Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon. We had guests in town for the weekend, and last night we had a big dinner at home. Started with a caesar salad, then had gnocchi with a gorgonzola cream sauce, then steak with mushrooms and asparagus, and crème brûlée for dessert. Mmm good.

They're flying out later this evening, and depending on Heather's back, we're planning on having dinner at Lee Garden before going to the airport. Then we realized that tomorrow is the Chinese New Year, and the chinese restaurants could be pretty busy. We'll be there at 5pm so hopefully we'll beat the crowds.

I linked up my Twitter and Facebook accounts, so my Twitter updates will change my Facebook status (and also appear in the sidebar on my blog).

Tony (our electrician) came over on Thursday and fixed a couple of the lights that were out. He replaced the transformer on the low-voltage lights over the dining table, and the undermount lights in ktichen. Supposedly the undermount lights aren't sold in Canada, so whenever they go he has to replace them. As usual he wouldn't let Heather pay him anything, so I'll have to get him at the Superbowl party.

The city picked up the snow piles on our street on Saturday morning. Loud beep-beep-beeps from the little front loader picking up the snow and reversing to the dump truck woke us up. They also plowed through the back alleys, which I found surprising. I don't remember the city taking care of the alley in the past (although streetsweepers sometimes make it back there).

I bought some edging for the platform bed I made last week. Not sure how to attach it to the edge of the particle board (maybe glue?) but I'm sure Google has some suggestions. Also picked up paint chips of various dark browns from our local paint store. We've sort of settled on Night Shade. I'm going to paint the platform bed, Heather's old dresser, and my valet. At least I won't mind posting a picture at that point.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I made the bed today, literally. We had the TempurPedic mattress sitting on the ground, which works fine for sleeping. However it was a bit difficult to get out of in the morning (especially for Heather with her back), and dust would have gathered against it.

I found this platform bed on the web, and thought it looked easy to make.

So on Saturday I bought some 2x10s for the base, and particle board for the platform. The bed is 80"x60" and the boards are sold in 4'x8' so I had to buy two and get them cut to 40"x60". Got everything cut at Home Depot, so there was no mess and the cuts were straight. I took all the lumber to my car, only to realize that 40"x60" didn't fit in my car. So loaded the 2x10s into the car, locked it, and then carried the boards home. Luckily it wasn't too windy. (Home Depot is less than 1km north of us). Dropped the boards off, walked back to Home Depot, and drove home.

Today I screwed everything together. I covered the particle boards with an old sheet, very similar to reframing a canvas painting. (In fact the whole project was like building a deck, with two canvases on top). The frame looks quite good, with a total cost of about $30 for the materials. I thought about taking a pic, but we're not too keen on the colour scheme currently going on in the bedroom. It's perfect for a "before" picture -- medium beige walls, off-white comforter, lime green sheets, beige blanket. When Heather's done her dissertation we'll be shopping for furniture and bedding, but for now what we have works. Just not in a picture on the web.

I haven't yet built the moulding; and the wood is just unfinished pine. I may decide to paint or stain the whole thing when it gets warmer.

We also got rid of our old mattress. I posted it on craigslist on Thursday night, got a few responses on Friday, and I arranged with the first responder to pick it up on Saturday. I gave him the metal frame as well. We were going to give it to Goodwill, but this worked out just as well.

Saturday night was my highschool friends Christmas party. We all got together at Tanya and Tony's (TnT's) for dinner and the kris kringle gift exchange. This year was one of the best for gifts (our limit is $30). I got a three-tiered server, and Heather got a cool Christmas ornament that shows pics (you can load up to 50), and a bottle of Frangelico.

This morning I went out for brunch at Brazenhead with my Ultimate team, except it was only me, Trishia and Craig that showed up. I had the eggs benedict (my usual order for brunch). It wasn't very good -- I wouldn't order it again there. The eggs weren't that runny, the peameal was bland, the muffin was undertoasted and the hollandaise was weak. The potatoes weren't too bad though.

Well I should be getting to bed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Our new TempurPedic mattress was delivered this morning! I bought queen sheets from Home Sense on the way home from work. We're just waiting for the sheets to dry. They're a bit loose-fitting on the mattress, not sure if that's normal.

My hockey game was at 11:30pm tonight so I just skipped it.

