Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fun to watch.

Which is exactly what T.C. said this morning as we sat with our morning coffee watching "the show" unfold outside.

We had our first snow fall.  We've had earlier ones in the year,  and who knows if this will stick around.  I don't mind a little snow at Christmas,  but then it can go.

I'm not even sure I'm willing to get off my arse and take a picture.  Y'all remember what snow looks like?   Good.

Oh wait.

Got a notice from Amazon,  Delivery Dude is expected later today.  Drat.  Might have to clear him a path.

I have a broom right by the back door so I can sweep my way to the garage or beyond.   Which brings me to that whole notion of "being prepared".

Unknown Neighbour Lady from across the street was observed rooting around in her trunk (and subsequently having to scoop the snow out of there that had fallen in)  looking for *something*.  I'd like to refer you to the earlier mention of,  "The Show".
Turns out,  she was looking for a snow brush,  which was in Hubby's vehicle.   No sign of Hubby.  Sad lot.

Winter comes around every year,  at least it has for the last 61 years that I've been on the planet,  so why wouldn't you have a snow brush?  She had on winter tires,  but no snow brush.

OK,  never mind.

I'm too OCD to not be ready for some things,  and too OCD to not go out and clear off the snow.


Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, December 8, 2017

OK. Two things.

First of all,  Thursday Night Football is starting to piss me off.  I'm not sure if they have the same crew officiating every Thursday night or whatever,  but there were some head scratching moments when even Chris Collingsworth  (one of the announcers,  for the rest of you) couldn't figure out what was up.   And I'd venture to say,  he's a pretty knowledgeable guy.  Can't say the same about myself,  but if it's pointed out to me,  then I get it.

Plus,  even though I went "five for five" a few weeks back,  with a decent payout to then justify sucking for the rest of the season,  I'm getting a bit fed up with not being able to "get" that Thursday night game.  Man!

And now,  here's the other thing:

And this may be further proof that I'm an idiot,  but I'll say it anyway.

I keep forgetting to check for "Comments awaiting moderation."   


So,  for some of you who couldn't figure out where the heck your comment went (hello, Bea!)  I do apologise.

Sorry.   (insert sad face)

Now,  for the other 80% of you   (and no,  I'm not exaggerating here)  who filled up that field with utter crap?   Go f**k yerself!   Geez!

You know,  after the first eight to ten times that you try to clog the blog with some bullsh*t message and it doesn't show up?   Maybe you might like to reconsider your marketing strategy?

Just saying.

Now go away.

Not the rest of you!

Thanks for hanging in there.

Enjoy your weekend.  Or whatever.

Every day is Saturday around here,  except of course for that whole "shopping on the weekend" thing.   You kidding?   Not unless I'm desperate. 
Too many people shuffling in the aisles.   Many of them,   OLD ENOUGH to be doing it during the week!

OK,  back to normal breathing.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Time passes.

I wanted to start out with "Chronicling Life",  but I wasn't even sure if that's a word.  And yes,  time sure has a way of passing.  It's December!  Carumba!

But of course,  there's always something to do.  Or fix.  Or dig up.

Well,  I've officially finished with that whole "digging up" crap.  I wanted to have a certain amount of the new water line in before it got too cold,  but also didn't want to wait until spring when it would be too mucky.  Been there,  done that.  The mud gets every where.

So I basically followed the pipe I had set in the ground with the control wires for the sprinklers,  and added a new water line.
I naively thought I had left some way of going under the concrete step.  Um,  not really.  I just decided to go in front and make life easier.

Figured I had best stop right there,  as there's a plant (more like a tree actually) that Travelling Companion wants to move in the spring.  So I'll dig the rest of the way after that happens.  And I guess there will be mud after all.

There is/was a water line already there,  but when we were living in The Netherlands,  and in spite of some rather detailed instructions on blowing out the lines,  something went awry,  and that didn't turn out. Not naming names.  My own damned fault really.  When we knew in the spring of 08 that we'd be moving overseas,  I never should have charged the lines in the first place.  Silly me.
So fine,  it's a 'do over'.

 Oh,  speaking of 'do overs',  we got a recall notice for our somewhat new dishwasher.   I installed a new dishwasher back in 2014 I think it was,  as our faithful Miele lost its mind after 15 years and refused to pump out the water. 
Bob doesn't bale.  Unless it's on a sinking boat,  but that's another story.

So,  apparently some wire or other would heat up,  and we were to "Discontinue using the dish washer immediately!".   
Riiiiight.   Bosch didn't exactly offer to send someone by the house every night to wash the dishes,  so that wasn't happening.

Anyway,  service Dude shows up a couple Fridays ago,  and I had already removed the kick board and the contents of the under sink cabinet,  so his job was pretty easy.  When they shipped the machine, it was to be hard wired.  No big deal,  as I've hard wired many a machine over the years,  but the previous machine had a plug and so I had put in a GCFI protected receptacle under there.  I simply ran a cord from the new box to the plug and plugged the new one in.

It would seem that,  some folks who may have done something similar had gone ultra cheap (or something, it was never explained to me),  and the wire would overheat.  I'm not sure why a wire rated for the proper amperage would overheat,  but People Be Dumb.   So Service Dude replaced the cord with one that we simply plugged in.  Should have been shipped that way in the first place. Rolling my eyes here.

