Friday, 15 December 2017

Putting on the miles

Been doing a lot of running around that I really can't write about because it involves Christmas shopping. Yesterday my lovely wife and I went down to the dentist (look ma no cavities) then before making a run for home we stopped off at a little German deli to pick up a few things. Of course some of those things have a lot to do with Christmas but some do not. I got to dive into some of the not for Christmas stuff last night.

One of the things that are as hard to come by as hen's teeth are paprika flavored potato chips. They had them at the deli so we picked up two bags. We are now down to one bag and after tonight that number will dwindle to zero.

Yesterday driving towards a snow squall line.
Over the last two days we have been playing hide and seek with snow streamers AKA squalls while driving. Coming back from the semi big city we passed through one. Seeing the snow streamer before driving into it was cool while driving into it, not so much. 

The lakefront while passing through the wannabe big city.
Can't really see it but way off it's snowing
Today it was the same thing with the added warning that an Alberta Clipper was bearing down upon us. Unlike yesterday today I alone ventured into the crowds seeking out gifts for family and friends. Right now we are around half done and the clock is ticking. No worries, worst case people will get gifts from the drug store purchased on the twenty fourth at around ten minutes before closing. 

I just hate driving on roads that are like this and this has
been the way the roads are lately 
Well that's about how things have been going around here. No blog on the weekend so until Monday bye-bye.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Nice change of pace

This morning there was a delightful change, I was awoke by sunlight streaming through the window. After the morning rituals were done and the first cup of java consumed I plotted out the activities for the day. This wonderful day was going to see me traveling with stops in town then down to the big city wannabe an finally home. I had to pick up some meds and certain items that I had ordered. 

Blue sky, snow covered ground and a crisp feel to the air,
what a wonderful fall day
When I pulled out of the driveway the day was still crisp and clear. I headed into town and before hitting any of the stops I had a spot of lunch at the diner. Once again it was a trip back in time when I entered the diner. I had a nice meal with a fun conversation between the owner and a couple of other patrons.

Lunch done I picked up some ordered meds and it was off to the next series of stops where I had to pick up a few things I'd ordered. I really can't get into what these stops were or what I picked up because it was Christmas stuff and I don't want to give anything away. One nice thing was one of the stops was really easy to find, all I had to do was find the Google Maps marker in the window.  🙂

All I had to do was find the
Google maps marker...
On the way home I noticed a van in the ditch. The driver looked a little sketchy but I stopped anyway. I asked if he needed any help and he told me he had a tow truck on the way so things were fine. I asked what happened and he said he hadn't seen the stop sign and by the time he put on the brakes it was too late. 

Remember if your going to have an accident have a
big one, we like big reports
Looking at the way the van was I think somebody didn't have his eyes looking outside the truck but inside looking at something else. Meh, not an issue, he's fine and the bucks he will pay to get out of this situation will teach him a lesson.

Well that's how my day went, until tomorrow bye-bye.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

It may not be winter by the calendar but the snow on the ground outside says otherwise

It will be a short entry today because not a lot happened. For once in their little lives the weathertainers called it on the amount of snow we got last night and into early this morning. In the driveway was around ten or twelve centimeters of the white stuff. Once again there is a snow squall watch and a “special weather statement” posted for my area. Nothing like putting a little drama into the weather forecast.

After I finished dealing with Mother Nature's little white gift, including carving a path from the driveway to my workshop, I took a look at the oil in the snow blower. The oil looked a little skanky so I shrugged my shoulders, asked my lovely wife to fetch some tools and a container to put the used oil in, then I changed the oil. A little note about this simple procedure, I own a Toro and to do this simple task was so easy verses my old snow blower. With the old machine it was a half hour and messy, with the Toro it was five minutes, no muss no fuss all done. I do so love that machine, it was one of the best decisions I ever made when I bought it.

Once I finished with the snow blower something came over me, I shoveled the side deck and the back stairs. The reason was that in the event of an emergency the thought of wading through knee deep snow in a bathrobe isn't part of my game plan. I figured if I was going to have “the big one” this would be it but by the time I finished shoveling there was no chest pain at all. Now I'm back in the warm relaxing. All i will say is it may not be winter as per the calendar but the thirty or so centimeters on the ground outside says otherwise.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Winter has arrived

The beginning
All done
Every day since Thursday we've been getting snowed upon. As of this morning there was around fifteen or twenty centimeters down. Add to what we already have is the impending mayhem of an Alberta Clipper which is due to hit us tonight and it looks like winter has arrived. 

