April 2015

April 1st

Well enough of this time spent enjoying the sun and having a ball. Time to get back to work. Upon my return I am immediately going to look for work. I can’t believe the boredom, the lack of self worth, feeling like I am not doing anything worthwhile. I need a new managers job. I feel the need to boss people around. I want the stress to keep me engaged. I need the personal contact with customers and staff. I love the interaction with corporate shiny shoes.

 

 

 

april-fools-day-sponge-bob

Are you kidding me. April Fools ! Looking for  work is the last thing on my mind. I am having too much fun. I am enjoying myself so much. I wish others would heed my warnings not to wait to long to enjoy this life. In over a year there has not been one day of boredom. I have never not felt needed or wanted or having a purpose. Time flies by extremely fast. This is Jackie and I’s best time in our life.  Everyday whether we are in Arizona or Calgary we are having a great day everyday. Very very busy and in fact there are things I need to do but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Oh well tomorrows another day. Yes my schedule, don’t rush me !   Perhaps today I will look for another Happy Hour. Oh wait, I have one arranged at our house tonite. LOL You can’t beat visiting with great people over a glass of wine to discuss everything that is wrong in the world. Oh you could make it better by having a great golf game before the get together. Wait , I have that planned also. I love it when things come together.

Fed-ex supposed to show up today with my door  and trim kit which will give the finished product look.  Golfed today with a few of Bob’s friends. I drove well but just couldn’t get lucky on putts or some chips. I ended up with a 87 but it was enough to win two bucks from the guys. There was one hole scoring in question though which I hope was right. I will be golfing with a similar group tomorrow again so won’t get to my door install until Saturday as we are heading to Maricopa on Friday for a all day golfing event with Jackie, Pat and Bob.  I will have most of the day to get that done as we won’t head to the hockey rink until about 3pm.

Had the neighbors over to our place for appy’s and drinks and to get to know them a little

Happy Hour christening our new kitchen

Happy Hour christening our new kitchen

better. Russ & Carol brought along a sparkling wine to christen our new outdoor BBQ. Along with Russ & Carol we had Bob & Pat, Ian & Gail and Jake & Donna.

8th block west end group get together

8th block west end group get together

Nice to hear about their stories, jobs family etc. Interesting as some of these people are very well accomplished individuals that have had very interesting lives. Met my first in person train engineer !  Ian is from BC, Russ is from BC, Bob is from SK and Jake is from WY. We had some great cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, hummus & chips all brought by guests. Another fun night while living the good life.

Everyone knows that 9pm is midnight here but everyone managed to stay up all the way to 11pm. Wild group.

Thought of the Day 

Life is to short to be serous all of the time, so if you can’t laugh at yourself call me , I will laugh at you.

April 2nd

I had a tee time for 10:20 this am to golf with Bob and Merv. At about 9:50am as I was going outside Bob came by to say the clubhouse had phoned to see if we could start earlier. So we packed up and headed out early. Wonderful warm day with a little breeze. Overall it was a good game for everyone. Bob scored a 74, Merv a 77 and I scored a 81. Only one slice to the right but a lot of missed putts on the VP course with their above average difficult greens. So no complaints.  Ended the game had a few drinks on the patio with the group and decided to head to American Sniper for a movie night. The pricing here is good compared to Calgary but as usual they SOAK you for the pop, water and popcorn. The water was $4.00 ( 24 pack at Safeway here is $3.99) $ 5.75 for soda and $7.00 for

American Sniper

American Sniper

popcorn. But who can see a movie without the necessities. The movie really does show a little of the impact the war can have on the young veterans. I would support any initiative to give back more to anyone that went into combat. The front line guys courage, bravery and willingness to sacrifice their lives should be rewarded and regarded much more than today’s standard.It should really be a tiered system where financially, medically and emotionally we give more support to the front line guys and less and less as per rank and ( desk, radio,support, logistics etc)

It was a great movie  and another good movie directed by Clint Eastwood.

Thought of the Day 

Every veteran is a hero !

April 3rd  Remember it is Good Friday, the meaning and what it meant for us !

Maricopa Golf Day. We were fortunate enough to be invited for a round of golf and a dinner get together with a group of Bob’s & Pat’s friends that live in Maricopa. First it is a nice smaller town about 45 min south west of Phoenix. Second it a nice easy drive and they have two wonderful courses in their city. We received a special deal to play at the Troon course Southern Dunes.( see review)  You all know the meaning of “dune” ‘ a mound or ridge of sand or other loose sediment formed by the wind, especially on the sea coast or in a desert. Well their name lives up to the definition and taken literally. It is like no other “desert” style golf course. It has 114 bunkers on it. Every green surrounded by them, lots of fairway bunkers and some very deep bunkers close to the greens edge. Needless to say the golf course killed me. I didn’t drive that well unfortunately but it really didn’t matter as the sand traps if not in them where they are located changes your whole outlook at a landing spot. It is more like a Scotland style links course. The greens were realllly fast and quite sloped.  My partners also where a scratch handicapper , a 8 handicapper and another reasonably good golfer which doesn’t help. I ended up with a 91 due to a errors, missed numerous putts and a couple of extra strokes. Of all the Arizona courses I have played including some high end ones I put this course as the hardest one I have played. Great service with free range balls, tees for the range, free water bottles on the course at stations and friendly staff. Having said all of that I wouldn’t go back to play due to the tee pricing and course difficulty.

We had a great gathering at Ian’s and Bob’s shared house . A beautiful bungalow that has a unique floor plan and garage set up. Very nice. Ian was our master chef and our meal was fantastic. As was the company. Interesting that I discovered Bob had worked for Sterling Dist for 21 days in the late 70’s. During the conversation an interesting subject came up. Bob & the other Bob went for pedicures. You read right. Tough Saskatchewan boys having a pedicure. I realize testosterone levels drop as we get older but this is scary. I am fighting the vest concept and now I have to fight the urge to go for a pedicure. During the pedicure the Asian artisan rubs your legs up and down to exfoliate the skin and to remove leg hair I believe.Bob says he may have experienced a “wee rubbery” during the event. ( new term for the aged) Now that  is funny . LOL  We had a great day and evening and are very appreciative of the invite. It is amazing to me how many retired Saskatoon couples are snow birding in this area. Tons.Headed home and not long after arriving after the day’s heat, food and a few beer I had to hit the bed. Oh no !  9 o’clock midnight hit me.

Thought of the Day

Where there are friends, their is wealth.

April 4th

Had  a short visit with Gail this morning as she was all packed up ( Ian had left earlier) and needed to get rid of some food items that would spoil. We all said our goodbyes and hope to see each other next trip if not sooner if we are lucky.  I stopped by Mel’s new place to check on the close up and everything was perfect. Hit my head though as I discovered the side door is only meant for people below 5’10”. ( Should I sue ? lol )  Everything is a go there. Stopped by and picked up a few tools from Fred’s and woke up Ralph ( him hearing me walk on the stones) at 9:30. He ran out of the house in his gaunch to check what is going on.Stopped by Tim’s new place he just bought. A very nice unit. The elder couple there from Wyoming I believe had to sell as their health would not allow them to travel anymore. I believe Alzheimer’s by the conversation we had. They are leaving May 1st this year and will not be back. I asked her about her closing routine but she only offered ” we will close it all up when leave as it is a lot of work. We have done it for 24 years ” She couldn’t remember her caretaker but promised to phone me his name. A very friendly, nice couple just a way to oldddd.  I will visit them again before we leave. This time though after lunch when all of the pills have kicked in. LOL

BBQ 2Installed the new door and side panels for the fridge so I am DONE. ( will seal the grout

Imagine post GONE

Imagine post GONE

in the next few days)  It took me 30 days from the date I started  but with a lot of missed days for golf etc. Next time here I will move the post to the side of the kitchen!  I love the thing, the looks, the function and hope to enjoy it for many years with out an issue. My only fear is settling into the desert as I used pier blocks and cause cracking. Time will tell .

BBQ 1

Getting ready to meet with Bob & Barb Kindrachuk who have come to Phoenix to watch the one team lower in the standings than Edmonton play. Odd.  I have known Bob since about 1975 or 76 when we worked together. Should be a fun time with a few drinks, and hopefully a fun game. Ralph and Tracy who just flew in last night are coming with us so we may have a group of 20 people or more.  Wild Buffalo Wings  for some food should be good as I love wings and beer. Not a better combo other than burger and beer.

