Monday, December 31, 2012

Bad Blogger. Bad!

Just a picture of the house at night,  in case I totally lose my mind in the near future and forget what it looks like.   Snow and all.


None of it has melted either.  *sigh*

No matter,  we’re heading back to Wienerland this afternoon,  and the car will be here at 3:30 p.m. to fetch us.   Daughter Number One thought she would be taking us,  but I didn’t want to assume that she would need to be up for it.  Festivities can be draining on a person,  so we’ll go with the limo routine.

Had a bit of a trill yesterday though,  when the car showed up A DAY EARLY.   I had my confirmation number though,  and remembered quite distinctly asking to be picked up on MONDAY.   I know it kind of sounds like Sunday,  but that’s a bit of a stretch.  Possibly some issue with English as a second language?

Meh,  it happens.   They were quite apologetic,  and admitted that there was a “new guy” taking the orders.  Or something like that.

That whole getting picked up to go to the airport can be fraught with stress however,  as I can recall on one particular occasion a few years back, when the limo service DIDN’T show up at all,  as they had the wrong date.   I got a slightly panicky call at work,  and ended up taking Travelling Companion to the airport myself.  I had a very understanding boss.   Well,  put it this way,  he had a very clear understanding of my priorities.   Him and his precious school were well down on the list.  Besides,  if you just do your freakin’ job,  it’s surprising how understanding a boss can be. 

So we’ll be “celebrating” New Years somewhere over Greenland I suppose,  but I’d just as soon be sleeping when it comes right down to it.

Here’s wishing you a good one.


Happy New Year!


Thanks for sliding on by.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bring out your Stupid.

This is along the lines of “Bring out your Dead”,  but you’d have to be somewhat familiar with Monty Python to appreciate the analogy.

Well here,  I’ll put in a bit of a reference just for clarity.  It’s only 55 seconds,  so even if you don’t like Monty Python,  I’m sure you can at least tolerate a bit of levity.



I sure hope I at least make it to the “Home” before one of my relations figures I’m a candidate for the wagon, but let’s not get sidetracked. 


Actually,  what I’m referring to is,  the number of Stupid People who seem to emerge as the result of a snow storm.  And it doesn’t just happen here either.  I’ve seem my share of it in Austria as well,  where snow tires are de rigueur.

According to the OPP (the Ontario Provincial Police, kind of like State Troopers,  but without the snappy limericks) Ontario drivers receive a failing grade when it comes to their driving abilities.   Of course they’re referring to snow storms,  but I tend to think it applies in all conditions,  but that’s just my timid little opinion. 

Here’s a quote from something called “”.   I’m leery about putting in a link to the article,  since these things tend to go away after a time,  and I didn’t particularly like the website.  It had a bit of a country bumpkin feel to it.  They don’t get your traffic.  Sorry.


Sergeant Dave Rektor says the OPP is giving Ontario drivers a failing grade when it comes to driving for the conditions.

“Rektor”?  Couldn’t we just call him Officer Smith?   I suppose if the guy is packin’ heat,  one would be less than inclined to make Butt jokes.  I mean,  if he were a sewer worker?  Whoa.


Anyhoodle,  in something like 40 years of driving, in all kinds of conditions,  I’ve never found myself hung up in the snow for more than a very short period of time.  Seriously.  I’ll admit I did come into an entry way a little too quickly one time and damage a lower wishbone (‘lower control arm’ for the rest of you) on a curb in wintry conditions,  and that was purely my fault,  but I was still able to drive the car away.  It was limping,  but could be driven.  I felt pretty stupid.

Slamming into guard rails or other vehicles?  Nope.  And I’ve driven in some nasty shit,  which is not to say I’d go out and do it on purpose,  but there were times when it was a requirement.   Youth and exuberance, the requirement of the job and all that.


May I offer the following…




See, they finally got around to ploughing the side streets a good day after the storm had come through,  so it stands to reason that a plough would go by from time to time.  I’m not even sure if the above example qualifies.  He MUST have adequate weight on the back,  but what you’re seeing there is,  he’s stuck.  He’s not even ploughing anything!  I should have grabbed the little camera and taken a video,  but silly me,  I reached for the Nikon.  So we get stills.



Oh,  he sat there spinning his wheels for a good ten minutes.  There started to be “traffic”.  We’re in the burbs here,  there are virtually NO cars. 



I’ve seen this before (well,  not quite this bad) where a driver will get slightly hung up,  and then gun it,  thinking that the more they spin,  the quicker they’ll emerge.  Sorry,  it doesn’t work that way.  Grade ten physics kids.  Has to do with a stationary object having a higher co-efficient of friction than a moving one?  There’s also something to do with potential vrs kinetic energy as well, but let’s not get fancy.

And I barely passed grade ten physics.

It’s not an easy thing to learn,  and I’ve had to get behind the wheels of stuck vehicles in order to drive them out.  I think this guy would not have appreciated me going out and offering to drive the thing out of the tiny mole hill that he was trapped in,  since he was a “professional” after all.  *rolling my eyes here*.


The “lady drivers” (sorry if I upset you, but I’m just saying)  are quite often the ones who get flustered,  and then of course expect that you’ll just get behind the car and push.  I don’t push.  No really.  Never.

If you’re stuck that badly that I can’t drive the car out,  then you need a tow truck,  not me.

I don’t know you,  and I’m not about to hurt myself because you should have stayed home.  There have been a couple times when I’ve simply walked away.

I mean,  I suppose there’s the fear that I could drive off in their Hyundai Piece-o-crap,  but really,  I’m only willing to drive it about thirty feet.  Since I rarely show up at these situations with a handy bag to put over my head,  the chances of stealing your car are pretty slim.


If my offer is turned down, I’ve never actually come out and said, “Well, it sucks to be you”, since that would just be mean. Instead I usually offer something like,  “OK then have a fine day”,  and go back to whatever I was doing.   Is that wrong?  Should I care?  I mean, I realise it’s impossible to “fix” stupid,  but I don’t mind offering some assistance.  It’s the decent thing to do. 

It’s either that or bonk them on the head.


Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Stay clear of those snow drifts.


Thanks for lookin’.



Thursday, December 27, 2012

It was our turn.

We’ve managed to dodge the weather bullet so far this winter, but that bit of good luck came to an end last night. 

