Friday, June 28, 2013

I wouldn’t have been heartbroken.

If it had just stopped raining maybe a bit earlier?  It just makes it hard to get in and out of the house without creating a huge mess.  For myself, I should add.  But that’s probably a given.

It’s just a wee bit muggy, but thankfully not any hotter,  since I’m already sweating buckets and my glasses keep steaming up.  I think that’s the part that bugs me the most.  Sucks when everything is a blur.


Of course,  all I have going on at the moment is window installation,  so that’s pretty much it for my big excitement for the morning.  Hey, I might actually go to the store later.  Oooo.  Gripping.




There we go,  that should do it! 

Probably not the best idea to just leave it that way.  Not if I want to stick around.  There was a bit of a breeze coming in though.


I made sure I shoved in some of the pink stuff before getting too carried away.  There was just a big space up there. 



I just wish it was as easy to DO,  as it is to show pictures of?  I feel like I’ve had my workout for the morning.  And it’s not necessarily getting the window set into place either,  it’s getting that damned “operator” back on. (the part you crank open)

It’s together though,  and works just peachy keen.

Matter of fact,  last night I gave a little demo for Travelling Companion.

“Look Honey!”   *crank crank crank*

“And now I can close it.”  *crank crank crank*

“Watch,  let me open it again.”  *crank crank crank*


And you know,  she watched the whole time.  It was indeed a thing to behold. 

Hey,  if you’ve ever had your fingers pinched between those old “sashless sliders”,  *grumble*,  you’d completely understand.  They’re just two panes of glass that slide against each other,  quite often pinching your fingers.  I don’t miss them one bit.


Anyway,  there we go.





With the exception of the big monster window that’s going in the front of the house,  I think this corner arrangement is just about the most challenging little endeavour I’ve had so far on the window end of things.

I ain’t kidding.   Them suckers had to match up perfectly at the corner there,  and I didn’t have much to spare.  I don’t just “measure twice”.  I think I measured about 19 times before I sent off the request for the quote, and even then I was kind of nervous. There wasn’t going to be a “do over”.   It’s never a good thing when you have to actually cut into a wood window.  *shudder*.   I think I’d just hang up my tool belt,  not that I wear one that often.   Sell all my tools,  go sit in a rocking chair somewhere and drool…


So I still have to replace the stool (rhymes with drool,  did you notice?)  and the trim that goes under it (not the “sill”,  that’s on the outside),  but you’ll notice that there’s no trim around the outside edges?  That of course means the new windows have to go back exactly where the old ones came out.  You can’t really just be “close enough” and then hope to cover it up with some trim.  No sir.  

But that’s part of the ‘fun’,  right??


OK,  lunch time approacheth,  and I’m getting hungry.


There may be an update over the weekend,  but you know what I’m like. 

Have a fine “Canada Day”,  for those of you north of the 49th.   Keep that umbrella handy. 


Thanks for stopping in.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Losing my bearings.

Ball bearings that is. 

I haven’t gotten turned around on my way out to the garage lately, if that’s what you thought I meant.  Unless of course you count the times I realise I’ve left my glasses wherever I was a minute ago.  They need to be on or off,  but I have yet to come up with a system.  And no, I’m not doing that whole Librarian with the rope around my neck thing.

Not yet, anyway.


It’s going out!!

Today is one of those minor milestones in the waste/pick-up/recycling/what have you end of things,  since the little icon on our “Recycling Calendar”   (doesn’t everyone have such a thing?)  indicated that we could put out any manner of cast off item. Well actually,  mostly just furniture.  They show a wing back chair as their little symbol, but the IKEA dresser that’s been hanging around upstairs for a while was the best I could find. 

We actually have a fleet of these,  since we had to buy *something* when we moved to Vienna,  and I ended up buying three more there. Hey, cheap and functional, what more would we want?

This one however, is pooched. 

I had already had to reinforce the drawer bottoms,  since they had started to come out many a year ago,  but then we started (well actually,  Son-in-law and Daughter Number Two started) to notice little ball bearings showing up from time to time. Huh?  That didn’t bode well at all,  since they were coming out of the drawer slides.   So this morning was one of those times when it’s handy to have a little “magnet on a stick”,  ‘cause them suckers was going everywhere!

Oh,  and the other three that I bought in Vienna?  They got moved to the new digs of Daughter Number Two and her hubby.  They may or may not start to fall apart.  No matter,  not my deal man.

And that brings me to an observation.  It seems that the junk you buy here at IKEA is actually worse than the junk that’s available in the European stores.  China verses Poland?  I noticed the stuff in Europe was mostly made in Poland or the Czech Republic.  Like I said,  just an observation,  and one which comes from others who are more versed in the ways of the big box store,  and that would be Daughter Number Two and Hubby.   It seems,  they know these things.

I think my IKEA shopping days are pretty much over, truth be told, unless I want to go in for some of those honkin’ big serviettes.  Do you say “napkins”?  We don’t,  since that has some connotation of “Sanitary Napkins”.   Not my first choice for wiping my chin.  Buh.



And then, after that fun of putting my junk out to the curb,  we got down to some actual work.   By “we” of course,  I mean “me”.

We’ll go with the picture end of things.


The old window was set on a thin bed of mortar.  Nicely coloured to match the house of course.


Again,  big gaping hole.  Insulation?  Wassat?



And….there we go.



Once everything is a nice and plumb,  and in this case I pinned the frame in a couple key spots,  I like to use that expanding foam.  That stuff (called “Great Stuff”,  by the way)  is the stickiest adhesive you can imagine.  Plus of course,  it keeps out the bugs,  the elements and is reasonably waterproof.  (sez so on the can.)

I think the toughest part of the job was getting the “operator” back in place.  There was a certain amount of hanging out and fiddling with the little attachment points. Plus with it being an insulated unit (Thermo pane) that sucker got heavy.

I might have to start weight training.

