Monday, March 31, 2014

Quoting Roseanne Roseannadanna.

I forgot that her first name was Roseanne,  but we’re talking ancient TV history here,  so cut me some slack.



And what I mean is,  “It’s always something.”

Took a couple pics this morning,  went to load them onto the ‘puter,  and it ended up taking me a fair chunk of time to get that sorted out.  Gah!

My “trial version” of the virus/malware/trojan protecting thingy had expired,  and I had been too lazy to go out to the net to find a replacement,  and that was the price I paid.   Not monetarily mind you,  just in aggravation. 

Seems that my SD card reader was being stubborn,  and it turns out it was indeed “something”.   I didn’t bother to take a screen shot of whatever little bugger it was,  but we punted it out.   Kind of like a computer enema.   Clean as a whistle.


OK,  let’s quickly move on to another image.



This was something that I would have preferred to have been doing yesterday,  but instead we went to a “Meet and Greet”.   That’s a back handed kind of term for a “Baby Shower”.   And I don’t “do” baby showers.

But,  since I had been made aware of the fact that other gentlemen would be there,  I figured I’d best take one for the team.

It was fine.  Really.

I didn’t do any “cooing”  or “oohing” or “aahing” when the presents were opened.  Nonetheless,  I was cordial,  had my one alcoholic beverage,  mandatory piece of cake,  and a that was that.   There were a couple individuals there that I had decided many years ago that I had little use for,  but like I said,  I was cordial.   (read:  if you can’t say anything nice,  say nothing.)


Having given a description of my demeanour,  I have to say that,  I was at least more enthusiastic than this guy:


Don’t know who they were.  Friends of friends,  or someone’s relatives.  I’ll never see them again.  But seriously?   Dude!  Lighten up a bit! At least pretend you’re interested.  Or go outside and hang out with the smokers.


Here’s another observation.  I notice that younger married couples do tend to think that they should be seated together at these types of ordeals er, gatherings.   Have you ever noticed that?  Oh, and Gawd help me if they start to get “schmoopy”.   You know,  holding hands and cooing and shit?

“Look everyone,  we’re a couple”.

Um ya.  Feck off.

See,  T.C. and I are quite content to leave each other alone in these situations.  I mean,  sometimes there’s the “post gathering debriefing” if I’ve said or done something perceived to be dumb.  But if I’m off on my own,  chances are we can avoid that scenario. 

So,  she can hold the baby,  and I’ll go off with the chaps,  quaff a beer,  and maybe talk about trailering horses.   Not that I know that much about trailering horses, other than they’re heavy and you need good brakes.  That’s pretty much the extent of my knowledge on the subject.

Don’t worry,  we’re not buying a horse.  So I won’t need to study up.


I thought there was a point to all this,  but after it took me so long to upload those photos,  I’ve kind of drawn a blank.

Oh right.  There was that thing about it being just that much warmer today. It’s *almost* shirt sleeve weather.  Of course,  that’s a subjective term,  so I suppose I could say it’s supposed to go up to 12°C.  You can do your own conversion.

So I decided to take “New and Shiny” out for a spin.  It’s no stretch that there were one or two things to pick up at the grocery store,  and I did have to stop in at the bank.

For those of you who haven’t exactly been around since 2009 when we bought our bikes,  I’m referring to the bike there in the shed.


It’s a proper Dutch bike.

What that means in a practical sense is,  you just get on it and ride.  The tires stay inflated and basically the thing is built to outlast me.  It doesn’t rust.  The hubs don’t dry out.  The brakes are fine.  I’ll stop now.

The funny thing is,  in the Netherlands I rode a bike year ‘round.   And that was sometimes in below freezing temperatures.  So that whole “Oh, we can’t ride our bikes because we get winter” argument goes right out the window.   As a matter of fact,  if you’re walking instead of riding a bike,  it’s almost as if you’re out of place.  Everyone rides.

Here though?  Anyone riding a bike in the wintertime is looked upon as some kind of kook.  In addition to which, our roads are really crappy.   So the bike stayed in the shed for the winter.  

Don’t get me started on the City of Burlington’s take on “Bike Infrastructure”.   They painted some “Sharrows”  on some roadways and declared that a successful campaign.  

A waste of perfectly good paint as far as I’m concerned.



These things. ↧


Those be “Sharrows”.   I know, it was a new word for me too.

I just shake my head.


See the oncoming transport truck there?  What if he’s on the phone?  You’re dead meat.


Nobody has the political balls to do anything about the worsening traffic and crappy public transit,  and I’m certainly not going to try and win any arguments. 


What’s that expression?  “You can’t fix stupid”?



Slipping into a rant here,  so let’s call it a day.  Hope you’re enjoying yours.



Thanks for stopping by.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

One of the Saturday rituals.

Some folks go to their front door to collect the newspaper that they’ve had delivered,  sit back and leisurely peruse for the morning.  I’m too cheap.

Well,  I *suppose* I might consider having the Globe and Mail delivered on a Saturday morning,  since it’s similar I guess to the New York Times. 

Maybe The Washington Post?  Not sure.  Depends on ones “leanings” I reckon.

I know I can sit for hours with a copy of The Globe, even though I’m of the opinion that print media is basically dead. 

Easy now.  Just an opinion.

Instead,  I wade through the flyers.  We get a whack of them.  Mostly, they come inside the local free rag we have here in Burlington.  It’s the Burlington Post, and the online version isn’t quite the same as the print version.  In a similar fashion to the free rag that was available 20 meters from our front door in Vienna, you get what you pay for.   Once again, the online version isn’t quite the same as the print version, which was called Ősterreich. 

