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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday night ... bowling night

Sometimes I surprise myself.
After a hard day at work (it’s month end) I didn’t look forward to tonight’s league bowling, I was convinced I was gonna bowl crap, crap and more crap.

I mean, I was rushed off my feet and everything that could go wrong went wrong.
For starters my computer froze and I was without a particular software for three hours. Under normal circumstances this would have been a inconvenience, but at month end lack of software is near disastrous. So that was three hours lost.

When I finally could work again I encountered one problem after another. When I left work at 4:30 there was still a lot to do and tomorrow more is coming in. It’s gonna take a small miracle to finish everything.

By the time I got home I was pooped. I would have loved to put my feet up and not think about anything anymore, but that was not to be. This being Wednesday, it’s league bowling day.

The walk to the bowling alley was refreshing. It wasn’t cold, it wasn’t warm, the temperature was just right. And some fresh air and exercise was apparently just what I needed.

My first game was a 204, my second 179 and my third .. well, let’s not talk about that one. All in all I did better than expected.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The most expensive item

Do you know what the most expensive item is these days? Forget designer clothing, diamond jewelry or even a sports car, people can afford those. I see them every day, men and women dressed in Gucci or Armani, wearing Guess shoes and handbags, sporting jewelry that spews a rainbow fountain of colors. Yet only a select few can afford ... a box of tissues.

In this time of year, when half of the population has a cold or at least needs to blow their nose from time to time, you would think that the wet nosers would stock up on tissues for the office and a packet of paper handkerchiefs for when on the go, but that is not the case.

When plagued with a snotty nose they use the top or bottom part of their sleeve or worse, nothing. They pull up their nose again and again and again, obviously hoping that whatever wants to come out will go away.

It makes me want to grab their Guess bag and hit them over the head with it, or strangle them with their Gucci tie. I mean really, just how much does a box of Kleenex cost these days? I’ll tell you how much, $3.25 for the kind that has lotion in them; $2:00 for the regular kind and 99 cents for something store brand. Is that so much? Can’t the regular and designer clad folks afford another 99 cents to keep their nose clean?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Let me rant

Where is it written that one must be respectful to pregnant women?
Being respectful to elders, yes, they can’t help it getting older, but pregnant women ... why must we be respectful? They’re not dying, they’re not even sick, they’re just expecting a baby.

Pregnancy is a temporary condition. Some got that way by accident (and in this day and age that is just irresponsible), or it was planned, in which case they knew what they were getting in to. Heck in some cases, women have been trying to get pregnant for months or years, so why should the universe suddenly revolve around them? They wanted it, now they have it, so let them deal with it.

Why do I sound so ticked off? Because I got into a bit of a tiff with a pregnant woman on the train. I got to a seat first and she felt I should give up my seat to her. Euh why? Hairdressers get pregnant and they’re on their feet the whole day. Women who work in stores and get pregnant spent most of their time on their feet. In the olden days, a farmer’s wife helped her husband in the field, sometimes under a boiling hot sun. So why should I give up my seat to pregnant woman for a twenty minute train ride?

She felt she deserved respect. Respect? Respect for what? Getting herself pregnant? In my opinion that does not deserve respect. What did she do that was so special, unselfish or heroic? She had sex, what’s so special about that? That is, unless she managed to get into a position even Cirque the Soleil performers have trouble with.

Eventually she got a seat and if she had anything else to say I didn’t hear it because I put my music on with headphones. If she wanted to prattle on, I wouldn’t hear it.

Apparently though she wasn’t finished with me. While leaving the train she wanted her revenge and shoved me. A gutsy move on her part I might add as she was a short little twerp and I’m a 5 feet 10 inches giant.
Well, the shove was a mistake. When she tried to get away, I went into hot pursuit.

And I got her, I had to practically run to keep up with her, and climb several sets of stairs (she obviously had no problem with her pregnancy now), but I got her and I let her have it. No, I didn’t lay a hand on her, I’m not that stupid, but I gave her a tongue lashing she won’t forget in a hurry.

She quickly slipped beyond the barricades of the train station where I couldn’t follow her. Well, I could have followed her but then I would have had to pay again to continue my journey. She wasn’t worth it, so I left it at that. But she will remember me and I certainly will remember her.

If there’s one thing that ticks me off (other than pregnant women) is people who demand respect. In my opinion respect has to be earned, it doesn’t come automatically and you certainly don’t get it from me because you happen to be pregnant. Like I said, what is there to be respectful about?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Love Thy Neighbor ...

Love thy neighbor the good book says. Yeah well, right now I don’t feel much love for my neighbor, in fact, if I could get my hands on him I could lovingly throw him a good beating. This guy is a major pain in the you know where.

A few weeks ago soapy water was flooding our balcony. No the water did not come from the heavens above, it came from the balcony of my upstairs neighbor.
We called the superintendent of our building, he came to have a look and agreed that this had to be stopped. He went to have a word with the upstairs neighbor.

A week later it was the same thing, only now it wasn’t soapy water, it was water heavily laced with bleach. Again we called the superintendent and he again went upstairs.

The result of this soapy and bleach episode was that all my balcony flowers died. Are you surprised? Being ‘watered’ with soap and bleach wasn’t exactly good for their health.

Tonight the watering started again, the water stinking of bleach I might add. When I called the super he refused to do anything about it, said to call the office in the morning as this was not an emergency.

Okay, an emergency it is not, but is he allowed to dump his waste water on our balcony? Maybe I should do the same and see how my downstairs neighbor feel about it.