Since the weathertainers were calling for between ten to fifteen centimeters I figured it was time to get ahead of the accumulation. This morning I flashed up the snow blower and cleared the driveway. I figured it was the smart to do because if, God forbid, the weathertainers are right it could  become an issue getting the driveway cleaned up. 

Tree up and ready
to be assembled
This past weekend was one of cocooning. The pantry was fine, the house was warm and the power stayed on so there was no reason to go out. Yes I know that there are still gifts to be bought but the only way I would venture out to shop on a weekend is if I had a big club and the authorities frown upon people beating idiots senseless.
A work in progress

On Saturday I did drag the Christmas tree from the dark recesses of the basement where it has sat boxed up waiting... One thing I do know is the tree seems to be acquiring more mass as the years go by. Dragging that behemoth upstairs took a fair bit out of this old fellow. One of the nice things about decorating is the shared workload. I generally take care of the outside decorations while, aside from dragging up the tree and the boxes of ornaments, doing the tree is my wife's task. While it's not finished the tree is coming along nicely.

As for me I'm planning on taking the rest of the day and, while sipping hot tea, I shall be watching my lovely wife fuss with the tree. Should she need some help, I shall provide any and all assistance as required.

🎵 Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. So as long as we have no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...🎵

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Don't like the weather, hang on for twenty minutes

This afternoon we were sitting and reading when my lovely wife asks if I wanted to go shopping. I stopped and thought about it for a second and said “sure, lets go.” My wife checked the weather and told me there was a chance we could get a little snowed on but then she added at out Sister-in-law L's place there were getting hammered. We had a little laugh over that then hit the road.Something to file is one should never laugh at the misfortunes of others. The Gods don't like that.

Shopping in a little town is always a pleasant affair and this excursion was no different. We hit several shops and picked up several presents over the course of an hour. There was no real rush since the town businesses had gotten together and covered the cost of parking. As we were finishing up in the last shop I looked outside and thought, oh my. It was snowing those big fat fluffy flakes. I was all set to visit another store when my wife called a halt the the expedition. Her foot wear didn't have a lot of traction and she was afraid of gravity so we hoofed it back to the truck.

Checking out all the
Christmas goodies
Starting to snow
By the time we got back to the SUV visibility was not so good. While I trust my wife to the ends of the earth I asked her for the truck keys, if I was to die it would be at my own hand. The drive home was a longer and more interesting than it normally is but we arrived in good spirits having cheated the jaws of death yet again.

Once at home I put the fireplace on and heated water for tea. Looking out at the big fat fluffy flakes of snow falling down I smiled, feeling good about knowing we had nowhere we needed to go and were warm and snug as a bug in a rug. 

Five minutes later
at the truck
On the way home

At home and its just starting
while in town they're
getting hammered


Twenty minutes later

A squirrel looking around
thinking "What the heck?"

All this was another example how in late fall/winter the saying  "Don't like the weather, hang on for twenty minutes." is so very true. Well that's it for me, I shall see you on the morrow, bye for now.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

When the lights go on again all over the world...

At around eight forty last night my world rolled back to the stone age because the power cut out. Well not exactly the stone age since the peoples of that time didn't have battery powered lighting or a personal confuser like the one I'm pounding away on. It was something I should have been looking out for since it was really windy out but it was just as windy last night and all was well then and we haven't had the power go down for a while.

It's really more of an inconvenience than anything. I was typing away with no way of uploading this entry to my blog but that was OK, it gave me something to do. The power did came back on around a quarter to eleven and I uploaded this blog entry this morning. We got lucky, it never went to a worst case. We had a light with LEDs powered by a battery pack that lasted until the power was restored. The worst case would have been going out and bringing the generator from the workshop to run things. As for communication we have backups for the wireless phone in the guise of an old push button model and should that fail there are our cell phones. It turned out we did need the cellphones because the land line died.

All snug with the fire providing heat and the battery
powering the light, all is good.
The evening was quiet, too quiet. We sat and my wife played her game on the cell phone while I played solitaire on the personal confuser. After an hour my wife called hydro on her cell and the robot voice told here the expected time for the power to be back on was one in the morning on the sixth of December. She told me this and I did a double take before remembering it was the evening of the fifth.

