AUGUST 2017

August 1st

Well for the school kids their summer if half over. For me not so much. LOL I do have to say though it is amazing how fast time flies. Sounds like a broken record but it is so very true. I will say this one more time. For those that are scared to retire because they think they will have nothing to do that is far far from reality. I am very busy and still have down time and relax time. I am only golfing 2 to 3 times a week, I haven’t fished near enough, I haven’t camped often enough and haven’t had the chance to sit in my chair and read a lot. There is babysitting, visiting, project work, and get togethers and life as a whole that keep you busy.

Today out of the house by 9:15 am and head to Jeff & Wendy’s to finish their privacy screen. Today is the fun part as we get to see what we are trying to do. I like the design and the look of the project. Today was also the first day in along time where the weather was only 18 above so it made for a wonderful day to work. My Jeep was cram packed with tools we needed including filling the front seat.

The first order of business was putting the headers up level and bolting them together. I cut them at my angle and quick attached with a deck screw then levelled them off. I then opened the bag for the carriage bolts. I have to say we have the largest carriage bolts in this header that I have ever installed so I am sure there is no way that 1-2×6 will ever fall down. Each 2 x6 is held up with  8- 1/2″ carriage bolts. Huge heads and larges shafts. LOL

My bit extension didn’t work so Jeff headed to pick up a longer bit to install the bolts. Got that all done. One chip back as the bolt caught a lip on one hole but it is on the back side so no big deal.

I had a wonderful homemade tomato hamburger soup and banana bread for dinner. This was great tasting and it is amazing how homemade is so much better. Good Saskatchewan farm girl cook.

Ripped 2 x 4 ‘s for the outside perimeter boards and installed them. We then set about installing the different widths of slats to complete the look. I decided two widths instead of three to simplify the look. Using the power nailer with staples for the cedar slats saved us a lot of time and made it quite easy.

Wendy had  a few different height from the ground ideas which was funny to see but we got all that fixed up with a test run of the lawnmower under the structure.  Better to get it right the first time then try to fix it after the fact so it all worked out perfect.

I went with 2- 5.5″ , 2 – 1.75″ then 1- 5.5 , 1- 1.75 and  then repeat. This project today took from 9:30 to about 5:30. Just as I was putting my tools away it started to rain. The privacy fence looks awesome and is a great idea by the Graces to keep the neighbors from looking into their kitchen window.

I have to cut off the top of the posts and done. Looks great !  I think Wendy is going to stain the posts black and the boards a light brown or clear semi transparent  stain which will make it look awesome!

I will take a picture when I cut off the tops hopefully tomorrow.

Thought of the Day

Put a free Wi-Fi sign on your headstone. People will for sure visit your grave.

August 2nd

Got up a little earlier than normal to take the Buick in for a a/c checkup. I decided to try a local small garage as I am tired of the crooked upselling by the dealer service centre. Being raised in a house with a Father that was a mechanic that owned his own service station and a brother that is a mechanic I am very leery of the add-ons for dollars these guys want versus a need to ensure your car run better or longer. There are so many flushes, washes, additives , adjustment now ALL upselling by the dealer which the factory didn’t even bother to mention in their owners manual. The mechanical service industry as I stated before borders on thievery. manipulation, alternate facts, crooked, liars, and using scare tactics on unknowledgeable people.

Here area few “upsells” they try all the time.

#10 – Premature spark plug replacement

Today, most cars are equipped with spark plug technology that is good for approximately 160,000 kilometres, yet mechanics will often try to replace them prematurely.

#9 – Engine treatment

These products are known by a lot of brand names, but the bottom line is that this is one of the most common scams offered by oil-change garages.

#8 – Synthetic oil

While synthetic oil won’t harm your engine, the expense is unnecessary for a car with high mileage that you are going to replace soon anyway.

#7 – Premature air and cabin filter replacement

A simple rule of thumb applies to changing air filters: Before agreeing to the change, ask to see the ‘bad’ filters first and make sure that they are obviously dirty before agreeing.

#6 – Transmission treatment

Avoid unnecessary treatments designed to extend the service life of your transmission by adhering to recommended fluid and filter change intervals.

#5 – Premature cooling-system flush

Unless the manufacturer recommends it or the existing coolant is seriously ineffective, resist the urge to flush.

#4 – Air conditioning recharge

If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. In other words, if you don’t notice anything wrong with your air conditioning, then you should probably save your money.

#3 – Premature shock/strut replacement

The scam occurs when you are pushed to do it sooner, rather than later. Make the judgement for yourself by paying attention to details like how your car reacts to bumps.

#2 – Fuel injection service

Name-brand gasoline usually contains enough additives to keep an engine in good health under normal conditions. There are also affordable treatments available that you can add to the tank yourself.

#1 – Premature replacement of brake pads and rotors

As soon as you start to use your brakes on a new car, the peak thickness level begins to decline. While you can’t ignore the efficiency of your critical brake system, take the time to gauge whether or not there is really an imminent problem that needs to be addressed.

These are just a few. Add the nitrogen gimmick for tire inflation. Natural air is 78% nitrogen. Do you really think the other 20 % is going to make such a HUGE difference and  it is worth paying for. NOT. Scam

How about the garage that wants to have you pay for cleaning your brakes. Drum brakes maybe if you drive a lot on dusty roads or do a lot of city driving but new vehicles mostly now have disc brakes. How can a open disc need cleaning when we are driving thru rain and carwashes. Scam.

I am hoping this local guy is a honest business man.

Went over to Jeff & Wendy’s place and cut off  the post tops. I left about 1/2″ as they want to add solar lights to the top of the posts. That will be a nice effect. Project done !

You can see how well this hides the neighbors window and the unit itself looks wonderful. Love it

Finished up my July budget numbers. Again in the red. A few things hit us again with having to fill the fridge and freezer after coming back from Europe. Our grocery bill for two people was $970 in one month. That is ridiculous. We had a few camping trips so the gas was hit hard and food gets hit when you do it. And a few other things that just add up. And I look at my statement and see the extremely poor returns that I am getting and shake my head. I don’t expect too much but I would love 5-7%.

Thought of the Day

An apple a day will keep anyone away, if you throw it hard enough.

August 3rd

Hard to remember it is August already.

Had my men’s league game again early this morning. What a beautiful day with the sun and no wind. Amazing weather.

You all have heard of the white coat syndrome ? I have Thursday morning golf syndrome. I cannot score well on any Thursday this year. Again things just happened to add to the score. I had three lost balls off the tee and 7 putts less than 4ft away I missed. Had a great day golfing with some nice guys again so all is good. It is always fun but I want to golf decent on a Thursday morning this year once. LOL  Having said Thursday lately it is every day of the week.

I reached the pinnacle of my golfing prowess and never realized it, now I am on the down side. I refuse to accept that.

Reg Maye had a hole in one today so he bought everyone a beer which was great. Bad timing in a men’s group with the expense but who really cares when you know how rare getting a hole in one is.

One of my partners today hits his drive semi ok. He mumbles a bit and says he needs more LOFT. I ask him what the loft of his driver is and he starts to laugh.  He says he means Lack Of Fucking Talent. I will need to remember that one. Another fun day and a day 100 times more productive and entertaining than working so all is ok in this world.

Jackson was so happy to show me his new BMX bike. This bike is made for wheelies. He loves it and I am sure is going to be playing on it everyday.

New BMX bike and gloves. Pretty cool

Today is Jackson real birthday. He picked the KEG to go to for his birthday . He is turning 6 today and he picks the KEG. Awesome !!

6 years flies so fast it is a little scary. I would like him to stay young forever as they are fun right now. But as the saying goes Life goes on !.

Hope you have a wonderful day with your Mom and Dad and we will see you tonight.

Jackson’s birth

Birthday day starts with pancake breakfast with Mommy and Grammy

Busy day starting with breakfast at Ricky’s. Then off to swimming lessons where Jackson is doing extremely well and enjoying it.

Next then on the agenda was Tommy K Play with Grammy and Mommy. Always a great place to have fun.

