Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Odds and Ends

I am just trying to do my bit in keeping this up-to-date and current with lots of interesting news and information.  All in all it has been quiet on the front, but I still try my best you know.

I have put together about 10 days straight of running.  That is my longest streak in one year easily.  I don't have an injuries or aches to note....  But I feel pretty beat up and out of shape.  I don't have any turn-over or kick in the legs.  It'll come together soon enough I hope.  Perhaps I'll get a few workouts in June and get up for a fall race or two.

Beaser and I hit the river on Sunday after our run for a paddle.  It wasn't supposed to be a nice day as the weather called for heavy rain.  But it wasn't rainning nor did it look like it was going to, so we said lets get out and enjoy ourselves.


And it was a nice day after-all.  Beaser was really interested in checking out the bald eagle's nest.  The last time I was out with Shelly we didn't see it as there was a lot of leaves growing on the trees which hides it from view.  We would have missed it, but after 30 minutes of paddling we saw an eagle flying and sure enough it went to its nest.  Then, we stopped a bit and saw another eagle poke its head out of the nest.  So it was a successful orinthology session for us.  We also spied a great number of geese, ducks and herons. 


I met up with Shelly afterwards and hung out with her at her parent's place.  It was the usual petting the dog, fixing some farm machinery, minding the horse, having dinner, and the like.  Regular farming stuff I suppose.  Shelly's brother Andrew and his wife Natalie had a baby about a month ago and her name is Erin.  So here are a few pictures of Granny and Erin.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recap of the Long Weekend

It was Shelly's 32nd on Saturday.  She got a great day for it too.  It was a sunny and warm day, it was a long weekend, and she got to spend it with me!  How terrific is that.


We sussed around a bit in the morning as she went to the YMCA and I went for a run with Thuss.  We had a great birthday breakfast scoff, and then decided that since it was such a nice day, we'd best get out on the Maitland for a bit of a paddle.  We went from Ball's Bridge to Holmesville.  Nothing too far, but just right.

It was so fun out on the river.  There had been quite a lot of rain in the past 72 hrs, and the evidence of it was noticable on the river.  The only problem was it was pretty dirty and mirky, so we couldn't see the bottom.  The river was very busy.  We saw no less then a dozen boats in our 3 mile paddle.  Everyone was having as much fun as us.


We were done on the water by three and had a quick bite to eat.  Reg, Wes, and Peggy were going out for a quick spin on the bikes so Shelly and I joined them for more fresh air.  We ripped down to Bayfield, across to Varna, them through Holmesville and Benmiller to get home.  It was a bit later in the afternoon so there really wasn't too much traffic on the road and we scooted along without any problems.


For dinner Shelly wanted to go to Thyme on 21.  It really is a fantastic place to eat - albeit a bit pricey.  But happy wife = happy life and we went and had a fill of great food and drink.  (Brad - I prefer your cooking though anytime!  And also thanks for taking these pictures.)


And to finish off the night we went over to Julie and Joe's for their annual long weekend backyard campfire.  I brought the guitar and chorded along as Joe also played the guitar, harmonica and sang. 

That was just Saturday - It was quite the busy day.

The rest of the weekend was rather anti-climatic considering all we did on Saturday.  We picked away out at the new farm and went out to Shelly's folks house for dinner too.  Her dad and I put up about 40 feet of a rail fence....  Again, anti-climatic and not too worthy of pictures or a write-up.

We put Shelly's horse out in a different pasture and it went absolutely nuts!  It was running around like it was in trainning for The Derby.  Perhaps it won't be going to the glue factory anytime soon after all.  Some video would have been funny...

Anyhow that was most of the long weekend.  Every weekend is actually a long weekend for me lately. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Port Dover

Joel and I went to Port Dover last Thursday for a night of camping and the infamous Friday (the) 13th motorcycle rally.  It was the 30th year of the event.  However they generally have more then one Friday (the) 13th each year....  The community is very well planned for the tens of thousands who descend upon this small Lake Erie village.


I should start by noting it was a typical motorcycle trip send-off for yours truly.  Thursday morning was rainy and cold. I didn't put the rain togs on, it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't great.  But I soldiered on to Guelph and met up with Joel by ten thirty.  I had driven through worse weather obviously in previous trips.


From Guelph, Port Dover is only like 70 miles straight down Hwy 24.  So getting there was no problem.  And the weather was actually a lot nicer as the day progressed.  We rolled into town and headed over to the soccer fields to camp.  Everything is more expensive you know.  Gas is well over a dollar thirty and it was fifteen bucks a night to camp.  That is the way things are going these days though.


