Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Well, that was July.

Didn’t seem to do too much today.  Breakfast with the Wednesday group (only remotely possible if I have wheels) and then an appointment at the bank for some rolling around or rolling over or whatever.  Necessary evil when there are dribs and drabs of RSPs and such. 

I did explain how they were “hanging on by a thread” when it came to being anything more than a place to hold onto money until bills need to be paid.  I’m still waiting for the Branch Manager to call me back from two years ago.  “I’ll call you no matter what.”  were her famous last words. 

Don’t ever tell me that.

Meanwhile,  the lady I met with (and no, we didn’t do any rolling around) was very pleasant,  but had only been there a few months.  Whether or not she’s still there a year from now?  Well, we don’t know.  And such is the way with our local bank.


Other than that,  pretty boring day.  Had a lovely chat with an old friend in Peterborough,  whom I called to wish a Happy Birthday.  What was supposed to be a quick call did turn into several minutes of catching up.  Even though I claim I’m not very “chatty”. 

You believe me, right? 

OK,  I can listen too,  y’know.


Apparently there’s some sort of veggies on the grill theme out there,  so I’d better stick on my offering.  This was last night’s dinner,  or part of it.




That particular rendition is with Olive oil,  basil, oregano and salt and pepper.  Put it all in a plastic bowl and shake like crazy to get the oil on the veggies.  Make sure the basket is good and hot before dumping it in.


Oh, (and I only naively tried this once) don’t think it’s a good idea to take that basket off the grill after it’s ready.  Just scoop it out as best you can. 


In addition to that,  of course there was the chicken that took me two trips to get.

Worth the effort.


Best not to ruin it after the tribulations of getting the chicken,  but I’ve done this before a few times.  Flour, egg, and bread crumbs,  brown in oil and into the oven at a decent temp. for maybe an hour?   I sort of play it by ear.  The temperature is around 350,  and I check on them after about 40 minutes. 

Travelling Companion meanwhile made some pesto from some fresh basil from the garden to go on some pasta.  Didn’t think to get a picture.  Quite likely too hungry by then.  She might have over done it on the garlic end of things.  You know when you wake up in the morning and you just know?  I think we were a bit stinky this morning.  If you’ve each had garlic, it sort of cancels itself out.

They say it’s healthy.  Well of course, nobody wants to come near you!  How you gonna catch anything?


Not exactly wordless Wednesday.  Maybe next week.  I’d need pictures.  That could be a challenge.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for lookin’.




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Where did that day go?

Seems like I turn around twice and it’s the middle of the afternoon?  I know the middle of the afternoon could never come fast enough some days back when there was a certain amount of drudgery involved, but I’m not sure what happened today.

Lemme see.  I slapped some finish on a couple sticks of wood (window trim)  and took some other sticks of wood up to the garden and drove them in the ground to prop up some towering tomato plants.   Of course,  they’re cedar,  so they should do well in the “sticks to hold up plants” end of things.  Better than being cut up for kindling.  Then it was off to a couple stores for “stuff”.

I’m not one for shopping, but there are some places where I’ll make an exception.  Considering my customer number ends in ‘86,  that’s how long I’ve been a customer of Lee Valley.  You figure it out.


(yes,  that denotes 1986)

It has probably occurred to you by this point that I took Travelling Companion to work, so I could have a set of wheels.   Unfortunately,  all this week she’s working in Milton.  Bleah.  I mean,  it’s not like there’s any need to get into the fray of rush hour traffic or anything, (rush hour traffic in these parts runs east and west, we were headed north, thankfully) but a few speed traps on the way up there wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Some folks is nuts!

And you know what?  I can drive like a maniac too if I wanted to (we have the technology), but why?  You’re stressing yourself out before you even get to work for heaven’s sake!

I can’t let on why I went to Lee Valley.  It’s a secret. 

But I also did want to go to one of the local delicatessen type places that we have in these parts for some cold cuts and some boneless skinless chicken.

I’ve been a customer of this place called Denninger's since back in the seventies,  and this goes back to when one of my school buddies was working at their “flagship” store on King Street in Hamilton,  and I worked right next door at Connaught Camera.  Connaught Camera is long gone by the wayside,  as the owner Jim Prestidge died a couple decades ago.  I’m sure he’s doing a fine job running a camera shop in Hell these days.  Not that, you know,  I didn’t like him or anything?  Hey, I needed a job. 


Anyway,  I’m getting side tracked. 

By now you’ve gathered that,  all you really need to do is,  have a decent assortment of products,  don’t treat me like crap,  and I’ll keep coming back.  Most likely for decades.

However, something has started to go somewhat amiss at Denninger’s.  It was later in the morning,  after a phone call to their head office that I found out that,  their founder Rudy Denninger,  is no longer the “capo di tutti capi”.   He’s been replaced by some Dude named Norm,  from whom I’m still waiting on a phone call.  

I’m not holding my breath here.

Somehow I keep picturing Norm from Cheers?


And yes,  I’m one of those guys that WILL phone head office and give someone a very calm and terse earful.

By the way,  (and I cringe when people miss-pronounce this)  “Denninger’s” is with a hard “G”.  Like when they don’t have what you want and you say to yourself,  “Grrr.”   Like that?

