Sunday, December 29, 2013

Maui days

Really enjoying our time here.
I have to apologize for the lack of posts, but all I have available is The Fruit.  
Even if my laptop had been in good form, I still wouldn't have taken it along.
Word is that my son-in-law is making some progress getting it to behave.  Just the same, Travelling Companion and I are sorely lacking in the technical devises department.

I'm sure we'll survive, but I do have to start shopping for a new computer when we get home.   I just hate those kinds of decisions.
I promise to take photos.  That's all I can say.
Oh,  in the "shocking news" department,  this Old Dude closed the bar last night with the "young 'uns".

I know!

I'm coherent enough to write this, which is kind of like a Christmas miracle.

Having said that though,  my noggin' is pretty much empty at this point,  so I'll stop now.
We're off to a luau tonight in honour of our niece, who came up with this whole Hawaii program in the first place.   She was one of the group of "Young 'uns" at the bar last night.
She turned 40.

Hey, that's young!  C'mon!

See you on the flip side.

Thanks for stopping by.  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Some slight issues

I want to wish everyone amerry Christmas,  and I'll throw in a Happy new year as we'll.
I'm currently without Live Writer due to issues with my laptop.  I've been meaning to get anew computer, and this may be a sign.
Boxing Day tomorrow, and then Friday we head for Maui.
And yes, I know where my sandals are.

Take care one and all.

And thanks for stopping by.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Man, were we ever lucky.

I’m almost afraid to jinx it by even talking about it,  but we didn’t lose our power the whole time that others around us are without.  And some (many) are *still* in the dark. 

Daughter Number Two and hubby decided to hang out with us yesterday for most of the day, as their place was without power,  and at one point later in the afternoon we were considering whether to go back and pack up the dog and cat,  but then their power came back on around seven I think it was.   And how did they know this you might ask?   Well,  one of the folks in the building is a friend on the Book of Face,  and he had stayed behind.  It wasn’t like it was really bitterly cold or anything,  and he had work to do.  At one point though,  he said it was getting too dark to draw.  He’s a artist of the comic book variety,  so he just sits and works. 

Anyhoodle,  I don’t have a whole lot to offer at the moment.  We’ve done our running around in order to fetch the turkey, ham and what have you.  So we’re *done*.

Until we think of something that we’re missing of course.  There’s some sort of law about that.

Saw this little guy just hanging out, outside our kitchen window this morning.


I’m guessing he was up there trying to get a little dried out?  It’s pretty damp out there.

Speaking of laws,  and by that I mean Murphy’s,  there was a message when we got home that there was a leak,  and would I mind coming to take a look?

Come to find out,  when Daughter Number One’s significant other went to brush his teeth this morning,  he found himself standing in just a little bit of water.  In his sock feet.  That’s never fun.

So it turns out that the over flow for the sink has a slight leak.  That was a bit of a relief I suppose,  since I wasn’t sure if it was a leak on the pressure side of things, or the drain side of things.  The overflow is a bit of an odd arrangement, since it consists of a channel that appears to be stuck onto the outside of the bowl, leading from the overflow down to the drain.  No wonder it started to leak. 

There was a brief discussion about plumber’s putty,  but I know from previous experience (most of it bad) that it’s best to just put in a new sink and be done with it. And a better one at that.

The aggravation of trying to fix a leak that you can barely detect is never a good option.  HOWEVER,  the interim solution is to put a pan under the damned thing and sort it out some time in January.  It’s too close to Christmas,  the stores are all mobbed,  and I have no desire to get something half ways apart and discover there’s some little thing missing.  It’s a law.  It’s gonna happen.

And that’s about it for today I’m thinking.  Travelling Companion made a couple pumpkin pies to match the two apple pies from yesterday,  which means I stay clear of the kitchen.  

The remainder of the activities between now and Christmas Eve consist of more food preparation, present wrapping, and ingesting copious amounts of the food that’s been prepared. 

I’ve lost count, but we’re expecting in the neighbourhood of 20 for dinner.  We’re not entirely sure.  It’ll depend on the weather for some, and their state of well being for others.  Meh, we’re flexible.


Try not to overdo it.


Thanks for stopping in.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Slippery Sunday.

We’re having a wee bit of an ice storm.  One of those times when having the car IN the garage instead of out in front of it is certainly the way to go.  Ever notice people don’t put their vehicles undercover even when they have a chance to do so?   Not going to judge.

Just got a call from our Festivus hostess thanking us for coming and making sure we got home OK.   Yes we had a Festivus gathering last night.  There were no “feats of strength” however.  Just good eats,  and a lot of laughter.

Anyway,  our Festivus hostess also mentioned that their power is out.  They’re in Toronto.   Remember how I’ve gone on about the City of Toronto not trimming their trees effectively or letting the residents do the same?  I’m going to go out on a limb here (oh, there’s a pun) and suggest that not sorting out the tree issue tends to make it more likely that your power will be knocked out. 

There,  I said it.

It’s just a theory mind you.


A Saturday night left over.


Of course,  just now our cable crapped out,  but I don’t have a lot of faith in Cogeco or their ability to keep their lines up in either a wind storm or in the event of a little ice.  I’ll call them up later and get a credit for today.  It’s worth the aggravation,  mostly for the satisfaction of having them adjust our monthly bill.  

Sounds petty,  I know.  But dammit, we pay good money for “reliable service”,  so that’s what I expect.

The driving last night wasn’t that bad at all.  It’s the parking lots, sidewalks and side streets that are a wee bit treacherous.  The salt trucks were out in full force.  I was a little concerned when Travelling Companion had to manage the last few feet to get into the house.   Falling on ones keester at that point is never a good thing.