Most of the other windows I’ve put in up to this point are ONLY affixed with expanding foam.  The way I look at it is,  if the wind blows strong enough to take out a window, (we DO get tornados here in Southern Ontario) we’ll be in the cold storage,  hoping there’s a house left to come back out to.  If you’ve ever put this stuff anywhere,  and then tried to remove it,  you’ll understand completely.

I only did the one window there this morning,  since this pair is a bit of a challenge,  due to the outside corner that I have to remanufacture.   I cannot imagine what the average home owner or window installer would do.   Walk away,  most likely.   We still haven’t been able to find anyone qualified to come and rebuild the front of the house,  since it’s all cedar.   It will be somewhat of a herculean effort,  and even in my prime,  I wouldn’t have thought of myself as having either the nerve or the ambition.   Next year.


OK, miles to go before I sleep.   (Bonus points if you know that quote)

There’s still grass to be cut.



Thanks for lookin’.




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pedalled me arse to the bank.

I had mentioned a few weeks back that I was waiting on a cheque?  It finally arrived today.  Yay. 

The excuse was that,  the ones who normally write the cheques were “away”.  Whatever.  So now we start the search anew for a couple more pieces of furniture for the living room.  It’s a little sparse in there at the moment.  We’ll survive.

Oh,  and in the meanwhile,  I got a note back from Canada Post a couple weeks ago saying that yes, we were getting our mail.  Coincidently though, there was a different mail carrier that week (and ever since).  Hm.  No “chick talking on her phone”.  I suppose it could have been a coincidence?  I’m not a big believer in such a thing as a coincidence when it comes to that sort of thing.  I’m more inclined to think the young lady didn’t know her Arse from a hole in the ground. 

Trying to stick to a theme here.

Anyway,  I thought it prudent to get the cheque in the bank, rather than have a piece of paper lying around.  I still think cheques (OK, “checks” for the rest of you) are kind of silly.  It’s like getting a note from someone’s Mom.  “I’ll pay you this much.  It’s on this piece of paper, do you trust me?” 

I like the European system,  but let’s not get side tracked.

So the kid at the wicket asked, “So what was this for?”  to which I replied,  “And just how is that any of your concern?”     I think I’m getting that way as I get older….

Apparently his supervisor was going to be asking him,  since it was over a “certain amount”.  Fine, I don’t give a sh*t. 

“Tell her is from the ‘NYFB’ fund.”   It took him about three seconds to figure that one out.  Then I felt kind of sorry for him and said it was from a merchandise return. The poor dork is just doing his job,  such as it is. That satisfied his curiosity.

I mean, it was drawn on their own bank, fer chrissakes.   And if I was laundering money,  why would anyone cut me a cheque?  Sometimes I wonder.

I’ll be interested to see if they dare put a “hold” on it.  With the exception of the fact that I can almost see the branch from my house,  these folks really and truly haven’t much else going for them in the banking department.  Oh, the stories I could tell.


It’s slightly less muggy today,  although we won’t be needing any long johns in the foreseeable future.  I’m getting close to installing my first window,  but it’s been such a fun time getting finish on all of the parts. I have to look at it as just another woodworking project I suppose, but the whole process is starting to get a bit tedious.  It just seems to go on forever,  and I find myself wondering if I might have a screw loose.  What was I thinking?  Sometimes I take on these huge jobs….

I suppose,  once upon a time,  we could have started the process with vinyl windows and I’m sure I’d be done by now.  I’m also pretty sure I wouldn’t be happy though.  The only window in the whole place that gives any grief is the one vinyl window that we had installed by the “professionals”,  because it was just not something I was willing to tackle myself.  Lesson learned.  Never do that again.   I mean,  it’s a little too close to the power lines and it’s not in the best spot,  which was why I was willing to let the ‘trades’ in the house.  Just the same though,  it’s a horrid thing.  It’s two sets of “sliders”,  that are a bitch to slide.  I’ll leave it at that.


So I thought at least I’d remove some of the trim around one of the existing windows while I was waiting for some more finish to dry.

It wasn’t all that easy to remove it either.  I have no idea how they managed to nail it on from above?  Did they put in the windows before they put the sheathing on the roof?  It’s a mystery.

I mean,  I could have removed the glass parts and started hacking away with the reciprocating saw,  but the replacement isn’t quite ready yet,  and I’d rather not have a big hole in the side of the house for any longer than about an hour or so. 

I did discover just why that room gets rather cold though when there’s an east wind… 


OK then. 

Not much going on there in the insulation department.  I know oil was cheap in 1958,  but really?   I’ll have to check the larder,  but I think I have a bag of insulation at the ready.  It’s fun making these discoveries,  isn’t it? 


Well,  I suppose I’d better waddle on out there and get back at it. 

Thanks for stopping by.



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Thought I’d get a little high this morning.

That should get your attention. 


The roof is actually looking like it has only a few more years left, at least certain sections.   I’ve been replacing it in sections over the last few decades,  starting with the first time in 1992.  By the first time,  I mean just that.  It was the original roof from 1958. 

You can do the math on that one.  The thing was though,  the previous owner (my father-in-law) thought it prudent to have black mastic spread out on the roof at some point to make it last, which it did.  Cheaper than re-roofing I suppose.  It didn’t look all that great however,  and was a bit of a bitch to work around when it came time to remove the shingles.  Normally you can start prying them up and get a bit of a large chunk off and roll it down to the eaves,  but having put tar (or whatever) on, meant that they all came off in little chunks.  That was such fun.  I remember it well.


I’ve still been getting some water coming in during some of the violent rain storms that we’ve been having.   Originally we thought maybe it was the monkey boys that I hired to re-point the chimney earlier on,  but at least it was better after they were done than before.  So I began to wonder.


I might have discovered an issue.