Anyhoodle,  I sometimes find little dealskis that I might like to follow up on,  since I never pay full price items such as paper towels, peanut butter or sh*t tickets.   But we’re well stocked,  believe me.   No pictures please.  And I have no clue why those three items popped into my head,  but let’s not get too side-tracked.

As it happened,  last Saturday night we were off to visit with one of T.C.’s sisters,  and we couldn’t help but notice that her otherwise board straight hair had a bit of a curl to it.   Well,  she had discovered this nifty little hair curler thingy, “As seen on TV”,  and was quite pleased with the results.

Let’s see if I can steal a couple images off the net.

Here we go:

1388598_Large_1.jpeg-c4db98dcf0c16bbfb98ca5223d69c623d4c24470-optim-460x460curl secret 

Of course,  now that I look “on the line”,  I see the prices are all over the map.  The thing is,  there are a couple young ladies in the extended family who have long thin hair,  and T.C. thought maybe she’d pick up a couple as gifts. 

I won’t be using one of these things,  trust me.

So,  as I was briefly perusing the Sears flyer,   I noticed they had the thing on sale,  and it was sort of in the mid range of prices,  and OH LOOK,  there’s a “Webcode”.   AND,  you can order and have it delivered.

That’s what it says.

But wait,  when I get to the webpage,  this is what I get.

What the hell?

Why I don't shop at Sears.


If you don’t want to click on it, you can still hover over the image and see the name I gave to that screen shot.  

And it’s true.   I gave up on Sears a long time ago.  Used to be,  I’d phone in a few things from the catalogue and drive a few blocks to pick them up, (Christmas shopping,  but don’t tell!)  and that was the last time I shopped Sears “on line”,  except that the line referred to was a phone line.   Seems they haven’t figured out the other “line” just yet. 

Makes me want to grab some marketing type by the ears,  look them in the eye and ask, “What are you doing?”   Why have a “Webcode”,  and then come along and say,  “This item is not available online”?   Come on!


Once upon a time I used to buy their tools.  Their mechanics tools are really top notch and are guaranteed for life.  Can’t beat that.  Don’t get me started about their power tools.  Don’t go there.

Only problem was,  they didn’t open until 10 a.m.   Then Home Despot came around.  Well now, they open at 7:00.  So if I desperately needed something to take to a job,  I knew where to find it.  And if you do manage to make it to a Home Despot by that time in the morning,  you’ll witness a host of contractors in there picking up stuff to take to a job.   Hm,  funny ‘bout that.

But hey,  what do I know about marketing?  I’m just pointing out a couple things.  That’s all.


So,  I guess I’ll turf that flyer in the recycling bin.  I won’t be “visiting my local store”.  Thanks.



Looks like it’s warming up here gradually at The Ponderosa.   I can actually make it from the back door to the garage in my shirt sleeves without dying a slow frozen death.  Makes me think we *might* have rounded a corner on the spring end of things.  Not offering any promises.


Keep your powder dry.



Thanks for stopping in.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Was that the door?

Why yes,  yes it was.

And I’m not sure why the Delivery Dude doesn’t ring the doorbell, maybe it’s customary to be somewhat discrete?  No idea.



So,  it did manage to arrive by the end of the week,  so “The Source” didn’t get kicked down to the crappy list.  I *might* order from them again.  Some day.  Maybe.  Depends.

The only slight annoyance had to do with them wanting me to sign up for a “PayPal”  account.  Not interested.  I won’t be selling any cr*p on Ebay any time soon.  Although,  I suppose there is the possibility of buying something from Ebay. 

Meh, I don’t know.

Anyone bought anything off Ebay?  Is it worth it?   Some of those deals look a little too good to be true,  so I’m somewhat leery.


Anyway,  the instructions with the camera were to the effect that the software should load automatically,  which seemed a bit far fetched,  and turned out to be just a bunch of fresh air. 

No big deal,  as I’m not completely clueless when it comes to finding and downloading the correct device driver if absolutely necessary.  PROVIDING of course,  that the driver exists for whatever gismo I hook up.  We talked about this.  We’ll not go there.


woe is me.

So I did sort it out.   Then of course,  there was the small mystery as to my Skype account.  Turns out,  these days it’s an “app”,  and there were a couple changes since the last time I used Skype.  Oh man, why confuse me any more than necessary?

And yes,  I’m also intrigued with the notion of Google Hangout. 

Oh,  I just realized there are some familiar faces when I clicked on that page.   Where have I been?


hang out

Huh.  Guess I haven’t been paying attention. 



Meanwhile,  we’re back to this.



More putting on the pink stuff and waiting for it to cure. 

I have some minor issues with the windows I installed,  in that some of the finished plaster around the edges is a bit well,  “manky”?  Some of it is due to the original plasterers difficulty with “seeing square”  and just slapping on more and more plaster.  I’ll get it eventually.

I mean,  I could leave it and nobody would notice. Except me.


And I guess that was the big excitement for today. 


Oh,  and I did put in a call to one of my brothers in Nova Scotia,  just to see how they weathered the storm they just had.  He said she was blowin’ pretty good.  

The thing that you might notice about the folks in the Maritimes is,  when the “weather folk” were out there reporting on the storm,  NOBODY was around.  (just them idiots doing the reporting!)

Well DUH!   Not like the dough heads in metro Atlanta who thought it would be OK to go out in an ice storm,  the Maritimers KNOW that, when a storm is coming,  you stay indoors!  Or at least off the roads.

