Sunday, April 29, 2018

Home again, and there's gonna be laundry.

Actually,  not all that much,  but I thought that was a catchy title.

T.C. and I took a little jaunt down to Kingston for a few days to visit with her sis and hubby.  And no,  I mean Kingston, Ontario.  Not Jamaica.
Been to Jamaica,  might go back.  Not sure.

Anyhoo,  the weather wasn't really stellar,  as it rained all the way there,  and rained intermittently the whole time we were there.   Looks like the weather here cleared up,  and it also looks like I just might have to fuel up the mower and start cutting grass in very short order.

Kingston is a neat little town,  and sis-in-law and hubby bought a place that allows for walking to almost every possible amenity.
Of course,  the downside is,  they have to park on the street.  So that kinda sucks.  You can see here where I've parked the truck behind their vehicle:

It's the grey one with the green shutters.  Apparently,  Sir John A. Macdonald once lived there way back when he was more of a drunk than a politician.  Although,  he may very well have been both at the same time.   If you do happen to go to that article,  about half way down,  there's a picture of the house before it was divided into two residences.   So sis-in-law and hubby live in one half.  Kind of like a condo really,   except really old.

The place is 70 feet from front to back,  with a skinny little back yard to boot.  Oh,  and there just happens to be a ground hog hanging out back there as well.

Not that having a ground hog in your back yard is anything to be too proud of or anything.  I'm sure he's mostly harmless,  although I do recall that (back on the farm)  we'd go out about twice a year and dispatch as many groundhogs as we could find and fill in their holes,  so the livestock would not be stepping in them.   I suggested sis-in-law might get herself a 22,  but discharging a firearm in the city is kinda frowned on.  It's Canada and all.  We do have guns, but there are a few little rules, and we certainly don't hunt with an AR-15.

So where was I?

Right.  Well,  there was a lot of eating and drinking,  so I think I'll be giving my liver a rest this week.  I mean,  it's not like I got blindingly drunk or anything,  but we didn't exactly have "afternoon tea" either.

Took a little jaunt over to Gananoque for lunch at one of the many touristy spots.  I don't think I've been in Gananoque in over forty years,  as the last time I was there was with my parents,  and we took one of the 1000 Island Boat Tours.

Oh,  and for the unsure,  it's pronounced "Ganan-AWK-way".   I think that works.

Of course,  as cute and cool as this place was,  the food was somewhat average,  and I find that having pretty average food at outstanding spots seems to be a little something that I have discovered on more than one occasion.  
It was the The Gananoque Inn and Spa,  by the way.  Just saw how pricey the rooms are.  
Won't be staying there.  Especially as we have a great spot to stay just down the road in Kingston.  Where the food is great,  by the way.

Our intrepid hosts.  Both quite talented in the kitchen.  I may need to fast for a few days.  Just saying.

Hubby is a retired architect,  but I think he could have done extremely well as a chef.  Sis-in-law is an artist,  and just about every piece of art we have in our house is something she has done.  Ranging from portraits to earlier work when she was doing illustrations for Hallmark Cards and such.

Well, getting close to time for tucky-tuck,  so I think I'll pack it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sorry there, little birds.

And this happens each and every spring.  I wage a battle with the birds that are immediately attracted to the front of the house,  where nest building is their thing.

And I get it.  There are some really great spots up there for nest building.  And I *almost* wouldn't mind too much if it weren't for all the crap that ends up everywhere.  Bad enough to get birdshit on the car,  it's even more annoying when it's just out of reach on the front of the house.

To quote one of my favourite childhood cartoon heros,  "That's all I can stands,  'cause I can't stands no more."

Here,  in case you're still wondering:


OK,  where was I?

Right.   So,  in spite of the really crappy weather,  the birds are coming back north,  and they're looking for spot to hang out.

We've had a Morning Dove "nest" on the pillar of the front porch.   We've had Robins do the same.  Now,  I have "nest" in quotation marks,  as it seems that Morning Doves....wait.  I just realised,  they're "Mourning Doves",  not Morning Doves.   Even though that ridiculous cooing sound they make is enough to drive you around the bend in the morning,  that's not a thing.