Arrived to the game. The surrounding area was packed. I was impressed with the volume of people around and every restaurant was very very busy.  I was the first to arrive at Buffalo Wing’s so put our name on the waiting list to get a table for 12 people. The others arrived shortly after. We had Jackie & I, Ralph & Tracy, Bob & Barb,  Doug & Fina , Kate and Roy & Tamara along. I will say one thing. I felt like a tall GIANT in the group. LOL. I ordered a medium plate of wings thinking I was being conservative in the quantity but the plate was huge ( I would guess 2 lbs of wings) I managed to eat them all ( left one to be polite) and they were excellent. They even throw in carrots & celery with ranch which I love. Full !!  Full !!   I want you all

The #1 Oiler fan traveled 25000 kms to watch the only team lower in the standings

The #1 Oiler fan traveled 2500 kms to watch the only team lower in the standings

to look closely at this man in this picture.                      Bob Gila RiverKindrachuk flew all of the way from Edmonton, Alberta ( avid Oiler Fan ) to watch the only team lower in the standings. That is hockey dedication. He may have been a little needy also wanting to see a home team win. He is one of the original season ticket holders for the Oiler’s. With the new stadium and the draw for seats I hope they don’t end being nose bleed seats. LOL ( although that would be one way so people don’t see you going to a game) Thanks to Bob for organizing a get together supper and the game as it was nice to see him and Barb again. The arena was quite full and the game was a great game to watch which was nice. Nice facility. First time though going to a football or hockey game in Arizona where we had to pay for parking. $15 !!  One way to raise the revenue.  The young couple beside me were ticket pack holders and when i asked them why the 50/50 draw was so little they were amazed as they thought it is was great. The 50/50 was only 16K. I don’t care what kind of exchange you consider it was extremely small. I believe it is due to all of the budget conscience grey hairs in the building.

Arena was quite full which was good

Arena was quite full which was good

We had a good time then headed home which is about an hours drive on the freeway. A little longer as this time we had a rollover on the road and you know how that can tie up the traffic.At our home we decided to stay up with Ralph & Tracy and have a few drinks on the patio outside as at 11 pm it was still 75 degrees out.

Thought of the Day 

People who fall asleep fast freak me out. Don’t they have any thoughts?

April 5th  HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE 

Easter-Wallpaper-Background-10Another wonderful day.  Plan to just relax and enjoy the day. Fiddle around with a few things, do this and that , watch golf a bit, and drink water a bit. LOL

We are very lucky that our neighbors have invited us to supper at their place so we will have a good meal for Easter. Otherwise Denny’s or Golden Corral turkey supper sounded good. Booked a tee time for tomorrow with Ralph and will stop in at Fat Willy’s for the burger special. Can’t think of anything that really needs to be done. Really did nothing for the entire day which was great. I watched the golf, sat outside and enjoyed the warmth, took out the garbage , talked to few neighbors ( which are becoming rare as they are all leaving) and read a bit. The desert flowers are out in full. One small sample.

Flowering cactus

Flowering cactus

Pat cooked us a wonderful meal having ribs, wild rice, carrots, japanese salad etc. Had a great visit and meal and were joined later by another couple Ray & Louise  from Alberta from our block. Ray has some difficult health issues so it was nice to have him up and around and doing so well. Another wild LATE night with all of us staying away past the 9 oclock midnight time frame. Fun night.

Thought of the Day 

You know if you make friends with yourself you will never be alone.

April 6th

Did a few things around the house. Read a little.  Filled the fridge. All of those high priority things you know. Put a new sprinkler water head on Pat’s plant next door. Just relaxed a bit and then picked up Ralph to have a golf game. Ralph used my second set ( brand new King Cobra’s) and his new putter he just bought for the round. He golfed quite well considering different clubs, new putter and an unfamiliar course. I had an ok game but had to scramble a bit as the drives where a little sprayed but still ended up with an 82. The wedge feel and distance of clubs is starting to kick in and I can see the scores lowering just a bit more. Another wonderful hot day. We finished golfing with a short time frame of just under 4 hours and headed for the patio on Fat Willy’s. Out came the jugs of beer and the great burger special again. We were joined by Bob & Pat, Jim & Sheila and Merv & Barb along with Jackie after work. We had some great fun on the patio talking. As everyone knows I rather enjoy causing a controversy and the banter of arguments from both sides. I believe everyone has the right to have the wrong opinion and I will listen to them. The discussion was on the “new” way of thinking of everyone getting a participation medal. I call #@#$$.  There is only one winner. There needs to be an incentive to win not just to achieve mediocrity. There is nothing wrong with everyone wanting to win. Not everyone will but the overall effort of everyone will be greater than for them to settle for a “participation” medal and say look what I did.  I enjoy the playful banter. LOL

Some of the ladies were getting cool on the deck ( needed a thicker vest ,LOL) ( it was 75 degrees out at 9pm)so we headed home to have a couple of night caps on Bob & Pats deck joined by Merv, Barb and Ralph. The others may not have enjoyed the conversation. LOL    We had a fun time. Ralph had a LINDOR chocolate accident with his white shirt. Bob gave him a flowered Hawaiian shirt to wear as Jackie took it and started soaking it to hopefully keep from staining it. We discovered during Ralph’s clothing change ( egged on by the girls) that he has an Italian Flag tattoo’d on his back. Got me thinking. I am Canadian perhaps a maple leaf ( boring). My grandparents are Scottish and English perhaps a pin up girl in a short kilt or a wiry old man with bad teeth to represent my heritage ( no one may understand). So I still have to think of something. I was nicknamed the “Green Shift” when I was young as I had a green 69 Nova SS and people thought I was good gear shifter. ( it sort of sounds like a super hero so I would have to design a character).  I was also called the “Rat” as the movie called Willard game out while at school.  Makes a good tat. A large cartoon 4302292Rat driving a big block Chevy ( nick named rat engines) would look cool. I will have to continue my search.

 

 

 

 

Thought of the Day 

I think it would be helpful to specify a third category of argument: Argument as fun.
“Win” or “lose” are not always helpful outcomes. The benefit is in playing the game.
Arguing is intellectually and socially stimulating. It leads to new insights and often to laughter. Sharing a good argument with a friend is FUN. Whether it be about which team will win on Saturday( easy to determine if the Oiler’s are playing) or about religion or politics. Contesting ideas with friends is a deeply human, growthful activity. Long live debate and argument. And as I said before everyone is entitled to their wrong opinion.

April 7th

Interesting day already.

Here are some thoughts from Carnac the Magnificent:

  1. PC WINS the Alberta Election due to stupidity. The election is going ahead on May 6th. The Wildrose Party hasn’t had enough time to rebuild and won’t be able to field a candidate in every riding. People will shy away a bit as the candidates will be all new and without any recognition. Northern Alberta and especially Edmonton are confused. I predict that the NDP win at least 15 seats as the blue collar, union loyal, gov’t employed, yuppie population go orange not understanding the huge negative impact this has on the voting by splitting and the disaster we would have on big business if the NDP party ever ever won or even was the opposition.The reason a lot of younger people like the NDP is their socialist ideology and green policies thinking they are a good thing.  The voting over the entire province will be split to many ways to have any other party other than the PC’s win again ( 40 yrs +) The Alberta Party , the Green Party, and the Liberal party all have a small following.It is essential to have all voters participate in the process but it is frustrating to see the younger voters and the union types be swayed into something they really wouldn’t like. I will vote download (2)Wildrose hoping that enough people want to over ride the PC’s and don’t want to go left or waste a vote on a fringe party.  LOOK at the budget and decide. How can anyone believe that a hold on spending is to be considered a cut.We need to bite the bullet and CUT.  Feel the pain for a while and then recover stronger. Time will tell if Prentice has smeared enough candy coating and snake talking to once again fool the Alberta population. IT IS UP TO YOU !
  2. 5-0 The Edmonton Oiler’s will get Pittsburgh’s first round pick as the Pens miss the playoffs.The Oiler’s will trade Taylor Hall away trying to get two players that work hard and still have some skill. The Oiler’s will be a better team next year finishing 4th last. A giant step forward.

