Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Give peas a chance.

That one got a groan from Travelling Companion. 







See,  I had a hankering for a "hot turkey sandwich",  and I don't know about how you do this,   but I'm pretty sure it comes with peas.   If they're frozen peas,  that's fine.   She couldn't find the peas.   And that's not the way things usually go.  Typically,  I'm the one who can't fine things, but our little chest freezer is a wee bit on the full side lately,  especially with Thanksgiving and all.  Since well,  we didn't exactly eat all the stuff that had been prepared and frozen ahead of time,  "just in case".
Because,  even though just about everyone brought a dish,  we were without question,  going to starve to death.  (That's sarcastic font,  by the way.)

And by the way,  I started this last night,  but got interested in a thing about the Ringling Bros. on Public Television and didn't come back.

Of course,  as it was the first day after Thanksgiving,  there's always going to be turkey left over,  and I'm just about at the end of the line when it comes to turkey sandwiches and such.  I think that the "hot turkey sandwich" will be pretty much the end of it.   I'll try and polish off some tomorrow  today for lunch but then,   I'm out.

This year we decided to forgo the trip up to The Kawarthas for Thanksgiving,  as we were not able to find a decent place to stay (too crowded at my niece and nephew's place)  for a half decent price.  The one place that's not too far away is something like nine hundred bucks for the weekend and well,  the owners really need to do a little sprucing up on that place.  So,  when offered,  we had to decline.

Besides,  for a few years now after coming back from Europe,  we've been doing the Kawarthas thing,  which meant that Daughter Number Two and Hubby wouldn't be there,  as they have two dogs and a cat,  and are unable to be away for any length of time.  I have no opinion about that. I'm sure any one of their pet owning neighbours would be quite happy to look in on the pets/walk the dogs/whatever,  but there's some sort of "separation anxiety"  going on there.  I think.

So this year,  we had seventeen for dinner,  including both daughters and various other relations.  No pictures.  Well,  none for the internet at least.

There hasn't been too much else that's been overly excited since you last heard from me.   The sailing season is winding up.  We have one more "thing" this coming weekend called the "Die Hards",   and if it were to happen today,  for example,   we'd be wearing our shorts and sun block.   We're having a couple days of record setting heat here at The Ponderosa.   It's kinda crazy actually.  I know it can get warm in October,  but this is a wee bit nuts.

I don't mind.   But I refuse to put on the air conditioning.

Speaking of Daughter Number Two,  I pressed her into service to help with some grunt work on Friday,  as I had been wanting to split up all of the firewood that I ended up with after the two remaining ash trees were cut down.

So,  from this:




To this:





And no,  we didn't split by hand,  I rented a gas powered splitter from The Home Despot.  It was about 80 bucks (taxes in) for four hours.  Well worth it.

Similar to this:



I'm not entirely sure I'll live long enough to burn up all the firewood that has been produced,  but I'll give it a good try.   Some cold weather would be helpful.   Not that I'm wishing for winter or anything.  Just saying.

I mentioned Travelling Companion earlier.   Did I also mention she took a trip to Africa?

I'm not kidding.   First to Paris for an overnight,  then on to Nairobi,  where she and her sister went to a wedding.   Then a safari run by the Maasai Tribe
Then back to Paris and down to Lyon,  where the two of them stayed for 10 days with friends of her sister in a little place called Barberaz.
Anyhoo,  she was gone from August 14th until September 6th.   Had a wonderful time.
Glad to be home.  I soon realised that life on my own kinda sucked.  Especially at meal time.  "Cooking" for one is a challenge.  Note the quotation marks.


She was going to take a cab/limo home,  but I chose to pick her up at the airport.   Not for the faint of heart,  as their arrival or trip through the airport was somewhat delayed.   You might get onto the ground on time,  but if there's some other issue with baggage handling,  or customs or whatever,  you're still going to be late.   This time it was baggage.  I think.  I don't quite remember.
My arm was getting tired from holding onto the roses I had brought.



Hey,  some times I take pictures of "stuff",  and I have no idea what to do with them.  So there you go.

Now,  don't be fooled.  I normally don't do this sort of thing,  but it was a long trip,  and she likes flowers.  So what the hell.  A feller has to score a couple bonus points from time to time.
They lasted over a week.   And that whole "lasting" thing is the reason I typically don't buy flowers.  At least not roses.  They're expensive,  and they're gone in no time it seems.

Oh,  and by the way,  "Valentine's Day"?   Never.  Not even a box of chocolates.  We just don't go there.


I'm sure there were a few more things that happened,  but I suspect you're eyes are getting tired from moving back and forth,  so I'll pack it in for now.

Thanks for stopping by.


:)

Monday, September 3, 2018

Got yesterday's forecast, today.





I usually check one of the radar sites any time we're about to head out on the water and of course,  today I didn't bother,  as I only had in mind to cut the grass.

Nope.










