Monday, January 26, 2015

So much for that trend.

There’s that moment when you’ve said something,  and you then later regret it ever having passed your lips?  I don’t mean saying something nasty to someone.  I’ve tried to curtail that sort of thing over the last say, couple decades.

Otherwise there’s the “post visit debriefing”.  No guy likes one of those.  You know,  when the conversation starts out with, “You shouldn’t have said….(fill in the blank).”

No, I’m talking about saying things like,  “Well, I sure don’t mind that there’s been no snow so far this winter.”  “Nyuk nyuk.”

Feeling all smug.

That kind of thing.  Best to just shut up and move on.

It’s almost like “jinxing” it.  Or at least that’s what it feels like.  I know for sure that we never comment on how “well” we’re doing when on the race course.  That’s an absolute no-no.  There’s the sense that,  just as soon as you say something to that effect,  the head sail will totally rip right in half.  Or something equality terrifying and/or game ending will take place. 

Curious bit of human behaviour, yes?


Anyway,  we’re getting it.

And we’re only on the very edge.  This is just Lake Effect stuff.



There was just a light dusting earlier this morning,  which is why we figured the cleaning lady (don’t like that term, but there it is) would certainly be on her way.  

She didn’t make it.  Comes in from Hamilton.  There was no snow there.  There’s no snow just to the East of us.  We just happen to be right in its path.



Of course,  we didn’t know that earlier this morning,  and since neither of us like to be here when she’s here doing her thing, we opted to go out for breakfast.

Actually,  Travelling Companion figured she’d hide out in her sewing room,  but then remembered that she had a conference call at 10:00 a.m.   So fine,  after breakfast I dropped her off at The Company that Cannot be Named.

For breakfast, we thought we’d get away from the usual fare of eggs in some form or other,  and decided to have pancakes.


OK,  this is the amount of pancakes we had left over AFTER we had had our fill.


When our server brought them out,  neither of us quite knew what to say.  Was the cook using up the batter?  Was it because I had said that whoever was on the grill on Mondays was maybe using a little too much oil?  This is my regular Wednesday morning place of breakfast,  so I’m not going to not say something, but that was the other reason we thought we’d shy away from eggs.  Last time we were there on a Monday,  our cheese omelettes were a wee bit too greasy.  

I’ve never been one to turn away food,  or complain about getting too much.  I mean,  who does that?  Are ya mental?

Besides,  yer payin’ for it Dummy,  just take it home.

So fine,  I had a couple more pancakes when I got home at around 11:00.   Only this time with real maple syrup. We were given Aunt Jemima to put on our pancakes.  Meh, no big deal, but there is certainly a big difference between actual maple syrup and Aunt Jemima.  Sorry for those of you who think there’s some possible similarity,  but you’re just wrong.

The bottle had the modern version of Aunt Jemima and everything.


Aunt Jemima buttermilk 

I couldn’t seem to find a decent image to pilfer.  She doesn’t wear the dew rag anymore. Did you know that?

Too offensive? 

Aunt Jemima dew rag

Just needed a make-over?


When you see some of the older renditions, that’s when you really start to feel yourself make that painful face.


Aunt Jemima poor grammar

Oh dear. 

Sad to say,  my dear ole Pappy could do a pretty good imitation of someone with those particular qualifications (I’m treading on thin ice here).  Shall we say, grammar skills? 

I would just cringe whenever he’d start to imitate what he considered to be a perfect rendition of a “person of colour”. 

Different generation. 

Different…moral compass?

Probably why he really got a kick out of All in the Family.  I felt sorry for Edith.  And Meathead. 

I do realise that it was a show to poke fun at the likes of Archie Bunker,  but I’m afraid that message went right over the head of many viewers.  Including my dear ole Pappy.   Poor sap.  


Anyway,  let’s not get all maudlin.  Or sentimental.  The snowstorm could be depressing enough.  

See what I did there?  It’s a depression?  Huh huh?




OK I’ll stop now.


Keep your powder dry.


Thanks for looking.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

And the days go by.

Not too darned much happening these days here at the Ponderosa.  Of course,  I have any number of projects that I should be tackling,  but being the procrastinator that I am,  you can guess the rest.

