JULY 2016

Wow time is flying and I have been busy.

July 1st- July 3rd

Canada Day !

Canada Day !

First I have to say how glad I am to live in Canada.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Canada Day . When you take a look at the rest of the world and the mess they are in we can feel very lucky. Our choices in leaders has been horrible but only 3 years left we can hang on then start to rebuild. It will be a struggle in Alberta with every stupid decision but at least the public will have learned a lesson.

Headed to Lethbridge with the motor home as Corey and family were joining us. We started working in the basement mid day and put in a full 8 hours. Drywall is heavy. Every muscle gets worked out. I must be getting older as it makes me tired. I was again very lucky to have Corey along or I maybe dead.  He understands what is needed and works hard.  We got the ceiling completely done and a few more walls.  The basement is starting to look good. I found a spot to park the motor home at the end of the block. Turns out a neighbor decided to have a big party close  to us. ( I was told) I never heard anything as I was too tired to really care. Slept like a log. Up and started to work at 8 am and put in another 12 hours. Finished off the staircase which was difficult. If we have any gaps that could be considered on the large side it is here. But when I look at the so called professional job right next to ours  I smile. We did very well. One small patch where a sheet of drywall broke on us putting it up as a cut sheet and the odd gap with butt edges happened but overall quite pleased. Penny and Jackie worked hard bringing the drywall to the back door and loading the concrete board downstairs. We started the bathroom and finished the ceiling but have a three walls left which wont take long. I was surprised the electrician left power to the boxes when we had to roto zip the drywall. But we worked around that.  The pot lights just need a switch put in a box and the mudder will have light. Corey installed the basement doors for us which saved us a lot of time. If I didn’t have Corey to help I would have ordered prehungs. It is getting closer. Finish drywall in bathroom, Install light switches and plugs and cheap lamp holders. Need mdf boxes for window wells. Casing. Finish tape and mud then paint and floor and it will be close. The bathroom still has days left on it. I hate bathrooms and have never installed one in a basement as I prefer a half bath. A fibreglass shower stall takes hours less and is in my opinion better. We need the concrete board installed and then tiling and grouting. Money, time , and leak risks versus a shower enclosure.

I still have to figure out a fix for the platform for the washing sink. The plumber passed an inspection with a level plumbing pipe. No slope which in my mind is just wrong yet it passed. I am sure Mike Holmes would go ballistic.

Drove back to Calgary as planned as I was supposed to work at Heatherglen. Turns out the tee sheet was light so they cancelled but I need the rest anyways. I didn’t get back until 11 pm and the storage yard gate doesn’t open after 10pm. I learned a lesson. Drove back home and found a spot and went to bed.

Jackie was sick today and spent the entire day in bed. I worked on my budget for June and saw a few surprises like over $1000 bucks again on gas but ended up being only $200 over budget and not needing any money out of our fund using my huge Marshall pay cheques and Jackie’s pay. Watched golf and relaxed. Hip still isn’t right which is beginning to annoy me.

Season half done and still in last place. You have to feel for the Oiler Fans . NOT

A team that consistently finishes in the bottom three and has a history of making the worst trades ever in history

I have to mention the Losers again. I have difficulty understanding the loyalty to losing. An attitude of losing, a pattern of losing and the blind hope of something different is amazing. The fans have to understand unless Edmonton completely changes their thinking their out of playoff picture may last as long a the Leafs cup drought. The Edmonton Oilers now have officially become the NHL’s worst trading team in history.  There have been bad trades like,  Jagr to the Caps,Luongo for Bertuzzi, Oates to St Louis, Thorton to San Jose to name a couple but here is the worst trading consistently for a team.

The Edmonton Oilers trades in no order of being bad.

  1. Messier for nothing ( nicholls )
  2. Gretzky for no bodies and picks
  3. Coffey for so so players
  4. Ryan Smith for no bodies
  5. Anderson and Fuhr to Toronto

And now maybe the third worst trade with Hall going for a goal post. Before anyone comes back to me yes Flames have a couple of poor ones, Hull, and Gilmour but not the consistent over years of bad bad decisions. I hate for the Edmonton fans need to increase their blood pressure medicine and take more anti depression medicine but the team will finish in the bottom three again. That is up from the last place so good on you.


Thought of the Day

God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things.  Right now I am so far behind I will never die !

July 4th

No holiday here in Canada but still a wonderful day. The sun was shining out bright and early this morning. Jackie was ill all night but still managed to get up to get to work ( next door in the spare room) which was quite amazing after being sick for so long and so sick. Dedicated girl . I went for groceries early this morning to pick up a few things. Got some deals and it is so nice shopping when very few people are in the store. I had a great funny conversation with a lady in Sobeys. They have added a store within a store of natural products and organic stuff. I asked where the flax was and it ended in a 10 min banter session. Her trying to sell my non GMO food and health nuts etc. My comment to her was ” the flax wasn’t for me and I am not a food health nut. If we stopped GMO produced food we would need a mass sterilization program to control the population or we would all starve.” It went back and forth on a few other points all in good fun but I ended it on a great note. I commented ” So if you believe in all natural with no human intervention in our food source when your kid get sick you must not allow them antibiotics. Its not natural. After all getting sick is natures way of weeding out the weak.” She laughed and I left feeling I won, again. LOL

Decided to golf this morning with Jeff at Heatherglen. Wow is this course in great shape. Now this is the first time in two weeks after injuring my hip. It was sore but I wanted to see if I could golf.  I did quite well feeling only twinges every once in a while. I did not score well but I was ok with that as I was happy I could golf. The drives were good it was all the feel shots and understandable when you are not consistently golfing. Jeff’s drives were fantastic but again struggled with the different iron situations. Next time.