We won’t be going anywhere today.  I’m not even convinced I should venture out to the shed.




Nor will I be going out to take some artsy pictures of the rime ice.  Looking out the window will have to do.



I decided to set up the last bed yesterday.  There would be boatloads of extra room,  except for the “stuff” off there to the left.  We won’t go there.

I was reminded of a little issue I had had when I was disassembling that bed back in Vienna.   And yes,  I realise that the movers could very well do those things,  but I just want them to pack it up so it doesn’t get damaged.  I’d sooner do the taking apart,  so I’ll know where all the little bits are.   On one occasion someone from one of the moves said, “Oh, we put all the hardware in a box.”   To which I replied,  “So if that box gets lost,  NOTHING can ever be put back together.”  The look on his face suggested a light bulb had just been switched on.  Dough head.

We didn’t opt for that scheme.  I keep the hardware with the item.  Then I know where it is.


Anyway, I managed to cross thread one of the bed bolts,  which definitely did suck,  but there was nothing I could do about it at the time.  Then of course,  I rediscovered that little issue yesterday. Gah!


So I had to put on my machinist’s cap.



OK, maybe that cap is a bit of a tight fit.  I mostly have no clue.  Nor do I have much in the way of machinist’s equipment.

If you don’t know what’s going on there,  don’t worry about it.


Good as new.

Hey,  I was pretty proud of myself.  

And that’s mostly because, like I said,  I really have no clue.  Thankfully the thread was the right size, or I would have had to quietly put away my little set of taps and dies and just crank down on the thing I suppose.


Well,  I guess that’s all there is in my pea brain. 


T.C. and I will pass our time watching “Game of Thrones” methinks.




Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Now this is what I’m talking about.

With the road conditions having the potential for being somewhat less than ideal,  the subject of driving and idiot drivers is one that is hard to stay away from. 

The news folks will sometimes feature a video and shove it out there as an example of their version of “news gathering”, and that’s the only way I would have stumbled across this one.

So here is a prime example of well,  someone who is perhaps not the brightest bulb.

What the caption should say is, “Woman does absolutely nothing to avoid flipping her car.”



Watch what she does at about 14 seconds in.   Actually,  it’s more like what she’s NOT doing at about 14 seconds in.  

No clue. 

For those of you who perhaps don’t have the bandwidth to watch the video,  just try to imagine someone at the wheel who is quite likely a good candidate for "Canada's Worst Driver",  although she looks like she’s perhaps in Europe somewhere.  Or at least certainly not North America judging by the lack of shoulders on that road.

Nobody trained her to turn into the skid.  She just hangs on for dear life.  Yikes.

I was reminded the other day by Daughter Number Two that we did indeed go out after the first snow fall back in the day when she first got her licence to have a go at “Bob’s skid school”.    We found ourselves a nice empty shopping plaza and had at it. 

You have to know what a vehicle will do if you lose traction.  Now,  maybe I created a monster,  because she loves driving in the snow.  Not to the point of being goofy or anything,  but with enough confidence to know how to handle her car in all situations.   I somehow think they don’t bother teaching it in Driving School?  I don’t seem to recall any mention of “steering into the skid” when I took “Young Drivers of Canada”.   Admittedly, that was eons ago,  so I probably forgot.  

The parts that I do remember though have to do with being the first one at the wheel when we started the in car sessions.  There were two other students and me.  (“me” = indirect pronoun)

I was the only one who had driven up to that point,  and although I had just turned 16, I had been driving for a couple years.   Not on the roads all that much,  and only when necessary.  (Shhh,  don’t tell!)

There’s a story there about being too young to drink and therefore having to drive a brother (no,  not “a Brothah”) from Keswick back to King City at about 3:00 a.m.   I still remember my Dad asking the next day, “So, who drove home?”  at which point I raised my hand. 

He just laughed.   

Hey,  it was 3:00 a.m., country roads,  nobody around.

(and I wanted to go home!)

Now,  I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a vehicle with someone who has never been at the wheel,  but it can be a,  how shall I put this?  “unique experience”?   One of the students couldn’t grasp the concept that you had to let go of the steering wheel after rounding a corner. 

Man of man,  I was sure glad the instructor had that extra brake pedal on his side!  And that I didn’t have to go to the bathroom.   Well,  I was a young snot, so I’m sure I had much better bladder control.   Let’s leave that alone.

I understand nowadays you don’t go out with extra bodies in the car for the in car sessions.  Probably just as well.  It didn’t seem to bother me to have a couple extra bodies in the back seat.  And I only was taking the driving course to get a lower insurance rate. 

To this day I’d love to have a sticker for the back of the car that reads,  “If you’re tailgating close enough to read this, I probably pay less for insurance than you do!”

And then secretly,  I’d like it to say,  “Now f**k off!”

Hate tailgaters.


So lemme see.  What’s new and exciting for today?   There’s been some more cleaning up downstairs for the company that’s coming.   That would my job of course.

Oh,  and by the way,  we do have a couple of those blow up beds,  but that day bed is going to stay there for a time,  so it’s no hardship to get it unwrapped and set up.


And I did bring in the tree and set it up.  

We saw this neat-o Christmas tree stand a couple years ago in Austria and I finally was able to try it out today.  I think you can get them over here now,  but I haven’t really looked.

There’s no bending over!  You just stick the butt of the tree in the device and push down on the ratchet to tighten the clamps and Bob’s yer Uncle!



I spent a whopping two bucks for the Christmassy table cloth arrangement to put underneath.  I like to have something under the tree that’s half ways leak proof,  even though I have no intention of splashing water all over the place.  Never good for the hardwood.



