Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Sunday, August 20, 2017

New apartment, new chair - back in business

It's been a busy 2 months, but finally settled into new digs. Great little place, felt like home the moment I stepped into the apartment. The hardest part was finding a new chair for my desk. I've been on the hunt for about a year looking for a size appropriate chair to use. Yes, a year! Problem is, most chairs are built for substantially taller people so the head rest, arms, depth of chair and back support are all wrong. Even with adjustments, they were never comfortable and I end up with excruciating pain down my neck and shoulder. I often ended up propped up against pillows in bed just to type for more than 20 min. I have this beautiful old vintage table I'm using, which is a bit lower than a standard desk (don't get me started on that!) and really wanted a chair to go with it. I was tired of feeling like a 2 year old at the table, dangling my feet in the air.  Well, I found one - and it was on sale no less - at Staples about 3 weeks ago.  This is the perfect chair for short people. I can sit all day comfortably and put both feet flat on the ground while properly seated.  What a luxury.  The downside to all of this is I no longer have an excuse for procrastinating so much on the website. 

I am a bit ticked off - I can't find my Wacom digital tablet. For the life of me I can't figure out where I put it. Hoping I didn't accidently throw it out. Until I find it, no digital art work will be done. Bugger damn. 

On the upside, the lilac tree LOVES it's new spot on the balcony. It's already putting on a display of green.

Photo of my lilac tree Apr 2017It looks better than it did, this time last year.  I carefully trimmed it in the spring, hoping it would help it bloom a bit better. It was a bit touch and go with the tree last summer. The wind up on the NW corner of the old apartment was ferocious most of the time and the poor tree took a hell of a beating. We're down 6 floors and in the middle of the building (same building) and very sheltered. Even in a bad wind storm, things on the balcony barely ripple. Should go a long way in helping the tree recover.  I'm now thinking of what herbs I'll be planting. Hopefully, they will do better down here as well. In the meantime, I'll just enjoy the splash of green for a few weeks.

Lilac tree on balcony




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Holy shit - I fixed the site

Finally - took nearly the entire day, but the back end is working again and the site is reloaded! Thought I'd never get the shit fixed. Just a bit of fine tuning, change the background and font colour etc and back to normal. That'll wait until tomorrow. I had to reload a few articles because of a corrupted database killed 2 backup copies. Thankfully, I usually write the stories on Word first then transfer the so I had working copies to copy from. Lost all the hit counts, which is a bit sad, but not a big deal.


Sigh ... finally. 


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Things may be a bit wonky for a bit

Things may be a bit wonky for a day or two - design wise. I'm trying to sort out a Joomla bug that's caused incredible problems with the website. It's one of those "it worked fine when I logged in the other day and now it's all gone to hell today" issues. I've already gone through about 5 possible fixes. The only result seems to be resetting the fonts and background colours.


I may have to take the site down and do a full reupload from the last backup. No worries, at most I'll lose this article. That's one of the issues, I'm locked out of all administrative tasks, including updates and backups.

I'm going to do a bit of testing off site and hopefully things will be back in order sometime tomorrow.


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Well hell, where have I been?

Once again ... life has gotten in the way. I'm in the middle of a move and haven't had the space to do any writing. As of Apr 1 my desk will be set up and we'll be in our new apartment (same building, just newly renovated place) and ready to work again. Ok, make that Apr 2, it's going to take a few hours to do the move. One good thing about moving within the same buiding, not a lot of packing. We already have the keys and will start moving stuff down this weekend.  We have an entire week to do the fussy things like sort the kitchen and closets out and shift all the smaller things.


So ... I haven't abandoned you. Just busy deciding what to get rid of and what I actually want to take. Amazing how much stuff isn't making the cut. 

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Food ... oh glorious, wonderful food! - trip to the local baklawa place

Ah yes ... I love food. Pretty much all types. That's one of the great things about living in Toronto, we don't lack for choice. My neigbourhood now boasts a fine baklawa place that serves wonderful, delightfully delicate, honey soaked baklawa. So delicate, your eyes will roll into the back of your head and don't get me started on their Turkish Delight. 

The Baklawa Queen, which opened about 2 weeks ago, is less than a 5 min stroll from my doorstep.  Not a lot of seating there, but they do a great take out.  I love a good Turkish coffee, but don't normally order it any longer. It's one of those drinks that people tend to screw up on an epic level - it comes off weak, bitter with a wretched acidic backwash. This place has a fine touch when it comes to a proper Turkish coffee. It's strong, smooth and zero nasty aftertaste. I think I could sit in the window all day sipping it.

Photo of Turkish coffeeBowl of Turkish Delight

But the Turkish Delight OMG ... OMG ... they make it themselves. I'm waiting for them to start selling it for take out, which should be in about 2 weeks. They said they're bringing in a machine and baker to do it on site. Have you ever tried the Turkish delight that comes prepackaged? That sickly sweet, neon coloured, styrofoam textured stuff so common in stores? Throw out that idea because it has no resemblance to the fresh made delight sold here. Like I said O... M .... G! Coconut coated, nuts inside, not sweet but richly textured. If you eat it with a strong coffee the TD takes on a slightly sweeter taste.  

They do more than just desserts, their lunch items (including soup and sandwiches) are filling. I had the manti - little pockets of beef that look like mini dumplings, served with a spicy tomato sauce and yogurt.  Combined with a sweet backlawa for dessert and I'm a happy person. I'm going to work my way through their menu and I'll let you know what becomes my go to favourite.

Try them out - 1404 Yonge St. Toronto. That's just below St. Clair Ave on the west side of Yonge, across from the Fruit and Veg market.  Easiest way to get there - get off the subway at the Pleasant Ave entrance and walk over to Yonge. Go south on Yonge until you hit Rosedale and cross to the west side. It's about 1/2 block north from the crosswalk. If you walk past the hardware store, you've gone too far.




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"Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life."

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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