Made it home in the warm afternoon to check on Jackie as she was babysitting Jackson as Corey & Victoria had a wedding to attend. I got lucky again and was able to sneak in and scare Jackson. He loves it and I get a kick out of it. He wears me out. I ran hallways Played with guns. Jumped on the exercise equipment. Played games. Ran and ran. It is hard as drywall. LOL. Made us supper and give in to a few treats for Jackson and I. Shhhh don’t tell his Mom.

Just watched the news which is mixed with good and bad tonight again. The world is becoming a very sad place. Give me a quiet lake, with good fish, a beach, and some friends, is a lot better than risking being in a foreign airport in a major European city.   Tsx up, Stampede to start and  we are getting moisture to grow some great crops and gardens.

My JELD-WEN company. First thing I have to say is I am not surprised by todays dismissals. Karma always finds it way for one. The other gentleman wasn’t doing any favours in building business for JW but the third one is just wrong. Another dumb mistake by new management that really to be honest DONT have a clue what they are doing. What I am surprised in is how they figure to get grow the company with all of the steps backwards. I think it is a master plan to show as much profit as possible for the IPO offering that has been submitted to the regulatory body. Nice I don’t have to worry about this kind of stuff but in my heart I feel for the customers and the few people that were let go that did not deserve to be released. Take Alberta alone this new management  figures they will work with 10 less sales guys and maintain and grow the business. Good luck. I used to try to keep the territories around the 4 million mark per rep. That is close to 40 million less in sales. Now they won’t lose all of it but even 50% is a 20 million sales hit. Go figure. It is shame that some shiny shoe VP in Charlottte won’t have a clue what happened.

Thought of the Day

There is quote I remember.  ” Few men of action have been able to make a graceful exit at the appropriate  time.”

July 5th

Audrey & Michael

Audrey & Michael

aud birthAnother great day in our retirement life. No rush this morning as a day without a lot of commitments. I watched the news. We had our super smoothies and I relaxed. I went to the motor home to pick up some needed stuff for Audrey’s birthday party this afternoon. Chairs, paper plates, cutlery and table clothes. Jackson and Tor cam over early so I had to run the hallways and “work out in the gym” with Jackson for a few hours.  We had a nice gathering with Alan & Maryann , Kennedy, Jackie & I, Victoria & Jackson, Michael & Audrey and 4 of Michael’s family all made it.  Jackson decided to I needed to play in the water with him. It is cold. I pulled in floating boat closer to shore getting wet. After the fact with me getting wet and Jackson getting wet I discover he has brought extra clothes to get warm. I had to let my shorts and shirt naturally dry. We had a fun gathering. Even played Chess on the giant chess board on the concrete. Played soccer and then had some not so good food and some great food. We had very good pizza, and an excellent carrot cake as the birthday cake. But Audrey being “English”  and we all know how different that nationality is we had bread & butter cake ( pudding). I put this in a category with rice pudding, tapioca, caviar and Christmas pudding. It just isn’t good tasting and or very common luckily. The weather turned out great for us as a storm went thru and right after cleared right up.

Had a text from Jeff & Wendy as I was inquiring about golf that Jeff had to make an emergency visit that they think maybe heart related. Everyone is still hoping that until they finish all of their testing that it is something else. Hope is that it could be stress related, indigestion, or some other “odd”  circumstance that turns out to be minor.

Thought of the Day

You know why they call it the ICU unit. ( they all can see your arse with the open back gown)

July 6-7th

Wild weather with us not knowing if it is going to rain or not.

New Zoo Gorilla

New Zoo Gorilla

We were babysitting Jackson today so Jackson and I decided a visit to the zoo was in order. If you haven’t been to the Calgary Zoo you need to. It is done extremely well and maintained unbelievably. I would consider it right up there in quality, selection of animals and pen design. From the Penguin House to the Canadian Wilderness pens they were fantastic.

Bear in Tree eating fish

Bear in Tree eating fish

Penguin house is amazing

Penguin house is amazing










We arrived just before 10 am and spent 4 hours there walking around. If anyone knows Jackson he really doesn’t like to walk long distances and asks people to carry him. Not with Papa. On my phone I measured 11785 steps which Jackson would have taken more due to his shorter legs. So he did extremely well and only asked near the end. He still was able to walk. We saw every exhibit except the butterfly house which we only missed because we didn’t see it or know about it. A hotdog, pop and ice cream cone lunch is the perfect food for a day trip.

Wolfman Jack

Wolfman Jack

Barely recognize him

Barely recognize him

We ran into some of Victoria’s friends there with their children which Jackson knows well but I got lucky and he needed to go the washroom which was my reason to leave the pack. You get 4 women with little kids it becomes difficult to control them. One kid like nothing. We had a very fun day. We saw the new addition to the zoo being a baby gorilla which is so small and cute. Every animal was out except the wolves. We walked, we watched, we laughed, we ate, and we had a fun day.

Jackson's new zoo friend Sam

Jackson’s new zoo friend Sam

I helped Corey put in his concrete pads with sono-tube for the deck he is going to build. We only got half of them done and  hopefully the rest on Thursday night so they can cure ready for the wood. Big deck with first level being 16 x 16 so it gets a little expensive.

Up early and headed to the golf course. Beautiful weather and hooked up with fun guys should be a good game.  Didn’t turn out that way. I cant figure out why I am not getting better. I know golfing only two times a week isn’t enough but still I don’ t want to have peaked yet and not getting as good as I think I should be. TV golf eats balls and shooting three from the tee you are going to get a double boogie or triple easily. If I removed the 8, 7 and 7 holes due to lost balls I would be ok happy but ended up with a 96. No putts dropped, no close proximity shots, just not good playing. I am hot happy about this. Hopefully Jeff gets up and about quickly so we can see if quantity leads to success.

Have I said I love being retired. I love getting up when I want to, not thinking about business what so ever, being able to do what I want and like and being able to enjoy each day which I must say is wonderful. Golfing, travelling, fishing, camping, working on kids projects, reading, relaxing, learning more about computers, budgeting, watching news and having a good time with friends and family. Life is good

Babysitting Jackson at Grammy and Papa’s house is a good time. Stack cushions as high as you can. Stand on a chair and see how far you can fly. Next the Cirque du Soleil

This how you do it !!!

