Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The search continues.

With the only briefest of panic.  

See,  once upon a time,  when I designed and built all the kitchen cabinets and such, the timing was such that,  I had a few appliances sitting patiently in the living room,  waiting to be installed. 

So the process was simple.   Dig out the instructions,  see how big the opening had to be,  built it to that size, and shove the thing in the hole.

Fast forward roughly fourteen years, we start shopping for a new dishwasher,  and suddenly it looks like my hole ain’t big enough. 

Sorry,  that didn’t come out right,  but you know what I mean.

For the Miele that’s still sitting in there (and I tried it again, it doesn’t want to take in any water,  and whatever is in there immediately gets pumped out)  installation instructions called for an opening of 600mm.  Or 60 centimeters.  That’s roughly 23 and five eights.   I think.  Don’t care.  Metric is considerably less confusing in these cases,  trust me.

Nowadays of course,  there’s a plethora of information on the net,  so when we started to see that the machine that we were kind of liking wasn’t going to fit,  there were a few moments of,  shall we say?  consternation??

But then today,  I thought I would do a little more recon work,  and stopped by a couple places where I would never buy an appliance (or a lawn mower for that matter).



And lo and behold,  it turns out that indeed, the engineers (or whatever they call themselves)  were leaving lots of leeway.  I even found and printed out a section of the specs to show Travelling Companion,  just so we’d both be on the same page.  



bosch dimensions.

Same page,  get it? 

OK,  I won’t do that again.  I promise.


I couldn’t manage to direct her to this type of information when she was on the computer last night,  because for some reason that is beyond me,  her internet surfing abilities are mysteriously lacking.  And this is a woman who spent that last several decades at a computer.  But, I suppose when you’re the Director Of Finance,  the only kind of information you’re trying to sniff out,  is whether your Comptrollers are trying to pull a fast one.  

I guess.  

Internet?  Forget it.  I try to just “let it go”,  and not get to the point where my head is about to explode,  (or grab the mouse away from her) so most of the time I’ll just try and sort it out later.  By myself.



If you chose not to click on that rather sad link above,  I’ll save you the trouble.  The minimum opening is 600 mm.   I have that.  We’re good.

Now I just have to order the thing and pay for it which, at this stage of the game, will start to feel like the easiest part. 


Stay tuned.




Oh,  almost forgot.  We’re also in the throws of trying to figure out what to put in the bathroom when I do a remodel.

One thing at a time,  so first it’ll be what will go on the floor.


We brought home a couple slabs of whatever that is.  Some sort of “porcelain stoneware”.  Your guess is as good as mine. 

I hate these decisions.  I like both of those examples,  so I tend to just “go with the flow”. 

“Oh,  I like that one too.”  is one of my little catch phrases.  It’s safer that way.  I try not to overdo it,  so as not to give away my position,  which is mostly that of complete indifference.

And really?  Just order the sh*t and I’ll install it!   As long as it’s not some Gawd awful stuff,  I really couldn’t care less.


Again,  stay tuned.


Keep your powder dry.


Thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

I might need a dish rack.

Although,  having such a thing is right up there with having a “comb over”.  I’d just as soon not.

Seems we had a few moments of excitement last night in the kitchen.  And that was long after the excitement of discovering that Travelling Companion had decided to make some Pierogies.

Did I remember to take a picture?

Why yes,  yes I did.



Anyway,  I “helped”.  Well actually, I suppose I might have stuffed a third of those,  or all the ones that have the crinkled edges.  I was trying out this type of “ravioli maker” gizmo.  It mostly worked OK,  except that the dough is just stretchy enough that it would sometimes not line up with the outsides of the clam shell.  Doesn’t matter really,  they still tasted just fine.  We didn’t eat all of those by the way,  this is a food that you can freeze and chow down on later.

Oh,  and there were these chicken patty things that T.C. made as well. 


Again,  something that can be frozen and eaten later.  But that’s not really the exciting part.  The exciting part for me, is when it’s not ME doing the cooking! 

Oh ya,  baby!  Now that’s exciting.


The unexpected (actual) excitement of the evening came along a bit later though.

I was headed out to the garage shop to do a last minute lock-up,  when I noticed that there was a small puddle of water on the floor right in front of the dishwasher. 


That’s never a good thing.



Want to make any guesses at this point?   There’s no contest, trust me. 

“And the winner gets…..this old dishwasher!”

That has……decided to retire.



It wasn’t sounding quite right, so I shut it off and popped ‘er open.   Only to notice right away that the water was still coming in!   Gah!    So I unplugged it.  (This model has an arrangement where it actually gets plugged in,  so there’s no running to the panel to open a breaker).   At that point,  when I realised that the water was still coming in,  I shut off the water supply as well. 

By then of course,  I had more water to clean up,  since it couldn’t pump out the water faster than it was coming in.