We laid claim to a nice piece of land and set up the tent.  We went for a bit of a drive around to the beer store and got a few pints to wet our throats.  Later that afternoon we also met up with my cousin Amanda and her husband Jon and Jon's step-mother Beth.  They were living well in a cottage - but probably a bit more then our fifteen smackers.

Thursday night is generally a fun time.  We all had a great fish and chips scoff at a restaurant who's name escapes me....  But the highlight of this place was their specialty "celery" bread.  It was good - Deep fried good you know.  Later that night we hit a few bars and watched the hockey game.  Lots of people watching to do as well.  It was kind of an early night actually; Joel and I were tired.


The thunderous rain that hit Huron County on Friday was neither scene nor heard in Port Dover.  The tent and all of our gear was bone dry in the morning.  So no complaints from the two of us.  Joel and I got going and made our way to the downtown area.

What was really noticeable this year was the fewer bikes and people.  This was my third or fourth time here for this event and there was by far, significantly less people then ever.  In a way it was a bit disappointing, because the vast number of people is really interesting, all and all.  But after a while it all looks the same anyway.

Harley's reign supreme throughout the open road and it was very evident. But there was lots of other interesting bikes to look at.  A few different kinds of hurst bikes, the side car bikes are cool to look at too and many, many funky paint jobs on regular bikes.  Here is Joel sitting on a $35k 2011 Indian.


By noon though, it seemed like time to hit the road again and make our way home.  The sun was out and it was quite warm - There were still lots of bikers rolling into town as we made our way back north on 24 to Guelph.  Joel and I parted ways....  A safe trip for the two of us with no incidents which is always nice when you are on a bike.

I almost bought one of these tank tops for Shelly as it is her birthday this weekend.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Deux Coureur des Bois - Les Voyageurs

video
Joel and I were at it again!  We were on ice and snow I suppose, just like our adventures throughout the winter, but in another state of mattter.  Water this time.  In a canoe and on the mighty Maitland.  What a fantastic day too.


We launched our scow, its maiden voyage, just passed Benmiller and the plan was to paddle back to Benmiller.  I would guess it is a 6 or 7 mile run?  I don't exactly know though....  The day couldn't have been any nicer; sunny, bright blue skies, wind at our back, lots of water, and about 16 degrees centigrade.

Within the first 20 minutes we came across a bald eagle at its nest.  It was pretty cool.  It wasn't that far away, but I never really got a good photo of it....  We also saw many geese, ducks, and a few great herons.  The most interesting thing though, was paddling over top of a beaver swimming in the river.  It didn' really notice us until we were right on top of it.  I was going to smack it with my paddle, but I didn't really want it to turn on me and attack = even though I am sure I could have handled it no problem!  Joel saw it too.  We really were a bunch of Coureur des Bois.


Because of the faster current, we hardly had to paddle feverishly.  We just rolled with the moving water and made it to our destination without any issues.


The teacher.


The pupil.

After that journey, we went back to Joel's parents' place to have some lunch and explore around the farm.  His parents have such a great farm with so much to do and see.  Plus Trista and the kids were there and they always love a visit from uncle awesome. 


The highlights of the visit included:
  1. Taking the boys for a bit of a wheel barrel ride
  2. Collecting eggs from the chicken coop
  3. Going up in the hay mow and seeing the newborn kittens (even though I don't really like cats)

These cannibals - We broke an egg and threw it back in the coop for these animals to eat.  They went absolutely nuts!  It was pretty funny.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

My mom is in South Korea right now...  But I am sure she'll be perusing around the internet and stumble across this post before she comes home.  Happy Mother's Day Connie!  I got this picture for you:
A mother cow and her calf - Just maybe like you and I 35 years ago!  You are such a wonderful mom.

I was out doing all sorts of crap once again.  It hardly ever stops.  Shelly and I were at her folk's place.  It was an absolute gem of a day, so it was nice to be outside.  We started our day with a bit of breakfast out on the back deck on Quebec Street, then it was off to business.  It was so nice, I decided to catch a few rays on the skeleton.


Now back to the crap.....  The first order of business was Shelly's nag needing some love.  Well I am no ferrier, nor an esthetician, but I can make things happen if need-be.  Lucky had a disideratum for a clip-clip here and a clip-clip there on her front hooves.  They were resembling something of a Ripley's Believe It Or Not or a Guiness World Record attempt at having long nails.  So of course we don't have the correct tools for the job, nor will this horse lift its legs, but whatever....  We slapped a halter on it - upside down, gave it a few apples, and it stood at attention for trim.  It was soooo happy and relieved when I was all done, it was galloping up and down the fence line kicking and snorting.  It just may be ready for the Kentucky Derby by next year - Or the glue factory....  I gave it a big'ole drink of water (over 4 gallons) and it seemed like I just took 10 years off of its age.  I know how to make a horse happy I guess.  And it even gave me a kiss as a thank you.  No problem-o Lucky!

