Saturday, May 07, 2011

The weather is finally warming up to spring temperatures. Every year (well, two so far), I've taken a picture of the maple tree that I planted on Heater's birthday in 2009. I looked back at the picture from last year, and the tree was full of leaves. This year they're still just buds. Our irises and tulips have yet to appear.

Thursday was the first nice day since we returned from vacation, so I drove up to Humber Nurseries. I bought some perennial grasses for the front planters, which we're hoping will look good right through winter. The nursery folks said I need to transfer them to the ground over winter for them to survive (I'm guessing otherwise they'll die from the cold?); but I'm going to leave them in and see what happens. We need to replace our front door (it's the original door from the house), so maybe the draft of warm air escaping will keep the grasses alive :)

Most of the potted perennials in the backyard made it through the winter. The clematis also survived -- we weren't sure if it would, as it's planted in the ground surrounded by limestone screening (which is basic (as opposed to acidic)). Also, one of our neighbours (Walter) have a nice elephant ear plant that is spreading too much, and he's offered a cutting (or whatever it would be called). I had planted one years ago in the front yard, but it died in the sun and dryness. I'm hoping by potting it in the shady backyard it may live.

I've been looking for a job primarily through LinkedIn. I signed up for a premium account for $30 / month, just to see if it's worthwhile. It lets me see who's visited my profile and some other features. It's almost like a dating site, except I'm trying to meet companies :)

I also signed up to become an Apple iOS developer (which means I can develop and distribute iPhone and iPad apps). I did most of my computer science assignments in C, so it's not too big a deal to learn Objective C. Apple has some nice tutorials for free on the web. I dug up my old "C programming language" text book by Kernighan and Ritchie (it should be a Penguin Classic!) to brush up on my C. I did pay the $100 to Apple so I can actually distribute the app (which is sort of the point, I just want to become familiar with the process). Soon enough I'll be writing my "Hello World" app for practice.

Also on the career side, I'm trying to get my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. I have the prerequisite qualifications; I need to submit them and have them approved, and then write a 200 multiple choice test. It won't make too much of a difference to my experience, but seeing as I have the time I might as well get the letters after my name.

On Wednesday I went out for wings with Marissa, Tony and Bernice, at a bar in Bloor West (Whelan's Gate). It was a nice little pub, they had buck-a-shuck oysters (malpeques) (the 1st Wed every month), and the wings were pretty good. Bloor and Keele is central between the four of us, although it's still a 45 minute trip from our house by transit. I just missed the bus transfer coming back so walked home from Pape Station.

We tried fish from the new fishmonger in our neighbourhood, Hooked. They had a feature story in the Star last week, including a pickerel recipe, which turned out pretty good. We had it with a side of arugula and new potatoes, and a petit syrah.

Rack of lamb was on sale at Loblaws yesterday (about $7 per full rack!) so you can guess what we're having for dinner tonight. We normally have lamb loin, so it will be an experiment in barbecuing. I better get started though.