I sealed the grout today on the outdoor BBQ and will need one more coat in another day. Started up the BBQ and everything is fine. The flame was a little yellow so next time I will start turn the tank on slowly and open the valves before trying to light and hit the regulator a bit as it must be stuck open a bit. Think I will go to the range for a  bit today and work on some irons and drives to be ready for my next game. Want to break 80 next game !!  I can say one thing. This retirement life is wonderful but does involve a lot more drinking than I am used to.

jwI said I wasn’t going to post anything more about JW as I am no longer with the corporation. Other than the incident of not being fairly paid on my retirement an earned bonus I have nothing but good to say about the company during my tenure. Great window products, talented personnel better than most competitors, amazing marketing  and a well respected presence in the market place. But since I left ( nothing to do with my leaving other than good timing on my part)  they have floundered and it is getting worse. If the American management would have left Canada alone they would have had a fantastic operating company. Just recently the Director Of Sales ( 17 yr employee) Neil Ash has resigned. Neil was the last manager that had great relationships with the customers. That is now all lost.  I have re-posted with additions the lost personnel below in Italicized. ( some dates may be off just a bit)There is no company that can manage that kind of exodus and be as good as they once were. It would be a challenge to repair the moral , build a  new excitement and create a new phase of growth. I can see a steady decline in revenue for quite a period.

FOLLOWING WAS : Posted May 2014

What is happening to “my” JELD-WEN of Canada It is odd as I am no longer part of the group but when I see what is happening with the company it still upsets me because it’s about the people.  In my opinion it has become a company with no leader, no direction, reactive management and puppet management.  Someone has said they need to cut costs and the Canadian group is going extreme. You never cut sales people if you want to increase sales. You pay bonuses to improve moral, excite sales and increase business. You don’t pay severances instead of bonuses and expect an increase in sales, good company moral and employees that are motivated and not fearful of what is to come. Here is what JELD-WEN of Canada (and Alberta only) has lost in the last little while. Exact time frames maybe off a bit:

  • Senior Vice President Steve Sheasby ( 30 yr employee)                 dismissed  1 ½ years ago
  • Vice President of Sales  Santa Cigana ( 25 yr employee)   mutual parting    1 year ago
  • Vice President of Operations Lou Valeriata  (27 year employee) resigned 1 month ago
  • Coordinating General Manager Jesse Hawthrone ( 10 yr employee)  resigned  6 mths ago
  • Director of Sales Neil Ash ( 17 yr employee) resigned April 2015
  • Regional Sales Manager Larry Willard ( 27 yr employee) retired  3 months ago
  • Territory Sales Manager Paul Bortoluzzi ( 20 year employee) resigned  2 months ago
  • Territory Sales Manager Ken Reid ( 20 yr employee) dismissed   last week
  • Territory Sales Manager Larry Geddes ( 32 yr employee) dismissed this week
  • Office Operations Manager Brian Fehr ( 20 yr employee) resigned
  • Territory Sales Manager John Tooley ( 5 year employee) resigned June
  • Territory Sale Manager Ryan Knisely ( 5 year employee) resigned
  • Sales Coordinator Eric Palmer ( 5 year employee)  Early 2015 
  • Service & Warranty Manager Jason Cameron ( 5 year employee) resigned Jan 2015
  • General Manager BC  Andy Munroe ( 25 year employee) dismissed May 2014
  • General Manager AB Doug  ( 1 year employee ) dismissed April 2015
  • Cust Care Mgr Can Jesse Blanchard ( 5 yr employee) resigned Mar 2015 

Timing is everything. If I had remained these events would have eaten me up or I would have been gone myself as I would not have let some of the dismissals happen. These people all were exceptional people and most of them I would consider friends.  My new company ( Life in retirement) hasn’t  had any issues. LOL . My fellow co workers are all smiling, our goals are being met and we are having fun.  Life does go on but it is a shame to see such a well run Canadian division being dismantled.  If any current JW employee reads this my heart is aching for you. Chin up, work very hard, keep your customers informed but spin the positives the best you can and make your own little work space or territory a fun place be in or go to. You all have co-workers that will listen and support you. Who know’s in the long run you may look bad and say ” yes that wasn’t fun but look where we are now” . SELL, Sell, sell !

Time to hit the green green grass again.

Thought of the Day

 Tips to survive a company re-organization

  1. Be prepared for change
  2. Express sadness, loss or anxiety about the future
  3. Watch out for unrealistic expectations
  4. Don’t’ let yourself or others be used or abused.
  5. Acknowledge any increased pressures, workloads or demands
  6. Don’t turn to alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism
  7. Remain upbeat and positive
  8. Expand your value to the company
  9. Improve lines of communication
  10. Do not be afraid of losing your job ( you didn’t have one when you started)
  11. Rise to the occasion
  12. Never become complacent

April 8th

Spent an hour or so on the range trying different things but didn’t come to any conclusion other than I am going to hit the odd slice bad.

Spent a couple of hours at the pool relaxing in the sun. We don’t “try” to get suntanned anymore due to the risks but I do enjoy the lay around in the rays reading, sleeping or to listen to the funny conversations. The current topic is ” So when are you heading home?”  It is asked every time someone new hits the pool. A lot of people have already left. I can honestly say at our pools you really can’t people watch if you know what I mean. LOL

Cooked my first meal on my new BBQ kitchen which was nice.  Can’t go wrong with chicken burgers at 140 cal per each and the great taste when you add all of the condiments and veggies. Checked all of the hot spots and the distances and heat and we are fine.  Will hopefully reset the regulator for next time.

Golf date today at Longbow Golf. It is one of the nicer courses here in the valley. We got free passes to it when we attended the the GOLFFEST with Kieth & Jenny during their visit. I hope to shoot straight. That is the only thing  keeping me mid 80’s.  I am going to take pills today so all of my muscles are loose to see what happens. Wearing my “Players” shirt today to at least look good and intimate my partners until I hit the ball. LOL

Also booked our camping spots at Waskieu Lake this morning for this summer. Plan to golf that course and the nearby Elk Ridge one and look at the Lobstick Course just a few miles away.  The National Park campsite webpage ( other than creating an account using your banking info) worked very well.

Well the golf today didn’t go well.  I love the Longbow course. It is a fairly difficult course but I just didn’t do well. I missed a lot of close putts, had a few errand drives , a couple of poor iron shots and lost a couple of balls. Overall I wasn’t pleased especially as this is my 20th game this year. I expect to be getting a way better than a tougher course comes up and it kills me. Two things today though. First our golfing partner was a yapper. He wouldn’t shut up which was a little annoying and distracting and it was a 5 hour round. The last few holes due to waiting you just don’t care or concentrate on what you are doing. Next game hopefully I will rebound.

Arriving back our girls were out so Bob & I sat down and had a few beer on the deck. The ladies arrived to join us just a little later.  That Pat is just too generous as she invited us again to join in on her slow cooker supper. Supper as usual was excellent and is much appreciated as making something at 8 pm isn’t good. Had a great conversation again with the Ferris’s. Great day again.  At home Jackie says she has just about finished our taxes which is good. Just a few documents including a T2200 I need from JW yet. It appears we have a nice sized return which is nice as I expected a large bill as we cashed in Jackie’s pension.  A welcomed discovery.

Thought of the Day 

 I don’t need GOOGLE, my wife knows everything.

April 9th 

A beautiful day (as usual).  It is a GREAT DAY. First I was lucky enough to go golfing with Bob & Merv which are amazing golfers that you can watch and learn from. I like watching line-up, feet placement and open face in sand to learn a little more. Everyone had a good game with a few exceptions on the putting side. All three of us broke 80 which is fantastic.

Good things happen in three’s.

1) Broke 80 golfing today.

2) Flames clinched playoff spot tonight.

3) Had a wonderful pizza supper with Pat & Bob and few wine drinks this evening.

Talked to my Mom for her birthday and everything is going well there for her. She is enjoying her time , the trips organized at her building and the friends visits and day outs. It was a very good move for her to move from the acreage. I am very glad she is enjoying it.

imagesI HAVE to have  little gloating that the Flames made the playoffs. I just want the Oiler fan’s to see how a rebuild of a team should happen. You never know now that we made it what can happen. It would be great to have a run for it. (notice not to much gloating LOL) and for all of the male fans just download (2)think the Red Mile will be up and running strong. The same women are 11 years older now though so . Just saying

downloadThought of the day 

So you are telling me, there is a chance !

 

April 10th

Darn another 85 degree day. Just beautiful.  Went through my emails to see all of the responses to my Flames making the playoffs comments. Surprising and nice that the bulk of them will be behind Calgary as they hate the  Canucks more than the Flames. I can imagine the excitement in Calgary as 11 years is a long time to wait . I hope the “generation” of fans do us proud on 17th ave. I had a brilliant idea years ago that I never moved forward on that could have made me rich. I thought I could sell a T shirt double pack for the 17th ave celebrations. Top T shirt would be the standard Flames shirt and worn under it a T shirt ( similar to those bikini shirts) showing a naked woman’s chest. This way the shy ones could participate in lifting their shirt and “showing” without really exposing themselves. I think I could have sold a lot of these.  Instead of small medium or large they would be in A B C or D sizing.LOL .