This was a twenty dollar tree from the grocery store down the street. 




Just wait long enough and the branches fall down.  

And that’s it,  I’m done!


What?  I said I’d “put up the tree”.  No mention of decorating the stupid thing. 

Ain’t my deal man.

Hey,  just because I make the “putting up” part easier, that doesn’t mean I want to jump right in there and start decorating.  Gah!



Five more shopping days. 

Better yet,  seven more days and we’re outta here!  Already got me some new swimming trunks. I think that’s about all I’ll be taking.


Keep them sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping ‘round.


All grammar mistakes are intentional,  but you know that.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Company’s coming.

It’s been a pretty ordinary Wednesday here,  except that both Travelling Companion and I went to breakfast with the Wednesday group.  She thought she’d get in some practise for when she retires.  And yes,  there is talk of retiring,  but that’s not something I’ll mention just yet.  You’ll have to stay tuned.


Anyhoodle,  there was a plan afoot to set up yet another bed,  which of course means Muggins here is the one with that particular little job.  I had been putting off assembling any more beds with the view of getting rid of more of the *stuff* in the upstairs room.  The thing is,  it ain’t my stuff,  and I’m waiting patiently for Daughter Number Two and Hubby to come and get it.   I’ve pretty much assembled it into boxes,  now all it needs is to go.

If you’ve been hanging around here for a few years (poor bastards) you may recall something we refer to as a “Day Bed”,  that I’ve set up and taken apart countless times.  No really.  Countless.  It was purchased in New York State, went to Puerto Rico,  came back to Canada,  went to the Netherlands,  went to Vienna and then came back to Canada again.  Good thing it doesn’t have stickers from all the places where its been or you wouldn’t be able to see the bed.   Oh,  and when we first got to Vienna,  I had to take it apart and move it once,  since it wasn’t quite where it was supposed to be.  I just SO LOVE putting beds together.  You know what kind of font we’re talking about here, right?


So this was my afternoon.  Well,  part of it.  I’m not that slow.


And naturally,  even though I did a thorough cleaning down there not that long ago,  I still had to vacuum up a host of webs and spiders!  Where the hell do they come from?   Little bastards. 

*Thinks*.   I’d better go up to the room where I had these parts stored and see if there are any more hanging around.  It’s a sure bet.


DSC_0001 DSC_0002



The bottom part is on a frame that comes out and can be raised to make into a second bed or a king.  We wanted to have a half decent set of mattresses, (Sealy…something or other) which meant that each of them are just that much thicker,  and therefore the top one is quite high up in order to fit the second one underneath.  These are things you learn the hard way the first time you put it together.   Don’t ask.


Now of course,  I just have to struggle with all the packing material.   Gah!



I mean,  I know the movers had to wrap everything and I appreciate the good job they did and all that,  but crikey! 

I don’t know how many “bales” of this stuff I’ve set out at the curb.  


Well now,  that was exciting wasn’t it??  


Aren’t you glad you stopped by?   And well,  thanks for that.

Not much else to see here,  move along. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I’m here. Really.

There seems to be certain subjects that do indeed bring forth the comments.  A snow storm seems to be one of them.   I don’t “do” religion or politics,  unless of course it involves making fun of politicians.  But that’s almost like cruelty to animals.  Dumb animals at that.

I guess I didn’t have anything to say yesterday that was worth saying.  I was a little taken aback to read about “Butterbean” Carpenter.  He last made a comment here on December 5th.  Maybe that’s why I just figured I had nothing worth while? 

We can get all maudlin and philosophical, but that won’t help matters any.


It’s a beautiful day here at the Ponderosa.  It snowed just enough this morning to make the parking lots greasy,  which makes it more of challenge to go on foot that by car.  There’s not much you can wear that will keep you from slipping in the snot.



I think the fellow across the road might have a bit of an issue getting into his place?  He lives up in Caledon on what I understand is a country property,  and I don’t know if he has a snow blower or a tractor with a blade.  Maybe he’s still snowed in?  Doubtful.


I didn’t mention what we did on Saturday,  did I?  During the storm.

Initially Travelling Companion wanted to go to a mass for her parents in Hamilton at EIGHT a.m.   And we managed to get about half way through town (it’s spread out,  so we’re talking maybe a couple miles) and decided to skip it.  There had been no plowing at all at that point in the morning and it was getting worse the farther west we went.  So it was back home for breakfast.

And that would have been all fine and dandy.  Hang out at home.  Shovel some snow.  No biggie.

However, there was a plan afoot to meet up with a former associate coming over from Austria who had stayed in Canada a couple extra days just to see us.  Just to see us. 

So we HAD to suck it up and go to Toronto later in the day.  There wasn’t going to be a “do over”.


This gentleman used to work with T.C. in the Company that Cannot Be Named,  and has since left to pursue other interests. 

Actually,  he told us later over dinner that he only stuck around as long as he did due to Travelling Companion.  When she said she was coming back to Canada,  he started getting ready for his exit.

He was in Nova Scotia for a few days seeing to a windmill venture that he’s involved in.   Really neat stuff,  but not exactly blog fodder.


He’s a huge hockey fan,  so we took him to the Hockey Hall of Fame down at the corner of Front Street and Young. 

I must say,  even though I’m not that big a hockey fan,  it was kinda cool.  Actually,  let me rephrase that.  I have no clue,  relatively speaking.  It has something to do with shooting a hard black round thingy into a net.  I’ll leave it at that.

We all enjoyed some of the neat displays. 