I just looked at the weather in Vienna.  I probably shouldn’t do that.  It’s sunny and plus nine.  A few weeks back it was warmer here in Canada than there,  so watching the weather in far away places serves no real purpose except to give me some sort of “weather wander lust”. 


Daughter Number One and her cousin just stopped by on their way to do some cross country skiing.  It is possible to see the positive in the face of a bit of snow.  Back in the dark ages,  when Travelling Companion and I took the kids out into the snow for such an endeavour,  I always found that I’d just get cold and miserable,  which was mostly due to the fact that we had so little money that having decent equipment was out of the question.  It’s nice to see the kids were able to get over it, but I’m afraid those past experiences have clouded my view of “winter sports”. 

I can live with it.

The only winter sport activity that I truly enjoyed,  was the odd time that I had the use of a snow machine,  but the chances of buying his and hers snow machines is pretty damned slim.  Plus,  there’s all that noise. 

Sooner go snowshoeing.  But then I’m sure I’d get cold.  See?  There’s no answer.  I’ll just blissfully pass the time in my nice heated shop. 


This morning the air was filled with the sound of snow throwers around the neighbourhood.



Unfortunately, our old Ariens that has faithfully done its duty over the years,  has now been put out to pasture.   When I took it in for service and such a couple years back,  the Snow thrower Repair Dude cautioned me that I was spending a little more on the old thing than what it was worth,  and that there were going to be “issues”  that would eventually be too expensive to sort out.  He fixed her up as best he could to last one more season,  and that was that.

So we’re back to the shovel program.  


In the ebb and flow of winter severity that we seem to have around here,  there will no doubt be a nice used machine available out there in the next year or so.  It always happens.  We’ll have a mild winter,  someone needs some cash and they start eyeing the contents of their shed or garage.  That’s how I ended up with the old Ariens.   Best two hundred bucks I ever spent.


One of my little errands this morning,  right after taking back the chairs I had rented for Christmas Eve,  was to nip over to what,  for me anyway,  is a relatively new place that specializes in all things coffee.  It just so happened that I took a photo when I went there a couple days before Christmas.  


The view this morning was slightly different.  No cutting between the cars this time.



See,  this seems more like the Canada that everyone imagines.   No polar bears wandering down the streets of Burlington though.  You’d have to go to Churchill Manitoba for that experience. 


And now for your one and only winter snow shovelling tip:  If the snow is sticking like mad to the face of the shovel,  just clean off the snow and spray on some WD-40.   Works like a charm, and so much less frustrating.


I’m going to say this again, and in view of the conditions,  I really mean it. 

Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping in.



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Those quiet moments.

Usually they’re on Christmas Eve.  You know,  sitting there in a bit of a stupor,  waiting for St. Nick. 

Or,  maybe you’re just waiting for that last attempt at going to the bathroom before packing it in.  Whatever works for you.


We had 19 for dinner,  so I tried sitting quietly after all was said and done,  but I knew if I didn’t get myself into bed in fairly short order,  it would only be that much more onerous.  Travelling Companion and I started watching “A Christmas Story”,  and I only made it as far as the appearance of Bob ,er, no…Jacob Marley.   (I always mix that one up)  Now,  if Bob Marley were to show up in chains?  That would be well, different.  I don’t think I could have stayed awake though.


We were supposed to have 20 for dinner,  but it seems there was some miscommunication between someone and her spouse,  and he didn’t make it.  I say “miscommunication” but really,  I have no clue.  They’re pretty much “newlyweds”,  so it’ll likely take them a few years to sort that one out.   Remember the wedding we went to in Ottawa about a year and a half ago?  

When to visit whom can be a bit of a challenge right around Christmas time,  which is exactly why it’s oh so quiet here right now.   Even though Daughter Number One was over this morning with her Hubby for that whole present opening thing,  they then had to head off to his parent’s place for the second huge meal in as many days.   Daughter Number Two and her husband weren’t far behind them,  as they have an in-law visit as well.  

I’m happy to report that I get to stay home.   Yay.


Our schedule of obligations is getting a bit crammed for the rest of the week.  It happens every time.  So who knows if I’ll be inclined to put finger to keyboard much at all?  It’s my way of pre-emptively copping out as a result of laziness, just so you know.


At one point this morning we thought we might break out the poker chips,  playing cards and cigars.  


I realise the dog looks like a drunken sailor,  but he hasn’t touched a drop.  I swear.


The cat was raised by the dog,  so we know why he’s confused.  Somehow I think the dog is a bit fuzzy on what his roll actually is as well.   I’m not sure if the “fuzzy” part counts as a pun or not.


There’s no smoking in the house though,  so it would never work.


Um,  just in case you didn’t get the reference,  hello?



This is the cat’s second Christmas. 

Look closely. 



No major issues,  just as long as the breakable ornaments are somewhere north of cat height. OK,  there was reportedly one minor issue.  I was sleeping.  I only heard about it the following morning.  There was one tiny little bit of breakage.  Lesson learned.

He’s shown no interest in climbing the tree,  and we try not to mention it if he’s around.  Best not give him any ideas.  Maybe just as well that it’s an artificial tree?  Also just as well not to have little sticky sappy kitty paws getting all over things.  I never thought I’d appreciate having an artificial tree,  but my back is complaining enough from hefting the lawnmower,  so I’m just as content not to be down on my hands and knees, trying to give water to a dying spruce.  I sure don’t miss that part.


Hope your day has been just peachy.


Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Cheer.

Just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  If you prefer “Happy Holidays”,  then that’s fine too.   I’ll be happy when I figure out how we’re going to get twenty people in here.   We have the chairs.  Just have to figure out where to put them.  Too early in the day to fuss over that just yet.

No update on little jobs.   I’m not too sure how I could make that in the least interesting. 


Here’s a picture that might offer a suggestion. 


I think it’s just draining slower than what I’m used to.  There was nothing much to speak of in there.   Never hurts to check your drains during the Festive Season I always say.


Most of the activity has been around sorting, stashing and scrubbing.

That’s all I got.


Have a good one.


Thanks for taking the time.



Friday, December 21, 2012

We ain’t blowed up yet.

I have been furtively glancing at the sky for perhaps a huge meteor shower or maybe a mushroom cloud,  but so far it’s just overcast. 

I did manage to pop a blood vessel in my right eye yesterday somehow quite mysteriously,  but I think that was the result of doing one of those “old man” things where I get mixed up between breathing and swallowing?  Sucks when you almost have to hack up a lung after inhaling some gob.  I think that’s what happened. 

