Tuesday, June 28, 2011


* We'll start with Georgie bathed in light. I've been calling him George a lot more lately and it sounds so sophisticated when you say it the French way Jorje.

* The mortgage lady from ING just called and said we were approved for refinancing. I still have my doubts once we submit all the paperwork. We look poor on paper.

*Patricia asked about how the screen snap-on pet door was working out. Well, it came apart on poor Georgie who understandably freaked out. Once we got it off we realized that just cutting the hole in the screen (which you have to do to install the door) works just as well and costs NOTHING. So, lesson learned. And no flies in the house either.

* The school is hinting about how I should get my master's degree in education. I was relieved that I can't start until January due to how the program is cycled. The program if for teachers who are working. I never thought I'd consider going back to school and yet here I am doing just that.

* Who was that guy recently, some sports knucklehead, who said, "I don't want my kids growing up thinking it's okay to be gay." I thought that was about as ridiculous a statement as, "I don't want my kids growing up thinking it's okay that the sky is cloudy." Absurd.

* At my last dental visit, it was the most effortless experience ever. See, I religiously flossed for the past year. Before, I was a spotty flosser and only got serious a couple of weeks before my appointment. Then lots of blood, tartar and pain. This time, nothing! I mentioned my dedication to flossing as she remarked how little tartar I had and she said, "It's not magic." Indeed.

* You know what's irritating. When your cartridge works for a few days after you put it in and then your printer decides it doesn't like it anymore. I'm so over the proprietary BS of printers. Can we get an open source generic printer? Such a scam. Dell, you disappoint me.

* Picked up some maps for France and Spain at the CAA (auto club) Did I mention the parental units are treating us again in October? Beyond excited we are.

* On my way over there from the voice over gig (I got a second one when another guy cancelled at the last minute yippee) I passed by the replica of St Peter's in Rome. For some reason, I always thought this building was some government building. So I went inside and sure enough, it was just like what we saw in Vatican city. Albeit smaller.

* Outside, there was a plaque explaining the guy whose idea it was. Apparently in a very protestant time and place, he wanted CATHOLICISM to be visible. Here's a link to the wikipedia article, if you care.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Got a little voice over gig for the high school kids here. Well for the CD that the teachers use for listening exercises. It took all of half an hour to go through it as I nailed almost every line the first time. They love my voice too so it's all happy happy ego stroking. Two hundies for 30 minutes. I wish these gigs came along more often than once a year.

Went over this morning to check out lawyer's house next door. He does have a lot more cracking than at our place though they ALL looked minor to me. We agreed that we would decide once he got the common wall uncovered in the basement to see if there is major cracking in it. I'm hoping not, but if there is, it might be better to do it. He wasn't lawyery at all in person so that was nice.

Look at the manly man painting the deck. That color he chose is called pear. I don't see it. Soon after this, he took off his shirt. I was forbidden to photograph him then. The deck will probably have to be replaced in two or three years. Whoever installed it didn't use treated boards and a couple of them are dry rotting inside. Actually, it's probably more than a couple. Why is it called dry rot when it's caused by water?

Our hot air balloon ride is scheduled for Friday the 24th. We've had nothing but beautiful weather for the last week and they're calling for that to change starting Thursday. I keep hoping the Friday forecast will change and it does change, only each time the forecast gets worse for ballooning. Fingers crossed.

Who's that hot dog? This was just after running around in the doggie park today. He's so funny now. When he's had enough, he will come over and sit in front of me. "I'm ready for my cookie and to go home now please." That's the routine now ever since I got the idea of using bait to get him to come so I can put the leash on him. I was just showing him the leash and he'd run over for his cookie, but now that the weather is so beautiful, he finishes before I'm ready to go. So cute.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Whose the cutest doggie in the world? We really should get him an agent. He oughta be in pictures don't you think? We've been going on the long walk every morning. He can remember the exact locations of morsels for days and days outside. Some kind of smell memory savant. 

The neighbor doesn't know it yet, but we're going to say no to the work on the common wall that he's trying to get us to pay for. He really did go about this in the wrong way. Instead of acting neighborly, he's acting all lawer-like (which is understandable since he is one) and giving official and menacing letters, while I'm asking questions like, "Are you sure this work is necessary? Can you guarantee that the work won't destabilize our foundation? What has happened on your property over the last three years that makes you think you need this work?" The responses I get are rather petulantly childish and menacing. "If you don't agree to the work now and it later becomes necessary, I'll hold you fully responsible for the floor in the basement that they'll have to tear up." Uh-huh. Fat chance. It's not like he presented proof of any kind, he just wants peace of mind. I think he thinks his house isn't going to vibrate anymore with the work. Good luck sir. We live on a busy street with heavy vehicle traffic. Frank came over last night and checked our place out and couldn't find any compelling reason for the work, even on the neighbor's side. Granted we couldn't go into his building, but the exterior looks largely unchanged since the work was done in 2008. (That's when they drove piles down on the front and side of his building.)

