Monday, March 23, 2009

The best sister (today)

When Lucas and Finny and I went to pick up Molly today after school, she was even more excited than usual to see us. As soon as we rounded the corner of the staircase, she was clamoring to get to Lukey. As always, the hallways were crammed. A couple of hundred kids and parents shuffling in different directions. Taking all my kids in there sometimes feels like pushing three tissues through a wind tunnel. Anyway, as Molly is trying to sit on the floor with her brother and sister, we are being trampled on all sides by the furious foot traffic. Molly has disemboweled her schoolbag all over the hallway. She finally found what she was looking for:

On Mondays, the kids get to choose three books from the library. Molly, in my opinion, is an exceedingly great book picker. Today though, she saw this Digger Man book and thought of her little brother, who has a limited vocabulary of which approximately 30% is comprised of heavy duty vehicle names. The kid can't find a shirt in the middle of the floor, but he can spot a "digger" three blocks away in the nanosecond it is visible from a rapidly moving car. Skills.

And, if you know Molly, you also realize that a construction vehicle interests her not in the slightest. Take all the interest you find. Pile it up in a big heap, then get rid of it. That is how much interest she has in diggers. A true testament to the kindness it took for her to check out "Digger Man" for her brother.

She then proceeded to read him the WHOLE thing, right there in the middle of the busy elementary school hallway. Literally risking death...or a nasty pinch from a passing foot. What a girl.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Year One is Done

I am now officially finished my probation at work. The four others I was hired with and I had our year end practical and written exams on Tuesday. Because the written portion determined the seniority between us, there was some pretty strong incentive to study hard. I can't claim to have put in the hours that some of the others in our group did, but I did manage to cram quite a bit a the end, which was good enough for a second place finish on the test. We all went for beers at the Delta Lion afterwards.

One of the reasons I didn't study more was that work has been really busy. My captain likes to train more than anyone on the department, so our days are always full. We have also had ride-alongs the last couple of weeks, adding to our work load as well as my appreciation of my current position.

I had my 6th good fire last week as well. Dan Burghi and I were the second crew in and were responsible for searching the house. Most of the second floor was fully charged, but the visibility really improved when the windows blew out. We were able to contain the fire to one half of the house but it will definitely be a complete write-off never the less.

Recently, in between sets at work I took another trip down to Arizona. Our place is rented there but I had a few details to look after. I stayed at Ed's again and went out looking at more foreclosures for a day with him and Connie Lopez. The deals down there are unbelievable, even better than last fall. We went through about 20 places, all offered at $80,000 or less. These homes were between 2 and 8 years old, 1,300 to 1,900 sqft big and almost all in excellent condition. We also went through some foreclosed townhouses that are renting for $8-900/month which the bank will unload for less than $40,000. You really have to see it to believe it. I liked the one in these pictures because it backed on to a green space with volleyball and basketball courts.

With so much going on, my birthday was fairly low key. We had my Dad over for cake for his birthday on the 3rd and went to Mike and Kate Hill's on the 6th of March to celebrate Kate's. Mike cooked all of us an impressive curry dinner, apparently inspired by the abundance of Indian food near his office at Surrey city hall. A couple of days later Judy and Bryan took us out for a really nice meal of Chinese food as a belated birthday/year end celebration.