Monday, March 19, 2018

Wenn die Katze fort ist...

tanzen die Mäuse.

And in this case,  I'm the Maus.   Although,  I haven't done any dancing so far today.

Oh,  this expression in English is,  "When the cat is away,  the mice will play."   You remember that one.
The word order in German is a bit tricky,  but we won't get into a grammar lesson here.

You're welcome.

See,  T.C. is away.   And will be until I head back up to Guelph on Wednesday to fetch her.  Her sister offered to drive her home,  but I'll also be dropping off a small dresser for another one of her sisters.  Long story.   She's somewhat "dis-advantaged" shall we say?  I'll just leave it at that.
Anyway,  the dresser she presently has (which I do believe we provided for her, now that I think on it)  is not in the best condition.  She moved a couple years ago,  and the movers were less than...careful.

Anyway, back once upon a time,  before we had the roof and chimney sorted out so that there would no longer be any water coming in well,  water came in.   Not like,  buckets or anything,  but just enough to mess up the plaster.

I've been meaning to get it sorted out for a time now.   The only issue is,  it's in what is now T.C.'s sewing room,  and she's in there most every day.
Of course,  I'm in my "shop" most every day as well.

That's what we do.   We're pensioners.

So rather than lying about all day,  or spending my time sitting at the computer here (whoops)  I figured I'd get at it.

Of course,  it took as long to get the room ready for what was really a minor bit of spackling,  but at this point at least I have on the first coat.

Turns out,  the new camera I bought a while back does this "panorama"  thing.  Figured I'd give it a go.

I didn't end up generating all that much dust,  but I just wasn't sure.  Plus of course,  in a similar way that what looks like a tiny rust spot on the fender of your vehicle that subsequently turns out to be you needing to replace the whole damned thing?  It's kind of like that with what looks like some relatively minor water damage.

Not much,  right?


Meh.  Whatever.

Meanwhile,  I found out yesterday at a little gathering just who it was who has been slightly messing with me in terms of where I think things *should* be,  as to where they end up?  Can't think of any other way to explain that.

See,  when the tree guys were here a few days ago, they had moved a couple little figurine/pseudo gnomes/whatever out of the way so they wouldn't get damaged.   There were a couple other things that got moved out of the way too,  but I do remember these two little squirrel statue things sitting by the generator.

Then I couldn't help but notice this:

Wait.  How did that get there?

And this:

Da hell??

Creepy little bastards.

See,  once upon a time,  before we (sounding like a broken record here)  put some finishing touches on the front of the Ponderosa here,  the squirrels would take great delight in getting up there and CHEWING ON THE HOUSE. 
They looooove cedar.
Used to drive insane. 
So our wonderful children thought it would be "funny" (note the quotation marks) to give me these creepy little squirrel statues just to,  you know,  bug me.
Trust me,  there are more than just those two.

Well of course,  one of the days when we were away,  I find out it was Daughter Number One who thought she'd try and get my goat once again by setting the little buggers up on the windows.

Am I going to have to check the cameras now each and every time we away?  Just to see who is creeping around? 

I can.  It's doable.  Just takes forever is all.

Anyway,  that's it for this round.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

There should be a mercy rule.

Kind of like in Little League.  You know,  when you're ahead by a certain amount,  you just quit and you all go for pizza.

Of course,  the Little League website would much prefer that you refer to it as "The ten run rule",  but whatever.  We wouldn't want to damage anyone with some sort of less than P.C. terminology.

We're raising a generation of snowflakes,  but don't get me started!

So what the hell am I talking about?

Well,  Sledge Hockey of course.

It just so happened that I tuned in yesterday to the Canada/Sweden game in the third period I think it was,  and Canada was already up 13 to 0.   That's nothing, zip, zilch.  A big ole goose egg.

And before I could even get myself nicely tucked in on my comfy couch,  they had scored twice more.  The game ended up with Canada finally scoring 17 goals.

Like,  I was starting to feel really bad for the Swedish goalie. Poor bugger.

Have you ever watched Sledge Hockey?   I can't even grasp how these guys keep from just tipping over all the time.  I mean,  I can barely stand up on skates,  but this is like riding a Unicycle on the ice.

Here,  I'll steal an image from the net for show and tell:

That's Liam Hickey.   He also plays wheelchair basketball.

