Thursday, May 30
Greetings from South Etobicoke!
The move is going well. There have been hickups, unexpected expenses, and a few surprises, but all in all I can't complain (though my right arm feels like its going to fall off). I'm on dialup while Bell takes their sweet time hooking me back up with sweet highspeed.
Phase One of VolunteersOnline.ca
has been launched. I'm relatively happy with it. But there are some key features/elements missing for now - though I've been assured that it will look like I envisioned it in the coming weeks/months. I created a suite of icons that couldn't be applied yet, the site is also missing some nice page headers that I created as well. So, its looking a bit plain right now.
I went to the Gala Dinner Launch last night. It was really cool. The Minister of Citizenship for Ontario officially launched the site to considerable fanfare. The dinner was held at the CBC Broadcast Centre - the place is beautiful - its exactly what a public broadcaster's HQ should look like. If you ever have a chance, go in to take a look, it's right across the street from the SkyDome.
Back to moving and unpacking for me.
Tuesday, May 28
So this is the day. At long last. The House will be ours today, given that everything goes right.
On Thursday of last week, Heather and I had a visit with the lawyer who's handling the sale of the house. He informed us that there was a problem with the purchase of the house. You see, the builder broke down the land on our property (and the property of all 37 houses in the sub-division) into little checker-board piece lots, so our house actually sits on something like 12 different lots (see figure 1
The checkerboard was owned by four sub-companies of the builder. This would all be okay, except for the fact that one of these sub-companies didn't do their paperwork properly and never got a clear deed on the land. Now, this is a purely administrative error, but it had real-world results because our lawyer (who's apparently very 'thorough') discovered this problem and told us that it was unclear if we would get ownership of the house.
The reason for this is pretty simple. If parts of our property were never officially owned by the builder, the builder had no right to sell it to the present owners, which in turn makes it illegal for the present owners to sell to us.
You may be thinking, as we were, how could at least 37 lawyers + the builder's lawyer + however many lawyers have been involved in resales of houses in the sub-division have missed this problem? That, unfortunately, will remain a mystery.
So we were left on tender hooks for the whole weekend and most of Monday waiting to see if we would need to cancel the moving truck, cancel our gas, electrical, water, and phone hook-ups, hire the real estate agent again, re-invest the downpayment money, and cancel the house insurance - basically undoing 3 months of work. At 3pm yesterday we got word from the lawyer that he was going to get a signed affidavit from the builder assuming the risk of any title or deed disagreements that arise from this administrative irregularity.
So long story short: We getting the house today (knock on wood) and the move-in starts at approximately 5pm today. The next post will be from Etobicoke. I can barely hold in my elation - this is beyond any of my wildest dreams.
Wednesday, May 22
It has been a very eventful week ... the pan-parental summit at the cottage went surprisingly well - no feet in mouths, no tension, just plain old getting to know each other. And I received a pre-birthday birthday present
from my mom and step-father to boot.
On Sunday, Heather and I went to the Owen Sound Twin Drive-In
for their famous Dusk to Dawn Sunday night. We didn't make it to the fourth movie - the fear of the 30km drive with my eyes closed was a bit too much for me. I love drive-ins - there is a magic I can feel walking through the line of cars after picking up cold popcorn and dusty licorice, borne mostly out of nostalgia for a time that I never lived through. I'm not sure how many drive-in theatres there are out there but I pray that they don't all disappear - it really is the ultimate movie going experience. Its the perfect combination of the big screen and the living room.
A week today I will be waking up from my first night in the new house. We have our new phone number which, thanks to Heather, is beautifully simple (the advantage of having a fiancee in the telecommunications industry). The moving van has been reserved, the insurance is worked out, the downpayment has been organised, and we are poised to become homeowners.
The biggest news in the last couple days is that young David
, my big little brother, was accepted to the University of Ottawa for September. There was some question about whether or not he would make it in, as his marks were on the cusp. But, breathing a huge sigh of relief, he is now on to higher learning. Good man. His birthday was over the weekend and there could not have been a better gift than this.
Thursday, May 16
12 days and counting until we no longer have to pack a bag to spend the night together. I'm dizzy with excitement.
You should go and visit chaotic roots
. Why? Because I've received some nice traffic from them and its a beauty of a site to boot.
Wednesday, May 15
Good on the Leafs!
So nice to beat Ottawa again, there will be no end to the ridicule that poor Paully
will need to endure.
Tuesday, May 14
Almost a full week ... a new record in complacency
Well, that's not really true. I've been a busy boy for the last week, working on the VolunteersOnline mock ups. I think its some of my best work to date - stay tuned.
Mother's day this year was the most eventful in a decade. It was the first time in ten years that my mother and I were together on Mother's Day. She happened to be in town for some R&R from her jungle paradise [shameless plug
] in Costa Rica and for an opportunity to see the Haslam's cottage in preparation for the wedding. It was great to see her. Its funny to spend time as adults with her. All of her idiosyncracies are becoming more and more obvious to me. I suppose its a natural part of adulthood, but one that I don't get much exposure to.
Heather and I also bought our wedding bands this weekend. It was pure, unadulterated, pleasure. Easy to do, incredibly satisfying, and source of excitement for the upcoming nuptuals.
So for bookend satisfaction, keep your browser glued to this spot... big VolunteersOnline.ca launch news coming up in the coming weeks.
Oh yeah, and good luck to our blessed Maple Leafs.
Wednesday, May 8
I'm a little late in retelling this but it's worth putting down into words.
On Saturday night of this past weekend I attended a stag party for a good friend. My first real, hollywood-style, watching a 6 period hockey game, 18 guys sweet talking their way on a bus full of women from Rochester New York out for a stagette, stealing booze from said women, getting thrown out of a male strip joint for dancing on tables, brother of the groom getting thrown out of the casino for calling all the gamblers idiots and accusing the casino of taking advantage of the poor, up till five in the morning with no visual memories of the last two hours of the night, passing out under a tree before making it to bed and sleeping fully clothed, stag.
Maybe nothing to be proud of but it was everything a stag should be and I want to thank all the guys there for making it so much fun, Chris for being such a good groom-to-be, and Steve for organising it so well. A night of pure indulgence and honest celebration for a good man.
Friday, May 3
Yesterday, we went to measure out the interior dimensions of the new house
. Strange story came out of our visit there. When we had first viewed the house, there was a rocking chair in the living room that looked incredibly familiar to Heather ... so familiar that Heather was swearing up and down that it had been in her rec-room when she was growing up. Heather's mother had traded the chair for some other piece of furniture with a refinisher on Dundas St. in the Junction who ran a shop called Old Fashion Restoration
. During the purchasing process, we used it (and a few other interesting coincidences) as a sign
that we were meant to
own the place.
Well fast forward to yesterday, we are talking to the present owners in their living room and the subject of the chair comes up. The husband had bought his wife the chair for their two year anniversary. He had bought it from a furniture restorer on Dundas St. in the Junction. But, according to the man who sold it to them, it had been his mother's chair and she had rocked in it since he was a little boy. His mother had recently died and though it brought him sadness to gaze upon it, it had such high sentimental value that parting with it would be an expensive proposition. The husband had to have it, paid the 'sentimental value' price. The true origins of the chair were confirmed when Heather remembered that she, herself, had created the small damage on the top-right hand corner on the back of the chair. Maybe there really is something to signs