The Daily EO: February 23rd, 2013

I do not have problems with germs or thoughts of contamination.    I don’t use disinfectant really.  I don’t worry about washing new items that I buy in a store.  I use public toilets.  I eat food that I have dropped on the floor (so long as it is a reasonably clean floor)  I think that there are germs all around us and that my body is equipped to deal with them.  Granted, I seem to have a solid immune system, so perhaps that is why I am careless.

Okay, yes, if food is rotten, smells funny, been in the fridge too long, or anything else like that.  I stay away.  But I really find it weird that other people avoid shaking your hand if they have a cold.

Perhaps I am too lenient in these things, perhaps I am not concerned enough.  I don’t know, but there are all kinds and I try to be understanding of that.

My friend Alison is different than me.  She washes all of her fruits and veggies, washes all new towels, avoids dirty items, frequently washes her hands and teaches her children the same.   And I don’t think she teaches the “2 second rule”.   Potential germs give her the heebee geebees.

I don’t think this is an issue of who is better or worse, but just we’re different.

She and her family were over for the day today and we spent it using the facilities that our building has to offer.  One of which is the rooftop hot tub.

The hot tub was clearly needing additional chlorine added as it had turned slightly green like all outdoor pools and hot tubs do when the chlorine levels drop for too long.  There was no algae build-up or bad smell, just the colour was off.  When I was a kid, my job was to check the chlorine in our pool, so unfortunately, our pool was green once or twice a summer much to my mother’s annoyance.

It was cold outside with a biting wind and we were in bathing suits.

February 23rd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Potential germs won out over cold.  But Alison didn’t complain, she didn’t say we couldn’t go in.  She just hesitated for a mere moment and then got in.  That’s cool.


The Daily EO: January 12th, 2013

When I started stocking up my house we first moved here, I went to Costco with a friend. I have an inherent cheapness about me that causes me to have issue with the requirement to pay money to a store just for the right to shop there. I mean, really? Is it that exclusive? And it further pisses me off that they have the best price and best quality for raw nuts. So I have to keep mooching off my friends who buy Costco memberships to get said nuts and other items. Sigh.

Said Mugs

Anyways, I had left the cart and when I returned, my friend had conveniently placed a 2 piece travel mug set in the cart for me to purchase. I pondered this for a while, because I seem to get and get rid of a lot of travel mugs – I don’t tend to use them. My friends extolled the virtues of this particular travel mug to me. I was staying at their home for a month while we settled in – perhaps it was polite to buy the mugs. Perhaps that is what people do in Coquitlam. I didn’t really know that I needed one and one was purple which matches my “blackberry” Honda which would make me feel weird and matchy (my iPod is enough). Huh. I made my decision, took the travel mugs out of the cart and returned it to the shelf.

And then picked up a different pack that had silver and blue and instead of purple. Sigh, the social pressures we have to contend with.

It turns out, that I like these travel mugs a lot. My friend was right. I did need them. <<insert “I told you so” here, Alison>>I use one most days and I really like how they lock closed so you can drop it or roll it around in your car without spilling. Very good seal system. When you want to drink, you press a button and hold a button that allows you to drink.

But there are techniques for using these mugs. First – if you like to taste foods and retain feeling in your mouth, make sure you let the beverage cool before putting on the lid. Or wait an hour. It will still be lava hot. It’s ridiculous. I return from a meeting each day at 9 am to find my still piping hot tea upon my desk. Which is very handy and satisfying If you *need* caffeine then you might want a less effective mug.

Oh the Humane-ity

Modern technology has allowed us to train our animals more humanely – gone are whips and electric shock collars. Instead we have the dog whisperer, “alone” time and spray collars. You know spray collars for dogs. When he barks, you click the remote and the dog gets a faceful of citronella or the like. Apparently this is very effective for altering behavior in dogs.