Um,  ya.   We're right in the line of fire,  so to speak.   Sure wish the folks out west were getting this rain.  I mean,  it saves me from watering the grass, which I'm never keen on doing anyway (it's GRASS!   It'll grow back!)    But we certainly don't need it as much as the folks suffering through wild fires.

Anyhoo,  had yet another "weekend on the water",  as the Yacht Club that we sail out of had it's annual "Bronte Rocks Regatta"  which consisted of three races around the "cans" on Saturday,  and then a point to point race on Sunday.

Saturday night,  the club puts out dinner and pitchers of margaritas.  Dinner was what I thought good value at 22 bucks,  while pitchers of margaritas were 25.   I'm not overly keen on margaritas it so happens,  although I did sip on about a half a glass,  just to do a toast.
The club does well selling pitchers of margaritas,  but for some reason they closed down the sale of pitchers by about 8:30.   We were late coming in off the water,  so I'm not sure why they thought to stick to their "schedule"  if in fact,  they had one.  Like I say,  selling pitchers of margaritas makes bags of money for the club.  No idea.
 Dinner was a combination of "cuban" food (can't for love nor money figure out how that was a thing,  but whatever)  and was very tasty.   Often times food served out of a chafing dish at these things can be bordering on horrid,  such as was the case last week at Newport.  And that was thirty bucks a plate.   Dry.  Tasteless.  And with the most useless plastic cutlery you could imagine.  Gawd.
So,  kudos to the team at Bronte for a well put on spread.  AND,  they had decent sized plastic cutlery. 
Hey, it makes a huge difference.  Gotta get it into your mouth somehow!



There were a couple minor,  let's just say,  "issues" on the race course on Saturday,  firstly as the race committee decided to delay the first race due to lack of wind.   Now,  we've experienced "lack of wind" before,  and I have to say that,  there was in fact enough wind to move the boats.   So we couldn't figure that one out.   Plus,  again for some frustrating reason that made no sense whatsoever,  they chose to change the direction of the coarse due to a slight wind shift.   We just figured,  "Know what?  It's wind!  It might shift!"   Sailors can usually figure that out.  If you can't,  well then maybe next time?


The other issue was,  we tore the sh*t out of one of our spinnakers,  and by "we", I really mean "me".   Pissed me off to no end.  The worst part being,  there was nobody to be pissed off at, other than just well...me.   Sucks when I suck.

Not sure if that one can be fixed.  I'll not bother you with details.  suffice to say,  Old Guy here must be having some cognitive issues or something.  I keep saying I'm "too old"  to work the fore-deck,  but our much younger and more agile Fore-deck Guy was unavailable for the weekend.  So that left it up to me.


Like I said, it was pretty much the latest we've ever come in from one of these around the cans type of deals,  with the time approaching 5:30.   I really wanted to get home and take a quick shower before heading back for dinner,  and dinner was supposedly schedule for six.   Just crazy.   I figured dinner would have to wait,  but it turned out that there was boatloads of food to go around.  Is that a pun?
Not sure.



And Sunday?   Much better.  The race was a "point to point",  and we only had a sprinkling of rain,  even though the weather prognosticators were calling for much worse.  Actually,  as I sit here listening to thunder all around us,  an electrical storm was what they had predicted for Sunday a few days back. 
Didn't happen.
I really sometimes wonder about the reliability of some of the weather prognosticators.  It's the only job I know of where you can be dead wrong,  and still keep your job!

Oh and,  Muggins here didn't manage to rip anything. 

I did take a few less than stellar photos,  and a couple of them are actually worth sharing.




At this point,  we had been on the water for well over an hour I would think,  and I was struck by the fact that these three boats managed to end up within the same 200 square meters of water.   I mean,  there were boats spread out over an area maybe a third the size of Rhode Island?   They're all heading for a derrick out in one end of the lake,  which was the turning point.

Lake Ontario is kinda huge,  but you knew that.

You can see that we're at least two thirds of the way to the Hamilton Lift Bridge at this point.  Just found this kind of incredible.


Here's the CCIW "spider" out in the Lake.   (Canada Centre for Inland Waters)   They use if for monitoring water temperature and stuff.  (like I have a clue.)




It's kinda hard to explain where this "mark" is,  and we typically put the coordinates into the onboard GPS,  and then know what landmark to look for when we're sort of getting within sight of the thing.

Point to point racing is heaps easier on all concerned,  so I wasn't quite so beat yesterday afternoon when I got home.   Still nice to get into the cooler air in the house though.
The thing is,  it's ALWAYS cooler on the water,  but then as you head back to the slip,  you're hit with this wall of hot humid air that's just bloody stifling.   For example,  Tuesday night we actually had to put on our jackets,  it was that cool on the water.
Yet murderously hot inland.

Today is the last day before some of my still working teacher friends have to go back to work,  although they've all be in their classrooms setting up over the last week or two.  Mostly in non air conditioned schools.   Bleah!
We have a tradition of getting together at the pub to toast those who are about to set off on a new school year in the morning.

There's really only going to be a small percentage this year,  as there are more and more retirees every year.  And sadly,  the one friend of ours who was one of the co-conspirators regarding this tradition passed away a couple years ago.   We still miss him.


