Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wading through the laundry

It's been a couple days now since our guests have made their way back to the big Island, and I'm pretty sure I've finally got all the laundry under control.
Here they are just before heading to the train to take them back to the airport...




Don't get me wrong, it was only the bedding from two beds, but with the "wonder machine", it can sometimes take a half a day just to do one load.
Now, I call it the "wonder machine" for a number of reasons. The first time I used it, I couldn't help but wonder what the hell that noise was that it was making, and then of course, I always wonder if it's stuck somewhere at some point and all the clothes are just sitting in there soaking wet, waiting for me to come along and....do something. (Usually involves having to find a point on the cycle where I can coax a spin out of the thing). But then, I usually wonder, "what the hell were they thinking when they installed this piece of cr*p!"
I can feel the vein in my forehead pulsating just now thinking of it.

Just let me take a couple deep breaths....

I try to tell myself I have all the time in the world, and to get uptight about these things is simply not healthy, but it's tough I wanna tell ya.
Pretty sure I have a genetic predisposition to get a little upset from time to time, (and I'm clenching my teeth even as I'm typing this) so trying to resist the temptation to take a five pound sledge hammer to the thing is just about all I can do.

*sigh*



Moving right along....

Sunday, was a wonderful day. Not just because there was no laundry either. It was a nice sunny day, a balmy +6°C and a perfect day to tool around town on the bikes. We now pretty much have our own fleet, consisting of five bikes. Seems we can't have any greater number of guests until we get more bikes...?

The destination of choice was Twickel which you're certainly welcome to read about if you choose to click on the link. It's an estate that's about a 10 minute bike ride from our front door.

Here's a glimpse of the main building...


There were quite a few people out walking or riding bikes.
It's a perfect place for biking, and the estate is large enough that you're almost into Hengelo when you get to the outskirts.
There are several houses on the property in addition to the castle itself. Most of which are unique in their design.

We then came back through Delden and stopped for some breakfast at The Swan, which is a pub at the corner of the main drag going into "downtown" Delden.
Here we're just about to go in, and Annie and Gabe are having a look at this one huge place that belongs to a big cheese in Grolsch


I completely missed the expression on Annie's face when she was told just how much they were asking to rent this place. The story goes that the Plant Manager of the Hengelo (Eaton) location was considering it briefly, until they told him it was €5,000 a month!

They didn't think that would work for them.

He and his family are living over in Borne....

Here's the view up Langestraat. Note the hustle and bustle of Delden.

Apparently one needn't be on an estate to have a cool looking house either, since this one is on the opposite corner from where we stopped.

Since Tuesday turned out to be pretty much another fabulous day, and I'm just a lonely guy in a lonely town*, I thought I'd check out a couple more of the bike routes around.
Gabe (*yes, she's in the UK) seems to think that one of these days she's going to ride her bike to work. So I figured I'd head in that direction, after consulting google maps, and just see what's up. Turns out it's about a half hour from our front door to the Ikea that you see there in the distance.

That would make it then about another 10 to 15 minutes to Eaton. We'll ride it together on a Sunday one of these days, and she can decide if she's ready.
If you look carefully at the picture, you'll see a bus (down at the foot of the IKEA sign)....which is on a dedicated bus lane that comes in directly from Hengelo. I'm standing on a triple overpass over the A1.
There's the road that I'm on, a separate one for the trains and a third one for bikes and that bus line. Since the third one involves buses, there's a separation for the bikes to make it a more comfortable experience for the bike riders.
Simply brilliant.

One of the sights along the way, since it is farm country after all...

Now, you may recall that a few entries ago, like back before Christmas methinks, I had a brief chat about doing something really retarded and then having it end up on the Internet.
So I figure, fair is fair, and the rules should apply equally. See....I did something really stoopid. When we were down in Bonn, I managed to drive through a construction site, and got some black cr*p splattered on the A6. My heart sank when I saw it, and you may recall that I ended up doing a little damage to the paint job as a result of actually believing the guy at the dealership. Why, oh why I fell for that I'll never know.
Anyway, I've since picked up some rubbing compound, and I'm very nearly to the point of completely eradicating my stupidity.
I seem to recall when we were at that big Cathedral down in Köln seeing some folks down on bended knee, and it occured to me as I was pecking and snorting on my hands and knees that I surely must have done something to anger the "car gods" and this was my way of doing pennance.I've just about got that side back to something close to perfect again, but my knees gave out.
I'll take another stab at it tomorrow, after I get back from my little road trip.
Hm...guess you'll just have to find out about that later....

