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Random Thoughts

29 January 2006

visit to ikea

after the pre-pdi yesterday, i went to ikea to try and get some ideas for new furniture. i find it amusing how ikea routes the customer traffic within their stores. once you go up that escalator by the entrance, there's no turning around - you pretty much have to go through the entire store before you get back to the entrance/exit. i guess it makes good business sense to force customers to pass through their entire inventory, but i wish their stores just weren't so huge.

they had some nice model rooms on the 2nd floor, but i'm not sure if: (1) it'll fit a living room as small as mine; and (2) the price is going to fit within my budget. i'd really like a sleek, modern look, but i'd like to get someone experienced with interior design to provide me with some good suggestions (and not charging me an arm and a leg for advice). anyone know any good interior designers out there?

i won't need much for the kitchen and bathroom, but i'll need to furnish my living room and bedroom essentially from scratch. the stuff at ikea is nice, and i don't want to skimp when it comes to my home, but i really don't know if i can afford all the frills. i've budgeted around $6000 for furniture, but i have a funny feeling it isn't going to be enough ... <sigh>

last word: the cinnamon rolls inside ikea's mini-cafe are awesome, and they're only $1.25 each!

28 January 2006

pre-pre-delivery inspection - courtesy of jane and victor

since jane was home today, i decided to make today the day to visit my new condo. there were some people moving in, which i suppose was to be expected, but otherwise the grounds were quite deserted.

upon arriving at the main entrance, i noticed a sign indicating "visitor parking", pointing downwards towards the underground garage. fortunately, jane had already warned me to not follow that sign, so i parked above ground, by the townhouses.

there was virtually no security at all. the main door was propped open with a doorrest, and the security guard was not present. thus, i was able to stroll right by without getting noticed! after taking a brief look around the lobby, i went up to suite 312, home of jane and her husband, victor.

the 3rd floor hallway was mostly completed in terms of furnishings - the walls, ceiling and carpeting had all been finished; only the floorboards had not been installed yet. i noticed that suite 311 had been turned into the customer care suite - i suppose no one bought the unit.

jane and victor were kind enough to give me a guided tour not only of their own suite, but of the condominium grounds as well. we were exploring around in the lobby when jane suddenly got curious and decided to enter a door near the mailroom. when she kept proceeding, she wound in the security guard's area! boy was she embarrassed ... but i promised not to tell anyone at work about this incident. hehehe ...

exploring the multi-purpose room next earned us yet another stern rebuke from mr. security guard. i had the feeling that we were starting to get on his nerves at this point. fortunately, he seemed like a nice guy and not too much of a jerk.

we exited the building and explored the grounds outside, first to the north, and then to the east. as phase 2 was still under construction, we were unable to check out the swimming pool area from inside. to my amusement, one of the fire extinguishers on the property was labeled "menkes".

on the east side, we saw a few security cameras and noted with disdain that mr. security guard was probably wondering who this snooping troublemaker was. (he knows that jane and victor are residents of the building, but he had never seen me before.) on the first floor were a few suites that looked different from all of the other units in the building. at the time, i wondered what those units were for, but after examining the floor plan afterwards, i found out that we had been looking at the management office, guest suite and superintendent's suite.

after sneaking back into the building through the service/loading area to avoid mr. security guard, we decided to go up to my floor, the 16th, and see what it looked like up there. in contrast to the 3rd floor, the 16th was definitely still in progress. the walls and floor were mostly bare and dirty, furnishings for suites lay on the ground in front of the elevator, and it was totally quiet. jane, being the adventurous one, decided to check the doorknob of my suite to see whether the door was actually locked. and surprisingly, it was unlocked! there was a shocked look on jane's face, and she and victor pushed me inside.

my first impression was very positive. even though all of the interior surfaces were very dirty, all of the major appliances and upgrades had been installed already. on the kitchen countertop was a bag of GARBAGE, containing, amongst other things, several empty tim hortons coffee cups and a can of coke. (how dare you construction workers eat in my suite and not clean up after yourselves!!!) the dishwasher, to my absolute horror, was BABY BLUE!! until i realized that there was a protective blue film on the dishwasher's surface, to be peeled off later.

the hardwood floor was excellent and made me glad that i decided to get the upgrade from carpet. as i approached the balcony, i admired the beautiful, unobstructed eastward-facing view. in the distance, i could see the ny towers development on bayview, and the 401 to the right.

there was a lot of junk on the floor of the carpeted bedroom and some nails, so i didn't want to walk too far in. in any case, there wasn't too much to see there. i noticed that the bedroom window extended almost all the way to the floor, which was great.

the laundry room was tiny, which meant that i probably wouldn't be able to store much inside, but at least the door opened outward instead of inward. the spacious washroom was quite dark, but i was able to see the nice marble countertop. lastly, the kitchen cabinetry matched the hardwood floor (and the front door!) nicely. i'm really looking forward to my PDI in two weeks, when i expect everything to be cleaned up and looking nice!

for the final part of my tour, i accompanied jane and victor down into the underground parking garage, but there was nothing too special about it - i just hope that my parking spot isn't too far away from the elevators. i didn't find out where the lockers are, but i'll be able to find out on my next visit.

less than 5 weeks until move-in ... i can't wait!

