Saturday, 31 December 2016

For want of a nail

For the last few hours as the snow has continued to fall I have been trying to figure out why my snow blower isn't blowing snow. It has been a series of little things that has tested my patience. Meh, I know, if I had patience I'd be a doctor. 😁  Anyway I finally managed to figure out what the problem was and now of course it's after sun set and there isn't enough light to work by. I have been trying to correct this issue in a large unheated no lights shed. Anyway. the issue turns out to be the loss of two small bolts that connect the impeller to the driveshaft. This is the rear impeller that shoots the snow up the shoot. 

I would have had this issue corrected a while ago if I hadn't looked at the Toro troubleshooting guide. The guide only explores one thing, the impeller belt. It's Toro guide is kinda like the vets guide to dealing with horse problems. After the description of whatever ails the horse the manual says shoot or in the case of the Toro, if the impeller stops working it's got to be the belt so bring it to the shop. The guide was written for the folks who are incapable of turning a simple screw let alone being able to troubleshoot something. Arrgggg!!! 

So now, as the snow falls, I'm going to have to hold off until daylight and hope that a couple of the bolts I have in the workshop will fit. Failing that I will have to be stuck here until Monday when the stores open and make a visit to the hardware store if I can get my truck out of the driveway. Such a little thing that has the potential to really get nasty. 

Thank you for letting me rant. That's all from up here North of Disorder.

Oh good, more snow... & more links

This morning has found me once again with the prospect of battling the snow. Unlike yesterday's brief reprieve of a sunny morning, today dawned with overcast and lots of the white stuff. Snow that is charming us with it's altering of the surroundings into a quaint Norman Rockwell picture. I just can't wait until spring when there will be something else to write about. March 20th can't come soon enough.

Later when the plow has been by I'm going to head out and clean up the driveway again. This time I have to adjust the snowblower because the clutch cable for the impeller has come loose. It sounds serious but in reality it's not a big job. All I have to do is loosen a lock nut then tighten a turn buckle to the desired tension then tighten the lock nut. Anyway we shall see how it goes. Given my lack of skill with all things mechanical, pray for me.

Here are a few links for you...

Tonight is New Years Eve and there are celebrations all over the place. Along with those celebrations comes the fear of another terrorist attack so action to protect the revelers has been taken.  Fighting these bad guys has always been like playing wack-a-mole. The West has to totally wipe them out down to every man woman and child or it will eventually loose. Why? Because terrorists don't have to win, all they have to do is stay alive and grow.  As for me, due to weather concerns tonight's festivities are off. It will be just me and my Wife at midnight toasting the new year. 

I see that British PM Theresa May has broken ranks with Obama over Kerry's anti Israel speech. It would have been nicer if the Brits had vetoed the anti Israel resolution but you can't have everything. Here at home in Canada the ball's in Mr. Trudeau's court regarding Israel.

As for Lame Duck Obama it looks like this round in the global chess match will go to Mr. Putin. 

Depending on how
things go, this may
be my next avatar.
Tomorrow is the dawn of a new year and with that dawn prices will go up "for our own good" with additional taxes. A year that will see the rising cost of everyday items, due to the trickle down effect, outstrip the cost of inflation. Remember businesses are not charities so any additional costs will be passed down to the consumer. As a guy who now lives on a very moderate income this scares me. Already I've seen the municipal tax increase for 2017 and it's higher than normal at 4 percent. Well we shall see how things progress. 

It's nice to see a majority of Canadians think 2017 will be better than last year.  I would agree with these folks if it were just Canada but we are part of a global economy and the future for the planet may not be as rosy. There is one little glimmer of hope, it looks like Mr. Putin will not be indulging in an arms race with the not so United States of America. It's not a decision of fear but rather one of cost.

As you look to the future and try to discern what is coming, think of this... “History is seasonal, and winter is coming.” With that cheery note I'm off to do battle with the snow... again. 

That's it until next year from up here North of Disorder. 


Friday, 30 December 2016

Friday, time to catch up on the links day

Well it's Friday a day to get up early and get the house squared away for the ladies. 

I was up around sunrise and much to my surprise, there actually was a sunrise for a change. I have started to get used to a gray overcast with the night morphing into the day. This morning the dawn crashed onto the scene with a few clouds just to make things interesting. 

Pick up done, cat fed and coffee made we retreated to the basement while the ladies swarmed the place. As the were doing their thing upstairs, I was reading my new book downstairs. I am about half way through a novel called Into The guns by William C. Dietz. 

The basic plot is simple, what happens to America after the world is hit with around sixty meteors. Add to the meteors the Chinese think what happened was a nuke strike so they use a few nukes before finding out it's not. To make things more interesting, the southern states decide, under the leadership of several billionaires, to split from the union and, well you get the drift. It's one of those series where there are several plot lines all going at once. 

I got hooked on his writings after reading his Legion of the Damned series. I find his writings to be well grounded even though they are science fiction. He likes to take real battles and political situations mold them into his stories. I wonder what parts of history he will borrow from this time. 

Well enough of the book reviews, here are a few links to have a peek at. 

I read this earlier and it reminded me of my neighbor L who is a vegetarian. Now don't get me wrong I have nothing against vegetarians but I used to have a bit of trouble seeing the difference between them and the vegans. Well now I know the vegetarians are simply looking for a better way to take care of themselves while the vegans are nuts

Serbia, a thorn in the side of European gun control. 

When people think of ships and planes disappearing without a trace they tend to think of the Bermuda Triangle. Well there is another mysterious triangle that swallows up ships and planes, the Great Lakes Triangle. Well it looks like the Great Lakes Triangle has another victim...  