There will be no photographic evidence.  It’s a bit nasty looking,  trust me.

Speaking of taking pictures of shit for no particular reason however,  I offer you the following:



This is not where we normally make coffee.  See,  I’m not overly keen on the smell of vinegar,  and this particular coffee maker was in need of some remediation.  I think I used that term the other day in reference to the rest of the place,  so pardon my repetitiveness.  I’ll break out the thesaurus. 

For the life of me I couldn’t seem to find white vinegar in Vienna,  and finally found some in Slovenia.  Here you can buy gallons of it.  It works wonders when it comes to loosening up scale.  Our water here is a tad hard.  I just can’t handle the smell,  especially if heated.  If you’re going to make pickles?  I won’t be around.


And the following,  ladies and gentlemen, is a little sample of some of the things we do to pass the time while at home. 


It’s not the neighbour’s house I’m looking at,  but rather the windows. 

It’s perfectly understandable that the “kids” would be reluctant to attempt any sort of clean up when it comes to these modern marvels.  

No really,  they are wonderful.  It’s just that,  after installing the curtain/blind arrangement (several years ago),  it’s impossible to get the screens out without following an exact set of steps.  

And if you’re going to do that,  you may as well go whole hog and vacuum out all the other crud that gets in there as a result of the tiny creatures that so love to hang out.

I saw evidence of at least one Mud Dauber,  along with a bunch of other fuzzy stuff that I’d need an etymologist to identify. 





Fun stuff.


Speaking of steps.  One of the steps is to close off the kitchen to keep out the curious cat.  He’s cute and all,  but he has issues with getting out of the way,  and is just underfoot the whole time.  


He finally gave up and took up his spot with the dog. 


We think he thinks he’s just another dog,  since he was “raised” by that one. 




There was a question the other day about the flower beds.  The answer is…yes.  

See,  once upon a time,  we had a service that did the lawn and beds.   We’ve had lawn care since something like 2002,  when we hiked off to Puerto Rico for a year.   I kept the service when we came home,  since it was pretty cool to have someone else cut the grass.   Then in 2008,  when we moved to Europe,  we already had someone reliable.

The only thing was,  in the last year or so,  the price kept going up,  and the service got worse,  so we punted them out,  and a nephew was hired to do the cutting.  My impression is that he didn’t quite keep up with the beds?   Plus,  it’s been too freakin’ warm lately,  and everything kept growing.  Gah!

So,  it’ll depend on how brutal the weather is over the next several days,  but I’ll most likely be out there digging.   Oh I just can’t wait.    (Um, you can insert the sarcastic font there?)


I have a couple more windows to knock off before heading off to the pub.   Should be fun.   (Not the window part.)


Have a fine weekend if I fail to check in.  Well, assuming that we’re all here in one piece after today.   Fingers crossed.  


I refuse to add an additional “label” with something like “the end of the world”,  although this isn’t the first time the subject has come up.  We’ll just go with “retarded people”.   Hope that helps.



Thanks for stopping in.


Sticks.  Ice.  You know.




Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So this is global warming?

I’m not sure I approve.


Yes,  that is a lawnmower.  Yes,  it’s December 19th.   Yes,  this is Canada.  Any questions?

See,  I don’t own a lawnmower, so I had to go and fetch my sister-in-law’s machine.   She wasn’t home at the time,  so if she’s reading this.  Thanks.  I knocked, the dog took a message.

I don’t think we’ve ever had to cut the grass in December.  I also think it’s been a long,  long time since they’ve had snow on Vancouver Island,  but there was some of that going on as well. 

Hey,  maybe the world IS coming to an end on Friday?   My plan is to be at the pub,  and then the world can end just before I have to pay….

It’s as good a plan as any.

It’s best to take all aspects of the apocalypse into consideration.  My preference would be to have at least one beer in me at the time,  even though I’m not much of a drinker.  A feller needs a plan.


I do find though that I’m leaning towards some other,  somewhat radical points of view.  Here are a couple for your consideration:





And then there’s always the Twinkie angle.  Another perfectly reasonable explanation.



See?  I knew they should have figured out how to keep the Twinkie. There are some things you shouldn’t mess with.


Not a very exciting day,  as you may have gathered.   The lawn was cut in record time,  since the only part that needed attention was the front.  It gets the most sun I suppose.



Generally speaking,  the lawn, flower beds and well,  most of the property is in need of some remediation.   I’ll wait until at least Friday.  We’ll see what happens. 

I figured having the lawn looking a bit tidier for the end of the world was the least I could do.   It’s kind of like when your Mom would remind you to put on clean underwear.  You know,  in case you were in a CAR ACCIDENT?   Is it going to matter? Why bother?  Aren’t you going to crap your pants anyway?  Some sort of quirk of human nature I suppose.    Best to look tidy for your demise!

I put on clean undies every day,  so I got that part covered.


We did the visit to the dentist this afternoon.   Personally,  I’d just as soon go in the morning and get it over with,  although they were running things on time and Travelling Companion and I didn’t have to wait.   This practise has three different torture chambers on the go at once.  You think I’m exaggerating?  

My teeth are a little sensitive to cold and well,  pain.   So when the dental hygienist used her little ultra sound torture device,  I immediately understood why they give you the dark glasses to cover your eyes.   It’s because seeing a grown man cry like that wouldn’t be fitting.  I just kept telling myself that it was only pain, and it would be over soon.   Just hard not to flinch at those unexpected little jolts though.  It’s presently after seven p.m.,  and my mouth is still a bit sore.

I’ll choose to spare you the details. 

But hey!  No cavities.   Well, at least no new ones.  There are cavities,  it’s just that they were filled years ago.  Before you know it,  it’ll be time to “re-fill”  them suckers.  Thankfully the dentist is of the “if it works don’t fix it”  mentality.   He’s too young to be hitting me up for contributions to his retirement just yet.  That was his Dad’s ploy.  I’m not really serious about that,  it was just a coincidence I’m sure.


I might stumble across something to blab about over the next day or two.  Hey, maybe some sort of “post apocalyptical”  missive?   It could happen!


Thanks for stopping in.   And as always,  keep those sticks on the ice.



Monday, December 17, 2012

Back on the home planet.


And that’s a reference to the “Frankenfurter”  comment from last week that I totally did not get until about three in the morning on Friday.  

