Saturday, December 22, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
|includes an 'always on' visible capacity meter|
One of my New Year's Resolutions will be to blog daily in 2013, among other things. More on that soon.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Normally a new computer is something I look forward to. When our Dell decided to crash Thursday I looked for a replacement and picked up a Sony Vaio laptop with the new Windows 8 OS. The touch screen was a nice novelty but I had to use a mouse to work with it. Things are very different from any other OS. It's more like a phone than a desktop. I started missing some of the software I rely on and decided to look into repair rather than replace. The weekly Skype session with Cullen sealed the deal as it was slow and blocky.
A new graphics card was far cheaper and luckily my diagnosis was right on. It took about half an hour to swap in the new card and install the software. Learning the new OS software would have been a much longer process and about $750 more. There were a lot of programs that just don't have Windows 8 versions ready yet.
As much as I prefer a real tree at Christmas I wasn't really looking forward to picking one out in the rain so we grabbed an artificial one on sale, added some new decorations and voila, Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
I remember watching him ride to victory in the Leadville 100 'Race Across the Sky' and getting that tingle all over. I pulled for him during his comeback in the first tour d'France I'd ever really watched.
But the earth is not flat, gobal warming is real and Lance cheated. Sure it looks like everybody else did too but that doesn't change the fact. So today I said goodbye to the tattered first Livestrong hoodie I ever had. Not much of a big deal now.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Many, many posts ago I complained about having to buy an electric lawn mower because the kids hated the cheap push reel mower I had bought and I was still the one pushing the electric. Well with all the kids out of the house there is no waiting for miracles, the lawn is mine. I have been using the push mower all summer but it was injured a few nights ago and lost a wheel. Still for $75 bucks it lasted about 10 years. Didn't really cut worth a damn but going over the lawn 3 or 4 times provides a good workout when it's 30 or so. Today I picked up another push mower but a Ferrari instead of a Fiat, the Fiskars Stay Sharp. Assembling the handle was enough to tell me that it was a quality tool. The manual and online videos explained how to fine tune the blades and in no time I was in the back yard giving it a test run. In a word, wow! Easy to push and the grass flies even as long as it was. The flywheel mechanism keeps the blade rolling so even while pulling it backwards the cutting continues for a bit. Instead of the quick test run I had planned I ended up doing the yard in the time it would take me to drag the electric out of the basement and uncoil the extension cord.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
On Monday we made the 90 minute drive to Banff. Cullen proved to be a great traveller as he slept there and back even through the rush hour traffic jam. We had lunch in the quiet upstairs at Earl's where he locked on to Mike's Bronx burger. We did some shopping and wandering around town and headed home.
The drive out never ceases to amaze me. The Rockies just loomed on the horizon last week and suddenly they they are all around us. Going to Lake Louise or Moraine weren't in the game plan but just being surrounded by mountains was a treat.
On Sunday Mike had a tennis game at the exclusive Glencoe Club so I put the Gary Fisher on the bike rack and went along. The club was a block from the Elbow River trail that had given us so much trouble two years ago. Armed with gps and the bike path layer on google maps I headed for downtown.
Minutes later I had to stop as the bike path ended at an intersection. A quick check on the map told me to just go up 1 block on the dead end street and the path continued.
The rest of the ride was pretty straight forward except for a few detours and 30 minutes later I was rolling downtown. Next problem was the MS walk that was ongoing. I just couldn't find an easy way around the joggers, serious runners and family groups dominating the pathways. I crossed the Bow on the new Peace bridge but just found more of the same. A few more bridges and I got far enough from the route to ride comfortably without weaving through pedestrian traffic. In no time I was headed for the Elbow Trail and back to meet Mike.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Saturday we all headed to the new Farmers Market. We picked up some supper supplies and had lunch. Cullen was serenaded by a violinist and seemed to like that. Next stop was Lina's Italian Market. Despite the parking lot from hell it was an amazing store with anything you might need to prepare an Italian meal, or sit and have one.
Mel made her excellent sauce and we all enjoyed another great meal. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and bathtime. Mike has been spraying the little guy with squirt toys and this time he fought back the only way he can. Yep, peed on daddy. I think I saw a little smile on his face as the mop up was completed.
Thursday I got up at 7:15am to ride to work with Mike and then just slowly made my way back along the gravel paths along the Bow. It was a nice cool morning, perfect for a ride.
I got back after about 90 minutes, showered and had breakfast. We took Cullen for a long walk around the neighborhood from playground to playground, there must be 3 within 10 minutes walk of the house. The little guy slept through the entire walk and then for another hour plus in his stroller on the porch. Fresh air does wonders.
Friday I went for a 4 hour ride into Fish Creek park, about 10 minutes from the back door and about 2 blocks of that on the street.
Cullen is so close to laughing but ends up with hiccups.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
After researching routes and reviews of our destination we decided to take a trip downtown to Calgary's Chinatown using the light rail system, the C-train as it's known here. The closest station is about 8 km away and the connecting bus took about 30 minutes to get us there, but we were in no rush. We got a surprise when the bus pulled up, a short 24 seater. It was standing room only once we got close to the train station. A 5 minute wait and we were on our way.