This how you do it !!!

We headed to Lethbridge on Friday to stay at Park Lake for August’s birthday and I hope to finish off the window wells, and chair platform at their house and some of the final stage of wiring depending if I can figure out the circuits.



July 8th

I am positive that the car wash I go to uses recycled water. It is just dirty water that I am paying for to clean my truck and motorhome. So I got home and did a little research.

TIP:   Typically a person uses Soap, then Foam brush then Rinse. Searching the internet I discovered most washes do recycle their water. So next time you and I are going to be smart and go Rinse, Foam brush, Rinse . First cycle will be clean water, foam brush is just foam and final rinse clean water.  Why wash with dirty water especially when you are paying for it.

I washed the motor home which takes quite a while as it is huge. I then washed the Jeep behind it. Moved a few things around inside and then headed to Canadian Tire to get new wiper blades for it as one was torn. Universal my @@#$. After a lot of working on different ideas I made them work. They are 1″ shorter than I took off but that is all they had.  I understand universal makes sense but make sure you are covering each type and that the fit is right. Hopefully the new ones work great as they are heavier and have wind blades attached.

Getting ready to head and parked outside the condo. Sign says Loading Zone and has no time attached to it. Can I help it if I am slow ?  Hopefully no rain for at least three days as it is expensive and tiring to wash. Looks great though. I think I will buy a new pressure washer as it will pay for itself, come with clean water and will make it easier than squeezing into the narrow car wash bay with only 4″ clearance on top.

I need to dust off my cowboy hat as Stampede is here. The Greatest Outdoor Event in the world. I have a couple breakfasts and lunches to go to including ex customer events. Always fun.

Got to Love it.

Got to Love it.





July 9-11th

Happy Birthday August

Happy Birthday August

We headed down to Lethbridge on Friday evening to Park Lake as we were getting there to get up early for August’s First Birthday Party. Don’t start on me, I know it is July.  First birthdays are

The perfect cake with a fishing rod on it !!

The perfect cake with a fishing rod on it !!

always fun as the kid doesn’t have a clue what is going on and the parents get together to see how their kid is doing compared to the rest. Plus to see each other and catch up on things.Quite a crew for August’s birthday. We even had 4 generations of Hickens including birthday boy. A fair amount of people from Calgary even made the hike. Our furthest away guest was Kristen from Edmonton. It’s to bad when people make such an effort to come they have to hurry back for another

commitment.  The after party is always the funniest. The weather was gorgeous and the picnic shelter was perfect with a huge play field and parks right beside us. Free firewood and a wonderful fire pit with seats all around it. August had a blast with his cousins and friends and received a boat load of gifts. So much so I don’t know where Penny & Jessica are going to store it. They now need a garden shed. LOL

It was the perfect birthday party that hopefully everyone enjoyed. I know most of the people did that I talked to. Running kids, playing kids, screaming kids, lots and lots of food with cold drinks and a super spot to be at.

After the party Jess, Pen and August came out to Park Lake where we were camping with Tor, Cor and Jackson to have a smokie roast. Cooking a wiener over a fire is one of the best ways to enjoy camping food. These smokies were huge but tasted wonderful with the spices they had in them. We had to also include a few turkey wieners. Gross but some people liked them. Contrary to what people believe animal fat in moderation is very good for you.

On our way to the house driving down the residential street in Lethbridge we were following a white import car when we came to a T intersection. This gentleman turns right then immediately turns left to do a large U Turn which puts him right in a T bone situation for us. I slammed on the brakes and turned a hard left in hopes he would first see us and stop and if sharp enough not hit him centre of car and dead front of my Jeep. When ABS brakes first came out I was not a fan but I have been convinced differently. A standard system I would have T boned the guy at 50 kms per hour mid car.Due to the ABS and the abiltity to still steer we avoided a major crash by inches.  I would support a bill where if I reported to the cops the incident this guy would have to do hours of driver training and retake his license. You do not do certain things like I have seen in the past month such as passing on the right and doing a U turn on a street.

Basement getting close

Basement getting close

Next morning we were up early and started to work on the basement. It was a very productive day again where we worked 12 hours with only about  a 1/2hr break. I was extremely fortunate to have Corey again help me.  We put up a ceiling support and covered it with drywall in the bathroom, we installed all of the mdf boxes and trim for the window wells, trimmed all of the doors, installed a classic contemporary modified mini coffered ceiling, figured out our placement on the wash sink and installed a drywall box around the plumbing pipes leading to it, completed the raised

platform with sheathing, and got most of the lights to work on a couple of circuits, installed two bifolds( Masonite product and the hdwe bag was missing the bottom aligner plate) fixed the tub to the studs,and cleaned up a bit. The basement is starting to look great. I am beginning to love it.

Pouring rain this morning and Jackie & Victoria were going to get haircuts so Corey and I slept in a bit, had a bigger breakfast and then headed to town. We couldn’t pick up any material with it raining so we ended up just relaxing.

I have some electrical, the flooring for the platform and stairs and a few hook ups and then just about done. I am positive it is going to be one beautiful salon basement. Penny has named her business ‘” THE BASEMENT” which is fitting. I am sure when anyone enters they will be very pleased with it.

Drove back in pouring rain again. My arms are getting sore washing cars and my pocket light from it. Come on sun glow brightly for a long period of time. Got my first crack in my Jeep windshield so will search for a cheap place to get one of these. Buick also needs one.

I am normally a very lucky person with enough smarts to know when I am in a precarious position. Having said that this year and it has to be age related as it never happened before, I did a cannonball into a pool and hit the bottom wrecking and skinning my knees badly, then I go to a playground and rip my knee apart again as I was too tall for the spinning equipment and span around and ripped all of the skin off one knee,and now I fell off the motor home steps and have badly hurt my knee again. This time though I sacrificed myself  to save squashing Jackie like a pancake and fell face first ( knee first) into the gravel with a western

Another ripped apart knee. I think I have a stone caught under the skin though.

