Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Well that was March.

And it wasn’t all that pleasant,  weather wise. 

The snow cleared up,  so that’s one thing.  I somehow suspect there’s snow in other places, (like the Maritimes?) so I’d best not complain.

I’m muddling along on the cabinet end of things. 

Once in a while there’s other “stuff” that gets in the way.   There’s nobody with a gun to my head. 




I probably should hold off taking pictures until I’m completely done,  but who knows when that’s going to be?  This one seemed to take forever,  partly due to the nature of the components involved.  It’s “lit” inside,  and there’s no visible wires,  with the exception of the switched receptacle visible through the cut-out in the side.


Anyway, there’s no pull on the door,  since I haven’t bought them yet.  Thought I might do that today,  but that would have meant dropping Travelling Companion off at The Company that Cannot be Named this morning.  I didn’t bother. She took the Merc.  I’ll sort that out tomorrow. Or not.

While I was cutting the glass for the door,  I figured I’d put something right that I buggered up last week, or maybe the week before?  Don’t recall.

I got a little carried away on the vacuuming end of things,  and managed to knock down a little picture frame and bust the glass. 



This is a picture of the kids taken out in front of this very house.  That spruce tree is long gone,  but that’s a whole other story.  Something to do with racoons.


Note partial glass.


T.C. said not a word when I fessed up.  She’s pretty good at looking past my little mishaps.  It’s entirely likely that she’s been saving them up all these years. 

I think the part that annoyed me the most was that this little contraption had fallen onto the blanket chest.  That’s a sphincter clencher right there.   Didn’t leave a mark,  so that bullet was dodged.

Anyhoodle,  I turfed out the busted piece and cut a new one.


It’s a bit of a challenge getting really clean edges,  but any roughness is hardly noticeable.

Thankfully there’s Youtube,   and I was able to refresh my memory on the subject of glass cutting.  It’s been a while.

A heckova sight cheaper to cut one’s own glass that’s just hanging about out in the shed.   Mind you,  it has to be warmed up,  cleaned etc.  But that little job is done.  Any time I’ve taken items to a glass cutting/retail place,  it always seems to be the next day or longer before getting the little item back again.  And that right there is the number one reason why I decided to try and figure it out on my own once upon a time.  Plus,  sometimes free glass just happens to come along. As long as it’s not too old and has started to really sag,  it’s fine. 

See,  glass is a liquid,  but let’s not get off on a tangent here.


Of course, the only surface that I have available that’s truly flat happens to be the table saw, and I’m always challenged to not mark it up too badly. It’s cast iron,  and any moisture left on there is not a good thing.


One of these fine days I’ll get around to cleaning up and dressing the top again,  but it’s hard to do that if the thing is in use just about every day.

Exciting sh*t huh?


I’d best get back at it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cooking for one.

I prefer not to do it. 

Left to my own devices I’d probably eat sandwiches.  And maybe a pizza from time to time.  Bit of a sad reality check.

T.C. has left home.

No wait.   Let me rephrase that, she’s gone up to Guelph to hang with a sister.  That,  and deliver the slacks she made for another sister, along with the chair I “fixed”.  OK,  maybe it really is fixed.  We’ll see.  I wasn’t about to take any extraordinary measures when it came to an old chair.  Me and chairs don’t really get along in the repair department. At least that’s been my experience.

Anyhoodle,  she thought she’d go for a sleep-over.  I somehow suspect they won’t be up all night giggling over copies of Teen magazine,  or whatever it is teenagers do at sleep-overs.  I suppose these days with social media and smart phones,  it’s a whole different thing.  I imagine I’ll never really know.

So for posterity, and in case T.C. is checking,  yes I did cook some vegetables.  Or “vegetable”.

There’s photo evidence.


Is rice a vegetable?  At least the corn is.


It actually doesn’t look all that appetizing but trust me,  it was good.  I can east Swedish Meatballs at least two nights in a row.  No problem.

After that? Meh. Gets old.


