Summer Arrives

Hot, hazy and humid. No better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than in the pool. Our youngest son takes a break from snorkeling.

Life can be this hard.

Command Centre

From yesterday, here is a picture of my office without any furniture and with the dusty rose carpet. And then the after picture. After two full days of installing new carpets, moving 6 rooms of furnishings around, all in time for two showings, the family collapsed. Exhausted.

Our painter was in yesterday doing a few final touch-ups. “Extreme makeover, home edition!” he said.

Indeed.

Time for a sale.

Selling a House

There were a number of small renovations that we did to prepare the house for sale. We repainted a few rooms, we landscaped a few areas in the yard, we ensured that the windows were serviced and operating in good condition as well as a number of other small details. Right now, the house is looking great.

There is one item that we knew would need some attention. Flooring. Specifically the carpet in the living room, dining room, office, three bedrooms, stairs and landings. The broadloom is a dusty rose colour which was popular 20 years back. Some people might call the carpet pink. This pink carpet really does look dated. We made arrangements for new carpet to be installed and the crew will be coming in tomorrow.

What that means is that when the showings for this evening have ended we will have to clear all of the furnishings in the living room, dining room, office, and three bedrooms. And then, once the crew has finished installing the carpets, we have to move everything back to ensure that the house is ready to show for Friday morning.

Selling a house is hard work.

Status Update

We continue to have a lot of showings for our house. Another family came through last night. We received a call from our real estate agent after the showing and the family is wanting to have another look on Friday.

It only takes one buyer. Perhaps this is the family.

We have started a virtual review of potential properties in the Kingston area. The good news is that we have a lot of choices. And, if we don’t mind a 20 or 30 minute commute, we can readily find nice homes on waterfront properties with several acres of land. The bad news is that we have to try and find some time over the next few weeks to begin the process of finding our new home.

I can tell that the family is under some stress and I hope that this part of the transition goes smoothly. Changing a job and changing location does create stress and I think we will have to take a bit of a break once things have settled down in a few months.

In the meantime, back to the daily grind of detailing the house.

For Sale

Today the house went up for sale. This is the third time that we have sold a house. Now the fun part begins — keeping it clean.

Change

The big decision that I have been wrestling with over the past several weeks was a career decision. I have taken early retirement from my current role as an executive at a large Canadian bank. I have also been offered the opportunity to take on a Chief Information Officer role with a Canadian insurance company and I accepted that role. My retirement will be very short — regeneration. But I am very much looking forward to the new challenge and opportunity.

This was a big decision for our family because it also means that we are moving. After almost ten years in our current home, we will be making the move to Kingston, Ontario. Kingston, recently rated as one of the top places to live in Canada, is a community more like London, Ontario. We had lived in London for eighteen years and we really enjoyed being part of that community. We are looking forward to the move to Kingston as it shares many of the attributes of London albeit with a smaller population.

There are many things that I will miss from my current role. I was blessed to work with an exceptional group of people at the bank and I will deeply miss them. Serving as an Information Technology executive in a very large-scale technology group was a challenging and rewarding experience. I had the opportunity to meet and work with so many bright and capable people and I made many good friendships along the way.

I will definitely not miss the four-hours-a-day commute and the chaos that is Toronto. Too many people and too little infrastructure. The edge and ambition of the city seems to infect the surrounding communities. Everywhere I go there is the massive sprawl of urban development, big box retail and more and more congestion.

Our house goes up for sale on Sunday afternoon. As a family, we have been working hard to get the house ready. I cannot tell you how many hours that Lorraine and I have spent decluttering our home and making sure that all of the details are in place to show the house effectively. And then we need to deal with all of the logistics around making the move to Kingston.

Exciting times. Stressful times. A new beginning.

Iron Man

My son and I are going to check out Iron Man tonight. The lead character looks somewhat familiar to me.

Defeated

Having been repeatedly demolished at Halo by my children, I have no choice but to seek out help. My hope? How to beat your kids at Halo.

I can do this. I must do this.

If you are suffering the same way I am, there is hope. Follow these 8 simple tips. Oh. And don’t tell my kids. This will be our secret.

  1. Practice on your own preferably when the kids are sleeping. Never let them see you practice; that will only make them practice more or tease you more when they beat you.
  2. Play through the campaign mode in CO-OP with your kid. Not only will you get better, but you get to see what they do and live through it.
  3. Don’t play one of them alone. If you don’t have two kids, grab a neighborhood kid or reasonable facsimile. Preferably one with equal skills to your kid.
  4. Establish an alliance with one of them before playing. Or do your best to generate some sort of competitive animosity between the two kids. This is a very important step if you cannot win alone. Use any and all tactics at your disposal to accomplish this.
  5. Fuel the competition, once the game begins, by commenting on every small victory that either of them have against one another.
  6. Gather grenades and the best weapons.
  7. Use the grenades and the weapons when their health is reasonably low so that you get easy kills. This method is known as “cherry picking”. Also, if you think you are about to die, throw a grenade at your feet to try to kill the oncoming opponent.
  8. Repeat steps 2 through 7 until victorious.