And to get back to my second point about proper technique on these travel mugs. If you leave the mug lid to soak in water (to avoid any stinky diary smell from the milk in tea), water seeps into the seals and gets trapped and sits there

What does it sit there waiting for? Well, me of course. When I take the first sip of the day – usually while driving – the water sprays a fine mist up my nose, across my eyes and dampens my bangs. How many times have I done this? At least 7. Can’t I remember to release the mist away from my face? You’d think so.

January 12th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Not quite as smart as a dog, but I’ve got good, safe and hot tea.


The Daily EO: June 15th, 2012

Sorry for the delay, I was without a computer since Saturday (travelling).  Writing on my smartphone is like using a stick in the sand.  Slow and hard to read.

Friday was busy.  Due to our flood.  Nay, our trickle, or perhaps our moistening is a better term.  Nonetheless, the our landlord contacted insurance and disaster clean-up as the damage was done.  They responded quickly and by 10:30 am, I showered (at a friend’s house as water was off here), picked up a key for the storage locker, co-ordinating the stuff to be moved out, and agreeing to bring dessert for dinner out that night.

By 10:30 am, Emile had been at work for 2 1/2 hours needing to tie up all loose ends that day.  After all, it had arrived – his final day with the company.

At about 11:30 am, I was standing downstairs with my friendly landlord discussing whether the laminate flooring in the basement should be replaced with laminate or perhaps Berber carpet for warmth.  We were undecided but leaning towards the carpet.  The disaster clean-up team was moving boxes/furniture out, starting the ripping out process, and their equipment was all over the front porch.   The entranceway was filled with furniture and items that were not leaving, but just pushed out-of-the-way for ease of passage.

The doorbell rang.

A friendly looking fellow was standing there.  He said “We were just driving by and saw your sign, would this be a good time to look at the house?”.  We stared as him, somewhat dumbfounded – not because he wanted to see the house – but because after weeks of everything being just so, the house was not exactly show ready.  Well, never turn down a showing – and this way, they could see the work being done professionally.

Deb & Glen toured the house and were unfazed by the mess (“One time when were selling a house, we had a flood AND I was 9 months pregnant”).  They loved the place, and stayed as long as they could until they had to get to their next showing.  I casually invited them back if they wanted a second look in the afternoon, and off they went.  We forgot to even get their phone number.

That afternoon, I started making Strawberry Cake and Blueberry Muffin Cookies for dessert that evening.  Try to make dessert without water and see how that goes for you.   I was coated in butter, sugar, floor and the kitchen was completed covered in dirty dishes.

The doorbell rang.

Deb & Glen wanted to see the place again.  This time, the basement was cleared up – the crew was gone, the floor ripped up and the furniture all placed back.  But now the kitchen was a mess and I wasn’t the cleanest either.  I let them have run of the place – afterall, if this was a scheme to steal our stuff, they deserved it after executing the perfect plan.

They wandered around, discussing rooms, asking questions and I baked a cake.  This time, I remembered to get their number so we could follow up later.

June 15th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Less than 24 hours after showing up unexpectedly, Deb & Glen entered a verbal offer (no conditions) on the house.  What is the point of doing all that cleaning?

AND:  Emile finished his contract and is ready for our next adventure.  I’m proud of how professionally and well he worked to set up robust systems that needed little support.  And with little to no direction from headquarters.  If you need a Systems Manager, Emile is one of the best.

The Daily EO: June 14th, 2012

About 8 pm on June 14th, I was going to write the June 14th EO.  I had my EO decided, and I had the time to write – and most importantly, I felt like writing it.  However, I try to publish one EO each day – except when I am late – so you get a daily dose.  You, know, “Daily EO”.  So I decided to put it off until June 15th morning.

I had a great thing to tell you about:  Postcrossing.  Harkening back to your days in grade school, Postcross has improved upon and merged the antique and annoying chain letters with pen pals.  It works like this.  I register at their site, request an address (or 2 or 3) and then send postcards to the address.  When the recipient gets the card, he takes the Postcross ID number off the card and enters it on the website.  I then get “credit” for sending a card and my address will now show up when someone else requests a postcard.  On your profile, you can state what kind of postcards you like, or stamps, or what you want to know about.  If you want to correspond with your Postcross recipient, you obviously can, or you can just have a brief contact.