Oh me knees!

Now,  the slightly good news is,  I did get to remove my kick boards and give them a good cleaning.  I’ve been meaning to do that. 

I hadn’t however planned on lining up that particular activity for a Saturday night!

You’ll notice in the photo that the kicks have been removed.  I installed them in such a way that I could pop out a few screws and remove them.  Of course,  I had completely forgot the order in which I had installed them,  so I needed to figure out that little puzzle first.  Always fun when you’re sloshing around in a puddle.


Upon further diagnostics,  I’ve come to the contusion that she’s done.   Acts suspiciously to me like the control board is pooched,  since now it will no longer take in any water, and any water that I put in there (by means of a handy dandy bucket)  immediately gets pumped out.   And that happens at no matter what point in the program the dial is set.  



We bought this machine when Travelling Companion was first promoted to the “top team” in the Company that Cannot be Named,  and her first assignment was in Horseheads,  New York.    So my best guess is that we bought it either in 1999 or 2000.  If I rummage through the files long enough,  I will find the receipt,  since we seem to have most everything going back to 1992.    And no,  I am not kidding!

Since she was living there two weeks at a time, (I would drive down for a visit on alternate weekends)  I figured that was as good a time as any to completely gut the kitchen and have a “do over”.  The kitchen had never been changed since the fifties,  and was long overdue.  Sucks to be without a kitchen,  but there was the downstairs cook top arrangement that I could fall back on. 

The kids used to refer to this dishwasher as “The Miracle Machine”,  since it would wash the hardest baked on crappola that had been sitting on a plate that you’d find under a bed somewhere months after it had been “lost” there.  So needless to say,  it was a pretty good machine.


So now we’re shopping for a new dishwasher.  Fark!

AND,  the ones that I’ve seen so far online don’t have the very cool top drawer arrangement for cutlery!  Gah!  We’re not overly keen on the basket type of arrangement,  where you put everything in,  and then try not to stab yourself when you’re taking it out.

Double fark.


Stay tuned.  But then of course,  you always do.


Oh,  and to add to the “excitement”,  look what I got on Saturday!




Yay me,  I’m *so* excited! 



Meh,  it’s OK.  Really.   Sure beats having a huge pile o’ dirt on the driveway that I’d be in a hurry to deal with.   The last time I had one of these bags delivered though,  it did take me most of the summer to get ‘er emptied.  I was starting to grow things in there by the time I was done.  I’ll try and go at it a little faster this time around.  That’s the theory at least.


And now I suppose I really should go and wash a few more dishes.



You know the drill.  Sticks. Ice.  Or maybe ditches, as the case may be.

Feel free to insert “sarcastic font” at your discretion.


Thanks fer lookin’.

Friday, April 25, 2014

And the days go by.

Lack of commitment.  That’s what it is.  Well that,  and the nagging suspicion that whatever the heck it is I’m doing,  very few people have the slightest bit of interest in.

There was Easter.  There was food. 



There was yakking.  There were a few beverages.  There was a dog.


I think he was a tad bored,  so son-in-law took him outside from time to time.  And really,  other than trying to avoid his gaze from the back porch,  we wouldn’t have known Milo was there.  Personally,  I think he would have had more fun in a “doggy day care”,  but that’s something that a pooch has to be used to. 

He never uttered a peep.

And then over the last few days T.C. and I did manage to get out on the bikes.  First I figured I’d give hers a good cleaning, since it had been sitting in the shed all winter. 



Much easier to do with the bike up at chest height.  I took it out first for a little test run,  just to make sure there were no adjustments needed for the shifter cable.  That kind of thing was taken care of at its first “tune up”,  which was done way back in the Netherlands.  Both bikes have been fine ever since,  so I suppose all the cables are “broken in”?

Then there has been a little something I’ve been working on for Daughter Number Two.


First I thought it prudent to do a little practise run with the router.  It’s been a few years since I’ve had it out of its cubby hole. 

I’m not overly keen on this arrangement,  but it works.  By that,  I mean I’m not overly thrilled with the product,  but I’ve had this router for a lot of years,  and it only does the one thing.  Only half blind machine dovetails.

I look longingly at other dovetail templates,  but I seem to be able to make this work,  so I just keep using it.





Of course,  since the thing I’m putting together is heaps bigger than say, a kitchen drawer,  I had to improvise.




You can probably figure out the rest.  I’ll most likely take a picture of the finished cabinet whenever I get to it.

And that’s pretty much life around here.  It’s cool and rainy today,  but at least we’re not getting snow. 

No really,  they have snow in New Brunswick.  Crikey!

And here I just put fresh fuel in the mower.  Put in a fresh spark plug and it fired right up.  Not even half a pull.  I was kind of shocked,  but certainly not complaining.  Stupid grass has started to grow. Bah.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Dog Whisperer.