This is one of those times when,  even if you *think* you don’t know that much (see above) you begin to discover just how little you DO know?  My lack of hockey knowledge was staggering.

We were totally clueless as to how far back hockey goes in Canada,  and all the different types of equipment,  cups, trophies.  The list goes on.


There’s good old Lord Stanley.  Hence,  the “Stanley Cup,”   Not just some name pulled out of a hat.

That’s NOT the Stanley Cup,  by the way.


This is….  ↓



Or maybe it’s a replica?  I really have no clue.  All I know is,  if you had some random thought about grabbing it and running out the open door (yes,  the front door was open and it was freakin’ cold in there) I’m pretty sure there would be a bevy of Toronto’s finest chasing after you in fairly short order.  And, how you gonna get that thing under your coat?  Or run with it down the sidewalk?

So,  there were three different stops,  and three different underground parking garages.  (his hotel, the Hall of Fame and then dinner)   Didn’t have to trudge through the slush one bit.  Our friend had suggested taking the subway,  but I figured we could just crawl along Young street from his hotel on Gerrard to Front.  Wouldn’t have been any quicker by subway,  since you have to GET to the subway somehow.  

I probably shouldn’t offer any opinions on Toronto Transit,  since I don’t have to live there.  But I suspect that it’s not “The better way”.   That’s their motto.  And they’re not even using sarcastic font. 

Oh,  and they refer to themselves as a “World Class City”.  Try not to spit out your coffee!  

I don’t know man,  I don’t even OWN a crack pipe,  so I guess I’m missing out.


I shouldn’t bash Toronto I suppose,  but with the exception of a few new buildings, it still looks the same to me as it did back in the 60s when I first came to Ontario. 


So we made it there and back,  in spite of the roads.  Word is there were some 1700 traffic incidents on the weekend.  Or maybe it was just Saturday?  Not sure. 

I don’t quite know how to explain it.  It’s a heck of a sight more difficult these days to get your driver’s license in Ontario from back in the day when I got mine,  but the skill level has not improved.  If anything its gotten worse.  I don’t even think winter tires would help some of the dough heads that passed us going way too fast.  We caught up to at least one of them (that I recognised) who had spun out into the ditch.  The urge to stop and give a brief lecture is hard to resist.  But man oh man,  if there was ever a time…


Well,  I suppose I could go on about bad driving and poor infrastructure until my fingers start to hurt,  but that would begin to suck in a hurry.

I’m done.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for looking.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

That’ll get your heart going.

You probably know this,  but this:


DSC_0003 what we woke up to.   Not that that was a surprise or anything.

It’s a winter wonderland.

Don’t slap me.

Great fun to sit and watch the knobs get stuck at that corner, by the way.  Is that mean?


The following will either make you feel nostalgic or smug.  Depends on where you are.


DSC_0005 DSC_0004

Then of course, after making my NFL picks for this week,  I figured I’d get out there and tackle it.

Oh goodie!



Um, that would be ‘sarcastic font’.   Just thought I’d point that out.

It had mostly stopping snowing last night when we came in from our grand day out,  and I thought I might have some difficulty backing up the driveway to put the car in the garage.  Didn’t happen.

We have that whole “Four Matic” program going on there,  and it does seem to make a difference in “adverse conditions”.  There are numerous explanations on the web

I didn’t kill myself shovelling.  Not this time anyway. It’s surprising how quickly I had to first briefly come inside and take off a sweater I thought I needed,  followed by having to remove my hat. It’s a helluva thing when you start to overheat at -7°C.  

Is that a “Canadian” thing,  or just an “Old Dude out of shape,”  thing?

I think I’d go with option two.


My neighbour asked me if I had a blower,  and I had to admit that in fact,  I *do* have a blower.   Sitting out back under the snow.  It would need many things to get it running again I’m afraid.

It hasn’t been run for a couple of years (remember that whole living overseas thing?)  and the last time I took it in for a “going over”,  the small engine repair Dude quite frankly told me that he’d get ‘er going,  but doing much more than replacing the drive belt would just be a waste of money.   I might just look into buying another machine one of these days.  I’m not overly keen on paying the price of a new one though.  You know me.

“Oh, heated grips, that would be awesome!”.   Then of course I realise, it would just be one more thing to break.

What we need is one of those winters when we have NO SNOW (hey, it happens!) and then there’s an abundance of used blowers in the classifieds as the winter winds down. Not that I’d want to take advantage of anyone or anything,  but if it’s taking up room in your garage and the word is, “get rid of that thing”,  I’m willing to help out.   You know, ‘cause I’m so “helpful”?  


I reckon that’s all I got for today.  A Sunday post is a bit of a rarity for me as it is,  so this’ll have to do.


I think I’ll go watch some football.


Keep it on the hard pack.


Thanks for looking.




Friday, December 13, 2013

Thought I was having a stroke.

Well,  the first time it happened,  that was the thought that popped into my head.  This time, I knew better.

I was standing there at the counter,  just about to order my stamps and had decided to put on my specs.  As it was, everything was pretty blurry from having just come in from the cold,  but then it got worse when the glasses were added to the equation. Whoa! What’s going on here?

Took me a second or two to realise that no, I wasn’t having some sort of an “episode”,  but rather that a lens had fallen out.


At least it was still in the case, and not crushed to bits on the floor. 

Naturally,  being in need of glasses in order to see how to fix your glasses,  presents a bit of a conundrum.  Thankfully they had “cheaters” on sale at Shoppers. 

I have to say, this is one of those little “jobs” that I do tend to ever so slightly dread.  I have to choose my words carefully here too,  since there are possibly readers out there who just might be the recipient of a piece of mail over the next few days. 

