Wednesday, May 30, 2007

No Gymnastics This Week

It has been very hot this week, so Tina decided not to take the boys to gymnastics tonite. While the heat does not seem to bother Jeremy, it does have an impact on Corbin. When he overheats, his face gets all blotchy and he can lose all ability to focus. Good decision Tina.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Horseback Riding

Normally, Tina takes Corbin for his weekly therapeutic horseback riding lesson, however she had important training to attend, so I took Corbin this week.

After arriving at WETRA, Corbin ran in and got his helmet and proceeded to ride the wooden horse. Then he wandered around the meeting room and noticed his order had come in. It was a wall clock in the shape of a tire. It had LEDs that would come on when the light goes out. Wonderful, I thought.

Corbin and another boy began their lesson. This was Corbin's second or third lesson on a new horse, Charlie. This horse is a trotter, and Corbin's instructor, Becky, wants Corbin to become more comfortable trotting. They spent some time in the arena before heading outside to the paddock. They came back to the arena before dismounting and taking the horses to the barn to learn how to detach the saddles. Another successful session.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hello Babcia and Grandpa

My mom and Alex came down to spend some time with the boys. They also brought the rototiller so I could get the vegetable garden ready.

Jeremy was talking about Babcia coming all week long, so he was very excited when he saw her car pull into the driveway. He ran to the door and greeted her and Alex with a big hug. So after settling in, Babcia dove right into playing with the boys.

Saturday was a wash. Tina was at the mom2mom yard sale, living me with the boys, my mom and Alex. It was a little stressful. I rained on and off, so I was unable to use the rototiller and have Alex take it back to Brantford. My mom, Jeremy and I drove out to the Polish deli to buy some sausage, cold cuts, treats, deserts and other goodies. Jeremy was his usual cute self.

Tina returned from the yard sale with only a suitcase of toys. She sold everything else. Awesome job. We had the cold cuts and treats for supper. Babcia returned to playing with the boys.

After breakfast and spending some time with the boys, Babcia and Grandpa packed up, said their goodbye's and headed back to Brantford. Jeremy was under the impression that he was going to Brantford with Babcia, but we told him "Babcia Camp" is not until when Corbin goes to camp. He was sad.

Posted by Adam

Monday, May 21, 2007

Spider-Man 3

Finally got a chance to take Corbin to see Spider-Man 3. We headed out to Forest Glade Cinemas for the 6:45 show. I paid for the tickets, got some pop and popcorn and headed inside the theatre. It wasn't busy so finding a seat was no problem.

Corbin enjoyed the movie - though it's hard to tell when he really likes a movie. I also enjoyed the movie. Awesome special effects. Our next movie will be Shrek the Third - which we will see as a family - followed by Pirates.

Posted by Adam

Gardening, finally

This morning we headed to the Maple Leaf for breakfast - which was excellent as usual. Tina and I had no desire to go back home, so we went on a drive. We stopped at Mic Mac Park and let the boys run around and get some steam off.

Then I drove over to Pre-Dawn Nursery to buy some perennials. The place was very busy but we managed to find a good parking spot. We all got out, but quickly learned that Corbin and Jeremy were unable to listen, so Tina escorted them to the van and put on a movie on the portable DVD player.

Tina wandered around for awhile, picking some perennials and vegetables before checking in on the kids. I looked around some more and purchased a bunch of plants - mostly for the corner flowerbed at the front of our house.

Arriving home, I dove right into gardening. Last year I placed about 2 to 3 inches of mulch on the corner flower bed to help lock in the moisture and help soften the clay soil. Digging the holes for the plants, I noticed there were plenty of worms - a good sign. There were some bare patches - usually where people cut across the flowerbed - so I topped up the mulch in those area. I'm thinking I'll need to get more mulch to top off the various flowerbeds, again.

After a couple of hours, I was exhausted but satisfied with the work I had down. I need to get some ground cover for the flower bed along Rivard. I still have some more planting to do - I'll be busy every night.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, May 20, 2007

So Much for the Nice Weather

Okay, what's with the weather? It was cold today. I headed out to Home Depot with Jeremy and it was cold. It wasn't much fun looking for plants. I bought a few, but did not do any gardening. Hopefully tomorrow is better.