There was no need to set the alarm of course,  even though we needed to up by four.  So when I was lying there an hour earlier,  the coin finally dropped and I almost said aloud, “ooooohhh”.   I think T.C. was sleeping.  Blurting that out loud wouldn’t have been wise.

The knowledge is “in there”  kids,  it’s just that it’s sometimes behind a “firewall”.  That’s my excuse.


I’m not going to relay too much about the trip,  it was relatively uneventful.   Had a job getting the two huge suitcases into the trunk of the cab,  even though it was a Merc.  We managed. 

We’d prefer to travel considerably lighter,  but there had been many,  many shopping excursions over the previous year or so,  and there was no way any of it was getting left behind.





We did have a little time to kill at Schiphol,  which can be a bit dangerous.  No mention of any purchases in keeping with the Christmas “need to know”.   You don’t need to know.



There were a couple of these visits.   I waited outside.  I always wait outside.  I can go “leash free” thankfully.



And here’s just a couple contrasts between Schiphol and Toronto.





Cool huh?


Then you get to Toronto.




Wow.  The creativity in the design details is just underwhelming. 



Really?  I don’t see anyone working.  


Oh,  and that moving sidewalk?   It wasn’t working the last time we went through Toronto, hence the photo.  That would have been in August of 2011.   Guess they’re waiting on a part.


But remember,  the motto for Toronto International is,  “We’re not happy,  until you’re not happy”.   Credit to my sister-in-law Ljuba for that one.  Thanks.  It’s the first thing that pops into my head after I’ve come off the Jet way. 

Oh,  but in fairness,  the Jet way was actually heated.  That was a nice touch.  I was totally surprised.



It took us just about an hour to get through customs.  And I don’t mean the part where you have to “declare”  or whatever,  I’m just talking about the line to get to that point.   Of the 12 “ticket booths”  that were supposedly looking after those who had Toronto as their final destination, (poor unfortunate bastards) only six were open.  It’s just a mystery.   I mean, doesn’t someone do scheduling?  Or do customs agents just randomly show up for work??   The thing is,  once you’re through,  you tend to forget just how crappy the service is,  but I still just might contact my MP.  

I’m going to leave that topic alone for the moment,  since I can feel my blood pressure starting to mount.


We did have a bit of a job getting the luggage into the back of the Jetta,  but we made it happen.  It was just a matter of which bag went in first.  (Well,  there might have been some grunting involved.)


I did NOT offer to drive and chose to chill out in the back.  Usually we rent a car and I have to stay alert enough to get us home.  I didn’t mind it in the back seat one bit.




I think I might have exaggerated the mileage on that car.  It only has 334,000+ kms on the odometer.  I’ve driven it around town a couple times over the last day or so ,  and I have to say,  it still drives very nicely in spite of its age.  Helps to have a good mechanic too I suppose.


There had been some talk of lasagne as the meal of choice upon our arrival,  but the blog is a mighty tool of influence it seems,  and we had our traditional pizza instead. 

Made our choices ‘on the line’.




I think we lasted until about 8:30 p.m. or so,  and that’s been right around the time that we’ve been going to bed every night up to this point.  It usually takes us the better part of the week to finally get adjusted to the six hour time difference. 


What day is it?   Monday?   Right.  More “stuff” to do.  Our dentist appointment is already set up for Wednesday,  but I got a note from “Finance Dude”  to give him a call this morning.  We need to have “speaks” with him. 


Hope you have a fine Monday.


Thanks for stopping in.



Thursday, December 13, 2012

The last few details.

Along with a last look or two.




Just ordinary buildings around the neighbourhood by the way.


It’s been a few days now since I ordered our car for Friday (tomorrow) morning,  so that’s all sorted out.  The bugger of it is,  the car will be here at 4:45 a.m.  I suppose in consideration of some of the whacky times we wake up without ever once setting an alarm clock,  getting out of bed at four won’t be that big a deal.  I’ll set the alarm though,  just the same.

Our flight to Amsterdam is for something like 7:00 (it’s some weird time like six fifty eight and nine tenths,  why do they do that?) so that was the reason for the early departure.

Besides the bike riding and reasonable proximity to a lot of places within driving distance, I have to admit that being able to conveniently fly with KLM is one of the things that we do miss by not living in the Netherlands.  I suppose there’s bound to be a few things one has to give up to live in Vienna,  but we never suspected that having a decent airline would be one of them.  Air Austria is pretty much the only game in town when it comes to direct flights from here to Toronto,  and when it comes right down to it,  we’d sooner haul our asses out of bed at some Gawd awful hour to get ourselves up to Schiphol.  (Um, that would be Amsterdam)

We’ve tried different tactics.   Earlier on like a couple dopes, we flew “economy” in Air Austria.  I can’t say I recommend it.  I can handle being a little cramped,  but at a certain point in time during the flight,  it also starts to get kind of hot and stuffy in the cabin.  Almost like there’s a lack of oxygen. 

So then we tried First Class with Austrian.  Well, the food and the ability to stretch out was fabulous.  The air quality still sucked.   And here’s the other thing,  you have the “privilege” of getting on the plane first.  Well see,  I know where my seat is,  and since it’s First Class,  there’s not going to be any issue with finding room in the overhead compartment.   So, why do I need to get on first?  Just to show off?   The other thing too is,  EVERYBODY else who then has to board,  needs to march right past you,  as you’re trying to get situated in your seat and not feel quite so guilty about having ponied up all that extra cash to be there.

“We paid extra,  really!”

Speaking for myself, I don’t particularly want to look at these sad sacks trudging on by as I sip my champagne cocktail.   OK,  truth be told I don’t like champagne very much at all,  but you get the idea.

Once in a while there’s a little show that makes it mildly interesting,  like on one occasion when this lady thought there would be nothing wrong with taking the first seat she came to after getting on board.  She looked and acted like she just got off a flight from Minsk,  so the flight attendants had quite the job trying to explain to her that,  her seat was WAY back there.  Something like 24F.  Not 4F.   Great sport, as in fun to watch.  They didn’t get mean,  but they were getting close. I tried not to giggle.

So then that brings us to KLM.  Well,  for the overseas flight to Toronto,  they have this thing called a 747.   Remember those?   There’s still a bunch of them out there.   Awesome aircraft.   Even in economy,  it’s never been that bad.  I mean,  I *almost* enjoyed it.  