In my defence,  I’d like to have most, if not all of the hardware on hand before I start the next big one,  which will be a built in cabinet at the end of the dining room.  I haven’t quite finalized the design just yet, although I did drop off a part of the dining room table with a piece of birch plywood at the local Sherwin-Williams,  with instructions to match that stain, and to “take their time”,  since I want it to be right.   And no,  I didn’t cut out a chunk of the dining room table,  each of the leaves have hinged aprons.  I removed one.

This one will take me a little while,  and I’ll likely post some nonsense here, just for something to do.  Plus, sometimes it’s useful (if that’s the correct term) to be able to go back and look at the these kinds of things.

‘Cause you know,  I got CRS.

For example,  once upon a time I replaced the countertop up at sister-in-law’s place.   Do you think I remember ever doing that?  I was reminded of that little deed a few months ago,  or maybe it was at Christmas. I don’t remember.  My answer was, “I did?”   And I thought to myself,  “Well, at least I did a half decent job”.   There were a couple mitre cuts involved, I do seem to recall doing that. 

Oh,  and speaking of sister-in-law’s place,  today was the day that Travelling Companion thought she’d take her turn at the wheel.  She hasn’t been driving since her knee replacement,  and figured she might just try driving a short distance, just to see how it went.  She just returned home after a visit of an hour or so,  and it was fine.  I’m now no longer the designated Chauffeur although, whenever there’s the two of us in the car,  Muggins here is usually at the wheel.

Lemme see.  What else?

Well, we did have some practise chilli the other day.


This is in light of the upcoming Super Bowl festivities.  Or something like that.  We won’t be the ones supplying the chilli,  but I suppose it’s good to know just what kind of *ahem*, results one might expect after consuming this sort of food.  The results for me were a tad on the smelly side,  but I think that was because I had had a sandwich earlier in the day,  and maybe the meat was starting to turn? That’s my story.  That’s all I got.  When we had it the second day, (because you can see that we’re using the big crock pot,  and not the new little one) I didn’t experience the same sort of, *ahem* “issues”.  Which is why I’m going with the meat story.

Remains to be seen if I’ll have any friends left after the Super Bowl party.  Stay tuned.


Oh so,  I rambled off topic there for a bit.  I wanted to mention one of the things I had to do in prep for the next project,  and that was finding a place for and moving the curio cabinet.



Just over to the other side of the first floor. 

Eventually all the crystal will end up in the built-in,  and that curio will find a home elsewhere.   I made it a number of years ago,  and basically it was beyond the skill set that I had at the time, the result of which is,  I really don’t like it.

From this distance it looks fine,  but there are so many issues, it’s not funny.  I don’t want to even go there.


I guess I should mention that T.C. bought herself a new gizmo yesterday.   She was playing around with it this morning.  I may have to fabricate a new table top for her.  We’ll see.



It’s pretty awesome.  There’s a website here.  

Anyhoodle,  she had a serger,  and was considering the purchase of a second machine that did some additional function, (something to do with a “wave stitch”)  and instead traded her old one for this thing. It does both functions.  I think the lady at the store was somewhat pleasantly surprised that we still had the original box, and had packed it up before bringing it in,  but we’re kind of funny that way. 

And I should confess,  I briefly had the thought that I’d throw that box out at one point after we moved back from Austria,  but I was overruled.  Fine.  Sometimes I get a little carried away with throwing sh*t out.  Plus, I figured we were “done” when it came to buying sewing machines and such. 

How naive.


I guess that’s it.

Hope winter is being kind to you.  We’ve had absolutely no snow here, and I’m not really missing it.  So sorry for all you skiers and your ilk.  You’ll need to go farther north. 


Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

We’re back to this I see.

And I’m not talking about the temperature.  It’s still cold.  I’ll suck it up.

I *tried* to get down to the lake early enough to capture the sun as it was still closer to the horizon,  something I had seen after taking Travelling Companion up to the Company that Cannot be Named.    The sunrise was quite nice.  I missed it.

No matter how expeditiously I hustled,  the sun was already fairly high in the sky.  I normally have motivational issues (read: I’m lazy) when it comes to getting myself down there at the crack of dawn for what could possibly be a spectacular sunrise,  this will have to do.