The deal is,  if you want fresh chicken (and we’re partial to boneless,  skinless chicken breasts by the way)  there’s no point going in on Monday.  Used to be all the locations were closed on Sundays,  and they wouldn’t keep chicken over the two days.  The key word here is “fresh”.    That’s awesome.  Really.

So fine,  what day is it?  Why,  it’s Tuesday.  But for some reason known only to the person ordering their chicken, there was none this morning.  “Oh, we’re not expecting it until this afternoon.”  

Say what?   Since when does Tuesday start at one p.m.?


OK fine, whatever.  Change of menu.  “I’ll take some garlic sausages.”  

Nope,  didn’t have those.  But you see,  I already knew in the back of my head that WEDNESDAY is fresh sausage day,  but I momentarily lost my mind.  Sorry.   Pardon me for asking.

Just the same,  I phoned head office and we had a little chat.  Still waiting for Norm to call.  I got the phone right here….


I guess that must have put me into a tailspin or something,  because I completely forgot to stop by ECS coffee for a couple cases of the Tassimo thingies.   So I figured,  what the hell,  I’ll go out again,  and see if two in the afternoon is what they think of as being “Tuesday”.  I mean,  it was on the way.  Sort of.


Well,  lo and behold,  there was some fresh chicken.  Not too damned many pieces mind you.  Good thing we’re not having company,  or I would have been screwed a second time.

Is it that rare a commodity?  It wasn’t any pricier than the run of the mill stuff you can buy most anywhere else,  but rare as well,  hen’s teeth it seems?


In a very convenient way,  they also have a nice little restaurant section in that particular store (in most others too I think,  but don’t quote me)  so I figured maybe I’d order something to take with me.   It’s good eats.

And here’s the thing,  back in my dark “shirt and tie wearing days”,  I’ve been known to hang around a few restaurants.  Assistant Manager, Store Manager,  Supervisor.   That kind of thing.  So maybe I might have an idea or two? Just saying.

First thing I notice,  there are no trays.  They’re piled willy-nilly over by the cash,  where the cashier (who is chatting with her buddy,  by the way)  is supposed to be cleaning them.   The other sign that things “ain’t quite raight”,  is that there are more employees than customers.  Yet there’s not a lot of work getting done.  Oh, and I saw nary a hint of a manager.  “Manager” should be in quotation marks. 

Then of course,  just to confirm my suspicions that they don’t know which end is up, they’re out of onion buns,  which was what I wanted to have for my sandwich.  “Would a plain Kaiser be OK?”

You have to understand,  twenty years ago my head would have exploded. But you know,  I’m trying to control myself?   So, since by that point I was hungry enough to start chewing on one of my legs,  I just said “OK”,  just to get it over with.   Thinking to myself through gritted teeth,  “Just f**king give me something.”


So I paid $6.75 for something I really and truly didn’t want.  It was tasty,  don’t get me wrong. But it wasn’t what I ordered. 

And no,  I don’t want a job working there.

Go ahead and call me Norm.  I dares ya.  He’s probably out playing golf.






Meh.  But you know what?  It could always be worse.  I could be getting a visit from that guy.  Ruh-roh!


I haven’t gone next door yet to take a look.  I’m actually a little afraid.  The owner came over yesterday to borrow a “snake”.  I guess my hand operated one wasn’t sufficient.  eek.


I think I’ve used my share of bits and bytes today,  so I’m done.


Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

No pity party.




Just a random picture of our Rose of Sharon out front.


Window work has slowed just a tad.  On Thursday I went to do something with my left hand and realised I must have *done* something, because that sucker was just about useless.  I mean, it didn’t hurt as long as I didn’t move it, try to use it or look at it sideways.  It woke me up in the night too.  I hate that.

It’s heaps better today,  and I guess it was one of those “getting old” mysteries?  Either that or I did something and immediately forgot about it.  Quite likely.

It didn’t take any more than a couple painful reminders to realise that it’s best to have TWO HANDS to do most anything?  That’s when I said to myself,  “And I’m not even *ambidexterious*.”

So this is where I’m leading up to this whole “ambidexterious” thing.  Forget the hand.  It’s not about the hand.

See,  back when I was about,  oh don’t know, twelve?  I used to think that my dear ole Dad was kidding when he would miss-pronounce certain words.  Instead of ambidextrous,  he would say “ambidexterious”.   The only other one he said that I recall was “paramacy”,  for Pharmacy.  I don’t know why he didn’t just call it a drug store.  But again,  I thought he was kidding.

Well no.  At some point in time,  possibly when I was in my late teens or early twenties,  I realised that no,  he wasn’t kidding.  That’s the way he thought those words should be pronounced.  OK then.

I mean, usually as you get older,  your parents start to “get smarter”.  Not for me.  No sir.  Had to be different.

The other thing too was,  dear ole Dad was not one that took kindly to being corrected?  About anything.  I wasn’t going there.

I mean,  I know I’m pretty obstinate, and I’m sure my kids make fun of me,  but at least they can do it to my face.  Well, mostly.

They just know that it’s a slippery slope to make fun of the Old Man,  because it might just come back one day.