Monday, January 26, 2009

Back to Köln

Well, at least I've managed to figure out how to get html into my headers. Now I might go back and sort out that last Köln entry.

The weather looked to be acceptable on Saturday, so we figured we'd take a chance and head down to Köln for the day.

You've no doubt seen plenty of pics that I posted the last time we went, just before Christmas, so I'll try and limit it to a couple views that we had not been able to get up to this point, since the first place we headed for was the Cathedral.
Seems that if you have the stamina for it, there are something like 509 steps to the top of the building.

Gabe and I thought we'd make the sacrifice and sit that one out.

Even the "kids" were having some shakey legs when they came down, and all three of them are young reasonably fit individuals.

This is one of the views.
Of course, you just want to hope they don't ring the honkin' big bell, that you're welcome to see in action on Youtube
or just take a look here if you have dial-up..
This puppy is the 24 ton St. Peter's Glocke and if you take a peek at this site, you can see why the building took something like 632 years to complete.
Mind you, it looks like the job is never ending, judging by the scaffolding.

The happy travellers...

There were gobs more pictures of course, but we'll move on.... to the Chocolate Museum! Of course, there was absolutely no place to park a car, so by the time we actually got there, it was pretty much after dark.

This would be where they make some of the good stuff...


After dropping a few Euros at the Chocolate store on the way out, it was time to head home.
By that time in the evening the traffic had let up and the visibility was pretty good, so we pushed it a little. The kids had their first introduction to going just a tad quicker on the Autobahn. Even though I was mostly doing 180, I was still getting passed from time to time. (???)

It's ok, really.

Coming back into The Netherlands on the A35 and initially being restricted to 100 k.p.h. felt like we were nearly parked.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More lousy weather

Originally the plan was to take a little trip over to Münster in Germany today, so I dutifully took Gabe to work so we would have the car, but the weather has most definitely not been helpful.
I've managed to dodge the rain so far today to get in to town to pick up a couple things. Since parking is always the consideration in Delden on a Friday I still took new and shiny instead of the car. With it being Market day, it's especially bad on a Friday afternoon. We're going with the Atlantic salmon program for tonight (€22,00 worth!) so I had to head back out to the market in the afternoon. I don't mind a few rain drops if it means not trying to find a parking spot. It still amazes me the number of people who head in by car, but what do I know?
Happened to bump into our landlady at the market. It's not like we can be really chatty or anything, due to my limited Dutch. She did ask if Gabe was working, to which I replied, "Ja, ze werkt en ik winkele"*, and that was pretty much the extent of our conversation. Up to this point I can pretty much only ask for certain things and hope to get them. Even then, unless I see a particular product, there's a pretty good chance I won't know what the heck it's called and won't be able to get it.
That's why the market can be easy, since it's all out there. A number of the merchants do speak English, but I keep plodding along in my pidgin Dutch as best I can.



*she works and I shop.


The last of our three sleepy heads has finally arisen. (um...it's past three p.m.) That would partly be due to the fact that they took a trip to Amsterdam yesterday (Thursday) which turned out to be a long, wet, cold experience.
See, getting well into "geezerdom" I would never want to attempt such a thing in the dead of a Dutch winter, no matter how mild it might seem compared to the Great White North. At this point in my life, I have no problems being completely miserable without any external stimuli like the cold or the rain, so I sure as hell wouldn't be going.

Amsterdam was looking pretty grim...

Gave them my cell phone, with the instructions to call when they got to...
wait for it...
Deventer, since the timing is usually such that one can be at the station in Hengelo at about the same time as the train comes in.
There was only a minor glitch, in that the train they were on was being put out of service at Deventer. Since their Dutch is pretty much non-existent, they missed that little snippet, and found themselves sitting on a spur somewhere just outside of town. Just sitting there, wondering if something was going to happen.
Luckily, they do check the trains to see if anyone is still hanging about, so our hapless travellers were then taken back to the station and punted off in order to wait for another train. Pretty sure it was getting close to midnight by the time we all got in the door.
This would be why one of the party is not feeling quite up to snuff today, since hypothermia can be an insidious companion on a long journey, especially if your boots leak.

Ah, youth.

I'll stick to staying inside where it's warm and dry thanks.