Right along with that,  I thought I’d have a beer.  Not that that is any big deal,  but I discovered that I had actually bought beer that I don’t particularly like. 

I know!

Tasted suspiciously like a Belgian beer I tried once upon a time,  in Belgium, that also didn’t really work for me. Too…something.  Busy?  Strong?  Not sure.

Now don’t misunderstand, that doesn’t mean I didn’t drink the beer.  Gawd, that would be just outrageous.  It would have to be really,  really bad for me to actually pour it down the drain.  Maybe some sort of home made stuff,  or Coors Light or something.  Pardon me if you’re a Coors Light drinker, but that hardly qualifies as beer.  And, Coors Light would never make it to this house by any means of conveyance that I have any control over.  You’re welcome to bring your own, it’s not like I’d stop a person at the door and tell them to take their sorry beer and their sorry asses and hit the road. 

But I’d never buy it. Just saying.



I like to mix it up in the beer department,  and will often get an assortment.  I’ll be giving that one a pass the next time around.  And you know, that “Hefe” part should have been a clue.  That Belgian beer had a similar name.  Need to pay better attention.  I just did a search.  Didn’t find it. It’s a mystery. 

It was a “white beer” which means it’s made from wheat, and not hops.  I mostly like wheat beer. Go figure.


I’m beginning to ramble.  I’ll wander out to the shop a bit later and see if my stain has finally dried.  No worries about waking anyone up.  Try not to lock myself out.  That would be bad.


Here’s hoping it warms up some time before July.  It’s not looking great at the moment.


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for passing through.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tiny steps.

And that wasn’t the original title I had in mind a couple hours ago either.

The built in cabinets that I’m labouring over don’t really have any definite plans.  Some ideas are being fleshed out on the fly.  I finally decided on a design idea for one of the doors, checked it with T.C., (I ain’t no fool) and all was just hunky dory.  So then it was time to actually cut some lumber.

Not having gobs or room to store extra lumber, I figured I could rummage around and come up with the pieces needed to make a door.  No biggie.  And it’s going to be stained,  so pine would be just fine.

Anyway,  I don’t really want to talk about it,  since I made a wrong cut,  and now have to go and buy more.  So much for using up scraps.  *sigh*

What a bonehead.


Meanwhile though, I was considerably happier earlier,  since I finally got a jointing plane that I made years ago to behave. 


This thing has been sitting in its box for many years. And I’ll admit that it looks a little goofy, especially the honkin’ big grip up front, which I’ve since learned wasn’t entirely necessary.  Hey,  what did I know?   I thought I’d make a plane.  There were no plans,  and was before the internet.

I could never seem to make it work, but I thought I’d give it one more try. 

What I discovered was, first of all,  the blade wasn’t truly sharp.  This is where the “honing guide” from Lee Valley Tools was my friend. 


honing guide.

I just stole that from their website,  and I hope they don’t mind.  This is a device I should have ponied up the dough for a long,  long time ago.  Unless you’re really proficient at getting a consistent edge on a cutting tool,  I highly recommend this gizmo.  Seriously.  BUT, that price of $76.50 can make a feller’s butt hole constrict just ever so slightly. 

Doesn’t matter.  Sometimes you just have to suck it up and buy that one thing that makes life all that much better.  On the sharpening end of things anyway. It takes me a while to figure these things out it seems.



Because,  once the blade was properly sharpened,  and with a little bit of minor tweaking of the wedge that holds the blade in place,  I was finally able to joint lumber!

It’s a hard thing to describe.  Kind of a giddy sensation, really.

I mean,  a plane made by a manufacturer,  such as E.C.E. Emmerich that you’ll see below here,  should be expected to work right out of the box.


And it does.  It did.

Mind you,  that one is starting to get dull,  which you can tell from the type of shavings it produces.  Even though it’s not the sharpest, it still works.