26 January 2006

19" LCD monitor has finally been acquired

it's been a long wait, but when the viewsonic VA902b dropped to $329 recently at canada computers, i decided that i could hold out no longer. my initial impressions are that my money was well-spent ... the graphics are simply dazzling. of course, this means goodbye to my trusty old samsung syncmaster 750s which served me well for the past 5 years. i'll try to find you a good home.

this also helps in an indirect way ... since a 17" CRT monitor is so heavy, getting rid of it now reduces (yet again!) the amount of stuff i'll have to move in a month. i've cleared out a LOT of junk this month ...

23 January 2006

parkdale-high park goes NDP ... and other musings

today was election day, and yes, your dedicated resident leftie voted NDP once again, for the 3rd federal election in a row (can't remember exactly how many times). since i turned 18, the NDP candidate in the riding of my residence has never won. well, it changed today! underdog peggy nash managed to defeat incumbent sarmite bulte by about 2200 votes. woohoo!

nash almost won the seat in 2004 but fell just short. it's great that she ran for the NDP again this year, and that her efforts were rewarded this time around. i'm also glad that i didn't vote for bulte, who must have spent mucho $$$ in advertising costs (i saw her face on bus shelters everywhere within the riding). bulte didn't sound very gracious in defeat either, when interviewed by the toronto star.

even though i will not be a resident of parkdale-high park for much longer, i'm glad that the riding will be represented in ottawa by such a worthy and deserving candidate, and that i had a part in determining the victor.

as for the new prime minister stephen harper: as a leftie, i can't say that i'm happy that he won. however, this result may be what canada needs right now. the liberals need to do some major housecleaning, and the loss will help start the rebuilding process immediately. the conservatives, on the other hand, won't have free rein to implement their socially conservative policies within a minority framework. the bloc quebecois' share of the popular vote went down, which can only be good for federalism. and hey, the ndp's seat total increased! so overall, i'm happy with the way the election turned out.

here's looking forward towards another federal election, and another minority government, in 2008.

17 January 2006

time to "visit" my new home ...

jane got the keys to her new condo yesterday! yay! now, we bought our units in the same building, but since her unit is on a lower floor than mine, she gets to move in first. (that's so unfair!) but now that i know someone who has a key for the front door, it means that i can visit my new home before it's ready! muwahahahahaha!!! even though i won't be able to enter the actual suite, i'll still be able to check out the lobby, parking garage, hallways, etc.

so, jane, when can i come over and visit my new home?

16 January 2006

one thing i am looking to buy ...

if anyone knows where i can find a copy of a book called mathematics made difficult, authored by carl e. linderholm, please please let me know!

14 January 2006

the great pre-move fire sale

as of monday the 16th, i'll have made $245 selling my used goods. what a great way to make $$$ and get rid of unused stuff in my apartment at the same time! i posted my stuff for sale on the online classified database at work about 10 days ago, and everything got snapped up super quick! i wasn't expecting everything to get sold so quickly ... one consequence is that i'll be without a microwave for the next 6 weeks, but i'd rather it turn out like this than being stuck with things in march that i was unable to sell. the item i was happiest selling was the air conditioning unit, which weighed a TON and would have been extremely difficult to move, even to the basement. you really need 2 people to move that thing!

the one thing i was unable to sell was the deskjet printer. richard from work was interested, but before i sold it to him, i tested the printer and ... well, it's no longer working very nicely ... definitely not in a sellable condition. i'll give it to richard for free if he wants, but more likely, the printer's going to wind up in the scrap heap.

the apartment's a lot emptier now, which is good. there's more counter space in the kitchen without the microwave, and with the printer, a/c unit and playstation gone, there's a lot more space by the entrance.

i'm also trying to get rid of some of my textbooks, but since they're not too heavy individually, i'm not too concerned about selling them right away.

on another note, i've booked the elevator at the new apartment for march 4th, so that's going to be the big day! only 50 more days to go!

07 January 2006

back to the salt mines

wow, the holidays were a lot of fun. so much so, that i haven't updated my weblog in ages! most of my time was spent with francis who visited for the holidays, and the rest of the guys. the parents had to work over new years, and yvonne didn't come home for the hoildays this year, so i didn't spend too much time with my family.

i'm not crazy about boxing day shopping, and i hate fighting the crowds, so i didn't buy too much on boxing week. i did manage to find some good deals closer to new year's when the crowds had died down somewhat. just got a memory upgrade for my PC and some clothing accessories ... nothing special. and yes, i still haven't bought the LCD monitor for myself yet. i'm starting to view it as being somewhat unnecessary, in light of all the moving-related expenses i'll be incurring in the near future. so, i'll probably keep my good old CRT monitor for the next little while.

the next 2 months are going to be hectic in terms of preparing for my move to my new home. i'm trying to sell a lot of my stuff that i'll no longer need, such as my microwave and my air conditioner. amazingly, within a few hours of posting an ad at the office, someone bought the microwave! wow. ideally, i'd like to keep it right up until the move-out date, but if i did that, i might not be able to unload it at the last minute. so, i'll be microwave-less for the next 2 months. there've also been inquiries about my deskjet printer and my air conditioning unit, and hopefully i'll be able to sell them as well.

choir practice starts next week, which i am looking forward to! and lastly, i'd like to take another mandarin language course this term. i know of two offerings this semester at two different institutions, but i'm not sure which one i should enroll with. i've got a few more days to think about this, as classes start next week.

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