Deventer

Wednesday we decided to take a little trip over to Deventer, which is a city on the border between Overijssel and Gelderland, sitting on the edge of the Ijssel river.
So sorry for all the hyperlinks that open in new windows, but it's the quickest way to explain a whack of geography. I really should take the time to read it myself.
Maybe later.
Initially I took a bit of a wrong turn and ended up crossing the main bridge out of town. That turned out to be ok, since we discovered this really great looking old saw mill just over the bridge.

I wouldn't have had any clue as to what kind of mill it was if it were not for having to find a place to turn around, and then I noticed the sign....
Deventer has the usual older architecture, that I never seem to get enough of...



along with some contrasting styles on the outskirts.
This is looking back from across the river.




In typical fashion, cars can't get in to the centre of the city, which makes it all the better for wandering around.
I did notice a beer truck that was providing a much needed delivery to one of the restaurants off to our right, but we regret that we have no photographic proof.

This building had a very familiar look to me, and I guessed that it was the De Waag that would have been the centre of commerce back in the days of the Hanseatic League

That's mostly because there was a very similar looking building in Nijmegen, and I thought maybe I was on to something. It's a museum now, and a travel information centre. Of course, the sure way to find that out would have been to simply go inside and look around, instead of waiting to get back home and look it up on the net.

Oh well.

Deventer is definitely a place to visit in warmer weather, and I can imagine that the square will be mobbed, so if there's any frolicking to be done, best to get it over with.

Between the wind, rain and general dampness it didn't take us long to decide to head back to the car, but we at least we did get there and saw a few of the sights.

Some more memorable than others.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Visitors, day two.

As previously mentioned, we decided to pick up our guests at Schiphol instead of having them take the train. The traffic actually wasn't too onerous and we only once came to a complete standstill.
Turns out Easy Jet was a tad early, which worked out perfectly as we were able to scoop them up just outside the terminal. There's really no provisions for this type of activity, and you just have to hope that there's a spot to stop is all. We were able to use a big bill board as a landmark. The whole process certainly gets heaps easier when both parties have cell phones.
As another example of the (to me anyway) amazing things one can do in these modern times; one of our guests had a paper due back in Edinbra on Tuesday....yet here she is working on it at our dining room table.....The paper in question belongs to my niece Anne-Marie on the right, who is getting her friend Kristin to take a fresh look....and possibly slash and burn.
The problem wasn't one of getting the job done as much as cutting out some bits, since the prof put an upper limit of 2500 words on the thing, and there were points to be made and arguments to be won.

Unfortunately, not all of the visitors were quite so perky by this time of the night, and Gabe and I certainly couldn't stay up too much longer to see how they made out. The final snippet on news was that it eventually got sent off around three a.m...


I'm still in utter amazement at the whole notion of submitting an essay in electronic format from another country and having someone then print out your hard copy and submit it on your behalf. I can still recall trudging through a snow storm to get an essay to the sixth floor of Togo Salmon Hall to get it to the prof's mailbox at the proper time....

Ah yes, the "good old days". !



The cycle of sleep hasn't quite righted itself just yet since, it's at this point past the noon mark and I'm just now starting to hear some activity upstairs. Quite possible that the beds are just a tad too comfy?

We did manage to get out a bit later yesterday afternoon and tool around town a little. Unfortunately it still does get dark pretty early and not all the bikes in the fleet have the proper functioning lights.

Lucas is looking a little more awake...
I decided to once again take us in the direction of the canal since well, something to do with the water, not sure what that is.


Here you can see how it's virtually impossible to get yourself lost, since there are maps and markers anywhere that a bike can go.

The possible plan for today will be to head for Deventer. Only time I've been there is when passing through by train, but I hear back from previous guests, that it's worth the visit.
Stay tuned.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A distinctive sound.

Lying in bed last night, still able to keep our eyes open and read a bit, when we heard what sounded like a shriek and then the most definite sound of two bikes colliding.
Happened at the corner up the street, which we can see from the bedroom.
Had to be a little surreptitious, since we didn't want to seem too much like Gladys Kravitz while peering out from between the curtains.
Quite dark in spite of the street lights, but we could make out at least one bike lying on it's side and three or four riders conferring over possible damages, human or otherwise.
Didn't hear the "wee-wah" of an oncoming ambulance, so my guess is there were no injuries and within a few minutes, everyone continued on their way.
Not sure what would have been the cause with the exception of an obvious failure to yield. I've noticed at that corner in particular the bike riders do tend to cut it close from time to time, so I'm sure that was just one of those times when what could have been a near miss turned into a crash.
We'll be picking up our second set of visitors today, who were originally going to come to Hengelo by train from the airport, but their arrival is at a time when we hope the traffic will be favourable for a pick-up.
I'm sure if they want to do any biking we'll need to go over the road rules in detail, especially in light of last night's little reminder.
There will be three bodies, so hopefully they can suffer being squished in the back of the A6.
Remember that I was grousing about how big it is?
Forget that.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A couple videos

