Thursday, May 29, 2008

I was out golfing a few times over the last week. Last Thursday was the Digital Imaging Association golf tournament at St Andrews Valley, courtesy of Apple. I've heard a lot of good comments about the course from my hockey team. It was a nice course, although pretty long (for me). It was a best-ball tournament, which worked out for Jay and I because the two Apple guys both shoot in the 70's. We won with a 8-under 64 in really windy conditions. Jay won closest-to-the-pin, on a 165-yard hole into the wind. He actually hit the pin and bounced about 8 feet off. I hit after Jay, and wound up about 10 feet off, inside the previous marker (not bad, eh?). Jay won $200 for his shot, and our foursome get our names engraved on the trophy. I almost forgot, all the participants got a Cobra Baffler, a 20* hybrid club. I was hitting it not-too-shabbily.

On Sunday I went out with Craig, Stu and Chris and played Hoot at Osprey Valley. It was a beautiful day. My new club was working great. Unfortunately my short game wasn't, in particular my putting. I ended up shooting 97.

Tuesday was Joanne's annual Rotary Club tournament at Dundas Valley. The rough was thick, and the greens hard to read, and I shot a 104. My chips were landing where I aimed, but I kept misreading the green and I'd end up through the green or short. I three-puttted a lot too. We were one of the first foursomes through the longest drive and closest-to-the-pin holes, and I ended up with my name on both! It's the first time I've ever put my name down on a longest drive marker :)


So they've started putting up scaffolding around the sidewalk at the Film Studio Lofts at Queen and Pape! Maybe they'll start actual construction soon...

Our plants in the front yard are doing really well. After a couple seasons of experimenting, Heather and I have figured we like flowers in the blue - purple colour range, and low ground cover. My yellow flowers (which flower from June until October!) may end up replanted to a pot in the backyard once that's done.

I've decided to try digging the post holes manually this Saturday (it's only $7 to rent a clamshell digger for four hours at Home Depot). If that turns out to be difficult, then I'll get someone to do the footings. I've asked around for quotes, and it should be about $250 for 6 posts, including digging and pouring the concrete.

My parents were over for dinner on Saturday night, to celebrate my Mom's and Heather's birthdays. Ended up at Kubo Radio, which was really good. Heather and I ate there the first week we moved in (our kitchen was finished yet), and then a dozen other restaurants opened up and so we haven't been back too often. We were all stuffed, and didn't have room for dessert at Barrio's.

Well I should start dinner. We're having cedar-planked salmon, with green beans and rice with a butter-lemon-parsley sauce. My hockey game is at 10:15 tonight, so there's plenty of time to eat.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I tore down the old deck in the backyard on the May 2-4 weekend, and did a general clean up of the yard. The old deck was supported by cinder blocks buried about two feet deep. I thought about building the new deck on the old supports, but decided just to bury them and put in new concrete posts.

I've found that building a deck is one of things that every guy has an opinion on. The general consensus is that I should get someone to dig my post holes. I called around and for six posts (dug and cemented) the cost is about $250 - $300. I think I'm going to try the manual auger (it's only $7 for a 4-hour rental at Home Depot), and see how that goes first.

At some stage I'll also need a couple yards of gravel and limestone screening. On craigslist there's quite a few people who have gravel for free as long as you pick it up. However, it would be quite a hassle to transport that much gravel in blue bins in my trunk. It's not that expensive to have it delivered, so I'll probably go with that (and then I'll be one of those people trying to get rid of leftover gravel on craigslist).

Jay told me about Google SketchUp which is a 3D sketching tool. I've just downloaded it and watched the tutorial videos, and it looks pretty neat. I'll have to mess around with it later. Right now we're cleaning up the house.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I was at The Cure concert with Marissa on Thursday and was texting the song names to my blog. The next day Marissa sent me a link which lists a whole bunch of info about every Cure concert ever, including setlists. So I cleaned up my posts with just the link.

