tvordlj: (Default)
Happy 2014! I spent a quiet one seeing the new year in. Graham stayed up for his new year and a bit after that but was tired so i sent him to bed. I watched a bit of tv and then read until just after midnight. I could hear some of the fireworks but can't see any of them from here. 2013 wasn't a bad year. Certainly had some great things including my quick trip to Manchester in January to go to the Corrie set with the Coronation Street Bloggers though getting home was a bit of a trial. Our visit to New York in May was really good too! Then the events that led up to the hysterectomy in August and recovery for a couple of months. Touch wood, they think they got all the bad stuff and I'll be going for regular checks for 5 years. Let's hope this was caught early enough that it's not going to have any other impact. Graham had some problems on Christmas eve and is recovering. It's a worry for me but he assures me he's ok, just a bit sore still.

Work... they reorganized again and I'll be under a new manager by the end of January. I would have been anyway because my old one retired. We'll see how this all works out.

Cross bits, all the family seems to be healthy and happy. My niece gets married in August so we're all looking forward to that.

And the last of the 2013 books )

No resolutions, I just try to be open to trying or doing new things. That includes going new places I've not been or just visiting a new gallery or museum. Any of it is a new experience to be tried, a new possibility. Having the major surgery is kind of new. I've had minor surgery in the past but nothing like this. It wasn't something i had a choice in but it certainly was a new experience! I'd been to New York before but this time got to see a lot more of it including the Guggenheim and the Air and Space museum on an aircraft carrier! That was very neat. We also saw a Broadway show which I did not do last time because it was only a day trip that time.

This year we're planning another trip to Paris but we'll be doing day trips, tentatively to Giverny, Rouen and Bayeux to see the famed tapestry. Planning on a weekend in London on the way back, with a visit to the Tower as G. has not been there and would like to see it, and also maybe try to take in a show. If London works out as it should, we'll be there over the Easter weekend.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Yesterday at the gym, the personal training area was a bit busy so I suggested to D. that we work on the circuit machines as a change. Good Grief, it didn't take long before my leg muscles were objecting strenuously! Ow! Never mind, it's good for me. right? I'm not as sore today as i thought i would be, though.

Really loving these four day weeks. Have been using up vacation days on Fridays. I work Monday and Tuesday morning and then am off until Jan. 6 though on call on the 27th. That's really just checking emails to make sure nothing's blown up. *makes note* make sure the Service Desk has my phone number, too. We get an hour's stand by pay for it. Obviously, if i had to actually work i would get overtime but Dec. 27 and the days before New Year's are pretty quiet in here. Skeleton staff.

Did I mention that i'm now in a position to take my work pension and run if i wanted to? I reached the "rule of 80" at the beginning of December. I have 25 years in which only means a pension of 50% of my gross salary, however, so that's really not enough. If i have to get a job to make ends meet, there isn't much point in retiring. It's nice to know I have that option, though. I'll probably go another 5 years when i will have 30 years and a 60% pension. Most people go that far and what they end up with is about what you get after all the extra deductions you have to pay while working. Plus that's 5 more years for my salary to increase with the contract yearly raises. If you take the average of about 2% a year raise which is what we've been getting lately, that's another 10% or a tad more than what I'm making now (due to compounding the raise).  I also have a bit of money in my RRSP to top me up as well. Canada Pension can kick in at age 60 if i want and my old age pension at 65 or 66. I think they've changed the age and i can apply for that about 6 months after i turn 65. Every year here that I work is another 2% pension. At the recent service awards, there was a guy that has been working 45 years. It's probably the only job he's ever had. Most of the people I've seen that stay 40 or more years are the men that work on the outside crews, the road crews, the guys that drive the snow removal and the landscaping crews, the traffic and right of way, all that sort of thing.

I've only seen one person who works as office staff stay that long. She works in the Finance department. Not sure how long she's been with the city but she's in her 70s. I can't imagine working full time in my 70s and i'm sure it's because she wants to not because she has to. When you have built up a good pension at work and can also get Canada Pension and your old age pension, you will be as well off as you are when working. Ok, Working full time and drawing those other two pensions will make you even more comfortable but really, it must be getting harder and harder getting up and ready for work and slogging through that commute, especially on blustery winter days like these past few.
2013 books )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
More books...
2013 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Fourth day back at work. Hasn't been too bad though I'm yawning a lot by the evening. The harder part is getting used to this office chair, egonomic though it is, is not the same as the one i've been sitting in at home and also, sitting at the desk all day, both being a bit of a strain on my back even with standing up and stretching. It's getting better though. Just an adjustment.

