MARCH 2017 3rd Anniversary of Retirement Bliss

March 1st

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 23 degrees Calgary -7 degrees and snow

TIME GOES BY SO QUICKLY

3RD YEAR OF RETIREMENT BLISS

When I look back and think it has been three years it is amazing as it seems like such a short time. I can honestly say the last three years have been absolutely perfect. We have seen so many places, done so many fun things, experienced so many neat adventures, parties and firsts with our families and friends. I could go on and on but I don’t want to keep saying how wonderful it is. BUT IT IS.

I think the only concern one has in retirement is the spending of money.  As I said before the first few years are going to the big years and then it will slow down. It is a funny feeling that each time you look at your account it is down not going up every two weeks. When working you can buy something and if not enough in the saving account you know in two weeks a paycheck will cover it. So far though we have been relatively happy with the dollars spent.

I having been retired for 3  years I am just beginning to get a hint of how good it can be. I always figured I would shed few tears leaving the working world behind. Not.And having the gift of unlimited free time to spend days as I see fit is a dream. But until I began waking up day after day in complete control of my own life and calendar, retirement remained just an interesting concept. I looked forward to it without truly comprehending its potential.

Over the past few years I have begun spreading my retired wings.I believe I am getting a feel for what can be. While I anxiously anticipate Jackie joining me 100% in this journey, we have enjoyed the few extra dollars she generated. Myself I made over $300 marshalling. Here are a few favorite things you can look forward to in retirement:

Shopping any day and not fighting the weekend crowds

Senior discounts everywhere.

Waking up every day knowing you are in control of it and no time frame if desired.

No alarm clocks, no fancy suits, no business trips, no meetings, only one boss, mid day naps, golfing mid day, cooking with no time frame, trying new things, camping mid week

I do have to say for my 60th birthday I am having a once in a lifetime like experience in going Sturgeon fishing in Ft Langley BC. This is my second excursion but once in a lifetime is a good description for the event. I am looking for a 300 pounder plus. Fred & Mel Keys along with Larry Geddes and I have booked the trip to catch these monsters. I hope our guide is a very good one and we have some good luck.

If you saw my year in review for January 1st you would see what we did and enjoyed.

The big events this year that are already set are :

  • My Mom’s 85th birthday
  • My 60th birthday
  • Sturgeon fishing in BC
  • Wales, England, France and Switzerland
  • Visit to Audrey’s and Michael place in Wales.
  • Golfing in England
  • Visit from Keith & Jenny in Mesa
  • Visit from Victoria, Corey, Jackson, Jessica, Penny and August in Mesa
  • Visit from Alan & MaryAnn in Mesa
  • Receiving my first age appropriate VEST
  • Fun times with Fred, Tim, Mel and Terry in Mesa
  • Pinehurst fishing trip
  • May and September long weekends booked
  • First CPP cheque
  • Jackson starting Grade 1 in Sep
  • and many more camping, fishing and golf trips

One quick note. I have yet to meet a retired person that hasn’t said it is the best thing they have ever done.

Up at 6am this morning for my men’s league game.  Keith came as guest of the group. Our captain today was a lawyer from Edmonton and our other partner a farmer from Saskatchewan. It was a very warm today and sunny. Arrived early and had a bite to eat before heading to the driving range and putting green.

Well it was one of those days. My highest score on nine holes for a long time combined with an ok back 9.  I hate this when it happens but it happens. Mostly just bad shots rather than lost balls but still the strokes add up.  Keith had a pretty game today beating me by 3 strokes. It is amazing to me how fast a good shot can turn into a double par. Putting and second shots hurt today. I am looking forward to the next game to redeem myself. Having said that my team won money so all in all a good day. Chicken Fried Steak for lunch is always good. Another fun event.

Resting

Resting

This is the horrible experience you will have after a hard day of golf, a few beer and sitting in the 70 degree hot sun. Notice it is light beer. LOL   The snoring scared our rabbit and birds away.

Thought of the Day

RETIREMENT

Its doing nothing and not worrying about getting caught at it.

March 2nd

Mercury Forecast Mesa 25 degrees Calgary  1 degree

What a day. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. Funny how today is the first day with a lot of wind. Busy day with Keith & I trying out a new course and the girls hosting an after golf party. Keith and I headed out and arrived at the course. First impression not good. Second impressions not good. Third impressions not good. I would recommend NO ONE going to Ahwatukee  Golf course. The club house is horrible. The driving range is dirt. The fairways are poor. The outside edges are poor. The greens though are decent. But it was warm warm which was nice. I forgot a hotdog  and Pepsi were $9.00. Having been disappointed in the course the play today by myself was horrible also. The first hole landed on in two then with 4 putts.  Second hole 3 putts and it never got better. Still a fun day but between poor course conditions and poor play the score was horrible. To put a positive note on it, it could be considered handicap maintenance. But it was still a fun fun day.

Jackie had all the girls over from her ladies 1800 block golf league. She supplied pizza and salad and lots of beer, and wine. It sounded like they had a great time. I know when we arrived home they were all feeling pretty good. A few more people came than planned but it seemed like everyone had enough food and drink and a good time.

The girls were full so I made Franks Hot chicken wings and celery sticks. Awesome. Went over to Bob’s and Pat’s place for a quick visit. We were bugging them when they were trying to make supper.  Their steak was just waiting to be cooked while we were visiting them so we headed back to our patio for a few after golf and party refreshments.