Let’s put it this way, once upon a time when I was in school (and you can take that to mean whatever you want) there was always that sense of dread when it came to writing an essay.

You had to just sit down and “do it”.


It’s kind of like that with me and Christmas cards.  Ironically, I definitely find it easier these days to sit down and bang out a 1000 word essay.  Mostly because I don’t *have to*, not to mention the slight issues I might have with verbal diarrhea.  Hell,  I’d probably have to cut out great big chunks.

Oooh, that “chunks” image wasn’t the best,  was it?

Anyway,  we’re done.  Boom.  Went through the list,  checked it twice.  I’m missing a couple addresses but there’s not too much I can do about that.   Doc Emmet moved to Yarmouth and I have no clue what their address is,  so we’ll see if they send us something. 

Oh, I meant to say my brother John.  Sorry.  Freudian slip.


I managed to knock off another little job yesterday afternoon.  The new washing machine is “up and running”.  More than one meaning to “up” as well.   You may recall that I had built a stand for the thing?



There she be.

I don’t mind saying,  getting that thing up there was a bit of a workout.  And I don’t “work out”.   I guess I haven’t completely lost my “lifting, grunting, snorting” mojo just yet.   But there was a drop or two of sweat involved.  Oy.

Sadly,  the other machine to the right there has got to go.  Even though it still works. Dammit.  Just clunks when it spins. 



All kinds of fancy stuff going on there.


Maybe I should start taking in laundry?   Let me see now,  what would be our motto?  “If it can be shrunk,  we’ll shrink it.  Now you know.”

Nothing like letting the customer know what to expect.  “We aims to please,  or at least not surprise you”.  That would be my second choice.  Or maybe put that on the back of the business card?

Hell,  I betcha I could make at least five bucks a week.



This morning it’s a bit of a “Winter Wonderland” out there.

I just said that with a stupid smirk on my face,  which is only something I would dare do in print.  If I said “Winter Wonderland” like that to anyone in person, I’d probably get slapped. 

And deservedly so.


And no,  I’m not mixed up when it comes to garbage day,  those are bags of clothes for a charity that will come by and pick sh*t up at your door.  This time around it’s Cerebral Palsy,  but we get calls from the Canadian Diabetic Association as well,  and they called a couple days after the first bunch.  I *suppose*,  in light of the frequency of diabetes in the family, I should chose the one over the other.  That would mean I’d have to actually be *thinking* when they call? 

Don’t even go there.


I think I mentioned (and will continue to do so)  that we’re starting to get some wintery conditions?

Well,  that doesn’t mean I don’t BBQ. 

BBQ season?  We don’t need no stinkin’ BBQ season!  We’re Canadian,  dammit!  Unless it’s pissing down rain,  or blowing and snowing so bad that I can’t SEE the BBQ,  I’ll be out there.  And even in the rain.  I have an umbrella.

Besides, I only need one free hand.


Last night I once again did honey garlic sausages.  Oh man!

If I hit Denninger's at just the right time, I have a very hard time passing up a sausage purchase.  They make their own sausages,  and they only come in on Wednesday afternoons!   You *might* find a sausage in the place on a Friday,  but definitely not Monday or Tuesday.  Nope.

They make them fresh,  and then they’re gone.  Can’t beat that.


I think that’s going to be it for today.  Should be an interesting couple of days coming up,  weather wise.

Didn’t put them winter tires on for nothing!


All grammar mistakes are intentional.


Don’t eat the yellow snow.


Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Welcome to Canada, here’s your toque.

‘Cus baby,  it’s a wee bit nippy outside.  I know this.

First of all,  there was the recycling thing,  which is every Thursday in these parts,  so that was my first introduction to frigid temperatures, and then I had to hoof it down to the drug store for a little conflab.

It just occurred to me that I’m the only one who might know what a “conflab” is.  I think it might be an East Coast term.   But I included the link above for your edification.

You’re welcome.

One thing I made sure of in the recycling department, was to cut up the box from the TV.  Have you ever seen this?  Right after Christmas,  folks will put out boxes from their recently acquired nifty new novelties.  What a perfect opportunity for anyone looking to steal a new TV.  Or X-Box, or whatever.

You’re throwing out the box anyway, just take a minute and cut it up. And preferably place the pieces in such a way that none of the fancy bits are showing. 

If anyone of lower moral turpitude drives by and thinks we’re still using oil lamps,  I’m OK with that.   “We got nothin’ here.  Keep on moving.”


Going to the drug store wasn’t exactly my first choice of “what to do”  this morning.  Trust me.

However,  Travelling Companion is running out of these “test strips” that tell you just where you are in terms of your blood sugar level. 

test strips

I thought I’d stick a picture in there for you.  These suckers are expensive.  The price that was next to that image that I stole off the net was NINETY-FIVE BUCKS.  

The box that I took with me to the drug store had €55,00 on it (from Vienna), so that’s pretty close.

Anyhoodle,  the mission was to “call the doctor’s office and get a prescription” because,  you know,  they’re NINETY-FIVE BUCKS.   Well,  I didn’t check on the price at the drug store, but I’m sure they’re not *free*.  If there’s a prescription,  at least then we only have to pay the dispensing fee.

So why go to the drug store?  In the cold?  

Well,  unless T.C. can go in for an appointment,  and the nice lady on the phone at the doctor’s office said chances were slim,  the drug store needs to send a fax to their office,  the doc can look at it,  sign it and send it back.  Then they’ll call me. 

They said.

I suppose I could have called the drug store, or tried to,  but I find that doing the face to face thing much more effective.   Plus,  I need the exercise. 

