Saturday, November 30, 2013

Just a quick, funny picture.  The quick story is that I hurt my head here shooting my shotgun...  But obviously it isn't that serious and it wasn't like I was shot or anything.   No.  I was out at my buddy's house shooting my shotgun and getting it ready for the deer hunt this week.  Why?  I don't know.  It isn't like I usually see any deer, or anything with 4 legs for that matter during this week.  But, one best be prepared.  So I changed the barrel on my shotgun to the "rifled" version (? - I don't really know too much about guns all in all....) and put my scope on it.  Because - yes, the scope is really going to make a difference for a hunter such as myself....  I went out to Drew's because not only is he very knowledgeable in the set up and mechanics of firearms, and I mean really, really, knowledgeable, he has the space to shot safely which is of course the most important aspect of all this business.  Anyway - first shot I took = I obviously wasn't holding the gun properly and the recoil was quite significant, and I got smashed right on my forehead.  It bled for a good hour and made a pretty good mark.  Hey - it could have been a worse.

All is really good around here.  Shelly was very busy in a local X-Mas music concert which wrapped up last night with a grand concert and collection of performances.

Work is busy too of course for the both of us.  Nothing in particular.  But the daily preparation, and seasonal concerts are starting - it is just always something.  I have been busy doing some health and safety work, and other federation business.  I like it for the most part.  It is interesting and new.

There is lots of snow around here.  It is good because it gives Molly and extra job or chore.  She has been soooo excited to clean the kitchen and do the dishes as of late.  So the snow is good because she likes to go outside and shovel and move it around.  She quite enjoys any job actually; sweeping, some laundry, general clean up, sweeping - swatting flies.  That is our go-to job for her - swatting flies.  It keeps her extra busy this time of year because there are no flies in the house.  But since she is so young and doesn't have the intelligence to know any better - the joke is on her for now.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Molly's second birthday came with a bit more fan fare and substance than last year's weak showing.  Hey - Shelly and I were busy!  We actually did some activities, a few folks came over, and she had a cake. (None of which happened last year.)  All in all she has changed and grown so much.

So two years ago exactly as I write this, Nov. 5, 2011, Molly looked pretty much like:
And now:
We have our own little dish washer.  She also loves to sweep, vacuum, and swat flies.  Laundry.  Yes.  She's onto laundry too these days.  Just a great little helper.

The cake was quite impressive that Shelly made.  She used this template of a horse.  We used a marsh mellow and chocolate chip for an eye, and some licorice for its hair and head gear...  whatever that is called.  It looked pretty darn real if you ask me.  NEIGH!  Watch out Buddy Valesto.
That is about it.  I got out deer hunting on Monday.  I saw the rear end of a four legged ungulate only 20 yards in front of me whilst walking to a tree stand.  It was another 20 yards further by the time I spun around and raised my rifle.  But that was it.  I heard plenty of shooting.  But nothing crossed my path.  Oh well.  I will get out again this week/weekend at some point.

Shelly is great.  She is just busy with some extra music stuff in the community.  She is playing co-ed volleyball in the local fun league, and of course is busy with work and all of those things.

Around here - Goderich, lots of rain actually in the past 10 days.  The river is absolutely busting with water and it is quite wet in the fields. I have been meaning just to put and keep the canoe on the top of my truck and put in, but there just doesn't seem to be the time.  The days are a bit shorter....  That's okay though.... 

Thursday, October 31, 2013


A few quick pictures...  A terrible weather night for the trick or treaters.  Not many more than 12 kids that stopped by.

Molly really wasn't a willing participant in getting scarred up and such.  She just wanted to go and visit Emmie and John...  Her two favourite people these days.  (The Coups')

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mid October

So it is time to get a few quick words down and pictures posted from the past few weeks.  Everything has been happening, yet nothing too it seems in retrospect.

I wish my bike/motorcycle could write.  My buddy borrowed it for the past week and took a huge rip on it down through the states.  They went down to the Tail of the Dragon, then over to Alabama to visit some sort of museum/motorcycle museum....  Alas, the KTM is rad, but it doesn't write.  I haven't quite seen them yet, though I know they have returned and back in Goderich.  The weather here has been terrible lately; hopefully it was better for them.

