Saturday, March 31, 2007

It's been a week of recovery for Heather and me. Heather's right trapezius seized up on her on Monday night, and she's been out of commission since then. I finally went to a physiotherapist about my upper arm (turns out we have one on-site at work!), and he said I have most likely injured my right rotator cuff. (I hurt my left rotator cuff a couple years ago, but it's recovered). So I'm taking a break from sports until we get back from vacation.

Tuesday night I was out for dinner with one of our vendors, CCI, at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. I've eaten there a handful of times, and I've never been very impressed. I find the steak doneness erratic, and the service so-so. We had two bottles of wine to start dinner (Amarone Valpolicella), and the server had someone taste the first bottle. However, when that was empty, the server then just poured the second bottle without having anyone taste it! The point of tasting it is make sure that the wine hasn't soured because of a bad cork. Adnan (my manager) noticed that too.


I decided not to insulate the entire wall in the basement, but instead just insulate around the window and in the joist spaces. I ripped out the old filling around the window, and replaced with spray foam. A previous owner had stuffed newspaper (in 1970 according to the folio), and covered it with a thin layer of concrete. I'm going to reframe it with cedar 2x4s for cosmetic purposes. I bought some extruded polystyrene to fill in the joist spaces. Between the two little projects I should cut down on the drafts that came into the basement.


It's a nice day today so I'm hoping to remove the burlap from my evergreens in the front yard. I wonder how many of our perennials will come up this year? I'm also hoping to paint the front posts before we leave for Morocco. The paint project was interrupted last fall because it rained for a month and then got too cold.

We were up pretty early for a Saturday. I was out of bed before 8:30am! The all-request breakfast (song requests on CFNY) hadn't even started. I may be able to get some stuff done with all this extra time...

Heather and I went for a walk westwards on Queen E a couple days ago. I was amazed at how many new restaurants have opened up. A couple that we'd like to visit are The Comrade, and the Burger Shoppe.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

For some reason, back ribs were only $4.39/kg at Loblaws on Friday (vacuum sealed too!), so I bought five packages of 2 full racks each. Normally it would cost about $25 - $30 for 2 full racks; on Friday it was only $5.

However on Friday nights Heather and I like to make a nice dinner with a bottle of wine, and ribs didn't cut it. The pork tenderloin looked good (I grabbed a sandwich at Loblaws for lunch on Friday and checked out the meats), and Heather found a great recipe on the LCBO website, spinach and bacon-stuffed pork loin with white wine and rosemary cream sauce. It turned out excellent. Lately if a recipe calls for chopped pancetta, I've finely chopped almost to a minced consistency. It makes the stuffing smoother and I find it tastes better. Sherry from the LCBO recommended a valpolicella, which went well. We've been having a lot of valpolicellas recently, although pinot noir is still my favourite.

We're having a couple rack of ribs tonight. It's an all-pork weekend!! I'm trying to talk Heather into having bacon for breakfast tomorrow, but it doesn't look good. Heather said she'll have to eat tofu for a week...

The past week was really busy at work. I took the team out for a quick beer on Friday afternoon to give everyone a chance to breathe.

Had a 2-1 week in sports -- lost Sunday Ultimate, but then won Wednesday Ultimate and Thursday hockey. Thursday was the first game of the playoffs for hockey. It's a two-game series, total points. If we win the series, then we're in a two-game final (I think). Ultimate playoffs start this week.

Well the ribs are almost done so I should go.

Monday, March 19, 2007

This past Valentine's Day, Heather and I agreed to get just one Big Box of Love:

These are our favourite chocolates, from js bonbons. Last year we both bought a box for each other as a surprise. It takes us a while to eat chocolate (this box lasted a month), so we agreed in advance this year to just get the one.


On Sunday one of the overhead lights on the stove went, so I walked down to Home Depot to get a replacement. Heather decided to join me so she could browse around Winners. We ended up buying a huge mirror for the bedroom:

We carried it back home walking along the street, just the two of us and our brand new $99 mirror from Winners. $99!

That's Heather trying out a new scarf, with Mr Giraffe (my souvenir from Kenya) overlooking her shoulder. I'm in my new suit, courtesy of Craig and his contact at the men's store with the 70% off suit sale.

Anyways, it's getting a bit late so I should get ready for bed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Our Ultimate teams are finally starting to play as a team, just in time for the season to end :( We lost tonight, 24-22, but it was against the top-ranked team, and we had the lead with about ten minutes to go. Our offense has started to run patterns (finally!), although we had a brief breakdown around mid-game which probably cost us the game. I had fun though, and it was a good run.

