Tuesday, October 28, 2014

One last visit.

Before spring,  that is.


I really couldn’t get a photo of the boat we crew on,  since by 6:30 it was already way too dark.  That’s the one part of the onset of winter that I’m never too thrilled with.

We had a little pow-wow over a jug of beer,  only as an excuse to have a little pow-wow over a jug of beer.  Said “so long”,  until the spring.  Oh, and we were pretty much the only ones there.


Meanwhile,  the window work continues.

I had made arrangements with one of my nephews to be on hand if I needed any help installing a couple windows at his Mom’s place. 


That’s not him.  That’s one of his firefighter buddies who came to help seal off the top of the chimney.


This is Dan.  He was on hand last summer to help at our place when I went to install our huge front window.  He’s always willing to help,  so I try not to abuse his generosity.


Anyway,  the pictures can tell the story.  Those two are in and sealed up.

I went back this morning for a couple hours to patch the plaster on the inside that I messed up,  as well as put some caulking in the gap between the two frames and cut away the excess foam.  It’ll be a day or two before I have the trim sorted out.  All in due time.

When I went to install the first operator, something was definitely not right,  so I went home to take a look at one of the ones I installed last year.


Sure enough I had reversed one of the hinge type fittings. Well, there’s a “left” and a “right”.  I had them switched.

Easy fix.  Then it was all good.

I figured I’d take a stab at installing one of the trapezoidal windows here at home,  which of course meant having to treat it like any other woodworking project.


What I didn’t take into account was,  the sill onto which this window was supposed to fit,  was not exactly FLAT.  We had come up with the notion that putting on all the cedar cladding was something akin to trying to clad a car.  At this point in the life of the house, the cedar front has sagged just a tad.  It’s not really noticeable unless you get your eyeball right down next to what should be a flat surface.  Certainly not noticeable from the street.

At this point I have two of the six windows in.  I’ve started out with the most difficult ones,  and they haven’t exactly gone in like greased lightening.  I’ll spare you the details.

It was kinda fun using one of my Christmas presents (that power planer there),  but man does that thing make a mess!  Yoiks!

Other than those boring little bits, I got nothing.  The hope is to have everything done by the weekend.  These remaining windows aren’t temperature sensitive,  since “The Veranda” is an outdoor space.  

I still haven’t decided yet if I want to foam them all in place,  but I can’t really think of any reason why I’d want to take them out again. 

I might just wait until spring.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Had to share.


Just another day here at the Ponderosa.  You know,  raked a few leaves, put on a couple more coats of finish.  That kind of thing. 

Oh,  and I did clean the carpet in the centre hallway.  Been meaning to do that for a while,  but procrastination is an Olympic sport for me.

Travelling Companion is just about to head out to Guelph to set up a budget for a nephew. 

Anyway,  that’s not why we’re here.

One of my sisters-in-law,  who lives out there on the Left Coast, is not only a pretty accomplished artist,  but has a fun sense of humour.

Thus,  I present, some Dude with my face pasted on. 


Hippie scan0006



Kinda wish I had those abs,  to be honest.  And, maybe dark hair again?  Those days are long gone.  I did have a beard that long once.  It was 1976.

Not sure where she got hold of an old photo of yours truly,  but both Travelling Companion and I had a good chuckle. 

I have to make a phone call and offer my thanks.


Thanks all I got.

Just waiting for the carpet to dry.  And the finish to dry. 

Thanks for stopping by.


Keep those sticks on the ice.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Frost is on the pumpkin.

But we’ve been having some really nice days.  I mean, it would have been nice to have such nice weather back in the summer,  but I think I’ve muttered some complaints about that previously. 

Just let it go.

Mind you,  it was a pretty good summer for working outside,  since it never did get too brutally hot. At least as best I recall.  I may be sugar coating it somewhat.

It doesn’t seem like there’s been a lot going on,  but when I noticed a “comment awaiting moderation” this morning from Kevin Read, I thought maybe I’d take a little break, pour myself (yet another) coffee,  and pound out a sentence or two.

