Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Maybe we’re being duped?

I don’t too often do the “news”, unless it’s something quirky or weird.  There needs to be some humour.  Either that or more pie,  but that’s another theme.

By “we”, I’m talking about Canada, the US and the United Nations Security Council.  See, if Syrians (and I’m going to lump them all together here) are of the moral fibre that they would be willing to do a chemical treatment on their own people,  who’s to say it’s the Dudes in power?  Maybe, just maybe *somebody* let loose some chemicals so that the rest of the world would get annoyed enough to join in?  I’m sure the Rebs would be overjoyed if we started lobbing cruise missiles into Damascus. 

At one point four million a pop,  I might add.

Hey, I’m just putting it out there.  Besides, moral indignation is still not enough of a reason to start messing around in a sovereign nation.  Let’s not forget Iraq.  We (and by this “we” I’m talking about all the folks who pony up their taxes) didn’t really give a rat’s ass what Sadam was doing to the Sunnis or the Turds or Kurds or whomever.  Really.  It’s their country, let them sort it out.  Of course,  we can debate the price of crude oil versus the real reason for invading a sovereign nation until the cows come home,  but that’s a slippery slope.

Again, feel free to talk amongst yourselves.


We’re having a wee bit of a humid one out there it seems.

By this “we”,  I’m including just about all of Canada.  Or at least the parts whats got peoples.

All Grammar mistakes are intentional, by the way.

Maybe Vancouver Island isn’t humid?  That’s about the only place. 


heat index

Most of it seems to be right along the border.  What’s up with that?  You guys doing something down there?  Keep your humidity, really.  It’s all good.


I did do a little mucking about outside,  until the sweat was just coming off of me. Man!  And it wasn’t even that hot out,  just dripping.

Travelling Companion and I decided this morning it was time to once again engage the wondrous air conditioning.  It wasn’t that it was all that hot at night,  but I was half way expecting there to be fog in the living room when I came down this morning.  And forget getting a bath towel to dry out on its own.  Just sopping.

So,  what’s the deal with the chives?  I mentioned chives yesterday.  Garlic chives.

They’re smelly.  I mean,  really really smelly.  And they’ve GOT TO GO.

I think we had enough garlic chives to supply the entire eastern seaboard.


Them green things with the white flowers.


There’s a before,  and an almost after:




The idea is,  get rid of the damned things and put down some mulch so they don’t come back.  I did as much as I could stand yesterday morning until I couldn’t tolerate the smell any longer.  I think I’d sooner shovel manure.

They started out as a little clump a number of years ago,  and the warning was to keep them in check.  Well,  actually there were words such as “you’ll be sorry”, or something to that effect.  But see, we did that little European visit, and they spread like crazy.  And now, (and I’m a little shaky as to where this was part of the marriage vows) they are my problem. 

How does that work?

I thought of using some “Round-Up”,  but that probably would be bad.  We do want to keep the roses after all. 

And really?  Do I want that kind of stuff in the garden?  Don’t think so.

Let’s not be using chemicals. 

I’m not going to make any comparisons.



Other than that,  I was sort of mucking about.  I have this thing about keeping the garage doors clean, and they haven’t had a lick of a cleaning in a good five years,  so that was one little job.  But again, when the sweat gets in my eyes, I decide I’ve had enough. 

So then I get easily distracted,  and the distraction is usually inside somewhere.  Even my garage is cooler than outside.







Had a little drawer that was sticking so I mean,  I just had to get that sorted out.  I think it’s been sticking for maybe 20 years or so?  So it needed a little bit of trimming.  Missed that final step. Just never got around to it.  It’s a cabinet I built for next to the drill press.  Has junk in it.  I have a lot of those.

Well,  it’s not really *junk*.  Drill bits and such aren’t junk. 

I went through a lot of the cupboards when we first came home and separated out boxes upon boxes of the actual junk.  It’s out in the shed.  There was talk of a “garage sale”, but I have so very little interest.  It’ll probably end up at the “Reuse Centre” or some such place.  They can deal with it.  Some of the metal things ended up at Thompson Metals,  which they happily accept and which also keeps perfectly good metal out of the landfill.

Nowadays they even take electronics.  That’s always a good thing. I never know what to do with old TVs and such.


Your eyes are starting to cloud over.  I can tell.  You’re not alone.

Best be off to bed.


Thanks for looking.



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Smokey the Bear is an idiot.

There, I said it.

Now, before you get into a flap, lemme ‘splain.

Yes,  I do realise that these days it’s definitely a good thing to “prevent forest fires” however, if there wasn’t so damned much undergrowth from having prevented those forest fires for all those years,  we wouldn’t have the run away situations that are now very common. 

Just talk to a native person.


That doesn’t mean you should be careless.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  Don’t go to bed before dousing your “camp fire”,  especially if you’re in an area where it could go on burning undetected.



OK, so that’s a different deal.  Never mind.

Kind of freakin’ scary though,  innit?


The “White Man” prefers to call it "Prescribed Burning", but the Natives have been doing it for millennia.