I wonder how many get through for each one caught

This last year was a bad one for celebrities passing away. The candles of too many good talented people were snuffed out. Well at least we have a bright future ahead for this coming year, or do we?  Well the government of Alberta is sure working hard to make sure Albertans will not have a good year ahead. 

One thing that may be coming down the pipe next year is a trade war with the Americans and it looks like ground zero will be Prince Rupert BC

Even though he is on the way out Mr. Obama is still trying to be "big man on campus." He's been doing the un-presidential thing of  making things difficult for the incoming administration. Meanwhile on the other side of the pond Putin has been sitting back and biding his time knowing Obama's days are numbered. Right up to the end of his term Obama has proved he's been a heck of a president.

I will leave you with one last thought, should you see a dump truck with the box up try not to tail gate the guy. Eventually the truck will come to an over pass... with video goodness

That's it for me from up here North of Disorder.


Thursday, 29 December 2016

Up and at 'em, round two

 I was very tired last night so rather than fight it I thought what the heck, go with the flow. At around nine thirty I was in bed and out cold sleeping the sleep of the just. I vaguely remember sometime later that my wife joined me. I slept on and on until at five after five I could sleep no more. So here I am at the personal confuser tap, tap, tapping away at the key board. 

It snowed again last night as it usually does in late December. I figure we got a couple of inches. Later, well  after sun up I will deal with it. Right now however, I have to go back to bed because the mistress of the house, our cat has noticed I'm gone and is caterwauling. 

Time passes...

I did go back to bed and the cat did stop being a pain in the butt so that worked out well. The snow however did not stop and we are slowly being buried in the white stuff. The weathertainers are saying that it will stop around eleven this morning. As for me, I predict the snow will stop some time in mid to late April. Well looks like the snow has stopped. Time to flash up the machine and clear the driveway.

Well that's enough for now on this twenty ninth day of December, Earth abides.  


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

It's a guy thing

I did a very silly thing yesterday. Being a guy silly things tend to come easily these day but this was simply stupid. What could I have done that was so silly that it is the subject of today's blog? I worked out for half an hour. I did twenty minutes on the universal then another fifteen on the bike. These two items sent my side into agony to the point where I had to indulge in pain killers. The pain subsided enough by three in the morning to let be sleep with the help of some melatonin.

Oh well, sucks to be me I guess. 

Once the blog is put to bed for the day I'm going to grab a snack then head out and clear the snow away from the  driveway. When i was out there yesterday I noted there was a nice layer of ice on most of it. This should make for an interesting time. 

We are not even a month into winter and I'm pining for summer.
A few months ago I shut down my Facebook account because of two major issues. First there was the ads verses my ad blocker and my not getting some posts.. When I complained to Facebook I was told to remove my ad blocker or remove Facebook. Well Facebook went into the trash heap. The second reason was that I simply got bored of reading about the two main issues, others misfortunes, and all the hateful political rhetoric. Yesterday I reached the same conclusion with twitter. Between all the hateful posts I just reached a point of not wanting to be on it any more so it's gone. 

Now I'm looking at the whining that I have written over the past few months and I'm thinking about ending this blog. I'm really not that interesting a guy. All I am is an old man trying to survive in a young person's world. So what I'm trying to say is in the very near future I will be making a decision on the blog. The choice is simple keep it going with tails of my boring life, turn it into a political blog or shut it down all together.  

That's it from me for now.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Recovery mode

Here is is the 26th, Christmas been and gone. I should have got the trash out this morning but I didn't. Even though it's a holiday today, Boxing day, the gang who pick up the trash still work. The official story is that there has been freezing rain and I don't want to fall on my butt.  I just don't bounce as well as I once did even with the extra padding. The real reason was that I just didn't feel like getting all dressed up, sorting through all the stuff to take care of the recyclables, packing it all up and dragging it to the curb all over a sheet of ice.  

Christmas eve was good, the whole gang was over and as per normal we ate, drank and partied to excess. It was nice to see all the goings on with the interaction between people. With the kids opening their gifts, the Christmas music in the background and the laughter it was like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. Dinner was great with everyone pitching in then it was time to savor the moment and just catch up on each others lives. 

Meanwhile Santa made his rounds around the world. I was happy to see the North Koreans didn't shoot the jolly old guy down. That would have been a bummer.
So all in all, the evening was a success with a good time being had by all. As for me I got several new shinies that I had been angling for. A new maul to split wood, a pair of ski goggles for snow blowing, some very goof Tennessee bourbon liqueur and a book that I had been wanting for a while. 

Yesterday, Christmas, was a quiet one where we did the traditional recovery from the partying of the night before. A friend, S, came over and we had brunch. The brunch consisted of two old favorites, Eggs Benedict and Mimosas. Yes the brunch of champions. Then it was a day of simple relaxation with a good book, great conversation which was followed by a dinner of left overs. S had to beat feet around nine or so because of the impeding freezing rain leaving my wife and I to our nice cozy fire  

This morning when I crawled out, the world had been painted with a coat of ice. The sun didn't so much rise this morning as the black of night morphed into the grey of day. Today I don't plan on doing a heck of a lot. maybe later if I get some motivation I'll go downstairs and hit our version of a gym and see how bad things body wise have become. But that's for later, for now I'm content to simply sit here and sip my coffee as the world spins on it's axis. 

December 26, 2016... Earth abides.

Saturday, 24 December 2016


Was up today at the stroke of eight thirty(ish), things to do and all that. After cleaning up my exterior with a shower it was downstairs and breakfast with a cup of the elixir of life, coffee. Today the coffee was desperately needed. My cat got the memo that today was going to be a early to rise and work affair, so of course she did her best to make sure my sleep was all broken up.  
Work, work, work that's all we Elves ever do...