Only thing was,  when he put the machine back,  it was kind of cock-eyed,  and I resolved to take it out AGAIN and see what the hell was causing the problem.
Not really a whole lotta fun,  as it involves hanging around on my hands and knees and being generally uncomfortable.

Turns out the opening in the side of the adjacent cabinet wasn't allowing the drain hose to be out of the way,  and the machine simply wouldn't go in all the way.  After a little bit of hackin' and hewin',  I got it sorted.  So it was more of an old problem,  rather than a new one.

Lemme see.  What else?

Not too damned much actually.   Oh,  I did change the oil in the generator on Sunday.  I chose Sunday,  as that's the day when it does its weekly run to keep it in working order.  I wanted the oil to be if not hot,  at least warm.  Hot oil comes out heaps easier.
 It wasn't exactly the warmest day,  so that was kind of important.

It's funny because,  when I'd check the oil,  it looked OK,  but when I drained it,  it did look rather gross.  And yes,  I disconnected the battery so it wouldn't accidentally fire up on me.  We don't really have random power outages,  but one never knows I guess.  There's gobs on info on the line if you're really not too sure what to do.

I fired 'er up for a few minutes afterwards just because that's what you're supposed to do,  and everything seems fine.  Until next year.

That might be it for December,  I'm not sure.  If I get struck with the need to say something,  I'll be back. 

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Keep that stick on the ice.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Food... my favourite.

Well,  it's that time of year again.  And no,  I'm not talking about football,  American Thanksgiving (always good for football)  or even "Trench Warfare".

That was originally going to be one of the titles I was going to use,  if I ever got around to actually saying something.

This has been a little "project" that has been occupying a bit of my time in the last little while.  I kept thinking I'd rent a machine,  but with the ground being wet,  and not having any particular deadline looming,  I just kept digging by hand.

Way back in the day,  my nephew and I had poured a concrete walkway around the garage side of the house,  and I chose to have the downspout feed into a clay pipe that we installed underground.
Of course,  prior to having the work done in 2014 (Soffits,  fascia,  troughs and gutter guards)  all of the eaves troughs were subject to getting filled with crap every year,  and Muggins here had to go up on a ladder and clean them out.
We don't do that anymore.
Meanwhile though, my handy little culvert ended up getting plugged up after some 20 years,  and when it really came down hard,  I was getting a wee bit of water coming into the garage.
No bueno.

So,  I had to dig 'er up. 

With a combination of pressure washer and wet vac,  it's all cleared out,  new weeping tile has been installed,  along with a whack of gravel,  and the hole has mostly been filled in.

Oh,  the patio stone there is only so nobody steps into the trench between digging episodes.

I'll continue to dig a trench along where those lines are in the pic above,  as I need to install a new water line out to the shed.   There was an "incident" when we were away overseas,  and the old line is somewhat buggered.   It ain't below frost,  and that's all I'll say.

Mind you,  and I didn't take any more pics of this,  I now have a bit more dirt left over that I'll have to deal with.  Weeping tile and gravel take up a certain amount of space it seems.

It can sit there for a while.

The reference to "Food" above is due to the fact that,  for the first time since dinner time Tuesday night,  I can eat again. 
See,  on my Mom's side of the family,  we have a certain 'history'.   She had a colostomy for the last 15 or so years of her life,  and her brother Ernie (Ernest is my middle name,  he and Dad were best buddies)  also ended up with a colostomy for the last days of his life.  He passed away in the spring of the year I was born.

Not something to be ignored.   

So,  you can probably guess the rest.  No food.  A vile liquid.  Staying mighty close to the loo.   Ya,  like that.

This time around,  the nurse must have given me a primo dose of the requested knock-out drug,  'cause I don't remember a damned thing.  And that was exactly the outcome I was hoping for!
Bad enough you have to go through the "prep",  I'd just as soon not witness the rest.  

Travelling Companion stuck around to drive me home from the hospital,  and then it was time to eat.

Now,  there's a "word to the wise"  here, and this comes from having done this a few times, (hey,  I seem to be able to grow polyps like nobody's business)  the vile medicine that's in  your system to make it all *happen*,  is still lurking around later in the day after you get home.  What that means is,  (and I'm speaking from experience here)  don't just think you can scarf down everything in sight.

Moderation kids!   

Otherwise,  you may just have to excuse yourself half way through your very expensive Chinese dinner and head for the nearest Euphemism.   It's a little vexing to crap out forty bucks worth of Chinese food,   let me tell ya.

Your mileage may vary,  but I'm just saying.

And that's the lesson for the day.

Keep that stick on the ice,  and thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017


I keep thinking of things "to share",  which is almost as bad as some of the nonsense folks put on other forms of social media (Book of Face comes to mind,  no names please)  but then most times I just figure, "Really, who da f**k cares?"   But here goes.

I get these....ideas,  let's just say?  There always seems to be something or other that needs taking care of and admittedly,  there are things that I still haven't gotten around to doing.  Like,  since last year maybe?  Stumps to remove.  Fences to install.

But once in a while,  I just want to do something for just....me.

For a number of years now,  I've had what amounts to a "parts cart"  hanging around in my garage er,  *shop*.   Back in the pre-internet days,  when there were these things called "books",  I used to read about how to, you know,  do things?

