Saturday, February 21, 2015

And here I did all that vacuuming.

Well, it’s something that needs to be done from time to time as it is,  and the somewhat perplexing thing is,  where does the dust come from?  

Anyhoodle,  we were going to have some guests for dinner today but alas,  we’re getting more… wait for it….snow.

Pardon the language.

We’d best not complain though,  since they’ve pretty much been having “Snowmageddon”  up and down the Eastern Seaboard.  Can’t say I have anything akin to “snow envy”. 

I’ve never been a big “snow person”. 

I mean,  I’ve tried down hill skiing.  Once.

Cross country skiing.  Once.

Now,  going out on a snow machine,  that was fun.  But I have no desire to have twenty grand worth of snow machines hanging around so we can then trek somewhere north to go out and try and not hit something.

And skating?  Meh,  I can stand up.  That’s about it.  Never did ‘take’ to it.



I’m sure you’d just as soon not see another picture of snow,  but it either gives you an opportunity to commiserate if you’re in the same snow belt,  or gloat if you’re somewhere warmer.  I’m reluctant to say “warm” and leave it at that,  since the cold seems to creep quite a ways south it seems. 

Didn’t they have snow in Florida?  Erp.


The week sort of went by.  Not too much to write home about.  Travelling Companion did have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday morning,  which was kind of akin to a visit to some sort of bizarro world. 

Actually,  the word that came to mind at the time was “Clusterf**k”,  but whatever.

I’ll try not to belabour the point,  but the first “waiting room”  isn’t.  It’s only where you check in.  THEN you have to wind your way down a somewhat narrow hallway (in my humble opinion) to get to “Waiting Room B”.  Not sure what the “B” stands for,  since I didn’t notice if the first area was “Waiting Room A”.  Maybe the “B” stands for Boredom?   The whole thing only took an hour, (*only*) with pretty much fifty minutes of that spent in the waiting area.  Seriously.

This is T.C.’s “Internist”.   Whatever the hell that means. 

Anyway,  she’s fine.  The blood thinner medication was off by a long shot,  so they changed that.  This was a slight oversight by our family doc,  but that’s another story.  I like the guy,  and we’ve had him since he came out of med school back in the early 80s,  but I told him,  “Stop delivering babies!”.   He’s got over 5000 patients! 

That’s nuts.


Forgot to mention.  Bought me a new tool.

AND,  by means of the best kind of shopping imaginable.  Right from this keyboard! 


Anyway,  it’s this oscillating thingy. 


I guess I didn’t take a proper picture,  so I stole this one off their site.


There’s a better version here, if you’re remotely interested.


As part of my next project,  I really need to remove the flooring and trim from where the cabinets are going to go,  and it didn’t take me too long to remember just how freakin’ tough oak is.   I gave up on trying to cut by hand in a hurry,  and went shopping.


It does an awesome job. 

Noisy little bugger though.  Glad I had earplugs handy.  And I had it on the lowest setting.

The oscillating thingy is good in tight spots,  but you can only really cut the width of that blade on each painfully slow pass. 

To do the rest of the floor,  I broke out the cordless circular saw.

For that of course,  I thought I’d best try and keep the dust confined.


Probably took me longer to do all that than to do the actual cutting.


I guess I  have nothing else floating around in my pea brain.  Time to go out and clear the driveway.  Again.

We rescheduled our guests for the 21st of March.  Closer to something resembling spring.


Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Teleportation does exist.

At least in my mind. 

Could have sworn we woke up in Timmins this morning.

It be cold.

Just brutal.

It’s not like we’re “suffering” or anything.  The house is comfortable enough, and I’m sure glad for all the various installations and projects over the years,  most of which were done with the view to making the place more liveable.

Before I put the new windows in this corner room,  reports are that son-in-law would be wearing his toque whenever he was in here.  Especially if the wind was out of East.  “Sash less” windows and all.

Anyway,  there’s no point going on about it.  It’s cold. 



But here’s a brighter thing for you:



We spent yesterday afternoon visiting one of T.C.s sisters in Guelph.  She has this amaryllis that she has been fostering for a few years now.  Goes into the basement in the fall,  lies dormant,  then starts to sprout about mid winter.  She’ll set it out in the late spring.