So I muddled along with the window.  And no,  there was no “crew” this weekend.  The big window is just now ready for its second coat of finish.  Having a useless left hand didn’t help.  The next couple of weekends are kind of up in the air,  since Travelling Companion and I are off to a cottage on Friday,  and the following Saturday there’s a wedding to go to.   We’ll play the window installation by ear.  Some time before the snow flies??  That would be good.


Meanwhile,  a neighbour across the way has been packing up and moving out,  since the owner of the house he’s renting wants to sell the property.  It’s a long and sad tale about this gentleman who has lived there since well before we went to Europe in ‘08.  He moved in there with his daughter after his wife passed away,  and it wasn’t long after that,  that SHE too died.   It was a terminal illness, and her life expectancy wasn’t all that great,  but still.

So,  he’s been living there with his two cats,  and the report back from the owner is that,  well?  The place was a bit messy?  I’ll spare you the details.

Anyway,  the owner left a trailer there for him to fill with “stuff”,  and every few days the owner would come by,  hitch up to it and take it away to the transfer station.   This happened a few times.

Then,  this weekend,  he was supposed to be out,  and nothing had really been finished up as of the Saturday.
Saturday night,  around dinner time I guess it was,  a rental truck showed up,  and we figured that he had hired a crew to take away the rest of his things.


That picture is actually from today,  but let me ‘splain.

They loaded a few things,  and off they went.  I thought they would be coming back,  since they had left a lot of stuff still sitting.  And sitting.


Annoyingly,  I don’t have a telephoto for the Nikon, so you’ll have to click on that one.

Well,  Saturday night it RAINED.  I mean, we’re talking torrential downpour here!  And all that stuff was still outside!   I thought, “his stuff is going to be ruined!”.

It turns out that this was all items that were being donated to some sort of charity,  but still.  I’m hoping the box spring and mattress go in the dumpster!  Maybe the rain washed out the cat urine?  Smoky smell?  I don’t know.  I’ve always been somewhat suspect of upholstered items available at the Goodwill.   I do now believe my suspicions have been confirmed!

Caveat Sofa Shopper.

Well,  unless it’s just going to sit outside in the rain I guess.



It’s about that time to sharpen the blade on the mower.  I’m funny that way.  I like it sharp.  I mean, it’ll beat the grass off,  but sharp is always better.

And of course,  I have a tool for that.  *snort*  Was there any doubt?

If you’ve ever tried to remove a blade without an impact driver, good luck is all I’ll say.  Even with a bloody great long bar,  you’re bound to hurt yourself.  But with the impact driver it’s easy peasy.  You don’t even have to hold it from turning…


Then of course,  it needs to be checked for balance before going back on.

All you need is a vice and a blade of some sort on which to balance.



Unless you have to grind out a great big chunk of metal after running aground somewhere,  the blade should remain reasonably balanced.


And now I’d better go cut some grass.


Keep yer blades sharp.

Thanks for stopping by.



Friday, July 26, 2013

We’re a fickle lot.

Had the place buttoned up for a week at a time just last week it seems with the air conditioning running,  and last night I was going around closing windows again,  but this time because it’s gotten a little chilly out!   Great sleeping weather though.  I can just about make it through the night. 

Depends on my liquid intake. 

Wait a minute. *thinks*  I’ve wondered how they came up with that name, “Depends”.  I just may be getting closer to an answer.

I won’t get into any details concerning aging and the need for the proximity of porcelain facilities.  You can draw your own conclusions.  Suffice to say,  if I wake up for the first time and it’s getting close to being morning?  I’m pretty happy. 

One of the drawbacks of having our bedroom window open with a nice cool breeze coming in is,  our recycling bin just happens to be on the back step within earshot.  It really sucks when there’s something in there that’s interesting to a young racoon.   Little bugger. 

Could be worse I suppose.  They can no longer GET IN the house.  So that’s a good thing.

No picture of the racoon licking the remains of an Angel Food Cake form.  Sorry.



The drudgery continues with my major woodworking project.  I know I’ve been talking about window installation but really, it’s just another huge woodworking project. 

Rather than writing another 1000 words,  I’ll just stick in a picture.

Oh, and if you hover your mouse/cursor/thingy over the picture,  you”ll get a quick “summing up”.


mentally incompetent.



See them bony knees?  I ain’t smilin’.  The foam pad helps.

It’ll be over soon.


Next time,  I’ll talk about how it doesn’t matter if you’re “ambidexterious”.   Ah ya,  spell check doesn’t like that one.


Lunch is over.  Gotta go.


Have a fine weekend,  and thanks for stopping by.



Thursday, July 25, 2013

The days go by.

Yesterday came close to being a “wordless Wednesday”,  but what I had to offer was so pitiful,  that I gave it a pass. 

I trimmed out one more window.

Big whoop.  I didn’t even count the number of times I was up and down that ladder.  Gah.






Those two pictures were all I had to offer, so that’s why I decided to skip the whole thing.


The weather in these parts is just about perfect,  so I have no excuse not to press on.  

I took a little break during our recent heat wave,  even though I had installed a window air conditioner in the shop.  Somehow it doesn’t seem to cut it,  even though it did remove the humidity and cool down the place.  I just felt cooped up is all.  You just can’t beat a nice cool breeze.