And some guy somewhere had this idea that you should move stuff around on wheels.   Considering I like to put the car in there over the winter say,  I like having things on wheels anyway,  so I came up with this:

Which of course,  gets loaded up with nothing anywhere close to "parts" of a project,  but just a bunch of other *stuff*.

The blue tote has painting stuff,  like drop cloths and such,  and the other "stuff" is tool boxes.

As you can well see,  this thing isn't (well, *wasn't*)  all that pretty,  so I decided to come up with something new and improved.

Admittedly,  this did take me a bit longer than I had really wanted,  but then what else is new?

This is the replacement:

Somewhat fancier?  Also on wheels,  and meeting the maximum height of twenty-nine and a half inches,  so it'll fit in under the end of the bench.

Much easier on the eyes,  and hopefully easier to keep clean, with a compartment in the top:

I used some plastic laminate that I've had hanging around for a very long time for the top,  as glue doesn't stick to it,  and the rest is melamine with oak trim.

The idea is,  the top bit had to be deep enough for "stuff":

And this is how I fritter away my time.

Oh,  and this:

Um,  it's a log splitter....

Which results in this:

I have a smaller version,  which is capable of splitting stuff up to about maybe 18 inches.   Much bigger than that though and it starts to complain.   So I had to break down and rent something from Home Despot.  Worked like a charm,  especially since the ram moves vertically,  meaning there was no need to hoist those huge honkin' things up onto the carriage. 
My nephew came over and was a big help (Um,  he's a firefighter,  you figure it out) and when we finished up here,  we took the machine up to his Mom's place and sorted out the remains of a walnut tree we had cut down a few years back.
The only slight consideration? 
With such s short tongue length,  it was murder backing the thing up.  Couldn't see the thing in the mirrors,  so I had to rely on the back up camera on the truck  (yes,  there's a back up camera)  but that wasn't all that much help.   By the time it looked like the thing was going cock-eyed,  it would be too late.
Whatever.  I managed.

Oh....and I do make the odd thing now and again for Travelling Companion.

She had this concern (question?)  about these "hoops" that go with her embroidery machine, so we came up with the idea of hanging them on the wall,  thus:

Had paint left over from the bathroom trim,  so that's where that came from.  Seems to work.
It's kind of a carry over from the way one mounts tools in a tool cabinet.  Like that.

It's been a couple weeks since Thanksgiving.  The weather was most cooperative I must say.   Some years it's down right miserable,  and there was some rain Saturday morning, but then it cleared up when it needed to,  and the whole weekend was fabulous.  You might have seen a sunset pic I put on the Book of Face.

You get the idea.

I think that's about it.

Anything else is old news at this point.

Keep that stick on the ice,  and thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fighting with the wasps.

By that I mean,   the little "yellow jackets" that are out in full force this time of the year looking for...whatever.   Sweets?  Nutrients?  A date with a flyswatter?

Anyway,  I managed to harvest the remainder of our grapes yesterday.  Not as big an offering as we'd like,  due to the incursion of the little masked bandits,  but we (well,  I say "we",  but really mean T.C.)  can make a few small jars of grape jelly.

At least at this point I've figured out what measures I need to take next year in order to keep the critters on the ground.   I'm hanging on to a couple of the contraptions,  that I'll simply re-install at the appropriate time next season.

Then it was time for nine holes of golf with T.C.

That's actually my "happy face".   No,  really.

We didn't completely suck.   I only lost one golf ball,  which is typically the means by which I measure my success or lack thereof.   It's those damned water hazards.   Some sort of mental block.   I did manage to nicely shoot over one hazard on the way out,   only to plunk one in to the adjacent pond on the way back (sigh).

And considering I found a pack of three brand new balls on that course a couple weeks back,  my golf ball inventory count was actually on the plus side.

This is how we measure success.  Lame,  I know.

That's it for today.  Short and sweet.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 25, 2017

So...it's hot.

Which is why we've been mostly staying indoors.  Whimpy, I know.  But I've done my time working in the sweltering heat,  and we didn't put in that air conditioning to simply go out in the blazing heat and sweat like crazy.

There was something in the news about the Teachers in Toronto getting a wee bit vocal about the temperature in some of their schools, like...30 Celsius,  which is just shy of 90.F.  As was the case with my previous employer, less than half of their schools are air conditioned. 
Used to be, that wasn't too much of a problem.  Septembers would typically be cool (ish) or at least cooler at night. 

Thankfully I also put a left over window unit in the garage er, shop.  Stays pretty cool in there for a time,  but I usually run it when I'm not there,  as I find the air blowing on me a little annoying.

Anyhoodle,  T.C. and I thought maybe we'd have toasted tomato and bacon sandwiches for our dinner,  which meant having to cook up the bacon indoors. 
Normally,  that would be the plan,  but adding heat to a house that's being air conditioned didn't seem too terribly clever.

Then,  it occurred to me that I have this skillet type contraption that I had bought many years ago to use with the Weber.  It's been hanging in the garage (this time it's "garage",  not "shop",  by the way)  for all these years,  so I cleaned it up and put it to use.

Used to carry it with us in the Motor home for just such an occasion.

Not sure how common these things are,  but it worked just beautifully.  And,  while I certainly love the smell of bacon being fried up,  I certainly didn't miss smelling up the kitchen with no chance of airing it out by opening the windows.

We figure we'll do some tomato sauce on Thursday,  as the weather is predicted to cool off somewhat by then.