Which is exactly what my brother and his wife did.  I mean,  he went out to tend to the horses and such,  but they certainly weren’t about to take a run into town for a chili dog.  

OK, I don’t think they even know what a chili dog is,  but you know what I mean.

It so happens that he has a backhoe,  and it has a bucket on the front.  This is what he uses for clearing the snow in the wintertime.  He said the wind had compacted the snow to such an extent that,  the tractor was actually SPINNING when he went to get ‘er out of the snow bank.   

That’s going some.  It’s a heavy machine,  and it takes a lot to get it to spin.

Well,  unless you happen to be digging out a watering hole and get ‘er dug in right up over the foot plates.   Don’t ask me how I know that.  *ahem*

My brother had to wade over to where I was on the machine and “extricate” me from my little predicament.  Oops.   But then I kept on digging.  It was fun.

That was a long time ago mind you,  and I’m sure I would know better these days.  He says with authority.

*pfft!*  Right.



So enjoy your weekend,  unless of course every day is Saturday for you.   And then enjoy it just the same.


Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

That pine air freshener smell.

Only,  I’ve never been inclined to have one of those tacky little things hanging down from the rear view mirror.


You know the one.

air freshener


Instead,  it occurred to me yesterday afternoon on my way back from Tamarack Lumber that I much preferred the more realistic kind.


Between the smell of fresh pine,  or cedar?  That’s a tough choice.

Got a couple little things on the go.  Firstly,  there’s a little project for Daughter Number Two that I said I’d make (a while back) that I’ll now turn my attention to.  More on that,  much later.

And then there’s the small matter of replacing one of the window stools in the dining room that has suffered a wee bit of sun damage. 


It *looks* OK,  but right there at the eye of the “low pressure area”,  the centre part has started to come away.  Can’t have that.

Certainly not rocket science.  I’ll likely use the same “Spar Varnish”  that I used on the windows.  It’s the hardiest stuff I can find that will ward off damage from too much sun.

Anyhoodle,  it’s been a fun morning so far,  and that’s mostly since the stuff that I’ve ordered over the last few days is starting to show up on the doorstep.   This is once again a brief snippet of “My Life as a Recluse” that I go on about from time to time.

I do tend to get a little giddy.


First there was this one.


The UPS Dude simply leaves it on the front step.   I was in the garage shop,  so I heard a bit of a commotion out front. 


Ooh lookie!  It’s from my favourite company!

They were having a “free shipping” dealski until the end of the month,  so I rounded up some of my treasured gift cards,  and had at it.

Give me a gift card from Lee Valley,  and I’m as happy as pig in….you know.


I already have plenty of clamps,  but I’ve been meaning to make a couple of these little wooden guys now for, oh I don’t know,  maybe twenty years?  I just figured I’d order a couple.  And the expanding collets on the left there are for the lathe.  I need to get back to that.  Gotta stop this working on the house business.  Need to play a bit.

Here’s just another reason why this is one of my favourite companies.


They even include a ready-made return label,  in case you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase.  How awesome is that?   There’s no going online and printing off a form.  Or any other BS.   No wonder they’re opening a newer bigger location up in Vaughn.  I’m not sure I’ll need to go there, so I’ll have to be content with the pics they put on the Book of Face.   Used to be I’d have to trek all the way up to the store that’s being replaced on Steeles Avenue.  There’s a store in Burlington now. Can I use that word “giddy” again?

Then when I thought that was it for the day,  there was a knock at the front door, and it was a Canada Post Dude with our new water filters for the fridge.


His “deal” is,  he pulls up,  leaves the package and then knocks on the door,  which can sometimes give me a bit of a jolt,  depending on what I’m doing.   Used to be he’d set the dog off big time when he lived here.  And THAT was an even bigger jolt,  let me tell ya!   Just one bark,  but man that little bugger is loud!




There was a slight price reduction if you ordered three.  I’m pretty sure we’ll be drinking water for the next little while,  so getting three is a safe bet.  They tend to last about six months I find,  and on Sunday we noticed the water was starting to taste a bit like regular City of Burlington water. 

That is to say,  not the best.  Sure enough, the sticker I had put on that filter clearly said,  “Change by February 2014).   OK then.


Oh,  about those little lathe thingies?   They fit on a particular type of chuck I have. 



Well mostly.  The company that makes these little expanding collets want you to buy their chuck,  but I already have a "One Way" chuck,  and it’ll do just fine.

It normally has four jaws that I had to remove in order to insert the little stem, but no big deal.  Anyway,  you don’t really give a rat’s tiny behind about that,  let’s just move on here,  shall we?

So here’s the thing,  the Lee Valley stuff wasn’t ordered until Tuesday.  The filters were ordered Monday.  That’s pretty good delivery times I’d say.

Now,  the webcam?  *pfft*  I ordered it Sunday night,  and finally TUESDAY AFTERNOON I got a confirmation email that the order had gone in.   Not shipped.  No no.  Just,  you know,  they were wandering around the warehouse looking for it?  Or something.  

This was something that I ordered from The Source, which used to be Radio Shack here in Canada.  Remember Radio Shack?   It’s *still* Radio Shack in the States,  but there was a big kafuffle back in 2005,  which is too long and drawn out to explain,  but you can read all about it if you go to that link above.   Anyway,  it ain’t Radio Shack in these here parts anymore.

I probably should have stuck with Amazon,  but I figured I’d give The Source a shot,  as the camera was the “Deal of the Day”.  That’ll learn me.   

