Friday, November 29, 2013

Just a Friday.

And it’s a wee bit cool.

I’m not going to sugar coat it although, at least it is sunny.

Immediately after Travelling Companion left for work (pardon my language) this morning  I had the overwhelming urge to hoof it down to the lake and try a couple sunrise shots.




Didn’t bother compensating for the intensity of the sun in that second one.  Too cold to be fiddling with camera settings.  I wasn’t even going to try putting on my glasses to see if I actually got anything.  It could have gone either way.

I think that one is OK though,  even though it’s dark.  The drama!

And hey,  I got a little exercise.  I think that was mostly because by the time I took the third or fourth shot,  I already had to go to the loo. 

That’ll get you moving.

Somehow I *don’t* think I’ll be riding the bike to the pub.  Now admittedly,  I did ride in cold temperatures in the Netherlands,  but there were a couple things in play.  First of all,  so was everyone else.   And secondly,  I some how felt it my civic duty to follow along.  I don’t seem to have that same motivation here.  I think it will need to be at least above freezing?   I’ll go with that.


Gratuitous house photo. 


In a certain light it doesn’t actually look all that bad.  Looking too close is never a good idea.

By the way,  one of the “joys” of having a grape vine at the front of the house?  It gets pruned in these temperatures.  Trust me, that’s *such* a lot of fun.


Realising that I’ve procrastinated long enough on a little project,  I thought I’d better get it wrapped up before spring.


This will be a pedestal for the new washing machine.   It’s only been about a decade since I had the intention of making this,  but some stuff got in the way.   So I did have to dust off those drawer slides a bit.  

It’s a little higher than the “store bought” models.  But that’s mostly because,  that’s the way I wanted it.


I think front load washing machines are kinda cool and all, but I’ve never been overly thrilled with all that bending over to load and unload.  Hence the cabinet.   Then down below of course,  there will be gobs of storage.  Can never have too much it seems.   I just like to have things “put away”. 

You’d be hard pressed to know that of course,  judging by the amount of stuff that we still have just hanging around. (Well, behind closed doors) But I can blame it on the move.    I’ll get it all sorted out eventually.


Hope everyone survived their big meal.   It was just an ordinary Thursday here.  AND an ordinary Friday.  We don’t do that whole “Black Friday” thing.  Not on your life.

I can’t even begin to imagine what *thing* I would want that badly that would have me lining up at a store.  To then give somebody some money!   What? 

But hey,  if that’s your thing.   More power to ya.

Enjoy your new *things*.


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

For those south of the 49th.

Happy Thanksgiving!

And I’m sure you have better things to than read blogs,  and there’s not much else to offer today anyway.

Enjoy your day.

Stay safe.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Almost wordless Wednesday.









And finally….



Look what’s on the roof of that car.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Come in the front and go past the Tim Hortons.

I thought I’d call the hospital yesterday just to make sure I was clear on which entrance to go in,  and those were my instructions.

There wasn’t going to be anyone at the information desk at that hour,  so the next option was to ask at the all night switch board.  I thought, “Only in Canada would you be told to “go past the Timmies” and take a left.”   Since I mean, that’s a natural point of reference when getting directions around a hospital.  Right?


How shall I sum up getting an MRI?  


Thankfully there was a big “Bucket-o-earplugs”,  ‘cause that sucker is loud.  The whole session was *only* fifteen minutes,  but it does seem longer than that.  The technician would tell me just how long the next crazy assed sounds would take,  so that was good to know.  “OK,  this is going to be about three minutes”.

“OK, thanks!” 

He says,  in his big boy voice.


One part was like Techno-80s music,  but with a stuck CD, (and don’t we hate it when that happens!) and then whatever was going on at the end was some sort of Pink Floyd meets a ray gun from Omicron Three. 

That’s the best I got.

I’ve been hunting around the net for some sounds,  and I did come up with this site.   Again,  best to use the earplugs.  It was loud.  Um,  not the site.  But you’re welcome to turn it up for effect.

Oh, and the technician threw an old dishrag over my eyes,  so I couldn’t really sense how freakin’ close I was to the top of the chamber. 

Well OK,  it wasn’t an old dishrag.  It was just a small piece of linen.  Quite clean,  really.

I did have the somewhat transient sensation of coming close to the top of the chamber,  since I guess the dishrag was hanging out a bit.  Tried closing my eyes at first,  but my lids were kind of fluttering.  Figured it was best to concentrate on breathing and trying not to squeeze all the blood out of my clenched fists.  

And not freak out.


You have to try it for yourself I suppose.  I know some of you already have.



Travelling Companion was a dear and came along with me.  She sat out in the waiting area.  There’s that whole Smart Phone thing that takes place.  So I suppose she was technically working.  Or at least checking her emails.  And really,  there were no bodily fluids involved,  so it wasn’t like I was going to be light headed when I was done or anything. 

Well,  not until we got out to the parking lot.


The MRI is free*. 

It’s the parking that’s the big expense.   For the duration of roughly an hour,  it was NINE BUCKS.   I’m pretty sure I heard Travelling Companion offer an expletive,  which is very uncharacteristic of her.   My head was still slightly spinning from all the whirring sounds,  so I was just trying to concentrate on getting out of there.  I’m kind of “single task minded” that way.

Put my ten bucks in the machine (after I found the well camouflaged slot)  got my change,  my ticket and away we went.   All without having to put on my glasses,  by the way.


And sadly,  that’s been the highlight of the day.   Annoyingly,  not knowing for sure if I’d wake up in time meant waking up numerous times throughout the night,  so I’ve been dragging my hind end around today. 