Another ripped apart knee. I think I have a stone caught under the skin though.

roll. Shoulder hurts and knee is ripped apart again.  Jackie was rolling up the RV mat and I was coming down the stairs ( raised a way higher than normal as the campsite was very sloped) and for some reason I fell off the second step which is about three feet up. I saw Jackie right below me and knew I would hurt her quite badly as I was falling hard so I dove for the side which was gravel hit the  ground with one knee and western rolled to take some of the impact off my shoulders when they hit. I impressed myself until I saw my knee and felt the pain. It’s starting to annoy me these stupid injuries.

Thought of the Day

Life is not a fairy tale. If you lose your shoe at midnight you are drunk!! Ps I did not have anything to drink any time I injured myself.

July 12th

Took about an hour or so to fix up the motor home and then headed home. Jackie made supper and we relaxed until the Bachelorette came on. Sitting there before the show it is sure nice to sit and just talk with your spouse about the past events we just experienced. It is also nice to have some one clean the wound and make sure you are ok. She is always concerned about infection , fever etc.  Being married is a wonderful thing and having a best friend with you always just makes things that much nicer.

Watched the news and we still continue with the stupid shootings. I hate laws controlling things but the USA has to start controlling the guns somehow and work on racial tension between the Blacks, Hispanics and whites. It is not right.  Saw the little girl abducted with her mother killed so my bet is a sick husband or boyfriend fight. Anger is 100% controllably and is no excuse for anything. I believe quick to anger people are a little less intelligent than the average person and haven’t figured out triggers, and controls. It is similar to people that have to input a vulgar word in every sentence. We have enough adjectives to use without swear words. In most cases it is done due to a weak vocabulary. In others the IQ maybe equal in some  but if the control is missing they are still weaker. Road rage is one that baffles me. How can someone can so upset driving a car. Even the people that give the finger. Come on life is a way to short to get upset over such minor things.


Today is August’s official birthday. Our youngest grandson is now ONE YEAR OLD. He is an amazing kid. Chunky monkey, loves to dance and jump, is exceptional at making faces, has a great laugh and imitates everything. He can climb the entire staircase. He points and says “Tat” He is incredibly handsome, smart and a wonderful baby. He is soooo close to walking on his own but still feels comfortable hanging on to chairs and stools to make his way around. Time goes by so fast. He is one loved little boy.

He is getting so close to walking

He is getting so close to walking



Excellent shirt

Excellent shirt

Go Jays !

Go Jays !



To have such a well behaved baby is a very nice thing. He rarely cries, laughs and is happy most days, has 5 teeth, loves to hip hop to music,  does projectile food throwing, and gets attention where ever he goes due to his cuteness even in poopy pants.



It is amazing how kids learn things. They study watch and copy.




You have to love the hair do. That is what happens when your parents are in the beauty industry.


One Happy Boy

One Happy Boy




The Bow tie look is cool on a young boy. Grandkids are great. As they say you can spoil them and then give them back to their parents. LOL.

Had the a/c guy come to the house and again due to the contractor finishing the deck the R22 is gone. Leaked out again. Flare nuts with thin walled copper is a recipe for a leak and we have had our share of them. Contractors need to pay attention and follow some kind of protocol when it comes to moving equipment like a/c units.

Having said the above, I learned something new again. Opposite of what I thought makes sense but the way it is supposed to be.  Cement board is to be cut resting on tub flange NOT over it like I thought. My thinking was the water couldn’t run behind the cement board and tub if lower than the flange. Their thinking the cement board is cut up to flange and silicone placed under it to stop water and then the tiles are installed over the board and flange and 1/8 short of tub and silicone again used to stop wicking. I like my way better as it will be waterproof compared to counting on silicone to stop the water, but the “experts” say do it that way so that is the way it is.

Tried to get a couple of golf games in this week but Jeff is busy as I am certain days so we wouldn’t be golfing for about two weeks together. I plan to go out as a single to my club a few times or Heatherglen this week around my schedule or on the weekend before we leave.

I am waiting for the priming and paint work to be done then I will finish up the basement flooring and fixtures.  I will help Corey tonight and Friday with his deck building project. Funny how busy it seems even when you are retired. I do not know how I fit everything in before. LOL

Thought of the Day

I try to attack everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naïve incompetence, and people have often find it difficult to tell which was which.

July 13th

Well first thing is, it is Jessica’s and Penny’s wedding anniversary today. As I said before it is amazing how fast time goes by. It was just like yesterday and now they have a 1 year old child. One the best things in life is to see your children grow up to be happy.  Jessica and Penny are happy. I am sure they will have a long loving life together.

One of the funniest moments at their wedding was the  bridesmaid of honor toast down by our other daughter Victoria, Jessica’s twin. Hilarious


Happy  3rd Anniversary

Their perfect family

Their perfect family

This boy has the best of two worlds. Two wonderful Mom’s and a Papa that will teach him the manly ways of the world. Fishing, spitting, farting, burping, being cool, building, tools, cars, is my task and I will be up to the challenge.  He has a lot of these things already under his belt.






Stampede Party at the home

Stampede Party at the home

ptr lar

Yahoo Stampede time.

Up a way to early this morning for a Stampede Breakfast. Peter’s senior’s home puts on a great event every year. The traditional pancakes, bacon, sausages, eggs and drinks are always good and I like the stampede theme. Some of these old farts really can dance up a storm.  Lots of prizes for them and even a balloon artist that was kept busy with the staff’s kids. I am sure some of the elderly would have liked a balloon animal too. Fun time, good food and great to see the excitement of some of the people living there.

