Thursday, October 31, 2013

Shoes of Unobtainium.

I love that word.  Have to give a shout out to Gunnar for planting it in my brain.

Of course,  any time we talk about “Unobtainium”,  it will refer to anything having to do with the Merc.

She got her new winter shoes.



Those are winter tires,  you say?

Well yes.  Apparently,  when you have a Merc,  it involves a certain amount of style?  Or something?  I got nothing else.  They’re Pirellis on alloy rims.  

OK then.

I didn’t look at the speed rating,  buy my guess is there’s no place in North America where we would be able to legally get close to exceeding it. 

Admittedly,  they are pretty snazzy,  with the Mercedes logo there and all,  but I probably would have slapped some basic black steel rims on there,  and called it a day.   But hey, it’s not just “about me”.  Besides, we’ll amortise that cost over a decade or so (right?) and it won’t seem so extravagant.

You know when you go into one of those custom shops and see those fancy rims up there on the wall and you say to yourself, “Wow, what Bozo would spend that kind of money?”

Well,  hello.

Actually,  I’m thinking back to putting six new tires on a Class A motorhome for right around the same price point,  but not let’s get maudlin.


Going to the Mercedes Dealership (or “Stealership” as I’ve heard it referred to)  can be a daunting affair.   Naturally,  my first thoughts are along the lines of, “Oh man, I be payin’ for all this.”  

But you know, I am somewhat pragmatic that way?

You pull up to the big door,  it opens like it’s straight out of some Road Runner cartoon (by that I mean,  really quickly) and no sooner have you backed in next to all the other Mercs,  but there’s a “Concierge” type of Dude there with some sort of Ipad type of device,  who already has your information up on his screen. 

They don’t quite carry you to your “Service Advisor”.  (*snort* you kidding me?)  but they do make sure you don’t have to stand around too long and not get waited on.  

Let’s just say,  there were a lot of men in dark suits,  and many many young ladies who were all stylishly dressed and well coiffed.  Nary an ugly one in the bunch.  And I’m even included the men here.

Naturally, I was more interested in going to the toilet,  which were very clean and also very stylish.   Better than in most restaurants I’ve been in lately.  

But again,  “you be payin’ for all dat.”

Seeing as I had just come from a restaurant,  where I had inhaled a couple cups of coffee,  going for a pee was somewhat uppermost on my little list of “what to do next”.    Just thought I’d point that out.

One of these days I’ll do a little map for you, of all the places in town where there’s a washroom handy.  It’s just one of those things that you have to *know* if, in my case,  you’re away from home for more than a half hour.    But that’ll be for another day.   If I remember.


So anyway,  it turns out that it’s an “all day affair” to go to the “Stealership”,  since my “Service Advisor”  (man,  I get a kick out of that!)  was trying to tell me that the car wouldn’t be ready until four!  I wanted to say,  “Are you f**king kidding me?”  but of course,  one doesn’t use such language in such a stylish environment,  now does one?

I think they’re counting on that.


I did however point out that I can change a set of tires in my driveway in about,  oh I don’t know,  twenty minutes?   Same as an oil change.  (Had that done too) 

So they were going to “try” for three.   Oh,  I forgot to mention,  my appointment was for 10:40,  and I was there early.



Now,  they must have done an alignment too,  since the thing no longer pulls ever so slightly to the right anymore.  I’m OK with that.

All part of paying for the Unobtainium I suppose. 


Let’s move on,  shall we?


It’s Halloween!

And you know what?   I couldn’t care less.

“Getting ready for Halloween” isn’t really part of my lexicon I’m afraid.  It’s just never anything that I ever got “into”.  

I mean,  yes we used to play along when the kids were young,  and even after they were old enough to “know better”.   But I would just as soon be “that house”,  that sits there with no lights on….

Shouting out, “Go away!”


It might have something to do with spending all my “Halloween years” on a farm,  where Trick or Treating involved a lot of walking.  And being cold and miserable.

Ever walked from farm house to farm house?  In the cold?  Dressed as a pirate?   Or worse yet,  with a sheet over your head?   Try it sometime,  and get back to me.

One year,  I do recall *somebody* must have felt bad for me,  since I got transported down to Greenwood,  where I was able to go from door to door in the PMQs.   That’s “Personnel Married Quarters”,  but I’ve also heard it referred to as “Private Military Quarters”.


Anyway,  that was awesome,  since the doors were only steps apart.  Had my pillow case half full in no time! 


So I worked away this morning and put up all our Halloween decorations.