The first concert I ever went to was The Cure in 1989, with LeeAnn and possibly Bernice and Tanya (I forget who came with us). It was at the old Exhibition Stadium, and was one of the top three concerts I've been to. I was looking through my box of ticket stubs (I keep all my ticket stubs to movies, concerts, sports events etc), and apparently I saw The Cure again in 1992 but I don't really remember it. The concert on Thursday was pretty good (I knew most of the lyrics, the only time I've known more songs was for U2). However the bass was pretty weak (maybe as the band gets older they turn down the volume?). I was wearing ear protection (the orange squeezy ones like they have at VPC) for the high end, but I was expecting the bass to vibrate the entire building.

Anyways, I had got together with Marissa and one of her co-workers for wings and beer before the concert; then we had a couple large beers at the ACC; and then Marissa wanted to go for a beer after to talk about the concert so we had another pint at the Irish Embassy. I was a bit foggy on Friday but made it to my 8:30 meeting.

We played Ultimate this evening, and lost 19-15. Craig was at his cottage and we missed him on offense. We dropped about a half dozen discs in the end zone, so we had chances to win but couldn't execute. We know a lot of players on the other team ("The Enemy" is what they call themselves), which made it a fun game to play. It was pretty cold and windy, and we had one-too-many subs so I was stiffening up on the sidelines in between points. The previous week we played in the cold and rain -- I'm hoping the weather on Sundays improves soon!

Anyways I should be heading to bed.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Just noticed this morning that the small store between the Dang and Amato's Pizza (north-east corner of Queen and Pape, on Queen) has a sign for a dog washing store! I suppose washing a dog is a messy task that people would prefer to do not in their own home. The place used to be some sort of sweat shop, with people on old sewing machines all day. I saw a couple contractor-types doing renovations as I was waiting for the streetcar.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

We had our first Sunday Ultimate game for the spring / summer season this evening. We won quite embarrasingly 19-4, against Disc Bangers who used to be our nemesis. In 2004 - 05 we'd usually meet them in the finals, and usually they'd win. They've had a lot of turnover, and the team took a sabbatical for a year, and they were definitely rusty. After went to the Firkin up at Leslie and York Mills for a drink and some food.

I bought a Napoleon PatioFlame outdoor firepit today. While I was out with my bad back I designed the backyard, (I'll post a pic of my plans soon). If I park at the far end of the backyard, that leaves a 12'x 21' area for us. The PatioFlame will sit in the middle of that area, with patio furniture around. I had googled around for a Canadian distributor, and it turns out there's one just down Queen St near the Beach(es). It was also cheaper there than the prices I'd seen on the web.

So the summer project for the backyard includes rebuilding the back deck; building a boardwalk down the side of the backyard so I can get to the car; planting a large tree, and installing the PatioFlame. First step is rebuilding the back deck.

My back has been getting better quite quickly. Wednesday I was able to hobble into work; today I was a bit stiff playing Ultimate, but didn't feel any pain. Because the game wasn't that intense, I never really warmed up; which I think would have loosened my back. Just as well -- if it was a close game, I may have gone overboard and pulled it again.

I repotted a few of the plants in the front yard today (moved the hens-and-chicks to surround the rocks, and moved a larger plant away from the front of the rocks). I think I now have all the front yard plants how I want them. (finally!)

Heather and I had lunch this afternoon at the Real Jerk, and it was packed! We had to sit on the 2nd level. There was some sort of fundraiser going on, including a live steel drummer. There were some other performances (singers etc) starting up, but we had to leave for home.

Walked by the former Food Savvy, and chatted with the new people who were renovating. They're creating a restaurant that includes both the former Food Savvy and the store to the east. They're calling it Table 17, and it will be a lounge / restaurant sort of thing. I'm still hoping for a nice pub to open up in Leslieville (hopefully in the place at Queen & Curzon?).

I finished The Travels of Marco Polo during the past week, and started on my new book, The Count of Monte Cristo. It's really good, and I want to read a bit before bed.