In the space of two hours I've made the house presentable while my wife got the bird in the oven and started the process of filling the house with that good turkey smell. Once I had the interior taken care of it was outside and get the snow blower. Last night we got a few inches of snow. The last thing I want is one of the guests falling and getting hurt. Add to this was taking care of the snow on the steps and this old guy is taking a short break. Once I get my poof back I'm going to do a whirlwind tour of the basement to put the stuff I had to drag out when doing the decorating. Guilty as charged, I'm a guy who thinks in the moment not in the future. Thus the reason i have to do a pick up downstairs.

So begins the bedlam that is Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, I hope yours is a merry affair with all the fun and joy that you can handle. I also wish you peace in these troubled days wherever you are. I probably will not be posting tomorrow as I will be recovering from the festivities tonight. 

Merry Christmas from up here North of Disorder.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Done, the gift buying part anyway

This morning was our last kick at the can for getting stuff gift wise. We were up and at 'em by 08:30 and out and about by 09:45. First task this morning was to leave an envelop with a Christmas card and a Tim Horton's gift card in the mail box for the mail guy. I figure a little Danegeld to the guy who makes sure I get my mail is money well spent. 

Then it was off to see our bank guy. The meeting was jovial and even better it was short. No disasters of the banking front and we are still mostly solvent. Next was the a visit to the local book store followed by  a short sojourn at the toy store. With that out of the way it as off to pick up Mr. Turkey. 

The food store where we went was packed but our fellow shoppers were all in good spirits. One of the things I always hated about big city shopping in big stores was the "full contact, kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" attitude of the shoppers.

While most of the stores we visited were shopper heavy there was a lot of smiles, jokes and laughter. It makes for a nice change from the sound bites on TV where folks loose it and get into each others faces.

As for us our excursions for the day are done. Next comes the wrapping of the gifts followed by the pickup of the house to ensure it's fit for guests. Unlike the majority who do Christmas dinner on the 25th, due to various conflicts we do the Christmas thing during the evening of the 24th. It's just easier for all of the clan on that day considering all the scheduling conflicts. 

Well, as for me I've plenty of work this afternoon so I shall say farewell for now from up here North of Disorder.



Thursday, 22 December 2016

The sun is out, the sky is blue

It's all quiet in the house now. My wife has left for her appointment with the physio guy for her back. I offered to go with her but she admitted she didn't want me around anymore. The reality of this statement was that she had not been able to purchase my Christmas gift yet because I've been around. So for the next few minutes I'm simply going to enjoy the quiet. 

I was over reading the latest posts at Joel's blog. I noted that Al Gore, the messiah of the green movement, is coming out with a new movie. I suspect it will be a simple rehash of his old movie on climate change being caused by humans. Now he will jet around the world to promote this movie. Seeing the stories of his jet set lifestyle makes me wonder what Al Gore's carbon footprint really is. I wonder if any of the majority of geoscientists and engineers who think this is hogwash will be in the movie. 

Meh, it's all something to ponder another day. The sun is out, the sky is blue and just for right now all is right in my world.

Well I have to go now. While my lovely wife did leave me alone she also left me some tasks on a honey-do list that need to get done. 

That's it from up here North of Disorder. 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Life in the dog house

Today is the usual same old, same old in my household. We had one of those "who did that?" discussions earlier which tend to gave me a laugh out loud moment. I had asked my wife what time her appointment was in town so she reaches for her cell which, of course, is dead. Then I get "the look" and then she says "I don't know because somebody unplugged my cell and it's dead." 

Now let's take a moment to ponder this. There are just the two of us in this our cozy little nest so my first thought was my wife may not be happy with me or our cat. Then my next thought was to rule out the cat because she doesn't have the manual dexterity to unplug anything. So I figured I must be the guilty one.  

I arrived at this conclusion from a pair of deductions, the first being given "the look." The look is something all males of my species have gotten at one time or another. It's kind of softer, gentler version of Darth Vader's use of the force. Unfortunately for my wife we have been together so long now I am mostly immune.  Next we add to this the slight emphasis on the word "somebody" which can only mean one thing, I was not in her good books. Seeing how her memory, like the memory all women have for the minutiae of life, is perfect and mine is like a steel trap that's all worn and rusted, I must have been the culprit. 

So I did the thing that took years to understand the importance of... I apologized and begged for forgiveness immediately. Honestly I don't remember doing the plug pulling but it must have been me. It really doesn't matter since from the time of this horrendous discovery and now I have been forgiven. 
Here is a cute puppy picture that has absolutely nothing to do with this story.
Later today when she goes out for her appointment I'm going to hitch a ride and get some shopping done. Then, if I remember I will pick her up. Not that I would forget, a long time ago i was picking my wife up at the airport and forgot. When I finally arrived "the look" I received would have made Darth Vader proud.  

That's it from up here North of Disorder.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

State of the world from a grumpy guy's eyes

last night was... let's say not a good one thanks to a certain cat and an issues with sleeping on my left side. It seemed that every time | would roll over to my right side her majesty would start caterwauling and head butting me. Then when that didn't work she would jump on me then try to launch over to my wife. This would result in my being awake, grabbing her and moving back to the left side. After a while when I thought she was asleep I would try to roll over again and the whole process would begin again. So right now I'm at the personal confuser getting blisters on my butt from it's dragging.