Swam laps today, paid bills, went grocery shopping and read a book on the pool deck. So a very good day. For supper we were invited to Merv’s house for a meal and a action packed Triathlon . The teams for the event were Jackie & Merv, Barb & Bob, and Pat & I. Did anyone know my middle name is Triathlon. Pat and I killed the competition. Remember also Pat is handicapped having the use of only one hand. We didn’t even need to finish the last game of the last leg as our point total was untouchable.

Gold Medal Winners of the Annual Swerving Merving Triathlon

Gold Medal Winners of the Annual Swerving Merving Triathlon

So Pat Ferris & Larry Willard ( TEAM PAT) are the official GOLD MEDAL finalists of the Annual Swerving Merving Triathlon.  I can’t imagine the result if we  both had full use of our arms and hands.  Way to go TEAM PAT !  One has to remember to be a winner it requires a huge amount of mental preparation and awareness besides the fact that Pat is a VP Tennis Champ and I am a natural born athlete.

Fun night with games, food and drinks at Merv &

Party at Merv's

Party at Merv’s

Barbs place. I can’t remember who came in second. Wait it doesn’t really matter and no one remembers second place anyways.

 

 

Thought of the Day

Without losers what would the winners be ?

April 11th 

Time is flying as we only about 12  days left. Hopefully I can get in a few more golf games with Gary White, Bob, and Merv.  I am going to try to book Longbow for Monday with John Matheson and relatives. This is still my free passes from the GOLFFEST event we attended. I have a game booked with Jackie on Sunday at VP which will be fun. I have a few things to do around the house put I am going to wait until next trip to move the post, put a  cover over the kitchen and look at an additional storage bin.  Today was a relax day. We just read, relaxed, cooked a good supper, watched the Master’s and laid around which was great. I need to recheck with the owners of Tim’s home, and the work hasn’t begun on Fred’s patio. Just  a great day !!

Thought of the Day !

Someone called us lazy today, We just about got around to responding.

April 12th

Another wonderful day. Jackie went for a walk around the park this morning with Pat. She came back with a nice wicker love seat that we just need to paint as someone was giving it away.  I watched the Masters this morning, continued to read my book Assassins of Creed,( great book)  and relaxed a bit before getting ready to go golfing with Jackie. It was a so so day for golfing. The back nine I scored 2 over ( 38) but just couldn’t drain the putts on the front. Ended up with a 80 and only because I missed so many birdie putts that ended up as pars or boogie’s. Very happy with how I have been golfing lately. Tomorrow will be the test as we are heading to Longbow which is a little tougher ( yet slope rating is minimal different) Longbow brings more desert and a lot more sand traps into play which can rack the score up very quickly if you aren’t careful.  Jackie golfed quite well, didn’t break her 100 but came every close. The young guy I was golfing with was a monster.  6ft 5 and huge. When he hit the ball it was launched. Problem was he didn’t hit very often well and scored over a 100. After golf we had a great visit with Bob & Pat, Ian, Bob and his wife on the deck. A few beer and laughs make a night. For supper we had a gathering with each of us bringing our own food to the table to eat together. We watched the Masters while we ate.  Another great day in paradise.

Thought of the Day 

A “gimmie” can best be described as an agreement between two golfers , neither of whom can putt well.

April 13th 

Beautiful day !   Had our normal smoothie breakfast along with a apple strudel which was real good.  Jackie is back at work this am bright and early and I am getting ready for my game at Longbow.

Today was the first day I felt hot. There was no breeze at all and it hit 92 degrees. Drank a few bottles of water and a couple of bottles of Pepsi trying to stay hydrated. Longbow again was in perfect shape with lush fairways and super fast greens. It makes the putting very interesting. My group John, Bryce and Gary were all good golfers. Hard to understand sometimes with the Scotia accents but fun. LOL

Things are starting to come around in golf. Only one drive a little to the right and great irons shots. Remove two blowup holes with the birdies and pars I had I played very well.It is a fun game when the ball goes where you want it most of the time. And on this course which isn’t the easiest it saves a lot of strokes. Everyone golfed decent which was nice. I would say my game was magnificent most of the time except the two holes. Mostly caused by sand trap issues. Still didn’t get to mark a score lower than John’s down on the card.

John wanted to go home after the game as his company had just flown in so I headed home to meet up at Fat Willy’s. It was our last supper at Fat’s with Pat & Bob and we joined up with Merv & Barb. Another great night on the deck with the warmth and the lovely sound of mating frogs in the background. Burgers and Beer.

Getting close to having Jessica & Victoria visit us. They are hitting the hot weather so hopefully they will like it. Good timing to ring in the summer up in Canada after a hot week in Arizona. We will see what kind of activities they want to do in between the wedding stuff.

Thought of the Day

Spending time with our  girls will be a lot fun in just a few days!

“MY RANT”

I have golfed perhaps ten different courses here in Mesa this year. With the exception of one, their sand traps were brutal. Hardpan packed sand with gravel and only about 1/8 in deep. Impossible to take a normal sand shot. WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT. Sand everywhere and we don’t get proper sand traps. $100 tee times and no sand. $ 20 tee times and no sand.  It is amazing to me but it is the Arizona way. So I have no sand trap experience in 2015 as of yet until I get home.  Good thing as a kid a played in the sand box a lot to get the feel of real sand. 

April 14th 

Ok I will admit it, it is getting a little warm here during the days. Today was 93 on the  gauge. By the pool fantastic, in the shade if a small breeze, divine, out in the full sun on a golf course ,hot.  Stayed up quite late last night watching a good show so slept in a bit today. Today was one of those relax days. I worked on the computer, bills, put a new waterproof in use cover on the side of the house. I emptied and moved our storage bin to the side of the house and I reloaded and organized it for the summer. I have one item in it that can be sold next garage sale. Moved the furniture around and made room for Jackie’s new addition a wicker love seat. I just need to chairgive it a new coat of paint and it will be perfect. ( Jackie and Pat “one-handed” carried the FREE chair down the block from someone that wanted it gone). There is a saying ONE MANS JUNK IS ANOTHER’S TREASURE. This is the case as I love it and it will look fabulous when done. Did a few other things around the house and then headed to the pool. Very nice now as the amount of people using the facilities is minimal.Today there were maybe 6 to 8 people coming or going. I finished up my book the Assassins of Creed . Read it, it was very good and enjoyable to read. Too bad a good book takes such a short time to read. I sat in the shade by the pool as it was warm !! Checked out our orange tree and I see next years crop is already budding. It doesn’t look like a huge amount of oranges again next year for us. Come on bumblebee’s!!!

Sitting outside on the deck at 7:00pm and it is 85 degrees out still.  While doing my work today I saw a new batch of quail. These chicks looked like they just popped out of the shell due to their size but could they run. Fast little things and so so cute . Too fast for a picture though.

Hopefully I can find a channel with the  game on tomorrow night rather than just highlights. The first game is always one of the best as the intensity is high and the expectation is high but the nerves are that way also so odd things can happen. Odd why of all the Canadian Teams I have no desire for Vancouver EVER to win. The others GO Canada GO. It is too bad though that two Canadian Teams will for sure get kicked out of the race after the first round.

I have to check into my elbow. I hurt it with all of the drilling into the steel studs with self tapping screws ( long hard pushing to get the screw started)and it hasn’t cured itself as of yet. Swimming and golfing I can feel it. It is like tennis elbow that doesn’t want to go away. Can’t rest it as I want to play golf a little more near the end of us leaving.

Thought of the Day 

Laughter is an instant vacation. 

April 15th & 16th 

Wonderful is a great word. We ( I) have had a great last two days. On the 15th I did a little work around the yard ( not much). Visited Fred’s place and looked at his patio extensions which are fantastic. Took the left over beer and wine home so it wouldn’t go bad, worked on the computer, bought some groceries, filled up with gas and relaxed on the patio.  I started to prepare supper as Bob & Pat  were leaving early in the morning and were invited to join us. First time preparing Bratwurst. After a bit of research here is what I found. First you need to boil them and simmer them in beer and onions. This simmering cooks them all the way through without drying them out. Make sure not to puncture the skin or you will lose the juices. I added a lot of peppers, garlic salt and Montreal steak spice to the mix. IT WILL SMELL BAD.  The brats look like pink swollen sausages at first ( not pretty) After the boil and simmer it is time to brown them and add grill marks which makes them look good and adds flavour. We had every condiment I could think of. Mustard, warm sauerkraut, cold sauerkraut, peppers, relish, pickles,mustard, Beer & Brat horseradish mustard, cooked onions, cold onions, and ketchup. I picked large buns from Safeway and   grilled them . We also had brown beans and corn on the cob . It was a great summer meal. I loved the taste of the Brats.  The creative Pat shone when she delivered the

The best looking hordervrous

The best looking horsd’oeuvres I have seen.

neatest hors d’oeuvres  I have  ever seen. This idea is brilliant. Warmed spaghetti sauce with a meatball and carrot sticks with ranch in shot glasses. Awesome idea. Tasty and great looking.