See, if I can shove a screw driver in there?   This was after I had already made one trip up,  just to see if there was anything to see.  I probably should have taken some knee pads along in the pouch containing the above mentioned screw driver,  reading glasses (no, I didn’t go up there to read,  you know what I mean)  along with some of those throw away vinyl gloves.  And of course the camera.   I mean, why not?

So I unloaded a whole tube of some sort of “roof patch” black stuff that I had in the larder.  It had never been opened, so that was a good thing.  I’ll probably pick up another tube,  just in case.


I swear by those vinyl gloves, by the way.  Sure beats getting black goop on your hands,  the ladder.   The camera?  Oh, that would suck.  

Just peel them off and give them the heave at the end.


It’ll be a little while until I venture up there again.  I don’t mind being on the roof.

It’s kind of pleasant, actually. 

It’s the getting on and off the roof that gives me the willies. 


At least there in the back corner of the house,  there’s a bit of a hand hold if I need it.  It’s always that first step out over the edge to get myself back on the ladder that just… well,  I don’t like it. Gah.  I’m sure there’s some puckering going on,  and I’m not talking about anything to do with my face.

Oh,  and yes it’s still plenty muggy here,  but there was a bit of a breeze.   It only got a little uncomfortable when the sun came out.  I was just about done by then,  thankfully.  My knees were really complaining by then too. 


So that was the big excitement for the morning,  sad to say.  Since I had the ladder out,  it’s now propped up against the side of the house in anticipation of taking out an old window,  or at least all the trim.  Stay tuned.  I’m sure you care.


Thanks for coming ‘round.



Monday, June 24, 2013

Bit of a heat wave.

I realise it’s a hunnert degrees in Texas,  but that’s Texas. 

I remember chatting with a fellow from Puerto Rico who was on a flight with us from Houston to San Juan, who had lived all his life in Puerto Rico,  thinking it was hot.  Then he went to Texas.  I think his exact words were, “I had never been so hot in all my life”.  AND he got a nose bleed when he was there.  I guess it was a tad dry?

Well, not here kids!   No sirree,  it’s muggy.  It’s 28 in Hamilton,  with a “Humidex” of 36.    OK fine,  that’s only 96.8,  but it’s only mid morning.   Let’s not talk about it.

I’ve kept the “shop” buttoned up,  but it’s starting to get a little close in there.  And then of course there’s the fumes from the Spar Varnish.  Buh.

I’m not spraying,  by the way.  Chose not to.  I might have mentioned that?

I’ve started putting on a second coat.  It could take a while.  The thing is though, I’ve hurried in the past to install cedar windows that I hadn’t taken the time to properly prep,  and it’s really not the best idea.  I just end up having to put finish on the “in situ”,  and that ain’t much fun.  Hanging off a ladder?  Not my cuppa.


Speaking of getting ahead of myself, I’ve had to do some remediation in the latest room that I’ve finished painting.  I *thought* I could touch up the ceiling.  Puh! 


So that’s a “do over”.   Just means I have to try and mitigate the possibility of getting ceiling paint on my freshly painted walls.  

Here’s a tip,  paint the damned ceiling first!   Just do it.  Whether you think you need it or not.  Well,  either that or never let anyone ever look at it again.  “Don’t look up!!”

There’s always that option, but that’s a challenge.



So that activity evaporated a certain portion of the morning.  The good news is,  I’m working in an air conditioned building,  which is more than I could say if I were working in a school right about now.  Mind you,  I always made sure to take a week of vacation during that last week of school. I ain’t no fool.  The schools are hot, the kids are antsy,  and the teachers have long since given up.  Why would I want to be there?

Of course,  since the ceiling needed some freshening,  I chose to take apart the light fixture.  You know,  it’s a good opportunity to give it a good cleaning.  Here’s another tip,  don’t drop the light cover in the sink.   Even if it only slips a fraction of an inch.  D’oh!

In my defence,  that sucker was wafer thin.  There’s a Monty Python skit that comes to mind, but it is a wee bit nasty.

So easily distracted. 

The good news is,  I managed to find a respectable replacement at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Not only does it fit,  but it’s just that much longer,  such that we can now put in a low energy bulb,  instead of the hot and greedy incandescent one that’s in there. 


Could have used the old one I suppose.  I mean,  it’s mostly there. Right?  A little duct tape on that sucker?

Probably wouldn’t have passed inspection.

Oh,  and the “new” one?   Two bucks.  Of course, the whole shopping extravaganza took a bit of time,  since there’s LOTS to see at that place.  I’m usually trying to get rid of “stuff”,  so I only look.  Always fun to look though.   I really and truly need a couple new doors for the shed,  but I couldn’t seem to find anything in my “price range”.   That would be “nothing”  or “next to” it.


Well,  breakfast break is well and truly over,  so it’s back to the salt mine for me.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for stopping in.



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Finally went to “Chrome”.

Well,  it’s not like I “drank the Apple Juice” or anything,  since that would be a different story,  but a few days ago I decided it was time to try out Google Chrome. 

I was perfectly (well, reasonably?) happy with Firefox,  but there were a couple things that were not working in blog land,  one of which was the inability to see any “followers”,  or the followers on anyone else’s offerings. 

I also didn’t realise it, but there were a couple blogs on which I could not comment.  I never really gave it much thought,  but it seems it’s an “all or nothing” thing with Google.  Kind of like a cult? 

So I’m in.

And yes,  after the usual strangeness of it,  I do quite like it.  There’s something about the idea of changing from a tried and true computer thingy to something new that I’d rather not own up to.  I’d just sooner not “like” new things?  Some sort of character flaw.  Isn’t my generation supposed to resist change?  Oh, maybe that was the last one. 

Never mind.

Anyway, it really sucks when you’re not getting the whole picture.  Kind of like getting your eyes fixed.  Suddenly there’s a whole world of things to see.  I see stuff on other peoples blogs that I never knew was there.  Damned insidious Google.

So that’s that.  There are a few little wrinkles that I need to iron out.  Windoz Live Writer still shoots the blog out to Firefox, but I’ll figure that one out too.  In due time.