One of these days I just might make the effort.  Or not.

Don’t hold your breath.

No,  what I’m referring to is the ongoing inability of the mail carrier type folks to actually read the numbers on a piece of mail and drop it off at the correct location. 

At some point in mid 2013 (it was warm weather is all I remember) I managed to catch the mailman just after he had dropped off the wrong mail.  He was opening the green mail-drop-off box thingy out at the corner here,  and I handed him his offering,  at which point he intimated that this was some sort of rare occurrence. I don’t remember his exact words.

Really? That wasn’t going to fly.

MY exact words I do remember. 

“Oh no,  this has been going on for twenty years.  And poor old ‘Mr. X’  (he’ll remain anonymous for the sake of this little diatribe) is getting too old to delivery my mail to me.  And I’m getting tired of dropping off his.”

Mail person Dude didn’t have much to say, except “oh”.

What can you say, “Er um,  I guess I’m dyslexic?”


Either that or they sort the mail in the dark.  I’m not sure.  Actually,  it’s just off by one number.  We’re 5383.  It needs to go to 5483,  *sigh*

After that little confrontation, we’ve had a pretty good run of a couple years of correct mail delivery.  It seems the run is over.

The “Woman’s Day” was today’s first clue.  And I haven’t received anything from The Publishers Clearing House in like….forever.  Thankfully.

Nor do I particularly want to start getting anything from them.  Because then it never stops.  Kind of like the calls from The Clothesline, who call us up way too often looking for used clothing.  They must think we go out every single month and replace our entire wardrobe.  I don’t get it.  On the one hand,  I don’t mind helping out,  but could you give me maybe six months or so?  Maybe then I could come up with something.  Honestly.


So I guess I’ll be taking a drive by “Mr. X’s” house when I go out to pick up T.C. 

And they wonder why folks are using less and less snail mail.

I also wonder what mail he has of ours. 


Guess we’ll find out.


Sticks.  Ice. 

You know.


Thanks for lookin’.


And yes,  there really IS a big NFL Picks Wheel in the basement.  I lied yesterday. 

No really.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lovely day.

And no,  I’m not being a jerk.  It really is a lovely day.  Or at least sunny.  It’s still a wee bit on the cold side,  but I mostly expect that,  as we’re in The Great White North.  Sort of.  Farther south than parts of Northern California, but we won’t split hairs.

Now yesterday?  Only if you were a penguin.  Because it was bitterly cold out.  Like,  wind blowing,  bone chilling cold.

Had to drive along the lakeshore for some reason (Oh,  shopping,  that was it.  Gotta eat) and I noticed how cool it looked out over the lake.  Had to go back for the camera.

Therefore I give you the following:




Those are Canada geese out there.  Too dumb to fly south?




No really,  what are they thinking?


Click on any picture to enlarge.  It’ll open in a new window. 


And I wanna tell ya,  I didn’t stay there too long.  I was bundled up really well,  but I could feel the cold starting to seep in.


Oh, and of course, the park is part of the “Waterfront Trail”,  which is this half hearted effort to try and link up the entire lakeshore trail system.  It didn’t really pan out,  since some of the “Richie Richardsons”  in various locations,  took exception to having folks meander along in front of their posh houses.  I suppose I understand.  They paid a lot of money to have that lake view.  Not a problem we have at The Ponderosa.

As a matter of fact,  this is the first time I think I’ve EVER gone down to the lake at the bottom of our street.  Just never bothered. Which is why I was surprised that there was this breakwater out there.


I showed Daughter Number Two and she said,  “Oh ya,  they put that in when you guys were in Vienna.”  Really? I guess I missed that memo.  They’re not quite done yet,  since I noticed that there are the bases for light standards along the side,  but no lights.  Wonder when that will happen. Not holding my breath.

The other day I mentioned my little “chat” with an individual from Amazon?  Well,  I got a note saying my refund had been processed!