That's it for today I think.

Thanks for stopping by.





Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dealing with boneheads.

It so happens that,  I get maybe three or four phone calls in a day from a number that I do not recognise.   Or sometimes it's a "Private Caller",  and I figure why would I answer,  when they clearly want their privacy?
So,  a lot of calls go unanswered.   If your name and number are in the in-house phone system,  then it will come up after a couple rings.   Or,  if somehow your name is attached to your number,  it will come up. 
Hey,  I might answer.   Maybe it's someone whom I've called and they're calling me back?
Could happen.
Most times,  the number has been reported as some sort of Robo call or scam.  If, that is,  there's any way to find out more about the number.
Let Google do the work.

And don't get me wrong,  I *appreciate*  if a credit card company calls to tell there's something up with the card.  I do,  really.    However....

This morning,  as happens from time to time,  there was a phone call.   Number didn't look familiar to me,  so I left it.   Next thing I know,  there's a "voice mail"  message,  and so I check it out.
Sometimes those "voice mail"  messages are just a click,  or someone telling you you've won a cruise.

Riiiiiight.

Turns out,  the lady leaving the message claims to be from Canadian Tire.

First of all,  they call themselves,  "Canadian Tire Bank",   but they are not a bank.   So I'm not sure what the heck that's supposed to mean.   But anyway,  I call the number that she left,  and proceeded to sit on hold for 20 minutes.

Twenty f**king minutes!   That was my limit,  so I hung up.

"High call volume",   which tells me that you need to do some hiring.   Or,  possibly so many people have had their cards messed with that,  maybe there are a lot of folks callin' ya??

Either way,  answer the damned phone!

Since it was the "fraud"  line,  I figure I had better pursue this,  so I call the number on my statement.

Now,  you have to understand that,  I owe a whopping $13.54.   It's due September 6th. 

I check my online banking situation and,  sure enough it's due to come out the day ahead of time,  so I'm still not sure why the heck they have decided to waste by now a good half hour of my time.
I had called the number that's on the statement,  which was a *different* number than the one that the lady who left the message quoted.
Had to go through the usual "press this" "press that"  to then get put on hold.

Well,  turns out somehow when they issued the new improved "Triangle Master Card"  I *guess*  there must have been some information that got out?    There was no admission of this, I'm just making this up.  The thing is, there were purchases made that had nothing to do with me.  And coincidentally,  this transition just took place a few weeks ago. 
I'm not a big believer in coincidences.


And I don't get it.   Each and every time I use that card (and it ain't that often, trust me,  thirteen bucks,  remember?)  I have to put in a four digit pin.  Not my house address.  Not my phone number.   Not numbers that anyone is going to guess.  But maybe if you order sh*t on line??   Maybe the pin isn't required?

Don't know.

I don't use that card for anything on line.

And that's a good thing.

So no,  I didn't order anything from "Brother"  (a printer maybe?)  or whatever that other thing was that she mentioned.  I forget.  Didn't care.  Wasn't me.
They needed my email address in case they have to send me an affidavit.  Right,  somehow I suspect another deluge of junk emails.

After I cut up my card and cancelled my account,  I was asked "is there anything else we can do for you today?"  I hate when they ask that.  Are they just *trying* to aggravate me even more?
First of all,  all that you've "done for me today" is piss me off,  why would I want to keep talking to you?

 I simply asked first of all, "Is this recorded?"  To which she replied in the affirmative,  so I said,   "Then record this,  if you call me and ask me to call you back,  don't make me sit on hold!".  "Answer the phone.  That's all.  Just answer the phone"
 And really,  it's not the fault of the poor unfortunate simpleton on the other end,  so I was civil. 

No,  really. 

Surgery sweet almost.


That's it.  I feel better now.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Oh,  and when they send the new card?  I'll probably cancel that account.  I don't think I can trust "Canadian Tire Financial" or "Canadian Tire Bank"   with anything more than maybe keeping the lights on and the air condition running.

Keep your stick on the ice.







Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The final application.

I hope.

I was actually starting to write "The final solution",  but that has a whole other meaning.  Not a good one.

Although,  we are talking about...  extermination.  But I'm only talking about wasps.  Honestly.

Man,  I'm digging myself a hole here.


The other morning,  I was out on what was then the shady side of the house knocking back the weeds,  and I realised that the hoe I was using had just the right shape that would allow me to pry off the top area of the trim without getting too close to the wasps.


So,  yesterday morning,  before they got too active,  I did just that,  which allowed me to see just what the heck was going on behind it.


Can't see much,  actually.

The ones that have survived are still going in and out of a tiny gap in the foam up there at the top.






This evening at dusk,  I got up there with a step ladder and sprayed in another dose of Wilson's "One Shot".




Even though really,  it's taken more than just the one shot.  Hate to say it.  I guess you're supposed to be able to get this stuff directly onto the nest,  but like I said, these guys are up in behind the foam insulation somehow.  No bueno.