Not to worry the power did come back on before the estimated time. I'm happy that it did because otherwise I was going to have some lugging to do. One of the things we have are two large water containers because when there is no power we have no water. Without water we cannot flush the commode more than once so after a while things tend to get a little stinky. One of the water containers has five gallons in it for drinking and cooking the other is a seven gallon container that I also have a pump for. I have a pee or a poo then flush and pump the water container to refill the water reservoir. I figure with this system we are good for a day or two. Even though it's December I wasn't afraid of the cold we have a gas fire place to bring the temp up to normal.

Thank goodness for computers
Last night my wife had wanted to phone Hydro but our land line was dead. I took a look at the Bell Canada web page and they had a list of things they wanted a person to trouble shoot before calling. Not being in the mood at the time I told my wife it was a morning wide awake job. Well this morning I was up and at 'em around nine. When I was ready I went throught the list to make sure it wasn't an issue with my gear. That done I looked up the contact number and called Ma Bell. After a delightful five minutes pushing numbers on my cell I finally got a service appointment for tomorrow sometime in the afternoon. On the plus side there was no human interaction so that was good. If it were not for the long distance plan we would drop this land line in a flash. Oh well we shall over come.

Well that's about it for now so until tomorrow, bye.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The wind came a knocking

Last night we had what I like to call a howler, a storm with a lot of rain and high winds that just howl. This morning when I finally crawled out and had a look around I found it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. There were a few small trees down in the bush but aside from that all was good.

After lunch my wife and I went into town for a few things. The first stop was at a place called M&M's. Every Tuesday it's seniors day where, if you are sixty or over, they cut ten percent off the bill. That stop done we headed over to another shop, Country Produce, for some fresh vegetables, fruit and such.

We had just got in the entrance and I was getting some apples when this lady walks in. Outside it was overcast, windy, damp and around eight degrees Celsius. For my old bones it was cold, so in walks a middle aged lady wearing nothing but a tee shirt, shorts and running shoes. Of course my cell phone with it's handy camera was at home, drat. The lady passes by me and a clerk stalking some shelves, she looks at me and smiles. I smiled back and the smile started a fight with my sense of decorum, trying to turn from smile to a laugh. I had to move on and concentrate upon other things. My wife looks at me and I gave her the “did you see that” look and she nodded. Then the laughter started to fight it's way up again so I refocused on the food.

Oh look, a mouse house... damn.
After the shopping was done we made our way back to the barn. On the way home my wife commented that it smelled a little musty in the car. Once we got home I had a snack then went out and had a look at the cabin air filter. Of course one of the little rodents we have outside had made a home. I dragged out the vacuum and cleaned out the nest as best as I could. Once that was done I vacuumed the air filter then put a few drops of peppermint oil on it. Mice hate the smell so hopefully the little bastard rodent will go away. Otherwise I'm going to have to get some traps and...

The official okey dokey
When I went back into the house I checked up on Facebook only to find that my neighbor L had given me the official OK on the lights I had put up. Personally I'm thinking of adding some garland to hide some of the white wiring but... 

As far as things went today wasn't too bad. The mouse house has been taken care of, we have food in the pantry and the Christmas lights are a hit. Yep today was a good day.

Bye for now...


Monday, 4 December 2017

Another thing out of the way...

The weekend has come and gone and as weekends go it was a good one. Saturday found my wife and I at a birthday party. It was the fourth anniversary of the birth of our niece. We all met at a place called Uncle Bob's Country Buffet, an all you can eat sort of deal. Of course I over did it with the food and almost had to be rolled out but that's OK, a good time was had. One thing I will say is with age comes issues. While we were at the Hog's Trough and Grill Uncle Bob's Country Buffet I could not here conversations very well. I hope I managed to not offend anybody by ignoring them.

Our neighbor L dropped by on Saturday to return some stuff. Of course she asked about the Christmas lights that I had not put up. Being the master of procrastination I told her that the time just wasn't right and I'd do it tomorrow. Tomorrow (Sunday) came and it was the perfect day (overcast, cold and threatening rain) to put outside work off so that's just what I did. This morning I crawled out and after the morning rituals had some breakfast. Of course the sun was out (dammit) so I figured today was going to be the day. I put it off for as long as I could but after lunch I went to work.

The Christmas pile

I didn't get too crazy with the lights and I didn't put out any wreaths this year. I figured I'd go for the understated elegant look. After I hung and tested the lights and the balls I looked at the house. Meh, I'm sure it will look better at night.

It will look fine in the dark
When I came inside I asked my wife if she wanted me to haul the Christmas tree up from storage. My wife, who is also a master at procrastination, told me we would put up the tree on Saturday. Hey that worked for me.