It's nice to see everyone again but also a lot of change has taken place with reorgs and  new incident tracking software to grapple with. My section is in transit to another group but they have no manager yet so my old manager is still my manager until such time. I have 16 vacation days to try to use up before the end of the year because they prefer we don't carry our limit of 5 over but unless there's a very good reason why not, our contract says we can. However, I've worked out to take a lot of Fridays off, a couple other days in November around the time our Corrie event night takes place, and some time over Christmas. I'll be on call one of the days but the 27th of Dec, a Friday after Christmas is not going to likely be any problems. Any requests can wait until Monday. I'll carry over a few days but use two straight away the couple of days after New Year's. It's all good.

Yes, our group is putting on a Corrie actor event on Nov. 12 so I'm volunteering that night as well as staying in the hotel overnight as it is a lot more convenient than trying to get back home late at night. Taking the next day off as well. If there are any Corrie watchers, the actor is Marc Bayliss who plays Carla's brother Rob Donovan. One of our committee members met up with him in Manchester last month and said he's going to be a great guest and called him "delightful". I figure it doesn't matter if it's someone that has only been on the show a short time, they still have good stories to tell about the show and the backstage life! I'll get to shake hands and have him sign my book and get a photo as well.

Speaking of books, here's a few more read.... Though I was off for 2 months, I didn't get nearly as much read as I thought I would. Out of my usual reading routine i suppose and was only reading in bed at night instead of taking advantage of the daytime as well. Now i'm back to work, I read on the commute both ways and at lunch as well as at night.
2013 books )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
My friend took me out to pick up a new microwave today. We went to The Brick but they didn't have the one that was advertised in the flyer so we went to good ole WalMart where I got a Black and Decker one. It's a little smaller than the old one but still a good wattage. Black and shiny. Both of us techie type people couldn't figure out how to set the damn clock! lol! We did figure it out eventually. We went to Starbucks for a break and that was enough for me, I am done in. It was so nice to get out in the sunshine and in the shops though.

I started knitting a black hat with a white skull on it, like the one i made for Graham last year. He has a coworker that wants one and is paying a bit for it so i said i would. It knits up pretty fast. I started it on a circular needle, forgetting that it was a pain in the ass to do the design in the round like that so i tore it all out and started it again on straight needles and still had to pull some of it out as i got the design backwards. I think i'm on the right track now.

I'm also planning to knit my friend some sock monkey mittens. She'll love them!

Being off the grid for awhile, i'm behind in my book list...

2013 books )

Ok. I think i will have a little nap.
tvordlj: (Default)
What a different day this was! I got to work as usual at 7:30 to find the whole Scotia Square complex dark. No power. None in the mall and none in the towers. That means we can't get to the office because the doors are locked from the stairwells. We can get out but not back in. Apparently the security scan doors were working but what was the point if all the lights were off and all the computers dead? The servers and probably the one the security system runs on have a separate power source apparently which is fine, it keeps the servers from crashing but does nothing for the rest of the staff in the building. AT least staff in other locations could continue to work i guess.

I went across the street to the hotel there as they have a coffee shop with Starbucks coffee and tea and had myself some brew. Called a coworker to get my manager's phone number. He said might as well go home and work from home though most of that would just be self-education since my laptop was in the office. Never mind. I did that. Took the bus home and when i got in, i went to the puter to check the work email. Guess what? Power was back on! And being dedicated, i saw i had 6 minutes to get back outside and catch the bus to go back. I did it.

Yes i did.
Because...
We had a training session at 10 which i still would have dumped if that was the only thing to think about but I had some things I wanted to transfer to production before someone else went on his vacation and i really did need to bring the laptop home for some testing on Sunday. So yes, i went in and i'm glad i did. The training was ok but then I ran into a problem with one of the things i was doing and i worked through lunch to fix that. When that was pushed to production, it didn't work though it did in the test side of things. Wha????

Turns out the report ID was different on the production server than on the test server. Duh. Switched the code out and it worked. Time to get a sandwich (it's 1:30 now!) There was a little do to see off a coworker so I went there. Still had one or two things to iron out and got all that done before i left for the day so it turned out quite productive in spite of the frantic start.