First class on the 747 though,  is a whole different ball game.  When you’re checking in,  if there are any spots available,  you can choose to sit upstairs.   Even if you don’t,  you’re still at the front of the aircraft and you have no idea what’s going on back there with the plebes in steerage.  The only area where they slightly fall down is in the food department.  It’s fine, really, but the Austrians have the Dutch beat when it comes to putting on the feed bag in First Class.  Not a huge consolation though, when you’re hot and stuffy.


The question then is,  are we going First Class this time around?   Well no.  We just didn’t want to pony up the dough.  But here’s the thing.  If you have enough points,  then you can get one of the seats in economy that are right up behind the bulkhead,  where there’s very little traffic and lots of room.  This is the 747 don’t forget. With the exception of having the crazy big assed power seats,  it’s almost like being in First Class. 

Well, *almost* 



B747 400w


It’s a little hard to make out, (click on it)  but on this diagram it’s referred to as “Economy Comfort”. 

OK, whatever.  


Turns out though,  when I went to choose our seats and print out our boarding passes this morning,  I couldn’t quite get what I wanted,  but we still do have a couple seats with “an extra 10 cm of leg room”.   Oooh,  aah.

Hey,  that works for me.  Not only that,  but these seats are just forward of the exit,  so leaning back isn’t a big deal.

I think you have to click that one too.

seating plan

Anyhoodle,  that was pretty much all that was available.   There was some brief discussion with the Finance Minister* about paying the extra to get up into first class,  but it turns out those seats were sold out!  Well, poop.   I even phoned some Dude in Amsterdam to make sure.  Turns out that he sees the same screen that I do,  and yes Bob,  First Class is sold out.


See,  there are a couple ways to get yourself into First Class.  They both involve paying gobs of money,  so don’t get too excited.   The first way,  is to simply bite the bullet when ordering the tickets in the first place.  You’ll pay whatever the market will bear.   Well,  I can buy a hundred shares of AT&T for that much,  and be earning 5%.  Actually,  it’s closer to 5.3%,  but let’s not get fussy.

The other way,  if you want to take your chances is,  wait until the day before the flight and see if you can get an “upgrade”.  Sometimes airlines will offer an upgrade for a reduced price.  Sometimes.  There needs to be seats available.

I guess it’s a popular flight,  ‘cause I struck out.   Oh well.

Seems we’re not the only ones who are willing to get themselves to Amsterdam to fly KLM.   I’d wager that there are open First Class seats on the Air Austria flight.   There were the last time we went.  Funny ‘bout that.


There may be a very brief “blogcation” over the next few days,  as I endeavour to get settled in at home.   I’m looking forward to pizza tomorrow night.  It’s become a tradition.

I’m also looking forward to going to the pub next Friday,  unless of course the world comes to an end.  But what the hell,  at least I’ll have a beer in my hand.



Thanks for stopping by.


*That would be Travelling Companion.  Who did you think?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Just today’s date. I’m pretty sure I won’t see that one ever again.  Thought I’d mention it. 

Happy to be of service.  

Not a whole heckuva lot going on here today.  The suitcases have everything in them that they should have.  I don’t dare take any pictures,  as there may very well be some things destined for ‘under the tree’.  Never know who is reading.


Our only slight concern is that,  Daughter Number One has offered to pick us up from the airport, (the sweetheart) and she’ll be driving her Jetta.  This will be a true test to see what we can cram into the thing.  Travelling Companion reminded me this morning that she was able to fit a table in the back once upon a time with the seats folded down.  We’ll see.

It’s a 2000 that was purchased in November of ‘99,  so it’s getting on in years,  but still seems to be a pretty strong runner.  Never hurts that it’s a diesel.  The trick is to keep the body from dropping off long before the engine starts to wear out.  Even well before it was broken in (the break in period is around 100,000 km) it would get 55 m.p.g.,  and now it will regularly go over 1000 km on a tank of fuel.  You can keep your silly hybrids.

Normally I rent a car at home for one of these visits,  but this time around,  since she and her main squeeze both travel to Toronto by train,  she’s offered us the use of the car.  I’m pretty parsimonious,  so that works for me.  Besides,  unless it’s a C class Merc,  I’m rarely happy with the rental cars that one ends up with in Toronto.  

For roughly the same money,  I can get such a great little car in Europe.  We’ve had Minis,  BMWs.  Even the A class Mercedes is considered a “Compact” car.


We had one of those in July of 09,  when we came to Vienna for a look-see.  Fabulous little car.

Of course,  it was a standard,  so that meant that Muggins here was driving.  No biggie.

And even though it’s considered a compact, it’s still such a better car than something like the Dodge Sebring that we had on one of the occasions when we went home.  When are they gonna stop making crap? 

I can just hear you saying,  “But wait,  I rented a crappy car once in Europe!”   Well yes, if you want to go cheaper,  then we’re talking about the “sub-compact” arrangement.  That would be like a Fiat Punto.  No thanks.   Not only does “Punto” sound too much like “Pinto”,  but I rode in one once. What a noisy little bugger that was.   And I don’t mean “exhaust note” loud,  I could handle that.  What I mean is,  on the highway it was just LOUD, like engine and road noise loud.  You could barely carry on a conversation.  So yes,  you can get crap here too,  but not if you go up just one level. 


Thus endeth my little car rental diatribe.


It’s actually a beautiful sunny (but cold) day here in Wienerland.   And you know,  with both the elevator AND the internet working,  it almost seems a shame to leave. 

*Paahh*!  Are you kidding??


Two more sleeps!   Then we’re outta here!


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping in.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When you know it’s time to go.

Apparently there are a couple signs. 

The first one of course is,  when your internet and phone no longer work.  I mean,  we pitch a fit in Canada if our cable is out for a couple hours,  but here it seems a few days is the norm.  

I had yet another chat with a highly skilled monkey at the bit big monkey house over at UPC,  and there seems to be some sort of “technische Störungen”,  which I guess would be loosely translated as “technical difficulties”.

No shit.

It don’t f**kin’ work!  Geez.

What I wanted to know was,  when would it be fixed?   Couldn’t tell.  No way to predict what those monkeys are up to.  Have you been to the zoo lately?   They tend to just throw shit around.  And by “shit”,  I actually do mean feces.

Do you think maybe I’m a little annoyed?  How could you tell?


