Friday, February 24, 2017

Practice Video From Concert

A simple video shot a few weeks ago in Teeswater, ON... Like I wrote earlier; the concert was fun and I enjoyed playing along with the pipe band.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Adding Steps

My buddy Scott and I tackled a simple modification on the truck over the past week or so.  I bought the steps thinking that the weather wouldn't be agreeable to do this outside in February.  It would have to be a spring job or find a decent sized garage.  But with the weather in the mid teens for much of the past 2 weeks, no time was as good as the present.  First step was to give the truck a good wash, and open the packing and hope that I don't loose anything.

These are a definite need and not a want.  Molly has a hard enough time getting into the truck.  I knew that was going to be the case when I bought it, but I didn't want an easily-accessible mini van or loser cruiser as a ride.  I wanted a truck.  That is it.  In a few years Wally is going to be ready to tackle getting into and out of the truck as well.  It might as well be easy for them.

So anyway, no big deal.  These look pretty good and are useful.  The installation instructions said no drilling, no cutting, use existing threaded holes - all of those agreeable words to a guy like me who has no tools or know-how.  Only one ratchet would be needed.  A screw driver to remove a cap.  Sounds like something for my disposition.  I had Scott on tool detail, and in fact all installation detail.  I bought some lock tight and some oily-type spray to coat the unit after it was on the truck, and of course I would supervise if needed.  Weather was 16 degrees centigrade in the middle of February - scary nice.

I've played a number of hockey games lately.  It had been about 2 or 3 years away from it.  I was wrangled into playing in the Old Timer's Tournament in town a week or two ago.  That was fun.  I also played the other night in Bayfield.  It was good to get back out.

It was a long weekend this past week.  We hit the road 40km north into Bruce County for some cousin action and play.  We had a big Christmas-y type meal and play.  The weather, again, it is just so unseasonably warm, had melted the snow to the most ideal packing capacity.  We made a bit of a snowman, and Molly had to instigate the argument over who had to dress it up.  Of course she had too, and not any of her cousins.

I think it is safe to say that Molly will have challenges, and has ongoing challenges, on waiting her turn, appreciating other people's space, being patient, sharing, sitting beside certain others, and the like.  She has a strong nature which is good, but it doesn't serve her well all the time.  She can be quite funny!

International Women's Day

International Women's Day isn't until March 8th, but the labour council I am involved with, along with our ETFO affiliate have supported this campaign.  This is the ad that we put together, Willie Laurie actually put it together this year, that is going to be in The Focus newspaper in the coming weeks.  I think it looks great, and there was lots of support for the ad this year from other local affiliates.

For more information about this go to the Ontario Federation of Labour Website.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dungannon Vintage Snowmobile Show

It is certainly appropriate Dungannon plays host to an annual  vintage snowmobile rally each winter.  I think of vintage stuff as things time has forgotten, and time has forgotten the wee wee hamlet of Dungannon - no offense to two loyal readers Joel and Sherry....

There was no shortage of pre-fuel injected, pre-carbide skiied, pre-gps, and just about any other"pre" creature comfort snowmobiles have today at the rally.  The newest machine there was probably from the early 90s - it looked out of place.  No, the machines there were from a by-gone era of craftsmanship and dependability which was second to none.  Machines with no ergonomics, or no heated features, yet they somehow have lived on in old barns and sheds to see a few flakes of snow each winter pulling laps around the perimetre of a field, or to simply make an appearance at a rally like today's.

Molly and I made the trip.  She wasn't too excited, but a bit of bribery with the promise of potentially riding on one of the yee-old-beaters, and a few toboggan slides at a nearby point, was the push she needed.  We walked around causally, nodding our heads at each old sled like we new all of the quantitative and qualitative statistics of them, and said hi to many familiar faces.  I spied a few kids in the class I teach who rode their snowmobiles to the rally and hoped to shore up a ride for Molly and me, but no.  I maybe didn't ask as point-forwardly as I should have - like when I get kids to sit and get mindful with their work in school.  However, lesson learned and taken from my angle.

The obvious manufacturers were well represented; Ski-Doo, Polaris, Artic Cat, but then there were a number of makers which was a bit more unique; Harley Davidson, John Deere, Mercury, & Chrysler had this really odd looking dirt-bike like contraption.  

I got thinking a lot today about my youth.  Our family had a mid 70s Ski-Doo Olympic.  It was a 340 cc engine with one spark plug.  It was yellow and had a black seat. Of course you had to mix the oil and gas just so, choke it, and yank the hell out of the rip cord to get it going.  It had a wind shield, but by the time we were teenagers it was busted from our aged abuse of it, along with the protective cover.  It wasn't all that powerful, and would get stuck quite easily if you were turning in the deep 1980s snow.  I remember quite often going in a straight line on it with snow so deep it would cascade over the windshield, before it was broke, and go on my face and down the front of my jacket.  We had an old 6 or 8 foot long wooden toboggan that we were towed on.  The snowmobile clothes were stored in an over sized hockey bag and they had this smell to them.  Maybe a bit moldy and perpetually wet, but not enough to be toxic.  After taking turns riding it with my siblings, we would prop up the rear track with a single larger piece of wood - something about not wanting the back track to ice to the snow.  There were lots of good times with that snowmobile.

At any rate - all is well here.  No real news or information to share = I was in a concert last week actually with the Teeswater Bag Pipe Band.  They had about 13 or 14 songs to perform with various instruments, and I accompanied along on 5 of them I suppose.  It was fun - I don't have any photo evidence, but I might to able to load up a video of a rehearsal that I taped so I could practice on my own.

No much else....