For supper as I said above Jackson picked the KEG. One of my favorite places. We had Tor, Cor, Jackson, Audrey, Michael, Jackie and I all enjoying our suppers with the birthday boy.

Jackson 6th keg

Then off to home for some bike riding and street hockey. This kid has loads of energy.

Sitting on the steps, resting before the next adventure.

Jackson sitting on the steps tired and thinking about what to do. LOL

Thought of the Day

Funny to think that our generation was the last generation NOT to have their picture taken on a phone.

August 4-7th

Well a Friday of a long weekend and a long weekend with good weather. The only issue we have is a little smoke. My eyes everyday hurt a bit from the smoke. Like being at the campfire all night. But it is warm and beautiful and lucky for us the fires are far from where we live.

Had a golf game arranged at Turner Valley today. Great temperature as not too hot and a nice little breeze. A fun day of golf but again a few issues popped up. This Turner Valley course plays a little more difficult than a lot others. I lost one ball on the front nine and one on the back. Played ok but just some dumb misses taking a 7 on a Par 3 as an example. Final score of 86 due to numerous pars but eliminate the few dumb mistakes and it would be where I want it. Today another friend joined us that had a much  poorer game from him than usual. He also made an error in recording the score on one hole as he assumed and didn’t ask. LOL  Lesson to everyone is to make sure to ask what the other players actual score is if in a match.It was a fun day and enjoyable as the round went quickly.

Had a wonderful supper and relaxed enjoying the evening coolness.

Picked up Jeff & Wendy to head to Drumheller for a golf outing as Wendy had a Groupon deal. Funny thing happened going to the course. I decided to take Hwy 2 as I was thinking Tim’s at Carstairs ( not remembering Strathmore has one) and I thought it maybe quicker as we could travel at the 120kms. We were busy yapping in the car and I along with THREE navigators ALL missed the turn off on the highway. We get to Bowden and I realize we are a way way to far north. We had to check google to find a way back which meant thru Innisfail. A long about way to get to Drumheller taking us about 2 1/2hrs instead of the 1 1/2hrs we had planned on. We did get to see some nice country side though. Everything turned out ok as we had time for lunch on the deck before our tee off even though we were rushed to do it.

Wendy made a funny comment ” You know Larry there is no longest drive contest today for you to win ! ” Referring to car ride. LOL

The course said they were full as they had a 1982 Grad reunion and a stag party on the course. We didn’t experience any slow down on the course at all. It was wonderful. This course is amazing and should get more respect as a unique and exceptionally pretty course. The bottom nine I played quite well with a 44 ( new course) but the hoodoo nine a different story. Some of the others we ran into near the top shack also commented they have never lost so many balls. Speaking of balls I am lucky to still have my own. I went ahead ( a way way to the left side of the fairway) to look for my golf ball with Wendy about 100 yards behind in the centre. As she was striking the ball I watched. That ball had such a curve on it and was coming so fast direct at me. Funny how the mind reacts. Just before hitting me direct I jump straight up in the air as high as I could.The ball goes in between my legs and just touches my shoe as it passes by. If my underwear hadn’t been the tight type I am sure I would be talking with a higher voice today.

Jackie and a lady that should be charged with attempted Murder. AT least attempted causing bodily harm. ( rain drop on lens) ?

I picked up the tab for lunch for us but the Graces paid for our golf and supper as they felt they needed to give me something for the privacy fence. I like 50/50 and don’t need payment for something I enjoy. ( the digging of the holes I did not enjoy) Very much appreciated but too much.

Our supper was at an Irish Pub in Drumheller that had great food and was a nice place to sit on the deck. We had some traditional dishes like Beef Stew, Shepherds Pie and Bangers & Mash which all were large portion and wonderful tasting.

Another fun filled full day !!

On Friday I laughed to myself as I saw the huge quantity of RV’s heading out. Poor working stiffs having to squeeze in 3 days of fun with millions of others on the same weekend. Other than we have commitments of the May and Sept long weekends we rarely camp on a long weekend or even a regular weekend. Best luxury of retirement is arriving on Monday to a half empty campground and leaving Friday noon before everyone arrives. Wonderful !!

Rules, always an issue with living in a condo. I really am not good with rules. Within a company people get promoted to managers based on a skill level required for the job. With a lot of condo boards people get on it with no clue how to run a business and make such poor decisions it is amazing. Put an accountant on watch out. Put a crappy old man or woman and you will have rules to breath. But to keep the peace I accomplished my objective to find a spot to put my cargo carrier in the storage bin as I wasn’t supposed to store it in front of my Jeep. Took a bit of work but got it done. Pain in the butt to get out but it is away.

Took apart my Napoleon BBQ to replace the ignitor. One of them had a  cracked porcelain tip and wouldn’t spark. BBQ Galore had the piece in stock which was good and only took about a 1/2 hr to finish. Got out the vinegar, stainless steel cleaner and brush and cleaned it all up. Just like brand new again.

Another wonderful warm day. In fact on the Jeep gauge it read 28 degrees again. Nothing big on the agenda today. I went to look at my mitre saw to take it in to be repaired or if I have to replace it but couldn’t access it as Corey was moving things around in the garage.

Removed the Freedom tops and put them in their special bag to drive around with half the top off. It is always nice to see the open sky and feel the wind in your hair. Alright to feel the wind on your scalp and feel it on your face.

Memories

Thought I would drive by to look at our old house in Shawnessy. I still like this house as it had a unique floor plan and was very large with it being close to 2800 sq ft. I wanted to check out my retaining wall I built. As the lot was sloped I needed to raise the back of the lot close to 4ft to make it useable. At this house it was unfortunate to have neighbors on both sides ( close friends of each other) that were weird. They had wanted to build retaining walls also and came to me with a quote from a contractor at $5000. They went ahead with the contractor and I decided to build mine myself. They used stacking 6 x6 PW . The contractor did the job fairly fast and the walls looked great and worked perfect. I had what I thought was a better idea based on costing. I had a bobcat drill 5ft deep holes every 4ft along the back and push and fill dirt up as much as possible. I then used vertical 6 x 6 PW and tie backs 8ft again with a 6 x 6 at an angle. I then on the inside used 2 x 6 PWF horizontally. While doing this I tacked a nail into each neighbors walls to use as a guide line as I ran a string between these to get the hole location and wall location. The neighbor left a note on my door ( I was in the back yard as I believe he didn’t want to talk to me ) with the note saying that I could be compromising the integrity of the wall design and toremove anything attached or next to his wall. Anyone that knows me knows I don’t anger easily. This did it. I ran over and pounded on his door. He left right after placing the note. For weeks he avoided us. Long story short. I completed my wall between the two ( had to change design a bit due to his stupidity) for less than $1000.  I saved $4K on the wall. Today 26 years later my wall is a straight as can be. One wall has shifted and the other has a section that sank. I laughed to myself. It was a good thing to see. Wow does the hood look different now with 50ft trees and a few run down houses. The houses that are fixed in this now mature hood look great. Only change made to our house are the pine shakes are gone and shingles are in place. I spent a lot of money on this house. I build the entire fence and paid for it myself having weird neighbors, retainer wall, interlocking brick sidewalks, stream & pond with pump, huge huge deck, 8 man hot tub in deck, all windows and battens were metal clad, new front door glass, oak flooring thru out the main level, tile flooring added on landing and stairs, kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, crown molding everywhere, wainscoting, 24ft x 4 garden shed, multiple trees, hedges, new lights through out, and decorative glass inserts in pony wall. Nice house.

We would hear this guys wife yell at him and he would run. She had the most awful screeching voice around. I remember her name being Candy and every time I thought of it I wondered what small northern rural town did this women used to strip in. Had to be very far north !

 

The cedar tree now touches the roof eave.

$5000 dollar wall FAIL.

$1000 dollar wall and fence as straight as I built it in 1992.

 

Booked a tee time with Jackie. Paid some bills, Sat on the deck and enjoyed the heat.

