Meanwhile, the expertly designed heating system for our new(ly renovated) house heats very, very unevenly. Some rooms are so cold need a sweater, some are so hot can scarcely breathe. It's a forced hot air system, and it either isn't zoned properly, or there aren't enough dampers to properly regulate the flow of air, or both. Either way, right after the holidays I'm going to have a little sit down with all the parties involved and "suggest" they fix it. I have the bad feeling that means more holes in the walls, and more plaster dust, which will very much not make us happy. Along the same note, there seems to be a frozen pipe in one part of the house (out to the extension). Only the hot water pipe is frozen. The plumber has been unsuccesfully working on it for 2 hours. Add this to our little post-holiday sit down.
We're still in the midst of the cold snap you might have read about. I've always had cold hands and feet ("but a warm heart"), but I can't take my gloves off outside for more than 10 seconds without my fingers aching with the cold. We wanted to live in this country, right?
Nom & ba ngaoi took the kids out for a couple of hours (a bit of grocery shopping and a bit of running around the mall driving other people crazy, but at least they get out of the house for a bit). I can post this, have a peaceful cup of coffee… then dig into the piles of home fixing-up, and paperwork that I promised to do over the holidays.
Tonight is New Years Eve. The start of the new year is defined by when the ball drops in Times Square in NYC (no matter where in the world you happen to be). Or in our case, when we get up the next day and watch the recording of it.
Happy New Year to all my Gentle Readers. May it be full of happiness, health, and good things.
Still on vacation, which is not long enough, but did teach today, and am now at my office getting caught up on paperwork, emails, bloggin, and misc administrative stuff. Nom is insisting on inflicting some socializing on me this week, something I keep claiming I want to do more of, but don't really mean.
Will probably post a recap of 2016 when I have a some free time (which possibly means not until 2047).
Introduced Hedgefund to snow. She’s been out in it before, but this was the first official “dress you up in snowsuit and boots so heavy you can't move, and take you out to have fun.” From the look on her face, you can tell she is her late grandmother's granddaughter/ravenson's niece. She would basically dispute my last sentence in above paragraph, and insist that the aliens must have invaded/the world is ending, what with everything being cold and wet and white. At least she did like being slid up and down a slope on her back.
Have been off since day before Christmas. Not doing anything special, just getting little things done and seeing family and friends. Hasn't been completely restful, having been on call part of the time. My first day we had a TEN (Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis), which is a form of severe, extremely rare drug reaction, which is one of the few things in Derm that can rapidly kill you, what with blistering off all your skin and causing various organs to fail. In her case, calculating by the SCORTEN index, she had an estimated 35% risk of death. Fortunately, she seems to be in the other 65%. Either just lucky in general, or lucky that her daughter is an ICU nurse and her granddaughter is a medical student, and they caught it early. She's not out of the woods yet, but so far getting better each day.
Didn't make any New Year's resolutions. I consider them lame, rarely kept, and besides, I always have projects and things I wish to do (details on which shall be forthcoming in due time). And besides, we all know the real New Year's is Tet, which happens in a month or so.
So Gentle Readers, here is wishing you a healthy, happy, and content 2016.
Parking meters have sprouted in Montreal like mushrooms after a rainfall. They are the newer type where you try to remember the number of your parking spot while finding the nearest pay station and pay it there. A central system records if each spot is paid for, so when the Green Onions** drive around, they know instantly if someone is parked illegally. A good thing is that if a parking spot has been blocked off, it lets you know (where I was going to park one place was closed for something, but the sign wasn't obvious, so it saved me a ticket). Since it's all electronic, there is an app for your phone (of course) that lets you pay remotely. The great thing about it is that it sends you a reminder 15 minutes before your time expires, and you can then refill the meter wherever you happen to be. They charge 40¢*** for each use. Like all new gizmos, I sneered at it until I got it, and now can't believe I ever survived life without it.
Not planning anything special for tonight. Will likely go to sleep the usual time, try to wake up to watch the ball drop in Times Square, then go back to sleep.
* For the record (and for the amusement of ravensron and ecosopher) it is, in rough numbers, -OMG out there, which is why I'm typing this in here.
** The derogatory name for the parking violations weenies. Name started b/c they used to wear green uniforms and made you cry. Parking tickets were therefore satirically known as "onion skins."
*** Even though it's a bit dated, I loved using the ¢-symbol instead of writing out "cents," or $0.xx. Growing up, typewriters**** had a key for that, computers generally don't. Figured out how to insert it from a symbol set, although may or may not show on your screen depending on your computer.
**** Ask your grandparents, boys and girls.
Yet more family. Having been out late, we slept in, ate a spot of brunch, then visited Raven again. Nom wanted to bring her flowers (she be well-raised, that one is), but casinos don't have florists and didn't want to waste too much time looking for one that was open. Odd what was and wasn't open on the 31st. ravensron had to work, but the costume shop V recommended was closed.