I vividly recall using fire every spring to burn off the grass once upon a time when growing up on the farm.  And I ain’t no Native.  Sure wouldn’t mind not paying taxes though, but let’s not get off topic.

There was still snow on the ground in the woods,  so there was no worries about the fire getting away from us. Of course the farm house was a bit of a tinder box,  since it was all wood and about a hundred years old.  A few years after we moved to Ontario, it did get torched, and reports are that it burned “reel good”.


Alright so, maybe “Only you can prevent forest fires”,  but there’s not a damned thing you can do about a lightening strike.


Just wanted to get that off my chest.  Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.  Thanks.



Now, under the heading of things that make me go,  “What the??”

You may or may not have heard of this.  Some silly people got sick after eating some kind of cr*p at the Canadian National Exhibition.  (what the hell they’re “exhibiting” there these days is beyond me.)


Anyway, this came into my email inbox:


RIGHT NOW: TPH to provide update after maple bacon jam identified as source of CNE food-borne illness

Toronto Public Health will speak with reporters after announcing earlier Tuesday that the maple bacon jam served atop the Cronut Burger at the CNE caused a food poisoning outbreak that sickened more than 220 people.
TPH's Dr. Lisa Berger is expected to speak at 12:45 p.m.


Wait.  What?  “Lisa Berger”??   Berger?  OK fine,  maybe it’s not that funny.  Just the same though,  I heard they got sick from Listeria.  I suppose Lisa isn’t short for Listeria?  Get it?  Huh?  Huh? 

C’mon people!  Am I the only one with some twisted up crazy name disease? 

Fine. Never mind.

In case you’re wondering just what the hell a “Cronut” burger is,  it’s some sort of cheeseburger-doughnut-croissant hybrid.  OK?  And if that ain’t bad enough,  there’s some sort of “maple bacon jam” that goes on top.  *shudder*.  (or, at least it used to)

I’m not making this up.

Well now, therein lies the problem.  Seems the “maple bacon jam” had “turned” or something.  I’d laugh, but people did get sick from this.  I tend to take the cynics view and lean towards karma.  But that’s just me.

Here’s a tip.  Don’t eat crap,  and plant your corn early.


Um ya.  I guess nothing much really happened today.


Oh, I did have a hitch-hiker last night when I went to Home Despot.  Travelling Companion was quite speechless when I casually mentioned that they were in fact open until 10:00.


Cool huh?

He didn’t come in the store with me,  so I don’t know why the heck he wanted to go to Home Depot. 

I try not to be judgemental.


I don’t think I’ve seen a Preying Mantis in a long time.  Kind of weird that the only place I’d see one is on the hood of the car.

He stayed there all the way there and back.  He was getting a little buffeted, (hey, maybe he was “praying”?) but I did try not to exceed the speed limit.  Didn’t want him to blow off.  I guess that would have been OK,  but I would have missed a photo op.


I got other pictures of stuff from today, but who cares really?

Something called “garlic chives”. 

Oh my goodness.

I’ll tell you tomorrow,  or the next day.  Or…whenever.


Keep yer blades sharp.


Thanks for stopping by.



Monday, August 26, 2013

I thought we settled this?

Well, I’m pretty upset today since I missed “Go Topless Day”. 


Yes, you read that correctly.  Yesterday, Sunday was apparently Go Topless Day. 

OK. Whatever.

break out the sunblock

(I’m rolling my eyes here) 

But like I said, I thought Gwen Jacobs put this issue to rest a few years back?  There was that whole Charter challenge, or whatever you call it.  Turns out there’s a whole Wiki article devoted to the subject.  

I guess you could consider it interesting reading.  It really and truly has to do with the interpretation of the law as it now stands in most parts of Canada.  There’s some mention made of the case of a lady engaging in the world’s oldest profession,  baring her breasts in an attempt to solicit customers.  It would seem that you can’t do that

So sorry but, no flappin’ them boobies to drum up business.

But if it’s a hot day, and you’re just sauntering down the street, you can take your shirt off.  As long as you ain’t a hooker.

But here’s my problem. 

(Oh, and I have no problem with lady’s breasts,  believe me.) 

The problem is mostly with that whole “taking off ones shirt” situation.  I tend to think most everyone should keep their damned shirts on!  

You there,  with that big hairy beer gut and the stretch marks?  Put that shirt back on!  It’s indecent!  Better yet, stop knocking back the beer and all the rest of the carbs,  and maybe get out and take a walk!  Do a sit-up or ten.

But for the love of GAWD,  don’t take off your shirt.

And you’ll notice that I didn’t necessarily say,  “You sir.”   I’m trying to be “gender neutral” in my admonition.  And really,  whether you’re skinny or less than so, I don’t really care.  Unless you’re about to jump off the dock into the lake, try to have some decorum.  A sense of propriety.  Whatever you want to call it.  Most people look better in clothes.  That’s all.





There,  I feel better now.


You’ve probably surmised that, there ain’t too danged much going on today.

