Monday, April 30, 2007

It was a really long week last week, because NEXPO was on the Saturday & Sunday, and it felt like I had worked from the previous Monday.

Saturday was a dull rainy day, so Heather and I finished most of our shopping for our little trip to Morocco. Bought a few more things from Mountain Equipment Co-op, and then onto the Eaton Centre. I don't normally spend that much time shopping (I'm more of an in-and-out-quick-no-one-gets-hurt kind of shopper), and was pretty tired at the end of the day.

We barbecued up some steak for dinner, and then headed out for a quick beer. Tried to get into OverJoy, but yet again it was closed for a private party. I can't remember the last time we had a drink there! Instead had a pint of Mill St Organic at Barrio. I noticed the background in their signboard is a map of Leslieville, kinda cool:

Although I can't figure out if there's significance to the underlined "o".

Sunday was a really nice day. Cleaned up the garden. Bought a few more plants from the Loblaws garden centre. I'm trying to get more ground cover in place of the wood chips. I planted four new varieties: coral stonecrop, spiral bellflower, snow-in-summer and Lewis' yarrow. Last year, it was already June by the time I got to working on the garden, and so I bought plants that flowered later in the season. That plan worked great last summer and fall, except that meant we had no flowers this spring. So I also bought some plants that flower in spring, to give us flowers throughout the season.

George (from work) has a bunch of rocks in his garden that he wanted to get rid of, and I wanted rocks, so every day he brings in a couple rocks, and I take them home. They've been piling in the backyard. I wanted to set some in the front garden, but the wheelbarrow wheel is broken (the only access from front to back of the house is around the alley a couple houses down, requiring a wheelbarrow to move soil, rocks etc). The wheel is off the rim, and I'll have to get that sealed (there's no inner tube).

Myrtle sent us a prototype of the wedding invite. She gave us two options for the inside spread. Heather and I both liked the same one.

This week's Economist has some really interesting articles. The special report is on the wireless revolution. I better get reading...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It was mostly an uneventful flight back from Orlando, until we were about ten minutes from landing in Toronto. But then the storm that hit Toronto prevented us from landing, so we circled over the lake for about 45 minutes. Then our captain announced that we were being diverted to Ottawa.

We flew to Ottawa, just ahead of the storm. It was a pretty turbulent landing, enough so that one passenger had medical problems and had to be taken off the plane. We were international arrivals, and so the rest of us had to remain on the plane, with Canada Customs vehicles surrounding us.

I called Nalini, and Gerry, just to say hi, in case they heard (or read) that I was in Ottawa and didn't call them.

Our plane was refueled, and our pilot filed a flight plan back to Toronto. They had to remove the luggage of the ill passenger (and his two family members that also disembarked). We took off again after about an hour on the tarmac. I was impressed with how the WestJet flight staff handled the situation. They handed out extra juicepacks and cookies, and kept us informed the whole time.

We arrived in Toronto shortly after 8pm, about three hours later than scheduled. That wasn't too bad, considering we flew to Ottawa, had a passenger and his luggage removed, refueled, and flew back to Toronto.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It was a beautiful weekend in Toronto, unfortunately I spent it in Orlando.

The annual NEXPO conference was in Orlando this year. Mike R. and I were asked to attend about a week ago. Normally I would be excited about the travel, but I missed the perfect weather in Toronto, and Orlando doesn't appeal much to me.

We flew down on Friday, spent Saturday and Sunday at the conference, and we'll fly home tomorrow afternoon. It was a worthwhile trip; there were three or four things I picked up that each alone would have made the trip. Wasn't too impressed with Orlando. I haven't seen anything except for chain stores, chain restaurants and chain hotels. (DisneyWorld is out here somewhere too).

Included in the swag was a pedometer. I wore it today at the conference, and it reported that I walked 3,400 steps. (I snagged a 2nd pedometer, and want to wear both some day to compare).

I finished The Black Tulip on the flight down. Next is The Epic of Gilgamesh, and then I'll finally have caught up with my backlog of books caused by Dostoyevsky.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

We had a couple of pretty good dinners last week.

On Wednesday, I felt like steak so bought a couple of tbone steaks at the Loblaws. It was a pretty windy day, and I had trouble lighting the barbecue (the push-button ignitor broke, which didn't help). We had sides of whipped spinach and butter-cooked mushrooms. Everything turned out really really well. I grill my steaks on really high, about 500F, and I've started using the pressure test to tell when they're done (I'm getting better at it). We also had the bottle of wine that Scott gave us for Christmas.

That put pressure on the Friday dinner, because I couldn't have it outdone by a weekday meal. Looked at the LCBO site, and picked a couple of their new east-meets-west recipes. The wasabi crusted shrimp with ginger dip sounded much better than it tasted. The crust fell off half the shrimp while frying; so it also looked much better in the recipe. One of the few misses on the LCBO site so far. Fortunately, the miso black cod turned out amazing. I didn't fully follow the recipe (it suggests basting for 48 hours, and I only had 48 minutes). I also reserved the basting sauce and reduced it to a syrupy consistency, and drizzling it on the side of the plate along with sesame seeds and green onions. Next time I'll skip the basting altogether. Heather julienned the cucumber for the salad, which worked well as a side.

Work's been pretty busy over the last couple weeks. The big project is reducing the web width, of which word is now out. My group is heavily involved with the project.

We've got a lot of wedding stuff done recently. We've met with Myrtle and picked out our wedding invitations; talked with the Manorfield Quartet about the song selection for the wedding; looked into hair salons for September 22nd; and looked at sites for a mini-honeymoon (a couple days on the Island). So far things are going well with the planning.

My rotator cuff is slowly getting better, mostly because I've taken time off from sports. The Star has a physiotherapist on-site, so I've been going there twice a week. It should be better by the time we go on vacation.

I'm hoping it will warm up before we leave. I stripped the paint on the front deck posts just in time for winter, and I've been waiting for the spring so that I can repaint. Hopefully that will also happen before we head out.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

We had a consultation with the person who's doing our wedding invitations (a friend of Maricar's).

Front cover:

Inside spread:

Back page:

It's a booklet that opens up, and the back page has a pocket for return envelope etc.

Well our dinner is almost ready...