Friday, April 29, 2005

Off for a few days

Because of problems with our mortgage company, we now aren't officially closing until Monday...though have to be out of apartment tomorrow. Luckily, we still can move our stuff in but can't stay until word is given that the money has been delivered. So, I won't have access to the PC until everything is peachy. So, I'm signing off for now, and will be back on Monday.

Cheers!
TIm

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Rocks and Flowers

T-minus 3 days before the big move, and everything is still going fine. We have discovered that the tenants of the house have already moved out for the most part...but still have until Thursday night to clear out any of their stuff that has been left behind (apparently there is still a lot of it, according to our agent). As of Friday, the current owner will be going in to clean the house into a respectable condition. Then we take ownership.
Tonight we are going to pop by to do a quick survey ourselves of the house and to meet a good 'ole boy from "The Rock" (non-Canadians may have to look that up) who may very well be our tenant. Sounds like a good guy with steady employment...exactly what we need. We had other bites for potential tenants, but none of them passed our agents scrutiny.
On my daily (when it doesn't rain) lunch walk today, I saw my first Dandelion of the year. Spring is REALLY here now.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Fire and Water

We are fairly certain that the last of our great hurdles in the process of buying the house are behind us. Now, we are left only with the tasks of finishing the packing (at 80% right now), setting up a visit to do a final survey of the house and then if we are pleased with the results of that sign the papers. It feels weird to have everything fallen into place...it almost worries me in its seeming perfection.
We had a little scare on the weekend. One of the apartments on the second floor of our current residence was completely obliterated by fire, so we had to evacuate into the cold and wet while the fire department did their work. Melanie was worried about our cats, but seeing as how the building is pure concrete and the apartment was several units away I wasn't worried about it spreading to us. What I did worry about spreading to us was the actual water being used to put the fire out. I didn't know how far it might travel in the walls...and if it did reach our apartment and damaged our belongings we'd be screwed...we are in between insurance policies right now. Luckily, we were unaffected by this. Sadly, many of the apartments closer to the fire were not. You could actually see the cracks in the walls and the massive carpet stains from the runoff in the hallway.
That's the second fire in our complex in a month...another reason we are very happy to be getting out.

Heroism on the net

My Inner Hero - Wizard!



I'm a Wizard!


There are many types of magic, but all require a sharp mind and a cool head. There is no puzzle I can't solve, no problem I can't think my way out of. When you feel confused or uncertain, you can always rely on me to untangle the knots and put everything back in order for you.



How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero.

Found on Moxiegrrrl

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Name Game

Found on Rics Thoughts



Timothy James David Norton's Aliases



Your movie star name: Popcorn Lysle

Your fashion designer name is Timothy Belfast

Your socialite name is Charlie Brown Toronto

Your fly girl / guy name is T Nor

Your detective name is Eagle Sutton High

Your barfly name is Icecream Beer

Your soap opera name is James David Cold Creek

Your rock star name is Winegums Light

Your star wars name is Timfur Normel

Your punk rock band name is The Anxious Moon Rock



Thursday, April 21, 2005

Health and Happiness

I've been on a bit of a health kick lately. I've cut my carbs down, take multivitamins, drink lots of Water & Herbal Tea and try to take a walk at lunch.
Part of my reason is vanity...I hate the look of a double chin on my face. A larger part is increasing my health in general, and I don't just mean for the obvious reasons. My arthritis makes it extremely difficult for me to exercise at the best of times, and it doesn't help to have a spare-tire to boot. So, I see a solution in eliminating some of my extra bulk and easing myself into a low impact exercise program. Furthermore, my body seems to prefer a low-carb diet. My knees and feet slow their swelling and I'm far less groggy in the morning when I wake up. I win on both counts.
With the double whammy of being a homeowner and father on the ever closing horizon, I want to be able to live up to my complete potential on both counts. I want to be able to putter around the property doing odd jobs like gardening and cutting the lawn. I want to be able to go for long walks and camping trip with my children when they come of the age to appreciate that.
If I don't start a routine now, chances are I never will.

The area I've been able to cut out that has helped the most is Fast Food. I've always been a fast food junkie, and would happily run out to buy something quick when Mel was too tired to cook. Then one day I found myself thinking, "Why?". Melanie is a far better cook than anything you'll find in your conventional fast food joint. Hell, she's better than most normal restaurant selections. And she LIKES to cook (So, any of you with kneejerk reactions thinking I'm a chauvinist can go get a life)
What was my facination with greasy fried burgers, when I could barbecue us a better quality, homemade patty that was mixed and spiced perfectly by my wife? The only answers I could figure was the speed factor, and a hold on to my bachelor lifestyle. Speed eating is silly now. The days of me needing to wolf down as large a meal as possible while heading off to my next solo adventure are pretty much over. Now, I come home and spend time with my wife, eat a normal (and noticeably smaller) dinner, then stroll out if I am required to. I'm happier for it. Mel is happier for it. The foundations for us having regular family dinners are set.