Travelling Companion spent some time yesterday making some peach jam.

Oh ya, baby.


This was from the peaches I bought at the market last week.  That’s the only part I can take credit for.

For my part, yesterday I took the day off.  What that basically means is,  farting around with stuff that has no real purpose.  Wasting time, mostly. 

Didn’t take pictures.


I did notice one thing though, just after we started putting the rest of the bathroom back together.

Notice the little drop of soap?


Well now, that’s annoying. 

BUT,  the internet is a wonderful thing, ain’t it?   It just so happens that there’s a blogger out there who chooses to drill a little air hole in the soap dispenser,  so I figured I’d give it a try.

It ain’t just a theory,  as it turns out.  I’m waiting to see if T.C. happens to notice.   Probably won’t.



I suppose I could have freaked out George by putting a honkin’ big drill bit in there,  and pretending to make a huge hole, but I didn’t think of it until later.  Plus, is anybody that dumb?  Well, let’s not go there.


I see it’s about to start raining again, so I’ll need to come up with something to do inside.  Just wandering around like a lost sheep.  Well,  a lost sheep whose head feels like it’s in a vice.  Stupid low pressure area!  Happens every time.

But,  we sure do need some rain, so I’ll suck it up.  The headache that is, not the rain.


Sure hope you’re getting your share of it,  wherever you may be.


Thanks for stopping in.




Saturday, August 24, 2013

We missed our flight.

OK, so that’s a cheap shot.  Kind of like saying, “Hey, look over here!”

But it’s true.  When we came home on the first of February,  we had booked a return flight on the 17th of August. 

Didn’t go back.

We talked about it, briefly.  But then realised, we’d then have to figure out how to get back here again.  Plus you know, there’s the hotels and a car rental and all that.  Been there, done that.

Travelling Companion could have very well booked a one way flight to get us to Canada,  but one way flights are quite a bit more expensive than return flights.  Even though the Company that Cannot be Named was paying, she wasn’t about to waste their money.  I’m certainly OK with that, why pay more than is needed?

Anyhoodle,  I guess I’ve had my nose to the grind stone or something over the last couple of days,  since I haven’t had much of a chance to come here and blather on.  Or, maybe just didn’t feel like it?

I’ve been busy.

Of course,  there’s always one last little bit of painting to be done,  and I had just enough paint to make it work.



The convector had been painted white before,  even though the paint in the room was some sort of burgundy.  Note the use of knee pads.  They help, but man of man, not as much as they used to.

HOWEVER, that wasn’t going to be the end of the changes.  

Before we went over seas, I had purchased a new set of taps for this room,  and basically forgot about them.  I try not to do that,  but it happens.  Found them over top of the bookcase that we moved a couple months back.  Maybe a good idea to move sh*t around once in a while? 

Never know what you might find.



That’s the “old” taps,  which work just peachy keen, except that muggins here got a little carried away with some cleaning products a few years back, and did a little number on the finish.  *ulp*  You can’t really tell from the photo, but it’s buggered up, trust me.


Hence the replacement:



Meanwhile, we had a bit of an overage in the banana department,  so *of course* I had to get that sorted out.


We have lots of freezer space,  thankfully.

We don’t provide a “musical interlude”,  so a loaf of banana bread will have to do.


So,  on with the show.

In order to put up the wall sconce,  I had to make some minor adjustments.  As I mentioned a few days ago,  they don’t use boxes in Europe,  and there’s just wires coming out of the wall.  You make your connections,  install the appropriate wall plugs and mount the fixture. 


I’m glad I bought those little European style connectors (see the white thing?) on one of my shopping trips to “Bauhaus” or “Baumax”.   They come in a strip,  and you break off whatever number you need.  I’m running out,  but whatever.  I always use Marrettes, but in this situation this type of connector takes up less room.


In order to put the thing where I wanted,  and have it mounted to the wall where there was NO BOX (horrors, won’t pass the electrical code!)  I had to add some wires. Blue is hot, brown is neutral and green is ground. 

That’s the only one that makes sense.

This is when having an assortment of “stuff” in little drawers does tend to come in handy.


See.  Stuff.

By the way,  when we first moved to Europe,  I was really missing my “stuff”,  and had to go out and actually buy things that I knew I already had….four thousand miles away.  Such a hardship.


Anyway,  I think I’m going to just skip ahead. 

There it is.



In behind it is a small mirror that I used to cover the existing box…

Not sure if you can make it out.



So now we just have to figure out what we’re going to put back in there. 

Next,  I’ll be putting the “old” set of taps in the bathroom downstairs.  (In the basement,  where most cast offs tend to end up)



Know anyone who could use some 220volt chandelier lamps?  I got a couple.  And soon there will be more…

I could be a real horse’s hind end and put them in the package that I bought from Home Despot and make a “return”.  Hey, they work!  They just happen to need 220.

That would be bad.  Not worth the five bucks.

I won’t do that, so never mind alerting the authorities.  