Of course,  they want me to give my opinion as to the delivery service,  and whether I get my order in a timely fashion etc. etc.   Sometimes you know,  it’s best not to ask?   Hey, the day is not over,  and even if it comes by tomorrow,  that would be acceptable.     I mean, the expectations have now been set pretty high after all.  There was that whole getting a TV delivered within five days thing,  as well as the carpet cleaner that was what?  Two days? Three?  I don’t exactly remember,  but it was pretty damned quick I know that.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.


Oh and,  all grammar mistakes are intentional.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Out with the old.

I’ve ordered the “new”,  but it hasn’t arrived yet.

Ever since we came home slightly over a year ago,  I’ve been rummaging through “stuff”.  Some of it got turfed of course,  but other items were placed back in their original spots to…you know,  be put to use at a later date.

That’s always the theory of course.

You may recall we had a visitor from Austria come over and swing through Toronto so we could reconnect and yak about all the things he was up to and such?   This was back in December on a Saturday,  during a snow storm.  I wasn’t overly thrilled with driving to Toronto in a snow storm,  but our guest had arranged an extra couple days at the end of his business trip, just to come through Toronto to meet up with us.   So there was no bloody way we were going to wimp out.  That would have been just well…bad.

Anyhoodle,  Travelling Companion has been dutifully keeping in touch with this fellow,  and he had suggested that we have a Skype call on the weekend. 

I figured I had it covered.

I mean,  all I had to do was haul a web cam out of one of the drawers of this desk where I had stashed it,  and we’d be good to go.  Right?  


Usually when “new hardware” is hooked up to any computer I’ve ever sat at,  there will be some sort of indication that “new hardware was found”,  or something.  Anything.   Not this time.  Stupid thing just sat there.  I didn’t understand.

It’s like that scene in the fourth Star Trek movie,  where Mr. Scott tries talking to the computer,  and it just sits there.  He’s dumbfounded.  How come the computer can’t understand him?  Turns out,  it was old.

And there we have it.

Not willing to simply give up, I not only looked online for a program to download (and Windows 8 was NOT in the little pull down menu),  but I EVEN found the disk that came with the thing.   Talk about never throwing sh*t out.

“Your Operating System does not support this device”,  was the gist of the message that I discovered. 




Then,  in a moment of clarity,  I remembered that there was another camera that we had used when we were in Europe!  It’s newer! Or at least of a more recent vintage.  I got a little giddy,  I want to tell you.  But alas,  it would only run with Vista, XP or another couple older versions.   I don’t remember.  All I know is,  these things are now junk,  and I’m waiting for the new one to arrive on our doorstep in a day or two.   Isn’t technology fun?

This went from realising we’d need a microphone (the laptop had a built in one) to having to order a brand new toy.  Man oh man.

Oh,  and before you mention it,  someone did point out that “Google Hang-out” is probably a better choice than Skype,  since more than one person can be conferencing at the same time.  We’ll stick with what we know at this point,  since I already have the Skype account.  Just gotta get that camera.



I mentioned the other day that the painting was *mostly* done?  (Um,  I have a slight habit of leaving just the tiniest little bit of a project not quite finished,  and I’m trying to get away from that.  No, really.) 

I was missing a little spot up next to the air conditioning unit,  plus I still had some tape on the woodwork in the upper hallway.  This of course involves doing the high wire act on the plank there.  It’s not as bad as it looks.  The more onerous bit is getting the stupid plank back in the house without coming in contact with any freshly painted walls.  That would have been bad.

I’m not quite sure what I’ll do next.  It’s still too flippin’ cold out to do much of anything in the great outdoors.  And for those of you having to come back from the Sunny South?   Take your time,  ‘cause Springtime sure as hell is.


That’s as uplifting as I can get.  I’ll try better another time. 



Thanks for stopping by.



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Well, we’re still waiting.

Of course,  the weather was one of the topics at our weekly Watering Hole Meeting yesterday.  We just have to remind ourselves that it is indeed still *only* March,  and the temperature can go up and down like a toilet seat. 

I vividly recall coming home from Puerto Rico in April of 2003 to a storm that closed Toronto International Airport.  It was April the sixth.  They ran out of glycol,  apparently.   Lucky for us though,  we flew in to Buffalo, where the weather was fine.  I think that’s a good example of irony,  as Buffalo is usually far worse off in the snow department than we are here on the windward side of the lake.  

They’re on the lee side of Lake Erie.  Do I need to explain “lake effect” snow?  Please say no.


So the birds are chirping their little heads off, but it’s still definitely jacket weather.  Or even a heavier coat depending on how long you stay out.  It’s confusing in the “what to wear” department.

The snow is going, (melting, I mean) so I can see the empty beer cans on the lawn.


OK fine,  there’s only one beer can,  and it appeared not long after I was out there giving the plum tree a haircut.  It’s worth 10 cents around here, so I’ll go fetch it and put it with the others in the shed. 


It’s ten cents!  C’mon!


A few years back, the very smart people who make these types of decisions decided to put a deposit on all bottles and cans purchased in the Province of Ontario.   One of my sisters-in-law who lives in Vancouver,  where they’ve had this kind of thing for a few years now said,  “It’s the stupidest idea ever.”  

I mostly agree,  although we don’t have any dumpsters close by that the bums can rummage through ad nauseum.    I mean really,  once one guy has gone through the dumpster and found his four or five bottles,  shouldn’t there be a system whereby he puts a mark on said dumpster so the next fellow doesn’t rummage around in there and come up empty handed?

