Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A belated "Merry Christmas" to all...

...pretty quiet on the old blogging front, mostly because I have been away from the computer screen and enjoying more "lifelike" aspects of family, Christmas, time off, etc. In any case, I'd like to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone !! We had a quiet and somewhat "usual" Christmas this year; no family nearby but Santa's sleigh lightened its load at our abode so to speak.

James has a special message for those who would give underwear at this  festive time of year. Unfortunately, I had to censor it  :)
Joel is deep into PlayStation Consumption mode, and the once effective yelling of "act your age and not your shoesize" no longer works, largely because he's 13, and his shoes are size 13. (also, he's about 6' 1" so I'm too scared to yell too much, lest he swat me).

The Wifal Unit is also ready to swat me  :)
On another festive note, the Root Beer is almost gone, so a second batch is scheduled to be "put on" prior to the New Year...

Monday, December 15, 2008

HomeMade Root Beer '08

I don't know when I first encountered this Christmas tradition but it was certainly not yesterday...the making of the traditional homemade Root Beer. We didn't make any last year, and the year before that I had a dud bottle of extract, so I ruined a batch. This year is more promising, however. I made the 20 litre batch, but found an interesting recipe that can be used to make just a 2 litre pop bottle full. Click here to have a look at it. If you do try this one, let me know how it turns out. Frankly, it scares me a little in that it calls for 1/4 tsp of yeast in 2 litres. That's almost 10 times what I normally use. The carbonating process can be a bit risky. See this YouTube video if you want proof:

of course I use glass bottles...no danger there ??!!??
James is checking for spiders :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter rims and tires...

An unexpected frozen sprinkler pipe rupture at work got me a free afternoon off today (the brighter side of mixing water and electricity, but I digress). I took advantage of the time to buy winter tires and even got them installed. Cheap black steel rims seem to be running in the 60-70 dollar range, and Canadian Tire in Clayton Park just happened to have in stock, 4 Sacchi "winter alloys" (perhaps they saw me coming) at $99 a piece. I bought their "cheapest" 205-60R-16 winter tire; a Hankook I*Pike RC01. They are listed as "starting at" $41.99, but that must be the wheelbarrow size, since mine were $94.99 each. Anyway, long story longer, Debbie's new ride is now ready to tackle the winter season...the wheels look similar to the stock alloys, and are likely worth the convenience of not having to pay for repeated tire changing etc.
In short: Merry Christmas dear :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's the most wonderful time...

Yes, I'm excited about Christmas...here's a shot from 2003 (I think). The "bound" Christmas Tree pales in comparison to Chevy Chase's, but oh well...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

SolarPoweredLaserBeamGuitar !!!

...well, not quite, but after tiring of the ink jet cartridge refill struggles with their associated $100 price tag, we took a small gamble on an HP P1005 B/W Laser Printer. Staples was selling them for $59.82. They want $77 for a refill cartridge...

I'm impressed to say the least. It only has USB connectivity, but I should be able to shoehorn it onto my home network via the Linksys NSLU2 which has 2 USB ports. The printer is silent until called on, and it can spit out 15 pages per minute. See more info on this printer.
HP of course, are not entirely daft. The regular cartridge is good for about 1500 pages, but the printer comes with a "special introductory" version that they state will print 750 pages. If I was not a stupid consumer, I'd almost think that it was only half full :)

Monday, November 3, 2008


While at the Ottawa airport last week, I noticed an art exhibit by Christopher Peet. One of his prints is of my old primary school:
click on the photo to order a copy for a cool $350 :)
Sometime around September of 1967, my sister (I think) led me up those steps and deposited my into the jaws of primary education. I did grades 1-3 in the brick building in the background, and returned to the front structure for Grade 4. As I recall, the older school off to the right had been converted to a furniture warehouse by the time I came along. All three are long gone now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yikes !!

...an old friend sent me this, and I couldn't help sharing...
Job opening in Fort McMurray , Alberta
Position: Surveyor.
Salary: $200 per hour (tax-free).
Qualification: Must be fast on your feet. Isn't it comforting to know that when you are about to become a bears breakfast your co-worker is standing there taking photos.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday at last...

almost the end of a tiring week...time for some lighter fare: Guess which one of the two creatures below I'm married to?? HINT: She has a long neck and sometimes eats out of my hand :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Normal ???