Looking at the news I see the world is as screwed up as ever with a lot of little events being blown out of proportion. Take for example the latest terrorist attack in Europe, it took place yesterday in Berlin during the Christmas market. This was a place where I have been with friends in years past. It is a place where when we'll go see family next year we will possibly visit and stroll along the grounds. It is a place the media has described as full of chaos, death and destruction. One positive thing I see about this incident that others seem to miss or ignore, is the goblin used a big stolen truck to carry out his attack. Now how is that a positive thing you're thinking, well that means the controls of firearms in place are working and the goblins are having to improvise.

In Turkey the Russian ambassador was also killed yesterday. This time it wasn't a big truck that was used it was an evil handgun. In a land also with very strict gun controls it was hard to grasp where the goblin got his tool of death. It turns out the goblin was a police officer who went a little off the edge. Turkey has see 18 terrorist attacks this year but the people are learning to cope with this new reality. 

next year we will be travelling to Europe but we will not be using the services of PIA airline. I figure any airline run by a group that feels the need to slaughter animals to bring on good luck isn't for me. 

The electors have cast their ballots and all that's left is to count the votes. The great hoopla about how the electors would rebel and vote their conscience has fizzled out and Mr. Trump is the next president for real. After Hillery Clinton lost stocks in gun manufacturing companies plummeted.  The logic was no Clinton, no tightening of regulations so no increased market. Well the ironic thing is the folks on the left, the democrats who wanted to strip Americans of their 2nd amendment rights, have stepped up and are the ones now buying the guns

Well at least there areas when gun violence in America isn't that great like Detroit.   

Back here at home in the Great White North we have the week of silly politicians doing silly things. For example here is a member of parliament saying how parliament is the wrong place to bring up her party's transgressions. Kinda makes me wonder what the right place is. Then we have a provincial leader who has just instituted a program to lend more money to those who are already over their head. The leader of the province that I live in who simply can't take a hint to pull the plug. And to all these we can add how our Prime Minister the media's darling has lied about surveillance. One of the thing he campaigned on was rolling back the powers his predecessor enacted to spy on people. Now it looks like those powers will be increased. At least the telecoms are pushing back

One thing our government has proved this year is the old adage when all is said and done more will be said than done is true. I guess that for our civil masters in Ottawa this can be seen as a good thing. 

Looking at the goings on around the world and here at home, well... To say we are living in "interesting times" does not sum up the half of what's going on. 


Monday, 19 December 2016

It's the little things

Last night I retired for the evening a little earlier than normal and of course my body betrayed me. I woke up this morning well before the sun chose to grace my little part of the world with it's light. I lay there quietly in the dark for a while. Finally I said the heck with it and looked at the clock, 06:17 hours. For the normal folks it was seventeen minutes past six in the morning. Almost forgot, for the security guys the big hand was between the three and the four while the little hand was just past the six. 

Anyway, it was early. I read the news on my cell and played with the fuzzball until I couldn't take it any more and got up. After breakfast I spent the morning on twitter, yes I know that makes me a twit. After lunch I went out with my wife to what passes for a mall in the nearby tiny town While around a quarter of the shops are closed up, there was still enough selection to finish our Christmas shopping. 

Then we were off to the mega huge grocery store.  Once again they had just finished reorganizing the layout. I don't know about you gentle reader but I like to find my way around and not have to beg for directions. I went to get some trail mix from the bulk area and found that it was all so shiny and new. Put a couple of pounds in a bag then went to find a tag to write the bin number on. Round and round I went thinking I was missing something. Finally I gave in and found one of the stock guys whom I asked about the tags. Like any new setup there are glitches and today's glitch was they were out of tags. So I took a pic of what I  thought was the right number and we carried on. 

Once we arrived at the cash I showed the pic to the lady at the till and of course she could not find the number in the system. I offered to pass on buying the trail mix because a line was starting to form. The lady did something very few young people do anymore, she made an executive decision. She looked at me, smiled and said the they would only throw the trail mix out so just take it and merry Christmas. I cautioned her about getting in trouble and she laughed and said it would cost them a hell of a lot more than the trail mix was worth to get rid of her. I smiled at the lady, thanked her and we left for home. 

Well that's enough from me for now. From up here North of Disorder bye-bye till tomorrow.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

New Shiny

Here I sit at the personal confuser while it's sunny and clear outside. There's a gift from Mother Nature of around six inches of snow she left during yesterday and last night that I have to do something about...

There, I'm back. Did you miss me? Anyway I have taken care on the white stuff and we can now go out should the need come up.

A couple of days ago I received my new shiny in the mail. The new shiny is now my new everyday carry knife. The knife is a Strand made by a company called Quiet carry. The company is a one man band outfit run by a guy named Bryce Alexander of Costa Mesa, CA. The knife is smaller, lighter and handier than the Zero Tolerance ZT350 I was carrying. The blade is D2 tool steel that has gone through a special cryogenic hardening process. Out of the box the blade was sharp enough to take hair off my arm. The scales are made from titanium and it has a Chris Reeve style lock.

To say I'm happy with the new shiny is an understatement. It should have been in my hands around a month ago but there were a few minor glitches with the satin finish. I checked the website and noticed that Mr. Alexander isn't offering the satin finish on the models he is now selling. I guess that makes my Strand a collector's item given there were only a few hundred produced. I'm glad I took the chance and picked one of the up it is a big improvement over the old ZT350. 

Here are a few links for you to have a gander at...

Down south of the border the teeth gnashing about the failure of the Democrats continues.

Meanwhile in Aleppo the stupidity continues.   

In a decision right out of a Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves the the Turkish government has decided to cancel Christmas for the folks who are in a German run school. No trees, no cards, no decorations, no nothing. 

I see the eco-freaks are at it again. Now there is a push on the "save the prairie grass lands." Personally, I would rather be able to eat but that's just me. 