Were you not paying attention?  I think there’s a plastic pumpkin in the tote that I’ll shove out there too.  I just have to have a bowl of cr*p, er,  candy at the ready,  and we’re good to go!

I think it’ll be mostly “Twizzlers”.   I don’t like those.  Might need to “hold back” some of the candy bars.

Judging by today’s weather though,  I doubt very much that we’ll get that many kids.  We have more SUVs in our neighbourhood these days than kids.  Sad but true.


Oh,  I should give a half hearted mention to Rick, way out there in the “Banana Belt”,  along with "Low and Slow",  who has a blog called “Flight Plan”.  For the life of me,  I can’t find the guy’s actual name,  but maybe he likes it that way.

Anyhoodle,  yes it’s a “featherboard”.  (that thing from two days ago?)

I suppose they’re all “jigs” of some description,  and it must have been a Freudian Slip when I referred to it as a “do jiggy”.  

That’s my excuse anyway.

No prize.  Just a mention.  Isn’t that what I said?


How can you give something to a man who has everything?

There we go.

I think it’ll be an “inside day”,  judging by the torrential downpour we’re experiencing at the moment.


Try to keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for stopping by.


Oh and,  Happy Halloween!    Gah.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sign me up for the “witless” protection program.

You may recall that I mentioned a few weeks back something about “football pools”  and such nonsense? 

I had never really been keen on participating,  mostly since it seemed too much to me like “homework”.  Plus, as some of the “teams” consisted of more than one person,  there was always a certain amount of consultation involved,  and this was all going on over the din of the pub on a Friday afternoon.  I just sat there.  Sipping a beer. 

That’s what you’re supposed to do, right?

Then there was “the great shutdown”,  when the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) put the squeeze on a few local watering holes, making the kinds of threats that they can,  if they sniffed out any more activity in the pool department. 

So, everyone had to get their money back. *OR*,  the pub would lose its licence.  That kind of thing. 

Much to the disappointment of certain readers out there,  I’ll not go off on a rant about those bastards at the Commission.   Just a bunch of bureaucrats “doing their job”. 

So fine.

There’s nothing stopping a group of interested parties in having their own little pool though, right?  I mean, there are “office pools”  all over the place.  When Suzy gets knocked up, there’s bound to be some speculation as to when she’ll pop out the kid.  All perfectly legal. 

Well, I think so anyway.

Now, if Suzy has to *sell* the kid to pay off her gambling debts well,  that’s a horse of a different colour.


Where was I?




As it happened,  I decided to sign myself up for this little endeavour,  and now spend Sunday mornings with the “NFL dart board of picks”,  so as to get my choices in before the first kick off. 

Travelling Companion was quick to ask,  “But what the hell do you know about football?”



Which is apparently the exact amount of knowledge that one needs to be leading in the contest.   Oh yes,  I’m not kidding.  I’m way out in front.  I still find it hard to believe.

Most every week since we started I’ve been going “three for five”.

This past week,  with some sort of smoke and mirrors,  I went “five for five.”

Alrighty then. 

The gentleman running this endeavour pointed out that I had thereby won twenty-five bucks.   *chortle*

I can dig it.


It had something to do with the “spread”. 

And you know,  we stopped using spread years ago and switched to butter.  Just read too many nasty things about spread.  Isn’t that what they’re talking about?

See,  I really have no f**king idea.


So sign me up!   Heck,  I’ll pick some more next week.

I do use a scientific method.  Really.

Like,  does “Quarterback X” have jock itch?

Is the team that normally plays outdoors suddenly playing inside this week?   It might get stuffy.

You know, things that makes sense.   Well, to me anyway.

Hey,  I never played football.  I was in the “Spirit Band”.  And let me tell ya,  it gets cold standing there on the sidelines.   But enough of that.




I decided I needed a new “do jiggy”.   The other one was kind of big and goofy looking,  although functional.  It’s already apart and in the “wood pile”.   Got that fireplace downstairs,  don't ya know.

Bonus points if you can name it. 

No prize,  just a mention.


The hook is only so I can hang it up.   Could have drilled a hole,  but thought I’d try something “new and different”.  Right.



Gratuitous photo of the front of the house.  It might be time to put away that hose reel.  Getting mighty close to the freezing mark at night these days.



Now,  here’s a slight annoyance.  Neighbour Dude two doors over doesn’t have a garage.  And I’m sure *he’s* annoyed by that but moreover,  this then means that he has to set up outdoors in order to do whatever the hell it is he’s doing. 

I think I hear the whine of a router mounted in a router table,  which is a wonderful way of amplifying what is already a pretty loud tool.

But hey,  I’m not opening any windows these days,  and my *shop* is pretty sound proof. 