Not sure which project will be next.  I do cast an eye towards the ceiling in the dining room once in a while.  That’s where I’ll be putting up the “real” chandelier.   I’m not looking forward to it.


Enjoy the rest of the weekend.


Thanks for stopping in.



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Just running around.

Could have gone with the “Wordless Wednesday” option, but that would mean I’d need to have maybe a picture or two.  Or something.

I got nuttin’.

Some folks manage to get out for hikes and other such pleasures.  I seem to be missing that boat.  Not that I’ve ever been overly enthusiastic about hiking.  Well, at least not for the last twenty years or so. 

Today it’s a better plan to do any “running around” inside an air conditioned vehicle. 

She’s a warm one.

Even though I had in mind that I wanted to put more than one coat of finish on the kitchen window,  I re-installed the operator on Monday and sure enough,  by that afternoon I was starting to sweat buckets.  Closed up the house and pushed a couple buttons. 

Man, I love our air conditioning!

It wasn’t until I put the thing back that I realised just what kind of a difference sanding and refinishing had made.


Whoa!  That thing looks brand new!

I’ll be tuning up that weathered one on the right in the next day or so.  Once it cools off a bit again.  It’s supposed to do that over the weekend.  I’m a bit of a sucky la-la when it comes to standing out in the blistering sun I’m afraid.  Not only that,  but taking out a window when it’s cool inside and hot outside? 

Not too bright.


So, today's list so far:  Breakfast, (the Wednesday morning group), Denninger’s, The Farmer’s Market,  Clegg Glass, (to order my little mirror) IKEA, (someone has gotten tired of the dollar store serviettes and IKEA has those big suckers) J.C. Bagels, Hamilton Builder’s Supply, Parker’s Cleaners and Lee Valley.   Oh,  let’s not forget Longo’s and Home Despot.  I did stop briefly at Canadian Tire,  but they didn’t have any mulch. 

The trip to Home Depot was because Clegg Glass wanted another TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS to drill two holes in the little mirror I ordered.   The mirror itself was sixteen bucks,  which I thought was bad enough, although I was willing to pay it.  No holes, thanks.   For eight bucks I bought a bit at Home Depot,  and I’ll practise on some of the glass I took out of the old window….

If I totally screw it up,  I have a back up plan.  But hey,  I might break a piece of glass or two.  It’s all going in the dumpster eventually anyway.  Might as well get in some practise.


Meanwhile,  this would have been the extent of any “Wordless Wednesday” offering,  but I though it would be too lame on its own.

We’re painting the bathroom.  (Um, you know who “we” is, right?)


Since it started out as a burgundy colour,  I used some left over white paint as primer.


And…this is the colour we ended up with, and that’s only one coat,  but I think I like it.   Not only that,  but this was a colour that was on the cast off table, marked FIVE BUCKS.   I always head to the table of screw ups first. I’m not sure if T.C. has picked up on that yet,  but sometimes there’s paint there that’s just what you’re looking for, or at least pretty danged close.  And the price is right.

And this stuff is good paint.

The painting won’t be the end of it though.  I want to change out the taps,  and sort out the wall sconce issue.

By the way,  it’s not a Chandelier!   That’s a whole other kettle of fish.  It just happens to be a wall sconce that incorporates Swarovski Crystal.  Gotta have a couple souvenirs of Vienna.  C’mon!


Oh,  I wanted to mention.  There are no issues with doing an inside job when it’s hot out.  I’m in no way being hard done by. 

And here’s what I’m talking about.

Remember the neighbour from across the way who is sorting out his house to sell it?  He had a renter in there who was a bit….well,  sloppy is maybe a good word? 

On one of my stops at the house (had to drop off those cold cuts,  since I had no cooler in the car)  he came over to ask if I’d help him move in a new furnace?  No big deal,  it was no bigger than a three drawer filing cabinet,  and it only had to go down five steps.

Now,  I had seen bits and pieces of this place,  since he had shown me the nicotine stains in the kitchen (just nasty) and the “entire cat” that was attached to the furnace filter.  Again…. nasty. 

“And I left him an entire box of furnace filters,” he told me the other day.  I guess his renter didn’t understand the concept of changing a filter on a forced air furnace.

But anyway,  we get the furnace to the basement, and the first thing I notice?  Two words.  Cat urine.  

*phew* Just about enough to make your eyes water.  Thankfully,  and luckily for me the Real Estate Lady came by, and although the owner probably didn’t really give two hoots if I was privy to whatever they had to discuss,  I made like I would be an interloper and got the hell outta there.  Said I had to do more running around,  which was true.   But really,  I just wanted to leave.  I was kinda glad that I hadn’t had my lunch yet at that point in the day.


Admittedly,  there are times when I feel a bit sorry for the guy,  but wouldn’t you check in on your tenant once in a while over the course of eight years?  I know I sure would.    Our landlords did when we were in Vienna.   They have to give you some sort of notice (I think it’s 24 hours) but they have the right to check up on you.