We finished up around 9pm with the meal and drinks as a early morning was coming.

I promised to pick them up at their door at 3:30am to drive them to the airport. I was hoping they would be a little late as I wanted to blow my horn in the park that early but they were ready with bells on. Easy drive with no traffic at that time. I delivered them to the airport and was back in bed in less than 1 hour.  When I got up I had a bigger breakfast than normal as I had a tee time at 12:07 set. I was teamed up with another single and a two-some all very nice people and decent golfers. I love this game. Things are really starting to come around. I scored my best score ever today. A 76 and I know I could have done better as I had a double boogie on the front nine, FIRST TIME EVER with a EVEN PAR on the back nine. This was with three 3 putts so I can lower the score when a little luck comes my way. To even par the back nine and to get a 76 is a GREAT DAY.

On our way

On our way

We watched the Flames game last night and what can you say about this team. Effort and determination.  If you look at the mediocrity in the league today I don’t believe anyone can say one team is a favorite to win. The highest point total coming in to the playoffs at 113 pts ( Rangers) and lowest at 97 points ( Calgary)  is the smallest point difference in 35 years. I believe the playoffs are going to be very exciting to watch knowing any team can be victorious and make a run at the cup. If we only had our Captain it would help us on the skill upgrade. Great game last night. The perfect result but the round will be a battle going to 6 or 7 games with both teams having equal opportunity to be the winner. My hope is the twins have an argument, get hit hard and run from danger or wear out by being played to much. Our young guns should have the edge on stamina.

TV ratings for the Edmonton area during the Stanley Cup programming is down. Why ? You guys up there are spending a way to much time supporting the NDP candidates that will bankrupt Alberta instead of watching entertaining hockey. Instead of watching a  team representing Alberta. Cheer up in three or so years you guys could make the playoffs as soon as all of your junior players learn how to shave and don’t need cuddling. It’s a good thing the ice rinks are cold enough to keep the breast milk cold and not go bad on them. Please don’t add  Dylan Strome or worst yet McDavid to the mix. They are toooooo small and to young to be wrecked by the Edmonton draft pick you must play system.They need time to develop.

Getting ready to go to the airport to pick up Jessica & Victoria in about 2 hours. We should have a fun couple of days. The temperature is over 90 degrees everyday coming up.

Have I  said recently “live is good”. Golfing the best I have ever, Flames in the playoffs, weather is 90 degrees everyday, money is ok with Jackie’s contract helping, healthier than ever with no stress or grief , enjoying the banter with my Edmonton friends  and relaxing and enjoying life. Retirement is called the golden years for a reason. Here’s to 30 great years ahead.

Thought of the Day

Gas_large

 

 April 17th 

Last night we picked up Jess & Tor at the Mesa airport which is a great little airport just 7 mins away from our place. They were close to last coming off the plane. They had a blast on the flight. They had two friends on the same flight to”party” with and the stewardess who was a twin also helped keep them primed with liquor . Victoria isn’t good with drinking very similar to her Mom. They were a fun group to pick up. On the way home we stopped at the Texas Roadhouse which is a great place to eat for steak and ribs.First time but good enough to go back. We sat around talking and laughing until midnight. Today is the before wedding dinner in Scottsdale for the wedding. I think they want to go shopping first for dresses for the event. (Jackie will take them shopping lol)

The girls shopping excursion was successful. I decided as we are leaving in a few days I would trim back all of the trees for the summer. Resulted in a lot of scratches and marks on my arms and legs as these desert trees are nasty. They grow very quickly over the summer so I trim them quite substantially to protect my expensive window sun covers and to not look to wild when we come back. I have a huge pile of branches to take to the dump on Monday. I was very careful with the orange tree this year as trimming can remove a lot of the orange buds off. The trees now look great.

Jess & Tor ready to go tot he pre-wedding supper

Jess & Tor ready to go to the pre-wedding supper. Notice the perfect trimmed orange tree in the front yard.

The girls got ready and we drove them to Scottsdale for a pre-wedding supper at their friends condo. As it is in Scottsdale the area is very nice but I am very glad we didn’t purchase a condo as the atmosphere is just so different.  As we were driving the girls Jackie commented isn’t it funny that you girls are 32 years old  and your Mommy & Daddy are dropping you off and you have to phone to get picked up later that evening. It was quite funny.

Off to watch the game. Vancouver unfortunately has a little more skill than we do. I would have liked to be up by two but to have a split is all one can ask for. The Flames determination and effort will slowly wear them down enough to hopefully win the next game and then we are sitting fine. PLAYOFF hockey is fun to watch. It’s too bad hockey wasn’t played like this every game. Even our coach took one for the team getting hit with a $50,000 fine. Next game should be a rough and tumble match. Our Johnny hockey will need to wear is high bladed skates. Fingers crossed we play better and we score more.

Thought of the Day 

To be in your children’s or grand kids memories tomorrow, you need to be in their lives today

April 18th 

What another wonderful day !. Everyone slept in a little as we all were up later than normal. All of us had a perfect made smoothie and toast by Jackie. Today’s thought was just to relax and have the girls get ready for the wedding around 2 or 3pm. We all headed to the pool for a little color on the girls. Did they get color !  You have to remember being in Canada and then hitting a 90 degree day with no clouds it requires a high spf block and limited exposure. Jess & Tor didn’t do either. They are now bright RED and I can see them complaining tonight. Jackie and I used caution so we are perfect .                                                                                                                                                   Wonderful right now at the pool as we have very few people using it as our park is 80% Canadian and they have gone home already.

Before the burn Jess & Tor at the pool

Before the burn Jess & Tor at the pool

 

Not a cloud and nobody at the pool on a 93 degree day

Not a cloud and nobody at the pool on a 93 degree day

It was funny as this afternoon while they were getting ready it was just like they were 16 and living at home. The bickering over the curling iron, bathroom time etc. Somethings don’t change.  Drove the girls to the resort they were having the wedding at and it is a RESORT !  Right under Camelback Mountain and beautiful. I can’t imagine the cost for the wedding. I do know the standard room rate is $300 a night. That area of Scottsdale has money! Numerous Ferrari’s, Bentley’s, etc driving around. Victoria was  to read a message to the group during the ceremony then they could relax and have fun. I expect to get a call around

A beautiful desert sunset

A beautiful desert sunset

1 am or so to come   and pick them up. On our way home we drove thru Old Scottsdale which is a wonderful place with eateries and bars and galleries.  Jackie & I had our supper and relaxed outside in the 80 degree weather late into the evening.

UNBELIEVABLE . The Edmonton Oiler’s pull another bunny out of the hat. To win four out of the last 6 years first pick lottery in the NHL is amazingly lucky. To get Hall, Hopkins,  Yakupov and now McDavid is amazing. It is a little scary to consider this team in a couple of years as they will have more young talent than any team playing. If any one watched though it didn’t look like McDavid was pleased.  The Oilers WILL have  a great team when these players mature a bit and gel. Darn !! Lucky or what !!

Thought of the Day

Sometimes, you’re the one who strikes it lucky. Sometimes, it’s the other stupid team  who’s left with the long straw more than once, and you just have to shut up and get on with it. Work hard and with grit to overcome your unlucky circumstance.  If Edmonton keeps drawing the long straw we will need to change their name to the Edmonton Bumpkins.

April 19th 

We picked up the girls from the wedding and arrived home about 2:30 am.  No traffic which sure makes it a lot  easier to drive the freeway #101  which is under construction and a very busy roadway. The girls had a great time at the wedding and talked about it all the way home. I believe their were a few drinks involved. Angela the bride was one of their high school friends that had a destination wedding here in

Camelback Mountain in the background

Camelback Mountain in the background. This is at the Omni Montelucia Resort

Scottsdale. Nice that friends stay in touch over the years. This morning I can say they are RED. I am sure it is a little painful. We warned them. LOL   So today if they plan to go out in the sun it will need to be only letting the sun hit their backs.  We haven’t decided a plan for the day as of yet. They originally wanted to relax and suntan but i think that is out. Maybe go to Tortilla Flats or Mesa Market. We have a golf game arranged for Monday and then hit Fat Willy’s.