After the party I headed to Corey’s to help again with his deck. We worked for about 5 hours and we are basically done the framing. It is nice to work with Corey as he works hard and is knowledgeable with wood and tools which speeds up the process very nicely. I am happy with the deck as I am sure he is. Corey being a carpenter wants it to be as perfect as possible and I agree. This deck so far is 100% square, level, plumb and built like a brick shit house. There will no problems of settling, or decks boards not fitting correctly. Everything is screwed, glued, hurricane hangers, angle braces, straight support braces,and end cut painted. The top decking boards don’t come until Friday. Corey wants to leaves the stairs until we surface the deck. It is just a few minutes of prep work for the stringers that is required and then the rafter square to cut out for the treads which will require a lot of math and precision cutting. Stairs take quite a while.

Coreys deck






















We had two wet days but the frame portion is done. Today we measured and precut in the garage and installed when we had a dry spell in between the showers. I hate muddy messes but what can you do. Covering the tools with a tarp, the slippery surface to work on and the mess it makes of everything. I think of the many decks that I have been involved with this deck worked out the best for getting it square and level so fast.  That makes everything go just a lot quicker when things come together. I hate my tools getting muddy

All this deck building makes think of the joke that went around a few years ago.


Air conditioning is working when I got home but I don’t see any bill as of yet. Happy but tentative. LOL

Nothing on the agenda tonight but rest, relax and enjoy. Let my knee heal a bit and sleep.

Thought of the Day

Corey’s deck is so big, he needs to call it “Mr. Deck” in front of company

July 14th

I thought of one easy fix we need to do to the deck frame before the top boards are laid down. It is amazing what you think of in your sleep.

Had our smoothies and watched the morning news. It appears they have caught the man that is involved with murdered Mom and the missing daughter. The police are searching in the country so you know it is not good news. Tonight at 6pm they may have the full story. TSX is doing well which I like.

Arnie & Jackie

Arnie & Jackie

regalGot all dressed up and headed to Regal Building Supplies for their annual Stampede BBQ. Wow has it grown along with Regal. They had 850 people today for the BBQ which had smokies, wieners, and burgers with beans and potato salad. I love these stampede traditions. I always wished as a company JW would done one of these for our customers. Regal does a

Eddie from Trimlite Arnie from JW Larry -happily retired

Eddie from Trimlite
Arnie from JW
Larry -happily retired


good job with having a interactive area with a supplier, ice cream, and different things like a mini car show. Everyone likes the event. Jackie and I met Arnie there and it was a nice lunch break. Roger, Bonnie, Gary, Letty, James, Matt, Rod, Jerry , Susan and more were all involved and were having a great time.

Even though the economy is somewhat down it was great to see the turn out, great to see companies like Regal not cutting a expense when as it is slower everyone needs a pick me up. Great job !

Thanks to Roger and Gary for giving me an invite.

Some time ago Roger gave  Jackie & I an IOU for a unique idea  that he has. If anyone knows Roger beside being a brilliant business man he is always thinking of different ideas and schemes. He gifted to us something that has the potential to make us a lot of money. Even if the idea doesn’t come to fruition the thought and kindness to include us is extremely generous and giving. I sure hope it comes to reality though.

Cooked a great BBQ’d supper tonight as our timing was such we didn’t have to go anywhere and no set time for supper to be. The meal was fabulous.

Thought of the Day

Calgary Stampede :The best place in the world to have the most fun with your boots on !

July 15th

We had a meeting with our financial planner yesterday afternoon. They have a pretty easy job and I haven’t really figured out what it is they really do. They have a software package where you input savings, expectations, historically numbers, expenses, lifestyle etc that I can duplicate on the internet free and easy and manipulate.  Now the money managers job is another thing. We have our money split just about 50/50 and in the last year Jackie’s fund produced close to 4% and mine 1.5%. In our discussions ( and I like to have a little fun with the stiff accountant types) that we were not pleased yet understand the global market does have a large impact. He agreed especially seeing the return difference between the two funds. He states they have replaced their main fund manager with someone else and the expectation is a better return for both funds. Funny they collect the same percentage no matter what their result but we have less money due to their poor performance. I think they need to set an objective and if they don’t reach that number there should be no charge for the transactions that take place. Luckily for us with Jackie’s contract we haven’t been hurt by this as of yet and good thing they recognize they need to do something.

Jackie was saying her Mom and her are interested in Slimfast. First let me say it is always great news when someone wants to take better care of themselves. The issue I have with any diet program is the “scheme” effect they have. Dr Beirstein, Jenny Craig etc are all giant money making machines that are preying on people due to society and health issues. Diets do not work. Managed calorie consumption and energy exertion is the only true method.

If there is no medical reason for gained weight it is a simple formula. Calories in, calories spent the difference is weight gain or loss. NO ONE thinks they eat very much but when you actually figure out the calories you would be shocked. And food they think they are choosing that is supposed to better for you isn’t. There is NO substitute for burning calories. You have to move. Move enough and it doesn’t matter how much you eat other than heart health.You have to eat properly but you have to move. We all don’t move enough.If you think an

injection, or shake is going to make you lose weight your are wrong. It is a placebo effect really. The patient believes it is helping them , so they eat less real food, or live on the shakes which is just a calorie reducer and think it is great. One week without the regiment the weight is back or more. The yo yo effect is well documented. Eat the correct amount for your body, move the correct amount for your body and you will maintain, lose or gain depending on the math. You eat right and move right it will reset your metabolic rate and you will maintain the new weight for years unless you either start eating more or moving less. I believe the Weight Watchers program of point counting is awesome as you do not have to buy pre packaged food, take a shot, have a drink or anything. It is a report card of sorts to control calorie intake and they hope you move a little to help the program.