When my sister left Kitchener and moved to B.C., she rented out her place, and had her son come up from London and check on the place from time to time.  Renters can be pigs.  She ended up punting out the last couple and selling the place.  Sometimes it’s just not worth it.  And giving notice and selling your property is just about the only way you can get rid of renters in the province of Ontario,  and that’s why she sold it.  She just wanted them out. 

That’s a WHOLE other story,  but we won’t go there.


So here I am,  in my little air conditioned world,  putting on a tiny bit of paint (and it hardly even smells!) every few hours.  So there won’t be any moaning or groaning.  We’re plum out of cat urine these days.  Thank-you very much.

I like to walk in our front door and take one great big whiff,  you know, just checking? 

Nope.  Nothing. Nada. 

Even when there was a cat living here,  anything of that nature ended up in the litter box.  Once in a while I’d have to turf that sucker out on the porch if it wasn’t getting emptied,  but at least then the smell was outside.  I don’t look good in orange,  but just the same, my kids pretty much knew that things wouldn’t go well if their cat started to do his business anywhere but where he was supposed to.

I probably would have needed a good divorce lawyer and defence attorney (why the two different words for the same type of Dude?) so it’s just as well that their cat was well trained.


Well,  I realise I didn’t have lunch until darned near three,  but my “lunch hour” has been over for a while.  Best go do something.  I’ll try not to break a sweat.


Keep that litter box clean!  And good luck with all that.


Thanks for stopping by.



Monday, August 19, 2013

Missed it by *that* much.

I’ve been meaning to yak about this over the weekend,  but you know how it is.  Either lack of motivation, or somehow a lack of time.  I think I’d go with the first option.

Remember I mentioned something about Bulk Barn last week some time?  Well, we have a local rag here called the Burlington Post,  which is even more of a joke than the free rag that I used to read in Vienna.  It’s in English at least,  and mostly consists of flyers.  And that’s OK, since then I know to go to Food Basics say,  and stock up on shit tickets.  Er sorry,  toilet paper. 

Let’s not get rude here.

So here’s the thing.  On Wednesday morning, as I try to be in the habit of doing,  I went to breakfast with the “Breakfast Babes®”,  and then headed off first to Denninger’s and then the Farmer’s Market that sets up on Wednesdays at the Burlington Mall.  All of these locations are precipitously close to the Bulk Barn. HOWEVER,  as I drove past the Bulk Barn after having purchased some actual food,  I resisted the temptation to stop in,  since I knew damned well that I’d be noshing on whatever I had in the bag all the way home.  Gum drops come to mind.

It turns out that was a healthy choice.  I’m pretty sure I would have been just going in right around the time that this lady mistook her accelerator pedal for her brake and did some renovating at the front of the store.



The unfortunate thing is,  most any time you hear about this kind of thing,  the driver is quite often well on in years,  and such an incident precipitates the beginning of the end of their driving career.  It’s hard to know when to hang up the keys,  but I’d say trying to get to the gum drops from behind the wheel is probably a good time.

That’s as close as I get to being in the news,  and I’m OK with that.


Meanwhile,  we’ve been carrying on with the sprucing up.  Of course,  by “we” I do mean “me”,  but you knew that.


I showed you the kitchen window last week.  Well,  one half of it is apart,  and getting the treatment.

You know the drill.  Take out the “operator”,  sand it, put on a couple coats of finish,  and so on.


While I was at it,  I just figured I’d remove the stool and trim on the inside,  since it just so happens that I had put that one in, in such way that I only had to unscrew it from its moorings.

Of course,  I have to sand and put finish on the frame parts with the window still in.  That’s always a drag,  but at least with the thing apart,  it’s not quite so frustrating.



It too is looking a little sad from not only UV damage, but I could also see where some harsh chemicals had been splashed up on the thing. 

And then this morning,  since it would be some sort of venial sin to actually finish a project and have nothing to do,  I started on the downstairs washroom.

Yay me.

This time I remembered to paint the ceiling first.  Then of course,  I start looking at the ceiling in the hallway and living room,  and came to the realisation that,  it too will need a coat of paint.  Come on!



Of course I forgot to take a “before” picture,  since it never occurred to me to even take any pictures.  The very fancy light fixture that was there had suffered an indignity by having one of its very unique lamp shades get broken back over Christmas.  I won’t mention any names,  but suffice to say that T.C. and I had come home for Christmas for a visit?  Let’s leave it at that.  Wouldn’t want you to get the idea that it was one of the kids.

Actually *thinks*, I don’t think the kids broke anything the whole time that they were house sitting.  Either that or they did a good job of hiding it, and I was too clued out to have noticed.  


Anyway,  it’s not going back up,  and I have a plan to mount one of the Swarovski Crystal sconces in its place.  They don’t use octagonal boxes in Europe for their wiring,  so the installation will take some imagination. 

This is what I’m talking about,  by the way.

North American style electrical boxes:


It won’t involve any smoke, but there’s definitely going to be a mirror involved.  I’ll leave it at that,  and I should have a result in a day or so.