No, really. 



OK,  I have to talk about this next thing because well,  it’s just plain amusing.


Did anyone watch any of the Nelson Mandela memorial?

T.C. and I watched snippets,  and the one thing that really caught my attention was this guy:


signing dude

The “sign language Dude”.  

I even said to T.C. “what’s he doing?”   I mean,  I don’t know my ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to sign language, but whatever he was doing didn’t make any sense to me.  He was just kind of repeating himself and swaying back and forth.  I first noticed the swaying back and forth because you know, interpreters are supposed to sort of blend in back there,  aren’t they? 

I mean,  shouldn’t you be able to listen to the speech and then go, “Oh, that’s the sign for that?”   Right?

Nope,  turns out sign language is much easier than I thought.  Who knew?

Sign me up!   Is that a pun?  Maybe not.

OK hang on.  I just have to stop here until I can clear the tears (of laughter) from my eyes.   Oh the humanity!


He says he was “hallucinating”.   Due to his schizophrenia.  Wow.


Oh the questions.   How did he get this job?  Was it a referral?  Whom is he related to?  Where did he buy that suit? 

OK fine,  it’s a nice enough suit.  Never mind.

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.




I could have easily let this go I suppose,  but I figured I’d be sure and take a picture of my nipple.  Oooh, that didn’t sound right,  I’ll be getting hits from creepy guys.  (or gals?)

You can see it there between those two boxes.  I realise I could have run 12-2 wire for the new washing machine, since it only draws 10 amps,  but that wasn’t going to happen.  So all of you electrical critics can just go pound sand. 

The next big challenge will be getting rid of the old machine.  Annoyingly,  it still works.  It just makes that clunking sound when it spins.  *grumble*

My preference would have been to run the thing until it absolutely refused to work anymore,  but T.C. didn’t want to run the risk of being without a machine.   Or something,  I don’t know.  Before I could turn around twice,  we had a new machine.

I do realise that the last time a machine crapped out on us it wasn’t the best situation,  but we had a house full of bodies.

These days there’s only the two of us,  and I’m pretty sure we have enough socks and underwear to last at least a few weeks.  But hey,  I only get one vote.


I think that’s it for today kids.  I’ll be here by the phone,  waiting for the call from the drug store.   Oh joy.


Keep it between the ditches.  Bundle up if you have to.


Thanks for lookin’.



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I was only missing a nipple.

It looks as though we’ll “get ours” in the weather department.  It’s taken a turn for something definitely on the chilly side, and it’s supposed to snow Saturday.  Pardon my language.

It’s trying to do that today,  but there’s just a few flurries.  I put the car back in the garage when I came home just now.  It’s Wednesday,  so that’s “run around” day.   I do have to admit that,  having only the one vehicle between us has meant that I do have to try and do a little planning when it comes to vehicular errands,  and I suppose that’s a good thing.  It’s too easy to have an idea pop into my head and jump in the car and race off to find whatever it is I think I need. 

Mind you,  I could have carried on a little bit longer yesterday had I not come up short in the nipple department. 

I got it into my head that I wanted to move the power outlet over to where the new washing machine is going to go,  and since it’s 220,  that meant unhooking the old dryer arrangement and drilling some new holes in the floor joists.   Such fun.

We’ll never go back to an electric dryer, so that’s not a consideration.



I think I had been procrastinating on this one ever so slightly since it’s a bit of a messy job drilling overhead.  That’s my excuse anyway.

And since the wire is 10-3, it wants to fight every step of the way when trying to get it to go where you want. 

Gah!  So….covered in sawdust AND sweaty.   Good times.


Oh,  and the nipple?  You thought I was kidding?

It’s that piece of pipe there. 


Why it’s not called a “piece of pipe with thread on each end” is beyond me.  But no,  it’s called a nipple. 

Who names these things?   Good thing I don’t need a “bastard” file.  Although, I do have one if called upon.

If you go to the link above,  you note that it’s a “Flat bastard”.  Not “fat bastard”.   That’s something completely different.

So easily distracted.

I’ll show why I need the nipple tomorrow,  maybe.  We’ll see. Who knows?


It’s amazing how fast the day can go by when a feller is having so much fun?  Some sort of “space/time/acid reflux” thing?  Well,  there wasn’t any acid reflux this time around,  but that’s been known to happen too.


Oh now I remember.  My assignment was to “find the Christmas cards”.   Now there’s a time waster.   I managed to come up with a few,  but also managed to get totally distracted up in the spare room with rearranging our “stuff”.   And hey,  it’s good “stuff” too,  for the most part. 

You know,  carvings from Oberammergau,  books from Romania.   But no Christmas cards from Paris.   Not yet anyway.  I may have to revisit that situation.

Oh,  I did plop the smaller TV up on a stand that we have in that room.  Just,  you know, for something to do.



At one point in time,  this cabinet was built for a CRT TV that would sit on the little elevated part there where the DVD player is.  It has a swivel base, so the TV could be turned.  But then my sister gave us the wall mounted stand,  so it is what it is.

If we *ever* get that room transmogrified from a storage room to a guest room,  there will at least be a TV there.  Not sure when that day will come.


Well,  sitting here isn’t making it happen, so I’d best be off.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping in.

Monday, December 9, 2013

And me with no long johns.



It’s all gone by now of course,  although they “say” it’s going to get colder over the next few days.  Sure don’t want to get too smug about our weather situation.  It could be worse.

It’s a balmy +2°C,  but the wind is a wee bit brisk,  so hoofing it down to the store meant going with the winter coat program. 


