Saturday, July 28, 2007


I'm Flattered...And Flustered

Yesterday as I was walking to work, one of the other business owners down the plaza shouted to me.

"Hey Dave, how ya' doing?"
"Not bad, Don, you?"
"Doing good. You're looking fine!"

Now, I'm not sure if he was being honest or if he was just being nice so I'd let him look something up on the internet in my shop later that afternoon. Either way, I'll take the compliment because, damnit, I feel fine!

....And now for another update....

Two more pounds and I lose the word "morbidly"!!
According to the charts, I should weigh 189 max. to be in the "normal" category.
I can't even imagine! I'm sure my bones weigh more than that.

For the past few days I've been doubling my treadmill routine, so I'm doing a total of 90 minutes which is about 4 1/2 miles and around 900 calories a day.

I can't wait for that ensuite to be done so we can move into that bedroom and I can set up our weights in the office where the treadmill (and our bed) is. I need to get going on weight training.

Speaking of the ensuite, it looks like we're going to have to take a close look at the wiring Joe did in there. We had a co-worker of The Squeeze's stop by the house last night and while we were showing him and his wife around, I happened to touch the light switch he installed in the ensuite. It was sitting somewhat crooked in the box on the wall, so I just moved it slightly, and the power cut off. Upon closer inspection, it appears that the wire he had connected to the switch had snapped. It broke right where he cut away the insulation on the wire. Ya, it appears he severly clipped the wire itself while stripping off the insulation, so there we were with a live wire hanging there in the box. Scary! So it's quite possible that we could have any number of wires just ready to give way.

Two days ago we had a guy from a reputable plumbing place in to see what needs to be fixed so we can pass inspection. We're awaiting his phone call so we can get things rolling.

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Another Update

Still not feeling totally up to par, but I've been getting back on the treadmill the last few days. There hasn't been a whole lot of progress the last couple of weeks. Actually, now that I look at it, two pounds a week is pretty good. I was just hoping for some quicker loss. It's been fluctuating between 308 - 310 for the past week or so. I think it's time to step it up a notch.


Date Night

Saturday afternoon after finishing work, The Squeeze and I whipped up a couple of burgers on the barbecue and enjoyed a nice casual dinner. We spent some time hmming and hawing (more hmming than hawing actually), as we looked at our ensuite from hell and tried to come up with some solution. As neigher of us was feeling any sort of motivation to tackle any of the projects we need to address, we decided to scan the newspaper and see what movies were showing. Ah ya, avoidance...that'll get it done! Really, we just were in no frame of mind to work on the house.

The Squeeze wanted to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I wanted to see as well, but I figured the theatre would be packed full of annoying theatre-goers. Perhaps we should wait a few weeks. What else was on....hmm....Hairspray. Ya, I'm thinking not. Nothing else really appealed to us, so I figured, what the hell, let's see Harry Potter. As long as we get in early enough and stake our claim we should be ok. There was a 7:00 and 7:45 showing. It was 6:30. The 7:00 show was out of the question, but 7:45 would give us time to buy the tickets, go to the local big box book store nearby, and hit the grocery store before the show.

Following FWIG's example, I planned to pick up a bottle of popcorn seasoning to take into the theatre with us. I noticed at the last movie I went to that they no longer provide shakers of seasoning for your popcorn. I noticed instead that they sell little packets of the seasonings at the concession counter. I could just imagine how much they soak you for a little packet of white cheddar flavouring. I'm pretty sure that the theatres were really feeling the pinch of supplying about five cents of seasoning on your $8.00 bag of popcorn. Maybe they should consider jacking up the price of admission.

As we had a gift card to redeem, we had to see a real live human being to get our tickets. By this time it was about 6:50. I asked if the 7:45 movie was sold out yet. No, but there were only 58 tickets left. I asked the clerk where and when the line-up forms. She informed me that they are already lining up outside cinema #5. As it turned out, people were already in the theatre holding their seats.