Took me a while to find this photo,  but this is the one (or one of the ones,  we have two) that I’m talking about.  We shipped them over with our stuff.  This is from one of the bathrooms in the apartment in Vienna.  The mirror I’m talking about isn’t going to be that big,  I just want to cover up the box that I won’t be able to use.  I’m not going to say much more.


Go ahead.  Say it.  “oh, dat’s pretty.” 

Ya, pretty damned frustrating.


Mostly,  I don’t mind a challenge, but getting stuff to fit that was designed for another part of the world?  Oy.


And that’s pretty much it in terms of the excitement for today, and probably the foreseeable future.  It’s still summer.  It’s still warm out.  It’s all good.


Keep that sun block handy.


Thanks for stopping by.



Friday, August 16, 2013

Thirty-six years ago today.


It’s an odd thing really,  when you can remember where you were or what you were doing when a certain piece of news gets etched into your consciousness. 

It was very early in the morning on a Wednesday, when the Toronto Sun had the whole front page covered with the death of Elvis Presley.


I was doing my summer job thing,  and that was filling in for owners of catering trucks, who would hire me to replace them while they took a little vacation in the summertime.  I don’t even recall whose truck it was, but I do remember that front page. 

I’ll have to admit,  I’ve never been a big fan.  I’ll get flamed by the Elvis die-hards I’m sure, but I think I would sooner listen to Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters or Buddy Guy,  truth be told. 

One thing though,  when groups like the Stones or a crooner like Elvis sang the material (well, more like *stole* the material) of black artists,  naive white boys like me started to pay attention.  Anyone with white skin listening to black music in the sixties?  That didn’t really work.  And besides, unless you were willing to go to a city such as Detroit say, or some such place,  you wouldn’t get to hear black artists.  That music didn’t get played on the radio. So we should be thankful for guys like Elvis.  Really.

Just the same, I won’t be planning any trips to Graceland anytime soon.  Sorry.

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.


Meanwhile, it’s a fairly normal Friday here at the Ponderosa. 

You know, strip the bed, flip the stupid pillow top mattress.  That kind of thing.  Well, with the stupid pillow top mattress,  there’s no actual “flipping”.  You can only rotate the stupid thing.  Am I giving the impression that maybe I’m not overly keen on the pillow top mattress??

Useless thing.


Speaking of which,  once upon a time in a weaker moment,  I bought this tool.  (good segue, huh?)



The reason that I happen to mention this is,  I figure that now that I’ve got all the new windows installed,  I’d best go around and put some fresh finish on the ones that have been in for a few years.  They’ve not seen a lick of finish in over five years (remember that European thing?) so they’re looking a little sad.



This is the unfortunate negative of having wooden windows.  You know.  Wooden windows, wooden head. 

They take a particularly brutal beating on the western side of the house.  It’s either pounding rain or blistering sun.  Which is why I started the kitchen window in the morning, and I’ll wait until the afternoon to put the trim on the big window out front.  Not overly keen on working in the pounding sun. 

Or any sun.

First coat went on yesterday.  Did a second this morning.



A much bigger window means much longer pieces of trim.


Anyway,  about that little detail sander?  I don’t do tool reviews, but if you’re thinking of getting one, just take fifty bucks (I don’t think it was even that much) and give it to a women’s shelter.  You’ll feel better,  and your money will be put to better use.

What’s that expression?  “Useless as tits on a bull”?   Well, we could be a little more *genteel* I suppose,  and use the word “teats”.  Or maybe “protuberances”?  

Um ya, that’s got a lot of punch.  “Useless as protuberances on a bull.”   *pfft*

Forget I said that.  Sometimes being “PC” just doesn’t cut it.

I tried a couple different configurations, and it went faster to just dig in the corners with my fingers.  If it’s “detail” work, then a machine isn’t necessary, and if it needs something more aggressive, then that stupid thing doesn’t cut it.  Designed by a room full of monkeys slapping away at keyboards.


Earlier this morning,  before she left for the salt mines,  Travelling Companion asked me about the whereabouts of the water filter I ordered for the fridge.


I sort of forgot about that,  so I went on the line to take a peek.  There’s always an email involved.

Turns out it’s supposed to arrive Monday.  There was some sort of change.   Meh, whatever.  Just as long as I get it.


water filter delivery

But wait.  Richmond, B.C.?  Holy Moly!  If I didn’t have such an aversion to the whole ordeal of going in to the local Wal*Mart, I could have just driven up there and picked one up by now.  Of course, providing that it was in stock.  There’s always that slight annoyance.   It’s not like we’ll be needing one for the next six months or so,  but I know full well that, unless I order (or *shudder* pick-up) a replacement right away,  I’ll forget. 

Then one day the water will start to taste a little off,  Muggins here will go to the cupboard,  and it’ll be bare.  Or lacking a fridge filter.

Of course,  just when I think I can believe what Canada Post has to offer in the way of tracking a package, (and what? am I that dumb?) I hear horses hooves outside on the drive…

No,  I’m kidding about the horses hooves thing. 