We'll probably have to start shoving these guys in the fridge in the meantime.

Oh and,  that too will be the day that we pick our grapes.  My latest contraption seems to be working, as there has been no evidence of visits by the little bandits.

That's it for now.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Thought I'd lost my house keys.

So,  yesterday was a fairly normal Friday for around these parts. Piddled around for most of the day,  had a brief nap in the afternoon,  checked with Daughter Number One to see if she wanted to go with me to the Pub ( and the answer was no,  she was still "poolside" at a Friends house and wasn't about to disturb that particular moment of zen) so then off I went.

Oh,  by the way,  T.C. is away for a few days,  as she and one of her sisters who lives in Guelph had gone off to London to catch up with some old school chums,  one of whom is a jazz singer,  and was going to be performing Thursday night.
I'll be darned if I can remember her name,  but whatever.

And that's London, Ontario.   Not that other one.

By the way,  these are chums who have known each other since grade seven I think?   A bit of a long time.

Anyhoodle,  had a nice visit at the Pub.  It's a fairly regular bunch of what I refer to as "Pub Buddies"  even though we all know each other mostly from previous work experience.  There was a bit of a follow up to the Terry Fox run that took place last Sunday,  where I and a host of others volunteered our Sunday (early..) morning to sit at the registration tables and make sure everything was tickety-boo.
Which by the way,  we must have done a pretty good job of doing,  as the key person who looks after us was all done and had joined us for a libation by about 1:30 that afternoon.  I think that was a bit of a record.  Things have to "balance",  and if that doesn't happen,  it's 'no bueno'.
And then of course,  the bulk of the rest of the discussion mostly has to do with the NFL and the pool that several of us participate in.

Alas,  this year I'm sort of sucking a big ole weanie,  with a dismal start of only a couple points.


We usually wind things up after a couple hours,  and part ways.

I came back home,  as I still had some left overs to consume.

For the last quite some time now,  I've been really really careful when it comes to any sort of alcomohol consumption and then getting behind the wheel,  and it just so happens that this particular Pub has a couple examples of alcohol free beer.  All of which are actually pretty good.  I had had alcohol free beer once upon a time maybe 15 (?) years ago,  and it was,  how shall I put this?  Pretty bad.  
So much so that we very nearly sent it off to the Veterinary College  up in Guelph,  and I'm sure they would have conceded that our horse was in perfect health....
(Old joke,  never mind)

I'm not about to name names,  except for the one that I like,  and will typically consume if either I'm the DD,  or if I'm by myself.  It's "Clausethaler".  And it took me a few weeks before I could remember that name,  and eventually I had to somehow associate it with the notion that I'm somewhat claustrophobic.  Nothing to do with beer,  just word association.

Hey,  ya gotta do,  whatcha gotta do....

Of course,  by the time I get home,  alcohol free beer or no,  I most definitely need to get myself to the bathroom.  (Sorry,  "restroom" for you yanks)
Only thing?  I could NOT find my house keys.  Oh boy...

Doesn't help when Mr. Bladder is starting to complain.  Like...big time.

There are a couple ways to get into this house without necessarily having key in hand. I think everyone either has,  or should have some way of getting into their domicile without having to go to extremes.
Can't really say what the method is here in a public forum,  and it's not exactly like "Jack Benny's Vault",  but close.  
Also something that can make it a bit of a challenge with a bladder that's really, really not willing to wait much longer.

I do feel obliged to say,  I made it.


And then began to wonder,  just what the heck had I done with those keys?    I was sure I had taken them,  and began to rethink/retrace etc.,  the previous couple hours.
I had definitely not taken them into the Pub with me.  That would make no sense.  So they had to either be in the truck,  or where else I wasn't sure.
After having gone through the nooks and crannies of the truck (hey,  found some random coinage!)  and come in and out of the house a couple time in full search mode,  I just happened to notice them lying on the grass about mid point between the door to the shed and the driveway.

I guess,  after I had toddled over to the shed to close the door,  I must have dropped them.


So much for the confessional.  I hope to not repeat that little episode for a long while.   And sadly,  I had been doing very well in the "keeping tabs on my shit" department,   going back to some nearly twenty years ago when I thought I had lost a set of school keys  (the HORROR!)  only to discover that they had fallen into one of my boots in the hall closet.  Wasn't wearing those boots in the hot summer weather,  so they had been "lost"  for a couple months.  I stopped taking school keys home with me after that.   Just had one to get into the building,  and that was on the same ring as vehicle keys.  So,  unless I walked to work (not likely) I could always get into the building.

It's all a matter of building in that whole "how to make it idiot proof" thing.  At least in my case.  Your mileage may differ.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep that stick on the ice.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Not giving up just yet.

Because,  we'd like to have some of the grapes,  and not let the raccoons eat all of them,  dammit!

This "phenomenon"  has been going on for a few days now,  with the first visit back in the earlier part of the week.
From where I'm sitting,  and if the windows are open, I can hear commotion coming from outside.  And sure enough,  when I went out to investigate,  there was one of our little "friends",  helping himself (herself?) to our grapes.

I initially started poking away with a mop handle,  at which point I was growled at,  and declared, "This means war".

You all remember Bugs Bunny of course.

But let's not get side tracked.