Normal, is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.

Does anyone see a problem here ?? :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Passing of a friend...

Remembering my friend Tony; in 1984 he gave me my first real "surveyor" job...he will be sadly missed by anyone who knew him and his unpretentious disposition. My first time at sea, he informed me that there was a moron on every ship, and my priority task was to identify him. "If you can't figure out who it is, then it must be you"...end-quote :) Fortunately, it was not a difficult task, and having known the man, I dare say I'm much wiser...

O'CONNOR, Anthony (Tony) It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Anthony (Tony) O'Connor on Wednesday September 24, 2008 at the age of 67. Tony was born in Dublin, Ireland, raised in Seaham Harbour, England and immigrated to Canada in 1967, a country he loved so very much. Tony's career extended from the British Merchant Navy to Dominion Hydrographer of Canada, Canadian Hydrographic Service, and he spent many happy years at sea on the "Willie J". Tony loved the North and explored it when he was Hydrographer-in-Charge & Chief Scientist on board C.S.S. Hudson for the major cruise to the Beaufort Sea and Northwest Passage. He was a loving husband and father, a valued friend and touched the lives of many. Lovingly remembered by his devoted wife Sandra, missed deeply by daughters Kelly and Claire (Lawrence), and son Neil. Pre-deceased by sisters Maureen, Valerie and Susan, survived by brother Kevin. He will be sadly missed by many relatives and friends across the country. Memorial celebration will be held at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Drawing Room (1 Rideau St., Ottawa) on Tuesday September 30, 2008. Visitation at 11:30a.m., and celebration of his life at noon with refreshments following. In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to the MS Society of Canada, or the charity of your choice.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More '08 R&R...

...forgot to mention, don't pass up the chance to swim in the frigid Atlantic...yes you have to be crazy but it'll keep ya from going insane :)no idea who's in the boat...I just asked Debbie to get it in the shot so we'd look affluent...or is that effluent :)
Don't worry about freezing...as long as you can remember how to light a fire......then you can get all "done up" and go to a wedding...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

'08 Travels...

...just got back from a Nfld "jaunt". The weather was a little icky but it was good to see family and friends. James' jaw seems to be on the mend, and he hasn't starved yet.
Had some cooling problems with the VW, but we managed to overcome
We took too much stuff...
But I did my share of relaxing...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Trampoline 1, James 0

Well, my son James took the brunt of it this past weekend. A seemingly innocent romp on a trampoline cost him a concussion, broken teeth, a gashed open chin and a cracked jawbone for added measure. As a reward he gets to be fed with a tube for the next 2 weeks...NCA (No Chewing Allowed). I guess it's a little late for any "keep your knee away from your chin" advice. The four hours waiting in the emergency unit at the Truro hospital were not exactly uplifting, especially when retired hockey goon Bob Probert (in town for a celebrity golf event) blew in, and managed to jump the queue and get a "special" prescription...that's ok Bob we only got a broken jaw, we can wait. You're painkillers/prozac are much more important...do I sound bitter? :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

60 years plus...

OK. Enough with the nostalgia, get this crate off my property and get it working...
...that was a couple of months ago...all systems operational now :)

How did they think this up anyway ???????

Friday, July 4, 2008

The judge said "stand up lad..".

Yes it's true; amazingly, she married me 21 years ago. More amazingly, we often still sleep in the same bed...together :) Marriage is not merely a word, but a sentence.
Let this be a loving and public salute to the love of my life...my wife !!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

No sale is final until you're satisfied !!!

...just a plug for my favorite store: Princess Auto...yup, a date with the Princess is hard to turn down. I had to return some stuff today...had no receipt. No problem sir, have a full refund !
I decided to pick up a new level, since my old 48" plastic one did not survive a plant from my size 10 sneaker (don't ask) and has been transformed to the 3 piece variety. I decided to splurge and get the PowerFist 78" aluminum saber of a level at $29.99... When I got to the cashier, she muttered something about it being recently on sale, and without a single word from me, proceeded to charge me $14.44 !!! Let's hear it for...