I'll see if there are any dead bodies in the morning.   There were a few yesterday morning after I removed the trim,  but when I went back out to take another look,  they were mysteriously gone.  Maybe blew off?   Dunno.

Did a little more prep work on the painting end of things today.   I'm on to the next colour,  so I had to go back to one spot where it looked like I had a bit of a thin spot and put on a wee bit more.
Hate when that happens.

Wednesdays can be a bit of a wasted day for me anyway,  as I go to breakfast with a bunch of other old farts and generally complain about whatever is bugging us at the moment.  Right now it's the number of high rise condos that are being built in our downtown core.  Which is one of the reasons that Burlington has slipped way down to number 31 on the "livability"  scale that some group or other put out a while back.  We were ninth in 2017. 
Don't get me started.

Not sure how accurate it is,  but if they use the same criteria year after year,  then I suppose there's some credibility to the study.  Some magazine called Money Sense.

*****


Saw these suspicious looking characters wandering up the street yesterday.  This is what happens when you're painting with no window coverings and the camera is close at hand.







Think they're Jehovah's?

 Maybe Seventh Day Adventist.

    It's been a few years,  or I dare say *decades* since we've had anyone come to our door selling their particular brand of piety.  I think I've got the message across.
I won't elaborate.

Well, except that,  there was this time,  and this was the first summer we were here in 1992, when  two ladies came up the driveway and wanted to "chat".    I said I didn't mind,  but as I was cutting the grass at that very moment and it had to get done,  and they had interrupted the proceedings,  I simply asked which one of them wanted to keep doing the work?  You know,  so I could sit and "chat".
I *love* to sit and chat!

Hey, it's what I was doing this morning at breakfast!

However,  neither of them thought they were up to cutting the grass.  Lazy Bastards.
They looked fit to me.  I mean,  you do all that walking around lugging a bible or whatever,  you have to have a bit of stamina.  Don't you think?


All I know is, I've certainly never shown up at some stranger's door *uninvited*  and asked if we could "chat".   Like,  what are you thinking?

I realise that,  back in the Depression,  when men were truly down and out,  they might show up at a stranger's door asking if there might be a little food to spare,  but times have changed.  And those interlopers across the road look pretty healthy.

I think I'm getting off on a bit of a rant here,  so you can fill in the rest.  Or join in,  if you wish.

I suspect that's it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Here's hoping for a bit of cooler weather.







Monday, August 27, 2018

Weekend on the water.

Which means,  the painting was put on hold,  but I finished another wall today.
I can't say exactly that I'm as enthusiastic about painting as I once was?   Or maybe,  I never really was.
I had thought,  that the last time I painted,  would be the *last time I painted*.   But no.  We don't like that colour anymore.

Anyhoo,  I took along my somewhat beat up Canon G16 which,  as it turns out,  still takes good photos,  even though it's gotten wet on at least two occasions.   *sigh*
The first time it happened,  I dried it out,  and discovered that the built in flash would no longer work.  So fine,  I bought a flash for the hot shoe,  and that was the answer to that little issue.  Carry on.   Then,  earlier in the sailing season,  I managed to get the poor thing wet again,  and this time it seems that I can no longer use the viewing screen.  Thankfully there is a range finder lens that at least allows me to compose a shot of some sort.   The problem is,  I have no idea what I'm taking a picture of or how it turned out until I upload it to some sort of other device (like this computer) and see what I got.   Kind of like back in the old days when using film.  We never knew what we got until we picked up our prints or a contact sheet from the lab.

This particular regatta was held at a yacht club/marina community not far from here called "Newport" where it would seem that a developer was allowed to scoop out a marina,  then build condos all around and create this little community.




Once you buy a place though,  you don't automatically get a slip,  as the slips are deeded separately.  Plus,  there are way more dwellings than slips.

So,  I did manage to get a couple shots in,  but it was a wee bit windy for the first two races,  and I was busy.   Our Fore Deck guy was having an issue with one of his eyes and couldn't make it,  which meant that Muggins here volunteered to do Fore Deck.   I keep a set of knee pads in my sail bag for just such a contingency.





I'm getting just wee bit long in the tooth for doing Fore Deck however,  and I'm feeling a little bit of discomfort here and there today from essentially thrashing about on the front end of a boat.

Now,  you might be wondering just why I used the term "weekend",  when the regatta was only a one day affair?   Well,  we ferried the boat down there Friday night,  sailed Saturday,  had dinner there,  listened to the band,    and then the skipper was going to simply motor the boat all the way back to Bronte on Sunday,  and I offered to sail it back with him if he'd be willing to drive me back afterwards to pick up my vehicle.   So that was the plan.
And as it was,  the wind on the Sunday was somewhat better than the Saturday,  as it was a very nice 10 or so knots out of the West.  Realistically,  they could have had a two day regatta,  but maybe that's just not realistic.











Bit of a before and after,  although I should have looked at the first one,  as I screwed up the angle.