Both of these “operators” now have a couple coats of finish on them,  and some time this afternoon I’ll tackle the frame over there on the left.  It involves a certain amount of time on hands and knees,  first to lightly sand the finish I have on there,  and then of course to slap on some more.    And then it needs to get installed.


The *trouble* with putting out the word to the “crew”  (they don’t know they’re a crew yet) is that I need to be ready.   It’s probably going to happen on a Saturday afternoon,  and I’ll put out the word to anyone who can lift any more than 50 pounds.  Most likely through the Book of Face. The more the merrier.  Taking out the old window is something I can do in the forenoon on my own.  We have the technology…. (Called a reciprocating saw)


And then?  Oh, there’s more.  There’s painting.  That chandelier.  Just yesterday I realised that the back step is in need of some “remediation”.  Something has shifted,  and it needs to be torn apart.  Or something.  More hands and knees work I’m afraid.

One end of it sits on concrete,  which would be all fine and dandy,  except we have this thing called FROST in these parts, and that corner has worked its way off its moorings.



Such “First World” problems. 

I could be living in a cardboard box somewhere.  Of course,  it too would probably need work.  There’s no getting away from it.


Enjoy the rest of your day.  I’m going to give it a good shot.


Thanks for looking in.



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Not dragging so much.

Because yesterday it felt like I was dragging a length of chain around behind me. 

Not weather related. 

Not age related.   Quite possibly something to do with some sort of red liquid that comes in bottles.  The rumour is I had several glasses.  When Travelling Companion suggested she should drive home Sunday night,  I had no problem with that. 

Now that I think on it, I may very well have had my quota of beer and/or wine already on Saturday night,  even though really, that doesn’t mean that it was all that much.  Back in the my “school days”, I do recall being referred to as “One Beer Bob”,  so I think you get the idea.   Any more than a teaspoon and I’m done.

It was a bit of a busy weekend,  as it turns out.  Although taking any “blog pictures” never really entered my head,  except of course for the mandatory steaks on the BBQ rendition.  That was from Saturday night.


The combination of marinade and seasonings really put these guys over the top too.  No vegans or vegetarians.  Sorry.

Travelling Companion’s older brother and his wife were down this way and stayed over on Saturday night.  No sooner had they left Sunday afternoon,  but we were out again to have yet another BBQ with friends.  This was when I got chauffeured home.  I took the camera,  but you don’t get to see my friends in bathing suits.  Certainly not if I want to keep them as friends that is.


Today I thought I’d tackle a little job that I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time now.

The conditions have to be just right,  and this was something I wanted to do last week when Travelling Companion was away,  but when I read the instructions on the side of the container,  I realised the humidity was too high.  Can’t be over 85%.  When has it not been??



This is one of the rare times when I actually wash our driveway.  I see my neighbour across the way washing his on a regular basis,  but I think he might be just ever so slightly loopy.  This isn’t the neighbour with the “Loser Boy” son,  but the one next door.  

Loopy and Loser.  Yay.


See,  we pay for our water in these parts,  so I’m sure as heck not going to waste it on the driveway.  We’re even a long ways off from me watering the grass.  And really?  I don’t water the grass. It’ll go somewhat dormant if it doesn’t rain,  and I’m OK with that.

Anyway,  it’s been a few years since I’ve spread some goop on the driveway,  and today was the day.



It helps to have done this at least once before, just to have the experience. So that meant I was able to come out exactly at the end having used up all the goop.  No point in having it hanging around for next year or whenever.


I do think this helps the asphalt stand up to the sun and other elements.  I had this section paved back in the spring of 2002, then put some goop on in something like 05, (don’t remember, really) and we won’t need to pave any time soon, methinks.

The other thing too is,  I had a friend supervise the whole paving endeavour when we were away in Puerto Rico,  and he not only chose the paving company, (Ruddock) because he worked with them when we both worked for our previous employer, but I had requested that I wanted a good three inches. (Don’t even go there!) None of this measly inch and a half nonsense that the fly by night companies like to stick you with.  It was a bit pricey at nine hundred bucks,  but if I goopify it every few years,  it’s not going anywhere.

In the ten years that we had our class A motor home,  I backed in over this asphalt on a regular basis with no damage.  This was the other reason for going a bit thicker.  The RV *only* weighed 7 or 8 tonnes,  but that’s heavy enough to damage some weak assed sh*t.


Not sure what else I’ll do this afternoon.  I did manage to cut out three pieces of window trim yesterday,  so I’ll likely put a second coat of finish on them and that’ll be about it.

I’m working up my nerve for the big one.  I’ll let you know.


Thanks for stopping in.



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cleaning up.

Not so bad right here on the property, but I’ve seen a few downed trees and tree parts this morning.

Travelling Companion was already home when I got back from the pub yesterday afternoon,  and she managed to avoid the brunt of the storm.  We were just leaving when the skies opened up, so it wasn’t until I got to our front door that I had to make a run for it.  Had an umbrella in the car, ‘cause I ain’t that dumb.

I didn’t do a terribly convincing job of catching the fury on the way home last night.  Never a good idea to either shove the camera out the window,  or not pay attention to what’s in front to get a convincing shot.