Their "nest" consisted of a few strands of dead grass,  amongst which they laid two eggs,  which then proceeded to roll off,  breaking on the cement steps below,  making a mess.  I gave them the bum's rush.

The robins however,  managed to get a nest built and had eggs in it before I was able to properly get up there and knock their creation down,  so we watched those little guys hatch and fly away.  Pretty sure I wrote about that once upon a time.
I'm not that cold hearted that I'd knock down a nest that had eggs in it. 
No, really.

So then we have the sparrows.

Holy Moly.

Like I said,  if they'd just not shit all over the place,  I might let them build a nest up under the eves,  but NO.
I mean,  I like birds. 

So,  I had to do some hackin' and hewin'.

The results:

And over on the other side:

Note the snow still hanging around,  even though it's been raining pretty steady for the last, oh I don't know,  20 hours or so?   It's above freezing,  but just refuses to leave.

This isn't just one board though,  it's a multi piece contraption that fits in the opening in such a way as to prevent birds from both sides of the purlin.   A  Purlin , by the way, is basically a roofing member that runs perpendicular to the rafters.  In the case of The Ponderosa here,  the builder fancied things up by having them come out past the front of the building.

There,  you learned something.

And,  as is the norm with this kind of thing,  it never really occurred to me to take a "before" picture. 


Travelling Companion couldn't quite get her head around the idea that I did this from inside the house,  even though I explained the use of a sliding T-Bevel to get the angle,  along with only needing three of the dimensions to work with.   Kind of like when she tries to explain to me some sort of special sewing thing or other,  and I try not to let it show that my eyes are starting to glaze over.
Look interested....nod your head,  nod your head.

Like that.

Oh and,  "Sliding T-bevel"?   Just look it up.

Thanks for stopping by.

For those of you for whom this applies:  Bundle up.

For anyone else where it's warm?

Well,  I'm *happy* for you.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

I just shake my head.

What I wanted to say was,  "Are ya stoopid??",  but I didn't want that in the title.

See,  "we" have been talking about this ice storm for a few days now.  Even if you don't have cable (many don't including both Daughters Numbers One and Two)   and cannot watch "The Weather Network" (which,  by the way,  not unlike CNN,  you only need to watch for about 15 minutes,  and then you've got all the information that they'll ever be giving for a time)  you're still going to know *somehow* that there's a storm coming and...wait for it....that you should stay off the roads.

But no....

I give you,  Exhibit A:

Because,  isn't there like,  Twitter,  and Facebook and I don't know what else?  It's not that hard to know what's going on with the weather. 
Better yet,  just look outside.
I cropped out the "gentleman" standing off to the side there.  Personally,  I think I'd be too embarrassed to have my photo taken standing beside the car I had just upended.  But that's just me I guess.
How do you even get going fast enough to put it over on its side anyway??

Oh and,  there's WAY more snow/ice/whatever on the ground now.  Like,  the snow plow just went by this morning.

That photo was from yesterday,  and the storm has continued on into today (Sunday).

T.C. had originally planned to take her sister to church in Hamilton. 

Not happening.

The Merc is pretty good in snow and ice, (it's that "all wheel drive" thing) but the trick would be getting TO or FROM the vehicle,  as all surfaces are a sheet of ice.

I haven't even considered stepping out the back door.  Probably sequester myself downstairs,  make a fire and bang away at the guitar.  Or honk away at the Saxomophone.
(Yes,  I own an alto Saxophone,  shut up.)

I *used* to play,  (like,  I even knew all the key signatures and shit)  and as a casual aside a few years back,  I mentioned that I wouldn't mind picking it up again.  Lo and behold,  T.C. bought me a sax for Christmas!   Holy Crap!   Now I have to really *do* something!
It didn't take me long to discover that,  even though I can still "play" the thing,  not having picked up a wind instrument in some 30 years means really not being able to play for anything more than a few minutes. 
It's hard work!
The muscle memory still seems to be there,  so it's not like I'm honkin' and squeekin'  like someone in Grade Seven Music or anything,  but still....

