stained anyway and I was looking for an excuse to replace it.


Where next, the bathroom?

My company has many offices around the world, but the only one we seem to have semi-regular interactions with these days is the one in the States (probably a language thing. Perhaps I should have learned a few more languages in high school). Even these are fairly rare since they work on different project areas, but the one place that we do still overlap is our company goals and our part in them, so I went about setting up a meeting with several people in my office and one of the people in the US office for a project I am leading.

Although I had the ability to book a meeting room for my coworker in the States, I left it up to him since I’m not familiar with their office and didn’t want to book a “bad” meeting room-meaning one that was too hot/too cold/too noisy/smelled horrible/whatever. I did tell him that I would book one if he wanted me to.

Yesterday he let me know that, because of our booking system, he was unable to book a room for a timeslot in which he was already booked (for my meeting) and could I expand the meeting request to book a room for him? No problem. I went, found one that seemed like a half decent size for one person, and emailed him to let him know what room I had booked.

Shortly after that I got the following response “Um .. that’s not actually a room, that’s the receptionist’s desk.”


I cancelled the first “room”, found the next available room and, before booking it, sent a quick email with the room name and jokingly asked if it was a real room.

It turns out that the second “room” was actually the grassy area outside their building.


Skipping that “room”, I responded that there was only one other room available and asked him if he had access to it. He did, I booked it, and all was good.

About an hour before the meeting he emailed me to let me know that the final room was, in fact, booked by someone else, they just hadn’t marked it as booked in the reservation system, and would I please phone him at his desk when my meeting began.

For future meetings for this project, we decided to forgo any further attempts at booking meeting rooms for him and to just continue phoning him at his desk. Better than sticking him in a storage closet.


Please try your luck again … sucker

After only 2 wins in 36 cups in the Tim Horton’s Roll up the Rim to Win Contest, I’m getting a little tired of seeing the phrase “Please Play Again”. It would be good if they could vary it a bit – perhaps throw in the occasional “Play Again Please” or “Again, Please Play”, or “Winner – GMC Envoy”.

Perhaps it is the tone of the message that gets to me most. Sure, it has the “Please’, but all they are really requesting is that I give them more money. There’s no sympathy in that message. All they want is the cold, hard cash. The Mars bar that I ate today, while not bumping my winning statistics any higher, at least had a slightly better message of “Sorry, Better Luck Next Time”. Where’s the Sorry from Timmy’s? After all, it’s a Canadian company and we are known for saying Sorry all the time.

If only Mars made sweet sugary tea.


Previously (it completes me)