I know my “recipient” did say she’s send it back at the first of the week, but I thought that was pretty darned quick.  Of course,  I’m never completely convinced until I see our credit card get credited.  “Credit” in that sense is when you “get” the money.  “Debit” is when it’s taken away.  That’s the extent of my vast accounting knowledge.  Hey, I’ve been known to slave over the odd P & L back in the day, (back in the pre-computer era) but that was nursery rhymes compared to the complicated stuff T.C. used to dig into.  I couldn’t even begin to understand that.


Meanwhile,  the Crock Pot that we ordered for ourselves arrived today.  Intact.


It’s a little guy,  just for two people.  We have a bigger one,  which we use from time to time,  but usually only when there’s company, or we’re feeding a mob.  The left overs go on for too many days if we use the big one for just the two of us.

I thought maybe I’d rinse out the insert,  put some water in it,  and make sure it works before taking away the packaging.  We’re good.  At least if I have to send stuff back from here,  I know whose address to put on the return thingy.

We’ll be trying it out in the next few days I would imagine.


I guess that’s all I got.  I might take a few minutes and give the big “NFL wheel of picks” a spin.  I don’t really have a wheel,  but that method would pretty much sum up the way I’ve been making picks all season.  It’s worked so far.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for lookin’.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Like wrestling an alligator.

Only without the teeth.  And the squirming.

Well let’s face it, I’ve never wrestled anything, so I have no idea.

Oh wait.

Except for one guy way back in grade nine.  We’re talking 1972 here.  Poor bugger was in my “weight class”,  but was about a foot shorter than I, with stubby little arms.  Pinning him was easy peasy.  And no,  I was not going to be on the school’s wrestling team. 

As if.

They asked.  I quickly shot down that idea.

It’s like phys ed teachers are forever trolling for suckers.  Bad enough that phys ed was mandatory for both grades nine and ten.  You could drop it in the later grades, but of course that was when they did cool things like golf.   Yes.  Golf.  What the hell?

Way to make up an enticing program for all the newbies in grade nine.  Like I want to do wrestling or *shudder* gymnastics.  You could get hurt!  Let me go out and learn to swing a golf club!  That’s a true “life skill”.

Speaking of which,  that was the same poor bugger who broke his tibia while trying to do some sort of flip.  AND the idiot phys ed teacher (yes, I said “idiot”) was going to move him to the nurse’s room.  I distinctly remember saying, “I heard it snap!”.  

I said it quite forcefully,  I seem to recall.  No wonder that teacher never liked me much.  

Pretty sad when a dim-witted little grade nine such as yours truly, had a better understanding of the limitations of a feller’s leg bone than the highly edumacated teacher type person.

They went and got a gurney.  Stubby was off for a couple days and sure enough,  he showed up on crutches sporting a cast with yup,  a broken tibia.

I’m not going to name teacher names.  He’s not dead yet.  I’m sure I’ll never know.


But hey,  yesterday’s theme was dumb people.  We should really move on.



Today was get the kids new rug out of our dining room day.

Which meant I once again had to get it into the Merc.  Thankfully son-in-law muscled it up the full flight of stairs to their place.


Pets are always highly intrigued by new smelly things.  Especially “Puck”,  their ADHD cat.

Well,  I say he’s ADHD,  but then maybe that’s just the way of cats.  It’s possible. 

He’s a little….different.


There were instructions.  The first one of which was for the dog,  telling him to get OFF the rug for just a minute or two.  Not an easy thing to explain to a dog.  “You can come back in a minute,  but for now take a hike!”  He actually knew what to do.


Then of course, there’s the dummy.  I mean,  ADHD cat.


He likes to chew on plastic.  He doesn’t seem to eat it.  Just chew it.  Allegedly.



Then of course,  he lost interest in the plastic and chose to sniff every square inch of the new rug.  Like,  for the next half hour or so.

Didn’t take him long to once again lose interest, and head off for a nap in the dog’s crate.  Not sure what’s going on there.  A safe place?  Trying to annoy the dog?  Both are possibilities. (He’s not really that dumb.)

All that rug sniffing is HARD WORK for a cat.

I didn’t take a photo.

Speaking of wrestling things out the door,  Saturday we decided was the day to take down and turf out the tree.