Talking to the guy doesn’t help. I went up there once and he told me to !@#$ off. Kind a hard to love a neighbor like that, isn’t it?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Condo Viewing

They say that what’s on the inside is far more important than what’s on the outside. Does that just apply to people or to condos as well?

Yesterday we started actively looking for a new place to live and as luck would have it, the first condo we saw was perfect. Well, no, not really perfect, it had a few flaws.

For one, the building is nothing to look at. Once upon a long time ago it may have been a nice building, but its glory days are long gone. It still presents well though ... a rustic lobby; quiet, clean, well maintained corridors, new carpets, even the doors to the condos were beautiful.

The condo we viewed used to belong to a single lady who recently passed away. The moment the door opened I could tell that this was a lady’s residence ... super clean and well maintained with feminine touches everywhere. The furniture, the lamps, paintings, decorations, chandeliers and curtains ... she had created more than just a place to live, she had created a home. It was sort of love at first sight.

If this condo had been on the inside of a new high rise downtown Toronto, buyers would fall over themselves to get their hands on it. Unfortunately it isn’t, the building is old and in Scarborough. What’s worse, with bladdering paint on the balconies it's showing signs of age.

There are other down points too: no air-conditioning (we would have to buy our own units for the living room and bedrooms) and no private washer and dryer (we would have to use the shared machines on the ground floor). In addition the condo hasn’t got much of a view.

You might think that a view is not very important, but if you’re used to being able to see for miles and miles, including the skyline of Toronto, a condo overlooking a parking lot is something to get used to.

Still, it is a beautiful condo, for a very good price.

Is our search over before it even began, or does it continue?

Friday, September 3, 2010


“This is Colette from the management office at 301 Prudential Drive. There is a flood in your unit and we need to get in. If we can’t get in we might have to break the door down. Please call me back as soon as possible. This is an emergency.”

This is the voice mail message I found on my cell phone yesterday when I came back from lunch time and as you can imagine, I flipped. A flood in our condo! Breaking the door down! I immediately called Colette back and ... got the management’s office’s voice mail.  I called back five minutes later and ... got the voice mail again.

Fortunately the message gave a number in case of an emergency and since Colette had mentioned that this was an emergency I saw no reason why I couldn’t use that number.

I quickly explained the situation to the woman who answered the phone and through some ‘back door’ she got hold of Colette. Naturally I stressed that my door was not to be broken down. We would leave work immediately and we would be home as a.s.a.p.

I had already alerted Dieter of the situation and like two bats from hell we flew out of our office. Once outside we hailed a cab, jumped in, gave the cab driver our address and told him to ‘step on it’.

We soon found out that ‘stepping on it’ only works in movies, in real life there were cars, cars and more cars blocking our way and annoying things like speed limits. In other words, it took forever to get out of the downtown core but eventually we got onto the highway. Great, now the cab driver would be able to ‘step on it’.

Euh, wrong, there was an accident on the highway and traffic looked like a parking lot. So we left the highway and took the regular road. The regular road was far from ideal though. In addition to slow moving cars, we had to deal with traffic lights, traffic lights and more traffic lights.

Finally, finally we got home. We took the elevator up and before the door was fully open we were already out. In Olympic sprint style we ran to our unit and wondered what we would find on the other side of the front door. I fully expected to find my bedroom rugs floating in the living room.

We opened the door and ... saw Charlie, Mickey and Charlotte who very obviously had just woken up and Chanel who was still asleep on top of the fridge. They meowed a hello and seemed totally at ease. I rushed to my bedroom, thinking the flood was maybe there and found Gabriel asleep on the windowsill. Where exactly was this flood? What exactly was the emergency? What was the reason they would have broken the door down for?

When I called the superintendent he knew about the ‘flood’, our downstairs neighbors had called him because they found water trickling into their bedroom. He would be up to see us shortly.
I waited half an hour and when the super didn’t show up I called him again. He stated that he couldn’t come up because he was waiting for the plumber. He would come to our unit as soon as the plumber arrived.

Eventually at 6:45 p.m. there was a knock on the door ... the super and the plumber. They went to have a look at the A/C system in my bedroom, found a blockage in one of the pipes, which apparently caused a bit of a leak. Don’t ask me what the plumber did, but ten minutes later everything was fixed.

Strange, isn’t it, that we had to leave work in a rush at 2:00 p.m. and spent $50 on a cab ride, only for the plumber to show up at 6:45 p.m.
Anyway, all is well that ends well. I suppose we should be thankful that there wasn’t a real leak, with real damage.

In January 2009 we actually had a real flood. It happened late one night. I was still up when I heard, what I thought was, one of the cats peeing in the litter box. The release of water kept going and going and I remember thinking ‘Jeez, but that cat pees long’.

When I went to check there was no cat in the litter box, but I did see water seeping through the air vent of the ceiling. Within minutes the seeping water turned into a wild gushing. I mean, the water come down the ceiling, down the walls ... there was just water everywhere.

We tried to mop up the mess but it was no use. At the time we really were ankle deep in water. In the end the superintendent came with the assistant superintendent and two giant machines resembling vacuum cleaners. The machines were designed to suck up water and did a marvelous job. Half an hour later all the floors were perfectly dry again. We later learned that a pipe had broken on the floor above us.

So, nothing quite as severe this time. No broken pipe, just a blocked A/C pipe causing a bit of trouble. Damn Colette, some people can turn a molehill into a mountain.