What actually happened though was,  all the apartment buildings in Vancouver started locking their dumpsters,  and had to give everyone a key.   Which brings us right back to,  “It’s the stupidest idea ever.”   At least in that situation.

I habitually collect up four or five bucks worth of various bottles and cans,  and take a run to the Beer Store.  They’re the poor unfortunates who were saddled with this little gem of a concept. 


Meanwhile,  my painting project is *mostly* done.    We’ve gone from possibly filming an episode of Dexter

to pretty much the finished product.


No pictures have been rehung,  since I’m waiting for the committee to come back with the appropriate recommendations.   You’ll also notice that I’ve removed the millwork from the windows?   Two things,  the monkey boy who did the painting last (and no, I’m not talking about myself) got paint on the bottom of the trim,  AND one of the stools had suffered a wee bit too much sun damage.   It was a piece that was a little too close to the pith of the tree, and had started to do funny things.  It’ll be replaced.   I’ll get right on it.


You’ll also notice that I had to put in a link to a previous post where I had painted the ceiling?   Well,  that’s because it is basically lost,  as it’s on the drive of the old laptop.   I’m not willing to take it to someone and pay them to see if they can retrieve two or three photos.  Just not happening.  The drive is pooched,  and you’d need some sort of high fallutin’ forensics lab to get at them I’m sure.

The painting project did seem to take forever,  but it doesn’t help that there are sometimes minor little distractions along the way,  like having to reassemble one of the cabinets that has decided to fall apart.



Looks all fine and dandy from the front,  but the whole back had started to part company.


You can chastise me all you want,  but I didn’t chose to heat up some “hide glue” to reassemble all the parts.  Hide glue will fail at some point, which is the other reason it started to come apart.  I have no clue as to its age,  but it wasn’t really made as well as could be expected.  Which is exactly why it was coming apart.  Shouldn’t happen.  The drawers are dovetailed,  but that’s it.  Dovetail joinery isn’t used just ‘cause it’s “fancy looking”.  Dovetails don’t come apart.  The carcass itself was only put together with tenons,  and they weren’t even that deep.

Anyway,  I fixed the stupid thing and it’s back in service as a place to keep all the crap  wonderful candles and trinkets that we so love to keep.   I think I just rolled my eyes.


There was a question from Contessa as to whether all this painting and such has anything to do with moving again? 


We’re here for the duration.   It just so happens that it’s *that time*.    You know about,  *that time*.   Time for a fresh coat of paint, and all that kind of fun stuff. 

I guess the green that was there (which I quite liked,  by the way)  was too “nineties”.   Or something.   Damned if I know.  There were a couple nicks here and there where furniture had been moved,  but nothing that kept me awake at night.  Not much keeps me awake at night,  except perhaps a bladder the size of a walnut.


And with that pleasant thought,  I’ll bid you “Good Day,  eh?”


Keep that stick on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Just waiting for the magic.

Supposed to happen at twelve something. 12:57 to be exact.

No really. That’s when it will be officially springtime. I can hardly wait! I got my shorts here at the ready.  ‘Cause it’s happenin’ baby!

Which is why it’s a good thing that I’m damned near finished my painting. I think though, that finishing the painting by the end of today will be more of a realistic expectation of how life will evolve in the next several hours.   I guess I’ll put those shorts back in the drawer now.

But hey,  it can only get better.   It’ll be stinkin’ hot soon enough.  I just wish we could sort of ease into it,  but that doesn’t always happen.



Have you ever seen this?



I had gone through the little bucket of drywall compound that I bought a few weeks ago at Home Despot,  and needed some more.

At first I thought this was a bit of a bizarre gimmick,  but it’s actually rather cool.

Naturally I didn’t READ the outside of the tub.   Why would I?



OK then.  Goes on pink,  turns white.


Here,  check this out.



So there’s no guess work.  Still took half a day for it to cure,  but at least I didn’t go over there to feather out the edges only to find that it wasn’t ready.   Of course,  I’m not going to need that whole tub of compound again for a while,  but that’s beside the point.

Really and truly,  that’s about the extent of the excitement around here.  No “adventures”.   Haven’t even got any paint on myself.  Not that I’d even fess up to that.

Oh,  I just checked my emails,  and got a note from Amazon.  Got my refund!

I sent that little box Monday morning I think it was. 

I have to say,  that’s pretty damned impressive.  Too bad the little device crapped out,  but sh*t happens.  Generally speaking,  I find the best warranty is to simply avoid certain brands,  but up until now of course,  I have no clue about blood pressure monitors.

Computers?  Well,  that’s a different deal.  There are certain ones that I wouldn’t take as a gift.  We won’t go there.  Well,  not too much anyway.

You know,  when a power supply craps out,  and you discover that you can’t just put in any power supply,  since the manufacturer has decided that they want to sell you THEIR overpriced model?  Because it’s “proprietary”.   F…

I won’t repeat the words that came out of my mouth at the time.  The Mom and Pop computer place that I took that particular abortion to would have happily taken my money if I had insisted on it,  but they told me it wasn’t worth it.   So that POS got recycled.



I seem to be putting myself in a foul mood here,  so that’ll be quite enough for today. 


Oh wait,  but before I do that though, one gratuitous food picture.



I’m pretty much brain dead in the mornings (don’t say it)  so when I had no freakin’ idea what we’d have for dinner last night,  I was actually rather relieved when Travelling Companion suggested Sheppard’s Pie.

Oh, I can do that!