So,  I mentioned that “company’s coming”,  and this was part of the package.


Um ya.  This is “Milo”.   He’s a pretty good dog, considering he’s still really a puppy.  I think he’s still not quite 2.  Calm beyond his years.

AND,  somehow I’m now “dog sitting”. 

Seriously?  What the hell?  

I think by this point in the relationship,  he has a pretty good idea as to just who the “alpha dog”  is,  and it ain’t him.  It’s *never* any creature with four legs. And certainly not any creature I let inside these four walls.

Doesn’t chew on sh*t.  Doesn’t jump on the couch. Doesn’t sniff yer balls.  (I hate that).   I hear his owner’s back yard is a bit of a disaster,  but he’s welcome to dig up anyone’s lawn.  Except mine.

You know,  I see these little missives online,  going on about how somebody’s dog is “part of the family”.  Well you know, *I* might be part of the family,  but I’m sure if I started sniffing your ass,  you’d probably wonder what was up. Of course,  I have some definite ideas about that whole relationship between Man and Dog.  It goes like this,  “I’m the MAN,  and you’re the DOG”. 

But really,  if your dog is part of the family,  (and I’m OK with that,really)  then you’d best teach him or her not to destroy the trim around the doors, or generally be a complete and utter tool. Because if he’s “part of the family”, and is a complete and utter tool,  then you must be too?  Ah yes,  it’s The Tool Family. 

And,  we’re not talking about Milo here.  Let’s keep that straight.

He does get a little agitated when you burst through the front door,  and just might bark.  Dogs are notoriously near sighted,  so I gave him a pass on that one.   I threatened to feed him some chocolate,  and he shut right up.   Google “chocolate for dogs”,  and you’ll know what I mean.  Actually,  I’ll save you the trouble.


Anyway, ‘nuff of that.  Hope everyone is enjoying their Easter.  With whatever that entails.  

My Good Friday ritual involved going to two different pubs,  getting a free meal,  AND a T-shirt.

Someone on the Book of Face mentioned something about the “Easter Service” being great or wonderful or something.  Well yes,  I had great service at both locations.  Thank-you very much.



Yup,  gonna be sailing again this year.  It’s been a few years.  You may recall that I went out at some point in the fall.  Didn’t screw up.  That’s the main thing.

So we had a “meeting”  at one of the watering holes in Bronte,  and I offered to pay for my lunch,  as did other members of the crew,  but the meal was taken care of by the skipper.  Alrighty then!

I know most of these folks,  although since I was overseas, (since 08!)  there have been a few new faces.  And others who used to occasionally sail on Baccarat,  but who are now full timers.

See,  here’s the thing.   It’s all fine and dandy to own a sailboat,  and you may be able to go cruising all by your lonesome or perhaps with your “first mate”,  but if you want to race,  you need a crew.  

It never hurts to feed the crew,  and if it makes you happy,  provide them with T-shirts.   I have a few of these,  in other colours. Along with a host of hats.

It’s all about the swag.  Seriously.  Between the Company that Possibly Could be Named But I need the Typing Practise and sailing,  I have drawers full.




In other “news”,  the people across the road have finally decided to move the rest of their stuff.   You can’t see it from here,  but they’ve been bringing boatloads of stuff over and shoving it in the garage.  It’s a two car garage,  and it was completely full.  These guys brought the beds,  mattresses and other stuff that wouldn’t fit into an SUV or the back of a pick-up truck.

Oh,  and you’ll notice there are a few bags out front there?

Well,  we do have a system whereby our yard waste is picked up every other week,  and you can use these store bought paper bags.  However, this ISN’T the week. 

Should I call the municipality?   Should I be “that guy”?


See at what I mean?


There’s gotta be over forty fecking bags out there!

I floated the idea of taking over my old snow thrower,  an old TV and maybe that old printer and scanner and just sticking them all in amongst the bags.  T.C. though that was an OK idea.

But no,  I won’t do that.  I am tempted to call though.  There’s this whole “out by seven a.m. but not before five p.m. of the previous day” thing.  

I’m not sure what the thought process is there.

I’ll have to sleep on it.


OK so,  try not to O.D. on chocolate.  I’m trying to reform.  I can’t make any promises when it comes to Potica however.


Thanks for stopping by.




Thursday, April 17, 2014

King Tut’s Tomb.

So, “company is coming”,  which is another way of saying “Bob needs to clean until he faints”.  Or decides to take some Ibuprofen.

Anyhoodle,  I’m mostly done at this point,  and figured I’d best stop for a bite to eat before I get even crankier.

I did manage to empty out one of the moving boxes that I had shoved in the downstairs closet.  It’s mostly stuff I don’t know what to do with.  Can’t bear to part with these maps,  although I suppose one day I’ll have to do something.  It’s a great time waster flipping through them.


