June 25, 2007

Week 3

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Ohhhh ...big yellow digger things have arrived! (technical term, I know you're impressed).

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A big clearing area.

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Looking south.

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Still looking south.

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Yep...you guessed it...looking south again.

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Looking ....north! (ha! fooled ya!)

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Looking north again...and the porta-potty stage right.

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...and finally, north again.

Stayed tuned for more next week!

Giving it my best shot

Well we got the official word today that the supervisor promotional process is going to run over the summer. It will be posted July 11, successful candidates notified Aug 2, study package available Aug 7, written exam Sept 13 and start of interviews somewhere around Oct 8.

From what I hear there are a lot of people going for it. We have 4 supervisors per platoon (total of 5 platoons) and due to recent retirements/resignations we have 3 vacancies...the rest of the successful candidates will be in a "pool" to fill future vacancies, much the same way uniform spots are filled too.

So I figure what the heck, I've been "acting" for just short of a year, and at the very least it will be good experience to go through the promotional process. Now I just have to prepare a resume (haven't needed one in a few years! LOL)

Wish me luck!

June 22, 2007

I got flowers!

...from my trainee!

After 5 weeks of working side by side, leading him through the intricacies of 911 call taking, my trainee was officially set free to fly "solo" today. He surprised me this morning by leaving a "thank you" on my desk. Initially I thought the night shift dispatcher must have left them behind accidentally at shift change, until a co-worker found the card nestled inside...and then I got all verklempt. What a sweet thank you!

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I won't tell you how many people stopped by my desk to ask if it was my birthday or alternatively was my "significant other" in a whole heap of trouble! LOL

June 20, 2007

No longer a golf virgin!

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A few of us off my platoon got together on days off yesterday for a golf day - sadly not everyone, but I don't think even the golf course could have coped with 50 of us all at once. Prior to yesterday my only experience with golf had included windmills and the big clown's mouth at the end of the course....ahem.

I had a totally awesome time. I actually managed to impress a few of the guys with a few of my drives...but there were equally as many pathetic moments - and it was a blast. I even got invited to come out and play at a local course with a couple of the guys from work sometime. Not bad for someone who showed up not even knowing if she golfed left handed or right, eh? I'm a south paw...but it turns out I golf right. We played 9 holes, and I discovered that once the "beverage cart" had visited us around the 4th hole that beer truly doesn't make me a better golfer...but I was definitely more relaxed and not worried about showing myself up!

The full set of photos are on Facebook, but here are a few from the day, I can't wait to go again!

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and finally the golfers...(I am 6th from the right).

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Afterward we retired to a local watering hole for foam and feathers!

June 18, 2007

Land clearing week two

Early Sunday evening I was out prowling the construction site...again.

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Week 2 and the progress is staggering!
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Those mounds look like earth from a distance, but they appear to be straw/dry grass.

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Ohhh look they even have a portapotty! (No! This isn't my bathroom upgrade!!)

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Looking south across the construction site.

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Ummmm...any suggestions? Someone said "road"...that works for me!

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It's almost sad to see all the trees gone (I said *almost*).

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Looking north - east from the south edge of the site.

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Quite the change in a week, eh?

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*sigh* Lovely dirt!

June 11, 2007

My geekdom citizenship has been revoked

Well I learned today that I am no computer geek - not that that in itself should be any great shock to the masses. I also learned my son isn't a little boy anymore that needs his mummy to fix all his problems.

As mentioned previously our main computer died on Friday. The boy was pretty sure it was just the power supply unit (psu). He made mention on the all too infrequent times that our paths cross nowadays (due to my shifts and his social life) that he intended on picking one up and installing it.

Naturally I was impatient - so I offered this morning - seeing as I had the morning free - to take the computer up to a local computer repair place to get a diagnostic. The first place I took it to (big box store #1 with computer repair department) gave me a free diagnostic and said the psu was definitely broken. He was also concerned with a little corrosion around a few of the pins on the motherboard. Said I could possibly get a new psu installed but he was thinking that the motherboard wont last much longer and the computer may start freezing up on me. He only had what he described as "overpriced brand name" psu's in stock and didn't even recommend spending the money they wanted to do it, suggesting I find a cheaper one elsewhere.

On to big box store #2....same story. His psu's were the same price, and he wanted another $100 just to install it. At this point I decided to take the computer to the store where I bought it from...

...and here is where I got the wool pulled over my eyes.

I went in saying I was looking for a psu. Their prices were the same as the big box stores, took the cover off the cpu, saw the corrosion on the pins on the motherboard and decided I would definitely need a new motherboard too. At this point I was hot, miserable and just wanted the damned thing fixed. OK - so how much for a new motherboard? Oh, well if you get a new motherboard you will need this...and this...and this...oh and why not upgrade this whilst you're at it...in fact, did you want us to just give you a quote for a whole new computer?

They were quoting numbers and speeds and bits and bytes until my eyes glazed over and I just wanted it all to stop. At some point I signed a work order....for over $800. My "$40-80" repair was suddenly a lot bigger. I even stopped at the bank on the way home to transfer funds into my chequing account just to cover it.

Then the boy called.

And I sat and told him about the new psu, and the new motherboard, and the new ..the new...the new.

To say he went ballistic would be an understatement. "Mother!" (Good sign I am in trouble when he uses my full parenting name) "...why would you go to a computer store and have all that done, when I am a COMPUTER TECHNICIAN?"

I honestly didn't have an answer for him. In my eyes he's still my little boy, who needed help tying his shoes and reminding to do his homework. Not some strapping 6' tall guy who fixes other people's computer and internet issues for a living. I felt very foolish. Then I told him how much it was costing...and he told me what kind of computer he could build from scratch for that price... I felt extremely foolish.