It wasn’t the fault of the monkey on the phone,  so I didn’t take it out on him.   There’s no point.  It’s like smacking a puppy on the nose when he’s chewing on your slippers.  He doesn’t know any better, and you’re just being mean to some dumb animal.

In our case,  I’m about 99% sure our internet is working just peachy keen at the house back in Canada,  so I’ll just look forward to that.  The irony is of course,  I’m probably going to be too flippin’ busy to be mucking around on the net.  I’m sure I’ll have “stuff” to do.

I’ve already cautioned Travelling Companion that she may have to print out our boarding passes at work.  It’s not a big deal.


Now, here is the other sign that it’s time to leave.  It’s a bit obscure,  I’ll admit.


The other day I thought I’d replenish our meagre supply of peanut butter,  and I was a little be taken aback at the new price.   Gah!   I could have sworn it was in the €2,00 range not that long ago.




I don’t convert prices that I see that often,  but €3,49 is damned near five bucks!   For Skippy?  Did the peanut crop in Georgia fail?  Should we contact Jimmy Carter?


These are not big jars either!  If you hold your hand up and make a big “C” with your thumb and forefinger?  About that size.   Jeepers.

Oh,  and by the way,  this is the only kind you can find just about anywhere.   There are some “specialty” stores around that bring in peanut butter in other sizes (but not that much bigger) but it’s a good idea to check the date?   When it has expired in 2009?  I don’t think so.  It gets kind of….. chewy.  Don’t ask.




Breaking News!

I now have internet.  I just checked.  (glutton for punishment) 

However,  I refuse to take back any of my “Monkey” comments.   It’s been out since Sunday night.   We’re now talking Tuesday afternoon. 


I can check my Amazon order (my kind of Christmas shopping),  check on yesterday’s comments.   Life is good. 

Let’s not get carried away.


Speaking of the blog and such.  I know I’ve been a real jerk when it comes to mentioning followers.  I love you all.  Thank-you.  Does a feller good.  Bla bla bla.   Most recent follower was “Sandy”.  Thanks.  Just a shout out.


Now about that elevator thing?  We both pretty much hold our breath anytime we step inside,  but then again,  we always did.  I’m pretty sure it’s the cheapest piece of crap they could find that would still meet safety requirements.   Well,  I can only hope it meets safety requirements.  Surely there must be an upside to being a a part of the EU?

I see there have been others who were far worse off in the elevator department.  Thirteen floors and moving?   Holy cr*p!   I’m not sure I could have managed that.   That’s about the worst one I’ve heard.

Oh,  and yes,  I DO have a tree down in the storage locker.   I don’t think they want it though.  We put the thing up last year when we stayed here,  and I’m not sure I’d wish that abomination on anyone.  I don’t want to leave Austria with a guilty conscience. 

I might have a mean streak,  but there’s a limit.


Three more sleeps.





Thanks for looking.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The last of the maple syrup.

And there’s not much of a chance that I’ll be buying any more here in Wienerland.  Not this year anyway. I wasn’t on a mission to try and use it up or anything,  but we did have blueberry pancakes for breakfast on Sunday morning.  It’s difficult to try and gauge these things,  so that last pancake was really sweet.  Not leaving any in the bottle!

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we went anywhere.  

See,  the elevator still doesn’t work.   I went out on Saturday,  and I have little difficulty ascending the seven flights after I’ve come back. OK fine,  there might be a little heavy breathing,  but I can do it.

That doesn’t really work with Travelling Companion.  If she goes out and wanders around,  there’s no hope she’s going to make it back up those stairs.  I won’t elaborate, but she needs to get those knees fixed.  Not sure when that’s going to happen.

The thing too is,  we had this idea that we’d go and check out the Christmas market in front of City Hall.  

So,  as some sort of surrogate offering,  I did take a couple pictures the other day of one of the tiny ones down the road a piece.



There’s only something like five huts.  I guess this one is where you’re supposed to get your “Christmas meat”?  Whatever.



I have a couple more pictures that I took last December from in front of City Hall:



As much as it’s good blog fodder to go to some of these things, the burning question is,  would I want to wade through that kind of a crowd?  It just doesn’t thrill me anymore.  Actually, I don’t think it ever did.

The allure of the Christmas Cr*p isn’t quite strong enough either I’m afraid.


I might break down and buy some fresh Lebkuchen,  but it’s available in the grocery stores too.  I guess I’m a bit of a Grinch.  Or just too pragmatic.  Maybe “geizig” is the word I’m looking for (cheap, mean, parsimonious…)



Looks cool though.  If looking at fresh baked goods makes certain neurons in your brain fire,  then I’m happy for you.  My problem is, I can’t eat just ONE.   It’s sort of like me and cigarettes.  I quit in June of 1987.  I know I can’t have only ONE.  Wouldn’t work,  but that’s another story.   Mind you,  the analogy isn’t quite accurate,  I’m not going to wake up in the morning craving another Lebkuchen.   I always said that if I was ever drafted into the Armed Services (hasn’t happened in Canada for a long,  long time,  so chances are slim,  and now I’m too old)  and therefore there was the risk of getting blown up or getting my ass shot off,   I’d start smoking again.   It’s a stinkin’ filthy dirty habit,  but then again, so is going to war.  What would I have to lose?  Plus,  if I made it out alive, I could always quit again.  Not like that’s never happened. 


Just for a bit of icing on the cake,  I’ve discovered this morning that our phone and internet is somewhat crippled as well.   I’ve been farting around with the router,  having reset it a couple times,  and my signal between this computer and the router is “Excellent”,  but that doesn’t mean there’s anything happening down at the monkey house.  Someone tripped over an extension cord,  or who knows,  maybe some copper was stolen?  That wouldn’t surprise me.  It just had to last FOUR MORE DAYS.  *grumble*  That’s all I ask!

I can sort of get the first page of my webmail to load,  but then that’s it.   I might break down and call somebody,  but sitting on hold isn’t that much fun either.


Meanwhile,  I see the Monkey boy from the elevator company is back.  From the sounds of it,  he brought a friend.



Of course,  I could have cheated and taken these Friday  night,  but then of course,  he didn’t have the instruction manual with him…



Is this bad?   Should I cut them some slack?   In my opinion,  no.

See,  I’m a firm believer in being able to rise to the level of ones own competence.   Not incompetence either,  even though that seems to be the order of the day around here.  

