Saturday, March 26, 2016

Having to face up to it.

I’ve been mulling this over over for the last few days,  unsure of what I wanted to say.  If anything.
I won’t have to tell you what “it” is,  I think you’ll figure it out.

T.C. and I got a phone call last Sunday.  I was downstairs,  vaguely aware of the phone ringing but,  and I do this more often than not,  simply ignored it.  They can leave a message,  I thought.  
But T.C. answered.

After she hung up,  she called from upstairs,  and something in the sound of her voice,  and then the look on her face,  told me something was definitely not right.
It’s a funny thing,  if you think back on how friendships are started,  and then evolve.   With ever widening circles of friends.  Some are simply in that “six degrees of separation”  category.  Some are much closer.

Our friend who passed away in his sleep some time leading up to Sunday was I hope,  in the “much closer” category.   And,  on the very rare occasion that the subject of death might come up,  he had indeed said that he simply wanted to go in his sleep.  Not that he planned it,  but he stuck to the plan.

I’m getting a little teary eyed just trying to type this.  So I don’t think I’ll be getting too long winded.

We’re off this afternoon to a gathering at one of the funeral homes for what I’m sure will be a pretty emotional time.  I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the host of people who knew this gentleman,  but in some ways I have a sense of dread.  Dreading the facing of “it”,  and the dread of knowing I’ll be a blubbering fool after the first hug.

These days,  Funeral Homes all have websites and so,  if you choose,  you can go on over there and do a little reading.  If you go down to the right bottom corner of that page,  you’ll see some photos that were taken at a couple of our trips to the drags
Oh and,  it was HIS idea that I should write a blog.  This was one of those ideas that was hatched over a cold beer one afternoon at our favourite pub before T.C. and I had made the move to Europe.   We hadn’t come up with a title yet,  but “The Caretaker Chronicles”  was one of the suggestions.

Hope you enjoy your Easter. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

It's Spring!

Or at least,  that’s the theory.  It’s a bright sunny day,  but it’s still a wee bit too cold out for my liking.  But at least the birds are out and about.  And the squirrels are squirrelly.  I think that means there’s going to be more squirrels.  We don’t need more squirrels,  but I suppose the coyotes don’t mind.

Of course,  since there’s not always a lot on TV that can manage to keep our interest,  one or the other of us typically has a “Gladys Kravitz”  moment,  when we look out and wonder what the heck the neighbour across the way is up to. 
At least I don’t get called Abner.

Or maybe it was “Abnah!”

And no,  neither of us shove our face right up against the window.  Let’s try to be subtle,  shall we?
Mind you,  after several attempts,  I did manage to take something resembling a picture.

Still haven’t quite figured out that camera.  And I might never.   Tried getting closer to the window to lop off the reflection on the right there,  but do you think it would focus on anything other than….nothing? 

Couldn’t figure out what he was doing with the big assed trailer either.  He had it on the street,  and then in the driveway,  and then on the street,  and then he left.   Maybe he was threatening to move out?  
The “lady of the house”  doesn’t seem to be overly ….ambitious.
But hey,  what do I know?  
Maybe he was doing a dry run. 

So,  last week,  right after we did that whole “spring ahead” time change,  it struck me at around noon time that the Generator had failed to start up and do it’s weekly test run.   Then of course,  I remembered that we had set the clocks ahead,  and so now it comes on at 1:00 instead of noon.  And no,  I’m certainly not going to try and figure out how to change it back,  since it matters not a damn to me when it comes on,  as long as it does. 
Have you exercised your generator lately?

 And why is “Daylight Savings Time” still a thing?  I don’t see the point.  And I’m sure if you asked any bureaucrat or politico or whomever,  they couldn’t tell you either. 
Germany and Austria-Hungary first started it on April 30, 1916,  but the subject is too long and convoluted to even give it a second thought.  One theory these days is that it “saves energy”,  but I read somewhere that that one was shot full of holes as well.

It’s a reminder to at least check or change the batteries in your various detectors. 