Thought of the Day

Speaking of rules there are only two rules in life;

  1. Never give out all of the information.
  2. .

August 8th

I will admit I watched the Bachelorette with Jackie last night. Racheal was a very good lead for the show and it was nice to see a genuine person end up with what she wanted. We think. The way the show this time I am lead to believe she may have settled for second best just to get the ring. She will grow to love him they will say. Anyways, another show finished for the season. I only have Big Brother and watching the Grey Cup Stamps now on TV.

Up this morning and did a few things around the house. A great day reaching only 23 degrees so summer perfect.

Had lunch then headed out to Turner Valley to golf.

Everyone has heard of the saying it is a small world. Well today we golfed with Loraine and her son Brad. Turns out Loraine has a place in Viewpoint . Loraine and her husband ( RCMP) are actually only 2 houses down from Tim Keys on 500 block. What are the chances of being arranged to play together and have such a thing in common. And very nice people. Brad hits the ball a mile and has a great swing but Loraine is more impressive with her distance and swing. It was a fun “team” playing together with bad holes and good holes. Jackie in fact had three pars out of four holes starting on Hole 10.

I can not play this course without losing a ball or balls and it is very annoying. One game please !

We stopped for a wonderful supper on the patio in the sun with our golfing partners. Frosted mugs . Life is good !!!

Jessica sent a picture of August and his new best friend Olive. This is one cute puppy.

August with his new baby sister Olive. This is one cute puppy

Thought of the Day

It is a small world but I wouldn’t want to have to paint it all. Paint the town ? Maybe a few years ago. LOL

August 9-10th 

The best summer in years and it continues.

First on the agenda was to see about fixing a couple of tools. Corey had a compressor that stopped working. It would not start. I didn’t have a meter to check on current so I ordered a new power switch for it which I will try. If that fails I will order a pressure switch and change that. Switch is $3 and pressure switch is about $20. That should cure 90% of issues.

Second I found a repair shop to change out what I thought was a bearing failure on my 12″ mitre saw.

Today the shop phones and asks me to come check out the saw. The transmission gears were all jammed and broken. Issue is Delta was bought out by Dewalt and they discontinued selling parts in Canada. I checked with the shop on line to see about the parts and the new gear set, bearings and shaft would be over $300 plus freight, duty and taxes and a couple hours of labour. The bearings had to be pressed onto the shaft which I couldn’t do. I helped him throw a $600 saw in the garbage bin.

I had stopped at Victoria’s place to pick up the saw and picked up a passenger, Jackson that travelled to the shops with me. We had a fun outing. A quick stop at McDonalds in between stops.

Victoria invited us for supper which was wonderful. We had salad, potatoes and Kabobs  all done on the BBQ. Can’t beat that for a summer meal.

Design ideas, strategy and concept for Fred’s picnic table is done. Now just the cutting and assembly. He is going to have the best looking picnic table that anyone has seen. I need one confirmation from Terry on an idea to complete it.

Watched Big Brother. I am still rooting for Jessica and Cody to keep on hanging in there.

Up early and out to Turner Valley for my Men’s league. I ended up with a 85 but took a 9 and an 8 on two holes. Remove those and I played ok. One was 5 over and was 3 over. 8 strokes brought back to boogies and I would be happy. Another fun foursome playing together. Great Day but another 2 lost ball day. Darn.  I will beat this course yet but only have about 8 weeks left with half of those being away. I can break 8o here IF I don’t lose any balls and have a good day. Today a 40 on the front nine and last game a 38 just need a 18 hole score to happen.

Thought of the Day

I did a push up today. Well actually I fell down but I had to use my arms to get back up again. So, close enough.

August 11th

Moving day today for Peter. Jackie and I met Alan & Maryann at Peter’s retirement home as we had to move him from his assisted living room into the memory care section of the home. The biggest difference is the doors are locked with a code pad so the people don’t leave and get lost. The staffing though similar also have special training to take care of cognitive impaired patients as they are a lot more difficult and challenging to handle.

We met at 9am and I came home about 4pm so another full day. Luckily the home had a cart and Alan had one so moving everything wasn’t bad. It just meant a lot of trips down the hallway with furniture and personal items.

We purged a lot of stuff he wasn’t using and the new room seemed so much bigger because of it which was nice. He has a beautiful view of the courtyard garden to look at from his room in his chair or bed. This building is nice as it has central air and they keep it reasonable for average people and perhaps  a light blanket for elderly. He is only about 10 yards away from the dining room which makes it easy to get back and forth to.

The few extra pieces we put in Victoria’s basement for storage.  A beautiful curio and 55″ TV. We got all of the pictures hung, bed and dressers in place and it looks great. He appeared to like it.

Got me thinking about moving and the amount of times Jackie & I have helped family move.  I most likely forgot a few times plus friends moves. Funny thing is I HATE moving.

I HATE MOVING !

Jackie’s Mom Audrey – 6 times moving

Jackie’s Dad Peter – 5 times moving

Jessica-  4 times moving

Jackie’s brother David- 3 times

Victoria – 2 times moving

My Mom – 1 time moving

Jackie & I – 1 time moving ( twice with hired movers)

That is lot of moving. I like people that stay in one spot a long time. Buy what you like and live and enjoy. It is like buying stock buy and hold and the value will increase. If there was a buy and sell transaction on every move, just think about the dollars that cost.  A home sale costs at least 5 to 10K or more every time you sell. Yes you may get bigger, or better , or amenities, or location but you also took a hit out of pocket and in most cases have a much bigger mortgage taking away from your lifestyle. Some of these moves didn’t have that condition just the sore back condition of all  of us. LOL  Luckily sofa beds aren’t as common any more and they make great wheelers now for washing machines.

We were lucky this time to use Alan’s pickup to move some stuff out and to Value Village . I have done a few of these moves with Alan helping which is nice as he is a hard worker, thinks, and is creative in fitting things in or around.  We have had some heavy furniture to move over the years with todays move the easiest ever as light weight pieces and only down the hallway and thru a locked door.

Out of all these moves two of them were a way worse than others. One move was David’s out of a three story condo with lots of furniture and steps, and the hardest move Jessica’s from a second story walk up with flights of steep stairs and narrow hallways. This one made me extremely tired and by far was the worst move in levels of exhaustion. I remember on this move after working all day being coerced into installing a wall mount TV bracket late at night instead of waiting for the a.m.

Hopefully this will be the last move for while again for everyone.

Thought of the Day

Just watch an episode of ” Hoarders” if you feel you have saved too much junk. Might make you feel good or bad depending LOL

August 12th

Spartan Day

I am a SPARTAN

Ready to get dirty

First let me say that this organization has done something wonderful for society on a whole. They have successfully being able to motivate a group of people who would never think of running a race to enter and have fun all the while getting an extreme exercise session. Let me  be very clear I could not do this race today. I would have loved to do it years and years ago. With every positive there is the opposite reaction. The name “race” should be eliminated in all but the most competitive groups. The majority of the “runners” are all out of shape people that “walk” the track and are proud of completing it. Not there to win at all. Just to walk the track and complete it. Again remember I said I couldn’t do it. LOL  This is the amazing part how they get groups of people excited to do this without it having any competitive angle, pay for it, and enjoy it. Say MUD and people get excited. I really dislike PARTICAPTION medals. Perhaps top three or even top ten get medals but to give everyone a medal degrades the value of the medal.

And they are racing !

Spartan themselves this year were a lot more organized in certain areas and missed the boat on others.

Parking– very well organized, plenty of additional parking this year, great communication between the staff in regards to parking space. Cash only in todays world though is asinine.

Track– Both the kids track and adult tracks were exceptional this year. Less mud which made it a little easier but the obstacles were 100% better, the track laid out a way better to see the start and finish and the overall track layout was superb.

Food-  They missed the target by miles. One food truck and a hot dog stand only. Very poorly done and missing a lot of space revenue. Very few seats for anyone that did buy anything to sit.

Admittance- here is where they went very very wrong. You need participants to make this work but to have ten entrances for participants and two entrances for volunteers and ONE only entrance for the paying customer that resulted in long, long waits to get through is wrong and very short sighted not thinking the paying customers should be a priority.