Our power stayed on,  which I understand was a bit of a rarity.  There’s still folks without power all over the province.

My “job” this morning,  was to take the pool car out and put fuel in it.  This is my life.

Took a couple tries to find a gas station that had power.  Never occurred to me that maybe electricity would be an issue.  As an additional annoyance,  the station that I wanted to get to has a Tim Horton’s on site,  since I had a hankering for….something.  Maybe an old fashioned plain?  Wasn’t sure.  Didn’t matter.  They had no power either.  *grumble*

I did find a gas station with power, (but no Tim Horton’s) and got a receipt,  so that worked out.

Of course,   the other Tim Horton’s location down the street from us, (where I choose not to go since the service tends to suck)  had too long a line up for me.   Ain’t gonna stand in line for a feakin’ doughnut!  

Meh, so I had toast for breakfast.

By the way,  I chose NOT to include a link to their website,  because it’s STUPID.   I wish web designers would ease up on the fancy crap they put on their sites.  Not everyone has blindingly fast internet and want to see things flashing or flicking or whatever.  So you can Google Tim Horton’s if you chose.  Up to you.   It’s a coffee shop here in Canada.  Kind of a big deal for some folks.




This is one more of the several pool cars that they have at the Company that Cannot be Named.  There was and “Escape”, a “Flex” and now this one is an “Edge”.   Isn’t that the guitar player from U2?   Not sure what they’re smoking when they come up with these names.  I suppose “Tundra” isn’t much better.  Have you ever seen tundra?  It’s not very interesting.

Now,  I’ve genuinely tried to like any of these vehicles that T.C. has had to use from time to time,  including the Ford van that I rented earlier this week.   Not sure what it is exactly,  but none of them have really thrilled me.  I mean,  this “Edge” has a lot of nifty features,  including a back up camera that’s heaps better than the one we had in the motorhome,  but the big tires are noisy.  I didn’t think they were supposed to be?  But it was almost like riding on a corrugated roadway, only just a bit more subtle.   And, depending on your personal taste I suppose,  you may or may not consider them “goofy”.  I tend to find low profile tires on huge rims just a tad goofy.   It probably has to do with the neighbours we have across the road who are forever fooling with old cars that they then turn into “low riders” or what have you.   The one loser boy still lives at home.  He’s well into his forties.  That’s all I’ll say about that.


Actually,  if you can come up with the tune in your head to “Robin Hood”,  there is a little ditty that I made up years ago concerning this loser boy.

I goes like this:

Loser Boy, Loser Boy,

Lives at home with Mom,

Loser Boy, Loser Boy,

He’s pretty much a bum.

It’s really rather sad,

At least he looks like Dad,

Loser Boy,

Loser Boy,

Loser Boy.


Below is the tune I’m referring to,  (in case you needed some help) and yes it’s a blank screen. 

Whoever uploaded it,  only uploaded the music.  You only want the first 6 bars or so…                




Well,  I got that out of my system. 


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


Thanks for stopping by.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sometimes it’s the simplest things.

Do I have to say it’s still hot here?  Getting tired of that,  and I’m sure you’re getting tired of hearing it.

Travelling Companion said it rained like crazy in Perth yesterday,  but we got barely a drop here.

Actually,  now that I think of it,  I was coming back from Hamilton at one point along the Beach Strip,  and there were a few sprinkles.  That was it.

Oh, and by the way,  that’s Perth Ontario, not Perth, Australia.  You’re welcome to do a Google Maps search if you’re unsure.  I’m sure you care.

So why was I coming back from Hamilton?  Why on earth would I ever go to Hamilton?  OK,  maybe Hamilton’s not that bad,  let’s not be dissing Hamilton,  I do know folks who live and work there.  Bless their hearts.

Got a call yesterday morning that a chair that we had ordered was in, and could I come and pick it up?   Now see,  we still don’t have a second vehicle.  I’m still flip flopping on the whole idea of having a second vehicle,  since I’ve been able to make do up until now.  Emphasis on “make do”.  There are times when a pick-up truck would be peachy keen,  especially when it comes to picking up sheet goods or a few bags of really stinky manure.   But hey,  the seats fold down in the Merc,  and just yesterday morning I took a trip up to Turkstra Lumber to fetch a couple pieces of Number Two Cedar.   I was able to put in two eight footers with little difficulty. I came up a little short in the cedar department for the trim I need to manufacture for the windows,  and Turkstra is one of the few places that have decent cedar.  I’ve given up long ago trying to get lumber from Home Despot,  since most of their stuff is crap.  Sad to say.  I suppose the average young wanna be “do it yourselfer” doesn’t actually know what decent lumber should look like?  Not sure.  But I either go to Tamarac Lumber, or Turkstra.  

Anyway,  rather than try and work out the logistics of borrowing my nephew’s pick-up (this would be the ‘03 Toyota Tundra that I sold to him in 2008) I just figured I’d go to Budget and rent something.  Worked out to slightly over fifty bucks for a van and fuel,  which is still a heck of a sight cheaper than one month’s insurance on a second vehicle.  It’s a nuisance to go and do all the signing and walking around and sh*t,  but hey,  it went forward when I put it in drive,  and the air conditioning worked.  That’s all I needed.