He ended up calling the computer store himself and had the technician go through everything on the list they had talked me into....and to explain the need for each item. He ended up cancelling the work order verbally on the phone and told the technician to install a new psu and NOTHING more.

We picked up the computer late this afternoon - costing me significantly less than the original eight and change I was quoted. (and cheaper than what the big box stores wanted to charge me) and I feel I have learned to leave the technical stuff to him and I'll just stick to what I do best. -whatever that may be.

Of course on arriving home and searching the boot of my car I realised I had left the cpu power cable (I didn't know they didn't need it) on the counter of the first big box store I went into first thing this morning. Quick phone call and thankfully they said we have hundreds - come on up and we'll just give you one.

It's been a hellish day...

June 10, 2007


Oh, and another reason for a big cheesey smile on my face this beautiful sunny Sunday?

I finally hit 50lbs this morning :0) - that's 3 stone 8lbs in English. :0)

Photos to follow I promise - just hard trying to take them on your own!

Clearing the land...finally!

After getting a quick note from a work-friend on Facebook (if you're not on it yet...why not?) I found myself in my car (right after the Sunday omnibus edition of Coronation Street was over), camera in hand, to grab a few shots of the following...

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Starting to clear the land at the building site.

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Dirt, glorious dirt!

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Even more dirt! Crews clearing ground to service the lot.

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A digger!! Bye, bye trees!

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Looking south from the development to existing housing. Hello neighbours!! :0)

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Down there...somewhere...is my lot. I just haven't a clue where!

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One last look at the digger!

June 9, 2007

Noah, hold off on that Ark a moment, mate.

We had a storm warning last night. Urgent expressions on newscasters faces breaking into "regularly scheduled programming" to bring us their news. My area was under a "severe thunderstorm warning" whilst areas just to the west, north and east of me were under a "severe tornado warning".

I paused. Checked my mailing address. No, this isn't Kansas...tornado?

Sure enough, the sky outside had darkened considerably fast (it was just after 5pm), the temperature had dropped suddenly from the humid 30+ we had endured all day to a cool 19C. The sky had a twinge of green (feck, that must be bad, right?) and as the first heavily drops of rain began to fall, I scrambled outside to fetch in patio chair cushions and take down the patio table umbrella. (Visions of me flying Poppins-like out over Lake Ontario had me giggling).

The boy thankfully pulled up in the driveway from work just as I was finishing my outdoor storm prep - at least I wouldn't have to worry about him being out on the roads. I had him batten down the hatches (close all the upstairs windows) just as the first flash of lightening crossed the sky, followed immediately a deafening crack of thunder ...no time to count "one Mississippi, two Mississippi"...it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the storm was directly overhead. Ten seconds later the power went out and we stood at the door watching the rain come down for no more than 10 minutes. H'mmm, what an anticlimax. The way the winds had been whipping at the trees and the ominously green sky, I had felt sure we were in for a storm of biblical proportions, but no. We waited. Perhaps this was the "calm before the storm" suggested the boy. We waited some more. The power flickered back on briefly and then died again. No, definitely more to come I decided.

After 30 minutes of nothing, we decided we were tired of waiting for the storm...and starting to get hungry for dinner. With the option being firing up the BBQ or going hungry, we hit the local plaza to see if they had power. Amazingly they did. Swiss Chalet for dinner sounded just perfect.

Why is it at "family" restaurants they think it's perfectly OK to f-up your order? I ordered a roasted chicken breast with salad (health conscious girl that I am), the boy ordered the standard chicken breast and fries. We both ordered an appetiser to share.

The drinks arrived.

The main meal arrived.

Where is our appetiser we enquired?

The waitress returned with some forgotten condiments. Didn't my meal come with a whole wheat roll? And the appetiser?

Half way through our meal the whole wheat roll arrived. One single roll looking rather fore lorn and all alone on an overly large plate. And the appetiser?

Finally the boy pushed his empty plate to one side as the appetiser appeared out of the kitchen. We had planned to share it, but by this time we were both more than content with our meals and no longer hungry. Rather than send it back to the kitchen however with a "too late" refusal we ended up asking for a box for it and brought it home. Somehow I don't think they'd do that at Spago. However admittedly I wouldn't get two meals plus drinks for under $40 at Spago, so I will shut the h-up.

Still no power at home...and no sign of the storm. The boy decided he had friends (with power) to visit for the evening, which left me alone, with a laptop and 3 hours battery life...and all the solitaire and minesweeper a girl can handle. (20 minutes)

After texting a few friends who were happy, and had power...and were none too sympathetic to my plight, I decided an early night is always a good thing. No wonder the birthrate always goes up after a power-cut - nothing better to do in the dark! Sadly however I didn't have such entertaining distractions.

Finally at 11pm the power came on again. Bolting me out of a dead sleep as various lights, radios etc. in the house came back to life. All it seems , except my main computer, who refuses to power on, although modem, monitor, router etc all power up, my CPU doesn't even stutter - and before anyone asks, that's WITH being on a surge protector. So it may just be a huge coinkydink...but I fear my computer may have gone to that big scrap yard in the sky...and lord knows I can't afford a new one at the moment. Thank heaven's the boy has this laptop or I'd be going through some pretty major withdrawals right about now.

I ended up watched the TV news for half an hour or so, just to get an idea of how the storm when through the rest of the GTA - seems there were a lot of trees down, blown transformers and wires down...but no mention of any tornado touching down...they did however find time to cover the news of some socialite heiress who is going back to jail - although I can't remember her name for the life of me. (ahem).