Thursday, June 28, 2018

Say Good-bye.

Well,   the time had come. 

Out with this:

And in with this:

Travelling Companion and I had been thinking of parting company with the Mercedes for a while now,  and decided to pull the trigger a few days ago.

The thing is,  it's an 11 (2011),  not that that should be an issue,  but there have been a couple "issues",  shall we say?   And now that we had been problem free for a time,  we thought we'd 'get',  while the gettin'  was good.   So to speak.

I mean,  I've bought both new and used vehicles over the years,  and I'm pretty sure I've never dropped as much dough on a used vehicle (after the fact in repairs,  that is) as we did with the Merc.
I mean,  tires or a battery is one thing,   but the air conditioning compressor crapped out at some point a couple years ago,  thereby leaking fluid onto the serpentine belt,  meaning they both had to be replaced,  etc.

Then,  and this was before we bought the truck,  the damned thing wouldn't start one day,  and it turns out it had to go to the Stealership to have the "ignition module"  replaced.   Of course,  you may have noticed that folks who have Mercedes as their favourite vehicle,  always make sure to have two or three sitting in the driveway,  just so they'll have a backup when one of them craps out.
Had to rent a car for that one,  as they needed the car for several days,  and far be it from them to have a courtesy vehicle. 
I was not pleased.

The "new" car is a '15,  so it's not *that*  new,  but first of all,  it's a Toyota,  and secondly,  being somewhat newer,  it has a few gadgets that we did not have on the Mercedes,  such as a back-up camera and usb ports and such.  Kind of like the truck.

Now I'll admit,  the Merc was a great little car on the handling end of things,  but I suspect we won't be slaloming through any mountain roads any time soon,  so having a little softer ride with the Camry works for me.  T.C. hasn't quite come over to my way of thinking,  but I suspect she'll be OK with it in due time.

Oh and,the "4-matic" thing was pretty awesome in snow,  as long as you also had winter tires I suspect,  but I also think it was the reason our fuel economy never was all that great?

The Camry takes regular gas,  whereas the Merc took "high test".   I'd go as far as the mid-grade,  but wasn't willing to pay more.

So I mean,  if you were to lease a brand new one and take it back at the end of three years?  Well,  maybe that would work.  But we don't lease vehicles anymore.  Not financially sound,  unless you're running a business and it works to your advantage tax wise.   The other thing that we won't be doing anymore?  Getting another Mercedes.

I'm out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, June 25, 2018

I'm still here. Honest.

Or maybe it should be "honestly"?   Good grammar is a touchy subject with me most days.

Anyhoo,   sorry for the absence.   They say it makes the heart grow fonder.   Or something.
I think it tends to lose you readers,  to be honest.   But I'm pretty sure there are a few die hards out there.

So,  what's been going on?   Well,  the usual actually.   Some sailing,  both Tuesday nights as well as a couple weekend outings.  I did the "Sail Past"  this year,  which is an annual tradition at the Yacht Club involving the "Blessing of the Fleet",  and then literally a sail past the Commodore.    A little hokey I realise,  but it was a nice day on the water (even though the wind died later)  and for a measly twenty bucks,  the club served what I considered to be an awesome meal of steak,  baked potato and salad.

But,  I'm going to skip ahead.   I mean,  I take pictures of stuff,  but then never get around to doing too much with the pics.   There are a few out there who might have seen the odd thing on the Book of Face,   but really?   Posting to the blog would be a bit boring I think.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

BUT,   this weekend was the annual "Guy's Weekend"  in Grand Bend,   and on one of our forays into town, I was sitting in the truck waiting for my buddy to come back from the coffee shop,  and I see this Dude across the road with a rather large hat on,  and I'm thinking,  "Why does that guy look familiar?"

Well,  it turns out it was a fellow blogger,  none other than George,  from Our Awesome Travels!

Of course,  by the time I remembered the extra camera I had brought along and fetched it from the back seat,  he and Suzie were just heading out.

But I do have proof!

Well,  it's only "proof"  to the person who owns that car,  and who had just come out of "Grandpa Jimmy's Scottish Bakery".  Right?   But maybe George will stop by and confirm my claim.

So,  when my buddy came out of the coffee shop,  I said something like,  "Hey,  I just saw a guy whose blog I follow!"   and he asked if I had run across the road to say "hi",   but I had to admit that,  first of all,  I didn't realise until too late just whom I was looking at and secondly,  I likely would have been run over,  as the traffic in Grand Bend at that point in time was a wee bit on the steady side.

Anyway,  I thought at least *that*  was blog worthy.

Other than that,  here we are this morning outside the Colonial Restaurant,  where our annual tradition also calls for taking our host out to breakfast before we head on back home.

And no,  the guy with his back to the camera isn't camera shy,  I just took a photo without him noticing.     Here he is expertly extricating himself from one of the sand traps at Bayview Golf Club.

Wait,  he's got his back to the camera again.   Here we go...

But then I realised,  I have another pic of the bunch of us,  in the "selfie"  style.

And.....that's all I got.

I'm out.

I'll be back again at some point.   Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Home again, and there's gonna be laundry.

Actually,  not all that much,  but I thought that was a catchy title.

T.C. and I took a little jaunt down to Kingston for a few days to visit with her sis and hubby.  And no,  I mean Kingston, Ontario.  Not Jamaica.
Been to Jamaica,  might go back.  Not sure.

Anyhoo,  the weather wasn't really stellar,  as it rained all the way there,  and rained intermittently the whole time we were there.   Looks like the weather here cleared up,  and it also looks like I just might have to fuel up the mower and start cutting grass in very short order.