Well that's about all from me for now. Until tomorrow bye-bye...

Friday, 1 December 2017

Knocking stuff off the Honey-do list...

This morning after I arose from the comatose state I had been in, there was the usual transformation from sleepy head to functioning adult. That done it was time for sustenance and a peek at the honey-do list. On deck for today was a dump run.

I looked outside and much to my surprise I found that the weathertainers had been partially wrong. They were right on the temperature but nothing else. The forecast was for a mild day of around three or four degrees and it was three degrees. Where they screwed the pooch was in prognosticating that it would be a sun/cloud mix. It was overcast and threatening rain. I mentally flipped a coin and decided rain or no the dump run has to be done.

Stuff on a trailer
like this tends to
get a person nailed
for an unsecured
load.
I sorted everything on the trailer and got it all ready. When that was done I hooked the beast up and pulled out. I did make a very quick stop just to make sure the trailer hookup was OK. Not that I'm paranoid or anything but there are RIDE checks out and the last thing I wanted was a cop finding anything and getting a ticket.

Just about to off load. Note how
the load is secured and nice and
all pretty?
The dump was fine. I got lucky after tossing all the trash I went back to the scales to pony up some cash and the guy in the window says “This is your lucky day, the computer's down so your load is a freebie.” Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth I thanked the kind guy, made a little small talk then hauled ass before the system could be rebooted. I then got rid of the old BBQ and the other recyclables and headed out. Feeling is such a good mood I stopped on the way home an picked up a couple of butter tarts for my sweetie.
Home again and
everything's squared
away.

Chairs covered, another job done.
After having a bit of lunch I tackled another job that had been bugging me. In the back I have a fire pit with four chairs. The chairs are wood so to protect them I put a tarp over the lot. Well a few days ago there was a little bit of wind and of course the tarp came off and flew away. Well I went an found it in the back forty then reattached it to the chair. Hopefully this time it will stay on a little better.

Well that's it for now. Seeing that it's Friday there will be no post on the weekend. To one and all enjoy the next couple of days. As for me, things to do and people to see. Bye for now.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

One thing at a time

I actually managed to, brace yourself, get a task done. The old BBQ has been disassembled and taken to the trailer. On the agenda for tomorrow is a dump run where I shall divest myself of the old BBQ and an assortment of trash and recyclables.

The beginning of the end
Next stop the dump
Even unto the end that old BBQ was a pain in the butt. Too big and heavy to simply mule to the trailer I had to drag out the tools and strip it down to manageable chunks. Taking the BBQ apart was a real eye opener for me. The burners were all rotten, the manifold was all but toast, there was a burn through at the front of the box where the control manifold was, oh and there was a mouse nest. Damn. Looking at the state the old BBQ was in, I have no idea why it never blew up. Well no matter, it's in the back of the trailer now so all is good.

Today it's overcast and rainy so I will be working in the basement. I've managed to let it get into a crap pit. I don't like it so it will give me something to do. Tomorrow I'm going to toss a rule out the window and try to get two thing done. First and foremost is the dump run. I want my trailer back so I've got to get ride of the stuff that's in it. That should put paid to the morning. Then in the afternoon I'm going to wrestle with the Christmas lights, sigh. I have to make sure they work and get them ready for the install which I'm planning on doing Saturday. The weathertainers have sad it will be a good weekend and after the the thermometer will drop into the substrata.

My rule has been to do one task at a time. I figure I'm not on the clock, I'm retired. The tasks will get done but done on my time. Besides my life is rather ho hum with nothing really exciting going one so why push things? One task at a time done well and move one or as I have been told: slow is smooth and smooth is fast. As a retired person I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.

That's enough for me today. Until tomorrow, so long from up here is the great wet north.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

A Twitter hiatus

Up until recently I was a Twitter, hummm... what's the word? Twit? Ya that sounds about right. On a regular day of tweeting I'd get into several battles with people who just wanted to pick a fight over any little thing. Now I will admit that I wasn't an angel, there were times when I was bored and I would post something to draw people into heated discussion but I didn't do it that often.

Over the past few weeks I'd been dumping news and political feeds until all I had were a few hobby feeds (aircraft, firearms, comedy) and several of the news outlets. One of those news feeds was a local TV outlet and they had pasted a story about a recent teachers strike. Being the silly guy I am I made what I thought was a middle of the road comment about how all sides would have been better off with a German style of union/management. Of course I was jumped and not just jumped on, it was a rude nasty vulgar attack so I logged of twitter for the day.