And,  if you make your own millwork (trim etc.)  then you can also make it so you can remove it for painting.   A couple of those pieces are from the kitchen,  since I want to touch up the finish on an area just above the range.








Needs to be cleaned,  sanded and refinished.  Of course,  I have to take down that metal rod.

Thus:



I unhooked the little puck lights and shoved them up into the cabinets for now.

Such exciting stuff,  yes?

I'm out.

Thanks for stopping by.


Here's a video posted by Newport Yacht Club:

Click on the link.

The boat that's "getting close"  is us,  TARDIS.  I'm in the yellow shirt.

Just click "not now"  when it asks if you want to create a new account.   There you go.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger!

Sorry,  but if you didn't spend your Saturday late nights watching the late John Belushi and his wacky interpretation of a short order cook who only knew how to cook one thing,  then I'm truly sad for you.

I tried to find a clip of Belushi, Akroyd and Bill Murray doing that skit,  but it so happens (and I certainly didn't know this) that the skit they did on SNL was based on an actual restaurant in Chicago,  where they've been carrying on with this sort of spiel for many years now.

Anyway,  a few days ago I had frozen up some burgers for future consideration,  and thought maybe I'd cook up a couple on the grill.



Kind of a lousy picture actually. 
I had picked up some lean ground beef at one of the local "Deli" type places here in town  (Denninger's if you must know)  made up a few burgers,  froze them individually,  and then shrink wrapped them in this 'food saver'  shrink wrap thingy that Daughter Number Two gave us.

It's kind of awesome really,  but that's a whole other story.

The curious thing was,  they had different trays of burgers that they had made up,  with the simplest version called "gourmet burgers".   So,  since I'm essentially lazy,  and was considering  just taking a short cut and buying a few,  I asked one of the clerks just what was in these "gourmet burgers"?
Well,  it was only ground beef made into the shape of a patty! 

Right. 

My burgers a just a wee bit more involved,  with chopped Onion,  Worcestershire Sauce,  Bread Crumbs,  an egg,  salt and pepper,  along with another secret ingredient. 
Ok fine.  Not that much of a secret really.  It's Steak Spice.   I've never had anyone complain about my burgers being bland.
Once in a while I serve them with fried onions,  but this time I decided on some "American Cheese".
By that I mean,  those plastic wrapped cheese slices that are really only good for burgers or making grilled cheese sandwiches.  I'm pretty sure it's cheese.

Cooking them from a frozen state isn't too much of a problem.  Just have to make sure they're cooked is all.
I didn't manage to take a picture of the ensuing cheeseburgers,  as by then I was getting kind of hungry and scarfed them down in about two minutes flat.

Along with that,  my sister-in-law had called to ask if I could please come and pick up some beans,  as the garden is just going crazy.   The garden that she has at the back of her place (huge pie shaped lot)  is sort of a joint effort for a few of us,  with me being in charge of fencing and putting up whatever structure required for the pole beans and cucumbers. 
Oh,  and I installed a sprinkler/soaker type of arrangement,  so that she only has to hook up the hose to the one end and turn it on.
The garden is maybe 20 by 60?  Haven't ever really measured it.


So I spent some time blanching and freezing a basket of beans.    Divvied them up into the proper amounts for two or four servings.

The cucumber she gave me was perfect.


I like it cut up with just a tiniest bit of salt.  Yummy.


Mind you,  no need for the elaborate sprinkler/soaker system lately,  as we've had our share of torrential downpours over the last few days.   Didn't sail Tuesday night,  as there was the threat of lightening.  Never a good idea to be on the water with one of them pointy things (called a mast,  hello)  when there's the chance of an electrical storm. 
We went up to the clubhouse for dinner and beer.

There's been a nice break in the weather as a result,  and last night it was actually cool enough that I could keep the bedroom window closed,  and avoid being woke up by the annoying dog next door. 

I swear,  I'm going to have a tee-shirt made up with "How do you like my chainsaw?"  in big letters on the front,  and then right under it in smaller print it'll say,  "I don't have a barking dog to annoy you,  so this'll have to do".

Too much to read I realise,  and I'm sure I'd be the only one to see it anyway.  Maybe a big flag on a huge flag pole?


Well,  that's lunch.   Back to painting.

Oh joy.

Keep those sticks on the ice.

Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

I caught him!

For years now,  and I'm talking decades here,  we've been getting someone else's mail.   Not every day,  mind you.   Just once in a while. 
It all comes down to one number.  Our address contains a "3",   the recipients of our prodigal mail (it does come home eventually) are down the street and around the corner.
So,  a week ago yesterday,  there was a package left on our front doorstep from some place called "Well.ca".   Didn't look like anything I had ordered. 

And as a matter of fact,  I have nothing on order.

Of course it wasn't ours,  so I hopped on the bike and made the delivery.

Oh,  there's a bit of a 'back story'  to this.   See,  once upon a time,  the folks at that other address were Mr. and Mrs. Helm (no relation to "Matt") 

I recall Daughter Number Two telling me that,  when she and her hubby were living here during the time that we lived in Europe,  Mr. Helm would come by from time to time to deliver our mail.  They'd do an exchange,  as we likely had some of his as well.   Usually "Chatelaine"  magazine that Mrs. Helm had on order.  Don't judge.