Spent the day relaxing, reading, sitting on the patio, talking laughing etc as the girls were to RED to go out into the sun. Had a big wonderful pork lion supper with all of the fixings. I sent quite a few emails to my Edmonton friends to continue to harass them with the luck they have ( McDavid) and not being in the playoffs. A good friend sent me a message ” McStanley coming back to Edmonton”  My short answer                     ” McThink your McDreaming” Finished just in time to watch the hockey game. The Flames played wonderful and were fun to watch. Amazing performance by all of the players. Still a long tough battle ahead but things are going just fine right now. It is a nervous feeling watching the games unless we can get a comfortable lead. Sort of reminds me when we went to the bar to watch the World Juniors win Gold. Exciting but does make you tense. Good thing for the cold beer invention.

I loaded all of the tree branches into the Buick and hauled them to the dump. If you are not familiar with the desert plants it would shock you to realize how big the extra sharp needles,spikes, thorns are on these plants. Give them a day to dry out and they even harden more. Dangerous really. I survived the dump with only a few scratches and scarring on my perfectly tanned legs and arms.

I forgot how much toilet paper three women can use in a few days. Poor pipelines. Supposed to get to 94 degrees today so we will be hot on the course. I readied all of the golf bags ( we have an extra three sets for guests) ,loaded each with balls and tees so will be ready to head out. I will attempt to break 80 again but it may be difficult trying to maintain focus with the three women. LOL  Red arms and legs wearing flipflops and just having fun sometimes doesn’t relate to great scoring.  But it will be fun and then we get to hit the deck for a COLD jug of beer with frosted glasses and a 8 oz burger to kill for. ( it may kill us in the long run but it sure is a joy right now)  The anticipation of the burger and beer may throw the game. LOL

April 20th      FOUR TWENTY DAY !  4-20 ( I will let the curious ones figure out what this is)

Wonderful day. Hitting 93 degrees today for our golf game. Jessica & Victoria along with Jackie & I had a great game. It was HOT. Very few people on the course which was great. This time of year is amazing as the $65 tee time is now $24 bucks. We had a 1 pm tee off and it took less than 4 hours to complete our round.

Jess & TorEveryone played well with Jess, Victoria and Jackie all finishing just over 100. I attempted to have  a great game but had a very good game. Just kept missing those short birdie putts.  Birdied the last hole to salvage a 79 which is fantastic.  Most birdies in  one game helped get rid of the boogies.One sliced drive and the odd crappy shot but overall very pleased. Fat Willy’s on the deck was  like heaven. Cold on the deckcold beer in a frosted mug and a 8 oz great burger is what life is about. ( don’t wait to long you hanging on guys ! )  This is the good life playing golf with your family in 90 degree weather and sitting on the deck in the heat having a cold beer and burger.Can’t get  much better than that. Had a wonderful day with the girls . Looking at going to the pool tonight to relax. Jessica and Victoria both are still red. Jessica’s feet are more than red they are blood red , swollen and sore looking.

The girls are heading home tomorrow at noon and we will start our packing up right after. Hope to leave the following morning or afternoon. Time goes by so fast. Just a reminder remember to not waste it working away when your freedom is just waiting for you. I wish I would have had someone explain the life after work and I would have quit earlier. You can’t get anything better.

One more key JW management resignation I added to my list.(See april 7th ) Amazing

Thought of the Day

Sometimes I pretend to be normal, but that gets boring so I go back to being me.

April 21st

Woke up a little earlier than normal today with a phone call from England. It is hard to get the time zone thinking correct or timing when everyone will be available. It is good to be up as the girls are heading home at noon and we will start packing up. The girls visit was fun and hopefully they enjoyed themselves. It is always nice to have the laughter and sounds of everyone together.  Hot water with three girls is also in short supply ! This morning they are suntanning then drinking fluids, suntan oil, then suntanning again. It’s to bad about the short visit but we are planning to have them here for Christmas this December so we can get them to see some of the tourist things. I like the Goldfield Mine, Tortilla Flats, San Tan Flats, Tombstone, Rawhide, Old Scottsdale, Dolly Steamship, Pink Jeep tours etc.  I hate to go back but it will also be nice to see everyone again. I already have my first Men’s League Golfing Game arranged for the 30th.  I need to check what was stolen from our lockers to replace or claim, wash the vehicles as they will have an inch of dust on them, ready the motor home and fix up Tor & Cor’s  patio room for their Rv. Lots to do. Plans for this summer depending on the girls money and timing is: help landscape Victoria’s back yard, stain the fence, extend the deck on Jessica’s house,check into being a course marshal, do a little landscaping in the front and back of Jessica’s house, go fishing, golf my 100 games this year, go fishing, watch Flames hoist the Stanley Cup, travel ( Cabone Caves, Chinese Caves, Waskieu, Park Lake, Pembina, Three Hills, Blueberry Hill, and much more. The summer goes by so quickly. The one thing unique about Arizona is  very little  rain so not to many days are wrecked unlike the summers we experience in Alberta.  Looking forward to great summer. We had an absolutely wonderful enjoyable winter.

Thought of the Day 

Live each day with appreciation for what you have, and don’t worry so much over what you don’t have. If you can get your head around this you can retire earlier, you can hold your head up high not embarrassed about things you have or don’t have. 

April 22-24

I may be a little remiss in bringing this to speed while we are on the road for the next three days.We are taking our home trip as a not rushed trip, I say that now but once you head home it is like leading a horse to water I start going !!

Packing up is like unloading the Rv after a great weekend. It sucks. Loaded the Buick up with everything. We have a fairly full vehicle with two sets of clubs, two larger suitcases, Keith’s two fragile table lights, Mom’s  metal flower sculpture, a baby car seat, two bags full of Bass Pro fishing ( fish finder, life jacket etc)  rubber maid container full with canned goods, juice etc that will expire before fall, Ralph’s putter, Fred’s signal switch, two lithium battery packs,and two remote controlled golf carts, two laptops and carry on cases.All of which don’t exactly stack nicely.  I put all of  the patio furniture under cover , tarped the outdoor kitchen, put back lawns chairs and any decorations that would get sun washed under cover. Went thru the food to see about giving away and throwing some out. Brought two bags full plus a fair amount of liquor that had an expiry date before we make it back to our caretaker Dave. He was very happy.Everything should be set to go for the morning.

Received a text the girls landed safe & sound. Jess has a short drive home Victoria will arrive late and be tired for work tomorrow. Tired and sore from the sunburn .

Going to miss Arizona. Until next time. On the road again, Goin’ places that I’ve never been, Seein’ things that I may never see again, And I can’t wait to get on the road again

Thought of the Day 

You get a strange feeling when you leave a place you like. You will not only miss the people and circumstance but you will never be the person you are right now at this moment ever again even when you come back.  

Fixed up everything, turned hot water power off, put everything ie pop,beer, liquor, etc in the fridge to preserve, turned off power to new kitchen, turned off water and locked up and headed out. It is a beautiful drive thru the desert this  time of year. Took the new #303 freeway which is a lot faster than our old way of getting to Wickenburg. First day easy drive to Mesquite. Tried to get  a room at the Casa Blanca but they only had smoking rooms left. I didn’t pre-book as I didn’t want to commit to a stop spot. Drove just north to the next exit and found this “new” place Eureka Casino. A little more for the room but a lot nicer as it is new. Wonderful big modern rooms and the casino is huge. They even have machines if you want that spit out real coins still.Checked  in and then walked over to the casino, dining rooms. While sitting down eating I noticed someone I knew. They say it is a small world. Sitting right next to us was Brent Hayduk from Hayduk Lumber in Calmar.   I have a neat history with Brent. When I first started in the industry 1976  I was working in the warehouse at Sterling Dist and Brent’s Dad used to drive in to pick up his orders and I used to load a lot of product on his truck.  He also was one of our independent dealers WILD group. ( western independemt lumber dealer) . Sterling used to sell insulation and drywall which gave these smaller yards the buying power they needed. But the other connection to Brent was that his wife was our nurse in the preemie ward at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton . She attended our baby girls for the weeks they were in the hospital as they were born premature. In the whole North America and to see each other with the timing is amazing. And to be right beside each other on the casino restaurant. He was on his way from wintering in Palm Springs. Great to see him. Nice guy and a great customer to look after.

Very very nice casino, modern clean rooms, great food choices, sit down or buffet.