And what’s with that whole “comment awaiting moderation” thing?  It just seems to happen every so often.   It hasn’t been 14 days.  I have no idea.  Comments are supposed to just show up. 


All’s well.  Really.  I’m just plugging along.

It seems like it’s taking me forever,  but all of the windows that are going in at the front of the house have to have at least two coats of finish on them,  ‘cause I ain’t hanging off a ladder any time soon to refinish them.  So patience is a virtue.


These two are going into another house.  So I’ve made arrangements with my nephew to have a little help on Monday.  This is at my sister-in-law’s place just a couple blocks from here. 



I went up yesterday to take off a couple bits of the trim,  just to have a better idea as to what will be involved.  I’ll need to chisel away some of the mortar that was put in to hold these ones in place.  This is another place that does not have what would be referred to as “balloon frame” construction.  There are no studs on the outside walls.  

Interestingly,  whoever finished off the soffit above the windows installed 1 x 4 tongue and groove aromatic cedar,  and stained it.  I recognise this stuff,  since it is in all of our closets.  I guess they had some left over.  Too funny.  It would never rot,  I’ll tell you that much.


My sister was out this way to see her grandkids,  so we made a couple treks over to London (no,  not that London)  so see her,  her son,  his lovely lady friend and the young ‘uns.  



They have the cutest dog I’ve seen in a long while.  Named Oreo. He’s just a wee bit on the hyper side,  which probably explains why I’m holding onto him for dear life.  I’m not overly keen on that whole dog lickin’ yer face thing.  

Sorry, doggie lovers.  Not my cup of tea.

And he’s small enough that he can’t jump up on the furniture.  Works for me.   But no,  we won’t be getting a wee dog any time soon.  Thanks.

I’d just as soon not post pics of anyone who hasn’t explicitly said they’re OK with having their image on ‘da net’,  so you only get to see my ugly mug.  Turned 58 on Sunday,  and there was cake.  And it wasn’t nauseatingly sweet cake either.  I had two pieces.

Somehow I think there will be more cake this weekend.  Just a guess.    Stay tuned.



And I think that’s about it.

Oh,  we did get a call from Daughter Number One last Friday,  asking if we could go and fetch Zippy (her name for the Jetta,  not really ours)  from the mechanic.

It had thrown a couple codes,  and I guess she was worried it might be something serious.  He cleared the codes (a couple of which he had never seen before),  drove it for a week,  and they never came back.

It’s a mystery.

We think she doesn’t drive it enough.  It’s her car,  we gave it to her back in ‘04,  but she and her significant other are so close to the GO station,  that sometimes they walk.  Or they take the little car,  but it barely gets to warm up.   I was supposed to be driving it this past week,  but I’ve not heard a peep on that front.

We’re not sure what’s going on with whatever was briefly ailing the thing,  but the car is at that age where it’s not worth doing anything too drastic.



“Zippy” is a 2000 Jetta that I bought in November of ‘99.  So what’s that?  Fourteen?   Geez,  that’s 98 in dog years.  Oh wait.  We’re coming up on November,  aren’t we?  So fifteen.  Whatever.

There’s something like 369,000 km on the clock,  and it’s a strong runner.  It’s on its third timing belt,  (gets changed at 100,000)  and needed a new turbo last year some time. Other than rubber and brakes,  that’s about it.  There was a “mass airflow sensor” issue early on,  but VW stepped up and paid for that.  

The only thing that could possibly send it to the scrap yard is the torque converter,  which is only noticeable at highway speeds.  I though it was a fuel management issue,  since there’s this slight oscillation that is barely noticeable when you’re cruising along,  but it turns out it’s the torque converter.  That’s about a fifteen hundred dollar job. 

She ain’t worth it.

Anyway,  the mechanic offered to buy it for 500 bucks if it craps out.  He’s welcome to fix it up or part it out.  

She might last another couple years,  who knows?


And NOW,  I think that’s about it.


I’ll try and get on here a bit more often.  Promise.