Of course,  I originally figured I’d just plank the chair in the garage until I could get some help getting it in the front door,  but when I went to take it off the back of the truck, I realised that I could more or less manage it,  so I just figured I’d get it up the steps and in the front door right then and there.

Now see,  that’s probably not something any sane person would do when it’s so freakin’ hot and humid out,  but I did it.  It’s in the living room,  it’s unwrapped,  and has been sat in.   I didn’t actually sit in it until after I had taken the truck back (and come home and showered),  because by then I was a sweaty mess.  It’s leather,  and I didn’t want to be sweating all over the thing.

I kinda like it.


It’s from a company called American Leather,  and it’s pretty sweet. 

We’ve had “furniture” from the chain store types of places,  and that stuff usually looks OK, but just don’t look underneath,  or sit down.   This thing is really well made.  

Anyway, that was one little job yesterday.


Today I thought I’d tackle an inside job that’s been nagging at me for a while now,  and that is the installation of our chandelier that T.C. bought in Vienna. 

Of course,  it has to go where there is no other light fixture?  Oh boy!


Right there in the middle of the dining room,  where I’ve slapped on some fresh paint.  I’ll do the rest later,  I promise.


But before that,  I have to get at the wiring.




However,  just taking the ‘can’ out,  isn’t going to help.

I guess I forgot just how I installed these two centre ones,  since the dining room actually used to be two rooms,  and I nailed these things onto the ceiling joists.  Fun…wow.



Oh, *that* kind!


Because,  you know,  I thought I was “done”.   Didn’t count on buying a chandelier.  Had no plans of ever taking those fixtures out, ever again.



At this point,  I’m just a big sweaty mess (again) so I figure I may as well go out and cut the grass,  which is something I’ve been dreading in this heat.

Oh, and no,  there’s no “after” picture.  I ain’t done!  Hell no.  I just gave up for today.  I’ll root around up there some more a little later on.  Maybe.

I think though that I might put down a couple old curtains,  rather than have the mess go straight onto the floor? 



And that was just the beginning.


Especially since,  after having swept up the most of it,  I discovered that the hose to the central vac didn’t work.  Gah!  Are you kidding me?

Wasn’t the outlet,  wasn’t the hose.  Had to be the switch.


But wait,  the switch works, it just didn’t want to work when it was in the hose.  I had to use the little alligator clamp there,  since I didn’t have a third hand.  Because I mean,  we have to take pictures of this crap.

So, a little six hundred grit wet and dry paper,  and now it works again. 


Again,  I suppose anyone else would have figured that was it, and just taken it to some vacuum cleaner Dude and paid the money. 

I mean, it’s not like I actually *know* anything.  I only have enough synaptic activity in my pea brain to barely keep my head above water.


And this is how you never get ANYTHING done.  Makes it tough when Travelling Companion asks,  “So what did you do today, dear?”   The answer is usually,  “Um, I don’t know…”,  because by that point in the day,  it’s all a jumble.

Dazed and confused.



Keep the water flowing.


Thanks for lookin’.



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Having the tools, as opposed to being one.

I’m not even sure that’s relevant,  but it just now popped into my head.

We’re having another hot one here.  Seems to be the fashion.  Of course,  there are hotter places, I know.  You’ll tell me, I’m sure.

I’ll have to come up with a couple little jobs for the inside.  I can manage.  Travelling Companion is away for the rest of the week with her “team”.  She’s trying to sort out a few issues so she can retire.  That’s what she keeps saying.  The Canadian division of The Company that Cannot be Named went onto a new system.  T.C. warned them years ago that it wouldn’t work (back before we did the Ex-Pat thing) and sure enough,  it doesn’t.  So now she has to try and fix it. 

Good times.

Personally,  I’m not sure why the hell it’s up to her,  but let’s not go there.  Some sort of sense of obligation?  Dunno.


Last week went by just a little too fast.  My sister was here for only a week,  sorting out a few details having to do with a condo in Kitchener that’s she’s about to sell.   She had been renting it out for the last couple years,  since she moved to B.C.,  in search of new adventures. Actually,  there’s a gentleman friend in the mix there, but whatever.

Things were going swimmingly in the rental department with the first renters she had,  but then they up and bought a place late last year some time,  so she ended up with some new ones,  who turned out to be contenders for the “Renters from Hell” award. 

Of course,  here in Ontario, as is the case with the other provinces I’m sure,  the Landlord hasn’t a leg to stand on when it comes to folks who are pigs or generally a pain in the ass,  so she decided to give them notice and sell it.  That’s pretty much your only way out.

The first response from the whack-o chick with the three kids and piles of laundry/junk/crap was, “Well, we’re not going to move”,  to which my sister simply informed her that,  the lease is up at the end of the year,  so the choices are to move out in the dead of winter,  or at the end of July.   They’re going. 

I could go on about a trip I took up to Kitchener back in May to check on some supposed mould and general mayhem that turned out to be nothing (I got the pictures to prove it)  but that ship has sailed.  Not worth talking about. 


On Friday, Sister and T.C. went off on a little excursion to sign this and that at the lawyer’s office (there’s another story), so I took the opportunity to get one more window installed. 