More than usual, that is.


Maybe tomorrow there will be a picture,  or something worthwhile.


Thanks for stopping in.







* “Free” is debatable.  We can argue ‘til the cows come home whether or not the Health Care in Canada is “Free”.   Nothing is free.  We DO pay for it,  but in a painless,  you won’t go bankrupt if you have a terminal illness kind of way.  And isn’t death inevitable?  So why should your descendants suffer a financial death as well?  Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Didn’t get ONE right.

I probably shouldn’t even talk about this,  since it’s rather shameful and all,  but I’m definitely losing my football picking Mojo.   Oy.

It’s just been on my mind,  and there’s not a lot of room to spare up there.

I’ll have to wait until tonight to see how the 49ers do against the Redskins (or are they the “Native Americans”?)  but I’m at this point a little crestfallen.

Oh,  and how come there’s tying in Football?   There’s no tying in Football!   I thought you played until someone scored?  I guess I know less about the NFL than I already thought I didn’t know.  Sheesh.

So I don’t know if I got that one right or not.  The Panthers and the Vikings tied.  Smack me with a wet noodle.  Do we just throw that one out?? 


OK,  I’ve got that out of my system,  let’s move on.


Got a phone call from one of my brothers in Nova Scotia this morning.   Always happens either when I’m on my way out the door,  or otherwise “indisposed”.    Even though the phones are all cordless,  it’s still my preference not to carry one around with me at all times,  or take it into certain rooms.  Let’s not elaborate.

Now,  you have to understand that,  in the last few weeks,  there’s been ANOTHER brother who has had a couple visits to the hospital,  and anytime I get one of these calls,  I’m never quite sure just what the news might be.  

A phone call in the fore noon?  Hm,  that can’t be good.

You know, sure hope I’m not going to a funeral?  That kind of thing. 

But he’s fine.  Just some swelling.  Put it this way, if they keep taking out body parts,  he’ll have fewer issues as time goes by.


Well,  this last phone call was only to tell me that they had left a message on Skype,  which I’ll play back again later today for Travelling Companion.  I’m sure it’ll prove riveting.

Took me a second there to realise I could indeed do some sort of “screen capture”.  Not that it’s a very good one.

Older brother John

Yikes. Kinda reminds me of Doc Brown from “Back to the Future”.

I was waiting for him to say “Great Scott!”


doc brown


OK well,  maybe my brother needed a little more frizz.  That would have worked.


Hey,  at least he’s clean shaven.  He was starting to look like Jeremiah Johnson for a while there.  Given where he and his “lady friend” were living up until recently,  I could understand just why shaving might prove somewhat of a challenge.  Let’s just say,  I’ve camped in better conditions. 


Note:  I’ve redacted parts of this,  ‘cause it was a bit harsh.  There, that’s better.


Meanwhile,  it’s a lovely day here at the Ponderosa, albeit a little on the cold side.  And windy.  But hey, no snow!  Missed us completely.  I more or less have my shovel at the ready.  Shovelling snow isn’t really an activity that I pine for,  shall we say?

At least we have such a device as a snow shovel.  I can’t imagine the folks in Albuquerque having any hope of digging out from the storm they got.   That’s NEW MEXICO,  in case you were wondering.   Any time “Mexico” and “Snow” are in the same sentence?  Even if it’s New Mexico?  That’s just not right.


Happened to notice my neighbour across the way yesterday having to boost one car with another. 



He’s taken the plates off the one nearest the garage,  and I guess he thought he’s start it up.  It’s been sitting there for a week and he’s been driving the (new to them) Mazda there.  It’s been a while since I’ve had to use booster cables in the freezing cold.  Something else I don’t exactly pine for. 


Well,  tomorrow morning I’m off to get my head examined.  So we’ll see how that goes.  And no,  I don’t mean the “mental” part either.  There’s no point to that.  It’s time for the MRI.   Oh what fun!

I have no clue where to go,  except to show up at the Hospital.  Hopefully the information thingy is open at 6:45.  
I doubt that I can take pictures.  

You’ll just have to watch an episode of “House”.  They were forever shoving people in that MRI thing.  


Um, wait.   They’re going to “line up my hydrogen protons.”   Really?  Is that good? 

Isn’t hydrogen that stuff that turned the Hindenburg into a ball of fire? 

How about that, eh?

Well,  I guess I won’t have to worry about sleeping in,  since I probably won’t be sleeping much tonight.


I’m sure it’ll be fine.  *eep*

He says.


Keep those sticks on the ice.  Don’t forget to breathe.


Thanks for stopping in.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nothing like a dead mouse to make a feller feel just grand.

And that’s pretty damned sad,  I’ll admit.

But while we’re admitting things here,  let’s just say I let out a little *whoohoo* when I saw this dead little bugger.

Whoops,  guess that wasn’t my *inside* voice.  

It’s probably just as well that nobody can actually hear me from inside the shed?




I mean,  who yelps out with glee at the sight of a dead mouse?  Seriously. 

Can’t afford therapy,  so don’t bother.


Judging by the look of *things*,  he won’t be fathering any little poopin’ bastards anymore.    One down,  a couple thousand to go.  *sigh*

It’s a crazy windy/sunny/snowy day here at the Ponderosa.  Slightly below freezing,  but still not uncomfortable for a quick hike to the store this morning.  Hey, I need the exercise.   Had to dig out the winter coat though, and that’s always a drag.  I suppose I could have done some sort of layering thing,  but then all the layers need to be the same length,  or I start to look like a homeless dude. 