General things- not near enough volunteers to run the show. In the kids area no one organized and controlled the kids before the start and confusion was prevalent all around as to where everyone should line up or at least be near to know what is going on. The starters with no mega phones and NO one being able to hear them. Handing out awards without a microphone or megaphone was horrible.

Tor & Jack after the race

Tor nearing the end !

Having said all that it is an amazing event. Wonderful to see so many participants. Unbelievable really that people pay to have a rough day.  Excellent that the general public no matter what shape they are in ( and trust me 60% of the participants are a way out of shape) are getting out and having fun. Take the medals away though until they at least accomplish something other than walk around a track and play in some mud. Even if there was a minimum time needed to get a medal.

Victoria is done !

Victoria did awesome especially considering she had a sprained ankle only a week ago and it was her first time.If she had only been 1 minute faster she would have finished under 2 hours. This isn’t her real time as she was working with a team and they waited for each other at each station. I don’t care for this as it really doesn’t let you know what you are capable of. You are only as fast as the slowest member of the team. There should be a complete different event for teams ! Great Day. Fun Day.

Victoria with some of the members of her team

Jackson had a blast. It would have been nice for him if the start had been better organized. He had a smile on his face at the start though.

He is right in the middle of the pack.

He had an accident on the first obstacle. Jumping over three hurdles he was tripped up and stepped on as the herd went by. At the end of the race he had quite a few bruises and scratches but he got up and carried on like a trooper but we could see him holding his elbow. Wonderful long kids track this year with two deep mud bogs the kids loved. Again due to lack of volunteers at least 10 kids took a wrong turn and ended up adding a lot of extra distance to their run including Jackson. He got that figured out and ran to the finish doing extremely well.

Jackson with excellent technique on a obstacle.

You would think with an event like this the odd participate may collapse. I didn’t see any but a Granddad watching the kids run fainted and fell to the ground which caused quite a commotion.

After a fun day at Spartan Jackie & I headed to Peter’s place. I sanded and applied one more coat to my drywall patch. Once this dries it should be good enough to pass their inspection. Darn reclining chairs. I have seen a lot of drywall damage done over the years due to these.

Got home and started to pack up the Jeep for our week at Park Lake.  Installed the freedom tops on the Jeep. Installed the cargo carrier in the hitch. Mounted the outboard motor in the cargo carrier. Put on my homemade roof rack for getting the boat up on the top of the Jeep. Loaded the seats, gas, safety kit and ropes and packed and tied up the back rack. Loaded the bike trailer into the back of the Jeep. Placed the boat wheels in the cargo carrier. Lifted down the bikes to mount them on the back of the motorhome.  Only took me about an 1:15 this time which is good. All ready and will load the boat on the roof tomorrow. We are going to leave right after Jackie’s dentist appointment in the morning. I will load the food and equipment we need and we will be set to go.

Thought of the Day

Love the shirt one young lady had on. ” If found on ground please drag over finish line”

August 13th-18th

Loaded up the boat while Jackie was taking Jackson to a birthday party as Victoria was working. Everything went well. Filled with water and only food and clothes and set for the morning. I even found a parking spot in front of the condo even though a little slanted but not enough I believe to affect the fridge.

Yesterday while going thru a few things with Jackson ( Jackie gave him a necklace with Tor & Jess’s picture in a locket) she discovered in her keepsake box this letter. we don’t have a clue at what age it was written but it pretty cool. Amazingly fancy writing and quite complex language used in it.

An old note we found in a keepsake box.

No internet so will post our activities next weekend when we return.

August 14th to 19th

Park Lake trip with Jackson & August

We ended up leaving around 11:30 am as Jackie just got back from the dentist. It rained last night and was only about 18 degrees today. The first time in about three months and the coolness felt wonderful. Usually rain “eats” up the smoke in the air but today on the scale 1 to 10 the north part of city was a 10. Where we were at was about a 5 today. It always amazes me the difference between Northern Calgary and Southern Calgary weather. There is usually a 2- 5-degree temperature variation and most large storms, hail and severe weather hits the north part. Hail seems to love that area. It is closer to the mountain range is my guess.

Jackson was already for us sitting on his doorstop waiting for our arrival. He took the front seat and he loved the panoramic views out of the huge windshield. We had a good drive down stopping at A & W for lunch in Alderside.

Arriving at Park it was fuller than the web page had indicated so a lot of last minute takers. This park uses the Alberta Park webpage and as usual with a government site very little thought put into it. Your only options are phone or internet. I have yet to see anyone carry a portable printer with their phone. I have camped there now 4 times and out of spite refuse to put the reservation sheet on the post. I wanted the chance to talk to a Wildlife Officer if for nothing else to have a little fun with him. I have yet been given that chance. LOL Our spot is great as it is right across from the playground. Took me about an hour to set up camp and take off the boat and ready it. Set everything up except the gazebo tent as we figured we wouldn’t need it with the kids along. Filled up the air on all of the bike tires. My trusted air compressor of 20 years failed on the last tire. I will replace the fuse and hope when we get home but think it is a little more than that. I had a manual pump to finish of the last tire.

Boat all ready to go

Jackson is an amazing bike rider now and I need to pedal fairly quickly to keep up. On the way, back I disappointed myself. Either I am getting older and losing my balance a bit or due to the first time biking this year I struggled riding with no hands. I used to be able to travel miles with no hands and even turn corners. I couldn’t today. Still can pull a wheelie mind you not near as good as on the old mustang bike. Jackson needs to learn not to look back as when he does he crashes as he turns he wheels to sharp. Similar to a new or old driver trying to merge onto a freeway.

We were very lucky the park is full of kids and an amazing number of boys 6 or 9 years old. Jackson was in heaven and had a blast at the park and around the circle on his bike. He is the youngest or close to of the group so the odd conflict raised its head.

Playground was located perfect for us.

Jess, Pen and August along with Olive arrived. First time seeing Olive in person and she is wonderfully cute. We transferred all of the equipment to our motorhome. When I walked in I was shocked at the quantity of stuff for 2 kids. It was packed with stuff.

August had a blast at the park. He loved climbing up and sliding down the twisted slide. He would roll and even came head first numerous times. Over and over again he went. Love that smile he gets on his face.

It started to sprinkle and cooled down so we went in and watched a movie and laid the kids down. Will they fall to sleep after so much exercise? We would hope but just listening to them right now I don’t believe so LOL

Funny, funny thing. The kids fought going to sleep with all of their strength. It was getting quite late and Jackie was attempting to get August sleep. I pulled Jackson into my bed and Jackie stayed in the living room with August. She was gently rocking him as every kid falls asleep that way. August didn’t. Projectile vomit at its best flew all over Jackie. The smell was horrible. I had turn on the light and started to laugh as Jackie was a mess. A bit of vomit flew into Jackson mouth and he was gagging and spit up. Horrible thing but it was extremely funny.

Projectile vomit. I thought it was hilarious.

Jackson slept perfect all-night long. August after his event slept fairly well with only the odd time waking. Jackie most likely didn’t get a good sleep but mine wasn’t bad.

Up in the morning at a reasonable time around 7:45 am. I decided to make bacon, scrambled eggs and toast. A fair waste of effort as these kids are quite fussy. Jackson had a bit of bacon but didn’t even finish his toast. Not like our girls AT ALL. Our meals for the day are quite out of the ordinary to appease them. Supper being Mac & Cheese with hot dogs was a success though with them. Jessica & Victoria ate everything we did all of the time. The new generation getting spoiled I guess. LOL Big difference between camping with our girls and Jackson & August. I guess we were spoiled with Jess & Tor as they were exceptional at camping with very little whining. LOL. All in all, a lot of fun though, with each of the them.

Taking a ride on August’s bike

Jackson had a blast playing with numerous different groups of kids. His guns and walkie talkies were a big hit in the playground. He had a great day. I am surprised he doesn’t get tired as he ran, biked and played for hours and hours. August had a blast at the beach, being pushed on his bike and playing on the playground going down the big boy slide. He did amazing for such a little guy. He wanted to go down over and over again and did with the bigger boys being very good with him.