Posted by Adam

Monday, May 14, 2007

Swimming

Due to a scheduling conflict, I took the boys to their swimming lessons at Water World. It was an eye opening experience. Jeremy was very energetic. When ever some one else started to splash, he would join in. He really needs to calm down and listen to what is going on. After his lesson was done, I got him into his pyjamas.

It was Corbin's turn next. He swims exclusively in the big pool now and does laps. He had some difficulty diving of the board - later I would learn that he was afraid that he was going to bang his head on the board. Eventually he kind of jump dived into the pool. Getting him out of the pool was a problem but he eventually gave up.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, May 13, 2007

New Digs In Goderich

After I finished my Exam A, we headed up to the Toy Shoppe of London, a toy store in the north end of London, to look over their selection and to allow Corbin to buy a new Playmobil toy. Jeremy played in the train. After getting what we needed, we headed up to Goderich for the weekend. We stopped in Exeter and had lunch at KFC.

Tina's parents, Bev & Gerry, recently bought a house in town - two blocks north of Chris and Lisa. It was nice to not have to drive through Goderich, out to the trailer park where Bev & Gerry lived. Bev and Madigan were outside when we arrived.

The house is a one-storey three-bedroom house with a decent sized kitchen, a large living/dining room, a small lounge/parlour at the front of the house, and one bathroom. There is a basement. Gerry purchased a new shed, so he has a total three sheds (the other two came from our house). There is no garage - many houses in Goderich do not have garages. The yard is spacious - enough room for the kids to run around.

Saturday evening, we all went out for dinner at a local restaurant on The Square. The service was fast and food was hot. The kids ate what they could and behaved for the most part. Corbin played with his Gameboy while Jeremy hung out with Aunt Lisa.

We headed back to Windsor around noon on Sunday.

Posted by Adam

Friday, May 11, 2007

Adam Szymczak, MCIP, RPP

I had my Exam A for full membership in the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) and Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) today. Tina drove the boys and myself to London. We arrived around 9:30 am - my exam was at 10 am. I signed in to get my pass card, headed upstairs and waited. Met a few other people who were either waiting for their exam or were waiting for the committee to render their decision.

At 10 am, I was called in to start the exam. The panel consisted of three members who introduced themselves and who explained what was going to happen. The atmosphere of the exam was relaxed - it is not an inquisition. Since Exam A is an oral exam, there is a lot of back and forth discussion.

The first group of questions were about my work experience and how my field of planning - land planning - was used in other fields. I was anxious at first, but hit my stride in no time. The exam hit all five areas discussed on the OPPI website. I had no problems answering the questions, and when necessary, took time to think about my response.

The exam was completed at 10:45. The panel deliberated and a few minutes later, called me. I was successful. I was officially a Registered Professional Planner and could use the initials MCIP and RPP after my name. The panel thanked me for my participation and were impressed with my comments on working with the public (say a group of residents) even if the public and myself did not see eye-to-eye.

Tips to anyone taking this exam in the future:
  • Think about your specialization and how you would use or have used it in other areas.
  • Think of some unethical situations and how you would deal with them
  • Think about the public interest and that what means to you and how you deal with this concept
  • Think about what planning means to you
  • Think about how you advance the field of planning, the Institute and the public interest not just in your job but 'off the job' - example, explaining what Planning is to friends and family.
  • Think about independent professional judgment and what that means in terms of any conflicts between planning for the public interest and planning for your employer (hint: the public interest always wins out).
Posted by Adam

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cutting Grass

Seems that I have to cut the grass every 4 or so days, otherwise I have to either raise the deck of the mower or use the rear bag to catch all the clippings. No fertilizer has been put down, though the front lawn needs a good application of weed killer.

Speaking of the front lawn, it's not looking it's best. The part of the lawn that replaced a few years back when our street was under construction is the worst - it has the most weeds and the least amount of grass. Every passing day, I am getting closer to calling a landscaping company to rip out all the grass, put on a few inches of topsoil and roll down some new sod.

So add new lawn to likely projects this year (which so far consists of a gate between the house and garage, new windows in the basement and interim repairs/improvements to plumbing). Time to call and get some quotes and books the contractors/companies.

Posted by Adam

Thursday, May 3, 2007

It's May Already

Wow, April flew right by. It was cooler than expected, though we did not get much rain. Hopefully, the weather will warm up over the next few weeks so I can work on getting the vegetable garden ready and start planting perennials in the flowerbeds.

Posted by Adam