A healthier family and a healthier body...what more can I ask for?

This blog inspired by this link. Scary stuff.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Tenant Update

The prospective tenant for our basement did not check out. Much of the information she provided proved to be incorrect, an exaggeration, or a downright lie.

For one, she stated that she was currently the manager of a local bargain store. Well, this was partly true, however the store has not opened yet, so in the meantime she is still unemployed, making less in a month than we would charge for rent.
Two, she stated that she was single, and that her friend was sharing a space with her temporarily. This person turned out to be her same sex partner, who would most likely be a permanent occupant. . Neither Melanie nor I have any problems with her being a lesbian...we have no prejudice against that, however the fact she would lie about raised warning flags.
Three, it turns out she still owes her current landlord a wack of cash, and has not been returning his phonecalls (it turns out that Bob, our agent and my second cousin, is a friend of her landlord). Theory is, if she did it to him, then what stops her from doing it to us.
Having Bob handling the frontend aspects of the tenant search is being a blessing. He is far more experienced than us when it comes to what to look for and what questions to ask, and I highly appreciate his services. So, there is a good chance we won't have a tenant right away...but that's ok. It's not like we are desperate for the money, it would just be an extra bonus having the extra income. Time will tell, and taking the time to find the right tenant is going to work out better for us in the longrun.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Everything seems to be coming together for the house and our move at the end of next week. Everytime something pops up that would be a showstopper, we find ourselves dodging the issue with ease. Today's adventure stemmed from our mortgage company wanting a copy of my 2003 Income Tax Appraisal. However, it appears that it has disappeared from my files...most likely disposed of accidently in a cleaning purge by "she who will remain nameless lest she stab me with a big knife". So, a call to Revenue Canada it is, and amazingly they were quite helpful. They answered right away (no hold time at all), and they stuck the required item in the mail immediately...we expect it by Friday. Whenever do you hear stories like that about the government?
We may also have a tenant for the basement. Bob, our agent, met her today to give her a tour, and she indicated she wants it. As long as her credit check turns out reasonably ok, we're set. So, that just helps pay the mortgage off that much faster.
Now everything comes down to packing, and that's going well. Melanie has things well in hand on an organizational standpoint, so the move should be quick and easy. The big fish tank is gone now, along with its denizens. They've got a good home, and my family and friends don't have to help lift the thing. {giannt sigh of relief is heard} Next we await the departure of our table and chairs, as we are getting different ones for the house. Hopefully, the delighted owner of those comes by soon.
Part of my is excited about getting into the new house...but most of me is still numb. I'm sure it'll completely hit me when I'm there.


Monday, April 18, 2005

Philosophy

Found on Rics Thoughts

You scored as Existentialism.

Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning. --Jean-Paul Sartre

It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth. --Blaise Pascal

More info at
Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...

Existentialism 100%
Hedonism 85%
Strong Egoism 75%
Justice (Fairness) 70%
Utilitarianism 55%
Kantianism 40%
Apathy 25%
Nihilism 15%
Divine Command 15%

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Teeter-Totter Day

The day started off really well. I dragged myself into work at 7am, and actually felt pretty good for it being...well...7am. The morning flew by...I had some appointments out of the office late morning, which went very well, and then I returned and resumed my work, headphones on and my testing all coming out successful. Seemed the perfect day.
Then all of a sudden I noticed that the music coming out of my right headphone speaker was starting to hurt. Really hurt even. And I was playing at low volumes. I shut it off to see if Bono was the sole culprit, but U2s' wonderfully crafted music was apparently just a sign....I had an earache.
Within two hours, it was a right dreadful one too. I found I was unable to concentrate on my work anymore, so spent my last 1/2 hour shuffling papers around and wincing a lot. I left work at 4pm with my next destination in sight - meeting Melanie at Sandys' - our Mortgage Brokers. I had no idea how I was going to survive this. My ear was now a dull roar.
Mel and I both arrived at the appointment at roughly the same time, and she could see that I wasn't doing well...but I told her I'd get through it. This I did...albeit with a lot of grimacing and clenching of teeth. We did get some good news though. The house is now closing on APRIL 29!!! The tenants will be out early, so we can now move in one fluid motion. Yay! Also, Sandy speculated that he might be able to get us a better rate on our mortgage after the 18th...which is when I have my two year anniversary of being discharged from bankruptcy (long story).
These facts raised my spirits, but gave no assistance to my pain, so I was relieved when we were finished. I gave Mel a quick farewell and sped off to the walk-in clinic. I suspected the culprit, but to get drugs you need a doctor, so I resigned myself to sitting and waiting my turn. About 1/2 hour later I was in to see the doctor, and he confirmed it...I had an infected and swollen ear-canal. This is not a new occurrence, I've had infected ears many times over the years. It was just that this was the first time I had one hit me so abruptly, normally the swelling creeps up slowly. So, I waited at the drug store, got my eardrops and raced back home.
Took my painkillers and drops, had a nap, and by 8pm the swelling had gone down enough that I could get up to watch the new Doctor Who on CBC without passing out. Soon enough I could eat. And only a couple hours here I am sitting at the PC blogging away.
So, in hindsight...it wasn't the greatest day...but it wasn't the worst either. I received some great news, but suffered through it all.
I'll just chalk this down to "Wow...but thank god it's over!"