I do realise that,  in my former life as a Caretaker,  one of my favourite tools was the telephone,  but that was because I wasn’t willing to take on something that was beyond my skill level.  It’s a very simple set of conditions, really.  Why get yourself in trouble? 

So here I sit in the cafe,  admiring the Christmas lights I gave them a couple weeks back,  whiling away my time.



Hm,  they don’t really show up all that well.  I’m not talking about the green lights either,  but the purple/mauve things.  There’s more.  I gave them a whole box full.  Something like three strings,  and there were no preset conditions as to where they were to string them.  Take them home for all I care.  We don’t need them,  as they’re wired for 220.   Do you think maybe there’s something on the horizon that I’m not letting on?   Maybe in the New Year.  Sorry to string you along like that.  I’m even sorrier for that pun.

Even though the wifi is free,  the coffee isn’t exactly,  and I’m usually too cheap or lazy to come down here to socialize.   Now if only our pub back home had free wifi?   That would be dangerous….


Four more sleeps.


Thanks for stopping in.



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Yet another “adventure”.

Not one that we had planned either.

I blame myself.  

Just yesterday morning,  as I was headed out and had decided to ride the elevator down (had some kitchen waste and recycling,  it gets tricky negotiating the stairs with no hands free), I calmly thought to myself how there will no doubt be times when we’ll miss Vienna,  but “I’m sure as hell not gonna miss this elevator”.   I think I might have put an additional bad word in there, but you can use your imagination.    I didn’t say it out loud either, it was my inside voice.  


Anyway,  here’s the routine.   At the end of each day,  around “quitting time”, I expect a phone call from Travelling Companion.   The hope is that it comes some time around six.  Maybe seven.  On certain days of the month it might be later,  but then I’ve usually had some forewarning.  The “second work day” is usually a day when there may be some working late involved.   For anyone not familiar with the routine of a “month end”,  the second work day is the day after the sales have all come in,  and when it’s time to try and figure out what kind of gibberish all the locations are reporting.    I won’t get into the financial workings of the Company that Cannot be Named,  but let’s just say that T.C. deals with seven different currencies on ten different ledgers.  Or maybe it’s eleven?  Seems to me there was another one created not so long ago,  but it doesn’t really matter. 

So you get that?


The timing is such that (well, the traffic is such that) as long as I have everything ready to go,  I can make dinner in the time that it takes her to drive home.  This is the only up side to the commute.  Trust me.  

However,  if there’s a second phone call?    That’s rarely a good thing.  It’s taken a while,  but she knows that calling me if a street is blocked and she can’t get home isn’t going to help.   I can’t tell what’s going on (much) from our living room window,  and I’m certainly not going to run down and get behind the wheel.   I’m cooking dinner here.  And where am I supposed to take the car exactly?   I’m not making this stuff up either.   She’s subsequently learned not to panic, and knows that she’ll make it home, eventually.

I have to also say that,  even though I’ve never been wearing a heart monitor when that second call comes in,  I’m reasonably certain that my heart rate increases ever so slightly.

I’m really getting off on those italics today,  aren’t I?   I’ll try not to overdo it.


So you’ve probably guessed it by now, if not by the end of the first paragraph.  T.C. got stuck in the elevator!  Yup. Somewhere between the fifth and sixth floors.   There’s a “call”  button in there,  and by the time I made it out our door and down to where I figured she was (two floors down,  sort of) she had already been talking to someone at “Cheaply made crappy elevator central”.   Well, that’s what I would call it,  I’m sure they have some other name. 

You have to understand too that, the elevator (OK, “lift” if you prefer)  has been working quite well for quite a while now.  Just the same,  each and every time we get in the elevator together, we make sure we give each other a kiss,  the thinking being that it could very well be our last.  I avoided the use of italics there.

So I just stuck around in the stairwell for moral support.   By the way,  this building was built in 1908,  and has a spiral staircase,  into which an elevator was installed when they built the rooftop apartments,  one of which we are presently occupying. 

The folks at the “Cheaply made crappy elevator central”  said they’d have someone there in 20 minutes.   There was a story not long after we moved in from one of the tenants directly below us,  that they had been stuck in the elevator for over an hour not long after it was first installed,  so I figured 20 minutes didn’t sound too bad.   The only thing is, when you’re stuck in a elevator by yourself,  trying not to panic,  thinking this could be it, 20 minutes can start to become a long time.  Thankfully,  Elevator Dude showed up after about 10. 


T.C. in fact DID NOT PANIC,  but she did later admit that she was getting close.   Her biggest concern was that the damned thing was going to plummet down the shaft.  I kept reassuring her that there were certain safeguards in place that would not allow that to happen.   There have been people killed in elevators that have plummeted,  but that was a long time ago.  We won’t bring up the Twin Towers,  that’s a different ball of wax.


The last thing on my mind when I zipped out the door was taking my camera,  but I went down a few minutes later to snap off a couple.  Couldn’t resist.



The red handle there is significant.  It looked to me as though it was hooked up to some sort of clutch mechanism (kind of like the hand brakes on a bicycle)  and by pulling down on it,  and there was a whole bunch of resistance,  Elevator Dude and I were able to push the car up a bit so that it was closer to being on the same level as the landing.  Just the same, Travelling Companion had to step up about a foot to come out.

No pictures of her emerging.  Sorry.  That wouldn’t have been prudent.  

“Just a minute, honey!”   Um, no.

Nor did I entertain any notions of a re-enactment.  Are you kidding?



He had a hex key that he used in the upper left hand corner of the door frame to get it open.   Hey,  I don’t have these tools right here,  but never hurts to know these little things.


The stupid thing kept throwing a certain code,  which he wasn’t able to figure out.  Isn’t it great that freakin’ everything is digital??



My best guess here is that he’s doing some sort of “Elevator Mind Meld”. 


I’m open to other suggestions.


I think I see his problem though.   The “brains”  is over here on the right.  Silly bugger.


I have to stop seeing the humour in everything.  Seriously.  Could have been a long night. 

The lesson to be learned?   Be sure and go and visit the loo BEFORE leaving the office.  And yes,  that’s exactly what T.C. had done. 

Another *phew*

I’ve been riding that elevator before when I’ve suddenly had to go *really bad*,  so I’m sure I’d be in serious trouble if it just decided to quit.  Watch the coffee intake.



*All grammar mistakes are intentional.


Let’s hope that sucker is working today.  I’m hoping this too will be a “once in a lifetime.”  It won’t hurt my feelings one bit.