So it serves at least that purpose.

Our internet has been somewhat pitiful here at the Ponderosa for about three days now,  and I finally had had enough last night and called the tech folks at our ISP.   After some pinging,  or some such thing,  there was the realisation that yes,  there is something not quite right,  and it has nothing to do with our equipment.

Thankfully it wasn't a video call (wouldn't have had the bandwidth for that anyway) so the tech couldn't see me roll my eyes.
I was pleasant and all that,  so don't be thinking I was my usual ornery self.

Coincidently,  and this was after I got off the phone and announced to T.C. that I had them take 20 bucks off our bill,  she said that there had been a cable guy around a few days back,  right around the time that the signal started to get wonky.
Seems a bit fishy.  Think maybe he buggered something up?  
Wouldn't be the first time.
But,  any time there's any issue *whatsover*,   I always go after them to credit our bill.

 Not paying for crap.

And,  even though there are these issues from time to time,  one of the reasons that I don't jump ship and go with someone like say,  Bell,  is simply because I can; A) get through to someone on the phone,  and; B) get some resolution to the problem.  Most times with a credit to our bill.

Try that will Bell,  and good luck.

It’s been a few years since we no longer have anything to do with Bell Canada,  and one of the reasons is that they simply had the worst customer service that one could possibly imagine.  I suspect it hasn’t changed much.

Anyway,  that's today's little missive.  

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 18, 2016

And...we're back to this.

So much nicer to have a BBQ right outside the back door. 
Don’t get me wrong,  we had a wonderful time at the Condo in Maui that we rented,  but the situation was such that,  the BBQs were down by the pool.

And I like to BBQ.

They were awesome BBQs and all that,  but getting all your “stuff” down there,  all the while having to get through one of the locked gates,  (and you had to use the key to get out too…),  was a bit of a challenge.  “Have I got everything?”  was my mantra.  Oh,  and there was no glass or breakable dishware permitted either since well,  you are in the pool area. 

So convenient.

But,  here we are again,  back in the Great White North,  where it’s actually starting to get quite green.  Mind you,  we have had SNOW IN APRIL around here,  so even though spring is around the corner,   let’s not get too cocky.

Yesterday was one of those awesome days when the temps were up into shirt sleeve weather (well, for the average Canadian at least,  Floridians need not apply), but it was just a tease,  since today it’s quite cold again.  Above freezing,  but nothing that would encourage you to run out and bask in the sun.  Or roll around on the lawn.

Actually,  I’m sure it’s been a bloody long time since I’ve “rolled around on the lawn”.  Not really my “deal” for several decades at least.

To go along with the steaks, (and yes,  I realise they are small,  but they are “medallions”),  I had a hankering for some taters fried in onion. 

Maybe it takes me back to when my dear ole Ma would make “hash”,  but that’s chopped up more than this particular version.

And you’ll no doubt think this a bit odd,  but I recall that she used to use an old tin can (washed of course,  hello)  to chop up the potatoes in her cast iron frying pan.  The things you remember….
It looks somewhat bland in that photo,  but T.C. did make a salad to go along.  I don’t seem to recall such a thing as a “salad” when we had Mom’s hash. 

Salad? Did anyone eat salad back in the 50s 60s or 70s?
You just ate your vegetables.

Anyhoodle,  I’m mostly just checking here to say, “Hey,  I ain’t dead yet”,  although the blog is on the verge of being on life support. 
I’ll try and breathe some life into it from time to time. 

I promise.

Figured I should put in at least one pic from Maui.  This is my sister-in-law and I out on Maui Nui

I forgot to show T.C. how to zoom.

Keep those sticks on the ice.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

That'll be five bucks.

Actually,  now that we did all that work to the house,  make it ten.

See,  this house has always been a bit of an oddity,  as it was the “builder’s house” and well,  a little bit unusual for the neighbourhood.  Hell,  for the whole damned country.  Unless you’re somewhere in the Rockies where,  due to some sense of nostalgia,  someone from Austria has built a place reminiscent of back home.