Early Morning Quiz

I'm in the office early, which is practically unheard of for me. So, do I get a jump on my daily work? Hell no, I'll surf and do surveys.

You are .inf You are informative.  When you are gone you make life very difficult for others.

Which File Extension are You?


Monday, April 11, 2005

The Trend Continues

Rufus and I attended the first class of Second City Level C yesterday afternoon and for my part I am thoroughly impressed about what I found. Our class size is great...only ten of us. Seven are from our level A, one more had joined us in our Level B, and we have added two more from other classes. Under the tutelage of Slap Happys' Sandy Jobin-Bevans, our focus for the level will be on Characters.
Character work in regular stagecraft is my specialty, so it will be interesting to see how I personally do with the skill in improvisation. No matter what though, I will certainly find the level to contribute more to my writing, and the ability to work with the nine other strong members of the class gives me further incentive to drag myself out of the house on Sundays. Interestingly enough, Sandy mentioned that he thought the school had added a Level C graduation show to the curriculum, which would be a lot of fun, however the timing may be inconvenient. Melanie will be due to give birth right around the time of the seventh week, which I suspect would be when such a show would take place. I'll have to approach that carefully. We'll know for certain next Sunday if that is a definate.

Friday, April 08, 2005

One Less Tank and Strike Horror

Good news about my fish tank. A guy from upstairs popped down to my place last night with his girlfriend and her young daughter, and they were mightily impressed with the goliath. So, next weekend they will be taking it away. I will still be required to drain it and move the fish into a pail temporarily, but that's ok. He seemed like a good guy, and his girlfriend was really knowledgable, so I know the fish are going to a good home. Plus he has friends to help move it...so I'm not stuck carrying the damn thing around.

Just discovered that the TTC are going on strike as of Monday, which means the commute in is going to be absolutely nightmarish. I suppose I shall have to go against my better instincts and get up early to swim upstream with the rest of the salmon on the 404. I do not look forward to it. Wish I could work from home.

Jung Typology Test

Found on:Humanmetrics

Your Type is INTP
IntrovertedIntuitiveThinkingPerceiving
Strength of the preferences %
2225122

INTP type description by D.Keirsey
INTP type description by J. Butt

Qualitative analysis of your type formula

You are:
  • slightly expressed introvert

  • moderately expressed intuitive personality

  • slightly expressed thinking personality

  • slightly expressed perceiving personality

  • Thursday, April 07, 2005

    The Acting Side of Things

    For those of you who check in from time to time to find out about the acting side of my life, I just wanted to mention that I'm taking a few months off from the community theatre scene to focus on fatherhood, supporting my wife, being a homeowner, my work and hopefully some writing. If a professional gig comes up then it may fill holes, but at the rate things have been lately I'm not counting on it. Since my turn of luck with the three gigs in February and early March I've had not one single audition. This has actually been convenient, since the pace at my day job has been nothing short of frantic, but there are times that I wish something would come my way.
    I actually found out about the Lord Of The Rings: The Musical auditions from a friend of mine, and regret the timing. They are tomorrow, and I have neither the time to prepare a song to audition with, nor do I wish to endanger the day job by taking the day off. Probably for the best anyway...as much as the production sounds really interesting, I think my destiny lies in a different path than starting out as a chorus member of a big musical.
    So, for the time being, I will continue on my schooling. Second City Level C starts this Sunday, and I am looking forward to seeing both who the teacher will be and what style of learning we will be faced with. Every level is an adventure all its own.

    Less Grumbly - An Update

    OK, things are still not working out to their optimum abilities when it comes to the move, but the language is getting better and events do seem to be slowly bettering in our favour. Steve, the current owner, seems totally willing to allow us to move our stuff in on Sunday the 1st of May. The fact that Melanie will be only a couple weeks away from giving birth is apparently assisting us greatly. Except with our current landlords. We asked them if we could stay one additional day so that the move would happen in one continuous event and they insisted they'd charge us for an entire week. The bastards.

    We have located a good kennel that will take great care of our cats for the two days we need to have them boarded, which is a great relief.