This is only the tip of the iceberg, believe me.  Not only were we in quite a few countries in Europe,  but I’m not always 100% convinced that the Navigation System should be relied on.   So we always had a map or two with us. 

Actually no,  that’s a lie.   On one trip to Verona (that would be Italy, by the way) it occurred to me after we found ourselves on a brand new “Autopista”  that wasn’t showing up on the GPS,  that I had in fact not brought along a map.   Silly bunt.   We made it there,  and over to Venice for a day, then back and back to Austria,  so I guess we dodged that bullet.


I meant to mention something about the maps there.  If you happen to click on the link,  you’ll notice that one of the ones along the top is a “Fietskaart”. 

I’m going to go out on a big fat limb here and say,  you will only find such a critter in the Netherlands.   It’s a map of all the bike routes in the province of Overijssel

“Fiets” = Bike.  “Kaart” = Map. 

How awesome is that?  And of course,  it gives all the distances in Kilometers.   So, instead of seeing some old couple meandering down the road in their aging Crown Vic,  you’re more likely to see a couple elderly yet pretty damned fit pensioners out on their tricked out bikes,  heading from B&B to B&B while on holiday.  I could just go on and on about biking infrastructure in The Netherlands,  but I’d just end up getting depressed.


As I was making my way through the routine this morning,  I really wanted to get some of the flotsam tidied up,  and had this bright idea I’d peek into the cold storage under the front steps.




It’s better than it was,  but I wasn’t about to put anything in there without having a vacuum cleaner at the ready.  This is one of those jobs that I have been putting off like nobody’s business.   I did part company with all the preserves that we had left behind when we moved,  but that wine there is another story.  It could be OK,  or maybe not.  It was never my intention to keep it any longer than about six months to a year.

I had a look at the date on one of the tags I left in there.



Hm, 2006?  Didn’t use long corks?  I’m not optimistic.

I’ll have to crack one of them and see what’s up, but not right this minute.  And that’s the problem.   Because once I close that door again, *poof* it’s gone.

It’s probably all going down the drain,  and I think that’s the other thing that I sort of dread.  Hate to throw out what otherwise would have been perfectly good wine.  Stay tuned.  I guess.


I might have a chance to utter a peep or two this weekend.  Not sure.

If not,  have a fine weekend.  The weather is improving.


Thanks for stopping in.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The curious letter.

OK so,  yesterday I mentioned something that we got in the mail that I thought was rather….odd.  Normally I would simply turf something like this out,  but I thought I’d share.

So,  there was no actual name above the address in the little window box of the envelope.  Just our address,  which I’ve blanked out here.  Not putting my address on the internet fer heaven’s sake.  Bad enough trusting the gobermint with our information with the heartbleed business, but that’s a whole other story.

Don’t get me started.


Anyway,  no actual name,  so I thought “Hey that’s a good scam.”  I mean,  just randomly pick addresses out of the phone book, and fire off an “invoice”.

Well, who uses an actual phone book anymore, really?  But you know what I mean.  And,  it turns out it is an actual company,  although I’m not about to provide a link.  T.C. looked it up.  They exist.

So here we go:


I don’t recall which one was the cover letter,  but it might have been the one above.  Doesn’t matter.

So let me just paraphrase what this dough head was saying.  “We’re kinda dumb and we don’t understand this tax thing,  so could you send us money?”

Oh and,  it’s also wrong.  We don’t even have *that* tax anymore. 

And you know,  you can look sh*t up on the internet and find out all about importing,  exporting.  Taxation.   You should try it there, Matt.  

It’s amazing really,  that whole internet thing.  It’s not just for sharing dumb jokes and some of that *rude* stuff.  There’s actual information to be had out there!

OK so,  did you get all that?  They were “audited”.



And so,  to support their “claim”,  they include all the documentation.

Scan 1a

Scan a


Oh,  and then there was an additional sheet to fill out with a credit card number.




Oh my fecking Gawd! 

Where shall I begin to explain the stupidity here?   First of all,  it may very well have been a legitimate purchase by Daughter Number Two who was living here for the last four plus years.   Fine and dandy.  She was here today,  I honestly forgot to ask,  because it matters so very little.  Because really? 

Here’s the thing,  if you go into a shop and they forget to charge you the tax that they’re supposed to collect on behalf of some government or other,  then guess what?  They’re on the hook.  You’re long gone.

And really FOUR DOLLARS???    

Postage is a buck,  and then what?  send you a cheque?  Oh wait,  in US funds?  Let me just run out and get a money order.  ‘Cause they’re only ten bucks.

I’m tempted to call up this “Matt van Dom” just to tell him how uttering stoopid he must be.   Or think I am.