Meanwhile on the finical doom and gloom front we have this warning. A warning the people running British Columbia haven't been told about.

I love pets just as much as the next guy but to go to court over custody rights for a dog? Well it looks like a judge has agreed with my sentiments that dogs are not the same as children.

This link is for me a blast from the past. I used to have to deal with complaints like this on a daily basis during the summer. Complaints from prudish self centered do-gooders used to drive me mad. 

That's about all from me. Now I'm off to fight wars on Twitter. Why? Because I can. Until the morrow from up here North of disorder.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Musings from up here in the Great White North

Here it is noon on Saturday and I'm still in my bathrobe. Why? Because there is a weather front coming in with freezing drizzle. Looking at the weather I'm starting to think this is like the movie Groundhog Day where everything repeats again and again and again... Then there's the fact that I'm retired and if I don't feel like getting dressed I don't have to. 

So there...

Anyway at the risk of repeating myself there is nothing really going on. The only thing I have managed to do was scour the web so here are a few links for you.

Seeing that this is the season of giving here is a guy that decided to give in a big way. Kinda makes me look cheep for giving these out back in the day. 

Meanwhile in that bastion of socialism, Venezuela, the hits just keep on coming. Every time I see more news about further declines in this poor self impoverished country I can't help but wonder what will it take for these sheep people to rise up and remove these fools who are running the show? But in the end the people got the government that they wanted when they elected this man

Then there's that other great bastion of socialism communism Cuba. In debt up to their eyeballs the government wants to clear some of it up by trading rum instead of cash. The only problem is the guys they owe want money not rum. 

I always thought the people of Newfoundland were a little strange, this just proves it

Surprisingly this didn't happen in Florida. A bullied teen brought some butcher knives to school and after slashing and stabbing a few of his peers the police were called. Upon arrival they did what American police do, they shot the kid. Now the mother is up in arms saying that the cops should have had some other non deadly way of dealing with her armed, slashing, stabbing kid.

Meanwhile in New York after being alerted by a do-gooder the police arrive and bust into a car to rescue a mannequin.  

I read this article and thought three things in rapid succession, wow this is really cool, it will probably take too long to be of any use to me and if it becomes available and I can benefit from it, the cost will be out of reach.  

Looks like the progress of beating plowshares into swords in Europe continues. 

I guess the authorities are managing to slow down the cons from Nigeria to the point where they are turning the con games on themselves

Meanwhile in Thailand there is this gift to bring peace of mind. The one and only ghost repellent machine.  

California Department of Motor Vehicles to Uber "stop using your driverless vehicles this instant!" Uber to California Department of Motor Vehicles, no

Well I have just gotten the look from my wife so I shall be going to turn myself into a human being. That's all for today from up here north of disorder.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Out foxing the Plow Guy

Yesterday was one of those days that I'm sure a lot of folks would like to forget. When the fluffy frozen manna stopped falling there was around 16 inches on the ground. On the news there were many and varied accidents all over. I actually went out mid afternoon when the sun came out and cleared the driveway. Of course I was only part done when the clouds came back and the snow started again. 

Then seeing my neighbor T out there with shovel in hand, I finished my driveway and went over to his place. I  took care of the heavy stuff the plow guy left at the end of his driveway. My neighbor T is a great guy who is a couple of years older than I am. While I'm sure he could handle shoveling the heavy stuff, seeing him reminds me of a guy I knew who pushed himself shoveling a little too far and it didn't end well. So for T, I would rather use my machine than see him in a bad way. 

When I did the drive I managed to out fox the plow guy. When I started my driveway the road was deep in snow. So I cleared a path to the road then I proceeded to clear the snow from the edge of the road for around 20 feet prior to my driveway. Later when I was almost finished plow guy came by and unlike other times where I was buried, his plow left a tiny mound which was easily taken care of. I laughed as the plow guy came by.  Plow guy gave me a big smile and a thumbs up. 

Later in the evening as the snow fell I made a trip into the nearby small town for some things. One of the things we like to do every year is give some of the folks who toil day in and day out with little thanks except for a paycheque, a present. So I usually go in to the nearest Tim Horten's and pick up a few gift cards with a bit of cash on them to give out. It may not be a big thing but it shows somebody thinks the job they're doing is being done right. 

I promise to scour the world wide web on the morrow for a few links. Until then that's all for me from up here North of Disorder.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Snow day

There is an old saying: if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Well the plan the Big Guy overheard was for my wife to go to the semi big city for some stuff and I was going to go into the small town and pick up wrapping paper. Well that ain't gonna happen thanks to the Big Guy's sense of ha ha. 

Last night around midnight the big fat fluffy flakes began and while the flakes have gotten smaller, the snow hasn't let up. When I crawled out a couple of hours ago and looked outside, there was the better part of a foot on the ground. The first thing I noticed was that I could not see across the street. The original game plan has evolved into staying inside, sipping hot coffee and staying warm. 

The weathertainers have been issuing their doom and gloom end of the world warnings about the amount of snow we are going to get. It looks like the snow ain't going to let up any time soon. If the weathertainers are to be believed the snow will let up in a day or so.

At some time in the not to distant future I'll be donning all the winter paraphernalia and going outside to snow-blow the driveway. I can't say I'm in a big rush to get the driveway cleared right now. The plow guy, who almost buried me the last time I was out, hasn't been by yet. Snow-blowing everything then having to go out again because the end of the driveway is buried is never productive. 

Well that's it from up here in the Great White North, north of Disorder.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Links Day

Well there ain't much to right about today. It's sunny now but the weathertainers predict the end of the world a good chance of snow this afternoon.  Of course this is because I have to go to the semi big city this afternoon and pick up a little something in the gift line. The grand oracle that is the world wide web has provided the information about where this item can be had. So if the prognostication is right I will have a interesting time this afternoon. 