Crap. So much for taking off and looking at books for half an hour or so. And so much for popcorn seasoning. I figured I'd just bite the bullet and buy their little packet. The Squeeze went into the theatre to grab us seats while I waited in the slowest line ever to get out snacks. After about 20 minutes I finally got my turn at the counter. I decided to get the Simpson's movie bucket combo. A big bucket of popcorn that I figured would be easier for us to eat from rather than a deep narrow bag. Not to mention it comes with a free refill. WooHoo! The combo also includes what is pretty much a bucket of pop, just in regular huge cup form - no handle. I grabbed one for The Squeeze too. I don't want to infect him with this lingering cold. And it would just be weird for a lot of the folks there to see two grown men sharing a drink. Did I mention that the drinks come with a free refill too? While I was placing my order, I noticed the little sign that stated that the first popcorn seasoning was free. Additonal packets are 49 cents. Not too bad actually.

By the time I made my way into the theatre, it was about 80% packed. So there we sat and ate and drank until the movie started at about 8:00. Hard to believe we sat in a theatre for an hour before the movie to see this. No wonder my ass was killing me by the end.

The movie was quite good. That Harry Potter is one moody, self-centered teenager in this one. "Me, me's all about me. Everyone is keeping things from me. Nobody tells me anything. The Dark Lord is trying to kill me." Sheesh, like we all haven't been through all the same stuff! Suck it up Harry!

Surprisingly, the audience was not annoying in the least. I had a guy beside me who kept talking back to the screen during previews, but that was about it. No, I'm not talking about The Squeeze. I didn't get kicked in the back of my seat by some irritating kid. No obnoxious people talking through the movie. Minimal people walking back & forth in front of us.

The real kicker in all of this is that we never did go get refills on the popcorn or pop. That's probably a good thing.

Friday, July 20, 2007


The Inspection

Yesterday morning the inspectors came to check out the renovations for the first time. First the plumbing guy showed up. The Squeeze took him upstairs to show him the ensuite, and the first thing the inspector said was, "where is the vent stack?" The Squeeze pointed to the main stack on the other side of the room. Apparently, that wasn't quite good enough. It would seem that when you have fixtures more than five feet from the main stack, you need to have another vent. As it stands now, if we were to flush the toilet, it would also suck out the water from the P-trap under the shower, allowing sewer gas to seep into the room through the shower drain. Ya, that's not good. Also, Joe the handyman hooked up some funkadelic toilet drain system requiring him to cut out the garage ceining below and building a drop box to house it. Turns out, that drain is too steep of a decline. He could have just hooked it into the old toilet drain that was already there. Now we have to rip all of that out, build out another frame wall to double the width of the existing frame wall for the vent stack to go up and connect into the main vent.

I guess this would make much more sense if you could see the drawings, but you get the idea.

When the next inspector arrived seconds after the other one left, he informed us that the plastic pipe he used on the exhaust fan is not to code. It needs to be rigid metal duct pipe. Apparently that should have been in the instruction booklet, which I'm guessing he didn't read. There was something else he pointed out...I know there was, but I can't recall right now. Let's just say that we're both a bit pissed that he didn't know all of this, considering he even had the provincial building code book there with him.

It looks like The Squeeze and I will be getting all of this fixed and putting Joe on hold until we get re-inspected. Once that is all done, he can come in and drywall. That seems to be what he's best at. I'm just so pissed at all of the wasted time and money for shit that needs to be ripped out and re-done. The worst part is that he's an acquaintance of The Squeeze's, and it just makes things a bit stickier.

This project is killing us.

On a much happier note, my cold seems to be pretty much gone. I spent most of the day at home yesterday since the business partner was in the shop, so I was able to relax. I played some online poker and some other games between rests. This morning I even got back on the treadmill for the first time in a week.

Today I stumbled upon this infectious video this kid made. Now I have to download some Scissor Sisters tunes to my iPod tonight. It's so catchy, and the kid did a great job with it.

Wish us luck on the re-renovating!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


No, I'M It!

Okie doke, after some not-so-deep thought, I've come up with my list. But first, the fine print...