Another order of business was replacing some of the teeth off of the cultivator (and I am not even a dentist either).  Shelly's dad thought maybe 4 needed to be changed, then 6, and finally after 90 minutes I had about 12 brand new ones on and ready for the next 500 acres.  It is a pretty easy job and we mostly had the correct tools, which makes a world of difference.  But it is pretty awkward under one of these things and I was constantly wrapping my knuckles or stepping up into a tooth which is pretty painful.  Chalk it up as yet another amazingly dumb task I can now do.... 
That was it I guess.  Well, those were the most notable.  There was some other funny pictures from the day.  Every time I have an empty peanut butter jar I bring it out to the farm to give to Shelly's mom's dog.  Its name is Ralph.  (Probably as smart as Ralph Wigam too.)  He just carries them around and licks out the leftovers.  Good boy Ralphy....
The cat seems to have the run of the house when nobody is around at her parent's place.  I caught it cat-napping on the kitchen table - And on the place mats.  I can't even remember its name.  Cats don't exactly leave an indelible impression on me.  It should be thankful it doesn't live in the barn.
The bull was also out today sunning itself - All of itself if you care to look more closely.  It lives a pretty good life from what I can tell.  It seems to have the run of the barn.  It'll walk under this door and scratch its back against it.  It looks like the door is going to come right off of its hinges one of these days when it is doing this.
But the best part of the day, was being out with Shelly.  She really is something else.  There seems to be a bit of the horse Lucky in her - she loves her nails trimmed, a big drink of water, and she kisses me.  A bit of Ralph comes through - she drags stuff around with her, will sit at my side, and likes to go for walks.  The cat is obvious - lying around wherever she pleases.  The bull - well, she loves back rubs too.  But most importantly - Shelly is her own kick-ass kind of person.  I had a great day with you today.  Lots of my love.  Drew

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Like Dancing With A Fat Girl

That was the line of the day compliments of Shelly's dad Barry.  George McBride, Barry, and I were out tiling the back 3 acres or so of the property.  As Barry was unrolling the tile, he shouted out that funny title.  Well, it was kind of funny...  I thought so.  It'll give us about 12 acres of really, really good and dry land to rent out this year and thereafter..


In this picture under this text the tractor isn't ditch'n - Those are ruts!  It is stuck and just inching its way out.  But that is black gold soil folks.... 

What wasn't funny was the 1250 feet we put in, and we are still about 1000 feet short or so....  Oh well.  It was wet as ________.  (It was very wet.)   The back-hoe was up to its axels in mud and grime all day....  But George snaked it out.  We weren't exactly working as quickly or efficiently as Japanese beavers, but we got the 1250 feet of tile done in about 3.5 hours?  Maybe a bit longer....  But dam it was wet!  Sloppy stuff.

While we had the heavy machinery at the house, we did a number on all the trees that have infested the yard and perimetre of the house.  The back-hoe went back to work and dug up the trees and roots like nobodies business.  So it is cleaning up the place a wee bit anyway. 

And the other perpetual job to be mindful of out at the farm is the collection of scrap steel.  Beaser and I took in 1400 pounds on Monday - just crap lying around.  It is absolutely unreal.  We loaded another 2500 pounds after the tiling and tree'n; and it was only 4 items - an antique hay rake, an old packer, a grain auger, and a steel frame from a car trailer....  Some cheap dirt-ball Mennonite offered me $75 for the rake, packer and auger the other day - What does he take me for - a fool? That crap is worth 10 cents a pound in scrap.  Thanks but no thanks Jebidiah. 

So far we have scrounged over 6000 pounds, I'd honestly say, of sundry steel, brass, aluminiun, and such, out of the barn and ground.  That is crazy.  The funniest thing was the 40 foot television antenna Jeff Thuss and I ripped off of the house....  It was also a bit dangerous.... This place is crazy!  Well done Shelly.

Beaser with one of the loads of scrap...


My reversing skills with the trailer in tow are becoming quite good actually. Lots of practice lately.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Comic

I made a comic strip for this course I am taking.  The character actually looks a bit like me.  The avatar is it?  Anyway - it was actually a fun project to take part in.  (And Glenda - my inspiration for the resource teacher, in looks, had nothing to do with you....)

And I have a bunch of other pictures and things to note which I need to write out....  I'll get to it.  Maybe in comic form.