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'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.