Do they always get that big?  Maybe I’m just a bit naive.


Tomorrow is “Family Day” in these parts,  which means that some entities are going to be closed,  such as grocery stores.  Which meant Muggins here had to brave the cold to get a few provisions.  Apparently it’s warmer here at the Ponderosa than at the Longo’s just a few kilometers away.  By “warmer” I mean,  it was -14.5 here,  and –16.5 there.  I couldn’t really tell.


So,  hopefully you’re either warm or bundled up wherever you are.

That’s all I got.

Keep your stick on the ice.


Thanks for lookin’.



Thursday, February 12, 2015

And this is the way it all unfolds.

Or, just how you can waste a heap of time trying to get out the door.

Hands up anyone who has had this happen to them.

Here we go.

I think it was Tuesday morning.  Heading out. Looking to not make more than one trip out to the garage.  And then,  just like that I can’t find the car key.  Not going to take the other one,  since I *know* it was right there on the kitchen counter.  I had picked it up,  taken it with me, but it’s no longer in my pocket.  


(Turns out it never was in my pocket, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)

So,  you know the routine,  retrace your steps.  Well, I think I was starting to wear a path, I was retracing those steps over and over again.  Then I’m getting kind of hot and uncomfortable,  since I’m bundled up to go outside,  but that’s another story.  (not as cold as it’s gonna get in these here parts,  I hear.)

That whole, ‘lazy man’s load’ usually means taking out an empty beer bottle, (or maybe two if I’ve been a bit thirsty the night before)  possibly a coffee to go, or possibly some garbage or recycling or whatever. 

All with only one trip.  Don’t want to be coming back in unnecessarily!   Because that would be you know,  a waste of time!

Maybe I need to keep a cardboard box by the back door?


Then I realise,  I had taken a bag of spent Tassimo discs out to the box that I’m about to ship off to be recycled. 

Have I ever mentioned this? 

Well,  there’s a company out in Ajax that will take these things and make them into….stuff. 

Annoyingly,  they’ve just changed a couple things,  and will no longer be accepting waste from individuals such as myself after March 31st, but that too is another story.   I’ll figure something out.  I wasn’t going to sign up to be one of their “public drop-off” locations. 

As if.

I must have had the key in my hand,  along with all the other junk.




Turns out I was about to ship off my car key.  Of course,  getting the car to run in the first place would have been a challenge.  I had closed up the box again,  but hadn’t started with the packing tape.  That was a good thing.

Naturally I recreated this photo,  since I’m not a cyborg and can record all of the retarded things I seem to do on a daily basis. 

That would be too depressing.

I think that was the same day I stepped on that push broom and whacked myself in the chin.  It’s still kind of tender.  Let’s not go there.

It was falling,  I went to stop it with my foot. And whack!






Admittedly,  life around here isn’t always about wandering around in a stupor.  I have been busy making a new top for T.C.’s serger cabinet.  The old top was too small and a bit “bouncy”.   The new one is not only attached to the wall,  but I added a panel on the out feed end with adjustable feet.  It’s rock solid.


It did seem to take a few days,  mostly since I really didn’t want to use brad nails to hold the maple edging in place.  Sometimes it’ll split.   Plus, I didn’t want all those nail holes to fill. 

That involves having to wait for glue to set up before proceeding with the next step.  I’m not in any hurry.



This is when you can never have too many clamps.  Some of which have to be longer than four feet.

Well and,  there’s a certain amount of evaporated time involved sorting out the design.

I searched high and low on line for ideas,  but most of the stuff out there is either finished products,  and/or junk.   So I have to use ‘visual aids’.



I’m sure there’s other nonsense I can come up with to bore you,  but that’s enough for today’s dose.  Oh and,  how many hands was that?


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for poking your head in.

Friday, February 6, 2015

We have a wiener!

Well,  that doesn’t really make any sense,  unless you have an understanding of some of the “family speak” that we practise around here from time to time.  Of course,  when I say “we”,  I mostly mean “me”.  

It’s been a bit of a hunt,  but I’ve managed to find the stain to match the dining room set.



I’ve probably driven past this place on Speers Road in Oakville a number of times.  Never noticed. 