Using the gps on my phone I was able to pick a stop just 3 blocks from our destination. We were both hungry so our first stop was the Happy Valley Hong Kong style cafe. As we entered we were greeted by the daily special sign, written in 100% chinese. The patrons were the same, a good sign good when you are looking for a good spot. I had barbeque pork with rice and veggies, Sal had duck with lo mein. It was excellent. We picked up a duck and 3 pounds of pork and headed off in search of a bakery. Chinese bakeries are my favourite part of Chinatown. We found the Rainbow Bakery and picked up a dozen bbq pork buns. Our last stop was was Wai's for more bbq pork and some su mai dumplings. My packsack and 2 shopping bags were full as we headed back to the train station. Another short wait for a now crowded train and we were back in no time. Our connecting bus was waiting so the trip home was a quick one.
We went to 5 Guys Burgers for supper and then came home again for Cullen's bath time. He sure loves his bath.
Tuesday we did some shopping for Cullen and groceries. Mike and I went for a quick ride around the Bow River Trail, his route to work when he rides his bike. I still can't get used to that first view of the Rockies when we get to the trail.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Sitting a four hour plane ride away from your home where ankle deep water is not amusing your son, is not my recipe for a relaxing vacation. All in all it looks like we were pretty lucky. The water has drained and AJ has fans going and is removing the wet remains of boxes etc. Viewing it all online makes things worse.
Our neighbours were not as lucky. They drove out to Calgary where one son lives and the other flew here as well. They have a little bit of water in their basement and AJ has that in hand too. They are shopping for a car as the son who totalled two cars as a teen completed the hat trick and wrote off another. Their other car is back in Thunder Bay waiting for a $9000 transmission. Have to take them to buy lotto tickets, nobody can have that kind of luck forever.
Yesterday was a quiet one as we just relaxed and spent the day with Mel and Cullen. He's quite the character. He's happy, he's hungry, he cries then eats and he's all smiles again. His hamhock legs are incredibly strong and when he straightens them out he is nearly standing. Sal is really enjoying being with him. She had him smiling with his bottle in his mouth and that is normally his serious time. When Mike came home from work he sat on his lap babbling and grinning. It's a joy to watch how happy the three of them are.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
After waiting nearly 3 months we have finally arrived in Calgary. A very uneventful flight, a short walk and there they were. Cullen was asleep in his stroller/car seat all the way back to the house but woke up shortly after we got in. He was all smiles. I took a quick ten pictures as Sally held him and he was smiling the whole time.
The entire country must be under the same cloud as I barely saw the ground from my window seat. The sun is out now. Sally is up with Cullen and the kids went for groceries.
Congrats to Ryder for his historic win at the Giro. First time for a Canuck on the podium for a Grand Tour. Mike found a bike for me to borrow so everything is peachy from where I sit.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
A momentary loss of memory or cognitive power.
2:00pm: light rain.
As I'm loading the groceries into the car I hear "Hi Jim, oh dear this is the other man in my life". Instantly five brain cells sizzle and explode as if tossed on the barbie
2:15pm: light rain.
I grab the three bags of groceries and bring them in the house. "Did you get everything" she asks. "Everything but the....damn I must have left the two cases of pop in the bottom of the cart". She calls the store but no one has turned the pop in. Go to customer service and they will give you two more.
2:45pm standing in line at customer service
Apparently the recent lucky streak in Thunder Bay has everyone thinking they are next as they drop their hard earned pensions on billion to one odds to be the next big winner. "Do you have wintario? " Just shoot me now.
2:50pm front of the line
Customer service says grab a couple more cases and bring them here for proof of purchase stickers. I say it's not the store's fault but she insists.
3:05pm third in line
"These potatoes came up wrong so they should be free". Off goes customer service to check. "No the price is correct". "Then I don't want them".
3:10pm heavy downpour
I finally escape the clutches of customer service and head to the car with my salvaged cases of pop. I open the hatch and am greeted by....two cases of pop. Mere words cannot describe my level of frustration, four letter words however did nicely.
3:12pm customer service
"Oh you are so honest!" Yes that's what I am, honest.
The other man in her life is the guy who delivers the linens every Thursday.
$4.99 for ten pounds was too much for my friend but you can get three baking potatoes pre-wrapped in 5 cents worth of foil for $1each, just in case you have lots of bucks or a foil phobia.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Monday, May 14, 2012
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
The 2011-12 Northwoods season wrapped up this afternoon with a pair of finals. Ginkos team captured the championship with a 1-0 win in the fifth period. A bit of a flukey goal but that's the way the puck bounces sometimes. Can't say I'm sorry it's over. It was a long one where much of the time I'd have rather been somewhere else.
Congrats to the Petries Sharks.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I got a call tonight from a gentleman with a very Dell-esque accent. He wanted to help me rid my computer of all of the files that were causing my problems. I played along as he guided me to the start menu and through to the windows error log files where sure enough some errors were found. Then after warning me to do nothing else he wanted me to open up remote access to his rescue team. I bid him a good day and hung up. I'm pretty sure had I continued I would have been hacked somehow. Lord help anyone that falls for it.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
No plugging in extension cords in the dark.
The bike starts every time.
No waiting for a cold car to warm up.
No windshield to brush the snow from.
No windows to get frosted.
No frozen windshield wipers.
No frozen slush rubbing on the tires.
Nobody pestering me for a ride.
No worrying about odd or even parking days.
No over-dramatic radio announcers telling me how cold it is outside.
No traffic on the back lanes or bike paths.
If I get gas it's cause I had chili last night.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
With the time off I had at Christmas I was able to do some work in the house, finally getting baseboards in the living room. Lots of delays but they are done and just require some additional paint.
Sal and I have been taking advantage of our time too, doing things now rather than just talking about them. I can't remember ever feeling closer to her. A rough couple of months for sure but things are getting better.