Capital Grille. A branch of the one in DC, and belies what I posted yesterday about dumbing down flavors. Decor, views, service, and especially the food was absolutely first class.
Vegas: The Show. Were considering another Cirque de Soleil show, but preferred something different as counterpoint. Went to Tix 4 Tonight, the LV equivalent of NY's TKTS half-priced same-day tickets. They also have restaurant and sightseeing discounts. Vegas: The Show was a review and traditional, old-style LV show, complete with the girls in bikinis and feathered headdresses (very risqué back in the day). They had impersonators of everyone from Elvis to Sonny and Cher to the Rat Pack. It was fun, and a taste of old Vegas.
New Year's Eve. The show was at Planet Hollywood, and afterwards we went out front to watch the fireworks. It was the perfect spot: PH had the best display, and we were right under it, plus we could see four other casinos' displays (2 to either side); five simultaneous pyrotechnic shows. The displays were true Vegas in that they were more impressive in their exuberance than their artistry, but great fun. The strip was closed to vehicles, and people were out in force. It reminded me of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Mobs of (mostly) good-natured, and (variably) inebriated folks swarming the street. Some had hats or other headgear (I especially liked the electric rabbit ears); some had those %#*^#+ plastic horns; some had gizmos that shot off streamers or confetti. (A few shot them off before midnight. Get a grip people! Or is that simply a form of premature ejaculation?) A beer or two later ourselves, we bedded down in the wee hours on the last night of a great vacation.
Not tottering because drunk or hungover, but because of the condition of the paths. I ran into Gym Teacher the other day, oddly enough at the gym. He was training some other clients, but invited me to a New Year's Day run on Mt. Royal. Was wisely going to ignore him, but: (a) I did make that non-New Year's resolution about exercising more, and (b) he said there would be hot chocolate afterwards. The point of this run was not really go out and burn up the road, but more of boasting rights.
Awoke neither bright nor early today. Very misty out, but not cold. Dragged myself up to the Beaver Lake Chalet at the appointed time. The other three fools - uh, participants - were much bigger runners than I was, but the object of the exercise was to have a good time, or at least to not slip and fall and break something. The Boreal Running Club was out in full force, looking chipper and dressed in matching, stylish running togs. Our little team was semi-awake and dressed in odds-and-ends to keep warm. The paths were icy, so we kept to the semi-slush on the sides, and walked on the very icy parts. None of us fell, we made about 4 Km, then back to the chalet for hot chocolate and boasting rights. Not a brilliant run, but we did it, on the mountain, in the mist and light rain, on New Year's Day. May the rest of my year (and yours, Gentle Reader) turn out as well.
Or, as most of the Western World currently phrases it "Happy New Years." As a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, allow me to point out that the year changes only when the ball drops in Times Square. I hope you all stay up to watch it. I likely won't. Been there, seen that, can't think of any good reason to stay up that late. (Yeah, I'm boring. What of it.)
Going over to a friend's house, have a bit of dinner, watch a movie on DVD, and come home. Might light a fire and read a book. I really love having a fireplace. It doesn't add much physical warmth to the room, but adds lots of emotional warmth and atmosphere. For a long time, the only fireplace tool I had was an old pair of kitchen tongs. At the garage sale of my now-ex-fiancée, I found a great set of fireplace tools. This was the "get rid of excess stuff before I move in with my beloved" garage sale. (Back when she was my current fiancée.) Same place I got that Thai sword, and we know how well that worked out. I find I still mostly use the old kitchen tongs, not the fancy set of fireplace tools. They look great, but aren't at all worthwhile. Feel free to draw the obvious parallel.
All told, there have been many good small things this year, but the big events really, really sucked canal water. Here's hoping 2011 will be better for all of us.
Yes, it's New Years Eve (well, New Years Eve Day). Time to start making all those resolutions you are not going to keep. I know the gym will be crowded for the next few weeks, tapering off when people give up on keeping that resolution to exercise more. 'Sokay, no one believed you anyhow. And exercise regularly - that's actually a hard one to keep. Heck, nobody keeps those hards ones; they're hard, which is why you haven't been doing them all last year.
But you know you're pathetic when you can't even keep something like*:
- Go out drinking more often
- Watch more television
* These are actually resolutions made and not kept by people I know. Feel free to add your own contributions here.
The drive down and back were not too annoying (well, the drive back - drive down was full of slush falling from sky and enough wind to swerve car at points). Car was so coated with road salt that it formed camouflage - when I looked out the hotel window in the morning, I briefly thought it had been stolen, because I couldn't see it at first.
They have a new cat, which is highly pregnant (yes, it came pregnant - this is a loving, tolerant, and very brave household). They said, only partly tongue in cheek, that if it turned out to be too many kittens for them to handle, they would foster (or just foist) some off on WWC. I pointed out that that was a precedent. If I had kids (problematical at the moment, but you never know), and I couldn't handle same, I might foster (or foist) them off on them. I'm not sure they'd notice. K said they would notice, just wouldn't mind. Not an imminent issue, but as I said, you never know.