The “problem” with doing the bathroom window is,  we kinda hafta use that bathroom?  So I sort of procrastinated just a wee bit,  but Friday the weather was just about perfect, and T.C. and sister were going to be out for most of the day.


Having the big opening sure lets in lots of light,  but that wasn’t going to be the situation for long.


I had a couple moments of elevated heart rate when the dimensions seemed just wee bit off,  but then I realised that I had indeed taken proper measurements,  but the installers had had to build up the “frame” area with extra mortar.   That’s never the best situation.

I may have mentioned this,  but this house is not what is referred to as “balloon frame”,  so there’s no wood in there.  The old window frames are mortared in place,  which means that if any of it needs to be removed,  Muggins here has to do a certain amount of “horse work”.   It didn’t take me much more that four or five swings of the hammer to realise that, I’ve gotten a little soft during my stay in Vienna?

Then I remembered,  I have a tool for that!






Of course,  one does need to switch from reading glasses to safety glasses,   along with some ear protection.  But that sucker makes quick work of anything in its path.


So,  Bob’s yer Uncle,  we have one more window.



And yes,  I realise there were a couple casualties in the tile department,  but they’ll all be going at some point in the near future.  That will be yet another room to get “done”.  A bit more work though than a couple coats of paint. 

Don’t you just love those fifties colours?


We had a little gathering on Saturday,  which of course means having to try and clean some chairs that we’ve had for way too long.  They’re all that’s left from a set that was given to us almost twenty years ago,  and the chairs refuse to die.


I gave my notice that that was the absolute last time I was willing to clean the stupid things.  I think there’s some sort of paint you can use to freshen up plastic chairs,  but I’ve never felt a very strong urge to investigate.


Anyway,  since taking pictures of food on the BBQ seems to be “de rigueur”,   I’ll at least offer the following.





There was more than just meat of course,  and there was even some sort of “vegan” dessert.   It was OK, although I could only eat one piece. 


It seems that when you have to make substitutions for, I don’t know,  cheese?  cream?  The ingredients that you use for making dessert,  somehow it doesn’t seem to be quite right?  At least in my humble opinion.  At one point,  someone said,  “Maybe just use a little less…*whatever it was*”,  and I just thought, “why would you ever do that again?”.   Once was enough.

We do have some Vegans in the family mix,  but they didn’t show up.  Hm.


Well,  I’m sure I can find a little indoor project to keep me occupied.

Enjoy your week.


Thanks for stopping in.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Can’t stop sweating.

Holy cheese and crackers! 

I mean, I’m OK right this minute,  and it’s not like I was even cutting the grass or anything, but I’m sure I could have filled a couple cups full this morning.

At first I naively thought, “Oh, this isn’t too bad.  There’s a breeze.”   Well,  you can almost chew the air it’s so humid,  so a breeze didn’t seem to help.


But,  I got a window trimmed out, dammit!




I have to fill in with a bit of coloured caulk here and there,  but that’s essentially it.   I prefer not to open a tube of caulking until I can at least mostly use it up. 

There’s nothing straight forward about this either.  The trim profile that I had been using up until now doesn’t quite work, so that was rather unfortunate but hey,  it’s wood.  It can be trimmed. 

One of our projects for next year will to have the facia boards, soffits and eaves troughs replaced,  which will nicely cover up the somewhat sad looking wood above the window there.  I painted all the soffits and facia boards not long after we moved in a couple decades ago,  and having done it,  I have no desire to ever do it again.  So that will be a job for a siding company of some sort.

It was the countless trips up and down the ladder that brought on the sweat.  Just thankful I’m not working in a school right about now,  truth be told.

I recall coming home for lunch on days like this,  and just dreading having to go back.  We had air conditioning running,  even though it was from installing window units.  I’m thankful too that that is no longer the case.


I keep eyeing the bathroom window,  but I’m glad I didn’t tackle that today.  Cracking open the house on a day like this isn’t pleasant.  I’ll get to it.


Well,  my brain is kind of mushy,  so I think that’s it for today.  And yes,  I still have to cut the grass at some point.  At least I don’t have to wear glasses to do it. 

Yay.  I can hardly wait.


Keep an eye on the skies.


Thanks for stopping by.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A brief “vacation”.

Partly from blogging, I realise.   I do tend to get neglectful from time to time.  So shoot me.

My older sister came in from B.C. Saturday night,  so we’ve mostly been hanging out.  Much easier to chat in person than on the phone.  I think I’ve mentioned how I’m not overly chatty on the phone?  Has to be when the mood strikes me,  and that’s rare.

It was a bit of a late night Saturday night, as her connecting flight out of Calgary was cancelled.  Had nothing to do with the water issues out there.  We figured they just cancelled it because the flight wasn’t full.  It’s an airline trick.  They usually give some excuse like,  there’s a problem with the aircraft?   Well yes,  the problem is,  you didn’t fill all the seats.

She was able to get on a later flight,  but didn’t get in to Toronto until some time after 12:30 Sunday morning.  Got in to bed around two.  Takes a while to bounce back from that I find. 

Anyway,  on Monday we thought we’d head off for a little diversion with her son and the kids.