The Emmerich family have been making hand planes for “five generations”.  I’m not sure what that means in terms of actual years,  but when I went to their tiny factory back in what was it? 2009?  Hans-Jörg Emmerich told me he was the fifth generation of Emmerichs to run their factory.  (OK fine,  they started in 1852)

Actually,  (duh) it’s all on their website.

Back in the deepest darkest recesses of this blog,  there are pictures of my visit.  I just showed up there one Friday mid-morning,  and he gave me a tour!  I know!  I damned near crapped!  As it would have been very poor form to drop a huge load in my drawers, I didn’t actually do that.  But it was pretty damned cool,  I’ll tell ya.

I’m hopeful that by clicking on that link,  you’ll be able to see a pic of Hans-Jörg in their shop.



Anyway,  I’m just evaporating some time here,  waiting for Travelling Companion to get back from her check-up (It’s the one where they squish a couple parts of your anatomy?  And it’s only for ladies? You know the one.) 

Then we’re off again to drop her off at a gathering of some of her previous co-workers.  Some sort of retirement celebration. Not hers.  She chose not to go there.

I’ve offered to chauffeur,  as there may be some sort of libations involved.  D’ya think?


We got snow today.  Big flakes.  The thing is,  in the fall when it snows for the first time,  it’s somehow “enchanting”,  or something similar.

This time of the year though?  No.  I’ve seen enough.  The rain is bad enough, since it usually makes it cold and miserable. I think I said something when I saw it snowing that I shouldn’t repeat here. 

Still got those winter tires on the car.  We’ll see how April looks.  It all melted,  but still.


That’s it for today.  Maybe for a few days,  who knows?


Thanks for stopping in.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I get these ideas.

It’s been a few days once again.  Need more discipline on the blogging end of things I suppose.

Anyway,  one thing leads to another,  and before I know it,  I’ve pulled out the fridge.  It all started with what looked like one single filament of spider web that looked like it was taunting me from the ceiling.

“Now where did that come from?”

Well,  that needs to be vacuumed.  And if we’re hauling out the hose for the central vac, may as well go over the kitchen floor once more and,  since there wasn’t really all that much to speak of,  may as well haul out the fridge.

See how that happens? 

Now, admittedly it was a heckova sight cleaner than the last time I hauled it out,  which was shortly after we moved home from being away for nearly five years.  I remember hearing some of my former Caretaking Associates use the expression,  “The dust was an inch thick”,  which of course was an exaggeration. 

But not that time.

We won’t speak of it.  Pets are fun.  Just don’t look behind the fridge.



I think we can let the dirt pile up a little bit for at least a day or two.

I had to do the “once over” on Saturday,  since we had company coming,   then there was a “once over” again yesterday,  since it was the bi-weekly “professional cleaning”,  then we had company again today,  which really didn’t involve anything more than me having to run out and get provisions.  This was a couple co-workers from T.C.’s former employer.  Still referred to as The Company that Cannot be Named after all,  since she’s doing consulting work for them these days. 

Go ahead and roll your eyes.

Cuts into her sewing time, apparently.  Can’t speak to that.


Saturday’s evening meal involved firing up the Weber and slapping on some juicy tenderloin type steaks.  I kind of look upon eating steak in the same way that I view going to the Opera.  Go pricey or go home.  I can’t abide by chewing on sinewy, low grade meat, so there’s never really any time that I’d buy it.  Same with concert tickets.  Why sit up in the nosebleed section?

No pictures of the finished meal.  Too busy yakking. 


We did stop by the workplace of Daughter Number Two to pick up a few things.



I was there again this morning to pick up a couple awesome salads.  So nice to just walk in,  bag up a couple containers,  pays me money and be off again.  Oh and they had fresh bread too. 

Making any kind of salad isn’t really my number one love of things to do.  Don’t mind eating them, just not keen on making them.  I think I’ve complained about this in the past.  Perhaps not here,  but just for the record.  Not. My. Favourite. Thing.



Yesterday we made a little trip up to Guelph for a fitting.  See,  T.C. has been making a pair of pants for one of her sisters, and it helps to have the subject try them on at least once. 