Sadly,  I remember her telling me one time that,  poor Mr. Helm was getting really old and weary,  and was having difficulty even getting out of his car, let alone making it up our front steps.   Then,  a couple years ago by now I think it was,   Mr. Helm passed away,  and Mrs. Helm was the only one whose mail we were getting.
Then,  a couple months ago,  I couldn't help but notice a "for sale" sign on the front lawn,  and now there are new owners.

I don't think they realise that it was me who delivered their package last week?

We'll introduce ourselves at some point I'm sure.

Anyway,  this morning there was a knock on the front door,  at which point I raced to the front door thinking perhaps my sister-in-law,  who lives up the street and around the corner,  might have got caught in the rain or perhaps needed to use the facilities.

Nope. 

It was "Delivery Dude",  who is under contract with Canada Post,  and he had left a package from Amazon.   Of course,  didn't have my glasses on,  and he had darted off before I could wave him back anyway.

Sure enough.  Not for this address.   But I thought,  "Dammit,  I'm gonna race off and see if I can catch him".  Figuring that,  even if I couldn't track him down,  at least he went in the direction of the proper recipients,  and I'd drop the package off anyway.

And like I just said,  it was raining like you wouldn't believe!

And I saw him!  He was just finishing up another package delivery on one of the side streets,  and I think as soon as he saw me,  because maybe he recognised the vehicle,  he came right to my window.  We had a little chat.  He was apologetic.  He was also getting soaked.  I tried to be brief.  I didn't quite go to the point of trying to explain the difference between '3' and '4',  but he got the idea.

I suspect that,  as long as he's the guy delivering the boxes around here,  I won't have to make any more deliveries.

Now,  the actually postal workers?   That's a different story. 

I've managed to chase down the odd one in the past,  but it's tricky.   They're too surreptitious.  And by the time I've sifted through the dregs of junk mail to see if I actually got anything,  they're long gone.

*****


In other "news",  I thought I'd try one of those copper BBQ mats again,  only this time to cook a couple eggs.

Meh.  Still not the greatest.   I know that when it comes to using a frying pan,  I like to cover the eggs,  which allows them to start to skin over on top before getting crusty on the bottom.

I'm not overly keen on that crusty bit.



I even tried another couple eggs later in the evening,  figured maybe I'd cover them with the lid to a pot.  The only one that I had that would fit over the eggs was this glass thing,  and it started to make these cracking noises, which was freaking me out, so I took it off.  Breaking one of the lids to our pots would be "no bueno".

So,  those eggs in that photo above look really perfect BUT,  they stuck to the surface (not supposed to)  and were way too crusty on the bottom when I was trying to flip them.   Just a mess,  really.  Edible,  but sad looking.


Maybe it would work better on a BBQ,  as opposed to a grill?  I give up.

I'll stick to using the cast iron bit that goes over the grill for anything like bacon or eggs that I want to cook outside.

Meanwhile,  I've finished yet another wall,  and have two (?) more of that colour to go.   Of course, with it being so overcast and rainy,  I may have to bring in one of my gazillion candle power work lamps,  which I'm not keen on using due to the amount of heat given off,  but whatever.

Gotta get at it.





Um,  it looks like two different shades,  but that's just due to the flash.


Thanks for stopping by.




Sunday, August 19, 2018

Just about the toughest part.

Once I get this section over the stairs done,  the rest is easy peasy.   Well,  depending on your skill set,  of course.
Just because painting isn't something I totally love,  doesn't mean that I don't know what I'm doing. 
Put it this way,  I'd sooner "cut in"  than waste a bunch of time fooling with masking tape.


First was the bit up and around the air conditioner.   Tried as I might,  I couldn't find any directions on the line as to how to remove the cover.  I took out a couple screws,  but knowing that the top section was 'clipped in',  I got nervous.
Chose to simply cover the top with some newspaper.

Next is the somewhat nerve wracking part right over the stairwell.
Thankfully it's not a full set of steps,  but it wouldn't matter if it were seven steps or twelve,  getting out there on that plank over the 'abyss'  doesn't really make me a happy camper.








Plus,  after I had put that board out there,  and even after I had cut off the more rotten ends,  I decided I didn't want to use it.
So,  off to Home Despot for a two by twelve.

The best looking stuff they had were the 16 footers,   so I picked one up and cut it in half.

I'm having fun with the self timer on the camera,  by the way...









I could probably make those three into some sort of short "stop animation",  as the camera will take three shots in rapid succession.

Anyhoo,  that's better.


And that's the first coat.

I see that the next area to take that particular shade is in the living room,  so I'll be moving on.

Oh,  and the Nairobi thing? 

One of T.C.'s sisters was invited to a wedding there,  and was looking for someone to travel with her.   Seems a work associate from Nairobi met someone over here (also from Nairobi,  or maybe somewhere else in Kenya?)  and rather than entertain the thought of getting their family over here somehow,  it was easier to go back there to get married. 