While perusing the posted links over at Living freedom, a blog hosted and authored by a writer named Claire Wolfe, I came across a link to another blog called Simple Justice, A Criminal Defense Blog. The post was about Twitter and the twits that post on it. The author talked about how he was taking a “a twitter hiatus” and why.

His points hit home with me and after a good long think last night I deleted my twitter account. I just got tired, tired of the wingnuts and nut-jobs that just want to pick fights. I'm tired of the “geniuses” who must correct anyone on Twitter who they feel is wrong. I'm tired of the ones who argue from a position of ignorance. I understand these are the flotsam and jetsam of Twitter, always present and always a pinprick in the enjoyment of the medium, but I'm tired of them. Life's way to short to get worked up by a person who wasn't over burdened with education, a person who uses the F bomb as punctuation, a person who is an idiot.

So now I'm left with only one interactive bit of social media, Facebook. I plan to stay on Facebook until such time that the posts start to bug me like those of Twitter did. Once I get to BS saturation I'll dump FB like a hot rock the way I did last time. But this time' different I'm deliberately avoiding political entanglements and keeping it simple. So far this strategy seems to be working, only time will tell. 

Well that's it for me. Until tomorrow Bye-bye.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

I finally broke down, Part 2

I woke with the sun streaming through the window and a cat meowing in my ear. My Wife had managed to snag the shower first, so I just checked the news on my tablet while fending off the cat's advances. A few minutes later I was done with the shower, dried and dressed. One of the nice things about getting up second is that while I'm in the process of going from semi humanoid to “hansom good looking hunk of man” my lovely wife is fighting with the coffee maker. Ah it's good to be a guy...

Once downstairs and in my spot on the couch at the personal confuser I had my first sip of coffee for the day. I had just barely removed the coffee cup from my yap when the phone rang. It was the delivery guys letting us know our new BBQ was on the way. I had just enough time to finish writing the above paragraph when the delivery guys were pulling into the drive way.
Beep, beep, beep
a nice sound to
hear.

And do it starts
I had the delivery guy bring the gawd awful heavy box inside then I proceeded to read the instructions. I know there are some who don't bother with this step feeling that the instructions are nothing more than the recommended way to put something together. I, on the other hand, have learned that this isn't necessarily so.

I gathered up the needed tools and had at the beast. Assembly went rather better than I'm used to. The packaging was a little much but I guess that's better than  a bashed up new BBQ. Much to my Wife's horror  delight I assembled the beast in the kitchen. There were no real hiccups in the assembly with the exception of putting on the doors and setting the top of the BBQ onto the base. I was lucky that my, smarter than I, Wife was around to lend a hand.
It's things like this that make
Wives cry

Put to bed
Finished and it it's home
After she left to do what ever it is that  wives do I finished the assembly, took the  unit outside and tested it. There was only  one little nagging thing, the knob for the  right burner when turned feels scratchy. I  played with it a bit and it started to loosen  up. I figure it will be fine and the more I  use it the better it will be.

Well I'm off to cook a little lunch, Until the morrow that's it for me.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Friday and the weekend is here... Meh....

This morning dawn crashed through the bedroom window all bright and sunny. The sunlight bathing the bedroom didn't last very long. Sooner than I would have liked the clouds moved in and the world turned into a typical grey November day, the kinda day that sucks the life right out of a guy.

I did manage to make it through the morning rituals and get down stairs before my wife had the chance to finish off the coffee. While she has polished off the last cup before, my lovely wife isn't a bad guy, she has always made it a point to make a fresh pot at my request.

After a while at the personal confuser my wife suddenly says “Let's go out, maybe get some lunch and do a little food shopping." So I went and skinned into some socks, grabbed my coat and we were away. 

If my app says it's a nasty day
then it must be so.
Lunch at the Hasty was meh. I don't know if it was the grey day that was effecting my mood but the food I normally enjoy at the diner tasted bland. From the Hasty we went over to a farm store for a look see. While we did pick up a few things, nothing in the food line really jumped out at my wife or I. One of the nice things about our little trip into the countryside was on the way home. As we drove by a lake I asked my wife to stop and I climbed out for a few photos. Far off on the horizon there was blue sky and with the cold looking lake kinda summed up our November day.
Traffic in town

The view looking out at Bass Lake












Now here back at the personal confuser I just looked at the honey-do list. There's putting up the Christmas lights and cleaning out the basement, again, among other things but I really don't feel like doing anything. What I am going to do is spook and gawk on the web for a bit then, if I really get ambitious, I'll have a nap.