Of course,  Speers is some sort of street from Hell,  as it’s two lanes each way,  with a speed limit of 60 k.p.h. (about 38 m.p.h.) which is rarely observed,  with no turning lane.   Swell.

Anyway,  this was only after visiting two other places,  the first of which actually sent me here.   Seems the young lady who sent me here had worked there.  As she put it,  and “hadn’t left on good terms.”   Curiously,  when I mentioned this to the folks at Speers Paint,  they didn’t seem to offer than impression.  Maybe that was her take on things.  But let’s not digress into the human psyche.  This Blog ain’t about dat.



It looks like “Ola Masters”,  but it’s really “Old”. 

They had a huge selection.   “Vintage Burgundy”.  Who knew?  I think though when we ordered the set,  they used some sort of Mahogany term.  Whatever.

Of course,  I haven’t quite finalised all of the minor little design features,  and I’m still in “speaks” with T.C. on that subject.  We could probably resolve the tension between Russia and the Ukraine in the meanwhile. We’ll see how the negotiations proceed.


Then it was off in the complete opposite direction,  with T.C.’s new fancy machine along for the ride,  as there were some questions the answers to which didn’t seem to be jumping out at her.  It’s definitely more complicated than any woodworking tool I’ve ever used,  that’s for sure.  Although, not nearly as dangerous and potentially digit severing as something like a table saw.


The lady there was very knowledgeable.  I was paying attention,  but by now of course I’ve mostly forgot.  Had something to do with just one little setting being off by one notch.  Something like that.   But she made the thing work just fine.  She did admit that it can be a bit “bouncy”,  but the remedy is to simply set it back from the edge of the table a bit.


It has that little “hole” for the cut off fabric to fall into.  So it needs to be out near the edge.  We’ll have to come up with something.

No segue here,  just random stuff.


I’m wondering if the mail man is going to take the hint that I left for him.  I’m just getting fed up with delivering someone else’s mail is all.  I suppose I could apply for a job, but I don’t think Canada Post is hiring.

I’ll be watching.



The last time this happened,  it was an oriental mail carrier,  and I figured maybe there was an issue with the number Four. It must be confusing trying to tell someone what floor you live on,  considering there’s no number four,  and no number thirteen.  

I think it has more to do with not paying attention,  truth be told.   This has been going on for over 20 years, with every possible mail carrier type.  Just need to learn how to READ.



I think that’s about it for today.  There was a light dusting of snow to clear and I’m already back inside from that.  The wind was pretty brutal at times.  It’s minus “something ridiculous” out,  with a wind-chill of “you gotta be kidding”.


In keeping with the “pictures of food” theme,  I BBQed steaks last night. (yes, outdoors.)  We had that and a salad. 

I don’t mix up the salad ingredients ahead of time.  That way you take what you like and refrigerate the rest.  That’s why it looks a bit odd.





Keep yer stick on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.




Wednesday, February 4, 2015

And what did the bone doctor say?


I actually started writing this yesterday,  but then I sort of lost my “mojo”.   But I’ll throw it in here,  just for shits and giggles.


But first,  here’s a helpful tip:

If you happen to be wearing snow pants, and during half time of the Super Bowl on the previous evening you happen to have had a bowl of chilli,  you may *ahem* discover some lingering effects?

Snow pants do a wonderful job of keeping out the wind.  But they’ll keep it *in* too,  it seems.  Nasty business.

This is all hypothetical of course.  No actual snow pants were injured during these particular *ahem* occurrences.

This little disturbance hasn’t quite worked it’s way out into the atmosphere just yet,  so I’ve been mostly keeping to myself today. (this was yesterday,  today I’m all good) I was getting particularly nervous about sitting in the waiting room at the Bone Doctor’s office.  Could have been dicey.

There’s a segue in there for sure.


And now back to the present…..


Anyhoodle,  the Bone Doctor said all’s good.   Well,  I’m paraphrasing of course.