I had taken four short videos on Friday as well, but didn't want to put them in with the previous post.

video


video

For this next one, you might want to turn down your volume, since it was rather windy and the mike in the camera picked up every little nuance.


video


and here are the windmills in North Holland.


video

Yup...exciting stuff.

The long Friday

Rather than do the sensible thing and wait until the appropriate time to head for the airport, I decided to make a little road trip out of the whole thing and take a drive over the Afsluitdijk.
Besides, I'm really not that keen to drive after dark any more all by my lonesome, so I wanted to actually be at the airport before dark.
Sucks to come to the realisation that as time marches on, my visual acuity has somewhat diminished.
Managed to hit the road around noon time, after tending to some minor Friday chores, and one of the first places that caught my interest was a little town called Sneek, in the province of Friesland. Sneek is definitely a place to visit in warmer weather, since the whole place is a maze of canals that thread through the town. Had to figure out a way of getting this pic, since parking a big-assed car like the A6 can be a challenge.
I've since discovered that there are plenty pictures of this place on the Internet.

So much for inventing that wheel.

Mine has a cool looking boat, so there.

The weather had started to take a bit of a turn for the worse by the time I got to the dike, so the visibility was pretty wretched, along with the wind chill. The temperature was something like 1.5°C, but it felt much colder when I stopped for a couple photo ops.

This one doesn't really do it justice, but I tried.



Those vehicles are on the four lane highway that goes along the length of the dyke, with the burm running along to the left keeping out the North Sea.
They had a neat little illustration:

Of course, there's always the environmental angle, and I'm not quite sure what they were demonstrating with this huge billboard, since it was too bloody cold to stand there and take it all in.

One of the notable things about being that far north and in perfectly flat country
(note previous comment about wind chill) is that there's not much to stop the wind from blowing, and windmills are everywhere.
This was on the North Holland side:

There was another one just behind me when I took this, and they have a sort of eerie swooshing sound they give off. Not sure I'd want to live too close to one.
It did remind me at times of driving in the prairies with some minor exceptions. The trees, the water everywhere and oh...there are considerably more people per square kilometer. Other than those minor considerations, exactly the same.

Really.

I did manage to get to Alkmaar, but by then it was coming up on 4:00 p.m. and the dreaded rush hour was beginning to set in. Decided to plug the airport in to the gps and have it take me away, even though Gabe's flight wasn't coming in until almost 9:00 p.m.
To give you an idea of the size of Schipol, I crossed the path of the farthest runway and still had something like six kilometers to go to get to the terminal. Gabe said that was the runway they came in on, and it took them another 15 minutes to taxi to the gate.
By the time we left again the traffic was quite manageable and we were at our door at 10:35 p.m., a full hour and a half earlier than if she had taken the train.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fabulously sunny.

It's rare I know, but the sun came out today in full force. And it got up to a balmy plus 6.
I do feel a tad sorry for my friends and family back in certain parts of Canada who are experiencing their annual deep freeze.

Really.
I feel your pain.
Bundle up.

Meanwhile however, after experiencing a minor mystery involving the dishwasher this morning, I decided to set off for the store on "new and shiney" since although I didn't really need too many things, it hit me like a bolt of lightening that last night I had quaffed my absolute last beer! Yikes!

How does this happen? I mean, back home there's always the possibility that another beer drinker has been helping him/herself to the stash but here, I got nothin'.

Thankfully that near tragedy was averted, and Dirk's still has six packs of Heineken on for €3.99. That's a hard price to beat, so Heineken it is, and Heineken it will be until something else goes on sale.

Beer, Yogurt, cheese slices and paper towels.....just in case there's a problem later on. (I sometimes wonder, do the cashiers ever take note of what goes past them and are thinking, "what the hell is this guy doing?")

After getting back home I wasn't quite willing to let all that sunshine go to waste so decided to...

wait for it...


go for a bike ride!


