Thursday, May 26, 2011

Passion not Obsession

Though the weather in Vancouver has been really nasty (described by the weatherman as "lousy spring weather"), there's still something that's keeping us puffed up - the Canucks Fever.  I'm not really a perennial follower of them.  Not because I don't like them, but because I've never really been a solid fanatic of anything.  But this Canucks Fever is getting me really drawn to keep an eye on. Well, if it's all over the news day and night, who won't?

This is how the power of fans really work.  It's like reminiscing the Olympic moment.  When everybody was looking forward to the last, big Olympic game - the hockey.  And it was the first time I really sat and watched from start to finish.  Prior to that, I made sure I was through the day's errands and then I crashed at my sister's apartment to watch it. I even told them to drop everything and focus on the game.   And when that winning moment took place, I was a fan...So that was my short story of being a hockey fan.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tips in moving

I helped out in my sister's moving last weekend to their new place.   And I never expected to be totally stressed out.  I felt it the next day when I couldn't get up from bed the rest of the day because of a terrible headache.  I realized that it wasn't more of a physical stress, but more of mental stress.  Then yesterday when I was all powered-up and recharged, I kept thinking how that happened.

I had my shares of moving in and out from different places, but I'd never experienced this kind of stress I had with my sister last weekend.  Actually, this was the first time I helped them moved out since the time we lived in the same apartment.  Before, we didn't have much stuff to worry about because we were just starting out. So the move glided smoothly without wearing us out.  But this recent move was a major setback in my "moving" history.  And because of that, I promised myself to list my major conditions next time they ask me to help them out.  I also listed important notes for myself to follow next time I/we move out.  It's basically all the lessons I learned from all these, and how I would go about the next time this happened.

1.  Plan the packing ahead - Few weeks before the date of move, I asked my sister if she'd be needing a hand to pack and that I was willing to help.  But she assured me that everything was well.  When I came by Friday night, I realized that there was more stuff to pack. Evenmore, it was 11pm, we were tired from work, and the move-out time is 9.30am the next day.
Tips:  Start packing the items that you won't be using anymore on the coming weeks/days, or items that are just idling. e.g. books; picture frames; clothes; supplies

2. Zone out target areas -  When we started packing, I didn't know where to start and what items to pack first. It seemed to me that every quarters of the house needed attention and boxing.  Since it wasn't my place, I just followed instructions.
Tips:  The day before the move, assume how many boxes needed and prepare them for each quarters of the house.  Station all boxes in that area.  Make sure to concentrate on a specific room of the house (e.g. kitchen) when packing before jumping in to another room.

3. No to small/little boxes, or to huge boxes - We had trouble figuring out which boxes to use for specific items.  Some boxes were either too small or too big.  Since they just hired two men and a truck, the boxes had to be solicited from somewhere; that included the boxes I got from work and boxes they sourced from other places.  As a result, we had assortment of boxes;  from the size of  shoe boxes to LCD-TV boxes.
Tips:  I think the appropriate box for moving should not be smaller than 24"x24"x24", and sturdy enough to handle items like hard-bound books and dishes. It can also fit all sort of small items, like; figurines, bottles, souvenirs, picture-frames, etc., and still have room for bubble wrap if needed.  And also, it would be easier and faster for the movers to pick-up and stack these boxes.  Sometimes a garbage bag can work too for lighter and bulky items.  You can squeeze in wherever space is limited.

4. Sort-out and toss-away garbages before the move -  I noticed while I was packing, that some of my sister's stuff had to be recycled or thrown-out.   I got even confused as to which should be in or out of the boxes.  It seemed that there were rubbish and century-old stuff that didn't have to go to the new place.
Tips:  If you're moving to a new place, make sure to minimize unused items.  Do spring-cleaning weeks before the move to figure out which should go or which should be left behind.

5. Prepare pens for labelling - Since we were short of time, and all burned out from work that night, we scrambled on the packing.  We put in the boxes whatever we picked-up and when it was full, we sealed it right away.  We didn't  realize to label the boxes.  And when we remembered, we couldn't find a single marker available. All my sister's office materials and supplies were boxed-in.  Hence, we struggled with a ballpen.
Tips:  Set aside labelling materials for all the boxes days before.  Use color-coding pens, stickers or tapes to remember where they're from or where to stack them in the new place. Or simply, use a thick/chisel-type permanent marker and label with very visible letters.

6. Plants should be the last to leave and first to go -  Just like me, my sister kept potted-plants.  And while we were waiting for the movers that morning, we were chatting about them.  I was surprised to see that they were more prepared than the boxes, because they had a special bucket container with handle provided for them.  Then when the movers began taking the boxes, we hid them away in the small room to make sure they wouldn't get dragged or trampled.
Tips:  I've learned this from our office plant-maintenance guys; That all plants should be the last to be loaded on the truck, and the first one to be unloaded off.

Still, it didn't end here.  There was another headache during the move, and that was the unpacking part.  But since it was my sister's new house, she was more excited than ever.  And probably didn't feel the stress.

But for me, if the packing goes well, then the unpacking should just be a walk in the park...Good thing I didn't get involve in the unpacking.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I'm a fan of ballroom dancing, and samba is one of my favorites. I've seen it heat up the ballroom many times, but I never thought it could also be bang on the ice. 

Here's a double dose of samba and more - with an interesting twist...to the samba lovers...