Not sure if you’ve ever heard of this place?   I had never been there,  but her son and significant other had rented a single wide for the week,  and were having great fun with the kids.  I’m not much of a one for what many would consider “RV hell”,  but I do have to admit that they have heaps of things to do for kids and adults alike.  I could probably tolerate it for a day or two,  possibly a week,  but that’s about it.



I used to work with a lady who lived there with her husband,  and they’d commute every day to Burlington.  It took them a good hour and twenty minutes,  but they loved it there. 

Hey,  what ever floats your boat.



The gang were swimming at “The Quarry”.

I’m not going to show pictures of kids etc., and certainly not of any adults in bathing suits.  That’s just the way it is.  You’ll have to use your imagination.


The curious thing was,  there was a gentle breeze coming off Lake Eire,  so it was quite pleasant both temperature and humidity wise.  Then later in the evening,  there was a text or message or something from someone in London,  saying they were getting some serious rain.   Well,  we ended up driving through it when we got to Hamilton,  and I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen rain that hard since one time when we were in Florida,  and had to pull off the road.  This time around though,  I was able to see where I was going,  (better wipers on the Merc?) and chose not to get to the shoulder,  since I had this nagging idea that it would be just as dangerous to sit there (hoping not to get smashed into) as to just keep moving with a very large buffer between me and everyone else. 

Then when we got home,  we heard about just how much rain had come through these parts,  including the mess in Toronto.   It seems it hasn’t rained that much for so long since Hurricane Hazel.  OK then.  We have a new record.


Meanwhile,  I’m inching along with my window project. 

I want to trim out the windows I’ve installed before getting too much farther along,  and I have to admit that my motivation is somewhat lacking.


Maybe it’s the humidity?  That’s my only excuse.

Trimming out those windows of course means,  I first have to manufacture the trim.  You can’t just buy this stuff,  and I have enough cedar stashed in the shed to at least get started. 

Sure glad no one is holding a gun to my head.


I think that’s about it for today,  and possibly for a few days.  We’ll see.



Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 5, 2013

I could easily be a hermit.

Except for the living in a cave part.  I’d still need the internet.  Mostly for ordering stuff and having it delivered.  And I’m not talking about ordering our pizza on line last night either.  I mostly don’t like talking on the phone,  so being able to order a pizza on line is something I really appreciate.

There was the coffee delivery from a couple weeks back,  but also right around that time I realised that I had some saw blades that were in serious need of some sharpening.

The table saw doesn’t really care if blades are dull or not.  It’s three horsepower, which is boatloads of oomph.  But when muggins here is having a bit of a time of it trying to shove a soft wood like cedar through,  then I know the blade is as dull as a hoe.

So I started phoning around.  The place where I used to take saw blades to be sharpened had not only moved,  but no longer thought it worth while to sharpen carbide.  OK then.   Time to hit the ‘net.

Turns out there’s a place in Galt (about an hour away) that will do the deed.  Not only that,  but they pick up and deliver!  I think the delivery charge was a couple bucks?  And if I’m in no hurry for the blades anyway, then it’s all good.  

Pick up on a Wednesday,  drop off the following week.  The only slight wrinkle is that I have to be here,  but I had the driver’s cell number,  and he told me exactly when I could expect him.  

Of course,  I wasn’t able to get a decent photo, but that’s him zipping off with my saw blades.


So much has transpired in the past week,  that I fear I might put everyone to sleep.  You know,  gatherings and ‘stuff’. 


One of the things to do over a long weekend,  when there’s no mail delivery,  is to refinish the mail box.  And this is not something I do on a regular basis by any stretch of the imagination, as you can tell by the look of the thing.  It’s never been refinished.


It was looking a wee bit sad.  It’s been out there for around twenty years,  so it’s no wonder.  I made it to replace the metal thing that was there before.  It was nasty.


This is the reason for them fancy hand planes.  OK so, a good old Stanley Number four would work just as well,  but I’ve always had a thing for wooden planes.  Plus,  I got to visit the factory back in ‘09.


Since I’m goofing around with finish anyway…


And back it goes.


I couldn’t find that last photo at first,  but then remembered that it was in July’s folder,  under “finishing up”.   And there’s a segue there.


Since now we’re done in yet another room.


The windows are in and trimmed out.  The painting is done,  and the furniture is in.


This involved moving a bookcase back to its original spot.

Ever moved a book case? 


This wasn’t your typical IKEA bookcase either.



Getting that sucker moved was a challenge.  I just said to Travelling Companion, “I gotta stop making these huge things.”    I think though that it will stay in that spot for a good long time.  I make sure too,  to attach it to the wall.  If it fell over?  Oy.

There were more books and junk in it before it got moved,  but I thinned it out a bit.  What to do with the left over stuff is for another day.



I’m sure I could come up with more to bore you with, but that’s about it.   Over the next day or so I’ll be mucking around with the bathroom window.  It has all the finish on it,  and is basically ready to go in.  Then it will be time for the big one.   That’s going to be just heaps of fun.


Sure hope your festivities were good ones.  Gotta be careful around them fireworks,  I heard some folks got hurt out in California? Nasty business.

Link.   That link won’t be around forever.  Not sure why it was on the “Guardian” website before anywhere else? 


Anyhoodle,  thanks for stopping by.