I'm not that worried, there are good snow tires on the truck. In a worst case I have chains I can always put on the wheels. I also have a tow strap with a come-along. However I seriously don't think that I will have to put these devices to the test.

Anyway enough about me verses the weather, here are a few links for you. 

I took a look at this and along with the growling, gurgling from my stomach I've been reminded it's almost lunch time.

Every time I think our government ain't so bad I see something like this which brings me back to reality. 

So you're stuck in deciding what to get the person who has everything, might I suggest... Relax, just kidding.

What a guy, our incredible Prime Minister goes out, parties and collects kickbacks... for the middle class.

Date line Toronto, Mel Lastman Square where a group of squirrels have run amuck, causing damage to the Christmas lights. This looks like a job for Squirrel Girl

Looks like our Prime Minister "Baby Doc" Trudeau is about to alienate another group of supporters. Mind you I suspect these guys will not storm the castle because... they're chilling...    

I don't know about you but I have never been this hungry

If it saves one life then I think this should be part of police training everywhere. 

All that time in school and the work you put in to get those letters behind your name. To get a job like this, well I'm sure your parents are so proud.

I find it rather ironic that the land that gave America the statue of liberty should resort to this

Next time you are in town and missing your dog and you have a few extra minutes you can always drop in

Good to know that cash is still king  except in Canada.   

I will leave you with this story about the actions of John Wallace. In the den of cronyism here we have an actual man of honour.  

Well that's it from me up here North of Disorder.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Today shall be a day of wrapping gifts. When ever we do this I tend to get juvenile in my efforts to prevent my wife from finding out what I have managed to acquire for her.  

Yesterday after we got home and I put the daily blog to bed my wife went at the tree doing the finishing touches of  lights  and other decorations. I had to make a hasty repair of an ornament that got dropped. had it not been for the fact the item had been in the family for a long time and I'm good at repairing things... Anyway the tree is up and looking good. Looking at the tree one can tell it was decorated with a woman's touch. I would have just hung the stuff on the tree willy-nilly with no regard to placement. Why? Because I'm a guy and a ham fisted one at that. 

Here are a few links for you.

Here we have another case of the Canadian Government violating the first rule of wing walking: "Don't let go of something you've got until you get hold of something better."

This should spice up the debate... 

Nice to see how women are treated with equality in the middle east, not

Coming to an airline near you the chance to join the "Mile high club"

Please cue the X Files music for those who are surfing the web...

Who knew that Wonder Woman was not a good roll model for girls

Well I have to get cracking on wrapping gifts so until tomorrow that's it from up here North of Disorder.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

Sloppy roads
Time to drag out the calendar and make a mark on yesterday's date, the weathertainers actually got one of their prognostication rights for a change. Yesterday as I was working on the blog the snow started falling and the end of the snowfall came around an hour ago. It wasn't an end of the world kind of snowfall, not by a long shot, but we ended up with a foot of the white fluffy stuff on the ground. 

When I crawled out this morning it was time to get ready for the world and get outside. When I got out the world was a grey and white landscape with the big fat fluffy flakes falling. I flashed up the snow blower and after forty five minutes had the driveway clear and access to the mail box done. The beast started up real easy for a change. Unlike other times in the past I decided to use the electric starter. Oh my goodness why I haven't been using the electric starter and playing with the pull start is beyond me. Looks like the work I did in the fall turned out well. 

My wife and I went into town and had lunch with one of the cousins (J) and his girl friend (L). Lots of catching was done because we haven't seen each other for a while. It's kinda cool that while we haven't seen each other for the better part of half a year, it's just like no time has passed at all. J's my golf partner in the summer months. I know, I'm sure there are big sighs from the grounds keepers when the find out we are going to play. Meh while others golf, we play golf. The big difference is that after the game we are as relaxed as when we started. With no serious expectations half the time we don't even bother keeping  score.

When lunch was done and the handshakes, hugs farewells finished we were off to do some Christmas shopping. I would regale you with the presents we picked up but since some of the family reads this blog, well... loose lips sink ships as they say. Now that we are back home the game plan is to finish decorating the tree and I will be going back out cleaning up the driveway with the snowblower. 

Not that I am a fanatic about clearing the snow I have found it's better to deal with it while it's still fresh and easy to move. I remember one year where I was outside using a large ice scraper and an axe to get the ice/snow at the end of the drive way broken up so I could use the snow thrower on. Let's just say that's an experience I would rather not repeat. 

Time to get the show on the road as it were. That's all from up here North of Disorder.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sunday, snow day

Last night was very nice leaving me wondering if being a hermit would be a good thing. The ladies managed to get to and from their sock party with no major  or minor issues. While they were at the sock party I was told a good time was had by all. 

As for me I enjoyed a nice quiet evening getting caught up on reading and enjoying the taste of a wee dram of single malt. I will admit that all the while they were gone in the back of my feeble little mind I kept playing out what if scenarios. 

This morning we were up at the crack of 9ish and after the morning chores were done we took our guest home. Of course on the way back Mother Nature had to have a crack at us. When we were 15 minutes out I drove the truck into a wanna be snow squall. Since then it has been softly snowing.  

The next task is the digging out, bringing upstairs, assembling and decorating of the Christmas Tree. This is where I get to mule the stuff up and help my wife decorate. I'm thinking that once this have been completed I may just add to the exterior lighting. Who knows it may be the genesis of another Christmas movie. 

Here are a few links to amuse and intrigue you.

I guess the idea of actually renting space to work on this car is beyond the realm of the owner's understanding. It's much better to leave the car in the street for decades.   