Kingston is a neat little town,  and sis-in-law and hubby bought a place that allows for walking to almost every possible amenity.
Of course,  the downside is,  they have to park on the street.  So that kinda sucks.  You can see here where I've parked the truck behind their vehicle:

It's the grey one with the green shutters.  Apparently,  Sir John A. Macdonald once lived there way back when he was more of a drunk than a politician.  Although,  he may very well have been both at the same time.   If you do happen to go to that article,  about half way down,  there's a picture of the house before it was divided into two residences.   So sis-in-law and hubby live in one half.  Kind of like a condo really,   except really old.

The place is 70 feet from front to back,  with a skinny little back yard to boot.  Oh,  and there just happens to be a ground hog hanging out back there as well.

Not that having a ground hog in your back yard is anything to be too proud of or anything.  I'm sure he's mostly harmless,  although I do recall that (back on the farm)  we'd go out about twice a year and dispatch as many groundhogs as we could find and fill in their holes,  so the livestock would not be stepping in them.   I suggested sis-in-law might get herself a 22,  but discharging a firearm in the city is kinda frowned on.  It's Canada and all.  We do have guns, but there are a few little rules, and we certainly don't hunt with an AR-15.

So where was I?

Right.  Well,  there was a lot of eating and drinking,  so I think I'll be giving my liver a rest this week.  I mean,  it's not like I got blindingly drunk or anything,  but we didn't exactly have "afternoon tea" either.

Took a little jaunt over to Gananoque for lunch at one of the many touristy spots.  I don't think I've been in Gananoque in over forty years,  as the last time I was there was with my parents,  and we took one of the 1000 Island Boat Tours.

Oh,  and for the unsure,  it's pronounced "Ganan-AWK-way".   I think that works.

Of course,  as cute and cool as this place was,  the food was somewhat average,  and I find that having pretty average food at outstanding spots seems to be a little something that I have discovered on more than one occasion.  
It was the The Gananoque Inn and Spa,  by the way.  Just saw how pricey the rooms are.  
Won't be staying there.  Especially as we have a great spot to stay just down the road in Kingston.  Where the food is great,  by the way.

Our intrepid hosts.  Both quite talented in the kitchen.  I may need to fast for a few days.  Just saying.

Hubby is a retired architect,  but I think he could have done extremely well as a chef.  Sis-in-law is an artist,  and just about every piece of art we have in our house is something she has done.  Ranging from portraits to earlier work when she was doing illustrations for Hallmark Cards and such.

Well, getting close to time for tucky-tuck,  so I think I'll pack it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sorry there, little birds.

And this happens each and every spring.  I wage a battle with the birds that are immediately attracted to the front of the house,  where nest building is their thing.

And I get it.  There are some really great spots up there for nest building.  And I *almost* wouldn't mind too much if it weren't for all the crap that ends up everywhere.  Bad enough to get birdshit on the car,  it's even more annoying when it's just out of reach on the front of the house.

To quote one of my favourite childhood cartoon heros,  "That's all I can stands,  'cause I can't stands no more."

Here,  in case you're still wondering:


OK,  where was I?

Right.   So,  in spite of the really crappy weather,  the birds are coming back north,  and they're looking for spot to hang out.

We've had a Morning Dove "nest" on the pillar of the front porch.   We've had Robins do the same.  Now,  I have "nest" in quotation marks,  as it seems that Morning Doves....wait.  I just realised,  they're "Mourning Doves",  not Morning Doves.   Even though that ridiculous cooing sound they make is enough to drive you around the bend in the morning,  that's not a thing.

Their "nest" consisted of a few strands of dead grass,  amongst which they laid two eggs,  which then proceeded to roll off,  breaking on the cement steps below,  making a mess.  I gave them the bum's rush.

The robins however,  managed to get a nest built and had eggs in it before I was able to properly get up there and knock their creation down,  so we watched those little guys hatch and fly away.  Pretty sure I wrote about that once upon a time.
I'm not that cold hearted that I'd knock down a nest that had eggs in it. 
No, really.

So then we have the sparrows.

Holy Moly.

Like I said,  if they'd just not shit all over the place,  I might let them build a nest up under the eves,  but NO.
I mean,  I like birds. 

So,  I had to do some hackin' and hewin'.

The results:

And over on the other side:

Note the snow still hanging around,  even though it's been raining pretty steady for the last, oh I don't know,  20 hours or so?   It's above freezing,  but just refuses to leave.

This isn't just one board though,  it's a multi piece contraption that fits in the opening in such a way as to prevent birds from both sides of the purlin.   A  Purlin , by the way, is basically a roofing member that runs perpendicular to the rafters.  In the case of The Ponderosa here,  the builder fancied things up by having them come out past the front of the building.

There,  you learned something.

And,  as is the norm with this kind of thing,  it never really occurred to me to take a "before" picture. 


Travelling Companion couldn't quite get her head around the idea that I did this from inside the house,  even though I explained the use of a sliding T-Bevel to get the angle,  along with only needing three of the dimensions to work with.   Kind of like when she tries to explain to me some sort of special sewing thing or other,  and I try not to let it show that my eyes are starting to glaze over.
Look interested....nod your head,  nod your head.

Like that.

Oh and,  "Sliding T-bevel"?   Just look it up.

Thanks for stopping by.

For those of you for whom this applies:  Bundle up.

For anyone else where it's warm?

Well,  I'm *happy* for you.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

I just shake my head.

What I wanted to say was,  "Are ya stoopid??",  but I didn't want that in the title.