His buddy with him kept winning on the slots. I would guess over 2K. Jackie and I lost just to help the casino  afford him.

No rush so will just get up and drive when we get around to it. Would be fun to pass Brent on the highway.lol

Wonderful breakfast ( not the ham & egg special though) but very good and only $5.99 off the senior menu.  Hit the  road. It is amazing to set the cruise at 140kms per hours and know you will not get stopped. You can cover the ground pretty fast as that is about 90 mph.

Salt Lake City seems like it is 50 miles long with 6 lanes on each side of the freeway and a 70 mph limit but has more traffic than most any road I have ever driven on. The time of the day doesn’t matter. The freeway is packed. Nice thing about Salt Lake is though even if you cut some one off or tailgate no one ever swears at you. Plus bonus you don’t have to worry about a drunk driver on the road. Friendly city. We decided  to stop in Idaho Falls ( no hurry) and we lost one hour in a zone change.  Lucky again in getting to go out for supper to the Olive Garden  in town. Explain this to me. A town of 58K gets a Olive Garden and a city of 1.2 mil only gets one Olive Garden. Something wrong here. I love that salad and bread sticks.  Idaho Falls has it right. They have a river going right thru the city and they created 3 power generating

Jackie in front of the power generating waterfall right dwontown

Jackie in front of the power generating waterfall right downtown

turbines to create enough electricity for themselves. Besides being a huge tourist attraction ( we saw Japanese tour buses stop here)  it is very attractive  and creates energy.  I am sure our river with the flow we have could even do better.Heading up to our room to watch the FLAMES. I hope to send a great message in a couple of hours.

Well it was a good game but we didn’t just do it. Saturday’s game hopefully will be the one. It really is the do or die game as any team can win the 7th game.  Going to the bar to see and hear the fan base cheer them on. Jeff reserved a front table at Dixon’s for us.

April 25th

Had our free breakfast and hit the road. Love the fact I can set the cruise at 140 kms and not worry about a ticket. I even had a cop slowly pull in behind me and then pass me . Flat road, Alberta plates, why stop the guy. LOL   Stopped into Lethbridge to see the pregnant Penny and Jackie helped them with their taxes. Don’t you hate to have to pay more than you already gave ?  As we got closer and closer to Canada the outside temperature gauge started to plunge.  Right as we hit Calgary about 10:30pm it hit the low of 3 degrees. 3 degrees !  I am not used to that and I don’t like that. We are about two weeks later than last year coming home but still get this !   Cherokee battery was dead so I moved the very dusty Wrangler to the street and parked the Enclave downstairs and will unload in the morning. Woke up and discovered Peter’s car was missing so had to go thru all of the bureaucracy of the City of Calgary to find it. Compound Lot  web page did not show it so I phoned. They did not have it listed. They phoned City Wide towing and they said they did not have it nor did they start the street cleaning in Cranston. ( the streets were cleaned !). So in the conversation I learned during street cleaning they will tow a car up to 6 blocks away. So not trusting  the information I was given I had the vehicle tagged for the lot if it showed up or they discovered it and also decided to take a little drive. I found it about 3 blocks away on our same street so every thing is good. Another car to boost this weekend. Did I say I hate the cold. Did I say I hate wearing shoes and a jacket.  Checked the scale and after large meals three days in a row while travelling ( two of them large pasta meals) and not moving I have to reduce back down 3 pounds maybe on Sunday as tonight is hockey night in Canada at the bar. LOL

Second round here we come

Second round here we come

van

The twins near the end of the  6th game. I have no explanation for the Boston outfit other than like the green shirt guy in Calgary he is off. LOL

Fun job putting everything away today. Headed to the Dixon’s Pub to our reserved seating. It was a great discovery a while back to find out we could do this. Our table for 6 was only 4 ft away from a new 60″ TV so we had the perfect front row seats. What a game. Watching the Flames now is the most tense situation I put myself into. Lots of fun , nail biting, and cheering. What a finish.

Jackie woke up this morning complaining her wrists were sore. She had to many high fives too hard. LOL    Paying the bill when we were done

Flames Hockey

Flames Hockey

sucks. Jackie and I could go to Fat Willy’s in Mesa have two jugs of beer and two huge hamburgers for  $28.  Last night was a $100 bill. $8 jugs vs $19 jugs, each bottle $7.25 vs a $7.99 for a full case. Every food item was $15.00 or more and one burger was $20. Pricing differences are huge even when you consider the exchange. Fun night with a great outcome though. We are going to mess those Ducks up bad !

“My RANT”

There is a backlash against the Red Mile by certain “women” groups due to what is considered sexual exploitation of women. If  a drunk woman chooses to lift her shirt how is that exploitation.If she feels that a loud crowd cheering her to do so ( forcing her per say) was the reason she HAD to do it, excuse me. She has a brain other than those boobs. Why in North American is a boob considered such a outrageous thing. We let small factions of people decide what is right for us as a whole on too many issues. Can’t young people ( hopefully no one over 40 was participating) just have a fun night without it being so controversial. The same groups say it is ok to breast feed in public then they chastise every other woman that wants to have a little party fun. Mixed messages not only for all the women but also for the guys. There will be the drunks that get carried away with everything that put the whole situation in a bad light, but they are few. Interesting to know the media take on the Mardi Gras or the Carnival . If anything more happens with our Red Mile I will keep you a breast of the situation.   BUT THAT’S JUST ME !

April 26th

Welcome to Canada. It is cold outside. Love my own second bed.   The Cherokee would not start. I went over to Victoria’s place to pick up the charger. Jackson was out

Jackson on his two wheeler

Jackson on his two wheeler

in the field practicing to ride his two wheeler. He was doing very well.Won’t be very long before he can do it all by himself. Ps he is early as Jess & Tor didn’t ride two wheelers until 4 years old. Corey’s new cargo trailer looks great and is very organized. I am sure every time he loads and unloads he is thankful he decided to get this.Returned home but for some reason the charger wouldn’t work so I drove back and got my other one. Hooked it up and started charging. Finally started the Cherokee and parked it out on the street and moved the Wrangler downstairs. Both cars were covered in 2 inches of dust. I filled up the Cherokee and used the soft cloth car wash to get it done. I hand washed ( rack won’t go in auto wash)  the Jeep 3 times and still couldn’t get it clean so I drove it to the manual car wash and used their soap brush etc to get it clean. Now that my pressure washer has been stolen washing in the bay is more difficult. Shined it all up. My elbow is still hurting which isn’t good as I need it to be perfect for golf. Pain and potential long term pain can affect the game. I knew when screwing it was being hurt but it is very difficult to screw with the wrong hand and it needed to be done. I should have pre drilled everything. Reading up on this type of injury it can be a long long time to fix and with the excessive use of golfing ( I will not stop) may take extra long. I may look at a elbow brace to help.Went grocery shopping with Jackie to fill the shelves for the first time since coming back.  Still on my things to do, is move Peter’s car and check out our locker and ready the motor home. I  have three golf games arranged for this week.

Thought of the Day 

I always turn to the sports section first. The sports page records people’s accomplishments; the front page has nothing but our failures. Having said that I don’t ever remember the losing teams . Failures !

April 27th 

I can’t watch my favorite TV channel HGTV  as our bedroom TV is now off Shaw. If it wasn’t for the free TV and us having the same email address for 30 years I would drop Telus and go back to Shaw. I do believe the picture is better with Telus but the channel selection and costs are with Shaw. I still may switch back and forget the package deal.

Dirty job today going downstairs into the lockers to do an inventory and make a list of what was stolen. I was in disbelieve. You know you are dealing with amateur thieves that just want the easy stuff to put on Kijiji and get some money. They broke into our locker and ONLY stole my pressure washer. Not the fishing equipment ( I was excited for a bit as I wanted to get new stuff LOL) $800, Not the boat motor, wheels and seats $2200, not the antique CP Rail lights $700, not the cargo carrier $200, or anything else in the locker. There were lawn chairs, a full rubbermaid container of ratchet straps, tools and brackets for my boat, Jeep vinyl top $2000. I was very pleased as it does save me money and hassle. Punks !  If you are going to be a criminal you should learn how to be a good criminal or just don’t do it. I would love to meet these punks when they are 40 and have something stolen to hear their thoughts then. Very dirty down there. I would like a easy system to keep everything free from dust. Condo living does have it’s drawbacks. I would have paid extra if they would have had closed in lockers with sprinklers available.