In the meanwhile,  I’m still plugging away at putting finish on the windows.  Well,  on the frames.  You know what I mean.  I’m trying NOT to get it on the actual windows. 

I decided not to spray, by the way.  The fumes are noxious enough as it is.  Makes for a good excuse to take a break now and again.  That,  and my painting hand is a little sore.  I’ve gotten soft.  That’s all there is to it.


It’s a bit of a challenge coming up with enough space to spread everything out.  I’d work outdoors,  but I’ve seen far too much bird crap around, so that wouldn’t work.


Speaking of outdoors,  (like that one?)  I had this *brilliant* idea to do a little pruning in front of the shed.  I didn’t take a “before” picture,  since I didn’t think it was such a big deal.  Let me just repeat that, “I didn’t think”, part.

The best I can come up with is this picture I took back in February,  a couple weeks after we landed home.  See those two bushes?  They’ve grown like crazy since then.


Well,  I had been getting annoyed at how they were sticking out and everything,  and grabbing at me as I went by with the mower,  so I decided to give them a bit of a haircut.


See now,  in my pea brain I think, “Now, that’s better.”   Except for one tiny thing.  These two plants are the Wisteria that T.C. and I planted a few years ago.   At least that’s what she ascertains.  I haven’t the foggiest.  Seems I wasn’t supposed to touch them.  She thought they might bloom.  I guess maybe that’s not going to happen. 

But you know,  I see pictures of Wisteria,  and I’m having trouble making the connection.




It doesn’t matter. 

I still get to live here.  Thankfully.  Probably doesn’t hurt that I still can come up with supper ideas.  And who knows,  they could still bloom?  And the Pope might get married….

The other thing too is,  they’re not in full sun.  So that’s my defence.  Sort of.

I think I’d better stick to woodworking.


Keep your powder dry.


Thanks for stopping in.

Friday, June 21, 2013

It’s Friday Night. So let’s go to the airport!

Because that’s always a fun thing to do on a Friday night.  But of course before heading out,  it’s probably a good idea to check on the status of the flight.  Even though I’m not smart enough for a “smart phone”, at least I can find the info using a good old fashioned computer. 

That’s so “old school”.  I know.  I’m a little embarrassed.

(Hey,  I can text!  Just don’t hold your breath while you’re waiting.  You’ll turn blue.)





Of course.  But that’s not necessarily from the flooding in Calgary.  Most end of day flights are delayed.  It’s just a thing.


So what are you doing on the longest day?

Apparently there are folks tending their gardens or golfing at this time of night in some places in the far north.  Kind of neat I suppose,  but I don’t think I could handle the nine months of darkness they have to tolerate to enjoy that little pleasure. 


I think that’s all I got.  Just passing the time here,  and now I suppose I had better head out.


Enjoy your weekend,  in case I fail to check in.


Sticks.  Ice.  All that.

Oh, and Happy Solstice.  There ya go.



Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

And it’s not even Talk like a Pirate Day.

But here I am,  paintin’ me spars. 



Oh, didn’t you know there’s a “Talk like a Pirate Day”?   Oh ya,  it’s in the fall some time.  I’m going to be home for that one.  Hope it falls on a Friday. 

Just a sec,  let me look it up.  Here we go.  There’s a website.  Is there nothing on Earth that doesn’t have a website??  Thank God pet rocks have gone by the wayside.

Drat.  It’s on a Thursday.  Oh well, there will be no talking like a pirate at the pub. 

*mumble*   See,  I should have been home last year.  Dammit.

So really, the choice was…live in Vienna,  or be home for “Talk Like a Pirate Day”. 


OK, I’ll shut up now.


Was I saying something?




Shortly after I bought this can of liquid gold,  I realised it is indeed “Spar Varnish”.  

OK then.  I tried not to hyperventilate when I got to the cash,  but you’ll notice I didn’t get a BIG can.  There’s no point in having any of that stuff hanging around. 

And considering how much I paid for it, I was particularly annoyed this morning when I couldn’t get the freakin’ can open!  Had to take a trip back to Home Despot,  where the Painting Dude was not about to take up the challenge of opening the can,  since it looked like it had been welded shut.  Really.  He gave me a new one,  and proceeded to open it quite easily.  I think he knew I was about to ask him to do that,  since that was the first thing he did after he came back with the replacement.  Anyway, that was a bit of a hold up,  since my plan was to get “an early start”.  


The thing is,  it must have taken me a good hour to slap on a coat of finish on the big number,  and I’m really just at the very tip of that iceberg.  At least with being able to pop out the “operators”,  I can lie them flat.  SO much easier that way.  I decided too,  to go with some painter’s tape on the seals,  as well as remove some of the hardware.  

Before I did that though,  and since I had the camera close at hand,  I just thought maybe I’d snap a quick shot of just where to put everything back. 


A bit paranoid I know,  but I always have this fear that I’ll somehow lose my mind between the time I take the hardware off and when I go to put it back again,  and will be standing there with nary a clue. 

Taking apart and engine?  Oh Gawd.


I also realised that I need about another 500 square feet of shop space. 

With the smaller windows I’m starting to lean towards spraying them. 


I have sprayed many a different finish over the years,  and I’ll take a look at what is recommended by the folks who make the liquid gold.  I’ve sprayed Varathane,  so I can’t see what the difference would be.  It just sucks though to spray anything that needs to be cleaned up with mineral spirits.  Gets messy.  And wasteful.   Plus I’d have to thin it,  which means more coats.   Gah.

We’ll see.

It’s a nice day,  I’d best be at it.


Pitter Patter.


Thanks for stopping in.



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

And now we can have some fun.

Today we got a delivery.

As I was pounding away here yesterday,  nattering on about whatever it is I natter on about,  I got a call from the window company to let me know that my windows were ready,  and would I be around?  