See,  "we" have been talking about this ice storm for a few days now.  Even if you don't have cable (many don't including both Daughters Numbers One and Two)   and cannot watch "The Weather Network" (which,  by the way,  not unlike CNN,  you only need to watch for about 15 minutes,  and then you've got all the information that they'll ever be giving for a time)  you're still going to know *somehow* that there's a storm coming and...wait for it....that you should stay off the roads.

But no....

I give you,  Exhibit A:

Because,  isn't there like,  Twitter,  and Facebook and I don't know what else?  It's not that hard to know what's going on with the weather. 
Better yet,  just look outside.
I cropped out the "gentleman" standing off to the side there.  Personally,  I think I'd be too embarrassed to have my photo taken standing beside the car I had just upended.  But that's just me I guess.
How do you even get going fast enough to put it over on its side anyway??

Oh and,  there's WAY more snow/ice/whatever on the ground now.  Like,  the snow plow just went by this morning.

That photo was from yesterday,  and the storm has continued on into today (Sunday).

T.C. had originally planned to take her sister to church in Hamilton. 

Not happening.

The Merc is pretty good in snow and ice, (it's that "all wheel drive" thing) but the trick would be getting TO or FROM the vehicle,  as all surfaces are a sheet of ice.

I haven't even considered stepping out the back door.  Probably sequester myself downstairs,  make a fire and bang away at the guitar.  Or honk away at the Saxomophone.
(Yes,  I own an alto Saxophone,  shut up.)

I *used* to play,  (like,  I even knew all the key signatures and shit)  and as a casual aside a few years back,  I mentioned that I wouldn't mind picking it up again.  Lo and behold,  T.C. bought me a sax for Christmas!   Holy Crap!   Now I have to really *do* something!
It didn't take me long to discover that,  even though I can still "play" the thing,  not having picked up a wind instrument in some 30 years means really not being able to play for anything more than a few minutes. 
It's hard work!
The muscle memory still seems to be there,  so it's not like I'm honkin' and squeekin'  like someone in Grade Seven Music or anything,  but still....

OK,  so now I'm just starting to do some sort of "stream of consciousness"  thing.

I'll go now.

Thanks for stopping by.   No more outside pics.  Not doing anyone any good at all.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Not much of an "outside" day.

The other day I was trying to decide if I should put away my winter coat,  but was quite comfortable wearing it when I walked down to the store.  You'd think I'd be a little too warm with a winter coat on this time of year,  but nope.
Anyway,  we're getting a bit of a blow,  with an additional forecast of scattered crap,  followed by darkness.
The temperature has been slowly dropping as the day progresses,  and by tonight it'll be about a nine and a half out of ten on the "crappiness" scale. 
At least it's not snow,  although we just got a call from my sister-in-law in Guelph that they are indeed getting snow.  And yes,  it's mid April.
She was due to come down today and stay the night,  but had not only had her winter tires switched out,  but was somewhat reluctant to drive in what will be less than ideal conditions.
Can't blame her.   I ain't a goin' out.
Travelling Companion has a new iron that she ordered waiting for her at some place across town,  but that too can wait.

Meanwhile,  I've been dithering about out in my "shop",  and still haven't made any progress on the towel rack thingy I have in mind,  even though I've bought the material and made up a design.  There's damned little on the net,  so I've had to conjure up something out of my pea brain.
It's painful,  trust me.

So,  rather that do anything remotely useful,  I manage to come up with something "more important" to fill in while I procrastinate.

Procrastination is my speciality.

A while back (a couple years maybe?)  I came up with an idea to have a temporary work surface available that would fold up against the wall.  This allows for handy against the wall storage in order to get the car in whenever necessary.
I soon realised however, that there was a bunch of space behind the thing that was going to waste,  and,  as the bracket that holds the "table" to the wall was just a wee bit too narrow,  there was no way to put anything back there.

So it had to be changed.

So that pic is after I've rummaged around and found the proper sized hardwood that was wide enough and long enough to do the trick.  Going out to actually buy something would of course be heaps easier,  but I *knew* I had something or other out in the piles of stuff I have stored in the shed.  Like really,  there's enough.   That's all I'll admit to.

Of course,  even though I know this will pay off,  each and every time I get about half way through one of these great ideas that I have,  I start to wish I hadn't ever thought of it,  but it all worked out.
It doesn't look much different than before.  Just farther out from the wall when stored upright.

So now there's a good three inches back there,  and you'll notice that I already have something stashed back there, which is a "turntable"  that I use for spraying/finishing.   It's always been stuck over in a corner somewhere,  and will go much better on the wall.   I haven't figured out just yet what else I'll stash back there,  but I'll work on it.  Most likely things like a few paint brushes? 

We'll see.

The only other thing I had to do was make a new "hook"  to hold the thing up in its upright position. Right up at the top there.   No big deal.

I guess that's all I got.  Just felt like throwing a few words out there.  Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.
Now back to trying to decide on a weed eater purchase.  There's a lot of junk out there apparently,  but I've had enough of the less than stellar performance of the cordless "Black & Decker"  abomination that I made the mistake of buying when we first came back from Europe.
As was pointed out to me by one of my brothers-in-law,  "You do realise that Black and Decker have been making POOH for a number of years now?"   True dat.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sometimes I'm just mystified.

At what people throw out.

Now,  don't get me wrong,  I don't go around on "toss out your cr*p day"  and start loading up the truck,  but once in a while,  I just can't help myself.

Like the time someone turfed out a Filter Queen, or most of one anyway,  not too far up the street from here and I took the time to stop and hoist it into the pick-up truck I had at the time.
Hence the true meaning of the term "pick-up truck" as far as I'm concerned.
Would I recommend a Filter Queen?
No.   And that's why I was happy to see one from which I could scavenge some parts.