Speaking of things along that line,  last Saturday I hoofed it down to the store to purchase a lemon.  Yes,  one lemon.  That’s all I wanted.   Again, mostly needing the exercise.

No sooner had I come out of the store with my lemon in my pocket,  (there’s a Led Zeppelin song that refers to a lemon,  but let’s not go there,  shall we?) when this young guy tries to put the bite on me for some “spare change for the bus”.   Without a moments hesitation I flashed my lemon and informed him of my recent purchase.   I don’t think he knew what to say.   He kept walking.  

The somewhat troubling thing I noticed a little later that morning though was,  I saw him coming back up the street smoking a cigarette.   Well now,  that was a quick “bus trip”.   I suppose if I had had a bus token (I don’t even think we have such a thing in this backwater) he would have turned it down??    Maybe I should have taken the lemon out to him?    “Hey Dude,  you sure you don’t want that lemon??”


Annnnd….. it’s at this point that you know I’m really and truly scraping the bottom of the barrel here.


Time to go throw some more of that old cedar on the fire.

It sure do burn nice.



Thanks for stopping in.


Oh and,  you know what to do with your sticks.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Perfect weather.

No really.  Not for some things, I’ll admit.   But it seems to work for me.

Just the same,  I thought I had better have a go at the lawn yesterday,  with the naive hope that maybe it’ll be the last time for the season? 

A feller can only hope. 

I’m not running the machine dry anytime soon though.  Last year I had to cut the grass just before Christmas.  It was just too warm all through November and into December.   Of course,  I didn’t actually have a lawnmower,  so I had to borrow one.    The whole episode kind of sucked.    The borrowing.  The cutting.  That kind of thing.



Ironically, that’s probably the best it’s looked all year.  I don’t do “lawn watering”.  Gotta pay for water.  I’ve never had the grass actually expire as a result of not watering it.  It makes no sense.  And watering it really weakens your grass,  by the way.


Then, two days after Christmas,  we had to shovel the driveway. 

We’re so blessed.


OK OK,  we haven’t had any tornados or hurricanes, so I probably should shut up.


I thought I’d do a little more sprucing up of the front of the house.


Someone asked me the other day if I wasn’t a little cold working up there?   I mean, it’s not summertime anymore.

Well,  therein lies the problem of working up there in the “summertime”.  It’s just too bloody hot.  I’ve tried it.  It ain’t fun.


Even though it’s only 8°C,  I was starting to get a little warm.  But that’s just me.  Had to take me hat off.


There’s really so much more work that needs to take place up there,  it’s not even funny.  HOWEVER,  by at least putting in some new boards,  it does mitigate the weather beaten look.

And really,  I didn’t even have to buy anything up to this point.  I already had the cedar squirreled away in the shed,  along with a couple extra gallons of Sikkens “Cetol 23 Plus”.   

It’s what I would call, “the good stuff”,  which is also reflected in the price.

I had also forgot just how smelly it is.  Yikes. 

No “low VOCs” with that stuff. No sir! 

Thankfully it was mild enough yesterday that I could open up the doors,  or I might have passed out.

Travelling Companion reminded me of the time (this was a *few* years ago) when she was in the shed brushing the stuff on some fence boards,  and the cat just happened to be in there with her. 

It seems the fumes tend to migrate down to the floor?   Poor bugger was staggering all over the place.  We put him in the house.  He never was the brightest of the bunch, so I don’t think the fumes made him any dumber than he already was.  

Well,  there was no noticeable difference, let’s just say?

He was supposed to be an indoor cat,  and he was.  Once in a while though he’d bolt for the door,  OR he’d yowl so much I’d take him out and shove him in the shed.  There were many things to investigate in the shed.  I think that’s how he ended up in there with T.C.  I must have got tired of him howling at the window.  

I kept threatening to just “let him go” anytime he got out,  but that motion would get voted down,  so we’d have to muster a search party and scour the neighbourhood. 

“But, he could get run over”,  was at least one of the supplications that I’d have to endure.   Needless to say,  I had to keep my opinions to myself on the matter.  Mostly. 

And yes,  I suppose that would have been *bad*,  but I’m pretty sure I could have weathered that little emotional upheaval. 

And in the end?   He’s buried over here in the yard,  not far from the shed.  Now he’s finally an outdoor cat.   Who knew?



Well now,  I’ll try and keep you all abreast of the many, many interesting things going on here at the Ponderosa. 

Lemme see. 

What’s going on this weekend?   *thinks*  Um…nothing.   Not a damned thing.   And you know what?  That’s OK.

So,  enjoy your weekend.  I know I will.


And….keep your stick on the ice.


Thanks for stopping in.




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Should have known.

Well,  I suppose I *did* know, but did it anyway.  I blame it on the squirrels.

Travelling Companion got in well after dark last night (and that doesn’t have to be very late, by the way) so she didn’t have the chance to take a gander at the outside of the house. 

Like a fool I reminded her this morning as she was leaving and of course, you can already guess what happened.

“Why don’t you do the rest?  It looks so nice.”



So I spent just about the better part of the day rooting through lumber in the shed,  since I knew full well that I have some 1 x 6 cedar in the loft.   The thing is,  moving stuff around without vacuuming up the mouse poop doesn’t make a lot of sense,  so that’s why finding a few sticks of lumber took me all afternoon.




But that’s OK.  Really.  I’ve been wanting to get up there and do some cleaning for a while now.  The thing is,  in the summertime,  it’s just a wee bit too warm up there, so the incentive to vacuum mouse poop in the sweltering heat?  Not happening.