Wow, that was a boring paragraph. Sadly, it's consumed my mental real estate for the last several days. I slept well last night though having decided. Yesterday was the Men's Health Day where they do prostate cancer screening as well as a general health check up. I thought it was just going to be blood tests for the tell tale cancer bits that show up in the blood, but no, station 5 was the physical exam. It's been at least 25 years since a doctor inspected the dangly bits. He spent longer than I thought with the front and in my head I was shrieking, "Don't get excited!" Then it was bend over time. Ugh. He said, "This isn't going to hurt but it will be uncomfortable." And indeed it was. When he was done he said, "Congratulations, it's not enlarged." I think the appropriate word is "fortunately" not "congratulations". Still, I muttered a thank you and pulled up my pants. I thought about how this guy would be sticking his finger up hundreds of asses today and I wondered at what point one gets blase about it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

12 of 12

Woke up early since I had to work. Yes, I worked on a Sunday. It was my last day with the truck drivers which we'll get to later. Serge has been sleeping on the sofa a lot this week which is fine by me. The farther away the snoring is, the better yours truly gets his beauty sleep.

After years of hemming and hawing and window shopping, we finally got some nice chairs for our dining room table. Goodbye cheap plastic Ikea chairs, hello tasteful seating. We were taking my cousin on a walking tour of the Plateau where Mont Royal street was closed and we passed by a second hand furniture shop where they had dragged out some of their wares to the street. These six chairs caught our eye. I asked about the price and when they said $350 for the six, I said, "Including tax and delivery?" The answer was affirmative so we bought them on the spot and they were delivered a couple hours later. Sweet.

When I have to work on the weekend, I soften the blow with a little breakfast sandwich at Mickey Dees. You can see how the Canadian logo includes the maple leaf. It was a rainy day which makes going to work less heinous.

As I said, it was the last day with the truckers. They all did so well and improved enormously over the last 9 weeks. I never did out myself with them though I'm sure there wouldn't have been a problem. One of them invited me to go along for a day to see what the life of a trucker is like. I think I will take him up on that if I give another course. Sounds like fun.

For our last day in class, we ordered pizza and watched this movie. One of the guys brought beers too, so for the first time, I drank during class. They loved the movie even though it's old.

When I got home, Serge showed me the letter the lawyer neighbor brought us. It seems he wants to do some more work to stabilize his foundation and some of the work includes the common wall we share. The problem I have with this is he wants to do it in three weeks. I plan much farther in advance for $6000 jobs (our half if we agree) and since the problem is basically on his side, I'm not very excited about doing it. My question is is it really necessary. After all, he will have driven piles down on three sides of his building as well as the support columns on the interior. Won't that prevent more movement? I think I'm going to play around with some dirt and toothpicks to see.

Of course I had to give Georgie boy some love when I got home after I got over the shock of that letter.

Okay so I'm cheating a bit. After I got home, I went to pick up my cousin who had been visiting since Thursday night. This picture is actually from Friday, the only nice day during his visit. I took him up to the top of Mont Royal to get the bird's eye view of the city.

He had a few hours to kill before going to the airport so I popped in a couple of movies. We didn't quite get to finish Paper Moon, but I filled him in on the ending while we were in the car driving to the airport.

It was a pretty wild ride to the airport. We made a pretty big detour to avoid a notorious bottleneck by crossing the St Lawrence river twice. This shot was taken by my cousin on the Champlain Bridge. There were heavy showers and thunderstorms yesterday afternoon and it was fun when Stormy Weather came on the jazz radio channel we were listening to.

When I got back, Serge was making din din. Spaghetti with tomato sauce and snails. It was yummy, especially since I was starvating.

Finished off the evening hanging out with Georgie and Serge and watching the boob tube. Pretty uneventful all in all. If you'd like to see what others have snapped on this twelfth of the month, you can click here.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Alcatraz, fisting and dancing

 I've been working hard planning next month's vacation schedule. We're going to spend five days in San Francisco before we head up to Lake Tahoe for the week long family reunion. It feels like there is way too much to do before we leave but one day at a time, one day at a time. There you see the layers of stuff on my desk with our Alcatraz tickets. That's part of the City Pass that I purchased, which is a tourist deal that gives you unlimited public transportation (including the cable cars) plus admission to some of the city's greatest attractions. I can't wait to take Serge to the Exploratorium.