When I went to the store I bravely went "sans gants", but ended up having to shove one hand in a pocket since it's just a tad too cool for the bare hand program, so the gloves were coming too.

Decided to head for the canal. We've gone as far as that other bridge off in the distance, which is the A35.
...and the city limits for Hengelo.
And yes, that's ice. But since this canal is used by barges all the time, it didn't get a chance to freeze solid as some of the smaller canals had done last week.

I took the third picture from the bridge in the distance that the barge is just about to go under.

Oh, and you'll notice if you squint a certain way, that there's a car on the back of that barge, since (and you probably know this....sorry) entire families live on these things as they take freight from city to city. So they take along all their worldly possessions, including a means of getting about on dry land, whether it be bike or car.


There's new and shiny....


sitting at the side of the aptly named, Kanaldijk.

I hadn't ever gone this far before by bike since frankly, it was not the most pleasant experience. This time it was pretty nice. I mean, I'm still basically in pitiful condition and get winded at the slightest provocation, but when I got home after an hour or so at least my ass was not on fire.

That can make a substantial difference.

Trust me.

As a matter of fact, I feel so great that I just might go out again.

Well no, actually that's not going to happen. But I could...really.

Tomorrow will be pretty much an all car day, since I have to go to the airport to pick up Gabe.
Oh, I guess I skipped over that part. Gabe's been in Birmingham since Tuesday night, and I know, I said I'd never go to the airport again on a Friday afternoon, but I'm going to go early...and maybe take a detour by way of Alkmaar,just to check out that whole cheese market scenario.
Besides, she's my wife, and she asked me. It might have been in the wedding vows, "and thou shalt fetch thine wife from distant airports regardless of traffic problems".

I don't quite remember since I'm sure I blanked out for at least part of that ceremony.

If you saw the pictures....you'd completely understand.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The New Bike.

Went out today and bought the bike.
This will be the last bike I buy for the rest of my life....but I rode it home just now, and I wanna tell ya, it's pretty darned nice.
Mind you, I felt like I was riding on top of a load of hay or something, since I'm really not used to riding something that's the proper size, but I'll get used to it I'm sure.

I felt like Piet Pelle on my Gazelle!!....(you Dutch folks will get that one)

I did take a couple pics, and you're welcome to go to the website...

but here it is....

Of course by the time I was on my way out of the store it was getting dark, so got to try out the lights. The front one runs off a generator that inside the rear hub and the back light just takes batteries. So there's none of the usual resistance that you get from a wheel mounted generator.
After the bewilderment of shopping on Saturday and then going back again on Tuesday to Leenders Bikes, I did some looking online and realised that there were very few places that had a bike in my size. Turns out there was a place in Enschede and here in Delden.
So I printed out what I had and took it to the store here in Delden, and he had sold that model. It was an "Orange Limited Edition" and they can only be ordered once a year.... you can order as many as you want, but only once a year. Looked to me as though the "special edition" was only a bit of smoke and mirrors, since the only difference between that and the one I ended up with was a slight modification to the shape of the frame, and the whole "limited edition" part.
Pretty much looked like the same bike, so...I just said, "I'll take it..." and that was that. I also bought three years of theft insurance, which is only valid if I'm in possession of the keys, since all bikes here have keys to a built in lock on the back wheel. It's already been registered with the cops. And now I understand why I see people locking their bikes every single time they leave it for even a few minutes....'cause that's the only way you can get the key out of the lock.
Couldn't take it right then and there this morning, since they like to do their "dealer prep" unlike any experience you might have had at Walmart of Canadian Tire, where you're lucky if some pimply-faced kid has actually put the thing together right.
You might be wondering about what to any non-European might sound like a bit of a goofy name, but Oranje is the name of the House of the Queen of the Netherlands. That would be Queen Beatrix btw.

This is a pretty good link.

But you can also read about it here... or here .

You have to watch the video in that last one....it's a hoot.
If you're not too thrilled with all that reading, suffice to say, on April 7th 1999, crown prince Willem-Alexander (of the House of Orange) put the finishing touches on their 10 millionth bike.

As of 2005, Gazelle has produced over 12 million bikes.

I should also mention. There's something to be said for buying the bike here in Delden, since with the purchase of the bike, I get three "service visits", with the first one being free, then half price, then something like 40%. So taking it to Enschede would have been a pain, since I would have had to get it there by car somehow. Besides, at this dealership they give you a loaner to ride home!

