Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Well I haven't been too consistent in blog entries lately -- this is my 3rd this month...

I just got back from a best-ball tournament at Maples of Ballantrae. My foursome shot a 71 and only finished 3rd! It was through Craig and his friend Pete (from PEI, last name Rogers, don't know who his father his). Our fourth was this guy named Patrick, who also happened to be Mike Weir's cousin. Craig and Patrick hit the long drives, and Pete and I had our short game. It was a good combination for a best-ball foursome. The weather was perfect (finally a non-rainy day), and a fun day.

A couple new restaurants finally opened in Leslieville, Pic Nic and Table 17. Heather and I went for a glass of wine at Pic Nic this past Friday and were quite impressed with the place. It's pretty much a grown up picnic -- they serve wine, cheese & meat platters, and sandwiches -- I could see people easily starting off with just a drink and end up staying a night. It was busy on the Friday, and there were quite a few people there on Monday night when we went for a walk. That's great considering it's not even been open for a week. I predict it's going to make it.

Table 17 was also packed on the weekend, but I think more from reputation of the owners. It's on our list of places to try.

Heather and I were in Winnipeg a couple weekends ago for Kristin & Erick's wedding. It was my first time in Winnipeg so we flew in on Thursday night, so we'd have Friday to sight-see. Stayed at the Fort Garry. It's the first time I've stayed in one of the old CN hotels, and now we have a goal to stay in all of them across Canada at some point in our lives. Winnipeg was nice (although a bit small for my liking as a place to live), and the wedding was great. It was small (about 70 people), held at the Tavern in the Park in Assiniboine Park.

I worked on the deck this past weekend and now have the structural work completed. Next is framing the fence and built-in bench. It's coming along nicely, although slowly.

I had a work function last night and got home a bit later, and so Heather and I walked up to Go (aka Spring Rolls) on Broadview for dinner. The food was great as usual (I sometimes get takeout for lunch at work from there). There's some nice older buildings on Broadview that are in disrepair. Maybe the gentrification of the area will help. Then again, it looks like a few of them will be torn down for the Leslieville Lofts so maybe not. (Never mind that I don't even consider that project to be in Leslieville as it's west of the tracks.)

Tony (our electrician) came by a couple weeks ago and installed pot lights over the front porch. It looks great! I have to now finish the ceiling, but that's a lower priority over the back deck.

We lost in the finals of Sunday Ultimate a couple days ago. We were playing against The Enemy (that's what they call themselves). We know quite a few of the players and so it was a very friendly intense game. We quickly went up 3-0, and then started to make unforced errors. The Enemy went up 10-5, and then Craig and I started staying on a lot. We caught up to within one, down 17-16, but then they won 19-16. Maricar and Trishia were away, and so there weren't enough people on our team who knew our offence, and that made a difference. We threw the disc away on offence a lot. It was a disappointing loss.

We've been doing well at hockey, and actually scoring goals! We had two 4-goal games in a row last month. I can't remember the last time the Rockets scored four goals in a game. There's some new players this summer who are pretty decent.

Well that's it for now. Just going to finish my tea (we've got in the habit of having a green tea or white tea in the evenings, which we figure might be healthier than a beer).

Oh, almost forgot to mention I finally finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo. It's a long book (over 1200 pages) and partially why I haven't been updating here recently. I'm now onto Tale of Two Cities. It's a more difficult read so I won't be going through 150 pages or so a night.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

We won at Ultimate this evening, 19-6. The other team was 3rd in the league at 4-1, so they were a decent enough team. However, we really played well and our short and long games are working out. We used to be just a long team (Craig would throw it deep, and me or another fast player would run deep to catch it), but now we have a good short game too. So once we establish the deep game, usually the other team starts to play us deep which opens up the short game. Our defense was great too, with our switch d working well. I also finally made a nice catch. The disc has been bouncing out of my hand on tough catches lately until tonight.

We were lucky to get the game in, as there were thunderstorms in the north just before the game, and pouring rain just after we finished.

Yesterday I mixed the concrete for my deck posts. At first I tried using Maricar's barrel mixer (add the concrete and water, screw on the lid and roll around), but it wasn't getting a proper consistency. So I used the wheelbarrow and shovel to mix the rest. I got better with each bag of concrete. I would prefer to do the first post over again but it's set.

I was going to start with the beams on Sunday, but need to borrow Maricar's mitre saw. Next weekend is Kristen's wedding so I'll continue with the deck in a couple weekends.

We lost at hockey 5-4 in OT on Thursday. I had the puck on a 2-on-1 in OT and got a shot and my rebound at the net but didn't score. I think I had a couple assists on our earlier goals, but the scorer usually messes things up (I didn't get credit for my goal in the previous game).

A house on our street is for sale, so I went to check out the open house today. I wasn't too impressed by it; but it still will most likely sell for over asking. There's not a lot of turnover on our street (this is only the 4th house that has gone up for sale in the three years since I bought our house. One of those was someone moving from a semi on our street to a detached, so really we've only had three new sets of neighbours on the whole street since we moved in).

Heather and I went our for dinner at Citizen on Saturday night. It's become pretty popular, and we got the last table for two (we didn't have reservations). We were impressed by the food. I had the pickerel and Heather had halibut, and both were done perfectly. The chef is from out east (Halifax) so it's not surprising that he knows his fish. Tomi Kro is still my favourite restaurant in Leslieville (we still have to try Soma, and Table 17 and Pic Nic when they open), but Citizen would rank up there. It's also pretty good value.

We went out for a beer on Friday to B-Side, to celebrate three years since our first date. (We actually had plans to eat at Gio Rana's back in 2005 but it wasn't open on Mondays and so ended up in the west end for our first date.) The heat and humidity were getting to us (typically Toronto goes from winter to summer heat waves in about four weeks) so we called it an early night. We both felt under the weather (pardon the pun) the next morning.

Well I'm just going to finish my white tea (Heather's a big fan, we order all our tea loose leaf from Capital Tea) and then head to bed.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

So digging holes turned out not to be too difficult. I rented a manual auger from Home Depot yesterday. ($10 for 24 hours -- it was $8 for 4 hours so spent the extra $2 so I didn't have to rush). At first I only bought one 8' sonotube, in case the auger didn't work out. But digging was quite easy, so during one of yesterday's rain showers I headed back to Home Depot and bought a couple more sonotubes. I'm now the proud owner of six 42" holes in the backyard (four for the deck, and two to extend a fence from the deck to my parking spot).

The next step is pouring concrete. I'm going to borrow Maricar's concrete mixer drum next weekend.

I finally scored in hockey, breaking a two season slump. We tied 1-1, and it was one of the more energetic games I've seen the Rockets play in recent memory. We had three full forward line and were making quick changes, which helped. My goal wasn't pretty -- I banged in a rebound in a scramble in front of the net. I had a couple of better scoring chances that didn't go in.

On Saturday morning I was running some errands which took me around Spadina and Dupont. I figured I'd stop into js bonbons to get the salted caramel bonbons (so we could do a taste test with Ambiance Chocolat), and saw that js bonbons has permanently closed ! :( The sign said she was closing to spend more time with her family. We don't really go there now that we live in the east end, but that's too bad they're closed.

I got Heather a water carbonator for her birthday and we've been using it quite a bit. It's much more environmental than drinking bottled water that's been shipped from Italy or wherever. We just pour tap water into the container, load a CO2 cylinder (they look a bit like bullets), and, presto, carbonated water.

I'm hoping the rain and wind holds off for this evening's Ultimate game. We haven't had very nice days so far this season.