Tuesday, April 26, 2016


A few events over the weekend....

Our local labour council organized a Day of Mourning celebration.  The official day to recognize workers who have been killed or injured on the job is April 28th, we seem to do it on a Sunday close to that day.  There were a few guest speakers, some worker representatives from the community, management reps from the mine in Goderich, a bag piper, and just regular people who care to remember....  There is always a speech that is current and up-to-date.  Nary a day goes by in Canada without a worker being killed at work, and it is such a current issue as well.

After that, Molly and I, as well as the neighbour, headed over to the arena in Goderich where the most famous Winnipegarian musician was performing; Fred Penner...  He had all the classics happening like Wheels on the Bus, This Land is Your Land, Skineraminky Dinky Dink, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and all those classics from yesteryear...  The girls where there usual cheery self = best of friends and better enemies.  They love, then hate each other...  So we went together, but they couldn't decide where to sit and who to sit beside.  There was crying and screaming....  Afterwards we went for ice cream and everything seemed fine.  We all got back home and the girls went upstairs to play.  And then the neighbour left and went home.

2hrs after, just putting Molly to bed, there was (washable) marker all over, all bloody over Molly's floor.  The hardwood was scribbled on and marked as two complete donkeys would do.  A few expletives from me, some Spray 9 and paper towels, and it was cleaned up...  However what really got me was that neither kid said anything.  It won't be the last time the two of them get into mischief.  Donkeys - the two of them.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Nicer Weather

With real nice weather, lawn furniture migrated outside, the snowblower moved out to the farm, and generally redundant or useless household items got sorted to be disposed of.  The weekend marked a great opportunity to do those things, and just be outside and enjoy how pleasant it is out.

I got ripping out on the bike with my buddy Drew Anderson.  We started at his place, and went a whopping 6 km into Port Albert to the fish ladder.  The conservation authority was collecting the eggs and sperm from the fish swimming upstream to be fertilized artificially, then released back into nature at the appropriate time.  There was quite the gathering of people watching.  40 or 50 anyway.  It is kind of weird that so many want to watch this "milking" of sorts = but it is all for an educational and resourceful cause.  I didn't get any pictures, although many people were snapping away.  We then hopped back on the bikes, zoomed over to Clinton for a milkshake, then into Goderich.  It was a great day indeed.

Today we loaded up and traveled north into southern Bruce county.  We had a nature walk around Shelly's 1/6 ownership of 117 acres better known as "The Airport".  We were checking out how the fish ponds were doing and had a general inspection of the farm - but didn't get close to walking the entire perimetre.  We hit about a mile loop which is just long enough with Wally.  We didn't see too much - 1 measly fish, and heard a number of partridge.  The farm is in fine condition and we have some rough plans to fashion together a dock to fish of off..... 
Molly and Wally are absolutely zonked this Sunday night - In bed and out cold before 7:00pm.  Molly had some much fresh air this weekend, a sleep over, and just a huge amount of play with her cousins.  Same, but different for Wally.  He is just tired from running around more and being more active on his feet.  Lately the kids have been up early-ish in the morning, but we can usually hold'em tight in their rooms until seven before they get released for the day.

I am continually enjoying and appreciating this time off from work.  I can't say enough about how fantastic it is.  To me, it is worth it.  Looking forward, both Shelly and I signed up for another leave.  It is a two and a half over 3 years.  It will get us out of school in February of 2019 until September 2019.  The one good reason for this timing is, it is the half year before Wally starts junior kindergarten.  He'll already be 4, we can pull him out of the municipal day care he'll be attending, and we can do whatever and whenever before he goes to school. That is a long way away, however it is something to look forward too.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Covered Up

I am great at disassembling and tearing down, but when it comes time to putting things together, fixing, troubleshooting, and the like, I am absolutely terrible.  I have no worthy tools for any such job, nor do I have any skill.  I do have inclination though - and that is scary because I have no tools or skills.  However with a brave and steadfast mindset I tackled a project that proclaimed "no drilling", "easy to install", and "mounts to existing hardware".  Seemingly nothing should or could go wrong.

About 1 month ago I bought a new truck.  There isn't really a story here, I had great fortune with the 04 Tacoma.  It took me across Canada, all around Ontario, it moved 6000 plus tires and tonnes of scrap steel.  It was a great vehicle for the years I had it.  However the truck was in a bit of a transition of needing a few new parts and having a few minor creeks and squeaks, so I found this time to be a good opportunity to start new.  Long and short is I got a new 4 door Tacoma.  It is very well equipped with 4 doors, 2 extra from the old one, 6 speed manual, and white.  It has all those 2016 fancy dashboard and steering wheel button controlled gadgets, which I haven't really got into, and it is really nice in my opinion.  So I am more then satisfied.

I had a topper on my old truck, but in this one I thought I would start with a roll up cover to see how it fairs.  Today was the installation day with the promises mentioned in the first paragraph.  All in all it went well.  I had a bit of a struggle clipping some pieces together, but the bar was upside down.  Flip.  And viola.  The instructions were quite clear - The online video helped, but the physical instructions were more helpful to me.  I feel as if I am a way better visual learner, but in this case the job was completed because of the physical instructions. 
It is a great weather day - I even thought about washing the truck, so I turned on the tap in the basement to engage the outside faucet, and wouldn't you know, but there was a huge crack in my outside water line.  Should I get my hammer and go at the broken pipe?  I don't think so.  One repair a day is good enough for me.  Besides I don't think a hammer is going to fix this problem anyway.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Big Brothers & Big Sisters Bowling

For the past 4 years, colleagues and I at work support the Huron and Bruce County Big Brother and Big Sister Bowl-A-Thon.  One of the directors of the organization is a retired teacher/principal who worked with someone I work with - and our participation has evolved from that starting point. I don't believe anyone on our bowling team is involved with the organization, but that doesn't mean we can't get active in the bowling end of it.  This year we decided to bowl at the Goderich location.

Each year there is a costume theme.  Superheros, or Hawaiian have been played.  Sports Jersey costume was another, and so on.  Last year it was simple Halloween night.  Our team dressed up as the Village People....  So this year it was an International theme.  We decided to go as Canadian Lumberjacks.  Jeans, plaid shirt, toque and suspenders - almost an everyday get-up for me anyway.  Once again, for the second year in a row, our team won the dress up competition - Although disappointingly not many other teams completed the attire component.  Yes, there was a guy wearing a kilt, and a girl in a Japanese Kimono, but most teams aren't as enthusiastic as we are to dress up.
*Just a partial picture of our fearsome team - myself, Liesa, & Jen

As for the tallies on the night.  $6800 was raised.  There were probably 12 teams.  It was 5 pin bowling, and I think I hit 114 or 104 for my first game.  (But I was at 70 after 4 ends....  then the guttering started.)  We started a second game, but lost interest after a few frames, and chit-chatted with those around us rather then finishing off the punishment.

So that was that.  Today we woke up to 5 cm of snow on the ground.  Molly is going to a friend's birthday - at the bowling alley of all places, Shelly is in the year end co-ed Volleyball tournament, Wally is sleeping, I hit a decent run this morning, and that is about it.