Enjoy your day.


Thanks for stopping by.



Friday, December 7, 2012

Once in a lifetime, part deux.



I’ve put that photo up there again,  just to point out the BK sign over on the left.  This was where we “ate” during our stop over on the Wednesday night in Munich.  I’m using quotation marks in reference to the concept of eating.   I mean, it was 10 o’clock at night,  we hadn’t had supper,  and we needed something.  Well, at least I did.

Let me just put it this way,  it’s been maybe 25 years since the last time that I bellied up to the bar at a Burger King,  and it will quite possibly be at least another 25 before I do that again.   I was hungry, so I ate my Whopper,  and we both “ate” for around €10,  but still,  what a tasteless lump of sh*t that was.  Gah!

Sucks when you forget.


Anyway,  on with the show,  and this is yet another example of how it sucks when you forget.


The last time I took a “night train”  was in the latter part of June of 1979 when I had to get back to Amsterdam from Freiburg. (something to do with a cheaper flight)  It was a train that left at 11:30 at night and got into the central station in Amsterdam the next morning at something like 7:00.    Don’t quote me,  that was a long time ago.   I couldn’t afford any kind of a berth of course,  so I just had a regular seat.   I suppose I must have slumped over and slept at some point,  but I mean,  I was all of 22.   I don’t really recall that much of that trip,  so I guess it must have been fine.  I slept,  right?

Right along with that,  I also recall having a very comfortable sleep in some farmer’s field just outside of Freiburg once upon a time.   It’s amazing where you can sleep when you’re full of youth and exuberance,  or quite possibly inebriated.  But let’s not get too far off course here.

So I didn’t quite realise just what we were in for.


There was a time,  many many years ago,  when I had the experience of working in a fish and chips store.  And no,  I haven’t lost my mind here,  we’re still talking about our train trip.

What I discovered was,  there was this potato peeler,  that was basically a big drum that spun around,  you threw in the potatoes, they’d get jostled about in there for a time,  and off came their peels!  There was some water involved,  but that’s not important.  It was awesome.


Well, that’s more or less what happened with Travelling Companion and her pyjama bottoms!   I mean, there was no “drum” involved,  but man did we get jostled!  I have no idea how anyone is supposed to sleep on these “night trains”.   Honest to Pete!   Was it that bumpy the last time?  Even if I did remember,  we tend to react differently to situations as the years go by, (when things start to hurt,  of course) so maybe remembering wouldn’t have helped.  I did remember to take along some acetaminophen.   I ain’t that dumb.


In my case,  I made sure I was wearing and took along my “good” underwear with the still operable elastic waist bands,  so I didn’t have any issues.  And no,  Bob doesn’t wear PJs.    I ended up trying to wedge the blanket around either side of my ass,  so as to try and dampen some of the movement,  but that was only of the slightest help.  


Here,  Travelling Companion is attempting to brush her teeth in the tiny sink,  in the tiny corner of our tiny berth.



There was no actual room to stand up while attempting this function,  but sitting didn’t quite work either.



Fun times!


You have also understand that,  we just laugh about this stuff.   There’s no point in being miserable,  although I might have been getting a little testy the next day after not having much sleep at all,  but there was always our hotel room where we could recuperate.   Besides, once T.C.’s knees have had enough,  that’s it,  we’re done.   So I just have to last longer than her knees.  Not a challenge.

If there had perhaps been some decent pillows,  maybe that would have helped,  but let’s not get carried away.  I think I’ve said my piece.


Pining for the wide open spaces?


OK,  I know I “said my piece”,  but here’s another one.   I figured since we’d have this time to evaporate on the train,  and in case I indeed couldn’t sleep,  that I’d take a book along.  Good plan, right?

I have to shamefully admit that I’m not an avid reader, part of the reason for which is that I tend to nod off.

Well, so much for the book reading plan.  Can you figure out how I would possibly be able to see a book with my head directly in the way of the reading light?



I’m not much of a one for reading on my stomach,  so I couldn’t quite understand the function of that lamp at all.  If it had only been just a little farther up…

Such a clever design.




Forgot to mention.  That was our tiny breakfast in our tiny….OK,  never mind.

Oh,  and in that cabin,  there was a tiny table.   It was sort of affixed to the wall,  and then you took it down and set it up in the morning.  (It had two tiny legs)

On the way back,  we had a slightly different cabin (same tiny size)  which did NOT have a table. 

In that arrangement,  the tiny sink was closer to the doorway.  It’s behind that bulbous looking contraption there on the left,  behind which there’s a mirror and such.


That was actually a better layout, as I was able to put our luggage over in the far corner,  out of the way.   There was a two holed flip down thingy behind us where we could put our coffees.   It kinda had sharp edges,  so you didn’t really want to lean back.


In that video from yesterday, it does indeed look like it’s a smooth trip.   Well,  that’s only on the long straightaways.   We were probably doing about 150 in that video,  maybe a bit more.   Hard to tell.

It’s when you get into the rail yards for the stops that it get wobbly.  Plus of course,  the train joins up and then separates on at least a couple occasions.   There was one point in the night when I had to stagger back to the loo,  when I was quite surprised to see a locomotive hooked up directly behind where I took that video later in the morning.   I think that was the part that later unhooked and went on to Hamburg.  

So imagine this,  you’re nicely drifting off to sleep (for the umpteenth time) as the train is slowing down and pulling into one of the stops, and you think,  “Oh man, this is wonderful…”.   Everything is nice and quiet, you’ve taken enough acetaminophen to deaden the hip pain,  then the train stops,  which means it has to lurch of course!   But that’s OK!  It’s OK.  You’re still drifting…  and then *wham*  they hook up an engine and a string of cars.   *moan*

Ya.  Like that.

All  f….g night.


So I think you’ve figured out the answer to the burning question concerning the “Once in a lifetime”.  No more night trains for us,  thanks.


Bonus points if you counted how many times I said “tiny”,  not that I know or care.





It’s a glorious sunny day here in Wienerland, even though it’s still a little freakin’ cold.  It’s OK, really.  It’s winter.  I just have to suck it up.   A week today we’ll be on a plane bound for Toronto.   Tomorrow we “pack”.    We’re talking serious sh*t here kids,  we haven’t been home in a year and a half.   There be items to take.

I’ll have the scales handy.


Enjoy your weekend if I don’t check in.


Thanks for lookin’.