Um wait.  Maybe I need to shut up?

Forget I said anything. 


By the way,  Mr. Six O’clock was very punctual.  I think it was something like two minutes after six when he showed up. 

The pick-up truck he was driving was suspiciously new, so maybe he goes around grabbing up free stuff from time to time?  Let’s not be making up too many stories here.


Enjoy the rest of your day.


Thanks for stopping in.



Monday, October 28, 2013

Fun with Kijiji.


I’ve had some limited experience with Kijiji,  so this morning I thought I’d see if I could part with an item that’s been parked behind my bench for *ahem* a few years.

Not one to “look a gift horse in the mouth”,  I accepted a garage door opener from my sister a few years back.  For some reason,  when she sold a place she owned out in Kingston,  she decided to take her garage door opener with her. 

I know.  Makes no sense to me either.

She may have told me why,  I don’t remember.  Maybe the buyers were bringing their own?  Do people do that? 

The place where she was moving to had no garage,  so there was no point in lugging it there.

Anyway,  she asked if I would take it,  and being the dimwit that I am,  I said “yes”.   And understand this,  it does work.  There are no issues.  Of course,  in order to install the thing, I realised there were way too many other difficulties that I’d need to overcome,  not the least of which would be having to move a lamp that I have directly over the table saw,  along with figuring out how to power the thing.   Powering it from the lamp or the shop circuit?  No.  They both get switched off when I’m not there. 


So it had to go.



We have one opener,  over on the side where the car gets tucked in each night.  But for the door on the shop side of things,  I find that I’m perfectly capable of hoisting the door “manually”,  and never once have I wished for an opener.  Besides which,  there’s a “man door” at the back of the garage.  I can get in, even if neither of the garage doors in the front want to cooperate.


Well now.  When I decided to have a little something for lunch,  I thought I’d check and see if there were any responses to the ad?

Holy Crap!   Seems that “free” stuff certainly gets the wheels turning!  I had ten responses in a matter of 40 minutes. 

So what to do?

I figured I’d reply to each one, giving out the phone number,  and whoever calls first and agrees to come today, are welcome to come and take it. 

“And now ladies and gentleman,  we have caller number three!”   “So sorry you missed out!”

No, I was nice.  Really.


Most of the responses where to the point like,  “is this still available?”  That kind of thing.

This one gave me a chuckle though:


I’ll take this, I live in London though, when is a good time and day to pick up.
At the moment I'm a bit sick, but would love to give this to my Uncle who is up there in age.


Um, no you won’t.


Tell you what?  If you think that much of your “Uncle”,  just go buy him a new one.  Because you know,  I really want to sit around for a week while you figure out how you’re going to get to Burlington.  Sob stories don’t count.  And London?  May as well be London, England.  London, Ontario is an hour and a half away.   Honestly!

Of course,  IF the person who said they’d be here tonight at six somehow has a brain fart and fails to show,  I’ll be reposting the ad.  Or, I suppose I could call either caller number two or three.

I’ve written down the names and numbers of callers two and three,  and if Mr. Six O’clock doesn’t show up,  I’ll go down the list.   Call display is a wonderful thing some times.

Nobody had the gall to be “Private Caller”.  We don’t answer those.  You like your privacy?  Well, so do I.  Piss off.

I’ve only had those three calls,  since I went in and changed the ad right away.  Nothing worse than leaving up an ad when the item has either already sold or been spoken for.   Just seems inconsiderate.  And, I don’t need to be fielding calls all day.


So that was “fun”. 


Maybe I’ll post something tomorrow and we’ll see what happens.  Of course,  the one thing that comes to mind might require actually wanting a couple bucks,  so I’m sure that’ll fall flat.


We had some *really* crappy weather on the weekend (cold rain and wind) so it’s nice to see the sun pop out today.

Hopefully the weather is decent where ever you are.


Thanks for stopping in.




Friday, October 25, 2013

Just a Friday.

The jury is out as to whether or not I’ll go to the pub. 

I have my reasons.  Just don’t have the oomph to peddle me arse there (plus the weather is threatening) and T.C. and I hadn’t really broached the subject of what her obligations might be for this afternoon. 

Meh, we’ll see.

Seems like I did a whole lot of nothin’ today, but the time still seems to fly by. 



I think I mentioned hitting the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday,  the sole purpose of which was to pick up a couple more pumpkins.  Did this yesterday.  Just happened to think to take a picture.  I’m sure you care.

This is really the only kind of pumpkin “carving” that I’m remotely interested in.  This pie filling/whatever went into the freezer for Christmas. 

