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  • Archive for April, 2011

    Balcony Garden


    2011 - 04.25

    After several weeks of planning, we finalized the garden plan for our balcony.  We decided to go with all edibles.  One pot has herbs (oregano, sage, savoury and marjoram), and we’ve also got peas, beans, strawberries, various leaf lettuces, zuchinni and probably something else I forget. We’re also trying out some carrot and beet seeds.  I want to get some basil and tomatoes, but it’s too cold for them out on the balcony right now, so I decided not to bother buying them for a couple of weeks.  I’ve got some garlic as well, but haven’t planted them yet…kinda ran out of pots…oops.

    Three of the pots we’re using are 12″ Eezy Gro self watering containers.  My biggest issue is remembering to water plants, so hopefully these will work out.  They were $6.97 at Walmart, which made them cheaper than most of the other 12″ pots around.

    Pictures and progress upcoming. :)  I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT MY WEE GARDEN!

    10,000 Step Challenge


    2011 - 04.13

    A few interesting things have been going on over here, and out of them, I’ve decided that this week I’m going to actually do the 10,000 steps a day thing.  Back in the good old days it didn’t seem like it was that difficult to do, but with these new fancier and smarter pedometers it’s much harder to actually get to that total.  We’ll see if I can keep it up for the whole week (with a possible pass for Friday, as we have other plans).  I started on Monday, and Karin decided to join on Tuesday!  I’ll let her post separately about how well she’s doing.

    Monday: 10,021 steps (4,993 aerobic ones over 44 mins), 460 cals and 7.51kms

    Tuesday: 8,632 steps (6,890 aerobic ones over 59 mins), 371 cals and 6.47 kms

    Wednesday: 13, 325 (7,597 aerobic ones over 71 mins), 596 cals and 9.99 kms (as of this writing anyway)

    I decided that since I didn’t meet my target on Tuesday that my punishment was to have to exceed my goal by twice the shortfall, so I needed to hit 12,736 to make up for Tuesday’s shortfall, and I’m pleased that I was able to do that.  I don’t know if I’ll keep doing this indefinitely but at the moment I’m enjoying the sense of satisfaction from the accomplishments!

    In order to hit the Monday goal, I did shopping at Costco, went to the gym and did almost 2,000 steps worth of pacing in the condo.  Tuesday, went for a good walk to the liquor store at Broadway and Lillouette, and carried Karin’s purchases back in a backpack, so it was probably a better workout, but fewer total steps.   I also played some Wii Fit Plus, but didn’t manage to register enough “steps” before midnight.  Today, I walked to my bank (essentially Brentwood) and did some shopping at Winner’s and Save-on, then walked home (with a whole bunch of cake mix which was on sale and creme de tartar for making buttercream icing).  That got me to about 6,000, and then some condo cleaning, vacuuming other general activities and a quick shopping trip to Brentwood  got me to the 8,500 level.  The rest is courtesy of 40 minutes in the gym.

    Hope I can keep up with it tomorrow, and hey if anyone else feels like jumping on the bandwagon for the rest of the week that’s cool.  Taunting messages (“tweets”) with your current step count are encouraged (but of course it’s not a competition ;-)

    Books


    2011 - 04.09

    When Dave and I met, we discovered that we have a multitude of books in common that we really liked.  When we moved in together, we discovered that we didn’t have a lot of overlap in books we actually owned. It was actually kind of surprising, as we both really enjoy Dune, Wheel of Time, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov among others.  Now that we only have to buy one copy of the books we like, we’ve added series by Kelley Armstrong, Brent Weeks, Jim Butcher and many others. (We also really like Kim Harrison, but so far, we’ve mostly gotten her stuff from the library.)

    Any other recommendations?

    Brief Rooftop Fantasy


    2011 - 04.05

    We were checking out a new development (Vantage by Embassy) in our neighbourhood and it’s definitely got some nice things going for it.  Nothing smaller than a 2 bedroom, and then we saw the townhouses.  On a lot of levels they aren’t really that special, but then when you see that they are a standard 2 level 3 bedroom townhouse, and yet the stairs keep going to a ROOFTOP PATIO!  I don’t know why they don’t always do that.  Such a simple and elegant idea, allowing for additional space and a rooftop garden, and gatherings.  Unfortunately we later found out that the townhouses start at $800,000, *pop*

    Oh well maybe it will become more common around here.

    Walk-in Closets


    2011 - 04.01

    I often wonder how it is that designers or architects or builders seem to make senseless decisions on a regular basis.  There are so many things that they do that drive me crazy, as they make little or no sense.

    The current thing that’s bothering me is walk-in closets in small dwellings.  In a mansion or large house walk-in closets are luxurious, and represent a very small percentage of the overall square footage* of the dwelling.  Unfortunately this “luxury” concept has resulted in walk-in closets being included in small and modest sized condos.

    The fundamental problem with walk-in closets is that they are a waste of space!  How can I say this with such confidence?  Well, simply because it is true.  When you take a traditional closet, it is attached to a room and separated from that room only by some sort of simple door mechanism.  The closet uses only as much space as is needed in order to store clothes, there is no additional space used for someone to stand in and examine the contents, instead you use space in an existing room to stand in, which means that the space in the room functions both as space to stand in and use the closet as well as “hallway” in the room.  When you build a walk-in closet you enclose “hallway” within the closet which cannot be used for anything else.  Additionally, walk-in closets tend to include corners, and corners are very difficult to use effectively in closets.

    Now it may only be a few square feet 5-20 square feet that are used in this way, but wouldn’t you rather that your bedroom was 5-20 square feet larger?

    Developers if you’re listening, stop doing it!  We already struggle enough with keeping our small spaces clean and organized without you wasting space and making them less efficient.

    * is there a metric equivalent that flows?