Saturday, December 31, 2005

Smoking Problem: Continuing Updates

December 31, 2005: More Waiting

This is outrageous!The landlord came by today with a letter from the problem tenant saying he was moving on January 30, 2006. What this means is that we're going to wait until that time before doing anything. If he moves, we are happy to stay.

So, it seems like we put just enough pressure on to get things done but not create too big of a problem. All we hope now is that for the next month things remain quiet. There is a danger of him not caring at all and smoking and doing whatever else he wants in the last month before he leaves. Luckily it's only 30 days, and we will survive it.

December 30, 2005: The Waiting Game

This morning I called our landlord and told him that we had decided to move and that I'd be mailing the notice to end the tenancy to him today for the end of January. He called us back right away wanting to talk to us, and telling us that the problem tenant mentioned he might want to move.

The thing is, we have ZERO trust with this tenant and basically anything that comes out of his mouth is suspect as he's already told Don a different story than what has actually happened while we were right there.

Our landlord seemed upset that we were moving, and I can understand that because not only is he being pressured with the new guy problems, but he'll have to find someone else for our suite.

In the end, I made an agreement with him. He's going to talk to the tenant downstairs, and encourage him to put in his notice to leave. If we hear back by tomorrow that this is the case, we will most likely stay (we don't want to move, we were here first!), but if he's not going to move, we're not going to stick around. It's just not a comfortable situation to be in.

December 29, 2005: The Last Straw

Coming home from an exciting and busy holiday, I have much to blog about, but the smoker problem must be updated first. We were hoping so much that after many complaints and our landlord actually talking to this guy, that the problem might actually be resolved. We were wrong. Opening the door to the suite proved that the smoking hadn't stopped at all, and might even be worse.

We were unloading the car after first going into the suite, and the guy opens his door and explains to us that he had some friends over and they'd been smoking inside, but now they would be smoking outside. Give me a break! He obviously knew the other tenants have been complaining and knew we would be unhappy. But what nerve! As if we're just going to think that's acceptable.

That was the last straw, of course, and we called the landlord again. There was nobody there but I left a message once again explaining the situation and telling him this time that we are unable to live in these conditions and will be forced to move unless something changes immediately. We are very curious about our neighbours one level up from us. I find it hard to believe that they have not been affected by the smoke, and we will try to talk to them later today to see if they've complained as well.

We'll be calling again today to try to contact the landlord, but I really don't think anything can be done that quickly.

Will we hand in our one month notice? Will we be moving at the end of January? Check back later for more news!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Holidays Affected By Election... Or Not!

When the federal election was called in Canada for January 23, 2006, many people were crying out in protest that this would somehow interrupt the holidays, ruin Christmas, etc. Turns out, the leaders took a break from campaigning over the Christmas weekend. During my entire holiday, the only things election related was some small discussion with the family, and some lawn signs.

No holidays were ruined as far as my family went. Could it be that it was simply scare tactics to try to avoid having an election?

Post a comment, tell us about your holiday election experience!


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

The Christmas holidays are finally here, and we're all set for many days with the family, eating big meals, opening gifts, playing games, and much more.

Our best wishes to you and your families!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Friday, December 23, 2005

Tenant Problem: Smoker Below (Fiasco Continues)

Our landlord talked to the new tenant below and told him that smoking wasn't allowed. Apparently the tenant said he was moving in and "didn't have time" to smoke outside so he just smoked as he worked. Like I believe that, but whatever.

Anyway, thought the problem was solved, but it seems like it was just temporary. The guy seems to be gone working during the week, and he came back last night and guess what? You got it, the smell of smoke is back this morning.

I hate to be a complainer, but this is just not acceptable. Living in a house with two other units is very close quarters. I mean, the guy above me stomps on the floor if I turn the bathroom fan on past 10pm (he claims it's too loud and keeps him up). That seems minor compared to a smoke problem in the house.