There will be a slight moratorium on pumpkin pie for the next couple of months.

Just means I’ll be that more excited when the time comes.  Christmas presents are all fine and dandy but really?  Just bake me a freakin’ pie. 

Or six.


I’ve been working away at the dining room ceiling for a bit now.  At this point, if I don’t “got it”,  I’m not ever going to “get it”.

Patching ceilings is well, an art I suppose.  I sucked at art.  So maybe this is why it takes me so long?


Of course,  the other thing is,  it’s a bit of a messy proposition. 


Fun times.


So here we go:



My sister-in-law had some drywall hanging around in her garage, so that was convenient.



Then a scratch coat of plaster.

Might be a good idea to keep going at this point?



Um, you can use all drywall compound, but then it will probably crack on you.  Your mileage may vary.

The drywall compound is really only for finishing.  It’s either that, or more plaster,  but it needs to be finishing plaster.  And I don’t want to be stuck with a second bag of (finishing) plaster. 




And then today.  Just a couple little nubs to sand off,  and then it can be primed.

(I think)


Don’t want to do that again for a while.  Hate working overhead.

This actually took me *several* days,  by the way.  You probably knew that.


Oh,  and here’s another tip, (other than, “plant your corn early) and it’s an “Old Caretaker” tip.  By that I mean, I learned it from an old Caretaker. 

No, really.

If you want your plaster or drywall to *stick*?  Be sure and wet the surface ever so slightly before hand.  A spray bottle set to a fine spray works.  That way not all the moisture gets sucked out of your plaster before it has a chance to cure. 

Obviously you can’t get too carried away with the water, but if you have a repair to make that’s perhaps not that fresh,  you need to wet it.  This is for repairs only.  With new installations of drywall for example, the tape is what helps keep it from cracking.   But you knew that too.


Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.


Other than that,  I’m empty.


Have yourselves a fine weekend. 


Thanks for stopping in.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Winter approacheth.

And where’s my toque??

Because the wind is just pickin’ things,  and the ball cap program isn’t going to cut it.  Had too many ear aches over the years to know that I need to cover ‘em up.


This would be my,  “going out to cut the grass for hopefully the last time”  look.


Either that,  or I should be playing in a grunge band. 

I don’t think they let in guys over 50.

Naturally,  by the time I was half ways done, I was starting to boil,  but my fingers were getting numb just the same. 

Ah, that crisp fresh air of fall!

Well, truth be told,  it’s eight freakin’ degrees out.   No real need to translate that to Fahrenheit, water freezes at zero,  you figure it out.

I was having to hustle just ever so slightly,  since it was starting to rain as I was finishing up.  Besides, I do have a slight “problem” with pacing myself.  As soon as I start,  I want to get it over with,  so I tend to move right along.


Lemme see.  What else?

Not much, really. 

I put in a call to the Merc dealer for a set of winter tires.   This is one of these, “if you jump in the deep end, you’d best be prepared to swim” situations?  

See,  when I put snows on the Volvo (four cars ago?) I simply bought the black steel rims,  and then a set of tires and put them on the car.   The car took 16 inch 55 series tires normally,  and the winter tires were 15 inch, but 65 series to give a higher sidewall, and have the same sized wheel overall.  This makes for a better winter tire. 

Further explanations are somewhat moot if you don’t “get’ that much.

Of course,  Travelling Companion didn’t like the look of the black rims,  so I did have to break down and buy some wheel covers.  There went my “cost savings”. Bleah.

However,  total cost was around a thousand bucks.

For the Mercedes?   Oh no baby.   We have to go with “alloy” rims,  since steel rims aren’t available. I happen to think that’s a load of crap,  but let’s not go there.   Naturally,  along with these rims made of “unobtainium”,  we’re going with Pirelli tires. 

Autobahn, here we come!

Not sure what would be wrong with Michelin X-ice, or something similar.   I’m sure they’ll be snazzy.  I don’t even want to mention the price. 

No really,  I don’t.

I’m a firm believer in winter tires.  Notice how I didn’t say “snow tires”.  You don’t need snow to find yourself in trouble once it gets down below 7°C.  Winter tires have a softer compound and do a better job of gripping the road in the cold.  It’s that simple.

It’s kind of like,  not having a roadside assistance service such as Coachnet if you’re travelling far and wide in your RV.  You might *think* you’re going to save some money,  right up until that moment when you’re out in the middle of nowhere and you have a flat tire.  It’s kind of like that with winter tires.  You might never feel that you need them, until that moment when you *really* do. 


Anyway,  I made the appointment for next Wednesday,  right after “Breakfast Babes”. 