I have a regular routine.  I wrap it up in an old curtain and haul it out that way.  I’ve never been overly keen to fill up the vacuum with all the needles that are ready to fall off at that point. 



Only problem is,  I’ve been out of the school system for so long, that my old curtains are starting to come apart.  In several places.  I may have to resort to a tarp next year. 

The tree is already at the curb,  and will be picked up next week by the region.  They mulch them up and add them to the big pile of dirt that they offer back to residents each year in the form of rich soil/compost.  Free.  You just have to show up with some means of carting it off.  It’s kind of a cool idea really.  They explain it on one of their webpages.


OK,  now I’m just starting to ramble.  That’s a good indication that I’m “empty”.  Still hanging in there in the NFL pool.  Gawd only knows how I managed that one.  We’ll see what next week brings.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

There are some dummies out there.

I can’t let this go.

So, as many of us do from time to time,  we order stuff “on the line”.  I do tend to swear by it.  I mean,  we had one package arrive Christmas Eve day.

That was a nail biter,  but the retailer in question came through.  The more amazing part of that transaction was that,  it was The Hudson’s Bay Company.  Who knew?

Anyway,  I suppose there’s bound to be the odd miss-step so to speak,  and last week there was just such a minor issue.  The package arrived at the intended recipients door a couple days ago,  but today I was told that it was busted.  So back it had to go.

Well,  Amazon ( by the way,  not  has a whole procedure for this sort of thing,  and I’ve sent back stuff from here before with relative ease.   This was a bit different.  Nowhere in the return policy could I find the proper answer when it came to just whose name should be on the return label.  Probably I should know better,  but there was a question from the recipient,  and it caught me off guard.  So,  rather than waiting for a phone call,  or getting an email,  I chose the option to “Chat”  with someone from Amazon.

Here’s how it went.   You may wish to visit the facilities at this point.  Just saying.

Oh,  I’ve put the whole message in italics,  with the exception of bits I might have added later,  either for your amusement,  or to redact the information.

Fill yer boots.


Live Chat

End ChatSound

You are now connected to Kishore from

Me:  Howdy. OK so, sent an item as a gift to a relative in the Ottawa area. (I'm in Burlington, outside of Toronto). Arrived Thursday afternoon, she opened it and discovered it's broken. Crock pot, they're ceramic it seems. They break.

So, she's printed off her return label, but is unsure of whether she should put in her (the recipient's) address, or mine. I've been scouring the "return policy" jargon and it's just not jumping out at me. Maybe it's not that important? She said she'll try and send it off tomorrow or the next day. Let me know, if you could please.

Kishore: Hello, my name is Kishore. I'll be happy to help you.

Me: I'm right here, just a-waiting the answer.:)

Kishore: I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you regarding this issue.

I'll help you in resolving this issue.

Could you please help me with the order number?

Me: Meh, no needs for apologies, one sec for the order number...


702-xxxxxx-xxxxxx.  (Blogland doesn’t need to know that)

Kishore: Just to confirm that, are you a recipient or the sender?

Me: I'm the sender.

I think we’re at the precipice of the “Rabbit Hole” at this particular moment,  just so you know.


Kishore: Can you please help me with the recipient complete e-mail address?

Me: Um well. *alarm bells*  It wasn't part of the original transaction, why did you want to contact her?? I'm not in the habit of giving out third party email addresses, if you know what I mean.

Kishore: Not to contact her, Robert. *no really? liar.*  Since this is a gift item I just want to confirm the e-mail address of the recipient.

Me: I can give you her street address, how's that?

Kishore: Just to confirm that, now the item was with you or the recipient?

Me: OK seriously? I'll just copy and paste my original query.   *copy*   *paste*

Howdy. OK so, sent an item as a gift to a relative in the Ottawa area. (I'm in Burlington, outside of Toronto). Arrived Thursday afternoon, she opened it and discovered it's broken. Crock pot, they're ceramic it seems. They break.

So, she's printed off her return label, but is unsure of whether she should put in her (the recipient's) address, or mine. I've been scouring the "return policy" jargon and it's just not jumping out at me. Maybe it's not that important? She said she'll try and send it off tomorrow or the next day. Let me know, if you could please.