Maybe I misread that.  Was it Matt van Dumb?   That would be too obvious.   I can only hope that this was somehow generated by some automated program installed by a room full of a thousand monkeys smacking away at a thousand keyboards. 

That I could accept.

Never know,  maybe I’ll be getting a threatening letter next.  Of course,  It would be a good thing if they actually had a NAME to add to their documents. D’ya think?

And don’t worry,  I won’t be calling Matt any time soon. Unless of course I block my number…

Meh,  not even then.  Couldn’t be bothered.


Now,  the upside of all this?   I got to try out our nifty new scanner/printer thingy.  It’s an HP 4500 something or other.


We’ve been going through some peripherals over the last little while. 
First of all,  the scanner was no longer being supported by the new Windoz program.  So that sucked.

THEN,  our old reliable printer,  which WAS being supported by the new Windoz,  decided to crap out.

Oh,  and let’s not forget the web cam.


I mean, the printer and the scanner were both TWELVE YEARS OLD, so I can’t complain about longevity or anything.  I mean,  what’s that in computer years?  144?  A long time. 

A long.  Time.

So I found us a new one.  Had to go to Futile Shop to pick it up,  but it’s here and working just fine.  There was a “deal”,  and it was either there or “The Source”.  It came down to whoever wasn’t sold out.

AND,  it’s wireless.   I just sits there in the little spot that was originally designed for a massive typewriter (it’s an old desk)  and will spit out whatever I want it too.  Oh,  and I’ve *almost* figured out how to get it to print from T.C.’s Ipad.   Somehow the POP is being a bastard.  No big deal.  It will print pictures from her Ipad, but emails?  Meh.

Scanning something of course means I have to actually open the door to the desk and pull the thing out,  but I can suffer that inconvenience.  

I mean,  I have to lift the lid and everything.


Normally I’ve never been keen at all when it comes to the “all in one” type of devices,  but it was only just under eighty bucks.  And that’s including some feckin’ 10 dollar “environmental fee”.    *pfft*

So we’ll see how long it lasts.   I suppose if we don’t pack it up and move it half way across the globe,  that should help?  Who knows?


Didn’t want to say too much about it,  but we had that white four letter word stuff earlier today.  It’s mostly gone,  but still cold out.  

And I’ve already put away my winter coat but hey,  it’ll be nice again in a few days.  Let’s hope.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.

Monsoon Monday.

Miserable Monday?

I’m only referring to the whacky weather.

And yes, it’s already Tuesday.  Got distracted.

We had some sort of Chinook Sunday,  although the term “Chinook” is commonly used in the Prairies, that’s what it felt like.  Spring like cool temps one minute,  and balmy warm weather the next.  It was actually colder inside the house than outside. 

And now that I just looked up what a Chinook really is,  that wasn’t it.  But it got warm really quickly.  Whatever the word for that is.

Then today yesterday it rained like crazy.  And at this precise moment,  it’s snowing. It’ll go fast I hope. And I refuse to take a picture. Springtime in Canada.  Like a box of chocolates.  You never quite know what you’re gonna get.

Well,  there are those weather forecasting folks,  but that’s a crap shoot.  I think they can predict maybe the next 48 hours,  but that’s about it.

I’ve been farting around out in the garage for the last few days.  As Travelling Companion put it, “I hear sawing,  but nothing comes in.”   I’m not sure what the heck I would have been bringing in,  but I guess I’m supposed to cart something in once in a while.  Kind of like a cat bringing in a dead mouse?


Where did I leave off?


Right.  Out with old and crappy,  and in with…well,  something.

Started out as a means of sucking up the chips and dust when using the machine.  And then, it evolved, and took multiple glue-ups,  head scratching and sorting through the left over pile of oak flooring.

And this is probably why it’s just as well that I don’t have any plans for these kinds of things ahead of time,  since then I’d probably know when to quit. 

Pretty self explanatory.








So that was my big excitement. Doesn’t really take much. I’ll cut out a few replacement inserts for the top, including some for the sanding drums.

I do need another length of “T” track for the back,  since I came up a tad short.


Oh, I got something that was pretty amusing in the mail yesterday.  Just have to scan it and do a “show and tell”.

I’ll get to try out our new scanner.  But that can wait.




Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fabulous Friday.

The days have been slipping by,  and I’ve been somewhat absent.


I keep *meaning* to pipe up and have something to say,  but half the time it’s not anything all that interesting.

I mean,  I defrosted the freezer.  That kind of thing.


And by the way, if you want to get the chunks of ice out in one piece,  as opposed to waiting for the whole thing to melt?   Use a heat gun.  Or, if you don’t have anything quite so drastic,  a hair dryer.  Just speeds up the whole process. 

Glad to help.