It was a mini-van,  and some Dude with a package. 



So much for Monday.  Whatever.


He left it on the step,  which was exactly why I briefly thought that maybe my filter had gone missing?  We haven’t had any roving bands of filter pinching vagabonds in the neighbourhood lately though,  I’m pleased to report.



For those of you who have been put off by the cost of replacing your fridge filter, I’ll give this one the “thumbs up”,  coming in at thirty-three bucks,  delivered.  That’s not including taxes, but delivery was free.  I like that whole free delivery thing.  And with the exception of ordering on line taking up the tiniest little bit of room on my computer, it’s kind of easy peasy.

Well, I suppose the filter will take up a tiny bit of room in the cupboard until it’s needed, but I’m OK with that too.


Well,  lunch is long over. 

Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for stopping in.



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Doing my best Gladys Kravitz.

Or at least that’s my first thought whenever I see something in the vicinity that makes me go, “whu?”

Like this guy last Thursday.



So he worked his way from one end to the other, and then had to jump down.  Not a job for old guys it would seem.


Oh that would so hurt.

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have climbed up in there with the recycling in the first place.  Shouldn’t there be a better system?

This reminds me of a little story.  This only happened a couple of times,  possibly because the word got around that muggins here wasn’t about to do something similar to what you see that young spritely fellow do.  And the truck was running!  Jeepers!


Here’s the set-up:  “Oh excuse me Mr. Caretaker! (What, you can’t take a minute to find out my name?  Already I don’t like you.)  Or worse yet, “Mr. Janitor".”  *grumble*

Me, with honey dripping politeness,  “Um…yes?”

“My daughter accidently threw out her retainer in the lunch garbage,  can you get it out for us?”


Best not to be taking a swig of anything liquid, for fear it might come out my nose.

It’s also best not to answer right away.  You know, just savour the moment.   And really,  what I want to say is,  “Are you f**king kidding me?”,  but first of all,  the kid is usually standing right there,  and even if that weren’t the case,  we don’t use that kind of language.  Doesn’t do well for ones credibility. We’re wearing the shirt that says “Facilities Services” after all.  (which is not to be confused with “Facilities Servants”. Just saying.)


So those are only words that float around inside my head.  Oh man, do they ever.


Knowing full well just exactly how this happened, I still like to ask the question.  It helps to reinforce the obvious.

“Oh my, how on earth could that ever happen?”   This would be while using the honey dripping voice I mentioned earlier.

Oh and, snickering under ones breath?  Not good. 

There’s usually some lame answer about taking it out when she eats,  bla bla bla.  I zone out, ‘cause I don’t really care.  But this gives me enough time to properly formulate my reply,  which goes something like, “Well see, the job is to put the bags of garbage INTO the dumpster, so I’m not overly keen on climbing in there and fishing around in some smelly lunch garbage for a tiny retainer.”

“Next time, be careful”,  and I start to walk away.  This usually results in some sort of grovelling, with tales of woe about trips to the orthodontist, hundreds of dollars spent. 

Again, bla bla bla.

It doesn’t help that nine times out of ten the parent is one of those overly annoying ones who wouldn’t look at you sideways if you were lying in a pool of blood in the middle of the hallway?  Unless of course,  you were in the way.

I look at the kid and she has perfect teeth.  Nicer than mine, that’s for sure.  And I almost want to say, “Oh, you don’t need a retainer.”  But I stop short of crossing that line. 


Most times I’ll relent.  But only to the point where I’ll provide the step ladder,  and the kid has to climb in the dumpster, (hey, parental supervision.  It’s all good. If anything, they’re trespassing.)  after which they can go through the lunch garbage on the boiler room floor.  THEN they have to clean it all up.  I give them fresh bags and show them where to find all the necessary tools. 

And here’s the curious thing. Little Suzy will never lose that retainer ever again.  Funny how that works. 


Now,  whether little Suzy threw out her retainer because she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?  Or was it a genuine accident?  Who knows?  Don’t care.  Leave it at home.  Wear it to bed. 

Oh ya,  I so miss that.


Then on Friday,  there was this commotion.

That was the end of the story, by the way…


At first I didn’t realise what the guy was doing.  Checking the oil?  Oops, no wait.  There’s some other fluid involved.



He and a buddy where there to rip up a section of failed sidewalk.  I didn’t actually take any pictures of that event.  I ran from the window after I took the one above.

He should have come back today to put some liquid on the finished product.


No wonder the sidewalks don’t last very long. Aren’t you supposed to keep the concrete hydrated as well as possible for the first few hours?  That’s what I’ve always done.  I may go out in a little while and throw some water on there.

Planned obsolescence I guess.


Meanwhile,  I have the wonderful job of trimming out the honkin’ big window.  Gotta make my own trim of course.


I have enough material for the sides, but for the top piece I’d need something close to twelve feet.  This would have meant a trip up to Waterdown for another piece of number two cedar.  Wouldn’t fit in the car of course,  so I’d have to have it sticking out the window.  Hate doing that.