Oh, I’ll be here.

I’ll just do a little picture show,  and then I probably should get back to work.


I wasn’t too sure what size the trailer would be,  and I’ve backed a trailer into our driveway,  so I already knew that more space is always a good thing.  It’s a double drive,  but still.


Actually,  I kind of like the look of the car there.  Plus it’s in the shade longer.  (Black car + full sun =  yikes! )



Never easy backing in from the “off” side.   I don’t know why I use horse terminology, I ain’t no horsey guy,  but I always think of the “near” side and the “off” side.  Typically you walk a team from the “near” side.  That’s the left side, by the way.   That’s all I know.


The delivery Dude was by himself,  which meant everything was all fine and dandy with the smaller offerings.


It was only when we went to move the big sucker that we had some issues.  Just no place to grab on,  so that wasn’t happening.


And no, they’re not staying outside. 


I mentioned to Travelling Companion last night that I was contemplating putting the big one outdoors (it’s not going anywhere until I have a team at my disposal), which was met with some consternation.  It had to do with the possibility of it getting broken by marauding gangs of wayward children.  Those aren’t her exact words, but that’s what I gathered. 

So fine, it goes inside.  That would definitely be an “I told you so” if it were to ever happen.  I don’t want to go there.   I’ve yet to witness these marauding waifs, but that makes no difference.



We ended up taking out the casements and setting them aside.  Made life heaps easier. 


I can barely lift one of those,  so it’s no freakin’ wonder the whole thing was impossible to move.



Um ya,  it’s 68 and a half by 128.   It’s the big front window.  Originally we thought that sucker was going to be just about what I’m willing to pay for a good used vehicle,  so I was really thrilled when it came in under two grand.  The bill for all of them was under five.  Who knew?   And it’s Western Red Cedar,  just what I want.

And you’re probably wondering, “Cedar?  Why would you put in cedar?”

Well,  with the exception of the technology at the time not being up to snuff,  the windows that were installed in this house in 1958 are still sound.   That wouldn’t have happened it they were vinyl.  And yes they’re wood,  so there needs to be some work done to them every few years.  Just the same though,  the original windows had been left untouched until I came along in ‘92,  and all that had happened was that they were at that point discoloured and needed some opaque stain.  So I slapped on some stain,  and that was that. 

But like I said,  the technology of windows from the Fifties?  They were double sash-less sliders,  with an R value of damned little.  (That’s an actual technical term, by the way.)

Plus the thermo panes in the big front window had failed a long time ago.   But the wood?  Still good.


I think that’s about it.  Duty calls.


I’ll let on what we now do with the Tassimo discs another day.  Hang in.


Thanks for stopping by.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Brave New World.

Now,  if only the lumber and hardware supply places would start free delivery,  I’d be all set.

Seriously,  that would mean I’d really and truly not have to leave the property.  Well OK, there is that slight issue of getting some food from time to time,  but there’s even a way of having that delivered too.  I just prefer the “free delivery” program.

That link above takes you to “Grocery Gateway”,  but they charge $11.95 per delivery.  Ulp.


So what the heck am I going on about?  


Well,  since we came home in February,  we’ve been making coffee with a Tassimo coffee maker. 



I stole that image from the net.  You may have seen these machines.

I’m not going to extol its virtues or anything, it’s just another way of making coffee,  with the unique feature that you get one cup at a time,  made according to the bar code on the little disc that is being used.   There’s no waste,  but the downside is that it is a wee bit more expensive than just making a pot of java.  Half of which I’d end up turfing out anyway,  so really?

So here’s the thing, you can buy these discs in most grocery stores,  and you may pay a premium,  but we have three locations here in Southern Ontario that tend to sell at a slightly better price point than the average grocery store.  It’s an easy guess that I shop there.   They’re not close by though,  and not long ago,  they stopped taking back the used discs to be recycled.  That’s another story,  also something that is of no cost to me,  but we’ll save that one.


A few weeks ago I was in the location here in Burlington,  and I was kind of muttering something to the cashier about having to make the trip worth while,  since they’re way across town.  Such a hardship I know, but maybe after the Vienna experience, I just like things to be close by?  Not sure. 

She then pipes up and says,  “Well,  you can order on line,  and if it’s over $100, the delivery is free.”

Well now.  I had dropped sixty bucks on a couple cases of coffee just then,  so spending a hundred wasn’t going to be that much of a challenge,  and by Friday morning I realised I had better get my act together and place an order.

The cool thing is,  tracking an order these days is easy peasy,  and before I knew it, I had my coffee Monday morning BEFORE 10:30 a.m.!    I ordered Friday.  I got it Monday. 

What.  The.  Hell? 


ordering coffee 2


ordering coffee





So that was my excitement for a Monday morning.  Hey, I’m easy.

Totally awesome.   Probably won’t need to order again for another month or so,  but unless I want to schmooze with the nice young coffee clerks (um, no) I won’t need to go back to the store for…ever?



Continuing along those lines,  and this is purely coincidental believe me,   I decided this morning to call around looking for a place to have a couple carbide tipped saw blades sharpened.  I can sharpen any mild steel,  even tempered steel,  but the only carbide I can sharpen is router bits.  I have a little wheel for that.   Blades?  Forget it.

Anyhoodle,  there was a place here in Burlington that used to do it,  and I noticed that they had moved.   So I thought that maybe before I head off to their new location (and it wasn’t on the way to anywhere for me today) I had better just call them to see if they were still doing the sharpening thing.  

Well,  no. 

HOWEVER,  I found a place in Galt.   OK so,  Galt isn’t on the way to anywhere I want to go today either.   It’s an hour’s drive away, easy.   But,  it turns out they’ll pick them up!   Are you kidding me?   I just got off the phone with “Louis”,  and then sent him an email with all the details.  The company is Galt Wood Tool Ltd.,  and it seems they sell and sharpen.  And pick up and deliver!   Eeeee.