So on that visit,  the little bandit got a good soaking,  as the hose is handy,  and our water pressure is good.
I knew though,  that he'd be back.
Hence,  over the ensuing days,  my raccoon visit mitigation devices got more and more elaborate.  I think finally last night I might have found the ultimate solution.

Well really,  the "ultimate" solution is frowned on here abouts in the burbs,  and I think you know what I mean.  Not even remotely possible,  as I have no "ordinance"  here at The Ponderosa.

So this:

....utter silliness,  was my attempt to ward off the visitor.

There was evidence of fur ("We have DNA evidence",  according to T.C.)  but this elaborate contraption wasn't completely effective.

Deterred,  little buddy went along and shinnied up the centre divider between the garage doors.   All I had to do was look,  and I could see the little claw marks on the wood.  Bugger!


As they say in Jamaica,  "respect, Mon".   But really?

So that resulted in this:

I stapled old metal lath around the edges,   along with a bunch of nails.

And....AND!  this morning there were NO grapes scattered about on the ground!  So,  until there's some sort of new devious plan,  the grapes *might* be safe for a few more days.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the little bastards setting up a scaffold tonight.   Fingers crossed.

See,  we had a pretty good crop this year,  and there were enough grapes for maybe four or five tiny jars of really, really good grape jelly.

Emphasis on "were".  Not so sure anymore.

Um,  let's see.  What else?

We're having some crazy warm (actually,  hot) weather.   Totally awesome I must say.  Better than most of August,  or half the summer for that matter.  I hear some folks actually closed their pools.  Too early for that for sure.
Anyway,  this weather should continue for a few more days.

This is when I'm really thankful that I don't have to work in a hot school.  It's bad enough in the summer with shorts and a light shirt on,  but when school starts,  the Custodial Staff have to once again don the usual long trousers (blue jeans at least)  and blue shirts.

OK for the late fall,  winter and early spring,  but I run a little hot,  so I'd be sweating like a steer.

I had thoughts of renting a honkin' big log splitter to deal with some of the bigger stuff that's too big for my own splitter,  but then realised it's just a bit too hot...

I'm not sure what I'll do today,  which is why I'm sitting here more or less frittering away my time.

So whatever the heck it is,  I suppose I'd best go and get at it.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Watching the show.

Because there seems to always be a "show".   And I'm not talking about the Eclipse,  which was kinda neat.  And yes,  I did watch some of that,  but only on line.

I wasn't about to fool with pin holes in cereal boxes and such,  when there were several entities such as NASA who very conveniently had live feeds that one could watch on YouTube.   I mean,  if you have "unlimited" internet download capability (which is not really "unlimited",  but whatever)  why not watch on line?

Anyway no,   the show I'm referring to,  and one of the reasons we open the curtains in the front is, the neighbours across the way.

Not the best picture,  but this is the third boat they've had in a couple years.

They just keep getting bigger and bigger!  Hey,  whatever floats yer boat.

Sorry for that one.

It's presently away, and just the trailer is there for the last few days,  so I'm guessing they're on holidays.   Which means the kids are at home.  Which means,  there's usually some other type of "show".

I was in bed by then,  but reportedly the cops showed up the other morning at around two. Went in.  Had a chat.  *rolling my eyes*

Beats TV some nights.

Anyway,  we seem to be muddling along.  Had visitors off and on this summer.   Sister-in-law and Hubby have moved from B.C. back to Ontario and have bought a place in Kingston.  If you look at real estate prices,  you'll get it.

Kingston is nice.  They're a couple blocks from the water,  and are hoping for a mild winter.  Fingers crossed.
I think I'd sooner have cold and clear rather than the type of weather they get in Vancouver.

I'd be totally depressed.

Meanwhile,  my bathroom is pretty much done.  Well,  except I think I'm going to paint the inside trim,  as I'm not happy with the way it looks.   Went back to the paint store and had them tint what was left over from the painting I had already done,  and voila!  I now have "trim" paint.   Really just paint.  But a darker version of what I put on the walls,  and they tinted it for free!   

No brainer.  Already had the paint,  and I like "free".

Annoyingly,  the sink drain was NOT cooperating,  so I had to get serious about cleaning it out.   Turns out there was a lump of gunk in the line that had hardened up over the time it took me to do the work,  and no amount of coaxing either with a plunger or liquid plumber was getting it to work.
It was hair,  but let's not go there.

So I had to cut the drain pipe (after first removing the plaster ceiling in the garage.  Such fun!)  and shoved a air hose up in there and gave it a blast.   Worked like a charm.

Then I installed a clean out for the inevitable time when it decides to back up again.

Because it will.

That bit of white stuff there is just teflon tape.

Due to the location of the laundry chute,  the original plumber had to make a couple 90 degree bends up in the wall behind the cabinet,  and I simply know it'll be prone to a stoppage at some point in time.  No worries.  I'll just blast it out again.

Um,  I suppose that's about it.  We're still sailing on Tuesdays until the long weekend.  Then after "Bronte Rocks",  we switch over to Sundays.   Something to do with sunset and days getting shorter.

Oh,  and we did do a couple cottage visits.   Nothing extraordinary.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep that stick on the ice.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Why it's good that some regattas are only two days.

Since that's the maximum number of days I can stay out in the sun.

It's one thing to be "outstanding in your field",  like haying or such,  but being on the water seems to fly me up real good.  No matter how much I slather on sunblock,  and reapply after sweating it off,  I still manage to get ever so slightly toasted.