It’s kind of like that whole, “One cactus starts to look like another” sort of thing.  And it’s bad enough if the crap I’m doing is tedious and somewhat boring,  I’d prefer to not inflict that on others. 


Thanks for stopping by. 


Enjoy your weekend,  unless every day is Saturday.   So enjoy that too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Now that’s better.


Because last year,  the weather at Thanksgiving was freakin’ awful.   Rained the entire time,  which literally puts a damper on everything.

Mind you,  we didn’t have quite as many children this year,  so keeping them all entertained wasn’t such an issue.  There were other commitments,  not the least of which was one particular soccer tournament, which was handily won by the Ontario squad.  There’s a blurb here.

The Ontario team basically crushed all of the competition.  The scores were five-nil,  three-nil,  that kind of thing.  We did watch the semi-final game being streamed live on Saturday morning,  but some technical glitch precluded our being able to see my niece score the first goal of the final game on Monday.  They had a “bye” into the final for the gold on Monday.  But let’s not get carried away here.

That whole “live streaming” thing is pretty freakin’ awesome,  I must say.

Well,  it was also a good thing we had internet at the cottage is all.  Or we would have had to rely on text messages sent from the sidelines.

To think!  We’d have to actually wait for someone to tell us something!   Or find out like,  the next day!

The horror.



It being October and all,  there wasn’t a whole lot of activity on Sturgeon Lake.  Those who like to fish are a pretty diehard lot and I say, “more power to ya!”  

I don’t even fish when it’s warm out.



We did occupy those chairs for a good couple hours on Sunday.  It was *almost* shorts weather.  But not quite.

No bugs.  Brilliant sunshine.



Saw this cute little cruiser.  Made out to look like a tugboat.

Oh, and there were a few houseboats out.  I guess the rates are deeply discounted. 

Didn’t manage to get a picture of a houseboat. 

Oh well.


We also managed to get over to Peterborough to visit someone whom we hadn’t seen in almost a decade.  Didn’t take any pictures,  but we promised to try and stay in touch a little better.  It can be a challenge,  but there’s The Book of Face and such,  so we’ll need try a little harder from now on.  Sucks to lose touch with folks.

The only reason that I mention this is,  we then came down the 115 to the 401,  which is not our normal route,  only to discover that the traffic was truly dreadful.  Pretty sure I came to a complete stop on at least a couple occasions.

So when we hit “Brock Road” in Whitby,  it was a no brainer to head up to the toll road and cruise on home.

I’ve grumbled in the past about the price you pay to use that toll road,  but sometimes (well, most times) it’s worth the extravagant cost to get you home.   I don’t think I slowed to less than 130 k.p.h the whole way.  The speed limit is 100 k.p.h.,  but my theory is,  the OPP are all busy on the other roads,  due to the amount of congestion,  and the “idiot factor”. 

Let me explain the “idiot factor”,  as it relates to any road where you DON’T have to pay a toll.   It’s like this,  for the most part,  the idiots are not willing to pay.  That’s it.  It’s that simple.  Or maybe, I’m amongst a special breed of idiots that is willing to pay?  Suffice to say that, the folks on the toll road are the ones who have made a conscious effort to be there, and are willing to pay for the privilege. 


Meanwhile back here at the ranch,  Muggins here has gone back to work.  I’m wearing them down,  but I still have a ways to go.



Takes me almost as long to prep a piece as it does to put some finish on.  Plus of course,  I ain’t got a whole heap of swingin’ room.  But I’ll manage.

I might go out later tonight and see if I can maybe do one more.  We’ll see.

Tomorrow after Breakfast Babes,  T.C.  and I are off to London (no, not to visit the Queen,  the other London) to visit my sister,  who is in Ontario to see her son and her grand kids. 

I’ll try and take a pic or two.


Keep those sticks on the ice,  and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Programmed to say YES.

Well,  in this case anyway.

There was a call. 

I love “call display”,  but of course,  if I don’t know who is calling,  even after seeing the name,  then sometimes it’s still a mystery.