I mean,  it's a pretty good vacuum cleaner until the filter gets clogged,  and then it's pretty average.  We still have one that we bought some thirty years ago,  but the problem is,  they haven't changed the design of their retarded base in like,  forever. 

AND,  when I enquired about replacing the busted up one that we had,  the dealer wanted FIFTY BUCKS!
I don't think so.

Anyway,  I scavenged the base off the one that was dead at the side of the road,  and tossed out the rest.

But I digress.

What I'm talking about is,  the thing that I happened to notice today,  which ended up in the trunk of the car.

I took the car,  as getting the truck turned around in the back parking lot/alleyway/whatever behind where Daughter Number Two and Hubby lives is a bit of a challenge.  I only needed a bag of tools and the gate that I had made for them that I stopped by to install.

Here,  DNT took a picture.

Because,  like a bonehead,  I forgot to take a camera.

This gate is due to the addition of a second dog,  who seems to have no issues with wandering into the kitchen and getting totally underfoot.

Not being the most speedy when it comes to these things,  this has been on my little mental list of things to do for some time now.   They've had the dog for like,  a couple years?   I forget exactly,  but that's my suspicion.

The thing too is,  their first dog knows enough that,  when told to "get out!"  of the kitchen,  he does just that.   Dog number two though?  Well?  He's deaf. 
Deaf as a post.

No really.  The whole time I was there,  he had no idea what was going on behind him.  I didn't bring any food apparently.
Oh ya.  He can smell alright.  Just not hear.  It's a long story.  Previous owners were retards.  He got some sort of ear trouble and they were too dim to get it sorted out.  He lost his hearing.  Poor little guy.  So,  he got adopted and is having a pretty good life chez Daughter Number Two and Hubby.

Anyhoo,  after I had that little job done,  I couldn't help but notice that there were a few cast off items cluttering up the parking area,  and after a very quick look,  I hoisted this thing into the car.

Um,  the fan.   Not the bench or any of those other things.  But you know that.

Oh and,  notice how there's that protective bit of Masonite (or whatever the hell it is) between the bottom of the fan and the bench?  Um, ya.  We'll be a little careful not to do a number on the bench for a wee while methinks.

See,  I've never ever bought one of these fans.  In all the years that I was with my previous oh so illustrious employer,  there would always be one or two that ended up in the garbage at the end of the year.   The kind that are on a stand were notorious for getting stepped on or knocked over,  and something or other would invariably get kinda wonky,  but unless it's been run over by a car,  99% of the time,  with a little TLC,  it can be made to work again.   There are two moving parts!  That's it.  The rotary part,  and the oscillating part.  As long as the rotary part turns,  you got a fan!

This one had obviously not been run over or anything,  so I figured I'd give it a go.

Not sure what was going through the head of the previous owner (if anything)  but they turfed it out.  Annoyingly,  they also cut off the cord.  (rolling my eyes here) 

Kind of like that Russian proverb.

“There’s a famous Russian proverb about this type of behavior. One day, a poor villager happens upon a magic talking fish that is ready to grant him a single wish. Overjoyed, the villager weighs his options: “Maybe a castle? Or even better—a thousand bars of gold? Why not a ship to sail the world?” As the villager is about to make his decision, the fish interrupts him to say that there is one important caveat: whatever the villager gets, his neighbor will receive two of the same. Without skipping a beat, the villager says, “In that case, please poke one of my eyes out.” 

― Bill BrowderRed Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice

(as a side note,  that's a good read.  I highly recommend it)

So in other words,  "If I can't figure this out,  I'll just cut off the cord so nobody else can either".
Like that.
Enough to make you want to spit.

Having to deal with that minor issue was only an annoyance, and nothing that a squirrelled away replacement cord and some heat shrink tubing couldn't fix.  I do tend to have "stuff" hanging around,  but only so much.  Never too much.

Now I'll admit,  between figuring out how to get at the severed cord by having to do some disassembly,   along with some cleaning and a good dose of WD-40 I probably frittered away a good hour.  But it was time well wasted.  The little fan works like a charm.

I'll either use it my own damned self,  of bequeath it to whomever I think is worthy.

And like I say,  I just don't get it.

But hey,  one man's junk is another man's rotary oscillator.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Wenn die Katze fort ist...

tanzen die Mäuse.

And in this case,  I'm the Maus.   Although,  I haven't done any dancing so far today.

Oh,  this expression in English is,  "When the cat is away,  the mice will play."   You remember that one.
The word order in German is a bit tricky,  but we won't get into a grammar lesson here.

You're welcome.

See,  T.C. is away.   And will be until I head back up to Guelph on Wednesday to fetch her.  Her sister offered to drive her home,  but I'll also be dropping off a small dresser for another one of her sisters.  Long story.   She's somewhat "dis-advantaged" shall we say?  I'll just leave it at that.
Anyway,  the dresser she presently has (which I do believe we provided for her, now that I think on it)  is not in the best condition.  She moved a couple years ago,  and the movers were less than...careful.

Anyway, back once upon a time,  before we had the roof and chimney sorted out so that there would no longer be any water coming in well,  water came in.   Not like,  buckets or anything,  but just enough to mess up the plaster.

I've been meaning to get it sorted out for a time now.   The only issue is,  it's in what is now T.C.'s sewing room,  and she's in there most every day.
Of course,  I'm in my "shop" most every day as well.

That's what we do.   We're pensioners.

So rather than lying about all day,  or spending my time sitting at the computer here (whoops)  I figured I'd get at it.

Of course,  it took as long to get the room ready for what was really a minor bit of spackling,  but at this point at least I have on the first coat.

Turns out,  the new camera I bought a while back does this "panorama"  thing.  Figured I'd give it a go.