*end of repeated message*


Does that clear it up?

SHE just wants to know WHOSE address to put on the return label. Hers our ours (mine) Just let me know. I'll wait right here.

Starting to fume ever so slightly….

Kishore: Thanks for the confirmation, Robert. I'm checking on this for you.

Thanks for the patience.

This is the address which you have to mention in the return label.

*I’ve also removed the address,  for the sake of it not being out there in Blog land.


Me: AH! There we go! THAT'S what I needed to know. Have a nice day.

Kishore: That's very kind of you, Robert.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.

You're welcome. Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Are we connected, Robert?

We've been idle for 3 minutes, so I want to make sure our chat's still connected. If you aren't able to respond in 2 minutes, I'll need to close the chat.

*long pause,  while I send off a note to ‘the recipient’*

Me:  No, I'm done. Just contacted *the recipient* to let her know what to do. Thanks. Enjoy your day.

OK,  a couple things:

I’m pretty sure that “Kishore” is on a “distant shore” somewhere.  There were some definite comprehension issues going on there,  along with some repeated catch phrases. Well,  either that, or I’ll refer you to the title of this entry.

Not to mention the mining of email addresses, but maybe they’re trained to do that.  How can you “confirm” something that never was??  Jaysus.

I probably should have opted for the phone call.  Might have had someone call me from this continent. 


Other than that little interaction with the outside world,  it’s actually ABOVE FREEZING outside.  Like, by a couple degrees.   AND,  the sun actually came out earlier today.

Alert the media!

Mind you,  like a fool I looked at the temperature yesterday in Vienna,  and it was 18°C.  I have it set to come up automatically on the Window 8 desktop platform thingy.  It was considerably colder here.  I was sorry I looked.

Seems silly to torture myself with what is essentially useless information.


I might just go off now and catch the tail end of a football game.  Me watching the game never seems to change the outcome however.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Merry Christmas!

No really.  And no, I don’t smoke that stuff anymore. 

It’s January 7th,  which is Christmas in some parts.   Don’t get me started on how December 25 actually started out as a pagan celebration.  Something called Saturnalia,  although that particular article has a definite slant to it,  you may notice.

(psst, you may have to actually do some *reading*, OMG!)


So ya,  Merry Christmas.  As good a day as any.  If anything,  in the Latin Countries, yesterday was celebrated as Three Kings Day, on which presents were given.  Makes more sense,  as there were gifts given by the three Wise Guys.  Right?  But let’s not go down that road.

Other than that,  it’s just another Wednesday here at the Ponderosa.  I suppose it’s time to dismantle the Christmas tree,  but hauling the storage boxes out of the attic right around now is definitely going to involve suiting up.   It be cold up there.

Which is exactly what it should be.  If it’s comfortably warm in the attic during these frigid times,  then we have a problem.

I don’t even want to talk about how cold it is.


Got a call to go and pick up an area rug for Daughter Number Two today.  It was supposed to be a Christmas present.   Hey,  came in time for the orthodox one,  if that counts for anything.  There we go, let’s go with that.  Merry Christmas!



We didn’t unfurl it,  since it’s not staying here,  and we’d only have to roll it up again.  I managed to shove it into the car with very little difficulty.

See,  it’s sort of under the tree and everything.


Yesterday Travelling Companion announced that she wanted “February Chicken” for dinner tonight.   It’s really breaded chicken,  but we got in the habit of calling in February Chicken,  since the order of preparation is Flour, Egg,  and then Bread crumbs. 

Sometimes Bob needs retrieval cues.  Bob has CRS.  You likely know about that one.



Involves browning in oil (corn oil is the preferred lubricant) and then baking in the oven at around 350°F for maybe forty minutes or so. 

I say “around” 350, since our oven is kinda wonky.  And I don’t really keep too close an eye on the time.

Until it’s cooked.  That’s all.


This btw, is what it looks like before going into the oven.


There was a suggestion to bake some potato wedges,  but I went with slices instead.  Such a rebel.


I just realised I didn’t take an “after” picture.  We ate the evidence.  Anyway,  some salt and pepper,  maybe some green stuff like Oregano, drizzled with some light olive oil,  shake them up in some sort of sealable container and bake along with the chicken. Not on the same tray mind you.  Forty minutes. 