It was shirt sleeve weather today.  I even took out the winter floor mats in the car and put in the summer ones.  Cleaned the whole thing first,  of course.

It’s been pretty much a fabulous week I suppose,  and that’s mostly because I’ve been doing just about whatever the heck I’ve wanted.  It’s a rare thing,  I know.

I’ll have to get back to the chores soon enough,  so a couple little diversions can sometimes get past the committee.

A while back,  in a moment of poor equilibrium,  I managed to bust the towel rack I’ve had in the garage for a couple decades,  which made it pretty much useless.  I was sort of hanging my towel on the tap, but then I figured maybe I’d just make something.

I have a whack of “stuff” hanging around,  including all the bits from some sort of gym climbing apparatus that was deemed “unsafe” and had to be tossed.  It was a maple affair,  with these beefy rungs strung between frames.  It all ended up in the loft of the my shed. 

We don’t just throw that kind of stuff away.  *pfft*!


One part is now a towel rack.  Cost = zip.   OK,  those brackets must have cost me something,  but I noticed the price stickers on the back were from a hardware chain that went out of business years ago.  So I think that somehow doesn’t count.


Meanwhile, I have been mulling over the idea of making some sort of modified platform for my drill press, to replace the thing I’ve had there for 20 years or so.  It was always a temporary measure.  Or maybe just “half-assed” is more like it.


It was adequate.

But I want some sort of dust collection built in.

This is the kernel of the idea.


You can see how these things go.  I find myself standing there like a zombie trying to imagine how it should look,  since sometimes trying to draw out something is just as much of a waste of time. 

And man,  I’m good at that whole time wasting thing,  let me tell ya.

Anyway,  it’s still in “transition”,  so I’ll probably have something sorted out by the end of the weekend.

You can’t really figure too much out from this,  and that’s the way she goes.


We have Slovenian class in the morning,  and then we have to make a stop somewhere after that,  so I’m not sure when I’ll get back to it.

Hate these interruptions.


There were a couple other little things this week as well.  We received the final component for the generator install.  I went up to The Company that Cannot be Named and picked up the Automatic Transfer Switch.  Heavy sucker.

I’m still calling the company that, mostly to mitigate those dreaded Google searches.  You have to *know* where to find me.  

“Hits” don’t thrill me.  I mean,  I could get hits from creepy guys if I put in certain words,  but we won’t go there.  Plus, I got no AdSense.  So what do I care?

Next on the generator front will be getting all the other little bits and pieces.  You know, wire,  conduit,  black pipe,  fittings.   I can’t remember if it’s “four aught” or “two aught”   It’s heavy sh*t, I do remember that much.


Anyhoodle,  I have to go back out and clean up some glue,  so that’s it for this missive.

I’ll try to keep up.


Thanks for looking.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Folks be liking free stuff.

Seriously.  The last time I posted something for free on Kijiji,  I had a half dozen responses within the first 10 minutes.  I *guess* some people troll Kijiji all the time?  How does that even work? 

No wait,  there’s probably “an app for that”.  Or something.  I’m in the dark when it comes to some of these things,  but that doesn’t bother me in the least.

With Easter on the horizon, along with the distinct possibility of visitors staying over night in our downstairs space,  there was an old appliance that had to go.

I put our old washing machine on Kijiji this morning,  and within twenty minutes I had three responses. 


I wasn’t even going to check my emails, since I figured nobody could possibly be interested in an aging machine that clunks when it spins,  but still works.

I was wrong.

And,  as I write this,  it’s gone.


It’s one of those,  “I’ll believe it when I see it” kind of things,  since it’s tough to get a feel for whether someone will actually show up when they say they will.  This fellow not only called when he said he would,  but showed up within a couple minutes of when he figured he’d be here.  Mind you,  his “helper” couldn’t have been more than 80 pounds soaking wet,  so I still had to help them get the thing up the stairs. 

But hey,  we can’t all be strappin’ lads,  able to bench press 300.  The main thing is,  it’s gone.

I might be eyeing a few other things around here that ‘need to go’.   I’m trying to pull my weight,  so hopefully I won’t be on the list.  Time can only tell.


They called for rain,  and they got that part right.   Not so sure about the temperature they had predicted.  I found it cold most of the day.  It was well above the freezing mark,  but just a bit raw.

I only mention this,   since there were a few minutes on the back step there when I was definitely getting rained on.  My temporary guests bade me go back inside,  since they could manage from that point on.  I was easily sold on that idea.

I forgot to offer then that old TV I have hanging around at the side of the house.   Drat! 

Although, I think the washing machine definitely works better,  and probably gets at least as many channels.



Keep yer stick on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What to wear.

It’s hard to know.  It’s sunny,  *almost* warm in places.  HOT in the car.  Man,  it’s confusing.

But that’s not to say I’m complaining.

