My lucky holiday

For those of you who might recall, earlier in the year I received an email from a Canadian woman who claimed to be my mother.  Well, sort of.  I think she has a son who shares the same name as myself and she emailed me instead of him.  I couldn’t resist, and emailed her a reply.

Well, my Canadian mom is at it again!  This time she emailed me a flight itinerary with an invitation to come to Toronto.  Again, I couldn’t resist.  Below is the reply I sent her.  For some reason she still hasn’t replied…

Hello again Ronda,

Thank you very much for inviting me to visit Toronto!  I graciously accept your invitation.  However, I wonder if we might be able to change the itinerary slightly?  I see that you have me flying out from Fort Lauderdale, but Fort Lauderdale is 15,729 kilometres from my current location.  It would be much easier for me to fly out from Melbourne, Australia.  I certainly don’t mean to seem ungrateful however, and if I must leave from Fort Lauderdale then I’ll make my own way there.  How long do you think it would take me to swim 15,729 kilometres?
 
I’ve never been to Toronto before.  Actually, I’ve never been to Canada.  I’m looking forward to seeing your local wildlife most, and being from Australia I will be very happy to be in a different country where most of the local animals can’t kill you in less than three seconds.  Over here it’s a blessing to be savaged by a wild dingo, as it helps to drain the poison from the venomous snake bites that most of us receive at least weekly.  It’s difficult to walk between our front door and the neighbours place without seeing at least three deadly animals.  And if you don’t see them it just means they were well camouflaged that day.
 
What would you suggest I pack?  Having never been to Canada I am largely persuaded by stereotype alone.  The only things I know that come from Canada are maple syrup and Our Lady Peace.  I am assuming I can buy pancakes and icecream in Canada as well as maple syrup so I shouldn’t need to bring any other food-stuffs.  I think I’d be able to happily survive on the dietary sustenance I could glean from maple syrup and icecream on pancakes.  That almost covers all of the five food groups.  After all, what other uses does maple syrup have?
 
Seeing you’re supplying my airfares I also assume I will need to hang out with you and your family for a while.  What sort of activities do you folks like to engage in?  Again going only by stereotypes I would guess you all play ice hockey and lacrosse, and so I’ll bring clothing that would accommodate such activities.  Clothing for ice hockey is hard to come by in Australia however, due mostly to the fact that very few of us have ever seen snow let alone a frozen expanse that one could skate upon.  I’ll bring my flip-flops (I’m sure they will glide nicely upon the ice) and maybe also some longer shorts.  The weather here generally dictates that when we get cold we put a t-shirt on and put our beer can in a stubbie holder.  How much colder can Canada be?
 
I really look forward to meeting up with you and my other very distant relatives.  I’ll watch my mail box for those airline tickets!
 
Thanks once again,
 
Ryan
Oct 2nd, 2012 | Filed under Life
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M-Reno – The Finished Kitchen

Well, it’s taken far longer than anticipated but this renovation is finally nearing completion.  The exterior of the property is ready to hit the market.  I’ve built a deck in the backyard and tidied up the house.  I removed an external door during the renovation and have rendered over the gap this left.  Most of this property was already presentable outside so apart from the deck, my work was minimal.  For a larger job that needed a professional finish I’d have approached a company such as Jayhawk Exteriors to reduce my renovation time and maximize the street appeal of the property.

Inside, the carpet will be laid in less than two weeks so I now have a fixed deadline for my painting.  I’ve been busy changing the stained hardwood skirts and arc into crisp white breaks between the wall and floor/doors/windows.  That alone had visually subtracted about thirty years from the property.  And now that the kitchen is complete the house is a whole lot more comfortable.  Here’s a couple of before/after pics of the finished article.  And excuse the black smudges on the photos, apparently the back of my phone lens needs a clean.  Anyone know how to do that?

 

So here below we have a classic “spot the difference” picture.  There are five changes between the photos.  Can you spot them all?

Aug 18th, 2012 | Filed under Renovating

M-Reno – The Entry, Before and (almost) After

It’s about time for yet another renovation update.  I’ve just put in the glass balustrade in the entry, replacing the gaudy old wooden frame that had stood there since the house was made.  The glass wall still needs a little bit of adjustment and the paintwork underneath needs another coat, but the general feeling of the house has changed considerably.  The tiling will begin next week too, which will give the place another dramatic change.

20th century vs 21st century

After a slight hiatus, things are beginning to move along full swing again.  The garden is basically finished (thanks to some terrific help!) and the inside needs only flooring and lighting, along with a few fiddly details.  The painting has been very time consuming, but again I’ve had some help which has sped things along.  There’s still another coat needed on some skirts and arcs, and a few patches of touch-up needed on some walls.  Generally though, the house looks completely different, and certainly a whole lot better!

Jul 26th, 2012 | Filed under Renovating

Higgs-whatnow? What IS a Higgs Boson Particle?

So scientists at the  Large Hadron Collider (an enormous underground generator near the Swiss/French border) this week confirmed the existence of the Higgs Boson particle.  So what?  What does this mean for anyone outside the scientific community?  I mean, heck!  We don’t even know what a Higgs Boson particle is, right?  Why should it’s discovery mean anything to us?

I found this online and thought it was a pretty good explanation for us laymen.  Personally, I want to know what a Higgs Boson particle is made of…

Courtesy of PHD Comics on Vimeo.

Jul 6th, 2012 | Filed under Science
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M-reno – Cutting in the Cooktop

I’ve got the sparky coming around tomorrow to put the appliances into my kitchen.  So it was about time to cut a dirty great hole into my benchtop in order to slot the new cooktop in place.  I’m adding Westinghouse appliances into this reno, not the best quality stuff, but not junk either.  I’ve gone with decent sizes at least (900mm), to add that bit of pizazz when it comes time to sell.  So seeing I couldn’t delay it any longer, it was time to cut up my nice new benches.

I marked it all out in texta first.  Then remeasured about ten times to make sure the hole was correct, and that it was the right distance away from everything that it needed to be away from.  Then I measured again.  The last thing I wanted to do at this point was cut the benches incorrectly!

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times you measure or how assured you are that the lines are in the right spot, I think that first drill-hole is always nerve racking!  Still, it was too late to turn back now!

So after creating much noise, and even more sawdust, there was now a hole where there wasn’t before.  Just a little final shaping required and some neatening in the corners, some cleaning up of sawdust, then…

The fit test.  And no matter how many times you measured before you cut, you always seem to hold your breath as you go to place the cooktop into place too.  This time I was met with success.  Phew!

And so there you have it!  The sparky will wire it in for me tomorrow, and place the oven in the front.  Then I might finally be able to start doing my fair share of the cooking (I’ve been looked after very well in the last little while!)

And sorry about the poor quality of these pics too – my camera is in for repairs at the moment and my phone is far from brilliant!

Jun 28th, 2012 | Filed under Renovating