Thanksgiving was fun.  Lots of family getting together and such.  Missed out on a lot of good picture opportunities - but got a few of Molly and her cousins.  Count'em.  That is 5 red heads out of 6 children.

And one of the lone cousins who is anything but red-headed.  And funny enough she is the one whom I wouldn't mess with....  The one whose disposition would be more like a red-head.  But they are all great of course no matter what hue their head is.

 Other than that - I helped Barry a bit on the Thanksgiving weekend clearing some fence bottoms and fields.  He had some burn piles to take care of.  Since I know a few things about burning and the best fuels to take care of a pile of brush - I tagged along.  An important rule most might forget; bring a beer or two to enjoy whist watching the fire burn.  I actually still have one more fire to light out at Shelly's farm to finish off a few tree trucks and other mess that has accumulated.

So it is onto report card writing.  I seem to be quite busy with school.  Much, much busier than the last 3 years combined I bet.  The days just seem to go very quick, and there seems to be an incredible amount of stuff to get through. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Some Pictures From The Month

Just trying to pad my end-of-month posting stats and such.  And also a chance to post some pictures from the month.  Shelly and I do print five or six pictures each month to put in an album for Molly.  So we do have a record of the better pictures.  Most probably are on the blog, but some probably not.  I have a portable hard drive with a few hundred pictures on it over the past 2 years.  Some day, some time, something will undoubtedly happen to it in that it gets ruined.  I will be S.O.O.L.  However, and as we all have been warned, they say whatever you do on the internet will last forever.  So in some regards that is good because there is a great deal of pictures on this blog that should survive.  But, then again, I wouldn't be surprised in 10 years if blogs and social networking looks entirely different, and has entirely changed.... 

So, it is my hope that people will get to read this in the future online....  But I am going to pay a bit of $ and get this content put into a book.  I know there are a few companies that do it.  And even if it cost a few hundred bucks, I'll have it forever....  So long as it doesn't get burnt in a fire, ruined by water, or the like.

To the pictures:

We are all great....  No problems here.  Shelly is still doing those things she does.  She is quite busy.  Work stuff, her social stuff, family stuff.... 

Molly is another story.  Yes, she is busy.  But she has her own style and flair which mostly consistent, but doesn't make any sense.  She doesn't like to get dressed up or be set in fancy clothes - any attire is fine.  She doesn't mind her hair being combed, but she hates have ribbons, or elastics in it.  She likes being in the tub and blowing bubbles and getting her face wet, but she hates, hates getting her hair washed.  She doesn't mind washing herself with soap on a cloth.....She'll eat mostly all kinds of food - as for her favourite -cheese and ham.  Cheese and ham.  She asks for it always, but she doesn't complain when it is breakfast and toast is served.    She is getting to be quite fussy in the stroller and has to be latched in.  She likes to eat with utensils, and her hands....  That, she doesn't have a preference.  She is actually getting pretty solid on her vocabulary - we are drilling the pleases and thank-yous and that is going well.  I usually put her to bed because she wants Shelly to keep rocking her and reading stories to her - I suppose she doesn't expect such love from dad.  But seriously, she goes to bed instantly with me, but not really with Shelly.

All in all she is doing quite well from being just a month a few days short of 2.

Mid September

Just a quick posting.  I have been telling people that my lackluster emails are because I keep this site updated and current with the news and events of what is happening...

A week or two ago I headed down to Windsor.  I have to make mention that I took the bike down and I encountered a few firsts on it.

The first thing to note, and I am under no allusion that others will enjoy these stories because they aren't that interesting - however, since I am documenting my travels....  It started to rain on my motorbike and I actually pulled over and put on my rain gear.  This was a first.  Usually I soldier on and get wet.  This summer when this happened to me on the way up to North Bay I said never again.  Never will I not stop and put on my rain gear.  So, I stopped as soon as it was raining, put on the gear, and drove off.  It stopped raining within 5 km....  However, I drove on for another 30 or so and stopped at a gas station.  I was just about to get on the 401 to rip the last 100km towards Windsor.  So I gassed up and took off the rain gear.  A guy filling up beside me said, "You don't want to do that."

Not taking his advice was a big mistake.  I took off my rain gear regardless.  And what do you know....  By Chatham it was down-pouring.  Just raining cats and dogs.  One of the scariest things I have ever done in my life happened next.