Anyway,  this past weekend was the "Can-Am Challenge' in Youngstown, N.Y. which,  for us is just across the boarder.   Kind of odd really,  as we go to the States,  and then ended up sailing in Canadian waters both days.

Whatever.   It was a great two days.  A little lumpy on the Saturday morning,  but that was the only glitch.  Well,  and the Race Committee was a bit of a "shit show",  or at least I seem to recall that that was the term we used.  I mean, I've never seen anyone change the course over seven races so much due to the slightest wind shift.   Totally bizarre.   And well,  our skipper signed up (and ponied up a fair amount of cash)  as he was led to believe it was going to be a "pursuit" race,  but instead it ended up being an "around the cans" type of deal.
We were not in the top three,  let's just say.

These two delivered the boat on Friday,  and as it happened,  I decided to go down to the slip before their departure just to see them off.  
Well,   that was well played,  as there was some help needed putting a reef in the main sail and generally helping getting them away.  The wind was a wee bit strong for the rest of Friday,  and I think the skipper said something like "gusting to 29 knots"?  
Neither of them were able to dare leave the cockpit for the entire journey,  which turned out to be almost seven hours!   That's a long time to hold yer bladder.

One of the rare times Brian wore his life vest.

I however,  decided to drive down that afternoon.  Of course,  that means crossing the border in a vehicle which,  once I actually made it to the booth,  went quite quickly,  so I'm not sure what was taking so long for the vehicles in front of me.  The usual questions,  "Citizenship?"  "Where you going?"  "How long?"  and this one I thought interesting,  "Will you be leaving anything behind?",  to which my answer was,  "Oh,  I'm pretty sure we'll be drinking all of the beer."    

Off I went.

I could bore you with boat pictures and such,  but you get the idea.  

Um,  this:

...was my sleeping accommodation.  I set it up (last) Monday afternoon (shown here)  just to make sure I could,  and that it was in good shape. We've had this tent for,  oh I don't know,  15 years?  But it's only been used a couple times.
 I also went out and bought myself one of those "self inflating" mats.  Went with three inches.

The first night (Friday night) it did take me a bit to get to sleep,  as it seems that the house here must be really,  really quiet,  since every little sound was waking me up.  And I was wearing ear plugs!

Saturday night was better.   It's been a long,  long time since I've slept in a tent.  T.C. was mocking me ever so slightly for my foolishness,  but it was actually not bad.   Plus of course,  they have showers at the yacht club,  so being able to get cleaned up at the end of the day (all that sweat and sunblock)  was the best thing ever.   I swear,  the "shower"  has got to be one of mankind's better inventions.

The thing is,  with these types of sailing regattas,  there are those who sleep on the boat (not me,  too claustrophobic)  and then everyone else who pitches a tent where ever there is some free space.   There just happened to be a park  (that's a google map link)  where others had pitched tents,  along with a couple motor homes.  I was kinda missing ours,  to be honest.

But,  I had the truck parked nearby,  which allowed me to bring all the "stuff" I needed to make the stay more comfortable.  The most important of which was of course,  a small camp stove,  water,  a kettle,  and coffee.   Gotta have that coffee in the morning,  or forget it!

We then had breakfast on the boat.   The skipper cooked up awesome breakfasts both mornings.

Meanwhile,  I've fixed up both the table and the dresser that I mentioned last week.

Originally I wasn't going to bother with the table,  until we had to get it out of the way.   When I flipped it over,  I was then able to see why it was starting to split.  So,  couldn't let that alone.

This is my alteration:

See,  wood moves,  and the way it was,  the table top couldn't move at all.  So I made some retainers to allow for wood movement.

OK,  gotta go.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 24, 2017

There are moments, and the rest of the time, I'm a Bonehead.

Bit of running around today.   Got wind of a table and dresser up for grabs from a buddy of mine.  Initially I didn't really give much thought to the email he sent around,  until Travelling Companion mentioned that perhaps one of her sisters could use a couple things.

So fine,  picked them up.
It's that whole "pick-up truck"  thing.  Sure comes in handy.

Note,  I've let it be known in no uncertain terms that Muggins here (that would be me)  is not,   and will never be,  willing to "help move".


Those days are long in the past.
The last five moves we did ( that Puerto Rico thing,  and then years later from here to the Netherlands,  then on to Vienna,  and then ultimately back home again)  involved moving companies. They were "company moves" after all.
I only supervised.  My kind of moving.  Even then, something to contend with.

If you're moving,  get your young friends to help.  And if you're my age and moving?  Hire movers.

The next "move" I do will likely be when they take me out of here feet first.  But whatever.

Where was I?


We did a little detour first,  as there was a request for a return favour,  in that we went off to Exotic Woods to pick up some Mahogany Plywood.  He bought six sheets.  Glad I wasn't paying,  as the bill came to something in the neighbourhood of eight hundred bucks.
Not my kind of neighbourhood.

That's the same place where I bought the Cherry Plywood for the cabinets I built for the bathroom.  Good resource to have,  but you need deep pockets.   The Cherry Ply came out to roughly $140 a sheet.
Not a good idea to make any mistakes.

So I was a little surprised to discover that these two pieces of random furniture that these folks were willing to part with for the sake of a bit more room in their condo,  are genuine antiques.