I didn't end up generating all that much dust,  but I just wasn't sure.  Plus of course,  in a similar way that what looks like a tiny rust spot on the fender of your vehicle that subsequently turns out to be you needing to replace the whole damned thing?  It's kind of like that with what looks like some relatively minor water damage.

Not much,  right?


Meh.  Whatever.

Meanwhile,  I found out yesterday at a little gathering just who it was who has been slightly messing with me in terms of where I think things *should* be,  as to where they end up?  Can't think of any other way to explain that.

See,  when the tree guys were here a few days ago, they had moved a couple little figurine/pseudo gnomes/whatever out of the way so they wouldn't get damaged.   There were a couple other things that got moved out of the way too,  but I do remember these two little squirrel statue things sitting by the generator.

Then I couldn't help but notice this:

Wait.  How did that get there?

And this:

Da hell??

Creepy little bastards.

See,  once upon a time,  before we (sounding like a broken record here)  put some finishing touches on the front of the Ponderosa here,  the squirrels would take great delight in getting up there and CHEWING ON THE HOUSE. 
They looooove cedar.
Used to drive insane. 
So our wonderful children thought it would be "funny" (note the quotation marks) to give me these creepy little squirrel statues just to,  you know,  bug me.
Trust me,  there are more than just those two.

Well of course,  one of the days when we were away,  I find out it was Daughter Number One who thought she'd try and get my goat once again by setting the little buggers up on the windows.

Am I going to have to check the cameras now each and every time we away?  Just to see who is creeping around? 

I can.  It's doable.  Just takes forever is all.

Anyway,  that's it for this round.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

There should be a mercy rule.

Kind of like in Little League.  You know,  when you're ahead by a certain amount,  you just quit and you all go for pizza.

Of course,  the Little League website would much prefer that you refer to it as "The ten run rule",  but whatever.  We wouldn't want to damage anyone with some sort of less than P.C. terminology.

We're raising a generation of snowflakes,  but don't get me started!

So what the hell am I talking about?

Well,  Sledge Hockey of course.

It just so happened that I tuned in yesterday to the Canada/Sweden game in the third period I think it was,  and Canada was already up 13 to 0.   That's nothing, zip, zilch.  A big ole goose egg.

And before I could even get myself nicely tucked in on my comfy couch,  they had scored twice more.  The game ended up with Canada finally scoring 17 goals.

Like,  I was starting to feel really bad for the Swedish goalie. Poor bugger.

Have you ever watched Sledge Hockey?   I can't even grasp how these guys keep from just tipping over all the time.  I mean,  I can barely stand up on skates,  but this is like riding a Unicycle on the ice.

Here,  I'll steal an image from the net for show and tell:

That's Liam Hickey.   He also plays wheelchair basketball.

Note the single skate he's perched on?   How the hell??

Here's the article that the picture came from if you're interested.

Anyway,  it's unfortunate that the coverage of the Paralympics isn't quite as involved as the regular Olympics,  since some of these folks are truly amazing.  There are times when you do a double take,  and realise, "Hey, she's only got one arm!"   And she's hurtling down the ski hill at 70 kilometres an hour! 

Anyway,  I'll watch whatever comes on. 

I haven't really checked if there is figure skating.  If there's figure skating, I'm afraid that's where I draw the line.  Just doesn't much work for me.   Admittedly,  I have sat through a couple programs with T.C.,  but that's sort of like "taking one for the team".

Meanwhile,  today I got a visit from Batman,  as he's working on a little game for the kids when he goes to charity events or say,  to the children's ward at the hospital.

So,  I've obviously altered this photo to protect his true identity,   but over the next week I'll be making a frame type of thing to hold this up when in use,   to then be folded down to fit into his vehicle. 
The Joker's teeth are a cut out made of foam core,  and the idea is similar to something like "Cornhole",  where you throw an object and try and knock out the Joker's teeth.

And yes,  there is a game called Cornhole.   But the Joker will be closer to upright,  as opposed to almost lying flat as with Cornhole. 

I always get a bit of a chuckle from the name "Cornhole",  but we won't go there.

Oh and,  as Batman explained,  the object to be thrown will be a Batarang.
And yes,  there is a Wiki article explaining just what a "Batarang" is. 
Who knew?

I think that's all I have for today.

Until next time.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

And well, you know,  stick, ice, etc.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Back in Business.

Or something like that.

Yesterday afternoon,  as I was quietly perusing the weekly flyers that come with the local "newspaper",  and "newspaper" is in quotation marks for a reason,  but that's another story,  I could not help but start to hear a high pitched intermittent beeping coming from upstairs somewhere.  I'm pretty sure my adrenaline level increased ever so slightly,  but within a very few screaming beeps I was able to determine that it was the DVR for our security camera system.
Yes,  we have cameras.   This came about mostly as we were heading away for a month a couple years ago (2016)  and I originally wanted some way to monitor the temperature in the house,  but soon discovered that a "smart" thermostat was neigh on impossible,  as I only have the two leads from the boiler to the thermostat,  and I'd need a 24volt supply.  Not happening.

So,  the next best thing was putting a camera in the boiler area so I could monitor what was going on from anywhere that there is internet.  Like that.

Anyway,  after I shut the thing off, I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on,  as the DVR would NOT boot up again.

Took a look on the Lorex website,  and in very short order,  I was "chatting"  with someone named "Rafael".   Like that's their actual name?  *snort*.