    Also, we may just have a taker for my 85gallon tank. We had put a notice up in the laundry room at the beginning of the week and Melanie received a call today about it. So, I'll most likely chat with the gentleman tonight. He's in the same building as us which would make the exchange a little easier than the difficulty it already is. This is a more cubic style breeders tank, and the dimensions makes transfer slightly complicated. If he doesn't take the tank than I may have to give the fish to a local petstore and just leave the tank by the curb. There is no room in the new place for the sheer size of this tank.

    I'll update as news comes in....
    I

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    Grumble

    Some people are just ignorant. Up until a couple of hours ago, everything involving us buying the new house and properly moving at the end of the month was going without a single snag. Then a wrench was thrown in. Apparently the current tenant in the house is possibly planning on staying to the last possible second just to piss the previous owner and us off, and there is nothing we can do about it. And since there is no way in hell we are taking possession until she is out (lest we "adopt" her), it looks like we are going to have technically no place to live for at least two days. Reason being...the end of the month is a Saturday, and you can't sign legal agreements on Saturdays - the courts being closed and everything. And we have to be out of our place on that day.
    There is still hope this can be resolved, but it is very frustrating to be going through this...especially with my wife being very close to her due date at the time of the move. It's a stress we don't need.
    According to our real-estate agent, he feels the owner will let us move our stuff in even without the contract being signed - that would be one issue resolved. But we can't stay there yet. So, I'd have to take our poor cats to a kennel - which they will not take well to. And I'd have to find a temporary home for my 26gallon fish tank, so it could be plugged in. Our backup accomodations were setup in advance.
    We think this is a test from the universe just asking how much we want this place and if whether we would back out at any sign of trouble. And even though it pains us to go through it, we are going to keep on going. Even if it is very annoying.


    Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    Draft One of Art Page Is Up

    Hey, I kept a promise! I deserve a cookie.
    Though there is still has a lot of work left to do, the first draft of my art page is up. Go to my website and click on the Art & Photography link to check it out.

    Other major progress today involved ordering and planning out our services for the new house. Look's like Ma Bell is getting a lot of our business...not only are we sticking with them for phone and DSL (when Mel called to cut off internet they made us a pricing offer to stay that we couldn't refuse), but we are also going to get ExpressVu Satellite TV. The price beats regular cable by a long margin. I've thought about going with Satellite for awhile, but we couldn't at the apartment because of the direction we faced...currently we have a wonderful view of the north, but you need to point the dish South-West. I'm sure the people in the apartment across from us would have been pissed off at me running cable through their place. So, we move up in the Technology world, and save some coin at the same time. Go us!

    More tomorrow....

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    Audiobook glut

    Another joy that I have recently involved myself with is Audiobooks. I have gotten my hands on many, including the last couple books of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, and several of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and I tell ya...even though many purists think that anything other than truly reading a book is evil, it's a mind-blowing experience to have the story read to you. Especially when you were never too sure of certain pronounciations, and often you discover new jokes you never noticed before, such as the name of the country in Pyramids, Djelibeybi, where you discover it is pronounced Da Jelly-Baby. I laugh every time I hear the narrator say it.
    It sort of takes me back to when I was a kid and my grandfather read to me all of the time. It started my own facination with reading, and I look forward to the days when I can pull out a great story to read to my own children. Until then, lately I have had little time to read myself, so I throw a disc into the PC at work, pop on some headphones and have a story read to me while I'm working. I find it relaxing, and it pushes my multi-tasking skills a bit further. Then I throw the same disc into my car for the rides to and from work. It passes the time, and is very entertaining.
    The only drawback to this is I have less ambition to write during my periodic workbreaks...I'd rather keep listening to the story. That's kind of where my blogging pace dropped off.
    But we are entering exciting territory. We're close to moving to the new house, baby is almost here, and I have a long list of autobiographical stuff I want to write about. So, stay tuned...
    ...oh, and yes, the website is progressing...I expect to have something up tomorrow night.

    Sunday, April 03, 2005

    Whew

    Even though I've had plenty of ideas for blogging topics over the last week, I found little time or energy to actual type them in. I have been active though. I've written a couple pieces for my own interest, and have been working on a new design for my website, which I have begun to put into place as of tonight. Check it out here. For the time being, I have the writing section linking back to here, the art and photo section linking to Timpix, and the acting section linking to my acting resume, but over the next week I will be expanding these three sections to be entities of their own.

    My love for webstuff goes in spurts. I started designing websites in 1995, and have created dozens of sites over the years...but there are times that I just tire of the whole game and walk away from it for awhile. Then something new will catch my eye - some new piece of technology or something, and I go back into it fullsteam. I'm not really at that fullsteam mode yet, but I'm trying to set up some sites for myself that will be interesting without me having to put hours of work per day on them. Specific reason why? I don't have those hours per day to spare.

    I'll let you know when that's done. Until then, look forward to my upcoming and much pre-empted blogs...I have much to write about. Alas, not tonight, though.