Have I ever mentioned “Breakfast Babes”?   Maybe not.  Just a group of former employees of my previous employer who converge every Wednesday morning for breakfast.  Most of these individuals are/were of the academic persuasion.    You know, teachers, IAs  (instructional assistants)  along with a few hangers-on such as muggins here.  And well,  there is the odd spouse now and again.


Put it this way,  there’s never any need for menus, since it’s always, “The usual”.   This weekly gathering has been going on for a few years now.  Like over a decade.

There are men in this group too,  not just women.  The thing is,  I do believe one of the men coined the phrase “Breakfast Babes”.   And no,  it wasn’t me.

Once in awhile there are pictures of grandkids passed around,  that kind of thing.  There’s a limit,  of course.  I try to pay attention.  Or at least not have my eyes completely gloss over.   “Oh isn’t he sweet!” 

Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever uttered those exact words.  Ever.


Happy Motoring to all the Snow Birds who have flown the coop.  Good on ya.

Two months and a bit and we’ll be getting our dose of heat when we’re off to Hawaii so, you know,  it’s all good.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for stopping in.



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Crisp and sunny.

That’s not a comedy duo.


The remnants of the Burlington Farmer’s Market today.


Even the annoying old dude playing his squeeze box wasn’t there today.  I didn’t really shed a tear.  For whatever serendipitous reason he always seemed to be playing that annoying “Chicken Dance” anytime I wandered through.   *shudder*

In case you’re not sure,  I’ll throw in a video.  I almost said,  “throw up a video”,  but I think that would have been some sort of “Freudian Slip”.

I think you can click this.


Anyway,  where was I with the Welbeck story?


In answer to one commenter yesterday,  yes that was the “Welbeck Sawmill”. 



I think there’s only one.

See,  once upon a time,  when The Company that Cannot be Named swallowed up some bits and pieces that their former adversary Westinghouse had on the auction block,  it meant that Travelling Companion had to make a few trips up to Mount Forest to well,  tidy up a few things. 

So once or twice,  I went along for the ride.  

As you well know,  whenever there’s more than just me in the car,  I’m still the one behind the wheel.  Most anytime.  

But that’s fine,  I’d just as soon drive most times anyway. It has to do with some slight motion sickness issues that tend to crop up when others are at the wheel? 

I don’t even want to get started with cab rides to and from airports.  Gah!

Of course,  when you’re in that part of the country,  there are things to see and places to explore.  This is what I do when killing time,  waiting for T.C. to hear the bell at dismissal. 

This is why I had actually been to the Welbeck Sawmill back in the early nineties some time.   It’s a neat place. 

I also bought several hundred board feet of pine from some Mennonite folks a little farther up the road, closer to Owen Sound,  but that’s another story. 



For a number of years now,  I’ve had a less than adequate means of dust removal in my garage shop.   Admittedly,  the single stage collector that I’ve been using for neigh on twenty years now is heaps better than nothing,  but I’ve become increasingly aware of the notion that,  while I’ve managed to keep all ten digits attached to my front feet,  I *really* need to think about the health of my lungs. 

You have to understand,  dust collectors are really not that “sexy”.  It’s not like buying a new thickness planer,  or something like that.  It’s only keeping the air clean.  Only.


In the last,  oh I don’t know,  10 years or so?  filtration and separation have been vastly improved upon,  so I had this idea that I wanted some sort of “cyclone”.  And preferable something with a filter on it to keep the fine particulate out of the air.

The single stage collector that I have now (and really,  “collector” is kind of a loose term) has a couple bags,  and every time I fire it up I see a cloud of dust fly off.  

That can’t be good.


I had a pretty good idea what I wanted.  Having copious amounts of time on my hands back in Vienna meant that,  researching this subject became almost an obsession.   Cost versus availability,  bla bla bla.


Turns out,  the Welbeck Sawmill is the only place that I could find within a days drive that sell the particular machine that I wanted.  Hence the drive to Durham.

It was either that,  or have it shipped from Syracuse, New York,  where Oneida is located.

Judging by the size of the boxes,  you can get an idea as to why I had to borrow a pick-up truck.



There was a third box that I left out of the picture. 

Too late.

The reason that I said that I spent the morning in a familiar seat yesterday was because the truck that I borrowed was previously MY pick-up truck that I sold to my nephew back in 08 when we moved overseas.  *sniff*.


And you know?  Five years later,  it’s still a good working truck.  No bloody wonder used Toyota pick-up trucks are either rare hens teeth,  or all have a couple hundred thousand kilometres on them.   Very frustrating when you just might happen to be looking for one,  that’s for sure.