And if figures that,  this time I made sure to take a book along to read,  since on our previous visit we were waiting there for over an hour to get in to see him,  but due to the inclement (is that the right word?) weather,  the waiting room was certainly not as busy,  and we only had to wait about 20 minutes.  I still got some reading in though,  which is more than I can say for my night time reading efforts,  since I can never seem to get past one or two pages and my eyes are starting to cross.  This is something that has plagued me for many many years,  and made it somewhat difficult to read all of the wonderful items on the reading lists when I was in University.  I managed.

Considering that I’m presently reading a biography on Dickens, at that rate it could a couple years.  I need to pick up the pace.


OK so, now back to the knee. I don’t recall all of the details,  but there was some hint that she might be “overdoing it”.  Which is why the knee gets a little puffy from time to time.  But other than that like I said,  it’s all good.

Possibly,  possibly there will be a call in about a half a year or so to sort out the other one.   The idea of the surgery and all that to do over again is a bit of a daunting thing to even think about,  but the difference in the amount of pain (now essentially cut by 50%) to endure at the end of it all,  is the underlying impetus to get it over with.

We’ll see.


That’s all I got,  folks.

It’s snowing here again in the Hinterland.  But it’s February.  It’s Canada.  It snow.  We suck it up.


Keep yer stick on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 2, 2015

I even made sure to wear knee pads.

Because I really wanted to give it that extra effort you know?  And it worked!

To all of my friends in the academic end of things, you’re welcome.

Oh,  and New York City?  *This* is a snow storm.  Weenies.


weather Feb 2


*This* is also the precise moment when I not so secretly wish I still had a snow blower. 

Meh, I’ll live.  I’m not out there shovelling right this minute.  Nor do I have to. 

Well, *thinks* Travelling Companion does have an appointment with her bone doctor at three.  Which,  knowing the way he works things appointment wise,  will be closer to four.  Unless of course,  half the patients he sees in his office don’t show up today.  It ain’t easy hobbling around in deep snow if it’s your first post-op visit.  This is T.C.’s second.



Oh,  I should explain the “knee pads” thing.  Some of you already know.  Some of you are wondering what’s up with my pea brain. 

See,  unlike some of the school districts in the South,  where the kids might have up to two weeks of time off if there’s the slightest hint of anything that remotely looks like snow,  here in the Great White North,  the local School Board hasn’t issued a “snow day”  for quite a few years.  Much to the amazement of most of the academic staff who,  on at least one occasion,  found themselves having issues getting home from work as a result of someone not wanting to pull the trigger at six a.m. and make that solemn declaration.  There’s this thing about “funding” that comes into it,  but let’s not go there.

The local folklore dictates that,  in order to make sure there’s going to be a snow day,  one must kneel at the side of the bed at bedtime,  hands clasped diligently,  and pray for snow.  

Oh,  and the other thing is, (and I somehow suspect that this mostly applies to the female staff members, just my impression.) it’s more effective if you are completely starkers.   Yes,  that’s right.  In your birthday suit.  Nekked.

So of course, if it does snow like mad,  and the powers that be have chosen NOT to call a snow day,  then you’ve done all you can do.  It’s that simple.


Anyway,  when we got home last night from the Super Bowl party,  it was indeed snowing like mad.



Meanwhile, this morning there was a show to watch,  which consisted of a neighbour across the way “clearing” his driveway.

Here’s a snippet of a brief conversation I had with T.C.:

“Wouldn’t it be better to do the bottom of the driveway and then move the vehicles down?”

Me: “Well, that’s what I would do.  I’m not sure what he’s doing.”



And this was when he was “done”.


OK well.  I suppose that’s good enough. Not my driveway.

I guess I’m just a bit fussier than that.  I like to at least get it down to bare…something. 

Driveway,  preferably.



And just now when I looked out,  I see that the asphalt part has already started to melt.  It’s black.  That’s the deal.

His?  Meh, not so much.


Whatever.  Don’t want to put the “mental” in judgemental. 



I was going to take another picture from the side yard and call it,  “Crap looks better covered in snow.”,  but the snow was too deep over there,  so I gave it a pass.


So hopefully all the kiddies (and teachers etc.) are enjoying their snow day.  I’d like to think I helped.


Keep your stick on the ice. 


Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The week that was.

How many days is it until spring?  Something under 50 I think,  but I’m not going to start any countdowns.  I suspect the result would only end in disappointment, since we could have a “late frost” or some such thing.