It's Friday so there will be no blog entries over the weekend, until Monday bye-bye.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

I finally broke down

To my American friends happy Thanksgiving, and good Black Friday weekend to the rest of you. 

Yesterday I managed to put a patch on the old BBQ and last night I even cooked on it. But cooking on the old BBQ was not a happy event. The patch I made didn't last very long so there was a serious heat loss. Cooking the bacon on the griddle took a lot longer than I wanted. Normally it would have been around ten minutes max in the cold including time to heat up the griddle. Last night I found myself outside minding the grill for a lot longer than I wanted, freezing my butt off for almost a half hour.

There I was on the personal confuser this morning thinking about the wreck of a BBQ and at my lowest ebb I opened up an email from Costco.

The photo that sucked me in...
Today marks the first day of their Black Friday deals. I figured what the hell and took a look. One of the first things that caught my eye was a Napoleon Triumph 410 BBQ on sale. They had knocked a hundred bucks off the price which was already fifty bucks under the MSRP. To this deal they had added a cover which saved another sixty five bucks. 

Of course not wanting to just jump into this, I took a look around at the various reviews. I had to work very hard to find a negative one. Me being the good husband I decided to run the idea of buying the BBQ past my lovely, smarter than I, wife. Here response was “Just order it and think of the BBQ as an early Christmas present to us.” So I did just that. 😀

Bye for now...

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

What a change, the sun was out

Today actually turned out to be a nice day... a little cold, but nice. Last night I managed to get some sleep so this morning when I got up it wasn't a reenactment of a zombie rising from a grave.

Once the coming back from the dead and entering the realm of the living thing was done, I went down stairs and got the coffee brewer started then fed the cat & cleaned the litter. Yes my day was off to a rousing start. I checked what was going on in the world of cyberspace and found it to be the same old crap I had left the night before. I figured that after lunch I'd go for a walk and clear my head but that didn't happen. I ended up taking a ride into Home Depot for a few items. The change of plans came about from my wife's decision to do soup and sandwiches for dinner. She had a hankering for bacon sandwiches and since it's better to do the bacon on the griddle than smoke out the kitchen I said I'd do the bacon on the grill.

I hadn't used the BBQ for a while so I went out for a look. I noticed the hole in the front was getting larger and sooner or later I was going to have to do something about it. There was also the remains of a mouse nest in there that I was going to have to take care of as well.

I ventured into home depot and got the materials to patch the hole. After that I dropped into the market and picked up a few items. The original reason was to get some milk but since I was there I also picked up stuff for tomorrow nights dinner. I've learnt over 39 years of married bliss that a guy can never have too many brownie points. 

This is where S would like to be these days, someplace
nice with a hot sun and a cold drink. To tell the truth
I would like to be there too. I hate the winter cold.
While I was at the market I ran into an old friend, S, and we caught up. For her it's the same old thing. Like me she's not a fan of winter and unlike me she still works and the work is getting her down. I figure it's the season with reduced daylight and added cold things tend to grind on one. As my old boss would say “we shall overcome.”

When I got home I stripped the BBQ down and cleaned out the mouse nest then I patched the hole. I don't know how long the patch will last but I tested the BBQ and things worked so for now all is good.
If the patch fails I'll fix it again, and again, and again until spring comes around when I'll go get a new one. What's holding me back now is the decision of propane or charcoal and the never ending mental debate about which one is better.You could say that indecision may or may not be my problem.

Well that's all I got for today. Bye for now.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The internet problem was what?

Yesterday the internet fix 'em up guy arrived just as I was contemplating having some lunch. I let my; smarter than I am with electronics computers and internet thingies, wife chat with the repair guy. He then disappeared down stairs for a bit and then went outside for a moment only to return and let us know he had found the problem and corrected it. The issue was the internet signal was too strong. This came as a surprise to me having grown up with the too much is never a bad thing school of thought. Well the internet seems to be working fine now although for how long is anybody's guess.

Last night was one of “those nights.” No matter how I positioned myself I just couldn't get comfortable. In addition to this my old brain just would not settle down. The last time I took a peek at my wrist watch it was flirting with four AM. Sooner than I would have liked the alarm went off and I crawled out of my nice warm bed.

I managed to change myself from a homeless looking guy to someone who was presentable in jig time. After giving my wife a peck on the cheek, I was outbound heading for the heart of the big city. I was doing lunch with my friend R down in Hogtown. The trip down to the city was relatively uneventful. I parked the truck at a mega mall and hopped on the subway. The hell I was going to drive down town.