That actually was helpful,  believe it or not,  as "Rafael"  was able to take me through a couple steps for diagnosing the problem.  When I took a look at the front of the unit (involves taking it down off the wall,  and you'll see why in a minute)  I couldn't help but notice that the "power" light was sort of flickering,  and I thought,  "I wonder if there's something up with the power supply?"   Sure enough,  after retrieving a tester,  the thing was barely putting out a volt.   Totally pooched.

So,  I wished "Rafael"  a fine weekend,  and this morning I went to a local supplier of all things electrical here not far from The Ponderosa called Sayal where,  after being able to extricate the Punjabi speaking cashier away from her boyfriend (or whoever that Dude was)  she was able to point me in to the correct aisle to see if they had the proper "wall wort".   It needed to be 2.5 amps,  which precluded being able to use any of the cast offs that I have out in my treasure trove in the shed.  Annoying really.

Not only that,  but the adaptors at that amperage were just a wee bit more than I thought was a reasonable price,  considering that I've purchased adaptors for as little as a couple bucks.   This thing was twenty-two! 

But,  like Travelling Companion was quick to point out,  "You bought the system for 500 dollars and you'd sooner have it sit there useless instead of paying a few bucks to have it working?"
*sigh*    "OK, fine."

Anyway,  I thought maybe I'd need an adaptor for the adaptor, since the little plug thingy did look slightly different,  but it works.

Did I ever mention that I had put the entire system in the upstairs hall closet?   See,  the DVR is kinda noisy.  It just is.  And previously,  when the system was in one of the spare bedrooms,  I'd have to make sure to turn it off anytime we had guests sleeping up there.  I didn't think it was that bad,  but I got overruled.

Meanwhile,  we had Tree Cutting Dude back yesterday with his two helpers to take down the third and final Ash tree.   You may or may not have heard of a little creature called the Emerald Ash Borer
and we have been blessed with these little bastards for a few years now.  They have basically decimated most,  if not all of the ash trees around these parts.   If you've ever come across warnings about moving firewood around the country side,  these little bastards are the reason why.

I took a photo of the type of damage that they incur.

It's no wonder the poor tree was dying.  Now we're down to a couple oak trees,  a basswood,  and the maple trees I've planted out on the boulevard.

Any tree planted on the boulevard,  by the way,  becomes the property of,  and responsibility of the city.  Works for me.   Cutting down or trimming trees is pricey.

I took a bunch of photos and videos,  but I'll only put up a few here of him going out to cut off this one limb that was hanging precariously over our cable/phone/internet.

And if you click on that one to make it bigger and think there's something wrong with the camera?  No,  that's snow.  There were brief moments of nastiness a couple times there.
But,  he hung in there.
(see what I did there??)

Um ya,   NOT my cup of tea.

Needless to say,  I'm going to have firewood until the end of time.  And,  that's not counting the huge stack up against the house.  OR the stuff I've split and is stacked up way over there under that green and yellow left over bag from some soil we bought a couple years ago.

And of course,  the thing is,  taking it "camping" say?  is out of the question.  Wouldn't be prudent.

Can't take it anywhere,  really.

So now at some point,  after I've split up all the stuff that I can with my small splitter (it's *only* five ton)  I'll once again rent a 25 ton jobbie from Home Despot to split up the really big pieces.

This might take a wee while.

Like,  maybe next fall I'll have it sorted out?   Who knows?

Once again,  thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Best adapted foot massage.

Hm. Started writing this yesterday.  Guess I got distracted?

Sounds like a perfectly acceptable Oscar category.   Right up there with Best Catering Service.  I mean,  why not?  Not that it would make watching the Oscars any less painful mind you.
We tuned in a bit late,  so when Kimmel talked about the Jet-Ski,  I thought he was just kidding. I mean,  some of the people getting their trophies do tend to go on and on.  What do your kids have to do with it?  Really.  Especially for the guys.  I mean,  whoever had the child might be able to better feel the pain of making a movie?  I dunno. 
Think about it,  you're receiving an award for getting to do what you love and make bags of money.
I did think the "trophy" for having the shortest acceptance speech was kinda brilliant though.   When they showed the Dude on his new Jet-Ski at the end,  it did make the whole ordeal kind of worthwhile,  at least for me anyway.

So by now you've no doubt guessed that T.C. and I stayed up to watch the entire (painful, on my part) program on Sunday night.  At one point at around "Best Headband Worn by a Busboy",  T.C. admitted that she was bored.  I offered that I had been bored for what seemed like hours up until that point.

Not my idea of "what to watch" on a Sunday night.  There was an interesting thing on TVO (our provincial version of public television)  having to do with the history of railways in the UK which I thought would have been far more interesting.   But hey,  I'm a documentary kind of guy,  whereas T.C. would be quite happy to watch "The Voice".  Makes my skin crawl....

Anyhoo,  we had the fireplace going full bore which was pretty nice,  with the slight issue being that,  when we finally made our way upstairs,  we discovered that it was just a wee bit cool,  as of course the boiler had been tricked into thinking that the house was quite warm enough.  I prefer it a bit cooler for sleeping though.

Speaking of the fireplace however,  I've had a screen/enclosure type of thing on the front of the firebox for more years than I'd care to admit,  and at one point when I was shoving more wood in,  the metal chain curtain thingy sort of started drooping.  No bueno.

Took it apart yesterday and had a look.  Easy to fix, as the thing is held up by little metal rings, which had simply come undone.  I would have taken a picture,  but as I had to feel in around there at one point with my bare hands,  they were so black I wouldn't have dared touch anything, let alone a camera.

Looks pretty nasty in there I realise,  but it is a fireplace after all.  One of these days (years?)  I'll put in some sort of insert to get more heat coming out into the room,  as opposed to up the chimney.
Of course,  I'll have to extend the "hearth"  out to the proper depth,  which will involve slicing out a chunk of the flooring and pouring some sort of pad.  I have a bunch of slate stored out in the shed that I removed from the upstairs fireplace that I might use.  We'll see.

