Wednesday, 24 May 2017

From city cool to country hick

I managed to make it down to the big city and back with only a few minor problems. The trip down was about the same as it was last time. When we hit the city outskirts traffic volume picked up and speed slowed down. 

On the parking lot, er...

Our check in was another example of why one should pay the couple of bucks and use a travel agent. Upon entering the hotel I strode confidently up to the desk, presented my paperwork and was told there was no booking. So I gave the clerk my credit card and got checked in. Once in the room I found the contact info for the place I had made the booking and gave them a call. It was a good thing they had nice on hold music because I was on hold for around a half hour. 
After discussing the problem with the customer service rep and getting a commitment that she would call back we went out for dinner.  

City center looking like a set
from Blade runner.

It had been a while since I was at the heart of the beast and the change was astounding. The amount of giant video screens with there ever present ads was like something out of a low budget Blade Runner remake. My wife and I found a nice little out of the way restaurant and had dinner. Then we went for a stroll back to the hotel. I found myself laughing at how my reactions to the surroundings must have looked. Once upon a time long ago I lived in the big city and was comfortable, now I was staring and gawking at things like a small town hick.

That night I turned in early because I didn't figure sleep would come early and it didn't. The constant traffic noise accompanied by the ever present sirens of police, fire and ambulances kept waking me up. Then there was the air conditioner... Withing minutes of entering our room it was hot so I flipped on the AC.The unit had a distinct industrial sound that was a little on the loud side.

The view from our room... ah...

Morning came and I was awake before the alarm. I went through the evolution of becoming human, minus a coffee, and it was time to go to the hospital. My wife and I strolled down the block and found our way to the check in area. I shucked clothing and put on a pair of gowns, got another x-ray and did the other little things to get ready, then it was time... 

I went through the procedure with no big issues and afterword I was given food and drink. Once I was able I got dressed and we left. Our checkout was supposed to be no later than twelve noon and we were driving out of the hotel lot at eleven fifty eight. It took a bit of good navigation by my wife but soon we were on the expressway out of the city. 

A few short hours later we were home and my little adventure was over. I went upstairs and had a long nap. As for the procedure to destroy the kidney stone with ultrasonics...  it didn't work.


Tuesday, 23 May 2017


Good morning fellow travelers today's post is going to be a short one. In a few short minutes I will have finished my coffee and it will be time to start packing for I have an appointment with destiny... I'm off to the big city this afternoon and will stay overnight. Then tomorrow I will be in the hospital for round two of getting my kidney stone gone. My wife thinks I'm nuts but with the history of this... fail, I'm not holding too much hope for success. Anyway we shall see what we shall see.

I was up early this morning not because of the trip but because of an encounter with the hospital. The other day I went in for a copy of my last x-ray and was treated to the bureaucratic small city run around. This morning I went in ready for bear and much to my surprise I had no problem getting the CD. After I left the hospital I even remembered to pick up some cream on the way home.

Well time's a wasting and I gotta get packed. This will be my last blog entry until I get home Wednesday afternoon (if I'm up to it) or Thursday morning. I promise to have some photos of this epic adventure.

Bye-bye for now...

Monday, 22 May 2017

Catching up...

This past weekend wasn't too bad. Friday and Saturday were sunny and mild while Sunday was a bit of a washout, rain wise. 

I did manage to fix the railing after a fashion. The twenty minute repair took around forty because of unexpected issues. I had to work around the fact the original builder did a few funky things. For example the screws that held in the railing inserts were put in at an angle because he only had long screws. 
Nothing like making
it harder for the repair guy.
This forced me to use an old fashioned manual (poor baby) screwdriver and to work at an angle. The bottom of the railing was put together so that I couldn't get at the screws to take them out and with that take the inserts out. This forced me to go to a plan B and I hate it when I have to go to plan B.

People ask me why I carry a hunk of string in my pocket...
To get at the area I needed to replace I had to pivot the inserts out of the way and use the hunk of string I carry to tie them off. With this done I was able to cut off the two by four railing and the four by four post. I then measured the replacement pieces, cut them to length and installed them. Of course the new wood hasn't shrunk or weathered so there is a little difference in the size and colour but I can live with that.  

The finished product...

1st Farmer's market
of the year.
On Saturday we went out and about. First stop was to the farmer's market where we picked up a few goodies. It was nice, we saw some old vendors who have become friends and caught up with them. But then stomachs started to growl so it was off for breakfast at out favourite little diner. It had been a while since we were at the diner so over coffee and food we caught up with the owner. You could tell we had not been there for a while. I noticed a "new" jukebox and asked when that had gone in. Turns out it had been a while, the jukebox went in last November. Brunch done we saddled up and went home. 

A couple of hours later we were out and about again, having been invited over to our friend S's place for diner. It was a great combination of good friends and good food. One of the nice things about the visit was that two of her nieces were in town. Yet again we had some catching up to do. It was funny seeing the twins since the last time we had seen them they were a lot younger. Now at seventeen they're all grown up.  

Sunday and S brought the twins out and we met them at Scoops on the Bay, a snack bar/ice cream shop that's just down the road from our place. It was raining but that didn't stop us from having some goodies. 

Well there you have it, the weekend that was. So until tomorrow bye-bye. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

My little huntress...

This morning it was a little cooler than it has been these last few days, no records to be broken today. The last couple of day saw temps in the mid eighties. Late yesterday and last night a line saw a series of thunder boomers roll through heralding a cold front. 

I was up early today because the ladies were due for their visit and being in bed for their arrival is not something I want to happen. Mind you when the alarm went off at zero dark hundred (8AM) I almost rolled over and went back to sleep. 