So then I had a look at the piece I removed from the top,  and started to formulate a plan.  This is the best part of working with wood,  unless I do something really dumb, I can use that piece over again.

Just have to trim it a bit and spruce it up some.  Spruce was not a pun.


Good old Stanley 78.



This is straight grained,  clear cedar from the fifties.  Just such a pleasure to work with.  No crazy knots.  Nothing.

Because the window area is just that much bigger than the old one, (skinnier frames) I did come up short by just a wee bit.  Plus the mitred ends were a bit chewed from the removal.

Need a fresh cut, and then to add a small piece.


This,  by the way, is why you try and make all the work surfaces close to the same height? 

Just wanted to point that out.




I know it looks *wrong*.  Lemme ‘splain.  The place where it has to match is right at the transition point between the bevelled part and the flat part.  The rest I can trim.  It’s wood!  Can’t do that with freakin’ vinyl.

Plus of course,  we’ve always been told to never try and glue up end grain.  However, this is not structural in nature,  and I’m using this stuff called Gorilla Glue.

For most any other application, I would use Polyvinyl acetate, or PVA glue for short,  which is your ordinary woodworking glue like Titebond.  Gorilla Glue will glue just about anything to anything.  Best to wear gloves.  I sure do.  Of course, I’m not about to use it just willy-nilly,  since the darned stuff is like liquid gold. 

Anyhoodle,  by the time I’ve bored you with all this,  that glue has already cured,  so I’d best go back out and hack away.


Keep your knives sharp.


Thanks for stopping in.



Monday, August 12, 2013

I guess that’s it.


Somehow this one seems bigger than the old one.


That’s a whole lotta window.

I guess it’s due to the lack of the sliders along the bottom,  just makes it bigger.

I do think we’ll need to sort out some kind of curtain arrangement?   Can’t really put up the old roll up ones,  even though I kind of liked them (in spite of the holes made by the cat that no longer lives here *grumble*) since they were sized to fit the old window openings.  The dimensions aren’t quite the same.

Plus, I really don’t want to put any fresh holes in the wood.  This could be a challenge.  OK so, nobody sits in the living room after dark.   There we go, problem solved.

I had to tweak one side just a bit,  since the old window just happened to be out of plumb on that side and we snugged the new up one up tight to the old opening.   Three cans of foam later,  and that was about it for today’s big accomplishments. 

Well,  that and cutting the grass.  Big whoop. 

I thought I saw a hornet,  but now I’m thinking it was only passing through.  That’s the theory I’m going with anyway.

I’ve been studying the ground where I had my brief encounter last week and still see no activity.  I’m just a wee bit nervous about digging right in though.  I just can’t run as fast as I used to.  Well, if you’d ever call it running.  Me, run?  Right.

No vehicle today,  which means I’m stuck with whatever I can find at the Food Basics down the street.  It’s OK for a few things,  but produce isn’t necessarily one of them.  I had this bright idea that I wanted some tiny potatoes to put on the BBQ. 

Nope,  didn’t have any. 

Plus, I ain’t no wizard,  but I can tell when an onion is just about ready to give up the ghost.  Why would you even attempt to put out questionable produce?  Idiots.  Then again,  I seem to recall that the owner is a bit of a knob. 

Hey, but they had Tassimo coffee packs on for under six bucks,  so I grabbed a couple.   Seems I spend most of my time there looking for and buying non-perishable things that are on sale.  I think we have enough laundry detergent to last into the next decade.  Doesn’t go bad!  There will always be laundry! 

That’s what I tell myself anyway.

Have I mentioned I have a lot of storage space downstairs?


So.  Well.  It’s Monday and….ya.


Hope yours was a blast.  Trying not to let my arteries harden.


Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Had a busy day.

I didn’t realise I was tired until I sat down.

So I’ll just do a little picture “essay”.

Took enough of them.


Started this around nine-thirty this morning..




It was at this point that Travelling Companion went off to church.  I hear back that she had her head down for quite some time.

I didn’t think I needed any prayin’.

Anyway,  I had to promise not to slice my arms off. 

OK then. I think I can manage that.





That’s my “story pole”.  There’s no “do overs” when it comes to getting it to fit the first time,   so I needed to make sure we wouldn’t be having any difficulties.   I did have to break out the pneumatic chisel. 


There are actually a host of photos,  but I’ll try and skip over some of them.



Oh, by the way,  this is what my helpers rode up in. (er, on?)



We kinda heard them coming.

The guys lifted that thing like it was made of Styrofoam.


It sure is awesome to have some big strong helpers.  This I know.


Anyway,  there was some grunting and groaning.  *thinks* Actually,  that was just me. 

Never mind.



Bla,bla, bla,


Aaannd…Bob’s yer Uncle.



For any of you who are gluttons for punishment,  I’ve included a link to the Book of Face,  for the rest of the show.


Click here.


I don’t want to clutter up blogger or your browser with a host of pictures unless of course,  you really want to look.


Fill yer boots.


Have a fine evening.


Thanks for stopping in.