So that was my day. 

Driving for what seemed like forever,  and then having to assemble a dust collector.

Um ya,  it comes in boxes.  Whether I had purchased it to be shipped here or pick it up,  it’s all the same.



And then, there was a small surprise!



A remote?  There’s a remote?  How did I miss that little snippet? 

Yes,  boys and girls,  it’s a little do jiggy that I can hang from a belt loop,  and I can turn on the collector from way across the room.   Oh man!


So,  understand this.  This is a “Made in America” product.  That’s good.  Right?

Just the same,  you’d think that the instructions could be just a little less cryptic,  considering they weren’t written by some,  oh I don’t know, Asian person? 



I suppose they figure that,  anyone buying such a critter ought to have half a clue as to what they’re doing.  That’s all I can think of.

Here’s a good one:

They say to put the gasket on the cone,  but then how the heck do I know exactly where?


Wouldn’t it make more sense to put it on the impeller part?


Like that?



Then you end up with a nice clean look like this:



See how the cyclone part on the bottom is slightly bigger than the impeller part on top? 

Maybe it was a test.


Oh, speaking of tests.   I had to give Oneida a call,  since I was missing a couple bits.  The bag said, “Packed with Pride”,  and my guess was that it wasn’t Charlie Pride?

There are a couple “end caps” that are on their way from Syracuse.   I suppose I should have phoned back and told them to call off the hounds after I figured out how to get around that problem,  but whatever.  Pack the shit you’re supposed to!  Dammit!

And let’s not get into “buying offshore”,  and perhaps missing a couple bits,  but then at least having the satisfaction of saving gobs of money?  It’s best we stay on track here.


I didn’t see anywhere in their cryptic “instructions” where it said,  “Make sure you have a drill press at your disposal”.



This was how I got around the missing “end caps”.


See,  if they predrilled the axle at the factory,  and included a couple cotter pins,  that would work better than “end caps”.  AND,  if they happened to forget the cotter pins?   Well,  cotter pins are more or less something every feller should have at least a few of.  Shouldn’t he?

I only have a tiny drawer full,  but that’s plenty.


If not,  any hardware store has them.  

“End caps”  *puh*


But I had a lovely chat with Cathy in customer service.  She wasn’t quite sure what to do at first,  and had to call me back.  Meanwhile I had begun to conjure up my own solution. 

By the way,  whereas the ‘Mericans think we talk funny,  you have to realise that the way she said “Cathy” was sort of like “Keeathey”.    I was going to ask her is she was originally from Buffalo,  since they do have some interesting diphthongs in them thar parts.   

But I didn’t want to make her feel bad. 


So there you have it. 



Here it is today,  after I figured out the adapter situation.


This is why I drove all the freakin’ way up to Durham.


And I have to say,  it’s pretty awesome.  I think I chose wisely.  It should make a huge difference now with the place buttoned up for the winter.   I sure hated wearing that respirator.  Bleah.


Oh,  and here’s a little trick.  If you happen to be struggling with hoses and fittings.  Or perhaps those barbed fittings for sprinkler systems?


The tool of choice?





And that’s really about all it’s good for.  It’s not really the best thing to put on your skin.   I always used to think it was,  but there’s better products out there. 

Like “Bag Balm”.   

Now I got you wondering.


Anyhoodle,  my spuds are done and I think it’s potato salad time.


Keep that stick on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Spending the morning in a familiar seat.

It’s late.  I’m a little weary,  so the “witty repartee”  will be somewhat lacking.  

Lucky you.


It was a good morning for a drive.





What the heck is a Welbeck?  you ask? 

♪♪♪ One of these things is not like the other…♪♪♪


Sorry.  Obscure Sesame Street reference. 


Notice all the “no smoking” signs?  I think they’re trying to make a point.   Maybe “don’t even THINK about smoking here”?  Sure didn’t bother me any.




And then…home again, home again.



I’ll ‘splain it all tomorrow.   I’m empty.

Patience Grasshopper.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for lookin’.

Monday, October 21, 2013

And then there was pie.

And no, I don’t mean “pi”.  I’m trying to think now when the last time was when I had to use “pi”. 

Nothing comes to mind.


However,  I just had me the last piece of apple pie,  and boy howdy,  it was mighty fine.


We struck out on the birthday cake end of things,  and that’s OK really.  The cake that we had for son-in-law’s birthday last weekend (two weekends ago?  whatever) was really good and all,  but it was so rich that it took us several days to knock that one off. 