And here’s something I learned.  We’ve always thought of this as Sheppard’s Pie,  when in actual fact it’s “Cottage Pie”.   Well, at least in the UK,  and I tend to think that’s where this dish originated.  Didn’t look it up. Not gonna either.

That sounds a bit weird,  I know. The first part, not the second.  But, unless you’re making it with minced lamb  (Sheppard=Sheep.  Baa!  Hello!) it’s not really Sheppard’s Pie.   I guess that makes sense.

I’ll still be calling it Sheppard’s Pie,  even though I use lean ground beef.

It was pretty damned good, which meant there were unfortunately no leftovers. 

So I gotta come up with something else for tonight. Dammit!



OK,  slipping back into the mood again.  We’re done.

Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for lookin’.



Monday, March 17, 2014

At least they make it easy.

I didn’t mention this,  since it wasn’t worth mentioning, but a few days ago (I’d have to look up the date)  I ordered and received a cute little blood pressure monitor for Travelling Companion.

Well, I used it a couple times too,  but my BP seems to stay within certain parameters most of the time.   He says. 

He thinks. 

OK,  maybe I should be checking my blood pressure too?  Fine.   Especially after we have a Friday night meal of “fast food” that creates all kinds of problems both gastronomically and well,  you can use your imagination. 

Let’s just say it’s a darned good thing there are spare beds in this house? In far away rooms. And that’s all I should say about that.  I felt better yesterday (Sunday),  but I was a bit “out of sorts” all day Saturday.  Gee, go figure.


Where was I?




Here it is:



That reading looks a wee bit off,  but I think I had it on wrong.  That’s my story.

And that was when it was working.  And it continued working right up until late last week.  I think it was Friday.  See,  it was probably just as well that we didn’t take our blood pressure later Friday night ‘cause,  you know. 

Might have been a bit of an eye opener.

I just love curly fries.  But it turns out they no longer love me.  It’s heartbreaking when love is spurned like that.  *sigh*


Anyhoodle.   It had to go back.  And I really *hate* taking/sending things back.   If it’s in person,  I always feel sheepish telling the clerk that they sold me a piece of cr*p,  but with the whole “on the line” ordering,  it turns out there’s a few clicks of the mouse,  you print out a label,  and take a trip to the post office.

Bob’s yer Uncle!





They’ve made it,  “Even the monkey at the keyboard can figure this out”  dead simple.  

Once in a while,  some genius out there actually figures out a policy or procedure that doesn’t make you want to pull out what little hair you have left.   It’s almost….a miracle.


Remember all that stuff you learned in Kindergarten?    You know,  the cutting,  the pasting?   Well,  I used packing tape,  since I have that handy dandy dispenser there,  but it’s the same idea.    And there’s ALWAYS at least one or two little boxes hanging around.

I think I might have a slight problem throwing out little boxes,  but when I get up to two or three kicking around,  at least I do thin them out.   Not quite a “hoarder” just yet.  Thanks.



So now I’d best get bundled up and hoof it down to the post office.   Not talking about the weather.  Nope,  ain’t gonna do it. 



Then we’ll wait and see when my refund shows up on our credit card.  Kind of like playing the slots I suppose, but Amazon seems to indicate that we should be getting a refund. 

I *guess* I believe that.   I’ll need to see that show up on our statement,  and then I’ll be a true believer.

Then unfortunately,  I’d best go to my review on the Amazon site and make just a *slight* change.   Sorry there,  people who sold me the crappy little BP monitor,  but it’s not even heavy enough to be a decent door stop.  So that was a waste of time.



Oh,  and Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all.


That the extent of my observation of this sacred day. 


Thanks for lookin’.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tough Crowd.

Well I certainly didn’t get any sympathy from the peeps on the weather front.  And thanks heaps for pointing out just how warm and sunny it is wherever you happen to be.  No really.  I just so love that. 

At one point when I was out doing the driveway*,  my neighbour from a across the way was also out there,  and commented that it wasn’t fun any more. The whole shovelling snow thing.  And how all over Europe they’re going around in shirt sleeves.   (He’s originally from Sarajevo,  so he must torment himself with looking at the temperatures “back home”.)

*Oh,  that’s an expression that is readily understood wherever show shovels are sold. 

Anyway,  I think I mentioned something about it never having been “fun” as far as I was concerned,  and that was about the extent of our conversation.   I suppose that was a bit cold.  Pardon that pun.

Maybe the citizens of Iqaluit stand outside and chat when it’s cold out,  but it’s never been a big draw for me.  My biggest challenge is keeping my hands warm, and it doesn’t matter one bit how “high tech” the gloves might be,  I’m hard pressed to stay out long enough to finish the whole driveway before coming in to warm up.  Just the hands, mind you. This is where the heated garage is a bonus.  Means I don’t have to sheepishly come into the house.

Not too much going on here at the Ponderosa.  I’m still painting,  along with some of the fussy little things that crop up with that program. 

Like,  discovering a joint that has failed,  for example.



Turned into a bit of a gap after I started poking around in there.  Kind of like picking a scab.


But it’ll be ready for primer tomorrow.


The dining room used to be two rooms previously,  with a room at the back of house that I suppose would be referred to as a “Den”.  I don’t think we have such a thing anymore.  We started calling it “The Room that Time Forgot”,  since we’d put things in there and basically forget about them.  So I knocked down a wall and made it one big room,  closing off the other end with a set of French doors.

Which is the perfect opportunity to shove in one more boring photo that I took today.



I think that the lath that is in the walls down close to the convector had been expanding and contracting, and that’s what weakened the joint.  Maybe.

Best guess.