Now,  if I were complaining,  I might bitch just a little about the fact that now the printer has decided to take a cr*p.  There’s something wrong with the mechanism that plucks the top sheet of paper off the stack to pull it through the rollers.  I recall having a laser jet printer a few years (decades?) ago that I took for a repair with that malady.  That sucker was too pricey to just say,  “Meh,  let’s turf it.”

With the exception of the fact that I can’t print anything right this minute, there’s not much really to complain about.  This is a printer that we bought in 2002 in Puerto Rico at Wal*mart,  and it’s been around.  Moved it back home,  moved it to The Netherlands, then on to Vienna and back home again.  It’s coming up on 12 years old.  Or, it was coming up on 12.  *mumble*

There are a couple ironies there too.  First of all,  it miraculously worked with Windows 8.   Unlike the webcams and scanner.   Oh,  did I not mention that my scanner is no longer supported?  That was a pisser.

Then the other irony is,  I had just bought new printer cartridges.  Son of a…! 

Meh,  you pays yer money and you takes yer chances.  Especially with computer cr*p.


Lemme see,  what have we been up to?  Nothing too exciting,  that’s for sure.


Went to a “Home Show” here in Burlington on Friday afternoon.  Now,  I put “Home Show” in quotation marks here because well,  we were able to cover the whole thing in maybe an hour and a half.

It was “Senior’s Day”,  which was something that had kind of escaped my attention,  until I mentioned to Travelling Companion that there were a lot of White Hairs there,  and what the heck would they be doing at a Home Show, looking at renovating ideas?   Well, it was explained to me that quite often Seniors are just looking for something to do,  and free admission is the biggest draw.  

And,  what’s that expression?  Something about the pot and the kettle?   What little hair I have,  ain’t exactly brown anymore.


We got in for free as well,  which was something that I hadn’t really expected,  but it so happened that T.C. had taken along a cut out from the paper, just so we’d know where to go,  and it was a coupon.

Just as well it was free,  since it was worth every penny.

I did feel a bit bad for the vendors,  since there’s a lot of work involved in setting up those displays,  and you’re not really guaranteed too darned much.  Well, certainly not with Friday’s bunch.

I didn’t bother with too many pictures,  except for this guy,  who was peddling some little contraptions for hanging your blue bin and green bin from the wall.

OK then.


I didn’t want to tell the poor guy that I had been hanging our green cart off the fence for years in order to keep the raccoons out, so it wasn’t really an idea that was all that exciting to me.  They’re pretty clever, (um, the racoons,  not the hooks) and we’ve witnessed some pretty impressive circus acts trying to get into that bin,  but they’re thwarted most of the time. 

He also did have this nifty little latch gismo,  but I just kept on moving. 

I know, not very charitable of me.


Oh,  and I suppose I could have done a whole post on this subject,  but Daughter Number Two and I went to Slovenian Class on Saturday morning.  T.C. was supposed to go too,  but she had already scheduled a sewing class. She’ll be going next week.

This is kind of like mending the paddock after the horse just galloped over the hill,  but there’s always the chance that we’ll go back to Slovenia at some point,  and I just wanted to be able to connect the dots.  Doesn’t mean I’ll ever be anything more than a mute,  but at least I’ll have the straight dope on a few things. As I explained to the teacher, I couldn’t conjugate a Slovenian verb to save my life.

Besides,  there’s still too much Russian in my brain,  and I need to somehow write over those files.   I even caught myself starting to write some words with the Cyrillic alphabet.  That will never do. 

Many of the sound combinations are the same or similar,  but most everyone west of Bulgaria uses the Latin alphabet.  Except for the Serbs.  They use both.  Don’t ask, ‘cause I have no idea.

And don’t take me to task on that,  because I’d have to look up who uses Cyrillic and who doesn’t.  You’re welcome to do the research and get back to me.

Fill yer boots.

There’s only something like 10 of us in the class,  and I’m too old to worry about embarrassing myself.  Although I suppose I could embarrass the women folk who are coming too. 

“And it’s about time they came too,  I say!”

Sorry,  old family meme.  The kids learned a long time ago to never ask. “Can I come too?”



It wasn’t actually in that part of the building,  but rather in the Credit Union.  I know.  Seems a bit odd,  but they have a conference room upstairs.

Nice and peaceful.  There were a lot of parents and kids going in and out of that door,  so I wasn’t sure what was taking place in there.  Dance classes?  Skeet shooting?  OK,  maybe neither.  We’ll never know.



I don’t think our teacher realised I was taking his pic. 

Anyhoodle,  we’ll see if I manage to remember anything.  Might help if I go over my notes.   Kind of like that guitar that I need to get at at least once a day.  Gah!   There’s no getting better unless you practise.  Such a drag.