This is discouraging news. If things don't shape up, we will be forced to move... and that would be unfortunate for all parties concerned (except for the new guy who apparently doesn't care about anyone else).

Did I also mention there are beer cans scattered in the little flowerbed at the side of the house? Yes, really... this is trouble.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

TrooperScoop's New Look

Update December 22, 2005

The problem has been resolved. Seems that Internet Explorer doesn't handle comment tags in CSS the same way as Firefox does. Those of you who are using IE and had trouble, it should work now.

It should be noted that for the best viewing, screen resolution should be 1024x768 at the minimum (it should just fit when the window is maximized).

Update 11:00pm

I discovered that in Internet Explorer, it looks really bad, but in Firefox it looks great. I will figure out why Internet Explorer doesn't like it and see what I can do to change it.

December 21, 2005

The default templates on are okay but they are too common, and don't leave you with much room to work with. What you've seen over the last many months is an already modified version, but I'm taking it a step further and you should be seeing one column on either side of the main section. This will allow me to better post things of interest without having users scroll way down the page. I may take it even further in the future but this is the first step.

Comments are appreciated, as are problem reports!


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Moving Up The eBay Ladder

There's my star! I got my first one on eBay a few days ago by getting 10 positive feedback points. Its only the first level, but still, it's a good start. I've been selling things on eBay recently and it's a lot of fun, and a good way to make money.

Start bidding and selling now!

eBay Canada
eBay USA

Monday, December 19, 2005

Happy Birthday, Natasha!

It's Natasha's birthday today! Happy Birthday, Natasha!

Here you see her with the gifts she got from my parents and I at our little party on Saturday.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Tenant Problem: Smoker Below

Oh great, here we go again. Just when things were back to normal, running smoothly, another wrench got thrown into the mix. Turns out the new tenant downstairs is a smoker. He's been told by the landlord that smoking is not allowed in the house but it is happening nonetheless. It wasn't so bad the last few days and we thought maybe it was just in the garage and some was leaking out. That was bad enough, but today it really started to come into all parts of our suite.

Because we're in a house and not an apartment or condo building, air is more free to flow from place to place and smoking will really affect everyone in the house.

We've called the landlord three times now, twice today, and have made it clear that we're very unhappy with this situation. We'll leave it to him to deal with, but if the situation doesn't improve and quickly, we will be forced to look for somewhere else to live as it's just not acceptable to live in a house that has smoke in it.

Christmas Gifts

Our Christmas shopping is done. Didn't have a lot to do, just for our gift exchange and a few other special people. Glad we're done... we drove by the mall today, and the parking lot was packed right to the edges.

One week 'till gift opening! Could one of the ones you see here be yours?


Friday, December 16, 2005

Choose Your Cheese

Why do people love cheese so much? It ranks up there with meat! If a meal doesn't contain either meat or cheese, some people won't even consider it. Why is this?

Anyway, there are tons of cheeses, but which is your favorite? Leave a comment and tell everyone which one you choose, and maybe why, or how you like to eat/cook with it.

Mmmmm, cheese!


Randal Hoards Top Job

Okay, so Randal won The Apprentice last night, and he definitely deserved it. If Trump had made his decision on him alone and said "You're fired" to Rebecca, I would have been happy. However, he didn't, and I think he would have hired Rebecca right there if Randal hadn't objected.

Was it right of Randal to do that? I suppose on one hand, he deserved to be the number one guy and take all the credit. However, I would have liked to see both of them hired, and I think it would have been a great display of their teamwork.

Trump doesn't just hire anyone, and the fact that he wanted to hire Rebecca means that he thought she would be a good choice. And I think he will likely hire her anyway, she just won't be "The Apprentice".

Bottom line, if it was me, I would have told Trump to hire her too.

Moon Shadows

I went outside yesterday evening to get something from the car, and was amazed at how bright the moon was. It's full moon or pretty near it, and was at the high point in the sky. These two things probably created the situation where the maximum amount of light was being cast onto the earth because you could see everything, and comparitively speaking, it was creating shadows equal to what the sun normally produces, only on a smaller scale.