She announced when we called to say we were on our way that she now had “three chairs”.  This is good.  There would be three of us.

She had allegedly “fixed” one of them,  but when I sat on it,  I realised that I’d need to measure my breathing, or I might just end up on the floor. 




So of course,  I ended up bringing the chair home.

Now,  as much as I’m a “pretty good beginner” on the woodworking end of things,  I’ve never really like working on or repairing chairs.  So there were no heroics.  I drilled out the “repairs”,  put it back together,  holding it all in place with a band clamp,  and threw in some three inch screws.  If it breaks again,  we’ll buy her some new chairs.

It sits level on the floor,  and that’s all I care about.

I think T.C. said she might go up to Guelph on Friday.  Not sure if I’ll be pressed into chauffeuring duties.   I have no qualms about staying home.



Oh oh!  Have to mention this.  Did you hear?  Ted Cruz is going to run for Prez!  Awesome!



Hey,  maybe Sarah (I can see Russia from my House) Palin will be his running mate?  That would also be truly awesome. 

Can I get a job on one of those late night shows? 

You know, I’d work for free.  There’s so much material there, any fool could come up with some zingers.



Do you know what’s behind your fridge??


Huh? Huh?


Sticks. Ice.  You know.


Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pardon my absence.

I guess I didn’t realise that there would be some sort of void in the blogosphere if I failed to check in from time to time.

Not dead yet.  In case you were wondering.


It was just a Wednesday.

I mentioned yesterday that it is indeed getting warmer,  although the bloody wind does seem to make it less than “ideal”. 

There’s an inside *thing* there.  I’ll explain some day.


Went off to breakfast with the “Breakfast Babes”,   where one of the attendees was presented with a quilt that was made for his Grand-daughter.

Yes,  I realise there a men in with the Breakfast Babes.  I didn’t come up with the term.



I didn’t ask ANYONE’s permission to post this.  It’s a picture of a picture.  It took them a few weeks.  And no, they didn’t use the restaurant. 

That would be weird.

Although, *thinks* getting served coffee while working on a quilt would be OK I suppose.




I managed to not notice the blazing sunlight coming in the window.  Oh well.



I did have a reason for mentioning the somewhat chilly temps,  since I happened to notice these young ladies this morning.

By the time I clued in to taking a quick pic,  they were a few paces away.  Click on the pic.  You’ll see.


Pyjama bottoms?   They looked like flannel,  but still.  Maybe she had ‘long johns’ underneath?  It was maybe three degrees above freezing.  Fahrenheit or Celsius, that’s not too friggin warm.

Silly Canadians.

Likely walking to Tim Horton’s. 

Actually,  I have no clue.  I’m making all this sh*t up.  Except for the pyjama bottoms.  Those are real.


I no sooner got home after making a couple stops after breakfast,  and T.C. was out the door for a lunch date. 

This then was the perfect chance to sort out a little dreaded job that I need to have done before putting in that first cabinet on the right. 

I prefer to work undisturbed.


It involved removing a duplex receptacle,  and putting a double switch in its place.




I only had to run one wire up inside the wall, which was the part that took the longest.  For anyone who has ever done this,  you know full well just how much fun it is.  I have my tricks though.

The string is actually my “safety” string that I hooked onto the wire after getting it close to its destination.  The string was strong enough to then pull the wire back up through.  Couldn’t get the fish tape to cooperate,  so I went with the old stand-by.  Coat hanger wire.

Never did figure out their goofy multi-purpose schematic/instructions.  Ended up hauling out a meter and checking for continuity across parts of the switch.  The idea is,  I want to be able to switch upper and lower lights from the one source.






Or lower.


Oh wait.  Guess I didn’t do a ‘lower’ by itself.  

That entire circuit is controlled from the switches by the door. 

Anyway,  that was a fun hour or so.  Loose definition of fun.