Monday, June 16, 2008


ahhh...vocabulary. The fun never ends. I learned a new word today, and can't help but wonder if I are one..."irritant" certainly rings a bell :)
My Mother often described me using a more familiar if not self explanatory or descriptive term...I think it's spelled shit-disturber...

"Gadfly" is a term for people who upset the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempt to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant.

The term "gadfly" (Gk. muopa)[1] was used by Plato in the Apology[2] to describe Socrates' relationship of uncomfortable goad to the Athenian political scene, which he compared to a slow and dimwitted horse. The Bible also references the gadfly in terms of political influence; The Book of Jeremiah (46:20) states "Egypt? A beautiful calf of quality pestered from the North". The term has been used to describe many politicians and social commentators; in modern Hebrew, which knows many more idioms than those used by Jeremiah, gadfly is "mekhapes pagam" literally "fault finder".

During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates, according to Plato's writings, pointed out that dissent, like the tiny (relative to the size of a horse) gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high. "If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me," because his role was that of a gadfly, "to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

ManSpace Invaders !!

The audacity of these feathered folk ! Invading my sacred ManSpace. Actually, it was fun to watch the nest building and all that followed. My PowerFist inspection mirror helped in the "nosing" process...Rockin Robin, tweet,tweet,tweet...Downside: I have to wait for them to leave before I can use my aluminum extension ladder, since it is supporting the nest :) (sorry dear, I can't fix that leaky roof right now).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Ride...

Three different "vintage" jalopy's in the driveway. 10, 17, and 22 years old...time to get rid of at least one or two; gas at $1.32 a litre. Time to succumb kicking and screaming into the conformist jaws of this century. Presenting the new grocery hauler; A 2008 Suzuki SX4 JLX All-Wheel-Drive Crossover "car":
  • 2.0 litre 143 hp 4 sp automatic (wifal imperative)
  • i-awd 3-mode AllWheelDrive (2wd, auto 4wd, and 4wd "lock" mode)
  • 16" alloys w/205-60R-16 tires
  • ABS, Electronic Stability Program
  • SmartPass Keyless entry & ignition
  • 9 spkr 6-CD Changer/Stereo with bum-tickling sub-woofer somewhere under the seats
  • 6 AirBags
  • Cruise Control
  • Climate control AC
  • 4 Wheel Disc Brakes
  • 60/40 split fold & tumble rear seats
  • yada yada yada...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Free Topo Maps

Here's a decent "free" service from FUGAWI/Touratel... Web-accessible Topo maps...the blue gridlines on the map below are 1km x 1km, so the resolution is not bad. As you zoom in, it loads the better scale topo...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Longing...

I don't like wishing for things, since it's wiser to live in the here and now, but the sunny and warm day today is beginning to awaken my roaming, wandering, camping desire...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

...and again

I know this might be boring to you, but we're down to the wire now, and with only 6 games left, Montreal is looking good, but Toronto...well, not so good...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Yee Haw !!

...gotta post this before it changes...first time in 20 years that Montreal sits in 1st place in the east...ooooops, too late...those pesky Penguins...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Larry David Norman (April 8, 1947 – February 24, 2008)

Finally got the promotion...congratulations Larry...
"I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home. I won't be here much longer. I can't do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone."
(I only saw him perform once; it was in October 1996 at St. Pat's High School in Halifax...I still have the black T-Shirt...Larry Norman The Maritime Tour).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Snow Daze...

The kids have had 2 days off this week, due to stormy weather. We don't have a built-in sledding hill, but I'm trying to push the concept of improvisation on them...heh...heh...it won't hurt a bit...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Salsa Steak and Cheese Breakfast Scramble

Head on over to Rock Recipes for a tasty weekend brunch. We've done this one twice now, and it's a keeper...scrambled eggs, steak, salsa, cheese, toast, m-m-m-m...
The only thing that needs to be added is coffee; black as a bat cave and strong enough to walk off by itself...ok and maybe some Tropicana...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Here we go...

Oh well...the pursuit of Ottawa and first place is not going as smooth as I hoped...


 This beauty has been roaming around Central Newfoundland lately. I just grabbed some photos of it for fun...

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