Heading down on
the subway
Sooner than I expected I was at my friend's address. We chatted while he got ready then we headed over to the restaurant. Lunch was fine and the server even took pity on R and I, she charged us the seniors rate. I didn't know if I should be insulted or not so I chose the “or not” route and we had a good laugh about it.

OK I admit it there are few
nice things downtown

At least it was a nice day
After lunch R walked me over to the subway where we shook hands and promised to meet again for lunch in the spring. The trip home was shorter time wise for some reason. Well I wasn't going to worry about it, I was out of that place. It looks like the older I get the less I like going to big cities. It's not that the big city is a bad place exactly, I guess it's the amount of people and my experiences of dealing with large groups when things go wrong.

On the way home
 Well that's my little adventure for today. Until tomorrow enjoy the warm temps as long as you can. Bye-bye...

Monday, 20 November 2017

The weekend that was

Friday after the blog was put to bed, I went into town with my lovely wife to see our travel agent then get a few things grocery wise. Our first stop in town was for some sustenance. We had lunch at a nice little restaurant then we paid a visit to our travel agent a few doors over.

After giving our agent a sit-rep on the trip we told her the game plan for next year. The game plan is to head out west for our fortieth. The options are seeing the Rocky mountains from the Rocky mountaineer train then head on to Vancouver where we will see a few friends, have some laughs the usual. Plan B is a few days in Vancouver then do an inside passage Alaska cruse. There was a plan C but I'll be damned if I can remember what it is. Well we shall see what she manages to come up with. 

After seeing the travel agent we headed over to the supermarket to pick up a few things. They had some good sales on so we picked up some extra stuff for the larder. After dinner that evening I vacuum packed the club packs and stored the stuff away. I have to say it's nice to have a full freezer at the beginning of winter, this whole going out for food in a storm thing sucks. 

Saturday was a nasty day dawning overcast with the threat of rain. On the plus side was the temperature topping out at around seven degrees. I texted my friend S and set a time to go over and work on the flat roof. Just after I sent the text I thought to look at my weather app. The time we had agreed upon was around two in the afternoon. As per the weather app radar the rain storm I was expecting and thought would be later, was going to arrive at the same time I would going to be at S's place. I contacted S again and moved the time up.

My weather app
doesn't mince words
I got over to S's place around one and as I pulled into the driveway it started to mist. I rousted S and we hustled, got the ladder up and I was climbing in short notice. I scaled the ladder only to find that we were too late, roof was covered in a sheet of ice. I cleared the little bit of plant debris that was left around the drain as best I could as the mist turned to a light rain. With all that I could do done S and I put the ladder away. We chatted for a few minutes then I was off for home. 
What it was like when I turned in on Saturday
evening

This was what the world looked like on Sunday morning

Home, and this is where I've been hiding since my excursion into the wild yonder. On Saturday evening the weather turned from yucky to nasty and by Sunday there was three or four inches of snow on the ground. I was happy, all cocooned at home as snug as a bug in a rug. The only issue we had was the Internet. It had started to go up and down like a (pardon the expression) whore's drawers. I was thinking it was the modem issue and wanted to swap it out but my smarter than I wife called the Internet company. Turns out there was some fluctuation on the line, what ever the heck that means, so the Internet guy placed a work order and some time today a Internet fix 'em up guy will pay us a visit. Here I sit, sipping my coffee wondering when the Internet fix 'em up guy will pay us a visit.

That's all I got for today. Until the morrow Bye-bye from up here in the Great White North.

Note tomorrow's post will be late. I'm off to the big city for lunch with an old friend.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Life returns to normal

Life has returned to normal around here. The day after we returned home, my wife and I went and picked up our kitty from S who had been looking after her. I was in favor of holding off until Saturday but my wife was going through kitty withdraw. OK, fine, I'll admit it, I was going through a little kitty withdrawal too. Anyway... That evening we took S out for dinner to a nice little Italian place in town. Then we dropped by her place after dinner and picked up Puttie Tat.

Then next day I started on the winter preps with a vengeance because the clock was ticking. The last lawn mow didn't happen because the starter on the old lawn tractor went south. I'll fix it in the spring, it's gotten to damn cold to be working on starters in the drive way.

I did manage to get all the other little jobs done. The snowblower is all ready to go, batteries in the smoke detectors were swapped out, the interior storms are up and the exterior screens are down. 