No idea as to the age of the table,  although the size of the pine boards that make up the top haven't been available for at least a half century,   and the dresser,  although "factory made",  uses Pin and Cove joinery for the drawers.   There are three drawers by the way,  I hadn't put the top two back in,
 as the dresser needs a bit of TLC.

Stole a couple pics off the net....

Goes by various names,  however it rightly should be referred to as a "Knapp Joint",  as it was patented by Charles Knapp of Waterloo, Wisconsin in 1867.

Because you really need to know this!

It was no longer in production as of 1900,  so I suspect that the dresser is like...old.

Anyway,   they're sitting in the garage.  And like I said,  the dresser needs some lovin',  so I'll sort that out later today or tomorrow.  It's mostly the runners that hold in the drawers.  Wonky.
That's a technical term.

Meanwhile,   I've been getting my camping ducks in a row,  as I'm headed to Youngstown, N.Y. for the weekend for a sailing thingy.

Oh wait,  it's the Can-Am Challenge.  There we go.

As I'm not overly thrilled with sleeping on the boat (remember that whole claustrophobic episode on the train?)   I'll be taking along a tent.

Of course,  I'm also not overly thrilled with sleeping in a tent,  but with enough libations,  and the fact that it's not moving,  I'm sure I'll be fine.

I mean,  my last "camping" experience was in a class A Motorhome.   Queen bed etc.  This will be a bit of a retro step,  to say the least.

In the back room of our shed,  I have a sort of "sanctum sanctorum" (OK,  it's not really "holy",  I just like that phrase)  in which I also have some mouse proof cabinets,  containing many of the items that I took out of the aforementioned Motorhome to hang onto.  I'm a bit odd that way,  I know.
I had sort of forgotten about it,  but there was,  in fact,  a tent.   Thought I'd better set it up,  just to make sure it was serviceable.

Good to go.

But,  here's the "Bonehead"  part.   In one of the totes (gotta love Totes!)  there was this black fabric type of thingy,  and I really had no clue what it was.

So, what did I discover that I didn't know we had,  nor have any recollection of ever buying?

Yup.   It's a BBQ cover!

I may or may not keep it on in the summer.  I have mixed feelings about covering a BBQ,   as I find that a grill such as the Weber really doesn't require a cover.   But I might just use it in the winter time to keep the snow off.  I mean,  we have it.  It's there.  Why not use it?

I have yet to go up into the attic and do some further rummaging.  I do suspect that I'll need some tent pegs.  I'm sure I saw some somewhere.  *sigh*
And they do have those things available for purchase,  if it comes right down to it.

Stay tuned.

And thanks for stopping by.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Somebody had a good day.

While I realise that for the most part,  this blog thing is all about me me me.   However,  it's worth mentioning that T.C. had a birthday last week (a week ago, to be exact)  and it was sort of a "milestone"  type of thing.

Anyhoo,  we had planned to go golfing that afternoon,  with the thought of then "going out to a restaurant"  later in the evening.  Long story short,  it was a total ruse.
Not the golfing part.
We did do eight holes at Victoria Park Valley Golf Club.  Had a great time.  I only lost two balls.  Um,  the loss of golf balls is pretty much my benchmark for whether I've made out OK or not.  Scoring is another matter.

(I took down the photo)

I have to be a little careful here,  as T.C. does NOT like her image posted to the net.

So,  when we later got to her sister's place up in Guelph,  she did make a comment about a car in the driveway with Massachusetts plates,  which I pretty much ignored,  as I suspected that there just might be a host of people waiting for her in the house.

And there was.

She had no idea.

The car from the States was being driven by a couple of folks we had visited in Slovenia,  who are now in the process of doing a little tour of Canada and the States.   A friend of theirs in Mass.  lent them a car.  Pretty awesome that they were able to work their plans in such a way as to be there that day.
Needless to say,  T.C. was "gobsmacked"  (to use the U.K. term)  when she saw everyone waiting for her.

I'll only be so bold as to put up one of the pics that they had assembled for the occasion.

The last time I saw photos assembled in this way was at a funeral, so this was a nice change.

So it's been cards and letters,  and dinners out.

Meanwhile,  I just keep plugging away here at The Ponderosa.

I've finished my set of "cubby holes"  for the bathroom.   When the tub was in there,  the space at the end was pretty much wasted,  and when I put in the wall for the controls and such,  I knew I wanted to take advantage of that space.

So here we go:

Right next to the "tooth brush charging station".

Now I just have to replace that door.   It's only back up there because the new one will be getting its finish over the next few days.   Then I just have to do the rest of the painting.

I think that's it.

It's been a bit of a long haul,  but here's the thing:  A similar endeavour taken on by one of my sisters-in-law was in the neighbourhood of thirty thousand dollars.   T.C. added up all the costs so far,  including about a thousand bucks for a wet saw,  and we still came in at around eight grand.

No accounting for my time of course.

I suspect that if I had the patience/tolerance/whatever to let trades people come into the house,  this job may very well have exceeded that amount. (30k,  that is)
But then,  nobody is going to make truly custom mill work.