The normal pick up day for Burlington is Wednesday, but the pick-up Dude has another obligation for Wednesday this week and is already in town today.  So I’m a day late for a pick-up this week, but that’s no biggie,  I have other blades to chose from.  He’ll be here next Wednesday. Yay.

We didn’t talking pricing, but I can only guess that they have to be competitive,  so I’m just going to go with the flow.

And speaking of flowing,  I had better fly on out of here.


Thanks for looking.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Damned near perfect Father’s Day.

It started out with the weather being somewhat less than ideal,  but that didn’t take long to clear up.  And really, I don’t mind the rain at all,  except it makes it a bit tricky to get from the back door to the garage without getting my feet wet.  Other than that?  Meh,  let it rain.  Of course, I think we’ve had plenty at this point. 

At this precise moment I’m having thoughts of perhaps going back to bed for a brief nap,  since Travelling Companion and I had a bit of an early start this morning,  but I’ll get to that in a minute.

So what would be my idea of a perfect Father’s Day?  Or most any day for that matter? 

Well, I got to do whatever the hell I wanted,  and at the end of the day, I got fed. 

That’s it.  What more could a feller ask for?

OK, maybe a little “Father’s Day Swag” to top it off.


See?  Beer + loot = Happy Bob.


And really,  I don’t *need* anything, so I’m never really looking for anything much.  Like I said,  leave me alone and then put food in front of me,  and I’m damned near ecstatic.  And the food was to die for,  by the way.  Daughter Number Two works for a delicatessen.  I’ll stop right there.  Let’s just say that we’ve been introduced to some new ways of making salads and burgers?  I mean, I can make a decent burger,  but the chicken burgers we had were fabulous.  I only wish I could have shoved more food in my pie hole.   Should have taken pictures but,  I did just say something about “shoving”, and “pie hole”?


Since we both had to be up early,  T.C. and I didn’t stay out too late,  and I think we were both out cold before the news came on.  Of course in typical fashion, if I know I have to be up early,  I tend to wake up just about every hour,  so that doesn’t help later on when I’m trying to stay awake.  It never fails that I find just that right spot and start to drift off minutes before the alarm is due to start blaring away.  I always wake up just before the alarm goes off.  Never fails. 

Some sort of “old man trick”.  


So you may be able to figure out from this photo just where we had to be this morning?   It was that 7:00 a.m. flight to Calgary for T.C. again.  She’s there all week.  More hand holding.  I *think* they’re getting the new system figured out,  but it ain’t no cake walk.   That’s all I’ll say about that.  And I don’t really understand it all anyway,  but it’s complicated, and that seems to be the problem.


I’ve once again tweaked the commenting thinga ma jig.   I didn’t realise that I had to go in and check for “comments awaiting moderation”,  so I do apologize to those who made comments (thank-you) only to have them not show up.  I’ll figure it out eventually.  I just got tired of wading through all the cr*p,  just to see if there might be an actual legitimate comment in there somewhere.   Not sure why I care.  I don’t think there’s ever been one legitimate comment that inadvertently ended up “awaiting moderation” before I made the change the other day,  so I probably could just punt them all out and not fuss over it.

I suppose it could be worse.  I mean,  there are/were a couple blogs out there that I used to read because they were quite interesting, and the bloggers have had to pack it in,  or make their offerings “by invitation only”,  because of the amount and severity of the spam.  Who needs that grief?   There’s something to be said for not having quite so large an audience.  Hello.

Muggins here will just keep a low profile,  thanks.


OK, maybe some breakfast will help sort me out.  Off I go.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for stopping by.



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bit of a rainy Father’s Day.

It’s Sunday morning,  and I gotta do laundry.  

If a song tune just went through your head,  then we all know how old you are.

And fine,  “Happy Father’s Day” to all the Dads out there.  My “Dad Duties” of late have mostly consisted of being the unpaid helper.  But isn’t that the way it works?  Or getting brief phone calls that start off with,  “OK, we’re not sure which way this should by installed.”   I usually always have the answer, with the exception of anything relating to a computer of course.  Those kinds of questions always go the other way which, at least for Travelling Companion and I,  is the way that works.

We were briefly talking the other day about just where would you begin to explain something like Skype to MY Father,  who has been gone now for over 25 years.   This a man who swore up and down that the theatre seats at Ontario Place were actually moving when I took him and Mom there to see "North of Superior".  This was back in the ‘70s.  I recall how the entire audience gasped to take in a breath as the canoe we were “riding” in went under water.   It was quite the experience.

But I wasn’t going to win the argument with him about the seats.  There was no point in even going there, which was something that all the kids figured out in due time.  No point being a smart ass.  You’d just get a whoopin’.   Actually,  I was fortunate enough to not get anything close to a “whoopin'”,  since I had had the good fortune to observe that particular dynamic as it related to my older brothers.   That’s when it really does not suck to be the youngest.  You get to observe.

Mental note, don’t piss off the Old Man.  Words to live by.


Speaking of young and old (it’s a lame segue, I’ll admit) I got a call from Daughter Number One Friday afternoon asking if I was going to the pub?   I pointed out that having the one vehicle kind of puts a damper on that activity,  but when she offered to come by and fetch me,  that seemed like a heck of an idea.   I’ve been tempted to hop on the bike and head off to the pub,  but there’s always that nagging thought of having to then ride back home again.  It’s way over on the other side of town (well,  downtown really)  so….,  we’ll work up to that.  Maybe.

Just the same though,  we discovered that there was a Slow Pitch tournament going on not too far from here,  and I opted to ride on up there later in the evening.  

Sad to say,  we’re a long way from having anything that remotely resembles “bike infrastructure” here in Burlington,  and I consider painting chevrons on the side of the road with the outline of a bike above them as simply a waste of perfectly good traffic paint.  This is when I really miss the Netherlands,  but let’s not get all maudlin.