-We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
-Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
-People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
-At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
-Don't forget to leave them each a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

And now, eight fascinating things about me:

1. I met The Squeeze through a pre-internet BBS system that he ran for the gay community in our city. I was leaving a message for a friend of mine, and The Squeeze started typing to me. I thought my computer was screwed up or possessed. We chatted on-line for a while, then on the phone, and we finally met in person the night before my 30th birthday, many weeks after our first on-line meeting. Our work schedules were hard to work around. We met at the local gay bar. He was there with a few friends, and I was there with a friend of mine who knew The Squeeze. My friend dragged me over to The Squeeze, introduced us and ran off. We spent some time chatting, and then The Squeeze took off with his friends to go to another bar. I thought that was the end of it. I thought I was being rejected. Twelve years later we're still going strong.

2. I have tried many hobbies, do them for a while, get bored and move on. Including, but not limited to: painting, ceramics, macreme, rug hooking, crocheting, stained glass, knitting, gardening, fishkeeping (twice), furniture refinishing...I'm sure I'll remember others later.

3. I love entertaining. Nothing gets me more upbeat than having friends over for dinner or drinks or just hanging out. It's the cleaning up beforehand that I hate doing, but I love when the house is clean. I love creating meal plans and preparing all the food. It's the overfunctioning that I learned from my mother.

4. I love getting my back adjusted by my chiropractor, but the thought of getting a massage creeps me out. Why? Because I am MAJORLY ticklish. I would giggle like a schoolgirl and pee my pants if I were to be massaged.

5. I broke my back in highschool. Lumbar 1 & 2, I believe. I had a tragic toboggan accident when I was in grade ten. One wintery Friday night I was out with a bunch of friends at the local hill and I was taking my turn going down. About halfway down I hit an unseen ice ramp someone had built. I was airborne for a while until I came crashing down on my ass, knocking the wind out of me. I stayed down in the snow for what seemed like an hour. All I could do was exhale. Breathing in hurt like hell. Everyone thought I was goofing around and I became the designated target. Luckily nobody hit the mark. After quite some time, I managed to pull myself on all fours and stayed in that position for a while. Somehow, I can't explain it, I managed to stand and walk, ever so slowly, to my friend's car where I was put in the back seat. Did I mention it was a 2 door? Bastards. They dropped me off at home, give or take a few houses, and I navigated the icy sidewalk and steps up to the house. Once inside I climbed up the stairs to my bedroom and stayed in bed for a couple of days. A few days later when I finally decided to go to see my doctor, he sent me for X-rays and when I saw him for the follow-up, he told me I had a broken back and that if I saw him the night it happened he would have put me in a body cast. He was amazed that I was walking. Who knew?

6. I can't explain it, but I get VERY emotional when I read "The Road Not Taken". Perhaps it's because I long to find my own grassy path in need of wear. Perhaps it's because in some ways I have taken that path. Maybe it's the thought that I need to make decisions in life and I'm afraid to because I don't know if I'm taking the right path. Oy....moving on...

7. I have a bit of OCD regarding numbers and patterns. I like when things are divisible by 3. Anytime I read something - a book cover, a menu, a roadsign, whatever, I count the letters in groups of three to see if it works out. For example, my blog name: Fre akM agn etD ave. Whew! Yes! It worked out. Not sure what would happen if it didn't. Acutally, I do. I would add the spaces between the words, and if that still doesn't work, I'd add a space before the first word and after the last word, and if need be, the spaces above and below each word. Ya, I'm nuts. But not totally nuts. It's not like I think my whole family will die if things aren't divisible by's just nice when it works out. Alright, maybe I am totally nuts.

8. I'm a recovering Catholic. I went to a Catholic school from K-8, was an altarboy and was the recipient of every type of guilt known to man. After confirmation (their last chance to hook you) in grade 8, I pretty much cut my ties to that church. I'm hard-pressed to think of anyone I went to school with there that gets any kind of "warm fuzzy" when they think back to those days. I think my biggest gripe with that church (and there are many) is the hypocrisy of many of the members. I saw some of the members doing pretty "un-Catholic" things, and showing up at church and acting like they are wonderful people. Bah! Who needs it? I remember one day I was discussing religion with a Baptist cousin of mine. I remember her saying "You preach your way, we'll preach God's." Bitch. I guess I really have a problem with organized religion in general. I'm spiritual, I have a higher power, and I'm good with that.

Well, my therapist has just informed me that our time is up, so I must be off now. To add some mystery, I'm going to list my eight people in white text.