Well see,  there’s no such thing as throwing out cake.  You have to eat it.  Throwing out cake would be like,  oh I don’t know,  having to throw away beer.   So if you’re not going to eat that cake,  then it’s best to not bring it into the house.


My cake of choice is lemon,  with chocolate icing.  Go figure.  But it’s what I like.  Couldn’t find a bakery that would make it,  although there was a place here in Burlington that *used* to do that sort of thing,  but it’s been taken over by one of the former baker’s offspring,  and I guess they (she, the daughter) decided to streamline.   No money for them I’m afraid. You only get what they offer,  but I want what I want. 

So no, I choose not to eat “compromise”.

Just the same,  I didn’t feel any great compulsion to bake my own birthday cake.  I mean, really?  There’s the principle and all.

Besides,  Travelling Companion offered to bake a couple pies.  Alrighty then!


There would probably still be a French Monarchy if only Marie Antoinette had said,  “Let them eat PIE.”   The revolutionary mobs would have probably gone for that.  Just think.  No? 

Actually,  that wouldn't have been a good choice either.

But let’s not get into a history lesson.




Just another gratuitous pie photo.


You can see lots of “autumn leaves” and such elsewhere, so if that’s what turns your crank,  then off you go.


In other ‘news’,  I thought it best to fire up the boiler a couple days ago.  Between the overcast skies all day Saturday (and rain, of course. Like, buckets) there was no chance of maintaining any kind of warmth in the house. 

Not a big deal really,  but I do like to make sure I’ve vacuumed off all the dust and oiled the pump. 



The bit about the dust is just me being well,  a little anal?  It’s not like I want to eat off the floor or anything,  but I’ve never been able to tolerate a messy boiler room.  Probably has something to do with my former occupation.  (Note title of blog?)

The other bonus to finally putting on the heat,  is that I now get a heated shop.



I have a honkin’ big convector in the garage (OK,  Travelling Companion calls it the garage,  but I like to call it my shop,  so there)   and it’s just one of those things that can make a feller happy. 

Does it make sense to describe having heat there as “delicious”?  Maybe I still got pie on the brain.

It’s just a step down from heat from a wood stove.  That’s heat that’s REALLY “delicious”. 


I’ve been in shops,  both woodworking and mechanical,  where they have one of those annoying gas fired heaters mounted overhead?  No thanks.  I’m sure they function just tickety-boo,  but don’t try to carry on a conversation.  Or think straight.


So all in all,  it was a fine weekend. 

No shivering and shaking.   And well, a lot of eating.

I mean,  it’s awesome to make it to another birthday and all,  but I’d better ease up on shoving it into my pie hole,  or I might not make it to the next one.  I might be exaggerating just ever so slightly.

I can still tie my shoes, (mostly) but man oh man.


With that,  I’ll bit you all a ‘good day, eh’


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for stopping by.



Friday, October 18, 2013

It’s a good day when they take away your crap.

And how sad is that,  really?

I mean, if the highlight of the day is when you look out and see that the junk you put out has indeed disappeared? 

Hey, I set my expectations low,  and then they’re always met.  

Simple, really.




I even caught myself saying out loud,  “Oh, excellent!”



I mean, they *say* it’s “put out yer crap” day,  but I’m always sceptical.  Let me remind you of this little example:




This was recycling in a recyclable bag. 

Didn’t take it.  Just a mystery.


Oh and of course,  even though it’s “Haul our yer crap” day.  (the name keeps changing you’ll notice?)  that doesn’t include appliances.   There’s a microwave that needs to disappear,  but I’ll have to take it up to Thompson Metals..  They’ll sort it out.

And the neat thing?  They set out a bin after hours,  so you don’t even have to fret over whether or not they’re open!   I think that’s brilliant!


I mean,  I realise there are some advantages to say,  living in the country,  where there’s enough room to keep a trailer in order to take your stuff to the dump.  But then,  you need a trailer to take your stuff to the dump.  Not sure which situation is better. 

I offered to buy a small “Ute”  (utility trailer?)  and put a hitch on the Merc,  but T.C. was less than enthusiastic.  I thought that would work.  Just shove it over to the side yard there.  That was a non starter.



Not too danged much else going on here.  I cut up the last of the “pie” pumpkins and shoved it in the oven.  T.C. says she’ll make one more pie.  Works for me!

I think we’re lacking in the whipping cream department though.  No whipped cream on pumpkin pie leaves it kinda nekked.   I can certainly eat it nekked,  but I’d druther have a dollop of whipped cream on top.  

They have it in the stores I hear.


Speaking of which,  I had better go check on it,  and then if it’s ready to come out,  I just might saunter down to the store.   *ahem*


Have a fine weekend,  in case I don’t check in.  I never hold out any promise.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for stopping in.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mr. Magoo on the mound.