The world is a changing place and not a friendly place, There are to many bad things happening. Here are just a few from today. First the horrible earthquake in Nepal.  This is a country of 30 million people that is very rich in culture and home to the worlds highest mountain. It is located on a continental plate . It will continue to have more earthquakes as time goes by. They have a history of earthquakes with one of them killing over 10k people. The whole region is prone to them. Interesting to note that the mountains actually moved 6 ft from their exact location before the quake. I hope everyone joins in to help these poor people. The final toll maybe close to the 10k mark again.You really have to feel for them.

Then we as a society that has the Supreme court dictating that government , schools etc are not allowed to say prayers. The country was built on the Christian faith and the society principles and values are such. Now with such a mixture of cultures the government feels it has to remain neutral.WRONG. We do not need to bend so far for every immigrant in the country. The continuation of religious insemination by other cultures slowly erodes the core values we live by.  To do this is wrong and no one seems to stand up for what’s right. Being Canadian we are to nice. Try doing that in the States as on their money and their official national motto  are the words “IN GOD WE TRUST”

Look at what is happening in Baltimore. It is sick that the population becomes frenzied and loots, destroys property and uses as a excuse a funeral of a young man. It is not right. Why is this happening with such frequency ? What can we do to correct it ?  Why have people lost respect for everything except money ? It wasn’t long ago that bankers, teachers, firemen, etc all were considered very respectable positions. Today we have young kids spitting at police, students shooting teachers and no one trusts a banker. ( except Jackie of course)

April 28th

What a beautiful day today. Supposed to get up to 27 degrees. First thing is take the batteries in to Canadian Tire to get fully charged for the season in the motorhome. It is a great FREE service they provide, even though their system is suspect. To drop off batteries for charging and not to receive a receipt for them really opens up the door for the customer to lose his batteries and the stores liability to have to replace the said batteries. Any court of law when understanding the process would make them pay. Charged up the Cherokee battery for an hour or so and picked weeds out of the front of Victoria’s lawn while it was working away.

Today was the first day of 2015 to golf in Canada. After my latest experiences in Mesa I was excited to hit the course and excel. But things did not go as planned. There is such a thing as minds eye that takes place. I only golfed so so and Jeff golfed the worse I think I have ever seen him play. Good thing it is early in the season. If I removed two holes where I took a triple boogie ( handicap rules state allowed only two over) I would have been reasonably happy. The greens were in very nice shape but considerably slower than what I was accustomed to. Couple of funny things happened in this game. First how

Play where they lay

Play where they lay

would you like to swing at this ball. We searched for Jeff’s ball and couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally Jeff spots it in the tree 4 ft off the ground.  Now that is a difficult shot. A good baseball swing and it may have gone somewhere. Unfortunately it just fell to the ground. LOL   First time I have seen that though.

After golf we decided to sit on the outside patio as it was so nice and sunny out. Our young waitress comes to us to ask us what we would like. Very innocently I ask her ” Do you have jugs ?”. The tables of guys around burst out laughing and say “YES” as does Jeff. I felt a little bad for the girl but This images was tweeted from the restaurant's official Twitter account and posted to their Facebook page with the caption 'Is anybody suddenly thirsty?'luckily she had a great personality that just flowed with the conversation. Neat accent as she had a Texan, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland combo twang.  I will need to remember to say pitchers next time. I had to give a little bigger tip to make up for any embarrassment I may have caused.

Fun night and just got home in time to see the end of the Voice and who they eliminated. The singers are sooooo good this year it really doesn’t matter as there is very little difference in the skill level just personalities, looks, genre’s and likability.

Thought of the day  

How can something said so innocently be perceived as something else so easily. While funny it can be embarrassing for the recipient and in some cases the culprit.  Close to the one time I asked for Poutang instead of Poutine at the Harvey’s restaurant. Jackie killed herself laughing that time. The guys had a good laugh also this time. So I guess all good. LOL 

April 29th

Made an appointment for a oil change, lube, filter change and an a/c inspection as it is blowing warm air again in the Wrangler. Second time this has happened so I have put the warranty pressure on them as it should not happen.  I went and paid my community dues at our centre. We pay $154 a year so I needed a clarification on what I get for this.  The lady had a wonderful colorful pie chart showing the allocation of all funds. When I said to her that’s great but according to the chart if all percentages are kept the same we should have a reduction each year as the interest on the mortgage is reduced our payment has to go down. Great response from her ” But we find new programs to add to the list each year is why we don’t reduce”.  One just has to get past the fact that everyone has to pay even if you don’t use the facilities or participate  in the programs similar to paying school taxes when you don’t have kids or they are done school.

I went for an interview this morning at Heatherglen Golf Course.     I met with the young pro there to discuss the possibility of a course marshall/starter job.    I am looking forward to the job. It will be interesting to meet all of the golfers and to be on the

There is a new Marshall in town.

There is a new Marshall in town.

course all day.  It is only a small time commitment of once or twice a week at the most that they are quite flexible on. There are two things I always hated about Marshall’s. One is the respect given to paying customers when asking them to speed up their play. It is a sensitive issue for a lot of people and one needs to be very diplomatic at it. It is imperative to get the group to speed up as it affects every tee time for the day but it is also critical to do it in a way the paying customer feels you are helping them rather than scolding or forcing them to do it.  Key is to discuss with the guilty party to get a buy in but also discuss it with the next two tee times to ensure them they should see a result very soon. The other is the Marshall that won’t shut up. Being friendly is one thing but over indulgence in a conversation that a paying customer really doesn’t want is another.    I am sure I will thoroughly enjoy the job and I especially like the benefits for myself and friends.  Come on out to www.heatherglengolf.com . I promise to enforce all of the laws of golf . lol

Went for a walk tonight with Jackie in my shorts. I cold front with rain passed thru a few hours earlier. It was COLD outside in fact 6 degrees.  Just about May 1st and 6 degrees. I hate the cold. I may have to look at getting a vest to wear. LOL

Thought of the Day 

A quiet man is a thinking man. A quiet woman is usually mad. 

April 30th 

Woke up to a bright sunny day but checking the forecast only a high of 15 expected. Still put on a pair of shorts as golfing is meant to played with shorts by all amateurs. Drive out to the course is amazing with the snow covered mountains as the scenery in the background. You just can’t get anything prettier than that. Makes living in Calgary that much more special. Found out my grouping and hole that we were going to start on. My teams mates were all fairly good golfers being a 8,12 and 15 handicappers. Our low capper played very well and our 15 capper played well. I had my highest score of year but luckily not over 100.  All caused by lost balls as Turner Valley does eat up balls in the bushes with fairly narrow fairways. Remove a 9,8,7 which is 11 strokes extra on three holes so my score would have been ok. I need to work on making sure when I have a screw up hole I limit the damage instead of taking a 5 over par on a par 4 hole. The day turned out to be great. The after party with everyone  telling stories from winter time off to vacations to wintering was fun.

Big game tonight . We may lose the first one as we figure out the Ducks but get the split is all we need.

Well it wasn’t pretty but losing 10-0 vs 2-1 still is just on loss. We seemed to have lot of injured players tonight that are key players that we desperatelyneed if we are going to win future games.Fingers crossed. The Flames just didn’t play well. I know how that feels with my golf game today also. BUT we will be back !

8 thoughts on “April 2015

    1. larrywi Post author

      Oh your bad. LOL I may have needed to re-word that a bit. It was the screwing that hurt the elbow and even today is quite painful. Reword– It was the pressure of installing numerous self tapping screws into metal studs that hurt my elbow and the pain today is still quite painful. LOL

      Reply
  1. Melissa

    Hi Larry, I haven’t had the chance to visit your blog in a while. I still really enjoy reading it and like knowing that you are fully enjoying retirement. You deserve all the great times and fun that you are having.

    PS- The changes at JW are awesome and the company is headed in the right direction again. I feel positive about everything. “onwards and upwards” as they say.

    We should all do lunch again soon.

    Take care

    Reply
    1. larrywi Post author

      That’s great to hear Melissa. Change is always difficult for anyone but having a positive attitude makes everything so much easier. Onward and upwards is a good slogan to live by. Sometimes change doesn’t make things worse or better just changed and that is easy to live with. I am just on my way back to Calgary now so I will email and yes lets have lunch with the guys. Looking forward to it.

      Reply
  2. Jason C

    Great reads Larry. One more to add to your list. Jesse blanchard resigned Mar 2015. Totally disabled the last string holding anything for service together. Keep up the great stories.

    Reply
  3. Victoria

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR NEW OUTSIDE KITCHEN! It is gorgeous!! I am sure it even looks more beautiful in person. I cannot wait to see it in 9 days and counting…lol

    Reply

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