Note the single skate he's perched on?   How the hell??

Here's the article that the picture came from if you're interested.

Anyway,  it's unfortunate that the coverage of the Paralympics isn't quite as involved as the regular Olympics,  since some of these folks are truly amazing.  There are times when you do a double take,  and realise, "Hey, she's only got one arm!"   And she's hurtling down the ski hill at 70 kilometres an hour! 

Anyway,  I'll watch whatever comes on. 

I haven't really checked if there is figure skating.  If there's figure skating, I'm afraid that's where I draw the line.  Just doesn't much work for me.   Admittedly,  I have sat through a couple programs with T.C.,  but that's sort of like "taking one for the team".

Meanwhile,  today I got a visit from Batman,  as he's working on a little game for the kids when he goes to charity events or say,  to the children's ward at the hospital.

So,  I've obviously altered this photo to protect his true identity,   but over the next week I'll be making a frame type of thing to hold this up when in use,   to then be folded down to fit into his vehicle. 
The Joker's teeth are a cut out made of foam core,  and the idea is similar to something like "Cornhole",  where you throw an object and try and knock out the Joker's teeth.

And yes,  there is a game called Cornhole.   But the Joker will be closer to upright,  as opposed to almost lying flat as with Cornhole. 

I always get a bit of a chuckle from the name "Cornhole",  but we won't go there.

Oh and,  as Batman explained,  the object to be thrown will be a Batarang.
And yes,  there is a Wiki article explaining just what a "Batarang" is. 
Who knew?

I think that's all I have for today.

Until next time.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

And well, you know,  stick, ice, etc.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Back in Business.

Or something like that.

Yesterday afternoon,  as I was quietly perusing the weekly flyers that come with the local "newspaper",  and "newspaper" is in quotation marks for a reason,  but that's another story,  I could not help but start to hear a high pitched intermittent beeping coming from upstairs somewhere.  I'm pretty sure my adrenaline level increased ever so slightly,  but within a very few screaming beeps I was able to determine that it was the DVR for our security camera system.
Yes,  we have cameras.   This came about mostly as we were heading away for a month a couple years ago (2016)  and I originally wanted some way to monitor the temperature in the house,  but soon discovered that a "smart" thermostat was neigh on impossible,  as I only have the two leads from the boiler to the thermostat,  and I'd need a 24volt supply.  Not happening.

So,  the next best thing was putting a camera in the boiler area so I could monitor what was going on from anywhere that there is internet.  Like that.

Anyway,  after I shut the thing off, I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on,  as the DVR would NOT boot up again.

Took a look on the Lorex website,  and in very short order,  I was "chatting"  with someone named "Rafael".   Like that's their actual name?  *snort*.

That actually was helpful,  believe it or not,  as "Rafael"  was able to take me through a couple steps for diagnosing the problem.  When I took a look at the front of the unit (involves taking it down off the wall,  and you'll see why in a minute)  I couldn't help but notice that the "power" light was sort of flickering,  and I thought,  "I wonder if there's something up with the power supply?"   Sure enough,  after retrieving a tester,  the thing was barely putting out a volt.   Totally pooched.

So,  I wished "Rafael"  a fine weekend,  and this morning I went to a local supplier of all things electrical here not far from The Ponderosa called Sayal where,  after being able to extricate the Punjabi speaking cashier away from her boyfriend (or whoever that Dude was)  she was able to point me in to the correct aisle to see if they had the proper "wall wort".   It needed to be 2.5 amps,  which precluded being able to use any of the cast offs that I have out in my treasure trove in the shed.  Annoying really.

Not only that,  but the adaptors at that amperage were just a wee bit more than I thought was a reasonable price,  considering that I've purchased adaptors for as little as a couple bucks.   This thing was twenty-two! 

But,  like Travelling Companion was quick to point out,  "You bought the system for 500 dollars and you'd sooner have it sit there useless instead of paying a few bucks to have it working?"
*sigh*    "OK, fine."

Anyway,  I thought maybe I'd need an adaptor for the adaptor, since the little plug thingy did look slightly different,  but it works.

Did I ever mention that I had put the entire system in the upstairs hall closet?   See,  the DVR is kinda noisy.  It just is.  And previously,  when the system was in one of the spare bedrooms,  I'd have to make sure to turn it off anytime we had guests sleeping up there.  I didn't think it was that bad,  but I got overruled.