2013 books )
tvordlj: (Birds on a wire)
I thought i was going to lose the will to live at one point. Think of a 3.5 hour meeting to which I pretty much had nothing to contribute. The first hour was ok, it was good to get an idea of what was going on but then a project charter and plan was being built and I was not going to be part of it so I am not really sure why I was there. I would have been contributing if the meeting, a staff bi-weekly update, had moved around to what I had been doing but it never did. They could have just come and got my and my coworker if they got to that point. *sigh*

In other news, though, we had decided to take a river cruise next spring. G. got his vacation approved already including the time off at the end of August to come to my niece's wedding and we settled on the cruise. It's 8 days from Paris up to Rouen with a tour in to Normandy and back again. We'll get a full day in Paris and whatever is left of the day we arrive to check in to the ship. The company is Viking and I've heard good things about it from a couple of friends who have taken their cruises. They have a 2 for 1 sale on if you book and pay before the end of July so it makes it much more affordable. We wouldn't have done it otherwise. However, it seems that the rooms that the travel agent was asking about last week are now sold out and the ones available now are nearly double the price. So much for 2 for 1. Can't swing that one. It sounds like you almost have to book a year ahead to get that price. Unless there's another sale with them or another cruise company, i guess we'll have to decide on something else to do. Bummer. Talk about being sold down the river! Back to the drawing board.

2013 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Time again for a book update:
2013 books )
tvordlj: (Doctor Matt)
Most definitely in a vacation frame of mind now. I still have to get my US $ but will wait for payday on Thursday for that. Gotta get some bus tickets since i don't need a monthly pass for May. That has to be done today.

I have a Doctor Who calendar up at work and will kind of be glad to turn the page tomorrow. I've been looking at a "shrieking" Stone Angel all month. A bit grim!

The new half season of Doctor Who hasn't been too bad. Only one that I really really enjoyed, the one in the Russian submarine but a few of the others were pretty good though a bit uneven at times. Only one was a bit meh.  I think there's only a couple more to the season and they're gearing up for some major stuff for the 50th anniversary in the fall. In my mind, yes it was 50 years ago that the show debuted but it wasn't on the air for well over a decade, nearly 20 years maybe? I kind of think an anniversary should reflect a continual thing. I suppose that even  in the interim when it wasn't on tv, there were novels and when the internet geared up properly, there would have been a strong presence there. It doesn't really matter. I know they're bringing David Tennant back for the anniversary so I'm interested to see how they'll have two Doctors on the go. DT could be playing that one from the alternate universe who isn't a true Time Lord or the Doctor could cross his own timeline. I expect River Song will be in it as well.

lots more 2013 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Had a nice evening last night catching up with an old friend, Colleen. She always remembers my birthday and forgot to send a card this year so we went to Starbucks in the bookstore for a nice long natter.

Supposed to have that last gasp winter storm overnight tonight. Wonder if i can get away with planning a work from home day tomorrow? Chances are my coworker will as well if her son has no school. I should take the laptop home just in case the busses aren't running though they probably will be. It takes an awful lot of snow and whiteout conditions for our busses to stop.


Nine books finished since last time. One short one, one i'd been working on for awhile, reading it on my laptop now and then. Currently reading 1Q84, I appear to have all three "books" in the one ebook version. Should I count finishing each as a separate book or just wait until it's all done? Maybe I should since each "book" is about 300 or so pages. Delving into a Margaret Atwood as well.
books )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
Work's going ok. Cracked a problem yesterday with some help. It wasn't anything I was doing wrong, it was a problem with a connection from one server to another and it had to be done using a direct IP address instead of a server name. Have got quite a lot of requests on the board which is good plus a fwe other ongling projects. Training on Mondays to learn html5, css3 and PHP programming, also going well.

Mom's birthday was the 17th and we had a family party for her. We went together and bought her  Keurig coffee maker, similar to the popular Tassimo that uses a little pod or cup and makes one cup of beverage at a time. Everyone seems to be getting them and she wanted one. They're best for coffee though they do make tea and other things but for tea, I still find boiling the kettle is the best. I don't expect I'll get one until G. and i are living in the same apartment since he's a coffee drinker. My nephew's birthday was yesterday and we had another family get together on Sunday for that. Gave him the reusable filter for his Keurig that he got at Christmas. My birthday is this weekend and yet another family get together for that. My aunt's is the day after and we will have a joint party which is nice. My cousin, the one that lost his wife recently is coming over to my place on Friday to help me put my birthday bookcase together. I have to stop off and get some groceries because i promised to cook!

