Saturday, February 12, 2011

Condo News

So we've decided to put up our condo for sale since it will make our life a bit more simple (compared to renting it out) and it will give us more money for house renos. After talking to our lovely realtor, she had the great idea of replacing our kitchen appliances with new stainless steel ones to help speed up the sale and possibly get us more money. Our old appliances worked fine, they just weren't pretty compared to brand new stainless ones so off shopping we went.

We looked at Sears and The Brick but the Brick had some fantastic sales on so that's where we went. I had picked out a nice Frigidaire set for a great price but then things started to get complicated. The way our kitchen is, we need to have the hinge on the left side which apparently is not common. The fridge I had picked couldn't be converted so I had to pick a different fridge. I really liked the idea of getting all the same name brand since things match much better and unfortunately there was a big price jump in Fridigaire to get a unit that could be converted. So the sales guy went off for a while and tried to find a set that was a good price, could be converted and was in stock. Eventually he came back with a Whirlpool set that was more expensive than my original choice but would work well overall.

My wonderful friends Tom & Lorraine helped us move the old stove & fridge to our house (since they were in good shape) and I unhooked our old dishwasher (which we weren't going to keep). Then the next day, the delivery truck arrived with our 3 new appliances. They fit the stove & fridge right in but the dishwasher they leave in the box (since the install is more complicated). When I opened the door, I realized that the door was not switched (which was the whole reason for buying this particular fridge). I asked the delivery guys and they said they could do it (even though it's not their normal job) and they were able to swap it in a few mins and were on their way. Almost as soon as they left, I noticed a lot of cold air coming out of one side and realized the seal was not doing it's job. After a closer inspection, I realized that the seal on the whole side was not even close to touching the fridge. I stopped by the Brick and talked to the manager and he actually took a fridge apart with me to see if we could figure out why this was happening (since it would be easier for both of us if I could just tighten a bolt & fix it). Unfortunately nothing I did fixed the problem so the repair crew came in. They tried to uncompress the seal which worked for about 20 seconds and then they said nope, I need a new one (which is what I'm waiting for right now).


For the stove we got a fancy clean-top style which looks really nice. My only complaint about the stove was that they stuck a sticker on the glass which took a lot of work (and some goo gone) to get it off. Why do companies do things like this?!


The dishwasher was more work since it required some plumbing along with it's electrical connection. It's normally pretty easy as just connecting hoses together but I soon realized that I couldn't re-use the old hoses (since the connectors were different). I got some new hoses and tried to hook it up but the new hose would not connect to the shut off valve under my sink. I went back to Home Depot and talking to a plumbing guy there and from my description, he thought the valve was on backwards or was the wrong type. Apparently there was no adapter I could buy to make it work and he suggested I replace the valve. This would be past my level of comfort (ie requiring a plumber) and would also require the water be turned off to the complete condo building while the work was being done. This was not very easy to organize and also expensive... After a day of thinking, I had the brilliant idea of just using a T connector off of my kitchen sink. Unfortunately the hose was not quite long enough and I had to make another trip back to Home Depot.


So this morning, after a week of Angela doing dishes by hand, I finally have a working dishwasher. Notice how I said Angela doing dishes? I would have just piled them up until I got it fixed but she doesn't mind doing them by hand (luckily).

So with the new appliances installed & working, we're almost ready to sell the condo (we still need to do some touch up painting). We had professional pics taken of the condo this week and we will put it onto the market Feb 22, just after we move into the house. Here are the condo pics (they look great)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby News!

So lots has been going on lately. As you've probably all heard by now, we're expecting a new addition to the family. Our little Timbit is expected to arrive on May 26.


- We found out we were pregnant in early September. Angela peed on a 3 different sticks on a Sunday morning and they all said positive. She told me by jumping on the bed & shoving the pee stick in my face.
- We don't want to find out the sex of the baby (it will be a surprise for everyone).
- We are using Dr Elizabeth Grant and plan on having the baby in the hospital ('cause that's where they keep all of the drugs).
- Angela's sister is expecting their second son 3 days after us.
- We mostly kept it a secret until Christmas time. We had to tell our bosses for various reasons and Angela couldn't keep it a secret from her sister. This was pretty useful since she's a nurse and had a baby a couple years ago so Angela was able to ask her lots of questions plus it quenched her need to tell someone. We told Angela's parents via webcam and this was the only time I've seen my father-in-law speechless. We told my parents & sister on xmas morning by giving them wrapped frames containg an ultrasound pic. My mom even let out a little shreek!.
- 5 mins after my parents found out they were going to be grandparents, my dad went downstairs & came back with a brand new soccer ball for the baby, it's first present!
- We told Angela's co-workers at their xmas party. I stood at the end of the table to take a picture. I counted to 3, took the pic and then told them somone blinked. I counted to 3 again, took another a pic and then said someone blinked again. I counted to 3 again, yelled "Angela is pregnant" and took the last pic (which shocked everyone).
- This was definitely the big reason behind us buying a house.
- We've started taking pre-natal classes through VIHA at Queen Alexender Center
- Angela is extremely excited about shopping for baby stuff (especially diaper bags).