Try as I might he refused to get into the bike trailer behind my bike. This is the ultimate ride for a kid as they are pulled right behind the bike and get to see everything but he had it in his mind. No NO no. Too bad as we could have gone for long bike rides. Now years ago, if he was my kid he would have been in the trailer and enjoyed it. Funny how kids learn the no word so much faster than any other.

Trailer all set and no kid in it. Worked perfect to go to the beach

Memories

I always believed that kids need to be pushed, helped, coached and cohearsed into doing things otherwise they miss out on a lot of things. As far as I know Jessica & Victoria have no fears or hang ups other than wasps and bees and that was caused by their mother. They will go on any ride with me, enjoy speed and twists, will try anything new. Years ago, in Sylvan Lake they had wonderful waterslides. They were expensive to get into for a family. (perhaps why they are no longer around). Jackie & I took the girls there on a full day pass. Well at the top of the slides they decide they are SCARED and don’t want to go down. I gently grabbed one of them, sat her on my lap and pushed hard down the slide. Everyone heard the screaming in the tubes all the way down. Can’t remember which one but at the bottom I ask do you want to go again. YES, was the answer. I went down with them one more time and then they went over and over again themselves.

Note: In today’s world that would be frowned upon. Ironic with all of the niceties we are trying to teach the kids and adults, society is getting more out of control. Loads of future NDP’s being raised.

 

August and Jackson both had very full, hectic filled, fun filled day with beach time, playground time, bike time, walk time and fun time.

Jackie & August in the playground tunnels. I would say August climbed those stairs at least 20 times to go down that slide

We spent about a ½ hour searching for gophers in the field but they must be hiding below ground already as we saw none and the field was full of holes. We planned to shoot a gopher with the slingshot and our kill marbles (the gophers would never ever be in danger, unless unlucky). So we had to settle for a pop can.

The weather today was awesome with it being hot but not too warm and just a slight breeze. Watching a movie right now which is quite late but they are being very good.

Jackie headed into Lethbridge for the day as she had a two-day contract come up. I am staying at the lake with Jackson. I think she wanted the break. LOL When it warms up a bit we may head out fishing. The cow manure smells this morning are quite ripe. Every time we have been here we experience this but the whole Lethbridge area is prone to this with the heat and breeze they get along with many many feed lots around.

I had a wonderful shower this morning. I think I am going back to shorter hair as longer hair camping and not taking a shower is a pain in the butt.

Right after breakfast Jackson was out playing with his friends again. Great site being right across from the playground as we can him play easily. Amazing what a park, nerf guns and an imagination can accomplish.

At about 9:30am Jackson and I ready to go to the lake. This after cleaning up. Boy are kids messy!! Normally I would pull my boat to the lake put as no Jeep I rolled it all the way to shore.  It has a steep cliff to the lake but with the wheels down it worked perfect getting it in. The tires actually hold up the boat a bit and I lowered into the water. Loaded everything in and headed out.

First of the day. The short rod worked extremely well for ease to remove weeds and fish.

I would guess within 1/2hr Jackson caught a nice sized Jackfish. He loves fishing especially trolling in the lake. This lake isn’t meant to troll as the weeds are bad. Everywhere in the lake weeds and thick yet the water is very clear. He was excited and I was glad it happened so fast as it gave him hope. We trolled the lake and tried to jig and cast but he is a little too young to get the hang of casting and retrieving.

Some nice sized pike caught. We had a blast !

Scary for his injury or mine so we kept on trolling. With young kids, there is always the danger of a short attention span. It was beautifully warm and calm.  I got lucky and we stayed out until 2pm which is about 4 hours which is fantastic. In the four hours, we caught three nice sized Pike. One of them was 61 cms so just short of a keeper. It was a lot of fun and Jackson had a great time. We had a great conversation and he laughed numerous times pulling in weeds thinking it was another fish. I brought out two rods and my Pocket Fisherman which is the one Jackson choose which worked out well with these 3- 6 pounds. I had replaced the factory reel with one of my Daiwa reels some time ago. It worked perfect as being so short pulling off weeds and dealing with the fish was excellent and safe.

Fish on !

After the 4 hours or so Jackson needed to use the bathroom and not pee. So, we headed in for the day, later he may want to go out again we will see. A successful fishing day!!

After a great late lunch (on the boat I only brought treats and drinks) he headed to play with his friends again. He is having a great time and as I am only 10 steps away and can hear everything so I get to relax a bit also.

A little bad luck of late with power equipment. Enclave needed an a/c recharge. Usual means a leak but they couldn’t find any. Had to throw my miter saw in the garbage, now my portable 12v camping compressor decided to calf.  I didn’t care for how my boat motor was engaging into reverse today as well. So, I will need to look that up in case a rod got bent a bit or such. There must be some kind of adjustment as it just doesn’t click into reverse yet goes there if I hold it. In “normal” life I wouldn’t have cared and I would just go get a new one (not motor) and most cases a better one. Now retired I am very conscious of the money and need to look at value and need versus want. A pain really. What is annoying is that I take care of my stuff and they last a long long time and I hate to throw them out. My 12” miter was 20 years old. My portable compressor was 20 years old plus. I still use my small miter saw and circular saw that I bought from Trail Building in 1983. Buy good stuff and take care of it and will last. Unfortunately, it is painful when they die. LOL

Had BBQ’d chicken for supper which when camping always tastes better. Jackson even ate well. He sure has his likes and dislikes. Very warm sitting outside as it hit 30 degrees again today. My sunshade is paying for itself. Having said that even though 90% of the sun is blocked still behind it in the direct sun it gets quite warm.

After supper and Jackson playing in the park for a couple of hours we went inside. We played Frustration which is always fun. We then played Charades and the funniest thing happened. Jackson’s card said “bark” like a dog. He didn’t go woof woof or such but in a louder voice “Bark” Bark” we had to kill ourselves laughing. Oh, I forgot to mention while Jackson was playing at the park Jackie beat me at crib. I had the most amazing hands but still ended up losing. Enough said!

Jackson slept all night as he was worn out. Up in the morning and I made breakfast for a non-eater again. I don’t remember the girls being so fussy. Bacon has to be crisp not soft, but no black, no eggs as they are gross, so cereal is the thing. LOL. Tonight, we are having pork chops, corn on the cob and potatoes. So far Jackson is saying he doesn’t like any of that so he may eat desert. LOL Jessica and August are coming for supper so hopefully when he sees them eating that he will join in.

Another hot summer day hitting 30 degrees again today. Not a drop of wind so the lake was like glass. After breakfast, we readied ourselves to go out. We were on the water at 9:30 am and fished again until 1pm. Pretty good for a kid. As I said this lake doesn’t lend itself to trolling due to the excessive weeds so we trolled were we could and jigged in between. Soon he will be skilled enough to cast which will help. We only caught two fish today with one getting away right beside the boat so we can’t count that one as we didn’t touch it. Being a warmer lake, I wasn’t surprised how slimy the Jack were today. So, after two days fishing unless he wants to go out later he is up to 6 fish. 6 years old and 6 fish so he is happy.

We came in and I made us lunch and he headed to the playground to play with his friends. He will be busy there for at least a couple of hours unless a “fight” breaks out. I can sit behind the sunshade, cool drink in my hand and fold back my chair and think about the big one that got away.

The park has a 30kms sign posted but with the small kids playing it should be 15kms per hour to be safe. For some reason people just don’t think. Jackson tried to sneak up on me while pretending to snooze but I fooled him and scared him instead. Love getting kids !

I cleaned up a bit but with all of the “stuff” it was over whelming so I decided my chair was a better idea. LOL  

Always love campsites and watching people backing up their units. If it isn’t the disappearing wife in the mirror it is someone that just hasn’t figured out the backing up process. It makes for quite an entertaining watch.

August and Jessica came out for supper which was great. August still refuses to go for a ride in my trailer. We played at the park, had supper and played with Olive. For a 6 week old dog she incredibly smart. A beautiful dog.

Jackson had his last night with his buddy’s at the park. An odd dynamic the whole week with the two older kids ruling the nest and being somewhat mean to a few kids.