Ummm...ya...white text. That's it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Lions And Cheetahs And Deer, Oh My!

There is nothing worse than a summer cold. I can handle it in the winter because I know there are thousands out there suffering right along with me. Not so in the summer.

How did I get this cold? Well, I'm pretty sure I got it from Zoe who was sent home with a fever from that petrie dish called a day-care last Monday. Weezie had to leave work to pick her up and drop her off at home with her mother, and I came by that morning to help with the kids. Of course, Zoe was running around like a lunatic all day while I was there. Clearly she was unaware that she was home ill.

Fast forward to Friday. Damnit! I'm sick. Since I'm working solo pretty much every day, I had to go in.

Ditto Saturday.

That night I assisted The Squeeze in finishing up the plumbing in the ensuite. No leaks, baby! Gotta like that.

I called Weezie to discuss plans for Sunday. The Squeeze and I had been planning for the past few weeks to take the girls for the day to African Lion Safari. It turns out Typhoid Zoe hit everyone in the house. Brynn had a cold, Weezie had a cold that turned into tonsilitis, and Weezie's mother was sick too. So far, the only one not infected was The Squeeze. Knock wood. As this was the only free Sunday we had for some time, and the weather was perfect we decided to go anyway. One stop for some Tylenol cold medication and we were on our way. After the girl at the gate cleaned out my wallet, we parked, sunscreened the girls and boarded the bus to tour the grounds and see the animals.

I held Brynn while The Squeeze had Zoe in the seat behind me. Zoe seemed interested in the animals for a brief time, but clearly was more interested in the sandals being worn by the young woman behind her. She's got a bit of a shoe fetish, that one. She's got the attention span of a two year old. Most likely because she is a two year old. Zoe grew restless sitting on Poppy's lap and kept wanting to walk around the bus, but since the driver stated to remain seated at all times (not to mention the fact that she can barely stay upright on level ground), he had to pretty much restrain her. Brynn got a bit antsy too, but it was lunchtime afterall, luckily I brought the bag with her bottle. It just kills me how we're in a big wildlife reserve with all sorts of exotic animals roaming around us, and the kids are more fascinated with the screwheads holding the seats together. It's that whole "buy them a great gift and watch them play with the box" thing.

In all honesty, it did take a long time to get through the place because of all of the cars ahead of us that stopped forfuckingever to look at each and every animal. When we finally got off we made a beeline for the Ark, unloaded the blanket and cooler and had a picnic under a tree. All was well until Zoe threw a piece of cheese away and we were attacked by seagulls.

After rolling up the picnic we got the girls in the double stroller and walked through the other areas of the park. We looked at exotic birds, elephants, and even went into the petting zoo. What was Zoe most impressed with? Your common everyday rabbit. We could have gone to PetSmart for free!

Perhaps the girls were a bit too young to really appreciate the park, but it was also The Squeeze's first time there, so it wasn't a total bust. The girls were really quite well behaved the whole time. There was one poor woman there with her three or four year old son and he was having a non-stop meltdown. Just throwing a screaming fit and he would. not. stop. I really felt sorry for her. I felt more sorry for the elephants that had to hear this little brat screaming outside of their pen. I like to think that if I were in her situation, I would just pack the kids up and go home. We'll see what happens when the time comes.

Pretty much all of Monday was spent in bed except for my excursion to a Vietnamese restaurant for some soup and pad thai to go. The small soup fills a serving bowl and it was under five bucks. I could have ordered an extra large soup for under nine bucks, but I don't think I could have carried it. By the time I finished my lunch I was sweating like a sumo wrestler in a fur coat. That's what I was looking for. I need to sweat this stuff out of my system.

Apparently it didn't work. I'm here at work today and still stuffed up and coughing. I'll keep popping the meds and hoping for the best.

On the weight loss front....come on! What's wrong with you people? I'm sick! Leave me alone! I haven't had the energy to get on the treadmill since Friday! I'm not going to do a ticker update until I've licked this cold and been back on the treadmill for a couple of days. Hopefully this time next week.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


My Hero

The other night The Squeeze and I were in bed getting ready to doze off for the night. In the soft glow of the tv's light I saw something moving on the far side of The Squeeze's pillow. "Eww...there's a spider on your pillow", I said. I was immediately steam-rollered as The Squeeze maneouvred to distance himself from the offending spider. Did I mention that he's an exterminator?