OK,  so now I'm just starting to do some sort of "stream of consciousness"  thing.

I'll go now.

Thanks for stopping by.   No more outside pics.  Not doing anyone any good at all.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Not much of an "outside" day.

The other day I was trying to decide if I should put away my winter coat,  but was quite comfortable wearing it when I walked down to the store.  You'd think I'd be a little too warm with a winter coat on this time of year,  but nope.
Anyway,  we're getting a bit of a blow,  with an additional forecast of scattered crap,  followed by darkness.
The temperature has been slowly dropping as the day progresses,  and by tonight it'll be about a nine and a half out of ten on the "crappiness" scale. 
At least it's not snow,  although we just got a call from my sister-in-law in Guelph that they are indeed getting snow.  And yes,  it's mid April.
She was due to come down today and stay the night,  but had not only had her winter tires switched out,  but was somewhat reluctant to drive in what will be less than ideal conditions.
Can't blame her.   I ain't a goin' out.
Travelling Companion has a new iron that she ordered waiting for her at some place across town,  but that too can wait.

Meanwhile,  I've been dithering about out in my "shop",  and still haven't made any progress on the towel rack thingy I have in mind,  even though I've bought the material and made up a design.  There's damned little on the net,  so I've had to conjure up something out of my pea brain.
It's painful,  trust me.

So,  rather that do anything remotely useful,  I manage to come up with something "more important" to fill in while I procrastinate.

Procrastination is my speciality.

A while back (a couple years maybe?)  I came up with an idea to have a temporary work surface available that would fold up against the wall.  This allows for handy against the wall storage in order to get the car in whenever necessary.
I soon realised however, that there was a bunch of space behind the thing that was going to waste,  and,  as the bracket that holds the "table" to the wall was just a wee bit too narrow,  there was no way to put anything back there.

So it had to be changed.

So that pic is after I've rummaged around and found the proper sized hardwood that was wide enough and long enough to do the trick.  Going out to actually buy something would of course be heaps easier,  but I *knew* I had something or other out in the piles of stuff I have stored in the shed.  Like really,  there's enough.   That's all I'll admit to.

Of course,  even though I know this will pay off,  each and every time I get about half way through one of these great ideas that I have,  I start to wish I hadn't ever thought of it,  but it all worked out.
It doesn't look much different than before.  Just farther out from the wall when stored upright.

So now there's a good three inches back there,  and you'll notice that I already have something stashed back there, which is a "turntable"  that I use for spraying/finishing.   It's always been stuck over in a corner somewhere,  and will go much better on the wall.   I haven't figured out just yet what else I'll stash back there,  but I'll work on it.  Most likely things like a few paint brushes? 

We'll see.

The only other thing I had to do was make a new "hook"  to hold the thing up in its upright position. Right up at the top there.   No big deal.

I guess that's all I got.  Just felt like throwing a few words out there.  Thanks for moving your eyes back and forth.
Now back to trying to decide on a weed eater purchase.  There's a lot of junk out there apparently,  but I've had enough of the less than stellar performance of the cordless "Black & Decker"  abomination that I made the mistake of buying when we first came back from Europe.
As was pointed out to me by one of my brothers-in-law,  "You do realise that Black and Decker have been making POOH for a number of years now?"   True dat.

Keep your stick on the ice.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sometimes I'm just mystified.

At what people throw out.

Now,  don't get me wrong,  I don't go around on "toss out your cr*p day"  and start loading up the truck,  but once in a while,  I just can't help myself.

Like the time someone turfed out a Filter Queen, or most of one anyway,  not too far up the street from here and I took the time to stop and hoist it into the pick-up truck I had at the time.
Hence the true meaning of the term "pick-up truck" as far as I'm concerned.
Would I recommend a Filter Queen?
No.   And that's why I was happy to see one from which I could scavenge some parts.

I mean,  it's a pretty good vacuum cleaner until the filter gets clogged,  and then it's pretty average.  We still have one that we bought some thirty years ago,  but the problem is,  they haven't changed the design of their retarded base in like,  forever. 