I uploaded the pictures all at once and blogger isn't very good at respecting the order of things hence the closing Georgie shot coming second today. Who's a good boy? Notice how I framed the shot sans anus. Much prettier that way. Speaking of anus, Serge found the most horrific video on-line from a sex site. (Let's not ponder how and why he found it.) The video is intended to ramp up your appetite for such things and then get you to pay to access more like it. Maybe I'm not a proper gay, but I thought it was GROSS. And if you know me, that's saying a lot. It goes without saying that it's not safe for work, and here's the link if you dare. (What is that thing that comes out toward the end??????)

The sun is setting in line with our living room now. Makes tv watching difficult with the sun in your eyes until 9pm. The sunsets are nice though. You can see the now defunct video store across the street, which continues to sadden me daily. They're gutting the place now. I went over to one of the two remaining outlets for this company and rented three films. Turns out two of the three I had already rented. Sigh. This was another thing I liked about the place across the street - they could tell me if I had rented that movie before, but apparently that information didn't get transferred over.  I'm in a quandary if I want to use a mail Netflix type service or what. I can just order movies from the tv cable service itself so maybe that'll be what we end up doing.

Here are the blooming chives. Of the several herbs I planted last year, the chives survived the winter. And they make such pretty flowers too. Oh I almost forgot. One of the movies I rented was Napoleon Dynamite. I'm sure I've had it in my hands at least a dozen times at the video store only to have something else catch my eye instead. Well I finally watched it and loved it. Then I watched it again with Serge. And I watched that dance scene at the end like three more times. So hilarious. I kept thinking, "That's how I dance." Then when I told Serge that, he said, "You only wish you could dance that well!" Thanks honey, I love you too.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


We saw this in the SkyMall magazine on the airplane when we went to NYC.  Turns out, the pet supply shop which is directly across the street from our house had it in stock for the same price. Last year the house was always full of flies because we left the screen door open for Georgie to go in and out. Not this year though. It's not as sturdy as Serge would like so he may add some screws into the corners. It's just a snap-together contraption.

The coffee maker died. This is the new one. I loved the old one, it was a thermos so the coffee stayed hot and never burned. The on/off switch finally bit the dust. It lasted a long time though. I'm pretty sure it predates the blog....OMG I missed my six year bloggiversary! That was May 19th. Crap, oh well happy belated bloggiversary to me. Anyway, we won that last coffee maker on a scratch off lottery ticket. That was another reason I loved it. So the other evening I said to Serge, "I'll walk the dog for you if you run over and get a new coffee maker. Try to get an insulated carafe kind again. " Then I handed him $40 thinking that would cover it and if he wanted to get fancy, he could chip in. Well what he came home with was what you see above. I can't get him to reveal how much it cost though I did drag out of him that it was over $200. The only thing you have to do is put water in, and empty the grounds basket. It's got a coffee bean grinder inside and the insulated carafe. Ooh and you can pour while it's brewing and it won't dribble out while you do that. We almost had an altercation over the price but Serge insisted it was the ONLY one available that had the thermos type carafe. The only bad thing is that it sure is dang loud when it grinds up those beans. I don't even need my alarm clock now.

We booked our hot air balloon ride. Remember a few months ago when there was a groupon type offer for half price? Well we reserved for the 24th. Of course it all depends on the weather. They had morning and evening option. I asked what time the morning option was and they said 5:30am. It is to laugh. The place is 45 minutes from here. So of course we took the evening option.

Ooh ooh ooh, another cool thing happened this week. I actually made money from the blog! It only took six years. (I'm banned from Google for life because of a mistake Serge made when he put google ads on his site and started clicking the ads. Apparently, this is like murder and you can never be forgiven for not reading the fine print/understanding the concept) Yeah, I got a few bucks for putting a link on this post. Cool huh?

We can't let the post close without our favorite pooch now, can we? He was all skiddish with the doggie door at first, but then a few cookies on one side while he was on the other fixed that right up. While I was walking him the other day, a lady drove up to me and rolled down her window. I figured she was going to ask me for directions or something but instead she handed me her card. Turns out she runs a little kennel just a few blocks from here. It's a little pricier than the other place but FAR more convenient, so we'll probably try her unless the new tenant upstairs really meant it when she offered to watch Georgie. She moved in yesterday so we'll give her a break before asking.

There's probably more, but it can wait until next time. Ciao!