When I got downstairs I noticed our little huntress on the prowl. She was on her perch staring intently at the chickadee as it went into then out of it's nest. So wrapped up was the cat she didn't even jump down when I put her daily ration in her bowel. 
It's a good thing for the area wild life that my cat stays indoors, the carnage that she could visit upon the mice and bird population would be horrendous. 

Today is the birthday of one of our friends. If all goes to plan (when has that ever happened?) we will pay her a visit tonight, drink a little, laugh a lot and commensurate upon our getting older but not too much wiser. As Augustus once said "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." In these troubled times not finding oneself in the ranks of the insane is sage advice indeed and so far we happy few have been managing to do just that. 

Well that's it for today. Seeing as this is Friday there will be no posts for the next two days unless something serious takes place. Bye for now and have a good weekend. 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Dealing with bureaucracy

I went into town earlier to pick up a few things I had ordered. First stop was at the post outlet where a box with covers for the patio loveseats was waiting. Originally I had visited two stores that sold patio stuff looking for covers. In one store the clerk told me I should have bought the covers when I bought the loveseats in the other store the clerk said they didnt carry them because of the price point. This translated into there wasn't enough profit to bother. So I ordered a pair from amazon. 

Then I dropped into TSC where the had a farm jack for me. It was one of those impulse buys at fifty percent off I could not say no. Then I went over to the hospital to pick up a copy of my latest x-ray for my trip down to the big city next week. 

I went into the imagining waiting room, picked a number and sat... time passed... finally my number was called so I went up to the clerk and explained my situation. She asked me if I had called ahead to which I said not then I was directed "down the hall, take a left and a right go into the office and see them." I asked what the name of the office was... "Oh you can't miss it." was the reply. So off I went. 

After a few false starts I found the place, went in and explained the situation to the clerk. The clerk asked if I had called ahead to which I replied no. Then she explained to me that I should have called ahead because there were things that had to be done. She explained that there were permissions to be attained because of privacy and that takes time. 

I will admit that I came very close to blowing a gasket but I stayed calm with no yelling involved. I reminded her that the x-ray was not for somebody else it was of me, for me to be give to a doctor that was treating me. The clerk would not budge so I made an appointment to return on Tuesday with the caveat  that failure to deliver would result in serious grief. I know, I should have simply said yes ma'am and left it at that but this whole thing has been one screw up after another and my patience is wearing thin.

Now I am going to make myself some lunch and calm down.  Until tomorrow, bye-bye.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Off to "do lunch"

I took a journey down to the big city today. Traveling down to the anthill for me is no something taken lightly. I went to have lunch and catch up with R whom I have known for around a little over a quarter of a century. He is a guy who if not for bad luck would have no luck at all. The latest thing to befall him is his memory slowly being destroyed by Alzheimer's.

Had a little time to kill so I
visited a Mega Mall
He is starting to show a very mild decline which is disconcerting. Today we were to meet at a nice little deli at one o'clock. By one thirty he hadn't arrived and I was just about to head home when in he walked. His explanation was that he had gotten on the wrong subway and ended up at the other end of the city. We chatted and slowly ate for around an hour and a bit. He told me about his trip and I talked about getting chores done, all very mundane. During our conversation there were several instances where I almost wanted to shake him to snap him out of his situation.

Meal done I gave him a ride to the subway where I dropped him off. Then I the highway for home.

On the way home I thought a lot about R and his situation. I believe he is a lot more brave than I am. R knows what ails him and knows what the final outcome will be but he carries on. I just don't know what I would do in a similar situation. One thing I do know is in a few months we will “do lunch” and catch up on what's going one in our lives even if I have to tell him the same things over and over. Oh well, what shall be will be as they say.

This is why I hate going
to the big city.
As for me I have to go get dinner. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


I thought I would get caught up on a few small projects today and I managed to knock two of them off. The first one involved the trailer. I know, but I can't help but tinker with it because it's fun. 


The other day when I took the load of compost over to my friend S's place I had to retract the front jack because of the slope of her driveway. Had I not done this the odds were in favor of the base of the jack hitting the pavement which, while moving, is not a good thing. I found that I could almost swivel the jack into a horizontal position. I figured by moving the jack a couple of inches it would it would totally swivel. So today I went out to do just that and, by gum, it actually worked a lot better than I thought it would. While it doesn't totally swivel to the horizontal it's damn close and much better than it was. 

Then I went inside to hide from the blackflys for a bit and have lunch. After lunch I went out and took a look at the railing where it needs to be fixed. I have the lumber and all the other assorted things needed but I decided to put it off for now. 

The piece of railing that needs attention

The weathertainers had given the a kiss of death to the day by prognosticating that it would be a sun/cloud mix with a very tiny chance of rain. As I stood looking at the railing the rain started, so I went inside to find a little respite from the wet and the blackflys. 

After a few minutes I went out again onto the back deck and cut up the two boxes the patio loveseats came in. Oh boy that task was a little grinding on the back and the kidney. It only took around ten minutes or so but during that time I got around seven or eight, you guessed it, blackfly bites. 

All this from two (2) boxes

Who knew the amount of thick heavy cardboard that goes into packing a loveseat? Well now that the cardboard is all cut up comes the big question, what the heck am I going to do with it? The options are cut it up into smaller chunks, tie it up and put it on the curb with the rest of the recyclables. Or, I could toss it in the truck and take it to the dump for recycling. Or, I could just cut it up into smaller pieces and burn it. Ah, decisions... decisions...  Well for now I'm postponing the decision, I'm just going to sit here at the personal confuser and try not to scratch the itchy bites those little bastards blackflys have made.

That's it from me for today. See you on the morrow, bye-bye.