Since I recently professed to never ride in the rain without proper clothing, I pulled over under a bridge on the 401 to put my gear back on.  This was a horrible idea.  Changing on the side of the 401 was not wise.  The rain was coming under the overpass sideways - I was still getting soaked.  And the cars and trucks whizzing by was terrifying.  So, ya.   I made it to Windsor safe, but wet and beaten a bit.  No matter.  It was straight to Biblioasis Bookstore to visit with Alex.

There was a lot of confused looks in my direction as I walked in for Alex's 40 minute seminar and reading from his Giller Prize nominated (2011) Light Lifting.  What could I do except sit back, have a cold beer, gather my wits, and listen to Alex.  As usual, he did not disappoint.

I went to Windsor to celebrate with some friends the University of Windsor's 50th Anniversary.  To make a long story short it was enormously anti-climatic.  There is a worker's strike on campus and as a result there was an abbreviated schedule of events.  Well, Alex and I made the best of what there was to enjoy, and hung out a lot with Jason Petro, and then some other great guys at the football, and the Dominion House on Saturday night for some pints.

Anyway, it was a decent weekend all in all.  No pictures....  It was not a great weekend on the bike, however, any weekend you get home safe and sound from being on two wheels, that is reason enough to be thankful.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just a quick posting on my device.  This isn't as efficient as using the computer.

The device is quite unique.  Johnny Wright brought me home this knock-off/clone copied HTC system.  He is in China...  So it came from there with Chineese instructions and characters.  I am figuring it out slowly.  It is also a phone, but I have to get a SIM card for it.

Mostly I think it is cool that I have something from the Chineese blackmarket.  It could even be illegal!  (Like me switch blade collection, and firecrackers...)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Puff Balling + Biking

I got into a few adventures this weekend - Although I haven't been feeling too terrible well.  Nevertheless daylight was burning on Saturday, my mom took Molly for a few hours, so Shelly and I loaded up 800lbs of scrap steel of clean up around the farm.  We took it into Secondary Resources and got a piddly 6 cents per pound.  Well, with just under 50 extra bucks in our pocket we had a bite to eat and thought how nice it was to get a bit more cleaned up.  That just leaves 20 tires off the rim to take to the dump....  I guess we got our farm looking pretty good all in all for the year.  There aren't any trails cut - We still need a bulldozer for 10 hours or so to move and shake the place up.  But it is not so bad out there for the most part.

In the afternoon I got on the bike for some ripping around and back road exploration.  I hit most of the usual paths around Ball's Bridge and the railroad trails.  It was a terrific day.  No problems with the bike other than it is incredibly dirty.  It is a bit colder and I'll tell you that those air cooled engines love the low teen temps.  If anything then, the bike is running great.  I plan on being on it this week quite a bit and taking it down to Windsor on the weekend.  As long as it isn't raining, I'll be happy.

Sunday was a bit of the same thing.  I had the bike out.  Mid September however means puffball season.  So I was blazing path through Kinloss Township looking for the famed white Basidiomycota.
So ya, it didn't take too long before I came across a few beauties.  I ended up scoring 5.  3 were somewhat bigger than basketballs.  2 were just bigger than a tennis ball.  They all were really hard.  The harder the better.  These things can grow quite big, quite fast.  The barely last 3 days or so until they rot out and turn soft and yellow.
These are really rich tasting.  You can't eat too much or you'll feel it.  First you have to cut a few inches off the outside.  Then, take a decent enough look for the odd worm or snail that may have burrowed into it for habitat.  They are best fried.  I cook them as if I was cooking french toast.  I beat 3 or 4 eggs into a medium sized cake pan.  I slice the puffball into the thickness and size of a piece of bread.  Just the egg though.  And of course I butter the pan and have it hot.  Not many people have ever tried a puffball.  I have also found that not many people are willing to try them either.  Like I said, you can't eat too much of one, but they are okay.

Up next - goose and duck season is open!  Bow hunting for deer starts at the end of September.  There is a fall turkey season that starts just after Thanksgiving.  November first is rifle season in Lucknow for deer.... So anyway, just a few examples of how the land provides. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pictures/School Starting

Just so excited to post the picture of Shelly and I with the fellers in Blue Rodeo....  We had a terrific time at the concert.  It was just neat to be apart of the meet-and-great because so few were chosen or had the opportunity.  It would have been so much better to have a pint with them and ask a few questions about their music and their world - however.  For that brief moment, and like most people, I felt as if they really enjoyed our company.  That goes without saying!