Maybe.  Until they’re cooked.  Like that.

Probably why we didn’t eat until eight o’clock.   I haven’t a clue how long things should take.

Well,  actually I sorta do,  I just didn’t get started in a timely fashion.

Didn’t play the Saxomophone at all today,  but maybe I’ll go down later and honk away until I break into a sweat.

Damned exciting stuff,  I know.


Hope you’re warm,  wherever you are.  It’s warm *here*.  Sitting at the computer I mean. 


Keep those sticks on the ice*.


Thanks for stopping by.


*Except maybe if you were the coach of the Leafs,  then you might be thinking more in terms of spiffing up your resume.



Monday, January 5, 2015

Why it’s called a Wind Instrument.

Never thought of it before,  but after not even a half hour on the thing, I’m “winded”.  


I was even starting to sweat a little,  and considering that it’s not even all that warm downstairs, that’s going some.

Even though I’m not overly keen on “New Years Resolutions”,  I’ve decided that come hell or high water, I’m going to try and play that damned thing at least a half hour a day.  Until at least I can do it without wishing for sweet death.  Gah! 

It’s been over 30 years since I put one down for the last time,  and I just thought I’d maybe torture myself a little.


Anyway,  speaking of wind…

She’s a cold one out there. 

Baby it's cold.

Not that I was out for very long,  but we were running out of coffee.  Yikes!  Can’t have that!   I stocked up before Christmas and well,  we went through it.

I suppose I could break down and brew some coffee,  but I like my single serving situation.

If they only had underground parking at Costco.  That would be awesome.  Bit of a wind chill thing going on there.

Mind you, not to be outdone,  it’s naturally colder in the Prairies.


As I type this,  Daughter Number One is headed that way for a couple site meetings.  Thankfully it doesn’t involve hard hats and safety boots,  or being out of doors for very long at all.   She’s seeing to a couple bank renos out there,  as she’s an Interior Designer and has the lovely job of sometimes helping the General Contractors read and understand what her firm has very kindly laid out for them.  We hear some fun stories.   People be dumb some times.

Oh and,  “Interior Designer”  should not be confused with “Interior Decorator”,  although she does have a pretty good eye for that too.   Funny thing, back when she went to college for her ticket, (degree, whatever) all the well coiffed ladies were dropping like flies in her first year of study when they suddenly had to start learning first the building code, then the electrical code and so on.   It’s not just about having a “good sense of colour”,  as some of their well coiffed girlfriends were too happy to tell them.  I can just hear them saying, “Oh,  you should take interior design!”   Right.   The judicious use of “throw pillows”  doesn’t quite cut it.

Mind you,  the glamour of travelling to Winterpeg does start to wear off in a hurry.

Kind of like when Travelling Companion got to fly to Morges, Switzerland, among other exotic locales.  When told of such exploits,  folks would ‘oohh’,  and ‘aah’,  but after the first half dozen times or so, the bloom falls off that rose in a hurry.


Oh,  and there’s yet one more wind segue.  One of the windbags in Ottawa got demoted!   Of course,  if he got fired,  that would have been even better, but it’s too much of an “Old Boys Club” for that to happen.

Julian Fantino demoted.


Commons 20140130

Turns out our American friends don’t exactly have the market cornered when it comes to useless twits in government.  We got our share,  now let me tell ya.

As one commenter on a website offered, “Different puppet,  same strings”.  This was in reference to his replacement.  On him I have no comment.


For those of you not quite in the know,  the “Honourable” Mr. Fantino was the Minister of Veterans Affairs.   Unfortunately,  under his 18 month tenure,  it became quite obvious that he had the PR skills of a mountain goat.

I love that term “Honourable”.  *snort*! 

As if.   Just do a search on that guy.  There are all kinds of articles outlining just how much he is despised by all the veterans from coast to coast.


OK,  fingers are getting chilly sitting here.  Need to stoke the furnace.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

It just might be the time to clean out the fridge.

You know,  that moment when you look in and realise that you have very little desire to try and resurrect some week old little cheese cake thingies,  or maybe try and scrape off the mould from the hard cheese.  