AND,  when I enquired about replacing the busted up one that we had,  the dealer wanted FIFTY BUCKS!
I don't think so.

Anyway,  I scavenged the base off the one that was dead at the side of the road,  and tossed out the rest.

But I digress.

What I'm talking about is,  the thing that I happened to notice today,  which ended up in the trunk of the car.

I took the car,  as getting the truck turned around in the back parking lot/alleyway/whatever behind where Daughter Number Two and Hubby lives is a bit of a challenge.  I only needed a bag of tools and the gate that I had made for them that I stopped by to install.

Here,  DNT took a picture.

Because,  like a bonehead,  I forgot to take a camera.

This gate is due to the addition of a second dog,  who seems to have no issues with wandering into the kitchen and getting totally underfoot.

Not being the most speedy when it comes to these things,  this has been on my little mental list of things to do for some time now.   They've had the dog for like,  a couple years?   I forget exactly,  but that's my suspicion.

The thing too is,  their first dog knows enough that,  when told to "get out!"  of the kitchen,  he does just that.   Dog number two though?  Well?  He's deaf. 
Deaf as a post.

No really.  The whole time I was there,  he had no idea what was going on behind him.  I didn't bring any food apparently.
Oh ya.  He can smell alright.  Just not hear.  It's a long story.  Previous owners were retards.  He got some sort of ear trouble and they were too dim to get it sorted out.  He lost his hearing.  Poor little guy.  So,  he got adopted and is having a pretty good life chez Daughter Number Two and Hubby.

Anyhoo,  after I had that little job done,  I couldn't help but notice that there were a few cast off items cluttering up the parking area,  and after a very quick look,  I hoisted this thing into the car.

Um,  the fan.   Not the bench or any of those other things.  But you know that.

Oh and,  notice how there's that protective bit of Masonite (or whatever the hell it is) between the bottom of the fan and the bench?  Um, ya.  We'll be a little careful not to do a number on the bench for a wee while methinks.

See,  I've never ever bought one of these fans.  In all the years that I was with my previous oh so illustrious employer,  there would always be one or two that ended up in the garbage at the end of the year.   The kind that are on a stand were notorious for getting stepped on or knocked over,  and something or other would invariably get kinda wonky,  but unless it's been run over by a car,  99% of the time,  with a little TLC,  it can be made to work again.   There are two moving parts!  That's it.  The rotary part,  and the oscillating part.  As long as the rotary part turns,  you got a fan!

This one had obviously not been run over or anything,  so I figured I'd give it a go.

Not sure what was going through the head of the previous owner (if anything)  but they turfed it out.  Annoyingly,  they also cut off the cord.  (rolling my eyes here) 

Kind of like that Russian proverb.

“There’s a famous Russian proverb about this type of behavior. One day, a poor villager happens upon a magic talking fish that is ready to grant him a single wish. Overjoyed, the villager weighs his options: “Maybe a castle? Or even better—a thousand bars of gold? Why not a ship to sail the world?” As the villager is about to make his decision, the fish interrupts him to say that there is one important caveat: whatever the villager gets, his neighbor will receive two of the same. Without skipping a beat, the villager says, “In that case, please poke one of my eyes out.” 

― Bill BrowderRed Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice

(as a side note,  that's a good read.  I highly recommend it)

So in other words,  "If I can't figure this out,  I'll just cut off the cord so nobody else can either".
Like that.
Enough to make you want to spit.

Having to deal with that minor issue was only an annoyance, and nothing that a squirrelled away replacement cord and some heat shrink tubing couldn't fix.  I do tend to have "stuff" hanging around,  but only so much.  Never too much.

Now I'll admit,  between figuring out how to get at the severed cord by having to do some disassembly,   along with some cleaning and a good dose of WD-40 I probably frittered away a good hour.  But it was time well wasted.  The little fan works like a charm.

I'll either use it my own damned self,  of bequeath it to whomever I think is worthy.

And like I say,  I just don't get it.

But hey,  one man's junk is another man's rotary oscillator.

Thanks for stopping by.

Keep your stick on the ice.