Friday, February 9, 2018

Winter Reprieve

Over the last 12 months, I've taken off in an airplane 50 times, from 16 different airports. From normal sounding names like Toronto and Halifax, to the more unique ones, like Kuujjuaq and Nuuk. It's been fun, if not a bit hectic at times. After today, I start a 5 week "stay-cation". It's winter around these parts, and I deliberately have no real plans. I'm a bit concerned, thinking of course of the "fail to plan, plan to fail" mantra, but I'm hoping to enjoy the agenda-less period...we'll see how that goes. Actually, I do have some plans, but they are more like a wish-list with emphasis on "no pressure.
Let's see how this unfolds...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Operation "Johnny Paycheck"

As I plan on exiting my current employment situation somewhere around mid to late 2019, I have launched what I jokingly refer to as “Operation Johnny Paycheck”. Older folk like me will likely get the reference immediately. I say jokingly, and without malice, I wish to migrate from “Take this job and love it” to “Take this job and shove it”. This plan actually began last year, when I reached the astonishing age of 55. Phase one generally unfolds in 2018, wherein I will hopefully enjoy 10 weeks of holidays under Leave with Income Averaging provisions, along with a mandatory 5 additional weeks of annual leave. So, with 15 weeks off, I’m beginning to nudge towards “semi-retirement”. Before this finishes up, I should be into year 30 of my employment with the Canadian Hydrographic Service. Unless something exciting happens to alter my wishes, I will be leaving once I have accumulated a full 30 years. If God spares me, I’ll be 57 years old at that time; Not exactly Freedom 55 but not too bad. Let’s see how it unfolds…

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Obvious Hiatus

Circumstances have resulted in me back burnering this blog; back in April, I embarked on what was to be a 3-4 month assignment in Ontario, a significant change for me. The 3-4 months is turning in to 7-8 months. This, along with plenty of Facebook and Instagram activity, has meant that not much blogging happens. I'm undecided about how things will unfold. Honestly, I've put plenty of things on hold. I'm hoping to return to some semblance of normal by December...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Is Charcoal "better" ?

I've always been a fan of charcoal, and over the years, I have gone through several different variations of charcoal grills. Cutting to the chase, I recently bought an Eco-Que from MEC. It's the 12" square version, so it does not really have tons of space. Nevertheless, I thought it might be interesting, and it sure was/is. The big claim to fame is that you only need to use 9 charcoal briquettes for each session. Also, there are 3 different methods of arranging the 9 that afford 3 different levels of heat. Recently, I employed the method of standing the 9 pieces up vertically, for the highest heat output;
As you can see, it's a neat and tidy arrangement, and with the pyramid shape, the heat is quite well distributed...
The foil liners are an available add-on that makes clean-up a bit easier. 
This method, however, produces too much heat for most cooking tasks, so I don't think I'll be using it again.
As you can see, it was difficult to keep the meat from burning. In future, I'll probably use the "middle" method, where you lay all 9 pieces down on their side. Actually, it's probably best to use a dozen or so pieces in this configuration, but it works well, with less intense heat.
Even with the high heat, the t-bones were quite "salvageable"  :)
The Que also comes with a nice cover, and with its ability to fold flat and store in a nifty carrying bag, I think it'll become a well-used addition.
 Pictures above and below show the medium heat method, which is by far the most suitable for burgers, steaks etc.

The only real drawback with this BBQ is the stainless steel grilling surface is difficult to clean. I think I'm going to try and fit some sort of replacement grill, consisting of several rods or something, in order to make clean-up easier.
For the low-heat method, you actually remove the holder that the 9 briquettes sit on, and place them on a lower surface. I used that method once but it took way too long for things to cook. I can't see a use for such a low-heat output...perhaps it might work for smoking something.
They also sell a 12" grill surface that can apparently be used to fry eggs and bacon etc etc. I'm a little skeptical of that, but mostly because I figure food will stick to it, but I might be wrong.
My final judgment is that this is a good unit, and while not light enough for a backpacking trip, this will easily find a home for car or canoe camping. The only real negative is that cleaning the grill requires work, but then again, most do.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Reorganizing...please excuse the mess...

...not alot of time, but I'm trying to change a few things.
stand by please...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A bit too short, but lots of fun !!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Snowshoes 2017

With over 80 cms of snow down, we just had to get outside. Most of it had vanished, and with a threat of heavy rain and +10c temperatures, it was now or never.

Debbie's in the lead
We have our usual spot close to the house so not much effort is required. The fresh air and the sun are very therapeutic this time of year.

Shine down on us !!
Since it's now March, time was of the essence. This was just a short outing, but hopefully it's not this season's last.

Snowshoe Model :)
and then there's me :)
I'm glad we got out there as I would not want to see spring arrive with no winter "stuff" under our belt. Living in these parts, you have to figure out how to embrace it all...til next time...

Winter Reprieve

Over the last 12 months, I've taken off in an airplane 50 times, from 16 different airports. From normal sounding names like Toronto an...