We may have to do some serious purging I’m afraid.  Anybody need some flooring?   I can fix you up.

I realised I have two unopened cases there,  but that’s not because I can’t do the arithmetic.   The deal was,  Home Despot was selling off a skid of flooring one day when T.C. and I were out and about,  and it was dirt cheap,  but you had to take the entire skid.   When I quickly figured out in my head whether or not there would be enough, (not having enough would be bad)  I realised there might be a bit left over,  but it didn’t matter.  Did I mention it was dirt cheap?

So I put laminate in the downstairs apartment for under three hundred bucks.   Considering it was over a thousand to just do the upstairs kitchen?  I think you get the idea.

I wonder if the The Restore would be interested?   I have issues turfing out perfectly good flooring.   It might be up there for another 10 years. 


Not much else going on today. 


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping in.




Monday, November 18, 2013

Enough is enough.

It seems that,  every single time there’s a little bit of rain or wind,  the squirrels in the neighbourhood decide to hang out at the front of the house and chew on the cedar. 

If they could do it quietly,  I probably wouldn’t even notice.  Or maybe if the cedar were toxic?  I could live with that.  Turns out the dust is toxic to me,  but chewing on it doesn’t bother the squirrels.  Wonderful.

And yes,  I suppose having all that cedar on the front of the house is a dumb idea,  but I’m pretty much stuck  with it.  The Contractor Dude who came to have a look-see a few weeks back was going to give the place “curb appeal”,  which would have meant removing the cedar along with a lot of the stone work (say what?) and basically taking heaps of our money to accomplish this miracle.  Not sure what we would have ended up with,  but the fact is, the house is NOT like any other house in the neighbourhood,  and that’s just the way it is.  Not looking to sell,  so “curb appeal” is a somewhat fleeting characteristic I would say. 

Anyhoodle,  I had been toying with the idea of simply replacing the tongue and groove boards that I had removed many…many years ago,  since that would at least make it more difficult to hang out up there.

Today was the day.



By eleven I had the new boards in.   The curious thing is,  they were just there leaning up against the inside wall,  waiting all these years for me to do something.  I had completely forgot.   They already had finish on them.  I just had to whack ‘em in.  Well,  I used an air nailer,  but you know what I mean.

I did have to replace some of the wood where the little buggers had been chewing,  so as to have something to nail to.  And now of course it looks like I really should just continue on and replace the rest of them? 

Well  theoretically,  that would be a wonderful thing to do,  except there’s more to it than that.  All the timbers either need to be sanded and refinished,  or in the case of the rafters up at the peak,  replaced.  The purlins are in good shape,  they just need to be cleaned up and refinished.   The girt that you see running along the bottom that’s supported by the lower purlins is a bit rough,  and probably could do with replacement.  

These are not things I wish to do. 

Not only that,  but I’d just as soon clad it all in some sort of material that *looks* like cedar,  but doesn’t need to be looked after.  

Muggins here ain’t getting any younger.





The Formula One race from yesterday was a bit of a snooze fest.  And that’s not just my point of view,  this also came from our host,  who is an avid F1 fan. 

I think what impressed me the most was all the sports channels he had.  Holy moly. 

And I just noticed,  the colour on that wall is really close to the colour I painted in this office.   Huh.

Well,  it’s probably “different”,  but I just don’t have the colour acuity to really notice.  Looks “red” to me,  but there’s probably some fancy name.  They do that.



Anyway, everything from NFL to Nascar to Rugby to golf.  You name it,  and we could watch it.   There was probably some table tennis or caber tossing on there somewhere,  but we didn’t go looking for it.

Of course, and this started to get a bit annoying after a while,  there were heaps of commercials.  Heaps. 

This is probably why we find it much less stressful to simply watch media files and avoid commercials altogether.  After a while it gets ridiculous.   Well,  I mean there are bathroom breaks and such,  but you’re gonna have to sit through a few of them eventually.

Of course,  all that snacking throughout the afternoon,  and then a generous Sunday dinner meant that I was up just about every two hours making trips to the loo.

I’ll not offer any explanation,  except to say that cashews and peanuts and pizza does tend to *gasify* the situation?   I know “gasify” isn’t a real word,  but I think you get it. 


Oh, not to mention beer.  So let’s not mention it.


I may need to sort of “coast” for a few days this week?   That should do it.  Yup.


Watch that calorie intake.


Thanks for stopping in.



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Memories of 63.

And it’s not even the 22nd yet,  but of course,  it’s all over the “documentary type” shows.  I remember when documentaries were just that.  There’s not supposed to be any “suspense”,  but maybe I’m being too cynical.  I think it’s all the commercials.  They figure you’ll get bored and flip away.  Not hard to imagine.

It’s probably time to put the whole thing to rest, not that the event could or should ever be forgotten,  but the conspiracy theories do start to get somewhat annoying.  And now with Youtube?  Oh gawd.

Even as a wee lad (and really, I was pretty damned skinny) I remember that day.  Well,  snippets of it anyway. I would have been all of seven.

You have to understand too,  we’re talking rural Nova Scotia here.  Pretty much a back water,  and in another country,  but it still hit us pretty hard.  It’s hard to separate what I remember of that day,  from the images we saw over the years.  I do seem to recall Walter Cronkite struggling to keep his composure.



I felt bad for him.  How you do you even do that?





Meanwhile,  back here at the ranch,  it was a nice day outside.

I stayed in.



Since I was getting just a *few* too many appliances hanging around downstairs,  I figured I had better get at least one of them sorted out. 