I figured it was about time to put away the lawn mower. The prospects of having to cut any more grass this season are pretty slim, or at least that’s the plan I’ll be going with.

Naturally there was more gas in the tank than I counted on, but I managed to get it all drained without getting completely saturated or going up in flames. Then I like to run it dry. It’s either that or put in gas stabilizer,  but with a small tank it’s easier to just take the gas out.  I noticed that I’ve managed to scrape off a wee bit of the paint along one side of the housing.  Figures.

Didn’t take any pictures.  It’s a lawnmower. 


We were having a brief discussion at the pub on Friday afternoon about the “cost effectiveness” of different ways of making coffee.

Well, we didn’t use those exact words,  but that was what it boiled down to. Wait, was that a pun?

I don’t think drinking coffee can ever be characterised in terms of cost effectiveness.  Whatever you pay,  it’s not because you *need* that hit of java.  Well,  not in the same way that you *need* to breathe air or pay your heat or taxes, let’s just say.

Then I pointed out that Travelling Companion and I like two different kinds of coffee,  and then the use of the Tassimo system became self evident.

Besides that,  you can make a vast array of different types of coffee. Espresso,  cappuccino.  Whatever.  None of which really interest me.  Although I did buy some hot chocolate back in the summer at some point.

One of my brothers had planned on coming for a visit,  and he’s not a coffee drinker.  So I had the hot chocolate on hand for him.

The plans fell through, so it looks as though I’ll have to drink the hot chocolate.



I mean, (back pedalling here) it’s *unfortunate* that we didn’t get to see my brother,  but there’s a *few* packets of hot chocolate that are just well,  sitting there…


I tend to have some Halloween candy issues that follow the same type of pattern.  “Oh, we didn’t get that many kids this year!  Isn’t that a shame?”   “What EVER will we do with all that left over chocolate?”

You do it too.  Don’t judge me. 

Perfect day for a cup of hot chocolate.   It’s one of the “two part” kinds,  where you start with the syrup,  and then put in the disc for the milk.   Twarnt bad.  And heaps easier than heating up the water on the stove or whatever. Well, I guess.  I don’t know.   Knowing the way these things go,  I’d put the water on to boil and think of it an hour later.

There are those who like to heat up the milk?  Oh gag.  And then it gets that “protective layer”?  erp.


Scraping the bottom of the cup here.  Probably best to quit while ahead.


Try to stay on the road if you have to go out,  if not,  stay the hell inside.  



Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Well that was fun.

And no,  I’m not being sarcastic.  Not at the moment anyway.

I’ve been threatening to get a new TV for the bedroom for a while.  Just having to squint too much to see the one that’s in there now.  So I went “on the line” on Sunday night to see what there was out there.

So,  what arrived on our doorstep Friday afternoon?






It was shipped Monday.  I got it Friday.

I’m going to sound like one of those Old Timers sitting there squinting into the radio,  trying to figure out how they got both Amos and Andy in there,  but I do find that whole thing of ordering on line and getting it delivered before you can turn around twice utterly amazing.  Especially when you don’t quite expect it.

First,  there was some fun on the bed.


Um,  not what you think.

And then,  since I was in the mood to take pictures,  we went from this:



Which I’ll admit,  does look quite acceptable, size wise.


To this:



I’ve known for some time that I have to make a new TV “stand”,  since we now have a couple too many components.  I have yet to hook this thing up to the internet,  but I’ll take a stab at that in the coming days.  There’s a “dongle”  you can get,  but we’re just a wee bit too far from the router to get a good wifi signal.  Plus,  it’s just a tad pricey.   I have some spare Cat five out in the shed.  

I know that shed must sound like it’s some sort of “Wonderland” where there’s just everything you could imagine.  But really, there’s only the stuff I think I’ll need one day.  If I don’t use it in a reasonable time frame,  it becomes junk.

Ever wonder who came up with the name “dongle”?  Seriously?


So Travelling Companion and I have been getting caught up on “Game of Thrones”.   We started at the beginning again, since she didn’t recall having watched too much the first time. 

That’s mostly since she’d nod off to sleep on a Sunday afternoon when watching media files in Vienna.  The European assignment was probably the toughest five years of her career,  so napping on the weekends was almost expected.




Forty two was as big as I wanted to get,  otherwise I would have had to move those cabinets.  I have to paint that room eventually,  but I don’t need to be looking at holes or patches in the drywall in the meantime.


Now,  sticking with the “fun” idea,  I decided to tackle a little annoyance this morning.  This is where we turn on the sarcastic font I’m thinking.

We have a fridge downstairs that works just fine,  but has an annoying mild banging, throbbing, clunking thing going on.  Hard to describe,  but annoying as hell. 

I’d be down there quietly reading,  and this thing would fire up and my first thought was, “How the heck did anyone sleep down here?”

So…I fixed it!  Dammit.


Come to find out,  it wasn’t the compressor.  That was my first thought.  I thought maybe it was loose or something.  Nope.


Turns out,  there’s a fan that blows across the water that collects in the evaporator tray (it’s a frost free model) and the stupid thing has a little shimmy going on.


If I held my finger against the housing,  I could make the noise go away. 

There we go.  Problem solved.  I just have to stay there with my finger against that housing.

Well,  that was simple.



Not exactly a long term solution however.

I decided to cut a piece of wood and stick it in there instead.  My finger was getting tired.  

By the way,  this is where the Robertson screw really comes into its own.


No way you could do that with a Philips.  I find most anything besides a Robertson to be pretty much an abomination.  I put the one screw in there to hold it in place,  and put the cover back on and that was that.

There’s insulation on the inside of the cover,  which gives it just enough of a cushion to keep the thing from rumbling.  