*snort!*

Mind you, I have no friggin' idea what they're going to do, but I figure even though it's no way as important as your free oil changes with a new car, it can't hurt.

So now I think I'll go out to the garage and switch over my "fietstas" (bike bag) from old and skanky to new and shiny.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Shopping for new wheels.

The biggest problem is having to choose.


Haven't a clue how to do one of those panoramic shots, but this is only one fifth of the store. It's simply a sea of bikes.
If remotely interested, you can check out their website
here
.
We pretty much weeded out the one's that were heart-stoppingly expensive (like, €2500 and up) and I did try out a few that were more or less in our price range. These were all pretty pricey just the same, but only so that they'd only make your heart race a bit, and not stop altogether.

The justification, if there can be one, is that it is replacing a second motorised vehicle. I mean, we haven't the room to park a second vehicle anyway, and don't really need one, so it's not an overly noble justification, but it will do.

Seems the accepted practise is to tool around the store with whatever you'd like to try out.


Of course, one must be mindful not to go careening into the "sea of bikes" and start some sort of domino effect. We parked in the back, so I didn't think we could make it to the car and get out of there fast enough if I did something that foolish.

Besides, we might like to go back.

I did kind of like that one. It has it's share of carbon fibre and aluminium to keep the weight down. I don't actually recall what it weighed, but it was quite light for an every day bike.

The two major brands they have are Batavus and Gazelle. They also carried the much cheaper Raleighs, but they're made in China, and I could see one of them already starting to rust in the showroom.

How sad.

We did go outside and I tooled around on a couple used ones, and they were in the three to four hundred Euro range (so you can just imagine the price of the new one, and that's all I'll say) Got a bit of a tutorial on what the proper sized bike should be (60 cm) for me, since I've never had a clue. All I know is, the bike I'm presently riding is way too small, and becomes really uncomfortable for any trip much longer than just to the store and back.
I'll have to order the proper sized bike in the model that I'd like, and it should arrive a couple weeks after that point.
We still have a little more research to do, but we'll quite likely pull the trigger on this one in a week or so.

Friday, January 9, 2009

You know it's cold when....

...you're only second in line to get yer cheese.

You may recall on a market day a few weeks back, that I mentioned how the cheese stand was mobbed, and I wasn't about to stand there like a tree trunk for what looked like a solid 20 minutes to get a couple hunks of cheese.
Took my chances today and got lucky.
Mind you, not the easiest thing handling money, or cheese for that matter, when there's barely any feeling in your fingers.
Even the bike was making some whiny complaining noises. There was no way I was stopping to investigate, since the likely hood of my having run over an animal was slim, although it is conceivable that a small cat could have been stretched up over the derailleur.
At least that's what it sounded like.

We'll see what it's like when it's not minus six out.

Just thought I'd mention that.

It did seem somewhat colder when I made my first jaunt this morning for the regular shop, but I just figured it was all in my head, and I really didn't want to venture out again, but I had this idea that I wanted some salmon for dinner, and the market in Delden doesn't get fired up until after 1:00 p.m.

It's still a bit of a winter wonderland. Of course, all the Dutch folks are happy happy, since now they can go skating on the canals.

Silly buggers.


Seems it's the coldest winter in ten years.
Swell.
Nice of ole man Winter to wait until we decided to move to the Netherlands.




I do think it's rather neat the way the frost is hanging off the trees though, and it doesn't seem to want to go anywhere.
You'll notice that the sidewalks don't get touched, nor do the little side streets. I'm still waiting for a thaw dammit! Besides, I don't have a real snow shovel, just some crazy metal scraper thing with a long handle.
It's pitiful.
I'm guessing this guy ....


.....doesn't have a scraper for his windshield, and if you saw what they have in the stores when you ask for such a critter, you would completely get it. Pretty sure I could have used my credit card.



We've been avoiding that whole issue in the last few days by putting the car in the garage. Well worth the effort.

It would also seem they're not too concerned with "due diligence", or perhaps it's just not that easy to sue someone if you fall on their sidewalk. Not sure.

Now I should sum up the rest of the Holiday Report by adding that most of the rest of the time spent in Canada involved either resting or carousing. Usually resting as a result of carousing.

There were serious discussions concerning NFL pics....

food preparation...(somebody likes their crab legs)


Photo albums to be reviewed (somebody went to South Africa....she would be the one with the big grin)
and of course, games to be played..



It all went by way too fast.