We actually won on Sunday (our first win on Sundays :S), and Craig and I thought we had a chance for a 3-0 week (winning at Ultimate on Sunday and Wednesday, and hockey on Thursday)(Craig and I both play on all three teams). It was a similar game, our offense finally started to click. Both Ultimate teams have the same core of people.

I've been reading my book, The Odyssey, which has been taking up most of my free time in the evenings. There's a lot of talk about eating lamb, which gave me a big hankering for lamb. We had too much lamb over the summer, so Heather's a bit out-lambed. The book also mentions heady and honeyed wine quite a bit. (Fortunately Heather's not out-wined, although we did have a bit of wine over the summer).

We had grilled steak on Saturday, and I had forgotten that the propane tank was almost done. I rushed over to Home Depot to get there before 7pm, only to find out they closed at 6pm. So I went to the 24hr gas station at Dundas and Carlaw (about a four minute walk from our place, less because I was driving), and filled it up. Should've gone there in the first place. Heather and I usually lament the number of 24hr gas stations in our area, but this one came in handy.

Shopping at Loblaws makes me feel like how it must have been in Soviet Russia. Their supply management is terrible. Almost every shopping trip (which is about every day), there's some very common item that they are out-of-stock (e.g. Tropicana Orange Juice pulp-free, or Diet Coke fridge mate, or Heather's yoghurt). When we see an item that we like, we feel like we should buy three or four, because we don't know when it will be in stock again. I don't know how they stay in business. If it wasn't conveniently located I'd definitely shop elsewhere.

My next little home improvement project is to insulate the back wall in the basement. Ideally I'd put up extruded polystyrene panels, but the walls are brick with concrete patches, and not very even. I'm still trying to figure out the best way. That basement wall is the biggest source of heat loss in the house. (Next is the front door, which I'm still trying to figure out how to de-warp).

Well I think I'm going to get ready for bed, and maybe read a bit.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Monday, March 05, 2007

Last Thursday was quite the evening. Heather had narrowed her choice of wedding dress down to two, and had made appointments for us at both stores, first one at 6pm. A big storm hit Toronto and dumped about a foot of snow just in time for rush hour home. It took me about ten minutes to brush the snow off my car. A quick stop at Loblaws, at which point I realized I was without my cell, presumably forgotten at work. Back to the office, but no cell. Figured it dropped out of my belt clip when I was brushing snow off my car. Back to the parking lot to sift through snow in a blizzard. No cell. Drove back to Loblaws but still no cell.

Gave up on the cell and went home to meet Heather. The roads were terrible, but the stores were only five minutes north of us. Got to the first place around 6:30pm, Heather had called so they were expecting us late. Saw both dresses, we both liked the same one, and Heather bought it (yay!!).

Drove back to the Star parking lot to look for my phone. I keep it on vibrate, but the screen glows when it's ringing, so called from Heather's cell, hoping to see the glow through the snow. Two minutes later, my cell phone called me back! A cab driver had found my cell in the snow (at Loblaws), and picked it up for safe keeping! He offered to meet us, but because of the blizzard he had fares all night. So we gave him our address, and went home for dinner. We had felt like having a beer to celebrate the dress purchase, but felt bad about asking Frank (the cab driver) to meet us at a bar.

We had dinner around 9pm, and then I got ready for hockey. (My game was scheduled for 11:30pm). Heather suggested I call someone to see if the game was still on (due to the storm), but without my cell I was also directory-less. Fortunately I found our captain's number in an email, so called him, to find out that the other team wasn't going to show, so I stayed home.

We watched a couple CSI reruns waiting for Frank (I wanted to thank him personally). At midnight, no Frank, so I left a thank-you card & a reward in our mailbox. (Good thing Heather has a supply of nice-looking thank-you cards on hand!)

Friday morning (I had taken the day off anticipating a late return from hockey) Heather checked the mail and my cell phone was there!!


We got together for Bernice's birthday. There's four of us from high school (Bernice, LeeAnn, Tanya and me) who still hang out, although with Tanya and LeeAnn having kids it's just birthdays and Christmas. We went for dinner at Tomi-Kro's (Heather and I love the place). They've recently expanded, doubling their space. The food was great, but not as amazing as previous visits. I wonder if it's because our expectations are higher, or because they've doubled the staff and diluted the quality.


My shopping list the other day was PB, OJ, TP and K. K is my short form for bananas (nutritionist fans of the periodic table may get the reference). Heather doesn't find it as funny as I do... Also bought honey to ruin my alphabet list, but we were out of honey.