Just a caveat.   This has nothing to do with life as we know it.  But try to stay focused.

I know not everyone follows baseball and really, I only manage to stay tuned in during the play-offs.  Perhaps it’s a character flaw,  but I became somewhat disenchanted after the “baseball strike”,  back in 1994.   Who me?  Hold a grudge? 

Well,  I’m not sure if that qualifies as a grudge,  but I just lost interest.   Plus,  it may very well have to do with having the attention span of a gnat. 

I’ll go with that.

And maybe,  just maybe if the Jays hadn’t ended up in the basement??   Who knows?



So,  I tuned in last night to watch the Sox and the Tigers.  Great game,  by the way. 

However,  one of the first things that popped into my head as I was watching the starting pitcher was,  “Why is he squinting?”

“What is he,  Mr. Magoo?”


mr magoo

Just a random thought I know, and now that I compare them, I suppose they don’t look that much alike.  


Jake Peavy



I can’t imagine having 20/300 vision.  In the case of that guy pictured above, Jake Peavy, (the starting pitcher last night) he can correct it to 20/40 with contacts or glasses.   But man oh man.  That still can’t be all that great if you’re a pitcher. 

I mean,  don’t you need to see the catcher??

At some point one of the guys with a microphone down on the field pointed out that the catcher uses these “Lee press-on nails”  so Mr. Magoo there can see the signs.  OK then!


Of course,  since I haven’t exactly been watching baseball,  I was a little intrigued (that’s a good word) when I saw all the BoSox guys with beards.




What?  The Hell??


OK,  the one on the left looks a tad fake,  but apparently these guys have been letting them grow since spring training.   What happens if they go all the way?  Is everyone in pro baseball gonna look like they just spent the winter on a farm in Pennsylvania?


smoking amish dude

Actually,  those folks pictured above are “Amish”,  and that guy had better not throw his smoke on the sidewalk.  I’m sure that’s some kind of “infraction”.  Whether it’s “venial” in nature or not,  I’m not sure.  I don’t remember, “Thou shalt not smoke.” 


So where was I?

Right,  the beards.   Holy Crap.

I’ve “been there and done that” in the beard department.   Let me just say this about that.  A beard in the summertime??  Oh boy.  I’ve grown a couple over the years.  No thanks.  Couldn’t wait to shear it off once the hot weather arrived. 

Remember this guy?


crazy chainsaw bastard

Ah yes, good times.  I think I was about 17 there. On top of a “duck pen” with a chainsaw.    Young and not too bright.  But lots of hair, let me tell ya!

I wonder if those boys of September know the “Resdan” trick?  I just tried to find “Resdan” and there seems to only be shampoo these days.  I remember a green liquid that you’d use for dandruff.   If your beard was itchy,  that stuff would fix you right up.    Probably because it got rid of the dryness.



Are you still awake?


In other “news”,  tomorrow is “Bring out your Dead” day.



Actually,  not really.   It’s one of those days on the “collection calendar”  when you can put out any amount of household junk that you’re not sure what to do with.

This old BBQ was only lit maybe once or twice this summer,  and has a “hot spot” in the burner.  Not worth it to buy a new burner,  so it’s gotta go.  

Hey,  it was free.  Someone got a new BBQ,  and it was posted on a forum from my previous employer.   Back then I had a pick-up truck,  so for the cost of a bit of fuel to go out to Oakville and pick it up,  we had a newer BBQ.  Worked just dandy for a number of years.

As I was cleaning out the lava rock though,  it occurred to me that the regulator was still working,  and would go nicely on the small Weber that we shipped over with us from Yurp.  Ha!


Simply a matter of undoing the hose,  and hooking it up to the other BBQ.


It was cleaned out by then, so I just flipper ‘er over.



You can see here the difference in the two types of connectors.    The one to the lower left there is European,  and the other is for North American tanks.


And here I thought I was going to have to take that Weber to some place like Barbecues Galore to get it switched over.  By the way,  Barbecues Galore is a place I highly recommend, since they have ALL the fittings you could ever imagine.  Don’t waste your time going to a place like Home Despot.  Half the time they haven’t a clue….

So now we have a “big” Weber and a “little” Weber.  Wonder what the poor folks are doing?  OK that’s not fair.  I have no clue what I’ll do with a second Grill,  unless we need to take it with us somewhere.  But then there’s the tank….


Well,  I see that my time is fleeting.  T.C. will be sure to call any minute.


Enjoy the rest of your day.


Thanks for stopping by.