We got some first day back to school and daycare photos taken on our rainy Tuesday morning this week.  There was some significant reorganization and shuffling at Brookside actually which effected my numbers and whatnot.  But that was sort of expected.  For the next 190 working days I'll be teaching 25 students in a fourth/fifth grade split class.  There are 12 fourth graders and 13 fifth graders.  I have been pretty much on the ball during these first three school days.  But something funny actually has happened.  Well, maybe it is stupid....

I sent home September's monthly calendar and for the most part it was fine.  But in the important dates to remember section I indicated what day class pictures are to be taken and when open house is, but I also included that there wasn't any school on September 28th.  September 28th is a Saturday.  Stupid story, I know.  I wasn't exactly wrong.

A few other funny pictures - Molly, at times, has been playing with this really odd looking doll that she has.  We been told by others that she mostly looks like the daughter, or could look like the daughter, of that fictional character Chucky.  So, yes.  Molly likes it.  She doesn't really know any better.  You be the judge.

Molly and her doll:
And we are always into wearing anything around the house as a hat too:

And just being coolish:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Blue Rodeo

I'll put up the posting now, but with at least one picture to come later....  Basically Shelly and I went up to Lucknow last Friday and saw Blue Rodeo.  They were awesome!  The show was a big hit...  The venue was great.  They played most of the hits like What Am I Doing here, Lost Together, Bad Timing, 5 Days In May, and the like...  So a great time. 

But before it was a great show, before they went on stage, Shelly and I were backstage for a meet and greet/photograph with Keelor, Cuddy, and the rest of the lads.  All in all it was mostly anti-climatic because a handler of the band just shuffled people in, had a picture, and then hustled them out of the way.  (The photo will be posted when we get it....)  There were only about 30 people or so who had that opportunity.  Seeing that there was 5,000 people at the show, the fact that we had that opportunity was what was neat about it.  Other than that it wasn't a big deal or anything.  I would have really like to talk with the keyboardist after the show - Michael Boguski (I think I have that correct.)  I was extremely impressed with his compliment to the show that night.  He stood out to me.  I would have told him how much I enjoyed listening to his contributions towards the show.

Before the show Shelly and I stopped out at Joel's parents place for a few cold ones and a look-see around.  Sally has the grounds in spectacular condition.  We always seem to get into quite the adventure out there, but this time, it was a bit tame.  No big deal.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Molly and I took a quick trip to Windsor a few days ago.  As soon as I finished my 10km portion of the Goderich Triathlon, we got in the truck and headed for familiar territory of yester-year.  It was off to LaSalle, actually, the infamous Andy Hahn, and his lovely and expanding family, would be awaiting our arrival.

Windsor was hot.  The temperature was well in the high 20s.  The summer swelter was happening.  That didn't stop us however.  On Day 1 these 5 monkeys loaded up the bikes, the gym bags full of diapers and snacks and water, and we headed on quite the adventure.  Our final destination was a few hundred metres from the Casino were there is quite the playground facility.  We would join the many like minded mothers and fathers who had kids, and daylight to burn, and occupy our kids attention with swings, slides, monkey bars, tag, and climbing.  It is mostly salvation - these playground equipment facilities.
Later on in the day Molly and I drove over to our former neighbour Brad's house on Parent.  It was a year ago that Brad moved to Windsor, and he has been immeasurably missed ever since.  But Brad has landed on his feet and is in a very good place all in all.  I can't speak for Molly, but I was incredibly happy to see him and his fine additions to his house.

On Tuesday our quintet, turned into a sextet.  Katie joined us for another bicycle tour into Malden Park for another outing.

The weather continued to be fantastic, and the added company was certainly welcome.  Malden Park has changed quite a bit since the mid 90s.   I have a 3rd place  OUAA XC finish around its perimetre from 1997, I think, and you wouldn't think it is the same place.  But it is, and I was glad to check it out for nostalgic purposes. 
Well Windsor is just such a great, great place to get to.  The city and its trails are very user friendly.... The weather is generally very nice....  There are lots of great people who live there - Shelly also went to school in Windsor.  Hopefully we'll be back for the University's 50 year anniversary festivities in September.