Jackie helped me bring up the boat from the lake and in the morning we will start to pack up. I think from start to finish motorhome, boat and all should only take an hour. I will see.

Had fun with Jackson teaching him the different kinds of dancing. Who would think he like HIP HOP dancing more than the waltz. Kids !

It is going to be 32 degrees tomorrow again! So we need to pack up before the mid day heat hits.

It has been tiring as expected but also a lot of fun. I am sure both kids enjoyed themselves.

Now look at this sunset over Park Lake. I am such a romantic at heart.

Man I am a romantic

Headed home. We are home Saturday and Sunday then leave to Blueberry Hill and Calling Lake near Athabasca first thing Monday morning.

August 19th

First on the news. The world is becoming a sick place. Two attacks in Spain and one in Finland plus what happened in the States this week.The tourist dollars have to be less than stellar as people are going to shy away from Europe. On our trip we were cognizant of the risk and sort of were careful but with a van attacking you, it can come out of nowhere. I think Trump’s idea of extreme vetting is legit. Forget racism, profiling or prejudices as it should only be thought of protectionism. It is never a good thing to target one group as the risk then becomes is the group going to get larger and larger but I do think it is at least an effort to curb some of the possible terrorism.

Lots of action outside our window this morning . The cops take down a lone rider on his bike. There was quite a struggle with this guy. The event turned into four cop cars showing up with 6 cops total and an ambulance with two medics. But here is where it went all wrong. Put two girls together in an ambulance and ask them to carry a 300 pound man. Won’t happen. Out of the 6 cops only 4 were man size. One was a very slight small man and one was just over midget size. No wonder they were struggling to take down a bad guy. And the one older cop after wrestling a bit had to pull out his puffer. I am positive he couldn’t run too far. Equal opportunity employment at it’s best that isn’t working.   I would prefer the most qualified person that can do the job required instead of filling spots to be politically correct. Made for an interesting watch though.

While all this commotion was happening the funniest thing happened. Two young girls in a motorized pink Jeep about 7 years old wanted to cross the busy road. They choose the crosswalk with working lights but the cops had it blocked so they used the alternate side. There were cars pulling into the road, turning , gawkers, speeders etc but the girls slowly made it across the street. It just looked funny.

TSX is down again this week. I am not liking that. Below the 14k mark for the first time in awhile but it sure hurts the overall dollars.

Cleaned out the motorhome today. Washed it. Dumped the sewer and fixed this and that. Bought some groceries for the trip, organized the under storage , was able to get Shoppers to give me an extension and got a haircut. Too hot, too much work, needs washing everyday are just a few of the reasons so I went back to short hair. A #2 blended design. Feels good and the experience excellent. Hot cloth rub over face and head and neck. Foam and straight blade neck. Feels great !

Meatloaf and salad for supper and relaxing tonight. This also feels good.

Thought of the Day

Going with the new age thinking ” I am not relaxing I am just in energy saving mode’

 

August 20th

Getting up without messy hair a dream. Shampooing in 1 minute a dream. No comb required a dream. Life is good.

Did some banking. Did some thinking. LOL   Jackie made our smoothies and set for the day. I need to wash the Jeep today and vacuum it out. Need to buy a few more groceries to take up north with us.

Sore back today which is the first time in long time. Must have tweaked it a bit when unloading. Give it a  day and it will be fine. As fine as it can get.

I washed and shined the black skirting and wheels on the Jeep. I tore apart my 12v air compressor and discovered the issue. A wire got too hot and broke away from it’s connection. I had no soldering gun with me so being creative I drilled a small hole in the lead connection, fed the brass wire thru it and then heated it with a BBQ lighter as hot as I could and squeezed the connection with pliers. Worked like a charm. Reassembly took twice as long as my connection was to happen after part assembly not before. Finished and tested and just like brand new. Saved a few bucks. When I get back I will try my switch for the big compressor and then change out the pressure switch as that is what I think it is. And I should have another good save.

Isn’t it nice that Trudeau basically has the RCMP carrying the suitcases of illegal asylum seekers instead of protecting our borders. Trudeau is an embarrassment. Interesting to see how we get screwed in the NAFTA agreement with Trudeau. Fun political times. No wonder the general population in the world is getting upset with the world leaders today as they are far far from being the correct type of people in charge. At least they are entering Quebec. No wait it is our equalization payment to Quebec that is going to fund them. Just not right as we have policies and regulations and conditions to be upheld to control this. You cant have a free for all in entering a country especially Canada as our social system will explode. We need to have compassion for asylum seekers but we also need to make sure a system is followed. Everyone should be welcome if the structure and system is adhered to, not come one, come all and forget policy. There are to be a happy medium between Trump and Trudeau. Wait there was Stephen Harper. He just needed better hair and some charisma to solicit the younger vote.

 

 

August 21st to 28th

Gone fishing to Calling Lake in Northern Alberta

Off to Blueberry Hill RV resort for golfing, camping and fishing

Gone Golfing, Athabasca Golf & Country Clube

No internet so will load on return.

All loaded up and ready to go. Today was the big eclipse day.  Amazing how the world gets so excited about a natural occurring  element. We headed out and stopped at the Tim Hortons at Crossfield. No internet so they were operating on cash only basis. Must have been the moon effect.First it surprised myself as I thought this station was a Shell as I had a 12 cent per litre discount. No Tim’s and no gas so we decided to head up to Red Deer . In Red Deer we stop at the Shell station while Jackie runs to the Tim’s next door for Ice Caps and lunch. Here they were out of wraps so had to settle for a second choice.  Not leaving a good impression and a loss of business will result if they don’t fix these types of things. That’s what happens sometimes when a corporation gets too big.

On our way again and at 11:30 am it happens. BIG disappointment. The sky hardly changed it’s brightness at all. I was hoping for at least a 2 minute darker period. Didn’t happen. But what did happen which was neat as the eclipse happened I witnessed the temp gauge go from 21 degrees to 17 degrees and then back up to 21 degrees again. The sun heats left us for those two minutes. Those two minutes of time may have been the catalyst that makes or breaks us from having one of the hottest summers we have had for years. I do know one of the best for sunshine.

We arrived at Blueberry Hill RV resort in Athabasca. This is one of our favorite camping spots and the new owners are extremely nice and organized. Fred & Terry have booked the same site for years now this time of year for their anniversary. It is a large double spot that is a corner lot and has more privacy than most sites. Got my Good Sam’s discount and all checked in. The new owner is from Newfoundland and even the flies the flag. She is very accommodating and nice.

Got it all unpacked and everything all set up in a fairly quick time. Lots of time to sit down and have a few drinks and talk.  Put up most everything including the gazebo.

Fred had pulled out ribs in the morning and invited us to join them for supper. Ribs, salad, corn on the cob, and jalapeno bread made a wonderful meal. Can’t get much better but wait !

After eating and a  few more drinks we decided to play some crib. Guys against the girls. We had some very close games but the guys pull out a 4 to 1 game win streak which included a SKUNK. Love it !!

When we were driving up here we thought we smelled an odor in the washroom. After further inspection, I discover it is not from the toilet but from under the counter. I pulled out the drawers and the smell was bad. The plumbers had installed a vent cap under the sink (perfectly legal but not the best compared to a outside roof vent) I had Fred look at it also and we thought it has to be this. So I removed it and we jiggled it and then sprayed it with WD40 and reassembled it. Within minutes the smell was gone. The rubber valve in this thing was stuck open and methane gas blow back which was causing the off gassing. A weird thing but luckily easily fixed and repaired. We went into Athabasca to Cdn Tire, HH, and UFA  and NO one carried this as a normal stock item.

Up in the morning and readied to go fishing at Calling Lake. We backed into the lake and started to unhook the boat. There was a green scum all over the lake. All loaded with gear and headed out. Fred’s boat a SmokerCraft is the perfect fishing boat.At 40 mph across the lake I have never seen so much green algea. The wake water was green like your lawn and looked like the  bag chute on your lawnmower plus the smell was like old musky grass clippings.