The tournament was going all weekend,  but after staying there until well after 11:00 p.m. Friday night,  I figured I had seen enough “Slow Pitch”  for a while.   This is the Burlington Oldtimers Slo-Pitch,  by the way,  for which you only need to be 35 years old to be considered an “Old Timer”.   Say what??    Geez, and here I’ve been an “Old Timer” for a while now.  



We didn’t actually get there in time to see any one play whom we knew,  but it didn’t matter.  It’s a whole “gathering” thing going on there,  with a BBQ,  music,  Bar Maids.   Beer.   Lots of beer.   Glad I rode the bike. 

By the way,  the metal bucket there, is for the fifty-fifty draw.  Damned if I completely forgot and left without giving Daughter Number One my three tickets.  Such extravagance. 


I didn’t quite realise there would be food there,  so I figured T.C. and I had better have something to eat in the way of “supper”,  but of course had no clue what to come up with.  So we made an omelette.   I’d like to say “I” made the omelette,  but I did have to ask a couple questions,  even though I was operating the spatula.  So it doesn’t count as a solo effort.

It was danged tasty,  especially as I had earlier cooked up a bunch of bacon that was getting close to “decision time”.  Can’t keep it forever,  but it’ll keep nicely if cooked and put back in the fridge.  I think the cooked bacon made the difference.


I’m getting hungry just thinking about it….


So I think it’s time for breakfast.  Gotta go.


Thanks for stopping by. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Knees on fire.

Ugh.  If it weren’t for the fact that I lost all my seniority and I’d have to start back on afternoons,  I honestly think I wouldn’t have to work as hard if I went back to the Board. 

Er, on second thought, maybe I need my head examined?

Discomfort seems to lead to irrational thought.  Let’s leave it at that.

One thing for sure though, I don’t recall that there was very much crawling around on my hands and knees.  There was some painting at one school where I worked,  but I sure wasn’t worried about painting inside convectors.

That’s the thing that gives off the heat when the boiler is running. 

You knew that,  right?

I wasn’t going to show any pictures until I had reassembled the thing,  but whatever.



That thing.

I’ll show some “after” pictures…after.


I also had to put on a second coat on the rest of the room.  I don’t know why it is I always think one coat will do?  It never does,  no matter how careful I am.  And those commercials for paint that goes on in one coat?  I think it’s just a bunch of marketing crapola.  They also show a young couple putting on the paint.  Naive fools. 


So while that was drying,  I meandered out to the garage to clean up and put a final touch on another little project I’ve been chewing away at over the last few days.



I’ve been moving things around, just trying to come up with something that was a couple steps up from total chaos, most of which had to do with having clamps all over the place.




Keeps evolving….



If you bother to look,  you’ll notice there’s one up there with a bare wooden handle?  Well, this is just an observation,  but I’ve discovered that almost without fail,  any time I’ve lent out any tool,  it seems to always come back broken or abused in some way.  I now no longer practise this little gesture of good will,  and would almost sooner just give the damned thing away rather than have it come back busted up.

Well,  the handle of that clamp got broken a long time ago,  and it’s been one of those nagging little things that I’ve been meaning to fix,  but was never overly motivated to do so when it was just in with all the clutter. 


I mean, I *could* make a new handle,  which is why when it came back broken,  it wasn’t such a big deal.  Harsh words between friends can never be taken back.  But let’s not get all side tracked.


As soon as I arranged it neatly with all the others, minus a handle,  it was kind of crying out to me.


So,  what’s the best way to make a tool handle?  Well,  there’s “whittling” I suppose,  but I thought maybe I’d challenge myself to uncover my lathe that I haven’t so much as turned on in well over five years.



It’s by no means a “One Way” or anything,  but it seems to work well enough.  There might be some question about the operator.   Of course,  I didn’t pay five grand for it either.  (Them One Ways is expensive,  but awesome apparently)   Oh wait,  I just looked through their website,  um,  they’re now closer to SIX grand.  Carumba!


Anyway,  since I’ve not used the lathe in a while,  of course I forgot to leave enough material on my blank so as to cut a proper shoulder.  But wait!  It’s not always about doing something only one way.  (ooh,  that’s a bit of a pun)

I just happen to have this handy dandy jig for cutting splines in mitres,  which can double nicely on the tablesaw for cutting a shoulder on a dowel. 

Easy peasy.



The metal round thing is only there ‘cause it’s got a honkin’ big magnet in the bottom,  and it’s holding the whole arrangement against the fence.


And there we have it.  Nothing fancy,  but functional.




I think my paint is dry.  Time to get everything shoved back into place methinks.


Have a fine weekend if I don’t check in.


Thanks for stopping by.



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Keep moving.

Nothing to see here.  Except of course the usual daily stuff.

Seems like I’ve done nothing but run the roads this morning, but at least the car does all the work.  Now it’s my turn.

Opened the can of ceiling paint that I had squirreled away in the larder,  only to discover that it now consisted of five chunks of dried up paint.  And here I had gone to the trouble of writing, “checked OK 2006” on the lid.   I guess I thought I was going to use it within the first what?  two or three years of storage?   Bonehead.

So that meant heading to Home Despot this morning after taking Travelling Companion to Milton.  Yes Milton.  The Company that Cannot be Named has a Plant there.  They’re having issues with their newly installed Oracle program.  It’s complicated,  (and proprietary) I’m not going there.  If you don’t know what Oracle is,  you must be reading this in some form of hard copy,  ‘cause they’re everywhere.

But ‘nuff of that.

I only really want to touch up the ceiling,  and not paint the whole blessed thing,  if that’s even remotely possible.  Of course,  you can’t just buy a quart of ceiling paint,  so now I once again have a whole gallon of the stuff.  I’ll be sure and put the date on the top. *sigh*


I actually needed the car so I could run out and fetch our new microwave!   Not that there was anything wrong at all with the old one,  but of course,  we needed a new one.  


