Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Closing time...

Well, it's closing day.

I have finally sold the house. It's done and apparently the money has all been dispersed to the correct places. Some, in holding for my next place which closes next week and some to my lawyer and soon on to me.

This is a picture of the house when we bought it two years ago. Hard to believe all the changes we made. But my new place will be closer to downtown. It's a townhouse, but it's cute and not on a busy street, which makes me happy.

The only sad part is that I have to take care of moving and renovations, which are always stressful. BUT I'm excited to move into my new place.

If you know an electrician, a handyman, a furnace chimney guy or a flooring company that you'd like to recommend to me, please drop me a line or leave a comment. I'm also part of GigPark which I use to look for recommendations, so please join and recommend away!

Chapter One of my life's house-story is closed. On to Chapter Two...

Caramel Hot Chocolate

Today's theme seems to be Starbucks.

I tried the salted caramel hot chocolate today. Grande.

It started out soooo goooood. Salty. Sweet. Thick. Creamy.

And it lasted until I got back to my desk. Maybe a quarter of a cup left. And suddenly my stomach won't let me take another sip. It's over between us. The body has revolted.

Too thick. Too sweet. Too much.

A tall would have been sufficient and resulted in Happy Satiated Cathy.

It may need to start carrying a warning: Grande may result in vomit.

Starbucks and iTunes

Why didn't someone tell me?

Today i walked into Starbucks and there was an iTunes song of the day download card. This has never happened to me before and I got all excited. I downloaded City and Colour's "Constant Knot" and it is good. It's actually the only paid download from iTunes that I have. So this is an exciting development.

I go to blog about it, looking for a photo or some information on it from Starbucks. I find a press release from Starbucks from APRIL! Then I go to Flickr to find a photo to accompany this blog and I find there's a whole weird following of these songs of the day from Starbucks.

How did I not know about this until now?

Now that I know, rest assured, I will be downloading new music. Because I generally like Starbucks' music choices. And I like free.

And if you would like to download this particular one, let me know as I have one additional redemption code for it.

Happy Tuesday -- My house sale is closing today!

Monday, September 22, 2008

House, holy crap

I've been a little quiet lately, I think.

I've had a lot of house stuff going on -- lots of house hunting and visits and discussions and calculations and organizing and disappointments. Some have passed me by. Well, many have passed me by. They have not been the right ones.

I'm now working on what may be the right one. Stay tuned.

* * *


I have signed the papers!

Tomorrow is the house inspection, but since I'll be renovating pretty much everything anyway, I can't imagine that there will be any big surprises.

Some details:
Location: Broadview/Gerrard
Type: Townhouse
Size: Over 1100 sqft plus bsmt, 3 bdrm
Closing date: October 7th
Emotions: excited, nervous, anxious, relieved.

I thought that house hunting was hard. Now comes the real hard part: renovations!

I sat on the subway home, a little shell-shocked. So much can happen at a table at Starbucks. You can read a book, chat about the weather or sign away hundreds of thousands of dollars and several years of your life. Take your pick.

At Yonge/Bloor, I stopped at the Gateway Newsstand and bought a home reno magazine.

I'll need it. Designer opinions wanted!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Camping bliss


I'd like to say that I had camping bliss on my vacation Thursday-Sunday. But it would be a stretch.

It rained. A lot. Our tent leaked. The two year old decided to have his terrible twos. Which stressed out his parents. There were fights and lots of smoking. I got a migraine. But even though my boyfriend left his sleeping bag at home and we had to share mine, it did mean that we had to cuddle. A lot. And that was nice. And we got to swim in the waves of Lake Erie. And there was a beautiful sunset on our first night when it wasn't raining (a picture of which I will upload when I remember to bring my cable). And the biggest nice part was that, even though other people fought, me and Gordon were great. Really great. But that was hard to keep in the forefront of my mind when I was going nuts scratching the twelve mosquito bites on one ankle alone. I am not exaggerating.

And it's snowballed into a bit of a crap-sandwich week. A house I really liked sold. Nothing that I want is on the market and I have two weeks to find a place if I want to keep my mortgage.
  • My allergies are sucking.
  • I'm covered in mosquito bites.
  • I've got yet another migraine.
  • I've got a cold sore so I look and feel like a leper. (Apologies to the lepers out there, I don't mean to make light of your situation.)
  • I just realized that I've already read the book that I'm reading.
  • It's kind of cold out.
But I know things will get better. And in fact, they're probably not as bad as I feel them to be at this moment. So I'm just going to be bummed out for a day or two and then I'll be fine. And hopefully no one will get mad at me for my post .

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Science in the 21st Century

Right now I'm sitting in a session about Open Access in science at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo.

I'm surrounded by scientists. I'm not a scientist. But I'm interested in science. And I'm interested in open access. And, more than anything, I'm interested in technology and culture in the 21st century, which is ultimately what this conference is about.

Although focussed on science, the learnings here could be applied to any industry. Here, it just happens to be academia, where, oddly enough, people are quite resistant to sharing their fruits of their educational labour. Being IN academia, wouldn't you think they would be super interested in making their research, their intellectual fruit, available for the public's education? I would have thought so. But it's not necessarily true.

Academia is really a totally new world for me. I've been learning a lot about the culture since working at MaRS and even more so since dating a research scientist.

I'm not saying they're all resistant. Not at all. In fact, the people I'm surrounded by in this room are all in favour of open access, collaboration and even dumbing-down the research in the form of blogs for public consumption and participation. Today, and all week, actually, during this conference, they are preaching to the converted, it seems.

So what is the point? Why are the likes of Chad Orzel, creator of Uncertain Principles (read "Talking to My Dog About Science: Weblogs and Public Outreach") trying to convince the convinced that we should be sharing our information?

Because of this. Because of what you're reading right now.

Because people like me and people like him and possibly Timo Hannay, the Publishing Director of Nature.com who also gave an excellent presentation this morning and sat with me at lunch yesterday, will write about this. And that people like you will read it.

And maybe you're not in an industry in which open access is important. More likely, you just don't KNOW that you're in an industry in which open access and sharing information and knowledge is important. But likely you ARE. Maybe you are a scientist, but maybe you're a farmer or a an engineer. It doesn't matter.

Maybe you'll read this and you'll look up the conference abstracts or proceedings and you'll think maybe you'll do some little thing different. Maybe you'll post your paper in PubMed, maybe you'll start a blog, maybe you'll open up your research to the public and let them participate from home, counting fish in their river or tracking the rainfall or whatever. Maybe you'll upload your preliminary findings or photos and make them part of the creative commons. Or maybe you'll just decide that you could really learn something from a scientist in a different discipline and read THEIR stuff and comment -- adding to the context of their information.

And that will be enough.