Meanwhile,  I've painted a section of the garage floor, after giving it a good scrubbing,  and have started to move the bench back.

I forgot just how uneven the floor is right there.  And I stupidly threw out the little bits of wood I had had under the feet to level it up. 

Not a big deal really.  Just meant having to rummage around for more bits of wood is all.    The blue closed cell mat there is for my poor old knees.

We had a little bit of an internet issue this morning and I had only come in here to see if it was up and running again.  Somebody must have tripped over an extension cord I guess.  Can't see why else it would randomly crap out at nine thirty in the morning.  We've had issues with squirrels chewing on the cable in the past,  but I guess that wasn't the case this time.

Who knows?

That'll be it for a time.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The week that was.

Or something like that.

Title ideas are sometimes a wee bit elusive.

Anyhoo,   Travelling Companion and I took a little jaunt down to the States on Wednesday to check out a place that I'm sure many of you are familiar with.   It's really just another fabric shop,  but apparently has a bigger selection of quilting fabrics?   You've no doubt heard of Joann Fabrics?
Pretty uneventful.  Bought about twenty bucks worth of thread.  Had a look around.  From here it's really just over an hour away.  We then made a stop in Niagara-on-the-Lake for some lunch at the Oban Inn.   Spent way more on lunch than at the fabric place,  including the four and half bucks we had to pay to come BACK INTO CANADA.   Da f*k? 
Are we still paying for a bridge or something?

Anyway,  the food at the Inn was OK.  A little on the salty side if anything,  and T.C.  said her Chicken something or other had an odd taste.   I had the "Oban Burger",  and it was pretty good.  Just too salty.  I don't know what it is,  but a lot of chefs/cooks/whatever like to dollop on gobs of salt.  Like,  to the point where I've actually been able to *feel* my blood pressure rising.  And yes,  that's a thing.  When you can feel your heart rate in your head?  That ain't right.   Didn't happen this time,  but it's happened.

What I mostly recall from out little jaunt was,  at one point we pulled off of the thruway,  where we had to make our exit anyway,  and decided to slip in to a service road just to recheck our directions.  Well,  I couldn't get over the amount of TRASH at the side of the road!  And then I started noticing it everywhere.  Holy moly!  Get them prisoners out there picking up da trash guys!.   And I know I'm biased as all anything,  but there wasn't nearly that much trash on the Canadian side.  Seriously.  And usually when the snow melts is when you start to see it. 
OK,  I guess it must get cleaned up at some point,  since I just took a look on Google Earth View,  and there's no trash to be seen.

Anyway,  sorry I brought it up.

Then on Thursday,  Tree Cutting Dude showed up with his crew to cut down our last Ash Trees.  (sad face).
T.C. and I were on our way to Guelph to see a new arrival,  who came into the world on February eight.
Tree Cutting Dude did say that,  as the weather was worsening,  he might very well pull the plug on the whole event, as it ain't no fun being up a tree when the wind picks up and it starts to snow.

And it did.   But of course, anyone on the East Coast knows full well just what happened over the last few days.   We got hardly anything by the way.  Lucky for us.

So the tree is still there,  minus a bunch of branches that he cut off on the way up.  I know for sure he'll be back next week some time,  as he left two of his "throwing lines"  (for lack of a better term)  so he can get his other lines back up the tree without too much difficulty.

This is the little "noodle",  as my sister-in-law (the Grand-ma)  calls her.   

So there was a bunch of  the usual fussing over a new baby,   but this here blog ain't about little kids,  so we'll move on.

It's taken me a bit of prep to get to this point,  but I've finally put some floor paint on the area where my bench normally sits.  The base of the bench has enough finish on it at this point that I'm reasonably satisfied,  so once the floor paint cures in a day or two,  I'll move the bench back.  I really need to put the top on upside down at first and do some adjusting.  We'll see how that goes.  Even without the shoulder vise and tail vise,  the top is really quite heavy,  and hoisting up just one end is just about all I can lift. 

I guess that's about it.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Keep that stick on the ice.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

When you get the "yellow light".

Bit of a nice day today,  so I thought I'd do a little farting around outdoors.  On the sunny side of the house at this time of the year it's quite pleasant.  In the heat of the summer?  Not so much.

For the longest time now,  I've been meaning to remove the extra mortar that was put on the side of the house by the previous owner.   See,  he had this *interesting* idea that he wanted to have some sort of green house up against the side of the building,  but discovered after a couple seasons that it was mostly just a place to collect bugs.  Anyway,  it wasn't something we wanted to look at when we moved here,  so I ultimately took it away.  It was quite elaborate too,  with a metal frame and those corrugated Plexiglas panels and such.   On the one end,  there was a doorway,  so of course all the little spaces between the frame and the house had to be filled with mortar.

Probably better to show the pic I took yesterday.  I'm thinking of closing off that access with more fencing,  so I sent a note off the a company I've been dealing with.  Hence the need for a photo.

This is a slightly better angle:

After today's activity.  I still have a ways to go, but after a little bout with the pneumatic chisel,  I had had enough for today.


And yes I know,  there's a lot of "stuff" there that I have to deal with.  I'll get to it.  Don't judge.

Then I noticed on the Generator,  where normally the light on the side is green,  there was part of it that was showing yellow.


Then I realised,  I had changed the oil and filter a while back, but neglected to reset the "service reminder"  or whatever you call it.

These days,  just about every machine has some sort of built in service reminder.  At least with the generator,  I don't need a special tool.   Just the one between my ears.  No mention as to how "sharp" it is.