I had to remove the cabinet with the cook top first though.  I was reminded that it was hard wired into the 220 volt receptacle. 

Right.  This could take a few more minutes than I expected.


Of course,  it’s not the actual “doing it” that would be anything close to a problem.  This is all easy peasy.

It’s the crawling around on my hands and knees (and somehow my hips always seem to have a voice in the complaints department) that creates the actual dread. 

Just one of life’s little ironies.  By the time you figure out all this kind of stuff,  doing it makes you so stiff and sore,  it ain’t fun anymore.   That’s my take on it,  anyway.  Your mileage may vary.


So the answer is “yes”.  Yes we have a second kitchen downstairs.   And no,  we won’t be opening a catering business anytime soon. 

It’s actually an entire apartment,  even though it’s more of the “bachelor” type.  There’s a separate bedroom, plus bathroom (three piece),  along with a combination kitchen/living room/dining area/what have you.  There have been a couple different couples who have lived there,  but eventually it gets too small.  There’s either the introduction of offspring,  or just too many shoes.

Today I’m off to hang with a couple of the “pub buddies” to take in some TV viewing.  There’s the F1,  something called Nascar,  (“Hey, that sure is a ‘nas’ car!)  where Jimmy Johnson is apparently a shoo-in for the championship,  and then the good old Sunday stand-by,  the NFL.

I can’t stay too late though,  since the word is the “kids” are coming to dinner.   That’s OK.    Too many hours of snacks and beer is never a good thing. 

Oh, you might argue otherwise,  but trust me,  I ain’t that dumb.  I know what happens to my “nether regions” if I get carried away.  But let’s not go there.


Enjoy your day.


Thanks for stopping in.



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Just adding to the jobs.

But first,  a gratuitous shot of the flowers that arrived with some of our guests Saturday evening.  


They’re all still hanging in.  There was also copious amounts of beer and wine by the way.  Just thought I’d mention that.  

And no,  consuming the beer is not one of my “jobs”. 

(It’s more of an avocation.)

I haven’t really bought flowers since we left the Netherlands, sad to say.  Probably something I should look into.  I’m sure T.C. wouldn’t mind.

Anyhoo, she and I went out shopping a couple nights ago for yet another appliance.  See,  she’s not altogether happy with our built in ovens in the kitchen,  and wanted something for the downstairs.  I don’t seem to have any issues baking banana bread,  but hey, that’s the extent of my repertoire,  so what do I know?  The thermostat is a little out of whack,  but I have one of those oven thermometers in there.  Anyway,  I don’t argue about these things. 

The underlying problem though is,  not only could I not find a set of double ovens that will fit in that space (it’s like,  24 inches?)  but I was having trouble spending more that what I spent on my first car for said set of double ovens.  Even IF I could find them.  

So the new stove came this morning.

Nothing fancy,  even though it was from Goemans,  who normally sell somewhat pricier stuff.   They now have an “outlet” here in Burlington.  We were already in their data base,  so the whole shopping trip took maybe all of a half hour. 

And delivery was included.

My kind of “shopping”. 



I have no issues at all letting someone else do the lifting.


I realise the back of the house looks a bit like a war zone,  but I’ve been “cleaning up”.  Really.


Like I said,  nothing fancy.



I’ll have a little more work to do,  since I have to remove those cabinet there,  where there’s a cook top,  and shove the new oven in what used to be a dedicated space for such a critter.  Long story.


Meanwhile I’ve been cutting some pipes this morning.   Maybe more on that tomorrow.   Depends on whether I think it’s something worth going on about.

Lunch is over.  Back I go.

A *little* windy in there parts,  so I’m just as happy to stay indoors.  Mostly.


Hang onto your hats!


Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why are my fingers numb?

It’s not like I fell from another planet and don’t know what cold is,  but somehow I *forgot*.  Or I’m an idiot.

Going out to get the car out of the garage in my shirt sleeves wasn’t a big deal,  mostly since I’ve long been able to wander about in the cold ever so briefly without really giving it much thought.  Emphasis on “briefly”.

Seems that anything more than a few minutes though, and I start to solidify.

It almost seemed like I had discovered cold for the first time.  It’s a helluva thing.


One of my big “jobs” for today, is to try and sort out our central vac.  Giving it a major cleaning is a job best done in the out of doors,  since that usually involves copious amounts of cr*p flying around.  A bit of a breeze never hurts.  There’s nobody outside working as most of my neighbours aren't home.  Or at least their windows are closed.  Aren’t they?  Better be.

It was at this point that I realised that a pair of gloves was in order.  It’s barely above freezing out there!



There’s certainly nothing wrong with this machine.  It has two motors (yes, TWO) and could probably suck the hind end out of an elephant.  Not sure where that is on the “sucking scale”,  but that’s strong,  trust me.

The thing is,  in our absence over the last almost five years, (that living in Europe thing, remember?) we’ve had *pets* in our house.   Not my pets,  you understand,  but that doesn’t matter,  since their wonderful odours have been left behind in our central vacuum system. 

Oh goodie.

So every time I vacuum,  guess what I smell?  Kind of a “hind end” theme going on there.

It turns out there’s heaps of information on the line,  and so I was doing a little reading this morning.  Well,  probably more reading than needed,  but such is the way of the internet.  Can’t just take five minutes.  That would make too much sense.

After a bit of a sniff test,  I’ve also determined that the smell of pet dander is in the pipes as well.  Now, isn’t that special?  I just need to get me some of them “Lysol doo rags”.   Or something like that.  Well actually,  that would be if your head smells.  We’re talking pipes here.