Was just like the grass coming out of your lawnmower

I have never seen the algae so bad anywhere. Even had blue algae blooms which isn’t good for swimming, fishing or looks.

CL Green algea

 

CL one of the many standard sized Walleye

Fishing started off good and kept at a good pace until about 4pm. We were very slow for about an 1 hour or so near the end of the day. Having said that though we caught some nice sized fish. I lost count a bit but believe to be 12 fish we pulled with three of them being Jackfish. The size of the fish wasn’t what we experienced here last year but they were still all nice fish.

One of Walleyes we caught.

Fred has this special pair ( change that to HAD) of jaw openers. Any fisherman knows the ones you typically buy suck. Fred found ones that are reverse to open the mouth and added small corks to protect the fish jaws. The biggest Jack of the day was pulled in and Fred had my fish in the net. All of a sudden the fish jerked his head , flipped out of the net shook his head again and with it the jaw openers were thrown right into the water. Unfortunately Fred only had one pair of these.

This was a Jack that spit out Fred’s special jaw opener. Took the picture just before the scale weight loaded.

The largest walleye we caught which is small compared to last years catch.

We headed home to have another great camping supper. A few more drinks and it was time to play again. Girls against the guys in Marbles, dice and crib. I can’t remember the exact number of wins but I do remember domination of the girls again.

Today was a beautiful warm summer day. We had decided to go golfing today so we relaxed around the camp before then started to get ready.

Checked in and even received my seniors discount. The four of us head out. As we all know Fred isn’t a golf nut but he did manage to get a few holes in before becoming  my driver. Fred could be a good golfer as he kits it long and good iron shots but just needs the practice. Jackie and Terry played very well today. This is one amazing course. Super elevations , long holes, great views, nice structure and well maintained. And the pricing is reasonable. I played semi ok. I just cant control the drives off the tee on a wooded course. Scored an 84 but could have been a lot better. We had a great time on the course in hot weather.

Back at camp another great meal and drinks and then to the battlefield. Another game night with wonderful success on Fred’s and my side. We had to play inside tonight as around 7 pm the wind came up and we were running around putting things away, tying things down and trying to stay dry. Playing inside another great night for the guys at the games. It was just one of those weeks.

It rained most of the night and was still wet and showering in the am. Too wet and windy for the lake or golf so we decided to investigate a new lake we found on the map and the internet indicated had monstrous fish. Flat Lake on the gps and map look huge. It was only supposed to be about a 1/2 hour away. We started our search and no luck. We stopped and asked a government surveyor which didn’t have any answers for us. We head down the highway coming up to the lake ends before reaching it. We take the first road and sure enough we see the lake but cant get to it and the road ends in a farmers field. Try our second road and the same thing. We used the bulk of the day to find NO lake but it wasn’t nice anyways and windy. We get back and we decide to install a new HD TV antenna on Fred’s roof. It wasn’t an easy job as trying to get wires where we needed them and having a previously installed satellite with dead end wires made it difficult. We had to drill a hole in the wall and run a wire down and pull it thru the baggage compartment. Our luck was good as it all cam together and Fred did a perfect job sealing the rooftop for the HD antenna. Tried it and the TV was as clear if we were hooked up to the cable. Awesome !!

We had the power go out about 7pm and it was out for about 14 hours. No water and no power isn’t the best thing to have happen.

Fred & I went into town for a light in our gazebo and found the perfect one at Canadian Tire.

Tracy & Ralph arrive and we help get him all set up. They bought a real nice 24ft trailer the same brand as Cor & Tor’s. It works perfect for them.

Fred & Terry had Greek Chicken Kabobs for everyone and everyone added a dish to the meal. Turned out to be a great meal.

A few drinks later we decided to play 6 person two team marbles. It was quite funny as Jackie thought the game was too “mean” as one of the points if the game is too “KILL” your opponent and send them home to try later to play again. She thought I in particular was vindictive and vicious. Love this game. Will all said and done the guys pull another WIN out of the woodwork. Takes a lot longer, is much more convoluted and requires much more concentration but is just that much more fun. 11:30 to bed. We are too old for that. LOL

We all headed into town to buy the groceries for the big meal. I promised to buy the meal and Fred was going to cook it.

Ralph and I waiting on the tee.

We had tee times booked for noon for the 6 of us. Nice day again. Today was the night we are going to celebrate Fred & Terry’s 40th Anniversary so we had the timing perfect for supper. Today I didn’t golf as well. Lost a few of the tee and made mistakes. Ended up with a 96 due to two blow up holes and the mistakes. We got unlucky and had four drunks golfing in front of us which made for a 5 hour golf round. The waiting definitely screws with your game though. Fred quit after nine as it very slow, he was getting disinterested and wanted to start the meal prep.

The girls at Athabasca Golf & Country

Elevated Par 3. From the blues 143 yards and about 100ft above. Wonderful hole

We finished and started getting ready for the celebration. We had to do a little bit of sneaky stuff. In town Jackie bought a wedding bell, 40th anniversary balloons, tablecloth, table topper and special cake. I also had to sneak into their trailer to put petals and “numbers” on their love nest bed.

Fred & Terry’s 40th Anniversary night. This was the best marble cake I have ever had.

Notice how fast Fred is moving in for the kiss

Fred cooked an amazing meal. We had mashed potato’s, prime beef roast, honey glazed carrots, green beans, salad and the amazing marble cake. Amazing !  I forgot the bottles of wine.

Ralph and Tracy helping us enjoy Fred & Terry’s day.

After eating we decided to play a couple of games again. Lots of fun. The guys win again at marbles. At dice I think the girls won a couple of games. But it sure was a guys week. Again another late night for us.

In the morning the first time in a long time ( maybe ever) everyone was up before Fred. Remember they were celebrating their 40th. wink wink nudge nudge. I started cooking the camping breakfast with potato’s , eggs and bacon. Everyone got up and started cooking. We had bacon and potato’s coming from Ralph and Tracy, We had my potato’s and bacon. I started 8 slices of toast at a time on my stove and Fred was busy cooking up eggs. He made the perfect eggs. Must have put water in a pan as they were cooked to perfection. Wonderful camping breakfast with everyone chipping in.

After cleanup we started to pack up. It takes a while to put everything in it’s place. But with Jackie helping it does go pretty fast and this time Fred was chipping in a lot also. Ralph and Tracy left. A few hours later after enjoying the day bit we left.

We phoned Mom and luckily she was home so we made arrangements to meet her. Got into Edmonton right on time and had a great visit with her. Mom is doing very well . She at 85 is still in perfect mental shape and relatively good physical shape. The typical aged issues and attitude that most older people have. To be in that good of shape at 85 is something good to look forward to.

We decided to walk over to the shopping centre next door but they didn’t have any sit down eateries. Mary Browns didn’t have a sit area, the pizza place didn’t and Mom doesn’t like Chinese so we settled on McDonalds. Not the best food but a nice sit down and visit.

Heading on the highway and wouldn’t you know it. Busy as usual and we end up coming to a dead stop. Took us over an hour to get thru the jam around construction.  It ended up us not arriving at home until 11pm and having to park a block away as our storage card lock doesn’t operate after 10 pm.

August 28th

Hot today hitting 30 degrees.  Up early and started to unpack the motorhome. Took it the carwash and removed the 10 pounds of bugs from the front end and cleaned it up. Went over to Dewalt and picked up the toggle and pressure switch for the air compressor. Took me about 3 hours to rip it apart and resemble it. it DID NOT START. Very disappointed. I will need to take it apart again and check my wiring connections. I didn’t believe it wouldn’t start.

Cleaned all up and headed to my doctors appointment. Everything went ok but more testing in December to be done.

Jeff booked a tee time. I confirmed my Thursday tee time.

Home to relax and catch up on BIg Brother.

Thought of the Day

I have an Angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. I am also hard of hearing in one ear.

August 29th

On the news today it was stated Calgary has had so far the hottest summer in 100 years and no sight of coolness in the near future, Today 30 degrees and tomorrow 34 degrees. I love this weather.