Um.  Ya.

Good thing there's this thing called the "internet"?   Somewhere in my bunch of stuff,  I have a schematic of the labyrinth of commands that lurk beneath that keypad,  but I basically have very little clue as to just where to go.

Anyway,  after a bit of searching,  I did manage to find what I was looking for,  and we're back to a steady green light again.  What was not mentioned in all the videos and forum comments etc.,  was the fact the you have to turn the generator "off".  After that minor consideration, it was easy peasy.

So actually,  I did TWO jobs today.  Holy moly!

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep that stick on the ice.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I tell myself, "It's only a game".

Couldn't bear to watch the Canada/US hockey game last night,  but when I checked in on line at one point and saw that they were tied up,  I had a sense of dread that there would be a shoot out.

I've never been a big fan of the "shoot out".  I think I'd sooner see something happen like the sudden death situation we see in the NFL if the game is tied at the end. You know,  play an extra period.  See what happens.


I mean, last time,  Canada won in a shoot out,  and I didn't hear anyone complaining,  myself included.

Both Travelling Companion and I should have probably sucked it up and stayed up to watch,  since she told me this morning that she had been dreaming about it all night,  and woke up tired.  I pretty much had the same experience.

And now,  on to more *important* matters.

(insert, "tongue in cheek" font here, by the way)

I may or may not have mentioned at some point that I quite regularly meet up with a bunch of retired old farts on Wednesday mornings for breakfast.  The food is average,  the washrooms are somewhat suspect,  but our waitress is dynamite and the conversation is usually quite lively.   So I go.

Plus,  it gets my sorry ass out of the house on a regular basis.

So,  what catches my eye as I head out the driveway?

See,  there are times when I'm no longer interested in eating that one last heel from a baguette or loaf of bread,  so I open the back door and pitch it out for the squirrels.

They do tend to come up with some creative means of "storage".

It was raining,  so maybe this was to soften it up a bit?

Happened to have the camera.  What can I say?

This sort of thing (seeing where the little numbskulls store their bread)  passes for "entertainment" around here.

Oh,  and I just looked out.  It's still there.  He must have stuck it down with some spit or something.

It's stopped raining by the way,   but there have been some issues along the Grand River,  most notably a young Mom who didn't see the road closed barricade due to the fog,  ended up in the water,  managed to get herself and her toddler out of her vehicle,  only in that instance to have the child swept away by the rushing current!

The story is here.

Sorry for the downer.

And I think that's all I got.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Keep your powder dry.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Just Walking In The Rain

Sorry,  but now this tune is going through my head,  so I thought I'd plant the ear worm in your brain too. 
No name calling,  please.

And to think,  this was 1956!   Um hello?  That was the year I was born,  so that tells me that that tune must have stuck around for at least a few years. 
I do seem to vaguely recall singing along with the Beetles later on in the early sixties with my then very young niece.  I was an Uncle at the age of five,  but that's a whole other story.

And yes,  it is definitely raining here at the Ponderosa.  Like....a lot.

The thing is,  if you're not entirely happy with the weather around here,  all you really need to do is wait a few days.  It'll change.   Not always for the better, mind you.

Darned good thing  that we had a thaw a few days ago,  or we'd be in some deep poop.   And that might mean literally.  But,  over the years,  I've carried out certain mitigating exercises to possibly avoid such a situation.  You know,  extra weeping tile and that concrete pad to set the generator on,  which just so conveniently is sloped away from the house.

Even the deluge we had in August of 2014 (before I had put in the pad)  only resulted in about three or four cup fulls of water coming in at that back corner,  which would now be really difficult.

He says.   He hopes.

Anyway,  I can't say I've been up to too much lately.   We did have a crew in on Friday to take down yet another one of the dying ash trees out here in the side yard.  Sad,  but necessary I'm afraid.

There's another one to come down which,  depending on the weather might happen later this week.  I asked if he was coming back today,  but he mentioned something about "back to teaching again",  so I'm guessing he must run a course at one of the local colleges?   I mean,  he is an Arborist after all,  and it's not just something you learn by some sort of osmosis.

I got busy on Saturday tidying up some of the longer chunks the crew left behind.

The deal was,  certain price was agreed to,  with the idea being that the bulk of the wood would be left behind.  I'll once again get around to splitting up this stuff at some point,  but it won't be ready to burn for at least a year or so.

That's my little "Poulan"  there,  that I bought not so long ago from a fellow who was "downsizing"  and sold it to me for an exceptional price.  He had won it as a "door prize"  at some sort of sales conference (odd thing to have as a door prize I thought,  but whatever)  and it was still in the box.  He had never used it.  I haven't even had to sharpen the chain yet.  Its been maybe 20-30 years since I've sharpened a chainsaw chain,  but I'm sure it'll come back to me.

Meanwhile,  I got it in my pea brain a number of days ago that I wanted to disassemble my bench,  clean it up and refinish it. 
Now I know why I had been subconsciously avoiding this job.

This is going to take a while:

Here I've removed both the tail vise and the shoulder vise,  and started sanding the whole thing:

Working on the tail vise.

So I moved the bench top over to a mobile cart so I could take the base apart.  It was pretty gross,  considering how long spiders had been hanging out under there.  Didn't help that we were away for four and a half years either.

Then i realised,  I'll need some sort of "bench" to work on the bench.  Thankfully I have a couple "workmates" stored out in the shed.

And well,   that's pretty much life around here.  Generally fart around.  Work on that for a bit.  Watch some Olympics.  You know.  Like that.

I'll check back in at some point.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

And remember,  keep your stick on the ice.