Monday, October 27, 2008

Long Days.

And half the time I wasn't sure if it was day or night.
For those of you who may have flown over seas heading east, I'm sure you know what I mean.
Europe has done their "fall back" time change already, so the difference now is five hours instead of six. Ontario isn't changing until some time in November it seems, since we're "following the Americans".
I don't want to upset any of my American friends, but I've never been overly keen on "following the Americans". It's just that whole Canadian national identity thing that we sometimes get a little anxious about is all.
So we got in to Schipol at something like 5:15 a.m. local time, partly thanks to some big-assed tail wind. Right along with it was about three hours of turbulence. I could have handled being on time without the turbulence though, since after about an hour and a half I had this recurring image of me puking on the annoying little bastard that was sitting behind me.

Projectile vomiting has never been one of my favourite activities, but I'm pretty sure I could have managed.
Hey! Sometimes these things just "happen", so why waste a perfectly good opportunity?

Got our luggage in short order (it wasn't Toronto, remember?), breezed through customs and had our tickets in hand for the train by about six, and headed out on the 6:51.

I hate to say this, (but I have to) 'cause it's really pretty sad, but you can't do any of those things in Toronto. You never breeze through customs, rarely get your luggage in a timely fashion, and there are no trains to anywhere.

In typical fashion for the newbies, there were a couple moments of confusion, mixed in with a hint of apprehension since the train was marked "DB", which I knew stood for "Deutche Bahn"....but it was the only one pulling up at 6:51, and it was going to Hengelo. It just also happened to be going on to Berlin.
Hey, I didn't know the German trains came all the way in to The Netherlands, but I guess with the whole EU thing going on, they don't just stop at the border like they used to.
There was one fellow who was switching trains and going on to Denmark, but he couldn't get that portion of his ticket until he got to the Danish border. They're not part of the EU, so that sort of makes sense. In the case of this particular service, the stops are announced in first Dutch, then German and then (if you really haven't figured it out by then) in English.
It was dark for an awfully long time it seemed, and finally started to get light when we were about half way.
Took a cab home from the station in Hengelo, even though we could have taken the train to Delden (we came by way of Almelo) but by then we had no desire to schlepp our luggage down the street to the house.
Plus, we figured it would be a better plan to get the cabbie to arrange to come back in the morning, since we had no wheels at the house.
Turns out that was double stoopid. First of all, when I bought the train tickets at the airport, there was some sort of "deal" where the second ticket was only €.50 and you could travel anywhere in the Netherlands for the day. So the trip to Delden would have been free. We had no desire to travel any farther, so that whole concept was a waste. The double stupid part is, flippin' cab didn't show up in the morning, so we ended up calling for a cab anyway, which wasn't that big a deal after all. We'll certainly avoid that cab company forever and ever, amen.
I'm certainly not going to mention here which cab company it is that has a bunch of chimps at the wheel, but I will mention the very reliable company that is used by all the Eaton people.
It's Teiwes , and it's the only one we'll ever use, thank-you. Simply didn't have their phone number when we arrived at the train station is all.

We'll be better prepared next time.

I figured I had better get on the bike and hit the bakery before I collapsed, plus I knew they were only open for a short while on Sunday mornings. Turns out they don't put out a lot of product, but I got there in good time.
Struck out when it came to buying milk though, since I was counting on this one little store that's attached to a service station around the corner, but they didn't have that particular liquid. I certainly wasn't going to ride to Hengelo for milk.

Had a brief phone conversation with Gabe just now. She's been out to see the new set of wheels, but who knows how late she'll be tonight, since they're in the final stage of preparing next year's profit plan. Wouldn't mind seeing it in the daylight, but that might not happen until the weekend.

My trousers have dried out now, so I might go back in to town. I did a little trip this morning, (the milk?) and when I went to head out later, it was threatening to rain, but I put on my new rain coat that the kids gave me for my birthday and booted it up the street.

Note birthday pic....and I'm trying to figure out why there are six candles on the cake. Seems we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves.
The cake was fabulous btw, and the two types of ice cream didn't hurt.

So fine, perhaps if I'm going to boldly go, then I need something for the legs since, by the time I made it back home with no new groceries and no cash (bank machine out of service) it was coming down pretty hard.
And now....the sun is out.


I must say, and this only seems to work particularly well here, that I can jump on the bike, get to a grocery store, get "parked" and in and out so much faster than I'd be able to if I were using a car. It's pretty darned neat, actually.
Now admittedly, I do have a huge assed case of Grolsch empties that I have to take back (four Euros!) so I'd use the car for that kind of thing, but otherwise the bike program seems to work just fine.
(and meanwhile, I've been to the store and back, since the sun did come out for about a half hour or so)
One of our guests that was here a few weeks back said that for her, living here is "the life", since she's a pretty avid bike rider to start with. I just might have to do an upgrade in the bike department is all, since I find my present ride to be just a tad small. I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Now, since I don't have a whole lot to say in the way of relating things in the "adventures" department, I figure I'd pass along a few pics of what I've been up to while over at the Homestead.

For many years now, I've been tempted by the notion to build a wall cabinet for tools. It's only been a little over twenty years that I've been mucking around with woodworking, and I'm a pretty good beginner, but I've never had the chance to get something started. I decided that last week was the time.

This is what I have so far.

It's still missing it's doors, and a whack of tools.

I figured I had better mount it on the wall where it will stay.

Now that I look at that pic I realise that that wall could certainly use a coat of paint, but there's enough work in the rest of the house, so I'm not sure when that will happen.
It's kind of like the mechanic who never gets a chance to work on his own car.
It won't take long to fill it with tools, since I do in fact have most everything one could imagine, it's just that everything is scattered about in drawers.
The bottom two areas will house six drawers, much in a similar fashion as the little cabinet just to the left. Plus I just realised that I had installed the two inside doors after I had taken these pictures, and I didn't do a follow-up.
Oh well.
Also did a little sailing on the Sunday the 19th. Was a pleasant way to spend a birthday. The sun came out, and there was a bit of a breeze, so the boats did move along, so all in all, just about perfect.
I did have a tuque in my sail bag, but chose not to wear it. Our skipper for the day was prepared for much cooler weather than it turned out to be.
(This particular two day regatta is called the "Die Hard's" for good reason. Most times the weather is down right nasty, with easterlies churning up twelve foot swells....)

Very fetching attire I think.

Ok, to be fair, here she is back in the summer time without the tuque...

You'll notice that the spinnakers aren't exactly straining
under a huge load, but we didn't care, since we were flying white sails anyway.

There are no pictures of us because well, I was on the boat, and no pics have been posted yet on the Bronte Harbour Yacht Club website.

So other than cleaning out some eaves troughs and blowing out the irrigation pipes, that was about it for my trip to the Homestead.

Six weeks until our Christmas visit.

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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.