Something like, Lysol wipes.

Here’s a widdle picture.


There’s also something called Tornado Power Central Vacuum Maintenance Cloths,  but I somehow think they fall under the,  “There’s a sucker born every minute”  category.  Forty bucks?  A little pricey.

Meanwhile,  I heard the whine of the city boys,  coming around to suck up our leaves.  I realise that “suck”, and anything to do with “Leafs” might have you think of a local hockey team,  but that’s not what I’m talking about.

This is a fall event that takes place in these here parts,  since we have copious amounts of trees,  and no real place to dump the leaves.  I’ve mulched up a bunch of them,  but eventually it gets to be overwhelming.  These lads go along the curb and vacuum whatever leafy things you’ve managed to put out there.  Loose, of course. 

So I had to (put on some gloves) and finish off a couple windrows that I started yesterday,  just to try and get the actual *blankets* of leaves off the lawn and out to the curb.



That’s the sucker-upper.  The truck was full and had left to do a dump. 

It still seems like there are leaves just about everywhere,  but they do come around again in a couple weeks.  So they say. 

It’s been windy,  so raking leaves can be never ending. 


Well,  that’s today’s exciting edition.  Now you know why I skipped four days last week?


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping in.




Monday, November 11, 2013

The days of whine and Hosers.

I’m not entirely sure what the accurate definition of a “Hoser” is,  and I think you have to be Canadian first and foremost to begin to grasp the concept.  And possibly use a leaf blower.

It’s just a catchy title,  and was working its way into my brain just now as I was walking back from the store. 

And that’s because, we have WAY too many leaf blowers in the neighbourhood as far as I’m concerned! 

Come on! I swear I’m going to dig out one of our “I” thingies,  and listen to some music anytime I’m outdoors. 

“Ipod”,  right?  

Couldn’t come up with that name a second ago.  Another indication of how I’m on the periphery of all things “high tech” or even remotely technical. 

I seem to manage just fine.


Mind you,  I haven’t managed to keep up with blog entries over the last few days.   The horror!   But hey,  sometimes the days just slip by and I got nuttin’. 


Admittedly,  I was one of those “Hosers” with a leaf blower in my former job.  But hey,  we had a bunch of trees out in front of the school,  and in the fall I had to somehow get all the leaves to the curb.  The city would have to come along with a front end loader to get rid of them.  Besides,  when I bought the thing (for the school) I made sure it was a model that met certain noise restriction requirements.  They do exist. Something to do with HOAs in Florida. Whatever. Something like that.  All I know was,  it had to be of the “quieter” variety.  Worked for me,  since it didn’t have that ear piercing high pitched whine.

OK,  I’ll stop now.




This past weekend we had something we referred to as our “Vienna Night”.   I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this before.  I guess I didn’t feel the need.

We just thought it would be a fun thing to do.  You know,  have a dinner party with a theme.  Of the group,  there were a small handful who were able to visit when we were in Europe,  and so we thought we’d recreate one of the dishes that we enjoyed when we lived in Vienna.

The dish is called Tafelspitz,  and there’s brief snippet on that site.   Travelling Companion also made Strudel,  but more in the Slovenian style, rather than the Austrian style. 

For some of you on the Book of Face,  you may have already seen this beauty.



Travelling Companion made that on Friday.  I’d say it takes the better part of an afternoon.  There are very few remnants left over as I write this. 



There were twelve of us.  Not a paper plate to be seen either. 

So the deal is,  T.C. and I both toil away at this up until the point when everything is on the table,  and then I take over.   By that point, her knees are pretty much pooched,  and no amount of Ibuprofen ,or what have you,  is going to help.



I never really thought about this,  but I guess there’s not a vegetarian or vegan in the bunch.   That wouldn’t work.   They could stand at the window there and peer in I suppose.  Would that be mean?

It’s a “meat dish”.   There’s also a type of spinach puree,  along with applesauce with a hint of horseradish.  

Oh and,  potatoes that are first par boiled,  julienned and then pan fried.  That’s the best way to describe it.  We were trying to recreate the exact same meal from a restaurant in Vienna where we used to go from time to time.  And yes, eventually they did get to know my name.

And then of course,  Strudel for dessert.


Along with a popular brand of Austrian coffee that we brought with us in our luggage.  It was a gift from our Relocation Lady. 



Naturally, the question is always,  “What can I bring?”  to which my reply was “nothing.”   It didn’t matter.  We tried to put a dent in the Austrian wine and beer,  but I won’t need to buy much of anything for a while,  let’s just say.

I’ll try and pace myself.


Truly lucky and thankful that we can do any of these things.



Enjoy the rest of your day.


Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Even in far away Austria.

So,  I was just sitting here contemplating what I might blather on about today,  with nothing particular to say,  and naturally there’s a tendency to do a little wandering “on the line”. 

I mean,  I could be reading a book,  but that would be too much like a good use of my time.

Once in a while I like to take a gander at the Austrian newspapers to,  you know,  see what their take is on life in general?  There’s something to be said for the ability to read a newspaper in the original language.

It didn’t take me too long though to discover I didn’t have to go that far to get the “local news”.  


I think you know just who made it into the Austrian news?



Oh,  we’re so proud. 

Here’s the link,  for those of you who read German.

And since links do disappear,  I’ll just glean a few snippets.  Try not to doze off.




Torontos Bürgermeister gesteht Crack-Konsum

Rob Ford hat es lange geleugnet - bis jetzt. Sein Rücktritt wird erwartet.