August started - I attended the ETFO Annual General Meeting in Toronto just after the Civic holiday weekend.  I had never been in such a formal, parliamentary meeting system.  It was quite an eye opener.  There were lots of points of orders, points of privileges, amendments (some friendly), passing, movers, seconders, and the like.  Robert's Rules of Order were in full swing.  Avon Maitland generates 6 delegates, and there were just under 600 delegates in all.  So, obviously, a small, tiny portion.  However, we got our vote just as everyone else did.  Democracy was in full swing.
For most of the attendees it is like a huge reunion and homecoming - other than the decisions to be made and whatnot.  It somewhat seems like it is the same group of people, and the same familiar faces who speak and are heard.  I just sort of took it all in and sussed out what was happening.  Also, you have to pay attention because things can move rather quickly.....  Many issues get dragged out.
Security is humourously tight at this event...  No spies allowed.  Credentials must always be in plain sight.

Each night there was lots, and I mean lots of revelry.  Stands to figure since these are a big homecoming affair.  I recognized a slight few people, but those who I was with recognized many people from across the province because of this connection to labour and ETFO's federation.
I would go back again if I was chosen.  It was quite busy.  There was very little down time.  I did manage to get out for some out and back runs and a decent walk on Wednesday.  I got a chance to spend some time with colleagues that I know, but not that well.  It was nice to get to know them a bit better and find out that we had some common interests other than work and being at an A.G.M.
Who knows - maybe in 20 years I'll be the president of ETFO in Ontario!  Unlikely....

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Part 2

The Mackinaw adventure sort of fizzled out with rain and poorer weather...  There was a splash pad in the hotel which occupied Molly's attention satisfactorily, and Shelly got busy walking about the stores and shops.  But it was time to continue on.  We would definitely consider another return trip to the area.

On Sunday afternoon we drove north.  Ontario was only 90 km away.  And our destination past the border crossing was only another 275 km.  So being packed up, there was no time like the present to hit the road again.  Across the Mackinaw Bridge, and again finishing off I-75's tarmac north, we were no time getting to the Soo.

The day's ultimate destination was 52 km north of Massey, ON.  Whiskey Lake is the official title of the camp were we were going to spend the next 5 days.  I have been there twice before = it is a fine place.

Each day was a bit different, but really this part was totally relaxing and we just spent the days laz'n around, being at the water, playing in the sand, a few boat rides, some fires at night, and things of that nature.  Off and on the weather wasn't super terrific, but it didn't confine us to our cabin continually either.  The water was pretty warm and we all went swimming, and there was a few fishing opportunities scattered through the week too.  I went wild raspberry picking, which hardly seems sexy, but it was a good outing knowing that the berries were scoffed down and enjoyed by Molly and Shelly.

Shelly went out fishing to a bit of a secluded lake.  On the way there the party saw a black bear high-tail it across the road just a few metres in front of them on its hind two legs.  I found that to be odd....  Rather then running on all 4s.  However I was assured that it was a black bear.  They caught a few fish and had a good time.

Another good highlight was taking a boat ride to an area of the lake nicknamed "The Falls".  Why?  Obviously there is a pretty good waterfall area that is fun to swim in and hang out at.

Overall we really didn't do a good job at taking pictures and capturing the moments.  

The mosquitoes and flying bugs were rather bad up there.  It seemed like Molly took the worst of it.  Her face looked like she had just gotten over the chicken pox.  But we all had a number of itchier areas that got our attention.

But by Thursday/Thursday night we were really looking forward to getting back home.  We left on Friday morning and headed to Lake Huron's finest ferry, "The Chi-cheemon".  We arrived plenty early for our 1:30 sailing, poked around South Baymouth, had a bite to eat, and were just waiting for the last leg of the journey to begin.  The boat was pretty full.  It holds 150 cars and 600 passengers.  Since it was a holiday weekend, I can tell you that it was pretty much full to capacity.  There is a kids area on the boat.  But much like most of the trip, Molly was quite clingy, and content to squirm around mom and dad's legs, rather than mingle and socialize, or just enjoy her own time in the child friendly area.

Boat hit Tobermory by 3:30.  In Goderich by 6:30 with lots of rain.