Wendy Crispy Chicken sandwich  380 calories   20 grams of fat

Wendy cheeseburger  580  calories   33 grams of fat

Macdonald 1/4 pounder 244 calories 12 grams of fat

Arbys farmhouse salad 640 calories 45 grams of fat

Wendy   Spicy  Chicken  Salad 390 calories  15 grams of fat  without dressing

Tims double double is 150 calories

So you can see why we all get confused. Most hamburgers are much better for you than having one of the salads listed above and there are a lot of bad salads as people add dressing. You can also see one meal is going to be close to 50% of your calories if you don’t move.  One 1/4 pounder with fry and pop is 1100 calories and 45 grams of fat.The average man is most likely near 2000 calories and the average women around 1600 calories. I try for 1800 calories which allows me to maintain my new weight which is 35 pounds less than when I started 2 1/2 years ago.

Moving is hard. You only burn 100 calories by walking a mile. So we all have to move more. It is our own job to do it not anyone else’s. Buy a Fitbit if you believe it helps you be better motivated but use it otherwise it is another money grab.

Went over to Corey’s and worked in the rain moving all of the Trex decking to the back yard. These 16 footers are heavy and droop a lot in the middle when carrying them. Got it all done and we will start laying boards Sunday morning. I will work most of the day and then we leave for the week to Old MacDonald’s Farm Resort on Buffalo Lake.

Thought of the day

If you watch too much news you can get tainted.  There are 7.5 BILLION people on earth and we hear of one incident and we start to think the world is a mess. If we only knew the millions of GOOD stories that happen every hour. News is always the negative. It is what it is. Cheer up everyone, our world is a wonderful place with just a few SICK people in it.

July 16th – July 22nd.

Shopped for groceries today for our camping week coming up. As Jackson is coming along I had to buy a few different things  which aren’t nutritionally great for us but kids like them. Loaded up the motorhome and got my clothes ready. Loaded up the bikes and got out the helmets so we should be all set. Tomorrow we are going to work on the deck and then Monday morning leave when the crowds are gone. Got to love retirement for that reason alone. Plus the campground isn’t open for new sites until 2pm.

Little kids always take on a little pain when they are young. August didn’t quite keep his face up off the floor and broke off a piece of tooth. Happens quite often. Victoria did the same thing twice and was toothless for years because of it.

As soon as he starts walking then the real trouble starts. It is amazing as such a smart species our children are quite reliant on us for everything for such a long time.

Second little incident for August. Kids ! LOL

Second little incident for August. Kids ! LOL

I will not have internet so will load everything on the weekend when we return.

Best Kids camping experience in Alberta

Best Kids camping experience in Alberta




Train rides, paddle boats, peddle cars, arcade, petting zoo, beach, playground, lake, camping, fishing,shows, hayrides,train rides, merry go around,outdoor theater,mini golf, fireworks they have it all and right in Central Alberta.

I saw the neatest car sticker the other day.

N– Notley

D – Destroys

P– Province

I couldn’t have said it better. A fitting acronym. The amount of damage is going to take years to repair all because people were so upset and voted without thinking logically or strategically.

Up at 8am and started on the deck.  We put in a 9 hour day today with a few hours of it being a little wet as the rain just wouldn’t stop. We worked through it with only about 1/2 hr break when it got really heavy. Saw was tarped and we worked around the rain covering everything up when we needed to. I love the deck and the hidden fasteners and plug system is exceptional. I think all decks should be done this way. I am hoping when we redo Fred’s in Mesa we do it this way. We have the deck just about complete except for the stairs which Corey will do this week. Composite takes two as the boards are so heavy and long. Much easier also to make sure gapping is consistent without running back and forth a million times. Another project done !

A wonderful looking deck just missing the stairs and railings

A wonderful looking deck just missing the stairs and railings
























See you in a week with pictures and fun stories of a great week camping with Jackson, Fred, Troy, Scarlett,Martin and Kate. Looks like perfect weather.

Thought of the Day

If you are one of these guys that says if you don’t succeed the first time try and try again , perhaps sky diving isn’t for you. Measure twice, think about it twice and then cut and it maybe right the first time.

What a wonderful sunny day. Got everything all fixed up and headed out a little later than I originally thought but Jackie was busy with work so we had to wait. Put Jackson in the third seat in the motorhome as it had the correct car seat brackets under it. It doesn’t sit forward but he

ol MacDonald site

ol MacDonald site

Best beach I know in Alberta

Best beach I know in Alberta


will be secure and safe in it. It is amazing how busy that Hwy 2 is not matter what time of day. It is about a 2 ½ hour drive there and Jackson decided to have a little a sleep. Makes the time go faster for him. We arrived and it is a wonderful place. Ol MacDonald Resort is really a hidden gem. It is extremely busy. Books up as soon as they are open for reservations. And they only take phone reservations. I can’t remember the date we booked but it was a long time ago. Fred also got lucky as he booked for Troy and the kids along with himself to come this week also. Well organized when we arrived. Got our site and started the set up. First I have to say anyone that owns campgrounds need to understand RV dynamics. A sloped site will NOT work for a motorhome. A trailer or 5th wheel you can adjust with the stands to level. With a motorhome you can’t lift the rear wheels as they are your holding system and you can wreck the hydraulic jacks if you move. The site we were giving was a normal pack them in type site but with an extreme slope. I backed up all the way to the back on grass trying to get semi level. They need to level their sites. After setting up which took quite a while as it was very hot we started to tour the facilities. They have

I don't want Vanilla I have Tiger

I don’t want Vanilla I have Tiger

everything. Mini-golf, side by side bike rentals, merry go round, petting zoo, playgrounds and more playgrounds, movie theatre, ice cream store, amazing beach, train rides, hay rides and a store. There are the odd things that could be brought up to date or just repaired a bit but when you look at the size of this place it is pretty good. The have numerous washrooms and laundry rooms set up around the park. They have lots of tenting and overflow spots and great group sites with a tent or shack. The have a motel on site and they have cabins for rent also for non RV

Beach day, sun, water guns, sand castles

Beach day, sun, water guns, sand castles

people. As I said the beach is incredible. Real sand and lots of it. They rack the sand every night and the morning beach looks great. Jackson definitely is different than our two girls as he does require constant attention. Our girls used to spend hours coloring and playing games. We walked all over the park, and rode our bikes twice around the park. In our own loop Jackson made numerous trips around the sites. I guess due to the sleep he doesn’t tire easily. It was a fun day but a little tiring not our usual relaxing camping time. LOL. We will see how the night goes. We had to say tomorrow for a lot of things so it will be busy. Great our weather is so good. I would rate today’s weather as HOT.