I craned my bedside lamp over so he could see it clearly and just as I was telling him I'd grab a tissue for him, he crushed it with his hand. That ALWAYS grosses me out.

"Huh, so I guess when people talk about spider bites they aren't kidding."
"No, it really happens."
"He should have waited until we were asleep."

I guess the moral of the story is the early bird gets the worm, but the early spider gets the hand.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I'm A Character

This is what I would look like if I were a Simpson.

Make your own here .




More Reno Hell

I've mentioned the never-ending renovations, and make no mistake, they continue still. Joe the handyman has been trying his hand at getting the copper supply lines installed and things haven't been going very well. Honestly, it's all a blur but suffice to say that during the past week I have noticed no more progress than one hole drilled, a cap and a shut-off valve installed. Each of these items required a note on each occasion telling us to keep the watermain shut off because there is a leak.

Now, Joe doesn't charge us a hell of a lot per hour, but what he was paid for the week to make this dismal progress, we could have hired a damned good plumber who would have had everything done in one day. Without leaks.

When The Squeeze discovered a puddle in the basement on Saturday, he came to the realization that plumbing just wasn't Joe's bag. I guess we really knew that a few days earlier, but this was just the tipping point.

Since Weezie was taking the girls to a mass baby shower on Sunday, we decided to take matters into our own hands and use the day to fix the plumbing. We ripped out everything Joe had soldered and discovered why everything leaked. You see, when soldering copper pipe, one needs to clean the fittings to remove oxidization with sandpaper or a pipecleaning tool. Clearly, this was not done. The valve he installed literally pulled off of the copper pipe by hand. Not good.

At the end of the day we installed two new shut-off valves, re-routed a lot of copper for the new ensuite configuration and got things to a point where Joe doesn't need to worry about touching another copper pipe. It's a win-win situation. When The Squeeze pointed out to Joe where he went wrong on Monday morning, he felt pretty bad about the work he had done.

But there's an upside! When he had finished his work on Monday, he had torn down the old stud wall and installed the framework for the pocket door. He's going to have the door installed and drywall up on the bedroom side today. He'll be working on the shower light, vent fan and main light fixture rough-in if time permits. I tell ya, when he's doing something he's comfortable with, he runs with it.

Maybe we can finally get our primary inspection done at the end of the week!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Putting It Out There

In my obsession with getting healthier, I have been scanning a number of weight-loss websites and saw something that I thought was pretty cool. It's a weight-loss ticker. It exists to show a person's start, current and goal weight and BMI. People make it public so others can see their progress and encourage or shame them into sticking with it. I'm not much into the shame thing, but encouragement always helps. Maybe there's something to the shame thing. Nobody likes to look bad to their peers, so it makes one want to keep at it.

So here you have it. Me in a nutshell. I have laid it all out. Although most people can't believe it or they're being kind, I started out at 375 (yikes) and have selected a goal weight of 225. Why? Why not? I haven't weighed 225 since I was seven. It seemed like a nice even number (even though 225 is an odd number). Maybe it's just that losing a buck and a half has a nice ring to it. Maybe it's that for my height (6' 1"), 225 gets me out of the "obese" category and brings me down to "overweight". Either way, I'm 40% on my way to my goal.

I'll be sure to post updates occasionally. Maybe once a week, every other week...once a month? What do you think?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


The Long Weekend

This weekend all of Canada celebrated a day we all know and love that is known as my daughter's first birthday. Oh ya, and Canada Day. This year July 1 fell on a Sunday, so in keeping with government employees everything shuts up tighter than a frog's butt on Monday. In my never-ending endeavour to one-up government workers, I closed my store on Saturday so I got a long weekend too. Brynn's birthday is actually July 4th, but the weekend works much better than a Wednesday to have a party.

Friday night after work I hit to grocery store for a few items I needed so I could make potato salad and a carrot cake for Brynn's birthday party. Yep, boiling, chopping, mixing, baking... that's how I spent my Friday night. SUCH a party animal.