Meanwhile,  we had Tree Cutting Dude back yesterday with his two helpers to take down the third and final Ash tree.   You may or may not have heard of a little creature called the Emerald Ash Borer
and we have been blessed with these little bastards for a few years now.  They have basically decimated most,  if not all of the ash trees around these parts.   If you've ever come across warnings about moving firewood around the country side,  these little bastards are the reason why.

I took a photo of the type of damage that they incur.

It's no wonder the poor tree was dying.  Now we're down to a couple oak trees,  a basswood,  and the maple trees I've planted out on the boulevard.

Any tree planted on the boulevard,  by the way,  becomes the property of,  and responsibility of the city.  Works for me.   Cutting down or trimming trees is pricey.

I took a bunch of photos and videos,  but I'll only put up a few here of him going out to cut off this one limb that was hanging precariously over our cable/phone/internet.

And if you click on that one to make it bigger and think there's something wrong with the camera?  No,  that's snow.  There were brief moments of nastiness a couple times there.
But,  he hung in there.
(see what I did there??)

Um ya,   NOT my cup of tea.

Needless to say,  I'm going to have firewood until the end of time.  And,  that's not counting the huge stack up against the house.  OR the stuff I've split and is stacked up way over there under that green and yellow left over bag from some soil we bought a couple years ago.

And of course,  the thing is,  taking it "camping" say?  is out of the question.  Wouldn't be prudent.

Can't take it anywhere,  really.

So now at some point,  after I've split up all the stuff that I can with my small splitter (it's *only* five ton)  I'll once again rent a 25 ton jobbie from Home Despot to split up the really big pieces.

This might take a wee while.

Like,  maybe next fall I'll have it sorted out?   Who knows?

Once again,  thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Best adapted foot massage.

Hm. Started writing this yesterday.  Guess I got distracted?

Sounds like a perfectly acceptable Oscar category.   Right up there with Best Catering Service.  I mean,  why not?  Not that it would make watching the Oscars any less painful mind you.
We tuned in a bit late,  so when Kimmel talked about the Jet-Ski,  I thought he was just kidding. I mean,  some of the people getting their trophies do tend to go on and on.  What do your kids have to do with it?  Really.  Especially for the guys.  I mean,  whoever had the child might be able to better feel the pain of making a movie?  I dunno. 
Think about it,  you're receiving an award for getting to do what you love and make bags of money.
I did think the "trophy" for having the shortest acceptance speech was kinda brilliant though.   When they showed the Dude on his new Jet-Ski at the end,  it did make the whole ordeal kind of worthwhile,  at least for me anyway.

So by now you've no doubt guessed that T.C. and I stayed up to watch the entire (painful, on my part) program on Sunday night.  At one point at around "Best Headband Worn by a Busboy",  T.C. admitted that she was bored.  I offered that I had been bored for what seemed like hours up until that point.

Not my idea of "what to watch" on a Sunday night.  There was an interesting thing on TVO (our provincial version of public television)  having to do with the history of railways in the UK which I thought would have been far more interesting.   But hey,  I'm a documentary kind of guy,  whereas T.C. would be quite happy to watch "The Voice".  Makes my skin crawl....

Anyhoo,  we had the fireplace going full bore which was pretty nice,  with the slight issue being that,  when we finally made our way upstairs,  we discovered that it was just a wee bit cool,  as of course the boiler had been tricked into thinking that the house was quite warm enough.  I prefer it a bit cooler for sleeping though.

Speaking of the fireplace however,  I've had a screen/enclosure type of thing on the front of the firebox for more years than I'd care to admit,  and at one point when I was shoving more wood in,  the metal chain curtain thingy sort of started drooping.  No bueno.

Took it apart yesterday and had a look.  Easy to fix, as the thing is held up by little metal rings, which had simply come undone.  I would have taken a picture,  but as I had to feel in around there at one point with my bare hands,  they were so black I wouldn't have dared touch anything, let alone a camera.