Jackson slept incredibly well not waking up until at least 8:30am. The late night movie helped. A big breakfast with eggs, bacon and toast we were set for the day. Fred, Troy and the kids arrived and the fun for them began. Riding, playing, jumping they did it all. Jackson loved having playmates and it sure did free up our time a lot. Win, win as the kids loved playing and we could spent time with Fred & Troy. Troy had his  hands full with three small kids. Great kids.

The BEST DAY EVER>   We loaded up the boat with Kate, Jackson, Scarlett, Martin, Troy, Fred and I and headed out fishing. In our best scenario we thought we would be out on the water for an hour maximum. Turned out the kids had such a wonderful time and were so good we stayed

Fast fun boat ride

Fast fun boat ride

out for close to 3 ½ hours. First was the fun boat ride across the water. This was Jackson’s first time on a boat and he loved it. He even discovered quickly he had to hang on to his hat or it would be gone. Then the hooking up and getting ready. We started to troll and after about 45 mins (kids were starting to lose interest) Scarlett caught a small pike. Interest levels for everyone came back strong. Another 15 minutes and Jackson gets a bite. His first fish. He held up the rod perfectly. Cranked in his reel all by himself and it was a nice sized fish that actually jumped right out of the water just before we landed him. Picture taking, smiling proudly holding the fish in the air. Lucky being a 4-5 pounder they recover quickly. Jackson was very very proud and happy. He says to Kate “if I catch another one you can have it ok?” Only 5 minutes later Kate catches her fish. Another decent size fish and proud girl. Her two minutes of disappointment of not yet getting one was over quickly. Another happy fishing person. Three firsts today. Jackson first boat ride,

This is a serious fisher

This is a serious fisher

Jackson first fish and Kate’s first fish. Unbelievable really that the fish just came right when we needed it. Not long later the kids “pretended” they were now bored. So we anchored the boat in the middle of the lake and the kids jumped off the side of the boat into the water. They swam and climbed in and out jumping into the lake for a long time. 3 ½ hours goes fast when you are having fun. We then docked, loaded up everything and the kids with Troy and Jackie headed to the beach to play for more hours. Fred stayed at the site for a rest and I tore apart my storage bin as I had a hot water leak. Found the leak which a plastic nut must have backed off during travel and used a wrench and strong fingers to tighten. I had no plumbers tape to reseal it but the extra pressure worked perfect. I may have to watch this. Hot weather outside sure drains a person. A cold beer does help.

Jackson's first fish !!

Jackson’s first fish !!

Proud Papa with Jackson's first fish

Proud Papa with Jackson’s first fish

Rest time for Papa as Grammy took over

Rest time for Papa as Grammy took over

A surprise visit from Michael & Audrey turned out good as we had burgers and corn on the cob. I had originally thought they were to come on Thursday so nothing was thawed as I had planned BBQ’d chicken breast and home made potatoe salad. We will have that tomorrow night ourselves. It was a nice visit with Troy the kids and Fred all joining us to eat as they needed the BBQ which was working again after discovering another defective hose. DO NOT BUY Coleman hoses from Canadian Tire. They are plastic not rubber and wear out and cause a lot of grief. The rubber ones I bought from the propane shop work a way better. I love my new tent and firepit as I can enjoy the fire without smelling smoke.

The kids played until 11pm last night and were exceptionally well behaved. Jackson had a blast with the girls and the slide they brought. We messaged Victoria & Corey at 11pm for Jackson to tell his tale. He was so excited to say he caught a fish and had a boat ride. It is fun to see the excitement.  As a 5 year old most memories don’t last long but certain things if told over and over again become a memory of the said thing not the actual thing but that is ok. I am sure Jackson had an excellent adventure this trip.

Fred and Troy left and now it is us and the arcade, train etc for fun. Plus the beach which is not my most fun thing to do but it is for Jackson. We will see how the day folds out. First thing not so good as he had my bike fall on his foot which resulted in a scratch that required Grammy hugs and Band-Aids. Lots of fun things to do so should be a great day.

I emptied the sewage and grey water tanks today as they were ¾ full which is pretty good. I don’t like to hook up until I need to dump to keep the smell away from others. I need one more elbow I will get from Cdn Tire to fit my Rhino system. One small complaint about this campground. How does anyone expect shit to run uphill. The plumbing pipe is extended a foot above the ground to hook to and due to our sloped site is about 2 ft higher than the drain. I have to lift the hose each time to drain it which is not right. A dumb system.

First known to man kind a species unheard of : A MERMAN

First known to man kind a species unheard of : A MERMAN

Another sunny and hot day. We picked the perfect week thats for sure. More beach time. Playing on the air mattress, building sand castles and burying Jackson in the sand. The amount of young families is amazing. I am also impressed with the amount of for people. We sure aren’t American. They have trouble when everyone goes to the beach the water level raises so high it runs off into the river. We played at the beach for a long time, took many bike rides, had a game of mini golf, played on the arcades DEER HUNTER and race cars and walked around the park. For supper we had my home made potato salad with chicken breasts which were fantastic.