Somebody named Douglas Armstrong. 

Wracking my pea brain, trying to figure out if I know this person.  Well,  turns out there was a message from T.C.’s “knee Doctor”.  Ah!  Doctor Armstrong.

I called back.


And no,  I didn’t say,  “Hey,  can I speak to Dougie?”

What I did say was, whatever it is,  we’re in! 

So,  even though this blog is not really about T.C., (she bristles when I talk about her)  she’s getting a knee fixed in November.  She said she’d really prefer to get them both done at the same time (*shudder*) but they won’t do that.  But, we’ve gone from being on the list,  to now getting ready.

Put it this way, I’m a far cry from an ex-ray technician,  but even I could see that both her knee joints are bone on bone.  Painful like you wouldn’t believe.

And the reason I was programmed to say “yes”?  Well,  the doctor’s office had called once before,  and the message wasn’t properly identified as a,  “you’ve just been bumped up the list” kind of message.  So we missed out.  That wasn’t going to happen again.

So that’s that.  It’s in November,  so when the time approaches,  I may speak of it.

Unless I’m already in trouble for bringing it up just now of course.

I figure that, once she gets both knees fixed,  I really will be in trouble.  Only of a different kind. 
You know,  hours of shopping.  Traipsing all over Europe. 

Since we didn’t do nearly enough traipsing when we lived there.  


Cross that bridge when we come to it.


Meanwhile,  yes the windows did arrive on Tuesday.  It’s a bit crowded in the garage,  let’s just say.


They’re mostly all wonky shapes,  since they have to fit up in the “veranda”.  The big one there on the left of the bottom picture is one of two for sister-in-law’s place.  We’re hoping the weather holds for a few more days,  so I can get that one installed.  I’m not overly concerned about the front of our place,  (the “veranda”)  since it’s not a heated space,  and if it comes right down to it,  I can secure the new windows in place,  and come back in the spring to foam them in.   We’ll see.

As you can well imagine,  there will be no other work going on while I’m putting finish on these windows. 



I have to step outside to change my mind.  There’s a joke in there somewhere.


Oh,  and the cement pad came out just fine.  Thanks.



I took some of the stuff we had left over and threw it in around the parameter.  I’ll cover it with dirt.  When I have a spare minute.


In spite of,  or maybe because of all of this crapola that I have to get done,  we’re going away for the weekend.  Ha!

It’s the Weekend Thanksgiving at a Cottage Program,  which was something that we did last year,  as you may recall.  Kinda hoping the weather is a little bit better than last year,  as it rained for most of the time that we were there. 

We’ll take what we get I suppose, but I’m taking rain gear just in case.

Between ping-pong and crokinole tournaments,  I’m sure we won’t care.  And this time I just might go in the hot tub.  Not a big fan of hot tubs,  to be honest.


See you on the flip side,  and thanks for stopping by.



Monday, October 6, 2014

Thought I heard something.

I suppose I could have done that, “Do you hear what I hear,” thing, but it’s too soon for *that* season.

No,  I’m talking about a kerfuffle just outside my window here.

Seems our grapes are just a wee bit too much to resist.

We thought there might be some clumsy guys in fur coats up there mucking about.  That lamp has been off kilter on more than one occasion.




This was about a minute before I turned the hose on them.

And THEN,  they came back.  Oy!  There’s more water in that hose boys!   And you’re just lucky we ain’t back on the farm.  Hard to miss from 10 feet away,  and I’m a crack shot.

But anyway,  I think they might have decided that there are better things on the menu farther afield that doesn’t involve getting a shower.  

Or two.




Is that mean?   Meh,  I don’t care.

Now,  speaking of the hose,  I think I mentioned that we were going to be pouring some concrete today.


Daughter Number Two and Hubby were here,  so she took a bunch of photos.  I’ll likely stick them on the Book of Face.  May as well.



The discovery was made that,  concrete is indeed heavy. 

I was schooling “Grasshopper” in the ways of trundling concrete.  Every man should know how to do this, is what I say.