So my rack of lamb turned out pretty good the other day. I only bought one rack (two seemed like too much food for Heather and I), and it wasn't quite enough. The sauce turned out really well too. I was worried at first because my stock turned out gelatinous, but then I googled around and it looks like that's a good thing. The rack of lamb is first seared in a frying pan in oil for five minutes, which made a big mess of my stove. I think the clean up took longer than the cooking!

The TempurPedic website site was very nice to use to register the warranty on the mattress and pillows. I was surprised though that there was no confirmation email. Maybe it's a batch process at night (which would be dumb, but I've seen dumber).

It's been freezing cold the last couple days. It was -21C yesterday morning when I went to work. Later it warmed up to -13C. I know it gets much colder elsewhere, but that's pretty cold for Toronto.

Well the dryer just whistled a little tune that the sheets are dry, time to go to bed.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Last night Heather went out for dinner with Nadine and Sue so I went out for a drink with Craig at the new Bier Markt (at King W and Portland, in the old Amsterdam location)

It took me forever to get out. I dropped off Heather at Sue's around 7:30pm, and got stuck in the AC/DC traffic getting back home. My flat tire indicator went off; at first I was excited because they're under warranty and a free replacement (my tires are getting worn and I'll probably have to pay for new ones when the lease is up in April -- the warranty doesn't cover wear-and-tear). I was also low on gas, so stopped in at the gas station at Lakeshore & Carlaw. They were out of regular and so were selling premium at regular prices (my car requires premium so it was a bonus for me). Next checked the tires, which were just low on air (most likely because I hadn't inflated them for winter). Got home and turned on the barbecue for my steak, except it was out of propane. So went and got that filled up. Finally had dinner, cleaned up and caught the streetcar.

It was almost 11pm by the time I got to the Bier Markt. We had a few pints & chatted away. Ran into Paul McGeachy who was there with friends. A little bit after midnight, headed up to Tattoo to meet up with Heather et al who had ended up there after their own little adventures. There was a $10 cover charge, which we didn't want to pay at that hour. I just walked in, showing my wrist stamp the Bier Markt, and it worked! Craig tried a couple minutes later but got busted, and Sue had to go get him in. Saw Marissa who was also there with some of her friends. Streetcarred it back home a little after 2am.

All the excitement was a little too much for Heather's back; she was in a lot of pain today. We'll be sticking with just dinners in the future.


Went up to my suit place (Testa Uomo) with Trishia and Dave this afternoon. Dave was looking to get a couple suits and so I went with them as a referral, so he'd get the 50% discount. After went to Kitchen Stuff Plus to get a spatula (my old one broke over Christmas), and tongs. Bought an automatic soap dispenser (we've been looking for one). I'm not too impressed with it though -- the sensor part doesn't work very well, and there's no way to manual trigger it to dispense.

While we were in PEI, Jonathan hired a chef to cook dinner for 8 of us as a wedding anniversary gift for Janet, including showing us how to make the recipes. The dinner was excellent. We had appetizers of bacon-wrapped scallops, oysters three ways, mussels; main of rack of lamb, and sticky date pudding for dessert. Mmmm good.

I was going to make the rack of lamb for dinner today, but with Heather's back out, we decided to wait a couple days. There's a sauce that goes with the lamb, and I was googling around on how to make my own chicken stock as a base for the sauce. Tomorrow's my first attempt at the chicken stock.

When I got back to work after the holidays, I was telling a couple other directors about the chef. They both had said one of the best team building exercises they had done in previous jobs was a cooking class. Well as luck would have it, we have an offsite coming up at the end of January, and by coincidence the team building is at dish cooking studio! We're voting on the menu right now.

I created a twitter account a few months ago but have never used it, but I've started recently. The idea is to use it when I have something brief but not enough time for a proper blog entry.

We bought a TempurPedic mattress last week to replace my old doublebed. We looked at a few places, and Shoppers HomeHealthCare had the lowest price by far, and then took another 20% off because we asked about the senior's discount! Bargoon. It's supposed to be delivered in the next 5-10 days.

Also got another PC Green Box for free from Loblaws. They're pretty handy carrying cases -- I use it for my tools, to carry my stuff to Ultimate etc.

Anyways I should get ready for bed.