Saturday morning after my walk, I met up with some old friends I haven't seen in many months and then I was off to pick up a couple of last minute gifts for the birthday girl. Got home, iced the cake and headed out to spend the evening with a couple that The Squeeze and I are quite close to. We had a great dinner at their home, played bocce (or if you prefer, bocci), and had a nice bonfire in their back yard. They live out in the country, so the sky above was lit up with stars and it just made me look forward to going up north in August more than I already did.

I got up the next morning, took my walk, wrapped presents, decorated the cake, and The Squeeze and I met up with FWIG for brunch. It was a fun time as always, and surprisingly the place wasn't packed. It normally is, but perhaps with it being a long weekend, people were away. Or it could just be the fact that we got there shortly after they unlocked the door. The church crowd wouldn't be around for at least another hour. I almost felt ripped off because I got full much sooner than I normally would. I should have brought some Tupperware! I totally lost out on the French toast and waffels, not to mention dessert. Oh well, small sacrifices.

After wrapping up brunch and picking up the food and presents at the house, we hopped in the Ark and headed for Weezie's cottage outside of Hooterville for Brynn's party. We made it there about an hour or so before the party was set to start, so we were put to work blowing up balloons and hanging up banners, setting up chairs, etc.

The weather wasn't too bad, but the wind was a bit much at times. Thank God for sweaters and blankets. So much for the idea of setting up a little pool for the kiddies. The kids managed to stay entertained by either running around like lunatics, playing "stick the nose on Elmo", and "let's scare the hell out of everyone by getting too close to the cliff". The Squeeze told me that when he was a toddler his mother put a harness on him and clipped him to the clothes line in the back yard. I think she was on to something.

I wasn't sure how Brynn would handle all of the people there, especially since she didn't sleep on the drive there, but she was amazing. She was all smiles and laughter, and the few times she did fuss, I would just hold her hands while she practiced her walking. I must say, it is SUCH a cool feeling when she is with someone else and starts to fuss, and I walk over to her. She reaches her arms up to me, I pick her up, and she's fine. I love, love, love that! It's that bond that just tugs at my heart.

After The Squeeze finished cooking up the burgers and hotdogs and everyone finished eating, it was time to bring out the cake and have Brynn smash her hand into it and get the first taste. Weezie made a great cake. She made a Winnie the Pooh character cake and it looked awesome.

Even though we let people know it was a party to celebrate her first year of life and that we were NOT looking for presents, many people chose to ignore that request. OK, ya, so did I. So what? Thankfully she got a lot of clothes instead of toys because Weezie's house looks like a Toys R Us. OK, I got her a couple of toys, but I couldn't resist. The coolest thing I got her was this pair of shoes. Apparently they really encourage kids to walk because kids like the squeak they hear every time they step. Weezie said that when she put them on her the next day to try them out, Brynn would take a step and look behind her to see what was squeaking. She said it was hilarious.

We got the cottage cleaned up and un-decorated and closed up in record time after everyone left. Weezie's SUV could hardly handle all of the stuff she had to pack back up, including two kids and her mother. We got my Ark packed up as well, and even took three full garbage bags with us rather than leave them behind to be ripped apart by animals before they got picked up. As I walked toward the Ark with the garbage, I yelled back to Weezie before driving off, "Thanks for the loot bags!" I crack me up.

After arriving back at home, The Squeeze, FWIG and I relaxed for a bit and decided to go to one of the local Canada Day fireworks celebrations. Since FWIG knows someone who has a business near where the fireworks were taking place, we had no problem getting parking. Getting out and clear of the area where they took place was another story. It took longer to get out of the gridlock than the whole fireworks display lasted.

The holiday Monday was fairly laid back. The Squeeze joined me on a short walk, and we toured a garden that we wanted to see which was open to the public that day. We visited the kids in the afternoon, and came home for dinner and relaxed for a bit.

I was surprised this morning again when I stepped on the scale. I was sure that after this weekend of brunch, burgers and birthday cake that I may have gone the other way, but as of this morning, I am down 60 pounds in total. WooHoo! Thirteen more to go and I lose the word "morbidly". Then I will be "severely" obese. to my ears. Thirty seven after that and I'll merely be obese. I'm keeping my beefy fingers crossed.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?