Had a golf game booked with Jeff today at McKenzie. We were out with a nice couple that winters in Arizona. The lady was a wonderful golfer with some great hits. Today as it is a open course I played well ending with a 81 and that is with two triple boogies. Remove those two holes it would have been a 70’s game which I haven’t this year since April at Heatherglen. Jeff  had his best nine holes in years. He played exceptional but had a bad front nine. Nice to see him have such a good game on the second nine as he played extremely well.

It was a fun day and a enjoyable outing and our last midday golfing as Jeff starts back to school tomorrow.  Our games will have to be after work for him for as long as we can squeeze in a game before dark.

Thought of the Day

A police officer knocked on my door during an investigation and asked where I was between 5 and 6.  I was a little surprized but simply stated ” Kindergarden”

August 30th

As usual it is amazing how fast time flies. One day left then September already. I can revert back to my old message. Think about yourself and how you feel the time has passed. Don’t let time pass on your retirement. Everyday of work is a lost day of retirement. Everyday of work is 8 hours plus some night time loss of sleep of unnecessary stress. I have yet to meet one retired person who has said they are bored. Not one and I hang around with a lot of old farts especially in the winter. I completely understand financial necessity as being a huge factor but as I have said before the banks are in the business to convince you haven’t saved enough so they can use your money. The standard misconception is you need 80% of your pre retirement income. After three years I can emphatically state that is false news. Everyone needs to do their calculations but that number is extremely high. Having Jackie pick up the odd contract for us has been wonderful as we have that extra income without having to deplete our savings and it has been sporadic with breaks for us to do things. I can remember the time we decided when I was going to retire. I wanted it to be 55 but it ended being 56 and actually getting my last pay cheque 1 month after turning 57. The only reason for the wait was a substantial bonus payout for March 1st. In 2013 my team exceeded every goal on the dealer side, direct side and big box business and the bonus should have been quite large. FIRST time in working 40 years were I was RIPPED off and the President and Director didn’t have the guts to anti up. First time in my life at work I ever felt deceived.  Karma is a wonderful thing though.Retiring and knowing no more money is coming in and everything is going out and having to last to at least 85 or 90 is scary for a lot of people. I choose 85 due to family history  ( male side)and my current state of health. You thought this year went by quick, I only have 25 more summers to pass by quickly. Does that make you think ?

The temperature gauge today hit 36 degrees. HOT and smoky. I picked up my medicine, bought some ridiculously priced razor blades and picked up a few RV needed items.

I installed a door cross bar after seeing how well Fred’s worked on his unit. I bought the sewer vent cap ( didn’t install as current one is still working but need in case it fails again) and some sewer capsules for the tank. Sweated big time while working on it.  Picked up a new broom as the old corn broom was falling apart and done for the day. I was going to take apart the air compressor again to see what went wrong but it is just too warm to work outside.

Failing grade

While golfing yesterday the couple and I had a conversation about Aeroplan. They thought exactly like myself and have dropped the card and the program. This program when it first started out was amazing. I think I joined in 1987. I was proud to have a gold card with the program. ( Needed it for company business) Over the years we have used it extensively. We bought airplane tickets for 6 people to Hawaii,2 people to Hawaii, 5 people to Florida ( first class) , Eddie Y to Van BC, Mike Lopachuk to Nevada, 2 people to Vancouver, 2 people to San Diego, 6 people to Phoenix, 2 people to Phoenix, 2 people to Vegas at least three time,hotels in Florida, Vegas,California plus I am sure a quite few more. Now your points are gone if you don’t use them within a timeframe so you cant really save them up if you are a low user( this was changed after public backlash and now you only lose them if there was no single transaction for 12months), limited flights, limited times but the worst is you CANNOT book a direct flight anywhere. They always make you have one if not two stops. Just try to get a hold of a person to talk to. Give it at least 1 to 2 hours to get through.It became so difficult to work with,we stopped using it as the couple we were golfing with also did. I am sure they must be a way down on usage if everyone is experiencing the same thing. I still like the AIRMILES program as it is much more flexible but points take a long time to accumulate. Companies like this amaze me how they just slowly dwindle away to nothing when they had such a good thing going.

I have my men’s  league tomorrow but this week it is in the afternoon which is the first time in a long time. So I will get the motorhome ready in the morning and finish it after golfing. I would like to leave before noon on Friday as it is a 4 hour drive depending on traffic and stops. As Pembina doesn’t have running water I will fill the tanks here and carry them full to the campground. I had one guy ask me why I would do that as it is a lot of weight. It is about 600 pounds. The answer for me is simple. Yes I could fill up in Pembina at the station but I am putting water that isn’t processed like our city water. If nothing else the rust in the local water but most importantly is the  fact city water will last 10 times longer without smelling as it has fluoride( some cities and residue) but  most importantly bacteria killing chlorine. In my research for every 100 pounds of load gas mileage changes by 1%. So I lose 6 percent . 10 mpg less 6% is  9.4 mpg . On a 4 hour trip 400kms=248 miles @ 10mpg = 24.8 gallons versus 26.38 gallons which at $ 4 per gallon is $8 to carry my clean, safe , sterilized water with me.

I was discussing living in Arizona with one of my golf partners a few weeks ago and we were discussing the rent increases that happen every year. After talking about we both laughed and said how lucky we are to have to worry about that. After bantering back and forth over the merits of owning versus renting versus of going on vacation while retired we came to the same conclusion. We both love the fact of having our OWN place with out having to sleep in a bed or use plates etc that someone else has used. We both love the fact as soon as we walk into our house we feel right at home. We love the fact that even though we have a $500 plus HOA bill every month we are not really buying property but we are buying a lifestyle. And it is a wonderful lifestyle. Here were a few of our discussion points.

  • You can’t go on a 2 week vacation overseas for less than 10K for two weeks. We are only paying 6K for a year worth of staycation.
  • Gated communities don’t always mean guarded communities like a resort offers.
  • Renting and not knowing where are going to spend next year or month in some cases isn’t always the best scenario.
  • Caretaker costs for a resort are $240 a year versus $1200 a year or more for a condo or single family residential.
  • The resort experience is a true LIFESTYLE not just a property decision. ( pools, pickle ball, tennis, library, workshops, golf courses, dances, baseball,dinner shows, block parties, and most importantly the social aspect versus closing your house door or condo door and only perhaps knowing the neighbors right beside you or two instead of the whole block and many more due to clubs)
  • Resort pricing is stable and is not affected by local economic factors as the bulk of the buyers are older and foreign.
  • 90% of renters end up buying as the 2 to 3k a month rent versus the HOA and a 20K to 100K investment just doesn’t make sense.
  • Other than the initial upfront costs being much higher we all would prefer to own the land rather than lease as we can control the costs and hedge inflation but they are rare to find in the Phoenix area.

Thought of the Day

If you are ever bored just send a text to a random number

I have hidden the body. Now what ?”

If that doesn’t entertain you try reading this forward and backwards

” Are you as bored as I am “

Smile as you don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

August 31st

Up this morning and readied  the motorhome for our trip up north. I filled it with water, checked all fluid levels and tire pressures, adjusted air bag pressure as I am still not happen with the hard bumps and drove it to the condo.

I had my men’s league today and was fixed up with three great guys again. I had as my captain the 2017 Club Champion playing with us. We had a great time and it ended up one of my playing partners won the low net prize and not the champ.

I was trying out my stronger grib trying to reduce and eliminate the lost ball slice. I lost one ball off the tee with the slice but wasn’t that happen overall with my drives. Funny how everything changes day to day. Still relatively happy with the game. Putting as the greens were just punched and rolled was difficult. They were like glass today with hard pin placements. Had the odd three putt holes that killed me. Anytime mid 80’s I will take though.

Came home and went to buy groceries for the trip. Stopped and picked up a pizza fro supper and should be all set for tomorrow.

No internet as we are four days in Pembina and 4-5 at Pinehurst Lake. I will post next weekend the 9th.

Gone Golfing at Entwistle Golf Club for three days Harry VS Larry

Gone fishing to Pinehurst Lake for 4 days in Northern Alberta

Camping at Pembina Prov Park and Lakeland Prov Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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