Or I was getting tired at that point?  A better guess.

I shoved in some reinforcing tape and used plaster this time around.  We’ll check back in another 20 years or so. 


Bored yet?

I’ll stop now.


Thanks for looking in.


Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

You’ve got to be kidding.

I’m not going to go looking anything up, since that would probably only be even more depressing,  but I just have this *feeling* that this is just about the nastiest March Break that I’ve ever experienced.

Back in the day when I’d work during March Break,  I’m sure I recall going outside in my shirt sleeves and not wanting to race back inside right away.  I mean,  you couldn’t necessarily stay outside in shirtsleeves for all that long,  but at least it wasn’t a blinding snow storm.

This is from this morning.


Yes,  this morning.  Not back in January. That would make more sense.

I’ve been out.  Did as much running around as absolutely necessary,  and that’s it.   Ain’t going out again until T.C. calls.  The Merc doesn’t mind the snow,  so she’ll likely stay at work for the duration,  whereas they’ve by now sent a few folks home already. 

You may have skipped over the part where I said, “worked during March Break”,  but yes, it was never my intention to head to an airport or the border during March Break.  It was one of the minor advantages of not being a part of the academic staff at any school where I worked. 

Hey, you have to take whatever good bits that are handed to you when you can.

The preference was to take about 10 days some time in mid-December and go off to some place warm.  Coincidently that was also the time when all the teachers would be hard at work getting their report cards ready.  And I’d be heading south.  Oh well.

There was some name calling.  I’m thick skinned.  And it was more along the lines of mock indignation.  As opposed to the feeling of REAL indignation of getting a f**king snow storm half way through March. 

And here I promised myself I wouldn’t start cussin’ or anything.  Can’t be helped.


Just a word to those in the south,  thinking they’ll need to be heading back here soon?  I don’t know man,  but you’d better hope you’ve got the proper wardrobe ready.  That’s all I’ll say.

Do they even make winter tires for RVs?   I guess I’d have to look that up.


Speaking of those who might need to come back in the next month or so,  I stole this idea from the internet the other day.  You know who you are.



This was last night’s meal that I cooked on the Weber,  but the food idea was something I saw cooking on someone else's blog. 

I thought,  “Hey, I can do something like that!”,  which is the crux of my “cooking skills”.  If it looks dead simple,  I might be able to pull it off.  That’s all I got.  It was chicken instead of sausages, not that I have any issues with sausages or anything,  but we had those the previous night.  I don’t take a picture of the grill every night.  I have enough pictures of snow to try most anyone’s patience,  so I’m not going to get carried away with the meals any time soon.

The asparagus had a liberal coating of Balsamic Vinegar,  and the slices of Sweet Potato got the Olive Oil treatment. Along with some seasoning.  Chicken = BBQ sauce.


I told myself I wasn’t going to start shovelling until the snow lets up, it’s already past 2:30 p.m.  and it doesn’t look like I’ll be out there anytime soon.   *mumble*

I’ll stop now,  before I feel the urge to start cussing again.

Well,  I suppose unless we have an earthquake it can’t get any worse, right? 

Forget I said that,  could be a bad omen.


Keep your powder dry.


Thanks for lookin’.



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Still fumbling a bit with Windows 8.

But basically speaking,  I like it.

Once an old fart like me figures out how to get around a couple things that at first can be somewhat frustrating like, “How the fark do I turn this thing off??”  it’s all good.

One minor annoying thing,  and it has more to do with the computer itself and not the OS,  and that is that I have only one USB 3 outlet.  On the old computer,  I could run USB 3 gizmos in just about any port and half the time I’d get that,  “This device could run faster” type of message,  but it would still work.  Well, mostly.  That was because I only had USB 2 capability.  This time around the USB 2 ports will not recognise the USB 3 drives, simply because the little input dohicky is configured differently.   Gah.

So fine, if I desperately think I need to move stuff from one drive to another,  I can just load it to the computer and then move it over later.  Transfer times with the new machine are boatloads faster than with the old thing,  so that’s a plus.  Well,  and there’s that unidirectional travel path thing going on too.


I was going to use the title,  “When others cook for you”,  but that would have meant getting my act together yesterday to write something.  I didn’t seem to have the gumption. 

But,  Sunday night Daughter Number Two and Hubby came over with a shopping bag full of groceries and prepared Sunday Dinner for the four of us.   We basically had wraps,  but rather than use flat bread or tortillas,  (or worse, tacos!  which always break apart all over the place) we used lettuce leaves.  And no, it’s not as weird as it sounds.  All you’re doing is skipping out all the unnecessary wheat/carbs/gluten/whatever and replacing any bread products with Boston lettuce leaves.  Totally doable.


Here they are hard at work.


I have to say,  Rob is a better cook than I’ll ever be.  There, I’ll admit it.  Dinner was exceptional.   The meat had just enough “zip” to make it interesting,  and Travelling Companion and I both slept very well that night.  Again, that too does sound a bit odd,  but I’m beginning to come to the inevitable conclusion that a person’s post dinner comfort is directly related to just what goes in the pie hole during dinner.  Kind of a no-brainer really.

The only minor disturbance in the Force though,  was the slight wind storm leading up to bedtime.   I think it might have been the refried beans.  

Just a guess.


I’m not going to bore you too much with the other boring sh*t going on here at the Ponderosa.

I did do some tree trimming today,  since the weather has briefly warmed up to the point where I was actually getting kind of warm out there with only a jacket on.

I didn’t take a “before” picture,  but you can see here the aftermath.