And yes,  I shut the power off.  The duplex right next to the switches is normally hot,  and there was no way I could work in that box and stay clear of it.  And the older I get,  the less enthusiastic I am about working on sh*t with the power still on.  I’ve only been mildly zapped a few times,  but the next time might just be the last time. Just sayin’.

The duplex receptacle below with the cow plugged in is now a split,  with one part constantly hot,  and the other switched.

The night lights are only there to test things.  And for demonstration purposes.  You knew that,  right?


So that was my exciting day. 


Hey,  just doing my part to avoid the void.


Keep your stick on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Just as greasy as I remember.


I mean,  it was fine and all, but I thought we had more or less decided to move on from the greasy pizza situation.  I thought we were having the left over chicken soup that I had made on Sunday,  but Travelling Companion had a hankering for some Pizza Hut pizza. 

You definitely need your fork and knife.  Gah.


Anyway,  thought I’d check in.

I haven’t even spent the copious amount of time I usually do checking other blogs.  Not that I’m in some sort of blogging funk,  but there hasn’t really been anything new and exciting.

The snow is melting. 


This is good.

Not as warm as I’d like,  but it’s March Break.  It can go either way.

I seem to recall those times when I’d be able to go out to the dumpster in my shirtsleeves.  But only briefly. 

So this is pretty average. 

Any temperatures above freezing are just fine with me when it comes right down to it.   We’ve had a cold February.

They’re STILL getting snow in the Maritimes,  so it’s all good in these here parts.

Just wanted to clarify that.

There are those who have flocked off for the break.  All the more power to ‘em.  I’ve never had any great hankerings for travel right around Spring Break time. 

First of all,  the weather anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line can be iffy,  so flying can be a crap shoot.  Unless you’re going to drive.  Drive to Florida for a week?  Well,  maybe when I was in my twenties. 

Not these days.




I’ve been kind of muddling along in the cabinet department.  This first one has a few things going on,  since I wanted to have it prewired for a small LED lamp,  as well as having access to a receptacle on the wall on the right hand side.  There’s a very good chance that some sort of music producing device may be housed in there. 

A stereo?  A wee man and a fiddle?

Probably best to go with the stereo.  That fiddle music can start to get ones nerves.



While I was waiting for the glue to cure on the drawer I had made for that cabinet above,  I started digging through the drill press cabinet,  and realised I never did put any finish on the fronts of the two little drawers that it holds.

I got the bottom out of the one, but I’ll be darned if I could get the other one out.  Must have been a bit sloppy with the glue.  I didn’t want to use anything more persuasive than my fingers,  since there was nothing to grab onto at the back anyway.  The little side cutters were for removing the common nails.  Just sayin;.


Not much else.

Went to a curling bonspiel on Saturday.  It was an enjoyable time,  although I really and truly suck at curling.  Just needed about…eight more games to get the hang of it.  

He says.

It ain’t easy. 

I think I’ll stick to watching it. 

Travelling Companion said something about lawn bowling.  Doesn’t involve ice.  Well,  except maybe the ice in the drinks.  We just might look into that.   It’s outdoors.  It’s sunny.  It’s a smooth surface.  Falling is optional.



Anyhoodle.  Hope all is well in whatever neck of the woods you find yourself.

Keep that stick on the ice.


Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

And just like that.

It’s gone.


Not that there was anything wrong with that TV.  It was quite ‘cutting edge’ when we bought it,  (picture in picture,  and all that) but that was back in 1995.   I think that’s the date I saw on the back. 

Too late to check on that now.

And I mean,  it had FOUR video outputs!  Wowsers.

Or maybe it was inputs?


Didn’t matter.  These days we need things like HDMI,  Ethernet input, or Wi-Fi, otherwise,  it don’t do much.


Quite happy to look at that space for now.

I’m thinking there will be something to fill that void.  I’ve already started running cat 5 cable from the router,  so you may be able to guess what’ll go there.  Just have to get down on my hands and knees and get to it. 

Never a lot of fun.