Der Bürgermeister der kanadischen Millionenstadt Toronto hat nach langem Leugnen den Konsum der Droge Crack eingestanden. "Ja, ich habe Crack geraucht", sagte Rob Ford am Dienstag vor Journalisten in Toronto. In den vergangenen Tagen hatte es wegen des Drogenkonsums immer wieder Forderungen nach Fords Rücktritt gegeben.

Die Polizei der kanadischen Wirtschaftsmetropole hatte der Justiz in der vergangenen Woche 500 Seiten Ermittlungsakten sowie Videos übermittelt, die nach der Festnahme mehrerer Drogendealer beschlagnahmt worden waren. Mindestens eines der Videos soll Ford zeigen, wie er in einem als Drogenhöhle bekannten Haus mit einer Glaspfeife Crack raucht. Noch am Sonntag hatte Ford jeglichen Konsum des Kokainderivats abgestritten.


My spell check didn’t seem to like any of those funny words.  That second paragraph is basically saying that the cops went through five hundred videos they had seized after rounding up a few drug dealers,  and lo and behold,  there was good ole Rob,  suckin’ back some fumes.  

That’s a loose translation,  by the way.

Hey,  my blog.  My rules.

Technically,  smoking it isn’t against the law.  HOWEVER,  you can’t very well smoke it,  unless you’re “in possession of” it.   That’s the technicality.   Now we wait.

If good ole Rob has plans of staying in office,  my guess is he thinks he can do it from a jail cell??

And no,  I don’t think the police chief is going to “step down”.   That’s a good one.



Lemme see.  What else we got going on?

Not too danged much, actually.

The weather has turned sour as was predicted,  which means my headache has cleared up.  Bit of an irony that.

Starts to rain and I feel better.  If it hangs around too long though, I’ll get depressed.  What a conundrum.


Had to do the normal running around on a Wednesday.  In my various stops,  I was looking for some nine volt batteries to replace the ones I had used in the smoke alarms the other day.

See now,  I’m cheap.  But we knew that.  I’ll pony up good money for something like winter tires say,  but when it comes to batteries,  I have a problem.

Paying all that extra for “Duracell Copper Tops”,  doesn’t cut it with me.  Who cares if they’re “Guaranteed Five Years”?  How does that work?  Am I going to keep my receipt?  

Besides,  I’m going to replace them in six months!   When we “spring ahead”,  I’ll be turfing* them out and putting in new ones.

That’s where the “Dollar Store” comes in.   In this case,  Dollerama.   They even have a website!  I could have probably looked on their website.




See,  there we go.   A buck apiece.  That’s a little better than $6.99 a piece.  That was just one of the prices.  It could be more or less,  just depends where you shop. 

Drugstores are notorious for charging the moon for batteries.  I suppose they figure,  “Well,  while you’re here…”  (we’ll just put the bite on you.)

There were a whole bunch of things that I paid a buck each for.  I certainly wouldn’t buy food there,  but plastic storage containers.  Sure,  three for a buck,  that kind of thing.

Here’s a little bit of wonderment for you.

Saw this earlier today.



See in the lower corner of the window?



My first reaction was,  “Gah!  What the….!”   

But then on closer inspection,  I realised this was bird seed.  You know,  that whole “suet” thing.

Apparently some of the local thieving bastards squirrels stole this from someone’s bird feeder,  and thought they’d “store” it there.  Hey,  we had a couple peanuts “stored” by our front door for most of the summer.  They ain’t the brightest,  them squirrels.

Those in my immediate family know just what I think of squirrels.  I’m not going to say anymore.  It might be incriminating.

Oh to live in the country,  where the odd gunshot might go unnoticed.



Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.




*um,  they don’t go in the landfill.  I save ‘em up and take them to the “Hazardous Waste Depot”.    Which is not the same as the “Hazardous Wasted Depot, i.e., Toronto City Hall.

wakka wakka .

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Holy pressure change, Batman!

I can always tell when there’s a huge shift in the barometric pressure.  Somehow the inside of my head doesn’t want to get in tune with what’s going on outside.  And complains.

And I just wiped out a whole bunch of cr*p that I had written that nobody cares about.  No whining!


Let’s move on,  shall we?


Along with the little projects,  every so often I get sidetracked.  When I was rooting around in the attic looking for our vast array of Halloween decorations, (*pfft*) I stumbled across yet more books.



I’m not a “hoarder”,  really.  I just find it difficult to part with books is all.  There are more in other rooms.  I think you knew that.

I probably could have made good use of at least some of them in Vienna but of course,  our initial move was not to a German speaking country,  so I never bothered to try and dig them out.  Some might argue that our move to Austria *still* wasn’t a move to a “German speaking country”,  but let’s not split hairs.  
They do speak “English” in Newfoundland,  right?


Then,  right along with the books,  I found a small cardboard box with more… well,  “stuff”.  


Any ideas what this is?



Should I offer bonus points?   It would probably mean having to read and reply to comments,  and we know how bad I am at that.

I mean, *I* know what this is for.  It’s not like I discovered some mystery items in the attic.  But I sure have no intentions of ever using it again.

These items were considerably dirtier before I ran them through the dishwasher.  There’s also a thermometer that slips in the hole of the black thingy there.  Hope that helps.


As an idea as to how long these things have been hanging around,  there was a packing slip on the little box they were in.


packing slip

Note the date.  This was our old address over on the other side of town.  There are some really gripping titles there.  We probably still have those books too.  Somewhere.


Speaking of shipping,  a box arrived today from Oneida.  And no,  I’m not talking about those other guys. 