My big job for the day. 


I do realise that the wood will block a little bit of the air blowing over the tray, but it’s only trying to evaporate the water.  It just blows around the other way.  I might check on it in a couple years and report back.

I’m pretty sure that piece of cedar will outlast the fridge.  It is after all,  a Whirlpool.  Don’t get me started.


Well,  I guess that’s all I have to “report”.  I’m sure you care.


Enjoy your Sunday.


Thanks for stopping in. 

I know where you are,  so bundle up.



Friday, December 6, 2013

OK fine, it’s a crowbar.

I think I’ve been outvoted.  Maybe I’ll just call it that “metal thingy”.  The long one can be a “post hole digger”.  There we go.

Probably the true test would be,  take both items to a construction site,  lay them down in front of a group of guys in hard hats and tell them to bring me the crow bar.  And wait to see what happens.  Maybe “gals” in hard hats?  I suppose so,  if there are any around.

As a further curiosity, I found another snippet of information where the contention is that *all of them* are subspecies of crowbars.  Maybe that makes more sense.

Let’s drop it.


I’ve been carrying on with my little pipe wrapping project, mostly to get a sense of having something *done*.   Plus, there have been times when I’ve come in contact with a rather warm boiler pipe when messing with the phone line or whatever,  and it’s not a lot of fun.  Especially when it’s that back part of your upper arm?  Yikes.



You can see how it’s kind of “busy” in that corner.  And just out of frame at the top there is where the phone lines all hook up.  I don’t know how many times I’ve touched a hot boiler pipe.   So that won’t happen again.

Of course,  we no longer really use all the various phone jacks I installed all over the house,  since now the phones are all cordless.  Even the cat five cable I installed is somewhat redundant.   (Um, computer cable?)

When I was rummaging around in that corner,  I came across the “new” door to the panel that I was given to me to install in place of the two part arrangement that you see there.   There’s a door that supposed to go over that, that I removed many moons ago and never put back. Sad, I know.  Turns out the hinges are somewhat rusted,  so I may have to go ahead and install the replacement.

I don’t quite recall how it was that I was given the new door,  but the installation involves opening up the panel and installing a brace up in the “hot” end.  So even if I shut off the power,  it will still be “hot”.  I’ll have to think on that.  I’m not overly keen on pulling the meter either, so that’s not an option.

Meanwhile,  since the “new” door was leaning up against the wall in the corner,  it was ever so slightly gross,  and needed to be cleaned up.



I so love having a sink in my garage shop.

I think I’m pretty much *done* adding circuits,  so I suppose it won’t matter that putting on this cover will mean that its removal would also expose the hot end of the panel. 

I tend to think the two pole 20 amp breaker for the air conditioning is the last circuit that will ever go in.   Unless I build another shed or something.  I don’t think I’d get too far in the permit process on that one though.  Not to mention the issue of domestic politics.


Putting stuff on here that we shove in our pie holes isn’t something that I do that often I realise,  but I had a hankering for some home made pizza yesterday.




I particularly like using the pepperoni that’s already cut up.  I’ve cut up my own in the past, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same thickness.

I did have some issues with my dough however.  I *used* to be able to do this.  I don’t know what happened.  I didn’t make home made pizza the whole time we were in Europe,  so I guess I got out of practise.

It stayed together,  but not without a couple choice words coming out of my mouth.

I also had this bright idea to slap the whole thing on parchment paper.   Actually,  that worked like a charm.  Clean-up was well,  there *was* no clean up. 

Step one:  Cook pizza.

Step two:  Eat pizza (and save any leftovers)

Step three:  Crumple up parchment paper and throw away. 

And that’s that. Bob’s yer Uncle!



I thought it had a little too much sauce,  but Travelling Companion quite liked it.  We won’t get into the aforementioned domestic politics,  but I’ll just say that’s a good thing.

The parchment paper did get a little brown,  but that didn’t matter.

The only thing was,  rolling out the dough on parchment paper sucked big time.  That part just doesn’t work at all.  Just thought I’d let you know.

I get these goofy ideas sometimes, and since I’m too stupid to know any better,  I just bumble along. 


We’re back down to the somewhat normal temperatures for this time of year,  but that’s to be expected.  No freezing rain or ice or what have you though,  which makes it still seem rather mild. 

There was a brief snippet on the book of face from a Friend who is having an anniversary today.   Makes me think of their wedding,  where T.C. and I were in attendance.  And you may be thinking,  “Oh, a wedding in December?”   That would be tricky around here,  weather wise I’m sure.

But, the weather did cooperate.

OK I’ll fess up, we were in the Dominican Republic.  That always helps. It also cuts way down on the list of attendees too,  although I don’t think that was the intent of the venue.  The groom had proposed a year earlier when we were all together in Jamaica, so they were just keeping with a theme.   I like that kind “theme” wedding.  Not the kind where there’s some sort of goofy costume involved.  Ever see 27 dresses? 

There were no swimming trunks in the wedding party.  Just wanted to point that out.   There needs to be some sense of “propriety”.  C’mon.


Anyhoodle,  lunch is over.  Better finish my chores. 

Now I’ll be humming the tune to Green Acres for the rest of the afternoon.  Dammit. 


Here,  in case you forgot how it goes. Just to put that bug in your ear.



Bonus points if you can figure out what the tractor is he’s driving. 


Oh,  and I should mention, it’s Miklavz day!   Or St. Nicholas day,  or any number of variations.  Sorry to say,  my kids didn’t get anything even if they remembered to put out a box outside their bedroom door.  Oh well.



Have a fine weekend.


Thanks for stopping by.