Looks pretty nasty in there I realise,  but it is a fireplace after all.  One of these days (years?)  I'll put in some sort of insert to get more heat coming out into the room,  as opposed to up the chimney.
Of course,  I'll have to extend the "hearth"  out to the proper depth,  which will involve slicing out a chunk of the flooring and pouring some sort of pad.  I have a bunch of slate stored out in the shed that I removed from the upstairs fireplace that I might use.  We'll see.

Meanwhile,  I've painted a section of the garage floor, after giving it a good scrubbing,  and have started to move the bench back.

I forgot just how uneven the floor is right there.  And I stupidly threw out the little bits of wood I had had under the feet to level it up. 

Not a big deal really.  Just meant having to rummage around for more bits of wood is all.    The blue closed cell mat there is for my poor old knees.

We had a little bit of an internet issue this morning and I had only come in here to see if it was up and running again.  Somebody must have tripped over an extension cord I guess.  Can't see why else it would randomly crap out at nine thirty in the morning.  We've had issues with squirrels chewing on the cable in the past,  but I guess that wasn't the case this time.

Who knows?

That'll be it for a time.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The week that was.

Or something like that.

Title ideas are sometimes a wee bit elusive.

Anyhoo,   Travelling Companion and I took a little jaunt down to the States on Wednesday to check out a place that I'm sure many of you are familiar with.   It's really just another fabric shop,  but apparently has a bigger selection of quilting fabrics?   You've no doubt heard of Joann Fabrics?
Pretty uneventful.  Bought about twenty bucks worth of thread.  Had a look around.  From here it's really just over an hour away.  We then made a stop in Niagara-on-the-Lake for some lunch at the Oban Inn.   Spent way more on lunch than at the fabric place,  including the four and half bucks we had to pay to come BACK INTO CANADA.   Da f*k? 
Are we still paying for a bridge or something?

Anyway,  the food at the Inn was OK.  A little on the salty side if anything,  and T.C.  said her Chicken something or other had an odd taste.   I had the "Oban Burger",  and it was pretty good.  Just too salty.  I don't know what it is,  but a lot of chefs/cooks/whatever like to dollop on gobs of salt.  Like,  to the point where I've actually been able to *feel* my blood pressure rising.  And yes,  that's a thing.  When you can feel your heart rate in your head?  That ain't right.   Didn't happen this time,  but it's happened.

What I mostly recall from out little jaunt was,  at one point we pulled off of the thruway,  where we had to make our exit anyway,  and decided to slip in to a service road just to recheck our directions.  Well,  I couldn't get over the amount of TRASH at the side of the road!  And then I started noticing it everywhere.  Holy moly!  Get them prisoners out there picking up da trash guys!.   And I know I'm biased as all anything,  but there wasn't nearly that much trash on the Canadian side.  Seriously.  And usually when the snow melts is when you start to see it. 
OK,  I guess it must get cleaned up at some point,  since I just took a look on Google Earth View,  and there's no trash to be seen.

Anyway,  sorry I brought it up.

Then on Thursday,  Tree Cutting Dude showed up with his crew to cut down our last Ash Trees.  (sad face).
T.C. and I were on our way to Guelph to see a new arrival,  who came into the world on February eight.
Tree Cutting Dude did say that,  as the weather was worsening,  he might very well pull the plug on the whole event, as it ain't no fun being up a tree when the wind picks up and it starts to snow.

And it did.   But of course, anyone on the East Coast knows full well just what happened over the last few days.   We got hardly anything by the way.  Lucky for us.

So the tree is still there,  minus a bunch of branches that he cut off on the way up.  I know for sure he'll be back next week some time,  as he left two of his "throwing lines"  (for lack of a better term)  so he can get his other lines back up the tree without too much difficulty.

This is the little "noodle",  as my sister-in-law (the Grand-ma)  calls her.   

So there was a bunch of  the usual fussing over a new baby,   but this here blog ain't about little kids,  so we'll move on.

It's taken me a bit of prep to get to this point,  but I've finally put some floor paint on the area where my bench normally sits.  The base of the bench has enough finish on it at this point that I'm reasonably satisfied,  so once the floor paint cures in a day or two,  I'll move the bench back.  I really need to put the top on upside down at first and do some adjusting.  We'll see how that goes.  Even without the shoulder vise and tail vise,  the top is really quite heavy,  and hoisting up just one end is just about all I can lift. 

I guess that's about it.

Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.

Keep that stick on the ice.