No,  that’s not “Grasshopper”.  That’s my nephew.

And he was the only one of the three of us who didn’t break a sweat,  even though he had just come off the night shift.  He’s a member of the Burlington Fire Department,  and basically can work circles around me.


I started out with a jacket on.

Ha!  That didn’t last long.



Getting in under the cantilevered back step was a bit of a challenge.



Anyhoodle,  I’ve since taken my forms off,  tidied up the edges,  and back filled about two thirds of that mount of extra mix we had left over. 

I had sent the message back to the truck that we were just about done,  but there was still a couple wheel barrow loads in the chute apparently.

No matter,  the minimum charge was for a cubic meter, (used to be “yards”,  I know.  I still call it yards.  I’m old.)

which was why I made the form plenty deep,  with just a bunch of rubble on the bottom layer.

I’ll need to head out at some point to pick up enough material to built a new set of steps,  and then we can start using the back door again. 

Pain in the a$$ having to go out around the building to get into the garage.


I’ve attempted to install a link to ALL the photos my daughter took this morning.  Here.


The new windows for the upstairs space are arriving tomorrow morning.  (Another delivery at eight a.m.)  I’ll try and have the camera at the ready.


Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 3, 2014

How I spend my time.

Nothing terribly exciting,  trust me.

It all revolves around trying to get it all done before the weather “closes in”.  Which is something that it does,  unless you get to leave it behind and head off to some place “in the south”.  We don’t do dat.

Anyway,  for my sister-in-law’s 80th birthday,  we all decided to step up to the plate and do a little work on her house.  A “little work” he sez.  *snort*

There’s painting,  windows,  chimney repair.  I’m in there.  On most fronts.  Her son did most of the work repointing the chimney (it was heaps easier than mine,  I hired someone)


So all it needs now is a coating on the cap,  and it should be in good shape once again. 

Then there’s the inside.

For a couple days now I’ve been installing trim in the family room.  I guess that’s what it’s called.  It’s on the lower level of a side split.  Whatever.

We don’t actually remember how many years it’s been since there has been trim there.  At one point,  a new floor was installed,  and that was the extent of it.  The trim either got lost or whatever.  So I bought some new stuff.

It’s a pretty nice oak trim from a local lumber supply place.  Not Home Despot, coincidentally.


Not going to tell you how this is done,  but anytime there might be issues with any undulation of the floor,  or unevenness of the walls,  it’s usually a good idea to also put in quarter round. 

Plus of course,  there’s this thing called a “coped joint”.  There are no inside mitres.  Mitres can open up over time.  Not good.



There’s a lengthier explanation here.

Except I didn’t use a coping saw, but instead use a jig saw.  Hence the masking tape.  Otherwise the finish might get scratched.

It’s a bit time consuming,  to say the least.  But that part is done.  I have to figure out what to do at the bottom of the stairs.  There was a bit of a space left around the bottoms of the stringers when the cork flooring was installed.  I’ll get back to it.

So,  this mostly involved having to set up outside,  which meant that there were a couple days there when it was simply either raining,  or threatening to.  That doesn’t work.

To fill my time,  I decided to tear off our back steps!   They were getting a bit wobbly.  So I decided to have at it.


Maybe the pictures can tell a little story.





Now,  if you studied all the pics,  you might have figured out that something else was going on here.  Well yes,  we’ll be pouring concrete on Monday morning.

Yay me.

That little orange do jiggy is a laser level.  It’s kinda cool.  Christmas present one year.  It gets put into service every so often.  You just never know.

I just make sure I remove the batteries when it’s in storage.  Remember the flash incident?  We don’t want to repeat that sad tale.

It would be kinda cool to have the “weekend off”,  but there was a call this afternoon from Clegg Glass,  and my two thermopanes are being delivered tomorrow morning at sister-in-laws place.  

Oh yes,  there are window issues. 

That’s a whole other story,  and I’m at my word count limit, even if it’s an imaginary one. 

So that’s that.


Stay tuned. 


Thanks for looking.