Got a note from her today,  the wedding was quite "traditional".   I don't know if that means,  "Kenyan traditional"  or "North American traditional".   I guess I'll find out.  The email I got was rather short and cryptic,  with promises of further info.   T.C. is using her Ipad,  so I totally get why she didn't get too carried away in terms of lengthiness .   Typing a note on one of those things is pretty much an abomination as far as I'm concerned.

After the safari they're going on,  as well as a visit to a "Giraffe Centre" (?)  she'll be heading back to Paris,  and then on to Lyons,  where they'll visit with some friends of her sister's for a few days.

That's all I got.

Back for a second coat.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Too many bugs.

And I'm not talking about being at some sort of "beetle convention" either.   It seems we've gone from ants  to wasps,  and now back to ants again.
Mind you,  I haven't completely sorted out the wasps just yet,  but I'm wearing them down.

The first ant infestation was back a few months ago,  when they were coming in the corner office here,  and that was a whole ordeal of putting out the 'sticky juice' for them to feast on,  to spraying around the perimeter of the house,  to opening up a small hole in the garage ceiling as a double whammy kind of strategy.   Plus,  I've moved all the "firewood"  away from the side of the house,  and spray the shit out of anything that moves. 
Well actually,  a little spray goes a long way.
Plus,  I'm cheap.





See?  Up against the house.  No bueno.
I've moved it all,  and I'm in the throws of cutting up the odd piece in preparation of renting a bigger log splitter than what I currently have.

The wasp situation is right along an opening at the top of the trim over our front window.  Like I say,  I'm working on it.   The trick is to get the spray into the opening,  all the while being on the look out for any stragglers that haven't quite gone to bed yet.   These critters are less active after dusk and before sun-up.   I'm too damned lazy to haul my ass outdoors before sun-up,  so it's the after dusk program I'm afraid.

Anyway,  the numbers have diminished considerably,  but I'm far from done.

Of course,  Travelling Companion wants me to "call a guy",  since she's afraid I'll get stung half to death,  but I figure I can pony up a few bucks for a can or two of "One Shot"  or whatever it's called.

Oh and then,  as we've finally had a break in the weather and the humidity is down along with the temperature,  I figured I'd open a few windows and let some air through the place.   Went downstairs to discover yet another ant infestation.    This time it's the little guys.   Out comes the vacuum,  and then a trip outside to try and figure out where they're coming in.    To quote the late Carl Sagan,  there were 'billions and billions'. 
Well,  maybe a couple hundred.   But you know what I mean.

So that battle has commenced.  Fork!

Oh,  speaking of T.C.,   I hadn't mentioned in any of my previous missives,  that she had been planning a little trip abroad,  and without further ado,  I'll just say right now that...(wait for it)  she's in Nairobi.

Yup,  you read that right.   Nairobi.

That's across the pond.   The one in Kenya.

I'll just let that sink in.


Of course,  that for me makes for an opportune time to get some paining done, which I've finally started today..



Like how I just breezed right on past that subject??

There are actually three different shades of this particular grey,   so I made sure to go around with T.C. and some post-it notes identifying which colour went on which wall. 
See,  painting again wasn't exactly *my* idea. 
Just saying.

I can't say that I exactly "hate" painting,  but it does require a certain amount of motivation.  For example,   T.C. left on Tuesday.   I just started today.

"Why not hire someone?"  sez you?   Well,  I broke down and did that once,  and the guy was so sloppy I resolved to never do that again.   Had to actually tear out and replace a bit of mill-work in the dining room that he slobbered paint on.  Seriously.


I'd tell you a bit more about the Nairobi situation,  except that I've finished my lunch and I really should get back to painting.

Gah!

Thanks for stopping by. 

And ya,  I'll come back in a day or two.   Promise.


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Well, that was a bit of a fail.

So,  for "Father's Day",  there were a few items that came my way,  one of which was a package containing two of these new fangled "copper cooking sheets"  for the BBQ. 










Now admittedly,  the Weber Q that I use is considered a "Grill"  as opposed to a BBQ,  but I figured I'd try out one of them anyway.

With pizza.

Hey,  there's a picture of them cooking pizza on the box,  so I figured it should work.  Right?

Meh.

Wrong.



It *looks* OK there,  but the bottom is getting burnt.  I had to quickly figure out how to get the pizza up off the grill a bit to sort of help it cook without completely charring the bottom,  so I used a ceramic pizza stone that I had stashed in the kitchen. 
We still ate most of the good parts.   The slightly *more* annoying part was,  this was a "home made" pizza,  which we prefer over most anything "store bought".

Oh well.

Hey,  maybe I'll try frying an egg,  or something...

Not sure why I'd do that,  and as for vegetables,  I already have a pan type of arrangement that works just fine.  I suppose if I had to do more than one thing,  and space was at a premium,  I'd whip out one of these sheets.  I certainly haven't given up on them just yet by any means.