I decided late last night to put most everything away in case it rained and to speed up the pack up time in the morning. Good thing to as we got rain again last night. The farmers must think they have gone to heaven as it rains a small amount every night and then heats up to the high 20’s everyday with loads of sun. The best growing weather you could ask for. We played a few games and then watched a movie until about 11pm. Jackson has been incredible sleeping in every morning. He is like our girls when they were young which is extremely nice as he doesn’t stir until about 9 to 10 am. I like that. He did cough a fair amount last night. He supposedly has a tendency to sneak into his parents room at night but for us he slept like a log and didn’t even have to get up for a pee. I think he has had dreams of huge fish in his dreams at night.

So we are packing up and meeting Tor & Cor for a kid exchange and another wonderful fun week of sun, water, fishing, and playing has come to an end. A fun fun week. The biggest difference between Jackson and when we camped with our girls is that there is only one so we have to be involved in everything. They used to spend hours coloring, drawing and playing with each other. When Kate & Scarlett where there he was very busy with them which was great and a lot of fun for him. A wonderful wonderful week that was a lot of fun.

Heading to Lethbridge tomorrow to work on the basement.

Gone fishing will be back on Wednesday

July 23 to July 28th

Jackie and I headed out early with a truck full of tools to Lethbridge to work on the basement.  Getting there and then discovering I forgot the table saw fence so a straight cut was out of the question. I worked on the raised platform first. Covered in a great looking laminate with stair nosing edge. Used laminate on the rise of the platform also. Turned out to look fantastic. Next important thing was to install the washing sink and to install it so that it is tight with no room. I don’t want a person to sit in it and have it wiggle. I hit two studs with lag bolts and used four heavy-duty toggle bolts. It looks fantastic and works great.  I then worked on the electrical. To pass final inspection I need everything to be perfect and not being an electrician I don’t know what the expectation is. I am happy with every bit of the electrical except for the chandelier. To install these things is a pain in the ass. Holding it up, trying to get the chain and the wires the right length and to hook it all up is not easy especially when we only have one link on the chain used. Got it done but had a bit of extra braided wire from the fixture I had to stuff in. It is 100% safe but I just don’t care for the look. The correct way for braided wire to solid wire is a special maratte. These marattes spin the braided wire inside themselves. I like to use tape also to hold the wires together but pro’s don’t to save time and I want the inspector to think a pro did the job.  While I was doing this Penny painted the entire room and Jackie wall papered three walls. I finished installing the rest of the fixtures which made the place look awesome. A trip to the Lethbridge Home Depot reinforced the staffing inadequacies with product knowledge and the stores inability to keep an inventory item in stock. Worst Home Depot I have visited. There is something about the wind that does affect certain individuals in this town.

The basement is just about done. Flooring, two fixtures, vanity and toilet plumbing and baseboards and DONE. I have to say it is going to look spectacular.

keho viewLoaded up everything to go fishing and golfing with Jeff at Lake Keho. I picked this place as it has held the largest Alberta Pike record for years. ( I can say we never came within a sniff)  I will give the Keho Golf Club wonderful reviews. It is a long course, beautiful scenery over looking the lake, excellent greens and just a friendly place to golf.  The campgrounds I will give very poor reviews. First at $40 a night it is the most expensive site we have stayed at for a long long time. Give me a great campsite I could live with the fee but the site is a jam them in site where you are only 4 ft away from your neighbor. Some of the seasonal sites are very nice and that may be their priority. 30 amp is nice but no sewer and water tap but they want you to fill. ( they have low pressure)  So I would say a 3 out of 10 for camping. Golf would be a 8 out of 10 and the lake keho like glassa 7 out of 10. The lake is big, shallow weedy but is clear water and has fish in it. I also like no skiers, or jet skis on the lake. The one day it was like glass.  So overall I liked Keho, loved the course but most likely will never be back.  No fault of Keho but you have to travel on 6 kms of the dustiest gravel road ever.

keho proofFishing was ok. The first day between us we caught 5 fish and the second day we caught 7 more. All of them smaller pike which are still fun to catch. None of them were big enough to keep. A lot of fun fishing though. There were so many weeds in sections that the boat motor would slow down going through them.  This trip was the fist time ever fishing were we killed a fish. It just didn’t recover as it bite the hook a way down in it’s throat which was very difficult getting out. I hate to see that. I am sure one the pelicans or gull will jump on it quick though.

We golfed everyday ( 3 times) as the course was very enjoyable.  Jeff cooked most of the meals and was excellent at doing it. Marinated pork chops, grilled steak with fixings plus a traditional keho ready to gocampers breakfast made for some great food.

We just got off the lake one day in time before torrential rains hit.  We had rain every night but it didn’t affect us at all except for the mud, and dirt around and coming in the motorhome. It is messy and I don’t care for that.

I lost the crib games overall to Jeff by one game. That hurts as my middle name is crib. But you know what they say. Even a blind squirrel finds the odd acorn. I will get him next time. Jeff likes his Sambuca to settle his stomach. I prefer cold beer and only a few.

First time ever where two guys for 2 1/2 days completely filled the black water tank. Jackie and I camped for a whole week and every long weekend  with our kids using it and it never fills. Rather odd this time.

This lake had an island with at least 25 pelicans and a rock shore inlet with 1 million sea gulls. I have never seen so many on one spot.

keho million

A fun trip. But as I was saying to Jackie it is a lot of work loading an unloading everything.  It took me close to 2 hours to load the boat, motor and accessories plus ready the motor home. Today I worked from 10 am to 5pm cleaning everything and putting everything away. If people weren’t thieves it would make life a lot easier and would be a lot quicker getting everything done. I car carrier with the Jeep and a trailered boat maybe the way to go.

Met the new parking stall neighbors I have today. The guy looked very familiar. You know the saying it is a small world. Turns out this guy from Manitoba that just moved in golfs with me every Wednesday at Whirlwind Golf in Phoenix in the Sunlakes group. I have to get his name as I forgot it. I know I confused him before with a Victor from the group. Now that is a small world.

Packing up in the morning to head to Lethbridge again to finish that basement.

Thought of the Day

If a man expresses an opinion and there are no women in hearing distance is he still wrong ?



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