Hey, it’s Canada where,  if you’re not happy with the weather,  just wait a day or two.  Mostly.

We’ve been kind of dodging the wintery bullet up until this point,  so when they  (you know,  “they”?) are calling for a snow storm for later today,  I figure we’re about due.

Looks like I’ll be needing to use the snow brush after leaving tonight’s Super Bowl Party.  *grumble*.  Haven’t really had to do much of that so far this winter, mostly since the Merc stays in the garage whenever there’s a chance that I might have to scrape a windshield or brush off snow.   If you have a garage,  why would you choose to fill it with junk and then park your car outside?  In our case,  that’s the reason I built the shed.  But that’s kind of a smug thing to say.


Do as you please.

I don’t think I have much else to offer.

Well except that,  in other “news”,  the lens on my Nikon decided to bite the dust.  Just refused to move.  No idea why. 

I think I’m done with Nikon.  Sad to say.  The D40 has at this point probably taken upwards of 12,000 photos,  so that’s all fine and dandy,  but within six months of buying the thing (this would be Easter of 2009) it decided to crap out.   Had to send it back to get repaired in Mississauga.  That’s right.  Even though Nikon is “world wide”,  any warranty issues need to be dealt with in the country from which the camera was purchased.   Just remember that when you see a “sweet deal” in a foreign country.

In my case,  we were living in the Netherlands,  and the camera ceased to function on a trip to Slovenia.  I had the little Canon as a back up,  thankfully.

Anyway,  it’s never worked right since.  Quite often the lens doesn’t want to “talk” to the body,  so it won’t fire unless you detach and reattach the stupid thing,  and then the other day it just froze up.  It’s really now only so much glass and plastic.  Maybe a little gold on the contacts.  But mostly, junk.


Speaking of junk.  I thought I had another piece of it on my hands about mid week,  when I thought I’d do a little practising out in the shop.  As with anything that takes a modicum of skill,  cutting dovetails whether by hand or machine,  is something that you have to keep at,  or you get rusty.  Or at least I do.

So this abomination  dovetail jig that I have was giving me trouble.   It mostly needed some lubrication.  Plus,  one of the treaded rods looked as though I had dropped something against it.  Thankfully I have a set of taps and dies,  so it’s all good again. 


Which means of course,  it took me what seemed like most of the day to come up with two little storage thingies that I thought I’d conjure up for one of Travelling Companion’s sewing cabinet drawers. 

Just for something to do.



These pictures were taken pre lens crap out,  by the way.

Here’s what I was getting afterwards.



See anything?  Me neither.

After that,  it wouldn’t even do that.

Anyhoodle,  I do have another Nikon lens,  but it’s off an F70,  and it doesn’t talk to the body.  So that means I have to try and focus the thing myself. 

You can see what then happens.



Like that’s a good result.   *sigh*

I can’t see a blessed thing without glasses on,  and even after I’ve taken the photo and checked on the back of the camera (with my glasses on) I really can’t tell how it’ll turn out. 

Until I put it on a much bigger screen,  like the computer,  say.



I did get this one,  but that was a pure fluke.    Just outside our bedroom window.

So,  things that I want to take pictures of, I can’t.  And stupid things like stupid squirrels, turns out just fine.  mmmm.

I know I’ve bitched about that camera in the past,  and have threated to buy something new,  and still I’ve been sitting on my hands.  You may recall my previous grumblings along those lines.  You may ALSO recall that I’m somewhat parsimonious. 

Look that one up. 

I think there’s a picture of me,  right next to Scrooge McDuck.



Well OK, maybe I’m not *that* bad.  


My preference would be to support one of the local camera shops,  such as Duncan and Wright,  rather than ordering from say,  But that’s a matter of whether they have what I'm looking for,  and just now after perusing their website,  I’m not holding out much hope.  


So keep those sticks on the ice.  Hope your team wins.  Doesn’t matter too much to me at this point,  since I was too low in the pool standings (even though in the top 10%) to have any chance of being in the money.    I’m leaning towards Seattle. 

Just putting it out there.


Talk amongst yourselves.


Thanks for stopping by.