Meanwhile,  I continued to unpack our generator.  There was a little bit of extra room in the packaging,  so it’s not quite as huge as the box.  Still pretty big just the same.


I’d almost go so far to say it’s a thing of beauty.

Seems odd that I have it stored inside for the time being,  even though it’s meant to spend its useful life outdoors,  but it’s OK sitting right there for now.  Plus,  I have to pour a pad,  buy some conduit,  wire and stuff,  so we’re in no hurry.

It continues to get marginally warmer as spring progresses.  That’s the theory at least.  April can be a fickle month in these parts.  I try not to look at the temps in Vienna.  It’s been way too nice there. HOWEVER,  they have had some major dust blow up from the Sahara I see.  It happens from time to time,  and I recall that same phenomenon once when we were there.


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


Keep it between the ditches.


Thanks for looking in.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

One last hurrah.

Not sure if that makes sense.


In light of recent conversations with an old school chum of mine who lives in the Greater New York area,  and who had been without power during Hurricane Sandy, and then more recently in a winter storm,  we figured we’ve been pushing our luck.


See,  the story goes that,  during Hurricane Sandy,  he had a small portable generator that he would use for a few hours every day,  but eventually it became difficult to find gas stations that were either still open with fuel available,  or with power to pump the fuel that they had.  So coincidently before the last outage,  he had decided to “bite the bullet” and have a standby generator installed.

I though that was pretty cool,  and mentioned it in passing to Travelling Companion.   This was a month or so ago, when she was still working.

She said, “Well, we sell those.”

Say what?


See,  The Company that Cannot be Named has a whack of products,  and it’s tough to keep track of it all.  That’s my story.

Then of course,  we figured if we were going to do this thing, there was a plan afoot to get it sorted out while she was still an employee.  You remember that whole thing where Monday was her last day of work? 

Like….for ever. 

And this,  ladies and gentlemen, is the moment when you find out the name of The Company that Cannot be Named.

And that’s because our standby generator got delivered today.



I haven’t had a chance to go out there once again and unwrap the thing, but I’ll get to it.

I have to have a little conflab with my nephew and his buddy the gas fitter Dude,  to sort out just when and how we’ll set it all up.  See,  my nephew is a licenced electrician,  and although this can be a DIY project, it’s not something I’m about to tackle on my own.  Oh and besides,  the sucker weighs over 400 pounds so ya, do it yourself?  Right.

Plus, we’ll need to pull the meter, and that sh*t just makes me nervous.   And don’t worry, we “open the main” before we do that.   But that’s way down the road.  There’s conduit to run,  concrete to pour.  A pile of rocks to move.  The rocks have nothing to do with the generator itself,  they just happen to be in the way.  Long story.  Has to do with the pillars I built on either side of the driveway and at the corner of the property.  Turns out I had some rocks left over.  Might be time for a rock garden?

Stay tuned.

Funny thing too is,  I put all those rocks there,  but they seem to have become much heavier over the years.  What’s with that?


Other than some running around today looking at furniture and other such exciting stuff,  that’s about it for today’s missive.  Didn’t take any pictures.  I know.  My bad.


I’m not even going to mention the temperature for today.  It’s a sad state of affairs.


Keep those sticks on the ice. 


Thanks for stopping in.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Milestone.

And no,  this is no April Fool’s joke.


The first two pictures aren’t necessarily very telling.

This is a lunch pail/bag/whatever,  that T.C. has been using for a few years now.  I pack a lunch for her every day.


Not sure if we’ll keep it.  It’s seen better days.

Towards the end of last week, there was some “loot” that made it’s way home.  That could be a bit of a hint.


Then of course,  there’s the dead giveaway.

And no,  I didn’t photo shop this.



I think there’s a shortage of this type of card.


Well, maybe this one too.


See,  yesterday was the end of March,  but it was also Travelling Companions last day at The Company that Cannot be Named.  Although,  at this point I can probably drop the name now and again.  Won’t make much of a difference at this point.


That’s about the extent of the “excitement” around here.   She went to work on her last day,  was the first one in and damned near the last one out.  Like that’s a stretch.    Still had a couple meetings, trying to impart that one last bit of knowledge. There was cake.  There was something akin to a “receiving line”.  Purged her phone of contacts,  cleaned out her desk and left.


The only slight wrinkle with us both being in the house together today was that we managed to pay the same bill twice.  We’ll have to work out a system.  Muggins here has been sorting out that end of things up until now.  I’m not even going to speculate as to what the thought process was on the subject.

I mostly kept myself busy at the bench. This is a window stool from the upstairs bedroom that had been a perch for each of the two cats who have lived here over the years.  There were “issues”.   Stupid cats have back claws.

I started out standing the thing,  and decided I didn’t want to put up with all that dust, so I hauled out a hand plane instead.



Because I *can*.



Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.