This plum tree that we have at the corner of the lot is likely in the range of 45 to 50 years old,  and has needed a trimming for a few years now.  I used to be all caught up on the trimming program before we moved overseas,  but I was never home for a visit at the right time of the year to give the thing a haircut.   So it’s been well over five years,  and the thing has gone crazy.

I know we’ve been home for slightly over a year now, and I should have jumped on this little job as soon as we got here,  but it just didn’t seem to be a priority at the time.  Never mind the fact that’s it’s just not that freakin’ easy.

There’s still a bit more to get rid of off the top,  but I was getting tired from all that sawing.  So I might tackle it again tomorrow.  Or not.  Thursday?  Meh,  we’ll see.

A number of those branches were dead,  so hopefully that’s not a bad omen.  This winter has been a bit of a tough one.


I think that’s all I have in my pea brain for now.

Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.




Thursday, March 6, 2014

Still in the closet.

No, it’s not what you think.  Funny how “coming out of the closet” took on a certain meaning in the last say, fifty years? 

Anyway, I had a thought or two yesterday and even on Tuesday, but I’m of the opinion that there shouldn’t be too much thinking involved.  A feller could get hurt.

It was a fairly typical Wednesday with the morning meet up with the breakfast group. (Tuesday was a blur. No idea) Seems most of the conversation centred around maladies of various kinds.  I’m not about to offer any details.  It’s almost as if we should have one of those medical-type dictionaries close at hand?  Or at least one that has a list of all the drugs.

Speaking of which, I actually have such a critter.  Mind you,  it was published in 1977.



Jeepers!  That means I’ve been hanging onto some books for that long?  Holy Moly.

I might just sift through it.  Of course, we’ve had some new drugs in the last 35 years,  so maybe it should have gone out with this mornings recycling? 

Good bedtime reading.  Yes sir.



Then Travelling Companion and I had a “date” at lunchtime.  There was no actual eating involved,  she simply had been planning on dealing with her Health Card.  There was a letter,  and basically the requirement to get the “new and improved” health card with a picture ID.  So I figured I’d get mine done as well,  since we’d both be at the “Service Ontario” outlet.   Took a little longer than I had hoped,  since on my end of things,  I had to fill out the form.  And yes,  I made sure to fill out the organ donor form as well,  but that’s a whole other story.

The cost for these two new cards that will be coming in the mail in “six to eight weeks”? 

Nothing.  Zero.  Zip.  Nada.  And no, it’s not really *free*.  (Nothing is, c’mon.) We pay in other ways. 

My Health Card is also something that I’ve had since the early seventies.  It’s like a person’s Social Insurance Card (“Social Security for you Yanks).  You get it,  and you keep it.  Well,  unless you move to another Province,  then you switch to that province’s plan.  The Feds mandate and set out the guidelines for Health Care in Canada,  but it’s up to the individual provinces to manage their own plans more or less as they see fit.  And that’s as much detail as I’m willing to bore you with.



Actually,  I’m referring to the little painting project that I’ve been having fun with over the last couple of days.


It’s getting pretty damned white in there.  That’s all primer.  And the only reason I’m sitting here instead of painting is,  I’m just taking a break.  It’s just a tad tedious.

It started out as this:



It’s that green that I have to cover. 

And now you’re thinking,  “OK, what’s with the big freakin’ hole there, Bob?”  

Well,  I’m glad you asked.

See,  once upon a time,  I installed central vac throughout the house.  Of course, it’s a split level, so that makes it fun.  And you can see here from looking down that shaft,  where the pipe comes up from the basement.



This space used to be the back of a very narrow pantry in the kitchen.  The metal armour cable you see there goes to the double ovens. 

Anyway,  one fine day I was vacuuming up something I shouldn’t have,  and realised within fairly short order that I had a blockage.  

I know we were talking about medical issues a minute ago,  but that’s not what I mean.

The thing was,  I had no way to get at that one section of pipe.   Dang.

So I had to do some surgery on the wall at the back of the closet.

Now,  in the event that I ever need to get in there again,  there was no point patching the sheetrock and making it look all pretty again, so I installed a little built-in cabinet.



Cute, huh?

It houses a bunch of extra cr*p,  like spare bike keys, locks,  etc.


Comme ça.


I don’t need to take out the whole thing to get at the pipe back there,  but I removed it to paint.

Enthralling, yes?


Well OK,  then try this on for size.

Inside said closet, there’s a ‘jack’ sticking out of the trim.

There it is.


I’ve been meaning to get rid of the thing from time to time as the years have rolled by, but I’d usually just leave it alone and move on. 

I figured the time had come. 

There was just one little snag.


It’s attached! 

So I put it pack in,  and figured I’d ask T.C. if she could remember just what the heck this jack was all about.  She had no clue.

Now,  for those of you who are a bit late to the party,  we bought this house from the estate of my late Father-in-law.  T.C.’s Dad.  He was a tinkerer.  And that’s all I’ll say.

Not sure just exactly what the hell he would have been tinkering with in this particular case.  AND I’m not willing to remove that trim there to find out where that wire goes.  AND I have a *thing* about just cutting wires.  So I put it back.  It’s not exactly in the way or anything.

Is there a stereo somewhere I don’t know about??  Actually,  I went to take a closer look.  It’s a mono jack.  Not even stereo.  C’mon!

Some other dimension?  A hidden room?  I’ll start looking for that secret door.


Well,  my coffee cup’s empty.  Best get back at it.


Hasta Lasagne,  don’t get any on ya.


Thanks for stopping by.