I got the winter tires on the truck put on and an alignment done. That was another fun day. While I was at the shop the service guy calmly dropped the ball joint bomb on me. The front driver's side ball joint was toast. I had budgeted the money for the alignment and tire swap but this smacked me from right out of the blue. Smiling on the outside and grimacing on the inside, I gave the OK for the work. It was a good thing too because a few days later we had the first snow storm of the season. 

One big job I was happy to get finished was deploying the humungus sized tarp along the side of the house. My wife wants a flower garden and path next year so using the tarp is the first step in killing the vegetation in that area. I've got to sat that because of the size (30'X50") I should have held off until my wife was around but I didn't want her to hurt her back any more than it was. Oh, and yes there was a little cussing that took place during the operation.

After the killer cold and snow I had the opportunity to do a little areal work over at S's place. S worries about leaf build up effecting the water drainage so being the gallant guy I am I promised to get rid of as many leafs as I could. It's not like S couldn't do the job but she has a history of bad luck with heights. 

Using a roof rake to pull off the leafs
Chivalry only goes so far,
I left this for S to deal with
The first attempt ended early because of the cold. The water on the roof had frozen up nicely and short of getting up there with a big ice scraper/pick and risk damaging the roof, it wasn't going to happen. I let it sit for a few days and after the temperature returned to something resembling normal I was back at it. I didn't get all of it but I did put a serious dent into the leaf population. 

Yes we had a little cold
and snow
There were other minutiae that happened since we got home but they really aren't worth the time to write about. So that's about it from me for now. It's Friday and I'm taking the weekend off so this is it until Monday. Bye-bye...

Thursday, 16 November 2017

“And then there will be one last perfect day.”

The clock was running down to zero, this was the last full day of our visit. Today we were going to see the Giessen Gang in the afternoon for coffee and pastries then out for a late dinner. I was looking forward to seeing them all.

The trip into Giessen was fine and when we got to our destination there was a bit of a challenge in finding the entrance to the apartment building. That was solved when our host U came down to shepherd us in.

Our host U
Afternoon coffee was a delightful affair. When we walked in to U's apartment there were hugs and hellos all around. Of all the people there the one I was really looking forward seeing was Tante Inge. She was the one who opened her door to us the first time I visited Germany. A fun filled feisty lady if ever there was one. 

Tante Inge

A light cake
Seriously look at the size of the wedge B cut for me...

Shortly after our arrival coffee and cake was served. Oh my, the chef, B, had out done herself. The cake that was served was out of this world. Of course B had to carve me out a huge wedge which, I'm sorry to say, I couldn't finish but such is life. The afternoon conversation was fast and I had to keep begging for translations but surprisingly after being in country for over two weeks I was getting the gist of a lot . 


B's little boy S chatting
Missing from the menagerie was B's son, daughter and significant other R. I'm sorry we missed R because I wanted to catch up but he was feeling under the weather. I also missed seeing S who was B's little girl. She's one of those people that just lights up a room with her witty repartee. B's son was absent because he was working, mind you that didn't stop him from coming by for a short chat. He made me laugh when he pulled the ambulance into the parking lot lights and sirens ablaze.

After coffee was done we sat around and gabbed for a couple of hours then it was time to head out for dinner. We were eating at a real medieval castle. It was the first time since we had entered Germany that I had the chance to have honest to God schnitzel, no pizza tonight. Our host for the day, U, insisted on picking up the cheque. I have to say that I am forever in her debt because this was a wonderful event with great food and awesome people. Sooner than I wanted it was time to head back to L&J's place. There was packing to get done and sleep to be had. 

One last sunset

The restaurant entrance
The last morning broke to a grey fog covering the landscape. One last hearty meal and we saddled up. L couldn't come with us to the airport so hugs, goodbyes were given on the doorstep. With J at the helm we were off. Once at the airport there were no long lingering goodbyes which was just as well, I hate people seeing me with tears in my eyes. 

A grey dawn to match my grey mood

Chasing the sun
The lights of home
The flight home was fine and that night after an eleven hour trip and a hour and a half drive we were home.

That's it for now. To the gang in Germany, if we missed seeing you I'm sorry but there was only so much time and so vast an area to cover. We will, in a few years, return so hopefully the logistics will get straightened out and we will all party together.




That's it for me until the morrow so until then bye-bye.

Putting on the miles

Been doing a lot of running around that I really can't write about because it involves Christmas shopping. Yesterday my lovely wife a...