We'll be posting baby related pics here.

Monday, December 06, 2010

I'm broke

So because of the ever expanding waistline of my kitties and Angela's habit of buying purses & shoes, we have slowly been outgrowing our condo. We've been looking at houses on & off for almost 2 years but today, we finally found the perfect one. We came to an agreement with the seller this afternoon and will get possession Jan 20th (but the deal is still subject to financing & an inspection). A big thanks to our wonderful real estate agent!

The house is at the end of a culdesac off of Cedar Hill Cross Rd & Blenkinsop Rd, which is a great location. The house is 2400 sq feet, with 3 bedrooms upstairs and a 1 bedroom suite downstairs. It needs a good coat of paint inside, some new floors and a slight bathroom makeover but it's a big, solid house with lots of potential. Here are some pics from the MLS site














This is our favourite room in the house (the bathtub & toilet are also purple)!


So does anyone want to buy a condo in downtown Vic?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Slacktivism

The latest Facebook craze has been to change your profile pic to a picture of a cartoon you liked as a kid. Somehow this is supposed to help end child abuse but no-one really knows how. Instead, people should do something useful like donating to a real charity or volunteering.

The word Slacktivism has been coined for this act of useless action:
Urban Dictionary
The act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem.

Wikipedia
The word is considered a pejorative term that describes "feel-good" measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction. The acts also tend to dilute awareness campaigns and require minimal personal effort from the slacktivist.

Of course, these trends have created some pretty funny responses:

Changing your profile pic to a non-appropriate image such as pedo-bear or Herbert (from The Family Guy)

Change your profile pic to your favourite fast food restaurant. Now you've helped end world hunger!





Breaking News: Facebook Campaign brings end to child abuse.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Vegas Report

So my buddy Denis is getting married on New Year's Eve and so of course he needed to have a stag. 13 of us (7 from the island & another 6 from Winnipeg) headed down to Las Vegas togther. Most of us left on Friday and came back on Monday but a few people had to stay for a work conference.

We all stayed at Caesar's Palace and some of the guys even splurged to get suites. Unfortunately we arrived to find out Caesar's had screwed up everyone's room but things eventually got fixed up (though it took a day in some cases). Caesar's is huge and some of the rooms are really nice but some are pretty old (and for some weird reason, not all of the bathrooms have a door which is pretty stupid when a couple guys are sharing a room). We stayed at the Mirage last year (which is right next door) and I thought it had better restaurants and was generally a better deal. With so many choices in Vegas for hotels, I don't think I'll go back to Caesars.

We went out as a group to a number of bars & restaurants but trying to organize 13 guys can be pretty tough (especially when they're drunk). A few guys went to see the Beatles Cirque Du Soleil show & to the gun range but I didn't (partly cause I did both last year). I did do a lot of wandering around and even walked from Caesar's to The Stratosphere (which is around 5km). While there, I went up the tower & saw the fantastic view (this had been on my todo list for a while). I didn't do any rides 'cause rides usually make me sick but the one where you jump off the top & ride a cable all the way to the ground looked pretty awesome. We also spent some time in the malls checking out all of the big sales (this was the weekend after thanksgiving).

A fantastic restaurant that we went to was a traditional German beer hall where we had pretzels, snitchel & beer. They had a live band playing and the waitresses were all wearing the traditional outfits. The highlight though was definitely taking shots of Jagermeister and then getting spanked with a big wooden paddle. I don't know if this is a traditional German thing but it was pretty funny (even though it really hurt) and most of our group got a spanking.

Lots of pics are posted here.

I also have lots of vids:
German Spanking Video
Karaoke Video
My Jackass Tryout Video
The View of the Bellagio Fountain from our room
Denis Playing Cowboy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Johnson Street Bridge Referendum

On Saturday, we get to vote on whether the City should replace or repair the Johnston St Bridge.

The 86 year old bridge is near the end of it's life & needs some major work (which of course costs money). The city wants to borrow $50 million to totally replace the old bridge with a new one (which will last 100 years) and improve the roads leading to it. Some people want to spend less money to upgrade the existing bridge which will still cost lots of money but won't extend the life very long (at least compared to a new bridge). Apart from the lower costs, people are used to the historical bridge and want to see the landmark stay the way it is.

Based on the financial numbers, I think it makes total sense to replace the whole thing. It will definitely cost more but it will cost much less per year (base on the longer life) compared to fixing it up.

For the people who like the look of the bridge & want to preserve it for historical reasons, I have another solution. Use the old bridge for new artwork and the first thing they can replace is the ugly statue in front of the Save-On-More Arena. That thing is an eyesore and I'm sure a real artist could make something cool out of parts from the old bridge.


Anyways, get out & vote (YES) on Saturday!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween!

For Halloween, I was a fat ninja & Angela was a fat ballerina. We bought some blow-up suits which use a battery powered fan to inflate the suits. The suits are surprisingly comfortable but you end up taking up a lot of space!





More pics are posted here