I'm sure this isn't totally uncommon, but sometimes it could be cloudy on a particualr night and you miss it. My Grandfather told a story about when he was in the war, one one night the moon was so bright that you could see everything, maybe even read... and I think it was about that bright last night.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Company Christmas Party

Natasha and I went to my company Christmas party last night. It was held at the Vancouver Aquarium which turned out to be very interesting. At first it didn't seem like a place that could host a party well, but in the end things worked out alright. All of the tables were set throughout the display areas where you can view all kinds of fish.

The outdoor areas were open as well, where the beluga whales, seals, dolphins, and more could be viewed.

The jelly fish tank was really neat. I took a whole bunch of pictures of it and came out with a couple of really nice ones.

A few lucky people got to sit right in front of the shark tank. We tried, but the table only had room for one, so we moved on. In the end we got a table right by a large salt water tank.

Moving outdoors, we started to check out the animal displays. The beluga whales were amazing, just sitting at the top of the water, swimming around a little bit.

It's interesting to note that my order for Beluga Steak was ignored, and I received the Salmon in the end. Natasha had the stuffed chicken leg. Overall, the food was quite tasty, but more focused on the presentation than quantity. Believe it or not, I forgot to take a picture of the food!

The sea lion posed well for this photo. Actually, I think it was sleeping.

We managed to get a couple of pictures of ourselves as well. The event was fairly formal and most everyone was dressed up.


Had a great time with everyone, enjoyed the venue and the food, and we're both looking forward to doing it again next year!


Friday, December 09, 2005


Crokinole is one of my favorite board games. I don't have a board, but when I get together with someone with a board, it turns into a lot of fun.

Had friends over recently and we had a team game (couple vs. couple). During a break, I took this photo.

What's your favorite board game?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

New Ukulele Wood

I've taken another step towards starting my career as a Luthier by purchasing more wood. This one is a back, front, and sides for a Ukulele.

This set is Locust wood. I'm not totally sure about it's properties, but it looks quite nice, and I was able to purchase it at a good price. I can't really be buying up expensive wood to start out anyway.

I am going to be setting up a website in the near future with my plans, photos, and a list of things I still need to begin building. If you have, or know of anyone who has older tools in okay shape that aren't needed anymore, I'd love to hear from you.

The Hat Came Back

I lost my Tilley hat on Monday while riding the bus to work. I've lost it a number of times in the past (in various locations), and only one time I didn't recover it. This time I was lucky again, and it surfaced in the transit lost and found office. The lady recognized the hat from my description right away and went to the back to bring it out. I quickly switched my Chaps baseball cap for the Tilley and continued on to work.

Since this hat is kind of my trademark look, it would be hard to go without it, and the replacement cost is high. The great thing about Tilley hats is their lifetime guarantee against wear, and their 2 year insurance policy, giving you 50% off if your hat is lost, stolen, or destroyed. Not to mention they look fantastic!

Tilley Endurables

Two Months!

Today is our two month anniversary! Been a great time so far, enjoying being together. We've now been together for 2/3 the time that we were apart before our wedding.

Looking forward to the next month (and a busy one it will be with the holidays!).

I love you, Natasha!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Holiday Photo Contest

We took some photos and decided on one of Natasha's to submit to the Canadian Tire $10,000 holiday photo contest.

If you'd like to browse the gallery of pictures, go here:

Holiday Photo Contest

And if you want to view ours specifically, the photo number is:



Thursday, December 01, 2005

Happy December

We've arrived to December already, and heading into the holiday season. Lots of stuff going on this month. Christmas party, holidays with the family, post-wedding reception, New Years, the list goes on.

Happy Holidays everyone. May you have an enjoyable time with relatives and friends, safe journies, and many long lasting memories!