Back when I was attempting to assemble my snazzy new cyclone dust collector (which is awesome, by the way) you may recall that I was missing some “caps” that are supposed to get popped onto the ends of the axle to keep the wheels from falling off? 

In frustration I called the company and we had a little chat.  And yes,  I was very pleasant. No point in being miserable.

Admittedly I should have called them back once I figured out that I could just drill a couple holes and insert cotter pins,  but by then they had gone home for the day,  and I promptly forgot about it.   Mea culpa.


So today there was a knock at the door,  and low and behold there was a package.


Well now,  that only took TEN DAYS!



Kind of a big box,  don’t you think?

I mean,  the only thing in there was those two caps.



Oh,  and look at how much it was to ship them?



I should feel bad.   I should.

HOWEVER.   I’ve heard it said that,  you might have a wonderful product,  but if you don’t know how to run a business,  it’s not going to matter.   Why wouldn’t you ship those in a tiny little bubble envelope?  For like,  eight bucks?

Better yet,  hows about including them in the damned materials with the original shipment?

It's beyond my control”. 


I spoke earlier about “Buying American” or buying offshore.  Well now,  if I buy American,  my expectations are going to be just that much higher.   That’s all I’ll say.


Flame on!


Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The frost is on the pumpkin Baby!

Or in the case of around here, the lawn.  The dead leaves.  The driveway.

But not the car windshield!

This is a prime example of why it’s worth the effort to tuck the car in the garage.  I just noticed how all the cars in the neighbourhood had fairly thick frost on the windshields.  

Actually,  what I first noticed was a flurry of activity from next door,  with a half hearted attempt at windshield scraping,  followed by running back into the house for something,  and then jumping into a car that was clearly not “warmed up”.   Our neighbour lady then headed off into the blinding sun with still way too much frosty stuff on the windshield.   Never a good idea.

Do you think maybe someone forgot to set the clocks back?  It’s possible I suppose.  I got a definite sense that someone was going to be late for work.   Sure hope she makes it there.


Which brings me to a little story.


Once upon a time,  when I was a young snot,  working Saturdays for a company called Turkstra Lumber,  it was a frosty fall morning at right around morning “rush hour” although,  rush hour in Waterdown back in the seventies was certainly nothing like today,  when we heard a Gawd- awful bang. 

Try to imagine taking a hammer over to the local dumpster type of garbage bin and giving it a good whack.  It’s a loud “metal on metal” type of sound,  right?  Well, that was the sound that we heard coming from out in front of the store, and it startled all of us.

Within seconds we went out to investigate,  to find that there had been a rear ender,  which was due in part to frost on the windows of both the vehicles.


The vehicle that got rear ended had been stopped on the road,  (ya, I know!)  and the gentleman who suddenly found himself unable to see,  (because the sun suddenly came up?) was scraping off his windshield.   Along comes another car and *wham-o*,  right into his car.  So he was standing there with his scraper still in his hand,  and his car had literally been knocked out from under him.   Lucky bugger.

The stupid ones are sometimes the lucky ones.  Why is that?

The poor lady who hit him though,  wasn’t quite so lucky.  

This was well before the days of air bags,  and the momentum of the impact had sent her car off the roadway and partly into the ditch.  She was unconscious with a little bit of blood coming from her face,  and unfortunately she had LOCKED HER DOORS,  so we couldn’t get at her.   Well,  not right away anyway.   We did have tools in the lumber store,  and by the time we popped open her door,  the Ambulance had arrived.   They were literally just up the street.   She was still out when they took her away.

Again, and I’m dating myself here too,  this was in the days when you’d say, “Call an Ambulance”.   Now we just call 911 and have to try and explain what KIND of emergency we have.  Just send everyone!


To this day,  cars that lock the doors automatically make me a tad nervous.

Right along with seeing folks fly off into the sun without having properly cleaned their windshield. 


Anyhoodle, since baby pictures seem to be ‘de rigueur’ in Blog Land,  I should mention that we had a lovely visit and dinner with some long time friends of Daughter Number One yesterday afternoon.   It was sort of a version of the “Early Bird Special”,  since we were invited to show up around four.  Dinner at five,  and everyone ready to pass out by about eight.

You see,  these folks have a set of twins,  who are now, *thinks* four months old.   I think I got that right.




They are coping.  

Anyone who has ever had kids at all,  can well imagine the sleep deprivation that goes along with having two little eating, pooping, fussing, little guys.   Oh my.



Travelling Companion got her baby fix.  No pictures of her as usual,  sorry. 

This was the first time she had seen these little gaffers,  since there just hadn’t been any chance to make an earlier visit.  And really,  people coming over can be a mixed blessing when you’re just doing your best to think rationally.

So that was the extent of our enjoyment of the weekend,  since Travelling Companion worked the rest of the time.  Something to do with “inventory”.  I’m not going to go into it.   No idea how late she’ll be tonight,  since, “reports didn’t run”  or some other such thing.   Somehow the term,  “Cluster F**k” keeps running through my head. 

But this blog is not about that,  right?


I think with the dip in temperature that we had over the weekend,  and last night in particular, it meant that the maple tree in the back decided to call it a day,  and has been shedding leaves like mad.

This was what greeted me out the back door this morning.





Not sure why I bothered cleaning this all yesterday.  What a dope.


I think I can count the number of leaves left on that tree,  so I might just wait.  Although, the “anal retentive” side of me wants desperately to get those leaves out of there.  Can’t deal with the “clutter”.


Hopefully the only frost you have is on your flakes. 


Thanks for stopping in.