I also suspect that the “Home theatre in a box” that we bought will need to be updated as well.  It’s from something like 2001.  Just got a lot of old stuff hanging around.  And it all (mostly) works. 


It’s a crazy thing when you post a message that you have something “for free”. 

Folks just seem to come out of the woodwork.  I did warn this fellow that,  if he were to show up alone,  I’d send him away.  And that probably explains why he didn’t show up until after four yesterday.  Probably had to round up a willing accomplice.

There was no way I was going to heft that damned thing.  Not only was the TV brutally heavy,  but there was absolutely no place to get a hold of it.

May as well have been trying to carry a rock up the stairs.

So he brought a burly friend,  but he really wasn’t all that burly himself.  I ended up putting a couple straps on to give them something to grab on to.   Oh,  and they show up in a mini-van,  that was already nearly full of “stuff”.  I think someone was moving.  Or something.  Or they were just pack rats.


When we got the thing down there back in the nineties,  we basically had come to realise that it would never come out again. 

Never say never.


Oh,  and speaking of being on hands and knees,  I got “phase one” off my little list yesterday.

See,  I have “issues” shall we say? with all that wasted space down at the floor where there’s normally a “kick” space.  So there will be drawers there instead.




After this it gets easier.

Or so I tell myself.  Just build more boxes. The drawer slides are all self closing/soft closing.  And,  rather awesome I must say.

One of my sisters-in-law couldn’t quite fathom the idea of building such things from scratch,  so it took a bit of explaining. 

There’s still one more little electrical issue that I’d like to first sort out,  so I’ll tackle that in short order.


Beautiful day here at the Pondersosa.  Not only sunny,  but actually ABOVE the freezing mark!  

Getting excited for spring,  let me tell ya!


That’s it for a few days.


Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I’m here. And a mention of Mr. Dooley.

You know,  when you come in from the cold and say, “Mr. Dooley it’s cold out there”?  Which was something to be said for the entire month of February.  I won’t be missing it.

So, today we had a bit of a “heat wave”,  in that the temperature went up to the freezing mark, or close enough to it. 

Does that mean March will go “out like a Lion”?  

That would kinda suck.

I bite my tongue every time I say it,  but I’d sooner have the cold than the heaps, and I mean heaps of snow they’ve had up and down the Eastern Seaboard. 

I was chatting with my brother in the Annapolis Valley the other day,  and he said they can no longer see the cars going by on the road out in front of their place because the snow banks are so high.  AND,  he’s had to take the snow up the road a ways with his front end loader,  since he’s running out of places to put it. Presumably since the loader will only reach so high.  It’s even too deep for the horses,  so there goes that fun.



Speaking of which,  I’ve started in on my own version of “fun” here at the Ponderosa.  But this is a continuing saga,  so I’ll try not to belabour it too much.



It’s the usual.  Make boxes.  Then make drawers to fit.

I plug away.

And in typical fashion,  after the first “practise drawer”,  the rest went fairly easily. 

It’s been a while.  I got rusty.

I still haven’t pulled the trigger on a new camera. 

Don’t judge me.


I can still take pictures outside (mostly) with the Nikon using an “older” lens.  But the lens doesn’t talk to the camera,  and the camera doesn’t have the two semi-circle thingies that were part of the focus arrangement in the older models. 

Which means getting a subject in focus can be a challenge, since my “visual acuity” ain’t what it used to be.  I mostly have no clue how a picture will turn out.

And of course,  since the lens doesn’t talk to the camera, there’s no picture taking in low light either.



This was the sky we had the other day.  Just fabulous.  Freakishly cold of course.

Not sure what the answer is when it comes to the icicles.  I suppose it could be worse.  I’ve seen huge frozen waterfall type things on the sides of some places.  We don’t have that.  Thankfully.

Sucks though when it drips on your head.  Or comes crashing down. 

Good thing we moved the car that one time.


And that’s the extent of it.  Gripping sh*t huh?


Keep those sticks on the ice.


Thanks for stoppin’ ‘round.