Soft cheese no.  Hard cheese yes.  That’s what they say anyway, although I tend to look on any mouldy cheese as being suspect.

And actually,  the cheese was fine.  I’d prefer you not get the impression that we leave the cheese that long.

And it’s not all about the cheese.  I’m not hung up on cheese.  Really.

Thankfully Daughter Number Two came by with a dinner offering,  which was basically a straight swap with the leftovers we had saved for her and hubby from our Friday night “post New Years gathering”.   New Years was on a Wednesday,  so we chose to ignore it on the party end of things.  I was tucked into my bed well before midnight.  Trust me.

Which is not to say that I’ve never celebrated (or probably more accurately observed) New Years,  but it needs to be some place like Vienna or maybe Vegas.  We’ve ‘done’ both of them,  and won’t return.   Oh well,  and we ‘did’ Maui too I suppose.   Otherwise?  Meh, I’d just as soon go to bed.

“Party” is also a very loose definition as well these days.  There were no noise makers or party hats.  Not a chance.


Anyway, was I saying something?

There was Beef Bourguignon.  (Hey, we don’t have just crappy left overs!)



On a bed of basmati rice,  heated up in the microwave.  This is the version that Daughter Number Two brought over,  after her boss heard that Travelling Companion had made another version the other day.  Her Boss owns a place called Boffos.  Under their new ownership,  Noel and Heather at least have a web presence on The Book of Face.  I *think* they have a website,  but it didn’t come up.



I’ve added T.C.s in the second photo.  It’s a version that was done by Julia Childs.  You can have a look here.   Note the prep time is a total of six hours?   Um. Ya.

I think there are shorter versions,  truth be told.   AND,  the version that Daughter Number Two brought over was a really good alternative.  Sorry Julia.

And yes,  I added it, since we are in fact trying to clean out the fridge.  Except that we’re not going to start loading up our plates with everything that’s in there.  I need to be alive tomorrow.


I guess that’s all that’s in my pea brain this time around.  The snow melted again,  so that’s fine by me.  Actually,  at one point today the sun tried to come out.  Unfortunately it was raining at the time.  There’s a good chance we’ll have some crazy weather this winter.  We certainly had our share over the summer.


Keep those sticks on the ice.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It was bound to happen.

Our guests all flew the coop in good time this morning,  and that was a good thing.  The report back was that,  the nasty weather was avoided,  with the exception of the last half hour or so just outside of Ottawa.   Well,  really it’s Osgoode,  but let’s not split hairs.

The “nasty weather” I’m referring to is this cold wet snotty business that’s presently falling out of the sky.  I’d like to call it snow,  but it’s just warm enough to fall in big gobs.  Kind of like someone hanging a Loogie off the roof,  over and over again. 

Only cold.

That’s kinda gross, but at least that way you get my true meaning.


I decided I’d best get out there and clear off the slop,  before it decides to freeze again,  and make it worse.  Winter is such fun,  innit?

Not really.

We (well,  some of us) were reminiscing as to just exactly where we were at this precise time last year. 


I don’t want to talk about it.  It involved flying and airports after all.  Although the result was well worth it.  There’s a good chance we’ll get back to Maui again some day.  Probably not before T.C. gets her other knee fixed though. 

Speaking of which,  she’s doing quite well.  I mean,  the Christmas season seems to be fraught with an increase in activity that one normally should avoid when convalescing from surgery,  so that did mean that it would “get tight” more often than maybe it should have,  and she’d have to elevate the knee and apply ice.   She’s at the point now that she sometimes forgets where she’s left her cane.  In this house, I mean.  

Like that.


I’m only going to show one other picture I took within the last few days that will more or less sum up the activities.



Which is probably why we were each quite happy to mostly forego anything remotely akin to “dinner” this evening. 

Put it this way,  I received a really nice pair of jeans for Christmas,  and I’m very much tempted to take them back for something slightly bigger.  Chances of me getting skinnier in the very near future are pretty slim.

Erp, does that count as a pun?  Not sure.


With that I’ll bid you all a fine weekend.  Short but sweet.


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