Here is a case of the kettle calling the pot names. The Quebec government is against oil but gives the green light for fracking

There are those who think The Donald is crazy, but it's starting to look like he's crazy like a fox

So there you are in class when one of your students walks in and is carrying a handgun. But it's OK he is also wearing a Sargent's uniform from the local police department. Now the question becomes what do you do about this Police Sargent? Well of course you quickly pull out your trusty cell phone and call the police. Did I mention the class subject was “Law and Morality”?

Here is a conundrum for you. You are in a location where it is the police who protect you. You are female, divorced and your ex has made threats. You go to the police and they don't take you seriously so what do you do? 

There are 4 major rules when using a firearm. In every case where there is an accident 1 of these rules have been broken. In this case it is rule number 4, know what your target is  and what lies beyond. Well here's what happens when somebody doesn't follow that rule.

Well that's enough for now. Time to go get the tree and get it up and decorated. Bye for now from up here North of Disorder.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Quiet Time

Brady the dog.
 Last night found up at neighbours T & L for dinner. The company was good the discussions fun and the food excellent but that is what we have come to expect from these guys.  Their dog, Brady, still thinks it's a lap dog/puppy when in reality if could be used to pull a plough on a farm. Friendly and playful don't begin to describe his puppy like character. I hadn't been sitting a minute when the big fellow was up on the couch playing lap dog much to my delight and our neighbour's horror. I  laughed at the attempt to keep him off the couch by placing pillows there.

This morning we were up and out a little after nine. Once again I was reminded why mixing types of wine is a bad thing. After sucking back a couple of pain killers and some water we hit the road. We went to a little diner in town for some breakfast then it was off to pick up  a few things. Seeing the time of year you know those things were Christmas gifts. The hardest thing was to find a pair of funky socks for a sock party. 

Remember the good old days of the Christmas cookie exchanges? Well times they are a changes. We had to find a pair of socks for a sock exchange my wife had been invited to. Plus find some goodies to stuff the socks with. We found the socks easy enough at a place called Mariposa Market in town. Not only that but also the trinkets for stuffing into the socks. 

After getting home I was almost ready to publish the blog when we got a call from sister-in-law L. There was some issues with one of their vehicles so we worked out the details and I went to a safe neutral location for a pickup. When we met up I was treated to a coffee and some very delightful conversation with L and two friends D & K who had driven here to the safe neutral location. Coffee done and it was to make a run for home. 

It's kinda amusing that my sister-in-law L is just about as antsy as I am. When I'm going somewhere I want to be home or there, the in between step drives my nuts. L is the same way so even while the function tonight doesn't start until around seven they pulled out around a half hour ago. 

So that brings me up to the now moment. Here I am with all the running around done, all alone and enjoying the quiet time. 

That's all for me from up here North of Disorder...

Friday, 9 December 2016

Friday's random thoughts

Once again it looks like Mother Nature picked up her snow gun and pulled the trigger and missed. I guess she failed to allow for windage so the shotgun blast of snow mostly missed us. Where the weathertainers were predicting an end of the world event we only saw a few inches, not even enough to bother warming up the snow thrower. Once again we see the weather prognosticators are too wrong to be believed and too right to be ignored. It always amazes me how, with a straight face, the weathertainers can provide a long range forecasts of a month or more yet can't even accurately predict what will happen overnight.

Well so far the sump pump has been working well. last time I went into the basement all the water was where it was supposed to be not gushing around in a rendition of the Titanic sinking. So I guess that's a good thing.

Later today I have to go into town to pick up a few items then I shall scrape the face and accompany my wife out for an evening with friends. Ha what a surprise that is for you, we actually have friends.

Here's a few links to ponder...

Here for you NHL fans is a list of the ten lies you all tell yourselves about the sport, the teams you root for and yourselves.  

There are some things I have not, do now and never will understand about human nature and this is one of them.

If there ever was a case of the pot calling out the kettle for being black this is it.

If you want to look like an evil master villein and have a few bucks you could always do this.

Someone has finally came out and said what the new carbon tax/cap and trade will do to Canadians.

Having done the biased quiz on voting and giving them a bogus email I now find out my fears of getting spammed were groundless.

On the plus side there is always places to go if things get too bad. Just don't forget to take your sea sic pills.

That's it from up here North of Disorder, West of  Dishonor.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

We learn something every day

Every day is a learning experience. If you are not learning something you're stagnating. Take yesterday I learned that on a product description the words "universal fit" isn't, that "no extra parts required" requires extra parts and sales people aren't your friend, they just want to sell product.

I went down to a big box store, I know my bad, because they had the sump pump I wanted at a price I could swallow. I read on the box the words "no extra parts required" and confirmed this with the sales guy, so I thought great. I put the pump in the cart picked up a few other things paid and went home. 

I got home after a round trip of 40 kilometers, opened the box and looked at the instructions. Everything was straight forward enough right up to the part about the installation of a water check valve which is not supplied. So off I went once again this time to the nearby town where they have another big box store. I know, but I just wanted to get this thing done. So after talking with another sales guy I picked up a universal fit check valve and some pipe. I got home after a round trip of 20K and proceeded to work. 

The day's next learning experience was founding out the "universal fit" 1.5 inch check valve I was assured would be no problem wasn't universal fit and was a problem. The valve screwed perfectly into the sump pump but attaching it to the pipe, not so much. This issue was corrected after 20 minutes of sanding and  a little liquid soap as lube plus a few taps with a mallet. Once that was done I installed the pipe/check valve on to the pump and placed it in the sump. With a little cutting, fitting and gluing of plastic pipe I soon had the install done. I then placed, or tried to place the cover over the sump. The "universal fit" sump pump as it turned out was an inch too short so I left it off. Some time when I get around to it I will make one out of ply wood and fit it but for now the unit works and I'm just going to leave it alone. 