For as long as we’ve lived here,  and probably going back to when the place was first built,  there have always been those who either slow down their vehicle as they round the corner,  or simply stop on the street and gawk.


This is by way of the security system.  T.C. happened to notice these folks,  and I went back and grabbed their image. 

As they’re out walking their pooch,  there’s a very good chance they live in the neighbourhood,  and may very well have one of the 30 or so homes built in a similar style to this one.  Except of course, none of the others have the “chalet” type of addition on the top.
So,  the “five buck” thing?  Well,  for the longest time,  we’d be sitting in the living room,  someone would come by and gawk,  and we figured we should have been levying some sort of charge or admission.  You know,  “five bucks”. 

Kind of like when you happen to snap a picture of some bum in San Juan or somewhere,  and they insist that you should compensate them for a picture. 
Just as absurd.

Meanwhile,  da snow she’s a melting.

I can dig it.

Still kinda sucks to go to bed at night with cold feet,  but that’s more due to the likelihood of poor circulation as much as anything else.  Plus, summer or winter,  it’s a wee bit cool down in the basement,  which is my usual TV watching spot.  Or media files, or whatever.   Actual "TV"  kinda sucks,  but I keep it mostly for the football.

Never going to be like this,  but we can always reminisce.

Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Back to the land of socks and sweaters.

And that’s not a terrible thing.  It’s fun to get away, but just as nice to get back home again.
It’s mostly the “getting” part that can be somewhat onerous,  especially when it comes to flying anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line.  That’s just an arbitrary line by the way,  flights can be delayed most anywhere for any reason. 
Not sure how long we were holding over Calgary,  but the first reason given was that we were “early”, but when we got on the ground,  we could see that the plows had to be brought out to clear the runways.
But let’s not get all snippy about flying.  I could just go on and on.
Everything here at the Ponderosa was hunky dory.  A host of folks came ‘round to check,  pick up mail etc.  Didn’t miss any payments,  what with that whole “see my bill online” situation.  That internet can be handy thing.


I didn’t “blog from Maui”,  and not because I’m completely lazy or anything,  although that’s certainly a consideration.  It was more due to being away for an entire month.  I really didn’t want the entire world to know we were gone.  The neighbours knew,  but only the ones who came by to grab the mail.  We didn’t even tell the “paper boy”.  (It’s a free paper,  and mostly flyers)  They try and put the bite on anyone getting the paper once a month for a “contribution”.  I give them a few shekels.

I’ll let you use your imagination when it comes to staying in Maui for a month.  It’s not a hardship, tell you that much,  although things have gotten pretty pricey since the last time we were there.  (Like,  $5.99 for a loaf of bread??!) 

I did get a bit of a tan. Well, more like, tried not to get fried.  We tried to hit just about every single beach.  It was like T.C. was on a mission.  “OK,  today I think it’ll be….such and such.”   And off we’d go.   In the afternoons,  depending on how many annoying little ankle biters were around,  we’d toddle down to the pool to read and lounge.  We rented a condo.  Meh,  I liked the house situation from last time,  although the owner of that place was an el cheapo.

The car rental company (“Dollar”. And I think they’re just one step up from “Rent a Wreck”,  but that’s my opinion.)  didn’t have the model we requested (ooh,  surprise!)  but offered a mini-van at the same price.  That worked for me,  especially when there were times when there were seven of us.  I don’t mind being the chauffeur once in a while. 

Depending on the mood I’m in,  I might post the odd photo here and there.  I took a host of pictures and videos.   I’m really quite pleased with the Canon G16.  Takes HD videos.  Really nice.

This pretty much sums up my daily activity level.

Now,  having said that,  maybe I should have been practising some sort of “sand shovelling”,  since my back is a little tender after some *fun* I had this morning.

And it had warmed up just enough so all the fluffiness had gone.  I’m hoping that’s IT for March.
No mas!

Thanks for stopping by.