Also this weekend, my friend and i are going to a movie, possibly Quartet which looks wonderful. It's about a senior citizen's home for retired musicians. The ex-wife of one of them arrives and there's all sorts of friction while they are trying to put on a recital. Great ensemble cast including Pauline Collins, Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon and Andrew Sachs (That's the guy that played Manuel in Fawlty Towers!)

This is the first year i watched none of the Oscars. Usually I watch the first hour or so but i just didn't bother for some reason. I did record it and i might FF through some of it over the weekend just to see some of the musical performances and the dresses, of course! I didn't see any of the nominated best movies this year. I'm not sure what it says when I can only say I've seen four of the five nominated animated movies! Pretty much everything else that was nominated for anything I also didn't see. Last year was not a year that i managed to get to see that much in the theatres though i did download a number of films.

I've been struggling to keep up with various tv series that i've been following, mostly British things including Utopia, Being Human, Mr. Selfridge, Ripper Street, US Shameless, Big Bang Theory, and soon Grimm will be back, also Game of Thrones. On top of that is my daily Corrie and Young and Restless as well as UK Corrie. Something has to give!

Now to catch up on 2013 books below the cut
Read more... )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Gosh, i didn't realize i hadn't posted yet this month! Over the weekend there wasn't much to say as i didn't do much anyway. This week at work has been busy as we had an implementation over the weekend and have been putting out little fires that inevitably blaze up as a result. We have another implementation this weekend as well for a database upgrade. I am hoping to take Friday off but may not be able to. If i can, i might get my hair done, depending on the weather. We're supposed to get quite a lot of snow between Friday and Saturday but that can change so quickly.

Been taking some training on Mondays. Had two already and it will run until Easter. We're learning html5, css3, php programming and a few other related things. Lots of hands on so far and a bonus, we got to install Photoshop and Fireworks for free!

Speaking of which, i need to get something like that on my laptop. I have a bought copy of Paintshop Pro but i can't even download another copy of that from the website anymore as they've gone up three versions since the one i have. I think i did try awhile back  and it wouldn't take my registration key, i thought i'd have to call them to verify that i just want to reinstall it on a new machine. I think i should buy an external dvd writer and maybe i can install it from my cd using that, providing the code will work. If it won't i will call or contact them. If it's hopeless, i have a cousin that can get things. ;) I don't want to have to buy a brand new copy until i exhaust all the options. It will be Paintshop though, not photoshop as it's much cheaper and i'm used to it and it does just as good a job.

2013 books )
tvordlj: (Reading Woman)
6 sleeps! I'm heading to Manchester Tuesday night for a quick bonus visit. There are Coronation Street connotations involved but getting to see Graham is the bonus that tipped the balance when I was deciding whether to go or not, January travel being what it can be. The long term forecast looks ok so I think I'll get there without incident. Ooh and I think my Evans order arrived already! I got a post office notification and I'm not expecting anything else. That was only a week since it left the warehouse, too!

Starting up with 2013 books already. I finished three in three days though didn't read each of them in a day. That's what happens when you are reading more than one book at a time, you finish a group of them altogether. I might read one on the bus and a different one in bed at night and a third one at lunch maybe. Or if a book is particularly good i'll stick with that one until i finish it.

1. Shaman - Noah Gordon
The second in a trilogy of books about doctors in the Cole family. This one takes place in the American midwest in the years before and through the Civil War. This one is about both the father and the son who are/become doctors, over half of the book is the father's story with about a third of it focussed on the son, nicknamed Shaman. It was good but i liked the first one, The Physician, better.

2. The Cornerstone - Anne C. Petty
A horror/supernatural book i won for a review. It's about a deal with the devil, Christopher Marlow, Faust and a stone that contains the spirits of a banshee and a witch. It's supposed to be about a woman who gets tangled up in the whole thing but her character really doesn't contribute a whole lot to the plot and nothing to the conclusion where she's pushed aside to be an observer. The theatre director, current owner of the stone is losing control of it and one of the actors in the Faust production he's putting on has more of an agenda than we know at first. Quite good, actually even though it's not my usual sort of book.

3. Stranger in Paradise - Eileen Goudge
From horror to romance... Story of a middle aged widow with two grown daughters. The widow falls for a young handsome man. One daughter is married to a man twice her age and the other daughter is divorced and can't have children. Into the mix comes a teenage runaway girl that the divorcee takes in. The daughters grapple with their mother's new love and surprise pregnancy. The divorcee finds love of her own. Takes place in a small town in California where you get all the gossip about a lot of the residents and shop owners in the town centre along with the rest of the story. Not bad. Light reading.

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