Looking back some of the above was clearly my fault. For example the check valve was designed to fit flexible hose not ABS pipe but in my defense I am not a plumber, this was how the plumber who installed the unit in the first place did it.

Today I'm off again. This time my wife and I are heading to another semi big city to see our dentist. Looking out the window and seeing the reports on the web tell me that the trip will be interesting. The weathertainers have issued a series of "it's the end of the world" statements. In reality we are in the midst of a snow storm. Nothing we haven't had before and that we will have again. The only thing is that we will be leaving early. I really don't want to have to drive like a bat out of hell in a snow storm.

Here are a few links to tide you over until the morrow. 

You ever have that guest who simply will not take a hint and leave? Well this is not how to deal with it.  

For those who were/are afraid of the power Mr. Trump has as president take solace in the fact there are checks and balances.

I'm not sure what I would do in a situation like this. I would just hope that my would not be this funny cruel and put me to the test. 

Looks like the Democrats are still bitter about loosing to Mr. Trump. 

Well if you are going to loose the subsidy for your assisted living seniors residence getting caught with a hooker under your bed is as good a reason as any. 

Once upon a time I trusted all police officers. To this day some good friends are still cops and I trust them however trust the general rank and file, not so much

In a short while we will be venturing out into the cold snowy landscape, so until tomorrow that's it from up here North of Disorder.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

One of those days

Yesterday was one of those days, you know the kind where the balls on the pool table don't quite line up. It started with the idea that I could save a couple of bucks on the vet bills. My little fur ball has always had dental issues. We started to mitigate this a few years ago by adding a supplement to the cat's  water that helps reduce tarter and strengthen the teeth. It took a little while but in the end the fuzz ball got used to drinking the water. A short time later we started giving the fuzz ball dental cat treats with no problem. To say she took to the treats would be an understatement. 
Well the other day while playing with the fuzz ball I noted that her breath wasn't the sweetest. I figured it was time to go to plan C. Plan C entails sometime in the day sitting the cat down, securing her little frame and... brushing here teeth. OK I'll stop writing for a sec while you get yourself under control, you can stop laughing now. FYI there were no serious injuries on my part. Well it took several attempts but I managed to get the task done. I'm hoping that the little fuzz ball will get used to this and not fight me as much. Time will tell in the end how effective this is.  

During the day yesterday I noticed the sump pump was making weird noises. I went down and before I arrived at the equipment room the pump shut off so I went back up stairs. This happened several more times so the last time it happened I hit the float switch and made the pump run. Seeing the results I unplugged the pump, turned off the source of the water running into the sump (humidifier) and went back up stairs.  I turned on the personal confuser and opened up the encyclopedia universal that is the internet. Then I set out to learn all that is to be learned about sump pumps. 
I learned that there is not that much to learn about them and replacing one isn't akin to a surgical procedure which is nice. I hate calling plumbers, while I know they are nice people the cost of and arm, leg and torso is a little much. 
So now I'm going to rap this up and head into the semi big city and visit a plumbing supply shop I have dealt with before and pick up a sump pump. Later when I return home I'm going to make the attempt at installing the new unit so pray for me. 
That's all from up here North of Disorder, West of Dishonor. 

Monday, 5 December 2016

A Winter wonderland

Up and at 'em this morning to a world of white. We were dumped on last night by that Jack Frost guy. Now the world is a white landscape and after I finish this, finish my coffee and get cleaned up I have to get the snowblower out and clean up the mess the plow guy left at the end of the drive way. It appears that somethings never change. I'm not complaining, cleaning up the mess at the end of the driveway gives me a chance to see if the snow blower with work as advertised. 

Just before I started this I was on that wild west roller coaster ride called twitter. Somehow I've manage to add 20% to my followers over night. Oh these fickle flavor of the moment people. One thing I did learn is the government survey for how we vote is finally up an running. So I took the time and answered the fifty or so questions so now I can say I've had my say. One thing I will say about the questions is the bias against the system we have already got in place. In the end I don't really think it matters, the folks in Ottawa will do what ever they want to do. Over the years I have found two things about our form of Government. First, that our elected overlords are only accountable once ever five or so years. Second, the only real promise a politician will ever keep is that the politician will make promises. 

Here are a few links for your entertainment. 

The folks in Ottawa a few months ago adopted a new payroll system that from the start hasn't worked properly. Some of the mandarins haven't see a pay cheque in months, others are in dire straights with the prospect of loosing homes to foreclosure. Then on the other side of the coin are the fellows who were over paid.  Sadly the payroll people giveth and the payroll guys taketh away.

It's good to see The Donald is good for something. While his predecessor was a great sales person for the firearms industry it looks like The Donald is doing the same for the encryption app and software industry.   

When I first saw this I simple cracked up into serious laughter. Here's a story about a fake US embassy that has been in operation for years. I bet they did a better job than the guys at the real embassy. 

The Russians are still conduction air operations in the Mediterranean and their fighters are still crashing

Nothing like having a state funeral and just when the eyes of the world are upon the motorcade the hearse breaks down. Just another day in the socialist paradise of Cuba. 

I think I will go have another glass of water... now hold on a sec there... 

If you ever wanted an excuse to buy precious metals, here it is.

Well that's all for today. Bye-bye from up here North of Disorder, West of dishonor.

New shiny

I was going to get my blood work done this morning, so I was up at the crack of nine thirty(ish). After doing the shower thing and making...