And I know this,  'cause one of my brothers-in-law,  who happens to be an architect and would therefor have all kinds of contacts when it came to having custom work done,  had to hire me to do some cabinets for their rather tiny galley kitchen in their Toronto home once upon a time.
I  must have done an OK job,  as they are still there and in good shape.
The bonus was,  not only did he pay me almost twice what I was asking,  but also supplied me we some awesome plans to follow.
I so love it when someone else makes all the decisions like that.

I think that's about it for this go around.

I'll pipe up sometime when I think I have something worth saying.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 10, 2017

It's been a great summer so far.

I always think I'm going to somehow "jinx" things when I make those kinds of statements,  like when you're on the racecourse,  and you think you're doing alright,  and you screw up a gybe.  But let's not go there.

Of course,  we did that trip over to Europe.   Took a whack of pics.  I've saved them.  That's about it.

Once you've seen one old building you've sort of seen them all.

Quick recap:   Flew in to Vienna.   Cabbed it to our hotel on Mariahilfer Stra├če (that funny looking thing is a double "s" by the way.)

Which is now a pedestrian zone.  Which made it remarkably quiet I found.  Turns out motorised traffic is louder than I realised.

Went to the State Opera to see Swan Lake  "Schwannsee"  if you prefer.

Then cabbed it back to the airport to fetch a rental car and drove down to Slovenia.

A Nissan Qashqai,  which we both quite liked.

Drove back from Slovenia after a few days to meet up with some of  T.C.'s former work associates,  took the car back on the Friday and flew off to Dubrovnik.   Stayed there for the weekend to visit yet another former work associate,  who flew in from Serbia.

Dubrovnik is cool.  A "once in a lifetime",  as there were many,  many tourists.  Of a certain ethnic origin.  And forever underfoot.  That's all I'm sayin'.

Looking back to the harbour/gate.

Flew back to Austria.   Picked up yet another car.  Drove to Slovenia.

Tired yet?

I could go on.   T.C. made a couple fabric shopping stops.  One in Vienna at Komolka,  and another in Slovenia at a rather difficult to find place called Gramatex.  And I can't seem to find their website.  Wouldn't matter anyway,  it would be in Slovenian.   You'll notice (if you're brave) that the Komolka site is in German.

Anyway,  good trip all in all,  and we'll just cut to the chase.
 It was especially nice for Travelling Companion,   as she didn't have that Sunday night dread of having to get back in order to go to work Monday morning.   After all,  "Every day is Saturday"  around these parts.

Oh, and I have to say,  I've never been to the ballet,  but Swan Lake was pretty freakin' awesome.  I mean,  it's the Vienna State Orchestra,  the Vienna State Ballet Company.  It's kind of a "go big or go home situation" right?

No sour notes,  and nobody did any face plants or some such thing.

I think I'm just going to skip on up to today, as we just received a replacement Grill delivered to the door.
I had been getting a little frustrated with our 17 year old  (yes,  seventeen!)  Weber Q,  as part of the cast iron grill has gotten a bit rusty,  and I've had to mess around with the little gas opening/port/thingys.    We had been looking at something more elaborate,  couldn't quite pull the trigger on something in the thousand dollar range, and just figured we'd do a "do over" with the Weber.  So,  got a replacement.

I really like having things delivered to the door!  So much less hassle.

Anyway,  you have to put on the lid and add the igniter a such,  but I think I had it back on the old stand (I did spend a few minutes giving the stand a wash at least)  in maybe 20 minutes or so.

Good to go.

I was really trying to think of why I would possibly need anything more complicated (you know,  "infrared" whatever?)  and decided that,  even though I Grill all year around,  I never really get past burgers,  chicken  and a few veggies here and there.  
We'll see if this one lasts as long.   One thing,  they've now changed the cooking surface to some sort of porcelain coated cast iron.  That should make a difference I suppose.

That's it for now.  I'm out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Why I'd sooner make it, than buy it.

Back when the bathroom was more an idea than reality,  we did have a vanity on order.  I was simply willing to take the easy way out.

Of course,  when the supplier started talking about a March delivery or some such fresh air,  we cancelled the order and got our money back.

I would have had to seriously modify the thing anyway,  as there was the issue of the laundry chute to deal with.  I didn't want it to continue to be some sort of unused relic collecting dust,  as it had been for the previous fifty or so years.

And,  modifying something you just paid through the nose for?   Not really the best solution.  So I made my own.

It was something that sort of evolved,  as I'm not really big on drawing up elaborate plans and such,  mostly as I didn't really know what the heck I wanted in the first place.

There are however "moments of clarity"  from time to time .

So,   picture this.

Well,  maybe "picturing"  is not the right term.


You're on the throne:

 The previous user has left you very little toilet paper.  (not necessarily depicted in this photo,  of course)

What happens when you suddenly realise you've run out of shit tickets??

"The Horror!"  you say.  Well....

Ta da!

And this,  Ladies and Gentleman,  is what you can do when you "make it your own damned self".

Oh,  and I also put up the second wall sconce we brought back from Austria when we moved home.

It had been languishing in a box for the last three four years.

Just a couple more things.  Choosing a paint colour (not really my deal)  and some more cupboards to fill the space between the shower wall and the outside wall of the bathroom.

I'll get there.

That'll do for today.   Heading out to Guelph later tonight for a wee visit with T.C.'s sister and one of their old school chums.

No Slovenia pictures.   Wouldn't want to over stay the welcome,  so to speak.   Maybe tomorrow?

Thanks for stopping by,  and keep that stick on the ice.