Meanwhile,  the cuckoo clock repair saga continues,  and I think I've come up with a temporary solution.  Well,  maybe temporary in a more permanent way.  You'll see.

First of all,  I should mention that one of my daughter's friends/in laws needed some hair cutting practise,  as she's about to write her exam (there's exams for hair cutting??)  so after the word was put out for willing volunteers,  I figured I'd offer up my old noggin for some practise.



I used to do this sort of thing at the hair cutting class they used to have over at a local vocational school that one of our previous provincial governments in their infinite wisdom forced the local school board to close. 
A bit of a sore spot with me,  but whatever.

This of course,  was complete with a cuckoo clock tutorial. Because now I'm *so* qualified...*snort*!




And,  remember how I said that one of the local clock repair Dudes said that he never worked on cuckoo clocks in Germany,  and has carried on that tradition here in Canada? 
Well....I get it.
It's time consuming.   Like,  I'd have to charge more than a new clock would be worth.   Quite possibly including the cost to fly over to Bavaria and bring one home.

But I mostly looked on it as a challenge.  At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So my "solution" for the bellows problem?   Well,  I stole a working bellows out of the clock that we have here in the house,  and installed it in place of the one that needs work.



You'll notice on the left side there,  that one of the bellows is missing?   It's one half of the "cuckoo"   sound.  So the little bird was only going "coo...coo...coo..."   Not ....OK,  you get it.

So I brought our clock onto the operating table to do a transplant....



Of course,   when these guys (Cuckoo Clock Guys?)  put these things together,  it seems there's a bit of randomness involved when it comes to installing the bellows,  as the screw hole for holding the thing in place was not the same,  so that was a bit of trial and error,  but the patient has been put back together,  is running,  and we'll see if it continues to do so for a day or two before being set free.

Fascinating sh*t innit??

As it's bloody hot out today,  we're off later for a "pool party",  but I've promised to not take along the camera.

Wouldn't be prudent.

You'll just have to take my word for it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep that stick on the ice.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

My attempts at clock repair.

File this one under either "Rube Goldberg",   or, "Look Ma,  I'm a Neanderthal!"


I've never actually asked someone who repairs clocks just how they manage to hang a cuckoo clock so the weighs are doing their thing so as to monitor ones progress,  so I came up with this "stick method".

Of course,  I have no bloody idea why the thing actually quits after a very short time except that,  after listening and listening,  I determined that it was labouring at a certain point,  so I tried adding a bit more weight to the drive mechanism,  and that does seem to keep it going.

It's been running for a few hours at this point,  so I changed the clamp (read:weight)  to a smaller one,   and we'll see how that works.

Most of the stuff I see 'on the line'  simply shows replacing the movement.  Well,  not only is that something I'm reluctant to do,  but I don't have a replacement hanging around.

Oh,  and by the way,  this in not OUR  cuckoo clock,  although we have one just like it.  I think this is the "entry level" cuckoo clock,  as I know of at least three in our immediate family.  Well,  the family that came over from Europe that is.
No,  this is my sister-in-law's clock,  that she took down to do some painting,  and then the bugger decided to quit.  The question was asked if we'd take it to one of the clock fixer uppers here in town,  and he wouldn't even look at it. 

It went something like,  "I didn't work on cuckoo clocks back in Germany, and I won't work on them here."   (insert appropriate German accent)

If this seems to be the ticket,  I'll sort through some of my lead weights to see if I can come up with something a little more elegant,  with the knowledge that adding more weight to the mechanism might very well mean that it'll wear out in a few years.   C'est la vie.

I also noticed that one of the bellows for the "cuckoo" sound is kinda pooched,  so I might go so far as to try and fix that.  We'll see.

Meanwhile,  it's been a summer of the usual sailing/golfing etc.   With a ever so brief couple visits to a cottage up in Wasaga where the main activity has been building a shed for their bikes and tools.

I have photo evidence.






But first,  I should put in this one that was from July.   I could call this one,  "Old man with spectacles",  but it looks more like I'm having some digestive issues.




Anyway,  the first photo is from last weekend (oh wait,  that was July too,  wasn't it?)  But,  it's a little more done at this point,  and the openings at the top there are ready for some corrugated Plexiglas type stuff to let in some light.
On the wall immediately below those openings,  there will be a cedar shake detail to add some interest. 

 I had some left over from the shed I build for Daughter Number One.



Here we're doing a sort of "hands on"  evaluation of just how far three bundles of shakes will go.
There should be plenty.

I might not get to see much more of this,  as I'm not sure just when we'll get back up there.   No plans at the moment.


Exciting isn't it?

And you know.  I'd sooner do this sort of thing at a cottage,  than sit around all day.  I mean,  I *can* sit around and read etc.,  but eventually I get a little anxious.  Or bored.  Or....something.

I suspect my mind starts to wander to *stuff* I think I should be doing,  and then it's down hill from there.

Anyhoodle,  that's my missive for August so far.  I'll be back at some point I'm sure.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Keep your stick on the ice.


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.