Um ya,  that old white thing?  It had to go!   *Insert sarcastic font at this point*.


I’m in the “if it works,  don’t fix it”  school?  But at least Daughter Number Two can use the “old” one.  (Because it’s perfectly serviceable, hello?)



And there we go.

Oh wait,  let me take off those stickers.


Still didn’t make it fit any better.   For the life of me,  I don’t know why it is we can’t find a microwave to fit in the space of where we took out the previous “old” one.  Bugs the hell outta me.  But it’ll have to do.

This one has a bunch more features that we’ll most likely never figure out.  Some sort of “steam” thing going on.


And a serving platter straight out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon.   Sorry,  couldn’t find a decent YouTube clip.  But I think you know what I mean.


I did manage to figure out how to warm up my coffee,  which is just about the only thing I ever seem to use a microwave for.   It was telling me I was defrosting a muffin,  but when I opened the door,  my coffee mug was still there.  That was a disappointment.

I guess we’re not that far advanced just yet?


Meanwhile,  I did get a couple walls painted yesterday.  The colour (OK fine,  “color” for you Yanks) is a bit intense,  I’ll say that much.

A little hard to capture.  I do like it though.



It will go nicely with the honkin’ big writing desk,  and a bookcase that we’ll be moving back into that room.  Can’t decide if I’m going to do the other two walls yet or not.  There is a contrasting/complimentary colour sitting there waiting to be cracked open.  


And well,  “lunch”,  such as it is,  is just about over.  Time to get back at it.

Wait.  Speaking of lunch….

I used to make “home made” pizza,  back before we moved over seas,  and sort of got away from it.  So a few weeks back,  I whipped up a pretty tasty version using “bread flour”  (not sure what the diff is between that and “all purpose”,  nor do I care)  and it turned out just fine.  Like,  tasty.  Really.  Not kidding.


So for some reason that I can’t explain, (mental incompetence?) yesterday I thought I’d try whole wheat flour.

Here’s a tip.  Don’t do it.



Nothing wrong with the toppings.  Pepperoni, two kinds of cheese and sauce on one side,  with some left over cold chicken on the other side in place of the pepperoni.   The chicken works,  by the way.

But the dough?  Gah.


It wasn’t exactly horrid or anything,  and we did each eat all but maybe two or three pieces,  which are now sitting in a container in the fridge. 


My lunch today was a peanut butter sandwich.





Thanks for stopping by.



Monday, June 10, 2013

There’s no getting frustrated at home.

See,  when we were in Europe and the internet would crap out,  we’d just figure that all would be right with the world once we moved back home. 

So now what?

The internet still craps out,  but I suppose at least the “technicians” speak English. 

No really,  not even with an accent.   I say “technicians”,  only because I suppose they only know what they need to know.  Not that I know any better,  but I’m pretty sure Son-in-law has more on the ball than half of them,  but I’m not going to bug him when I have some stupid little connectivity issue. 

Last night we not only didn’t have the net,  but no phone either.  So calling a “technician” wasn’t really all that great an option.  I mean,  both T.C. and I have cell phones,  but really?

Then this morning at least I had phone,  but only intermittent connection.  Turns out I was “off line”, and had to reset the modem.   This is the same device that was replaced last Wednesday, so let’s hope that’s not a bad omen. 

The thing too is,  since it has a battery back-up,  I had to hunt around for a paper clip to reset the thing. Can’t just unplug it.  Such a pleasure.  But really, how do we suddenly get “off line”?   Hm?

I just have to let it go.  

Annoyingly, Travelling Companion wanted to book our flights to Hawaii last night,  so she was getting a wee bit snippy.  Not necessarily with me,  but I had no desire to even be in the same room.  I ain’t that dumb.

Ok Ok,  I probably should have gone to the little box thingy and pressed a button or something.  Something?

Oh, right.  Forgot to mention that little detail. (The part before where I admitted I was too lazy last night to reset the modem?)

We’re going to Hawaii right after Christmas!   There’s going to be a gang of us.   It’s going to be Maui.  I’d have to sift through some papers or emails to come up with more details.  A niece is turning 40,  and decided she wanted to be in Hawaii when it happens. Not a bad idea, really.  So we figured, she’ll need someone there to since Happy Birthday.  Right?

All I want to know is,  how the heck did those years go by so fast?  Let’s not get all maudlin.

I had this thought yesterday that,  if I want to buy some new sandals,  I had better do it now,  since it’ll be wintertime in Hawaii,  and maybe I won’t find ‘summer wear’?  

Hey,  that’s what we discovered in Puerto Rico.   They put away the “summer”  wear and bring out the fall and winter fashions.  I’m telling ya,  it’s HOT all year around!   Just the same,  T.C. could NOT find a bathing suit in November!  


Anyway,  on with the pictorial part of our program.

I think I mentioned that we had steaks Saturday night?

T.C. bought an entire tenderloin (I tried not to look at the price, but my butt did clench for just a second there),  which I then sliced into nice thick portions.

I’m not a one for having lots of fat or bone left over,  so the tenderloin program totally works for me.   Even though I’m somewhat parsimonious.    (read “cheap”,  for those of you with only grade 12)




And yes,  they were just as good as they looked.

And now,  not that we’re having any renovating competitions or anything,  but I’m pressing on with the painting situation as well.  Different room,  different colour.

There are a few little details to be sorted out first,  since this room is going to be getting new windows,  so yesterday I very carefully removed the trim and window stools,  labelled them,  and set them aside.  Not the sills,  the sill is on the outside.  I’ll get to those in due time.



I also noticed where some of the wall paint ended up on the ceiling,  so I’ll need to touch that up too.  I think I have nobody to blame but myself,  since I was the one to paint this room the last time.  It’s just one little spot,  and it’s up there in the corner.  But I can see it.

There’s more to do before I even get started,  so I’d better do that.


Sticks.  Ice.  You know.


Thanks for looking.