To date, there have been 12 million postcard sent and there are currently ~370,000 postcards in transit.  It certainly seems to have to transcended the fizzling out effect in chain letters.  I like the idea of touching someone’s life briefly across the world.  Not one to do anything small, I requested 5 addresses (the max I can have at the beginning) and had addresses from Finland, Russia, USA, Hong Kong and The Netherlands.  Despite the lack of postcard selection in Huntsville and the $1.80 cost to send the card, I am happy with today’s activity.  I am so excited to receive my postcards when they do come.

But, that is the EO runnerup.  You never know what is going to happen.

Last evening, Emile was at poker night.  I spent the evening reading and watching West Wing episodes.  Our cat – who normally wants nothing more than a warm body to curl up with – was on patrol in the basement.  Beavis is quite an accomplished and patient mouse killer.  Despite his front claw removal, he catches quite a few.  Then he bats them around for a torturous couple of hours.  The mouse eventually dies of terror and exhaustion.  But if there is a mouse in the house, Beavis lets us know.  Instead of retiring for the evening, he parks himself in the mouse area and waits.  For hours.  In the morning, he eats his breakfast, and then sleeps the day away after his night shift.

So, when Beavis starts the patrol, we know we have a mouse somewhere.   Given that our house is for sale, we put down traps right away.  Last thing you need is a mouse running through during a showing.  Now, I don’t mind mice – I don’t really want to share my house with them – but they don’t scare me that much.  However, I don’t like dead things – and Emile being less squeamish than me, is the trap checker and resetter.

We live in a 3 bedroom house – it’s a two-story with a rec room, 3rd bedroom, powder room, and laundry room in the basement.  The main entrance is through the basement.  Because of the temporary nature of our living arrangements, 1/2 of our furniture and things were not unpacked.  Instead, we furnished the upstairs and then filled the 3rd bedroom and rec room with the extra furniture, belongings, etc.  Essentially, the basement is used only for entrance, laundry and storage, and I rarely go downstairs unless I need something from the boxes (maybe a couple times a month).

Emile arrived home from poker about 11:30 pm.  He was tired and nearing the end of a long week at work (his last week).  He was going to make his way up stairs (to where we generally live), but remembered he needed to check the trap in the rec room that he put down.   And reset it if necessary.

Emile found the trap in a puddle of water.  He thought at first that Beavis was so intent in catching the mouse that he used the floor as his toilet.  But that is unlike Beavis and it certainly didn’t carry the familiar scent.  Emile called me down to look at it, and we quickly discovered that the rec room didn’t just have a small puddle of water – it was saturated along the edges of the room – floor and walls.

We pulled all of our things out of the wet area, and found that although the damage to the walls and floor is extensive (it will all have to be replaced), our furniture was only superficially wet.  The only thing of concern was the leaves for our dining room table (Mom!  BREATHE! They are okay after being dried off this morning).   Rob (our friendly landlord) came over right away, and we got all the furniture up on foam pieces, dried off everything, and in general found the damage seemed limited to the house itself.

If we didn’t have mice, Beavis wouldn’t have let us know.  If the house wasn’t listed, we may have let Beavis have his mouse fun for a couple days.  If Emile wasn’t the reliable sort he is, he may have waited to check the trap.  If Emile didn’t enter that room, the water would have been undetected for several days (we are going to be away this weekend also).  If the water was unnoticed for several days, then our boxes and wooden furniture would have sustained damage.  If unnoticed, the open house scheduled on Sunday would have likely not garnered too many offers as viewers trudged through water.

June 14th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  With a nail, the kingdom was saved.

June 14th, 2012 Runner-up:  Sending Postcards!!