Later Pat and Bob joined us on our patio to solve all the worlds problems. Why don’t the leaders of the world just ask us. With banjo music in the background we figured out what is wrong with the system and we have no one to tell.

Another wonderful day.

March 3rd

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 25 degrees Calgary -7 degrees and snowing

Noticed the weather in Mesa for the next week everyday will be over 80 degrees. They have forecast 28 degrees and 29 degrees but every day the actual temperature is higher than forecast.  Our event today was a trip to Western Skies Golf course. I like this course and as usual it was in good shape. It is rather different in the fact it only plays just over 4 hours but it seems like you are waiting on every hole. We finished in 4.5 hours which is fine.  I had one horrible hole and semi decent holes the balance. I had my grips changed and since then I have played horrible. I can’t see the grips changing anything that much, but it may not be coincidence as it is real. Since the grip change 5 games over 90 when I only have had 2 games over 90 in the last 20 games not counting this last week. Odd.

I do have to say that Jenny has dramatically improved her golf game. Not only has she sped up her time over the ball but she is getting great distance out of her shots and has dramatically improved her chipping and putting.  She had some very good shots every game and played overall well in every game. Nice to see.

It ended up with Keith and I golfing to a tie. Two wins each and a tie plus the overall score being tied. Lucky for me there are a lot more games left in 2017 to make up a few more wins. I still have a sizable lead but Keith is slowly working away at the difference especially the last couple of years. This is our total score since 2007.

KH score LW score KH wins LW wins ties
8958 8270 37 103 9

It was a fun week enjoying the golf, the weather, the visit and the outings.  I do know that I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to golf this much consistently . My shoulders, and back are pained which I am used to but with this much golf it gets to me. New grips and sore back can cause issues. Does that sound like an excuse ?

“Memories”

GOLFING

Golfing at the Drumheller Golf course with Kieth & Jenny. First let me say, everyone should golf this course once. Traditional front nine with tree lined fairways and then the hoodoo back nine. Target golf from top of hoodoo to top of hoodoo. It is spectacular  looking and has huge elevations. We got into our golf carts and got ready to go. Jenny was driving the girls cart. She pins the gas pedal to the floor but forgot to put it into forward. Wham she slams right into a post right in front of the clubhouse very very hard. We all laughed after making sure there were no whiplash issues. Not only were  there multiple groups watching her but the staff also. They allowed her to carry on with the cart but I am sure had their fingers crossed knowing the big hills coming up on the back nine and the risk of injury that could have resulted. Jackie survived.

After golfing we met up with Bob & Pat at Hacienda Del Rosa’s. This is our favorite Mexican restaurant. It has wonderful food, fantastic atmosphere and good service. It was another fun evening and the LAST SUPPER before Keith and Jenny leaving.  I had the amazing three meat fajita which I love but this time I noticed Bob’s meal and I may have that next time. He had a skewer of shrimp, another skewer of vegetables plus the refried beans and rice. Unbeknownst to me Mexican food isn’t like Chinese food with you feeling hungry after an hour. With those beans etc you are still full in the morning but with Bob’s lighter choice it maybe a good approach.

Rosa's

Rosa’s  Our favorite Mexican restaurant

Sitting on the deck with Mexican food and cold beer with great friends

Sitting on the deck with Mexican food and cold beer with great friends

Thought of the Day

We don’t go out often for Mexican food but when we do I always spoil my appetite with free Tortilla chips and salsa.

March 4th

“Mercury Forecast ”  Mesa 26 degrees Calgary – 7 degrees snowing

Got up this morning and got ready.  Keith & Jenny had a noon flight along with Keith & Donna on the same flight to Edmonton from the Mesa airport.  I used Fred’s truck to pick up everyone and their bags and dropped them off at the Mesa airport. Fred’s truck makes the perfect airport taxi ride with loads of room for luggage.

Dropped off the truck at Tim’s and came home and decided today was just going to be a relax day. Sit , relax , and enjoy the warmth in the shade and nibble not eat as I am still full from last nights meal.

“Memories”

CAR RACE

As I said before cars hold a special in my heart and in my families. My brother has had some of the fastest cars in the west end of Edmonton. No matter what car I had or how much I spent on it he had a faster car. Hence he became a mechanic.

My first attempt is when I had a 1969 Nova SS. It was a fast car and I lost very few races. He was in between real “hot” cars at the time and was driving a 1972 Nova SS. I thought for sure with this combination I would either win easily or at least have a chance. With his others I had no chance. We get on the highway and take off. Needless to say my hopes didn’t happen. I was in disbelieve that I lost as I had one of my best cars against one of his worst cars and lost.

1969 Nova SS   On the rear trunk deck I had a sign “If it feels good do it” Burnouts and street racing make me feel good so I did it. Even today I enjoy the sound of squealing tires. My friends nick named me the Green Shift in this car.

A few years later he was driving his girlfriends Camaro Z28 and I had my Corvette. We attended some function in Spruce Grove and left at the same time. On the highway just outside of the Grove we slow down to 20 kph or so and boot it. Victory to me was squashed as from 20 kph to 160 kph or so before coming on a car we were dead even. Nose to nose with no one having the advantage. Another lost opportunity. But a lot of fun.

Maybe my slowest of my favorite cars but the handling and fun driving next to none

I know  you hear the do-gooders saying street racing is dangerous but in reality it isn’t. We did most of racing on the out skirts of town, or on quiet highway sections or from street light to street light. In reality I think they are more safe than having a 90 year old slowly putt putting  down the road and making a U turn or opposite direction turn without warning.

Random Thought

Why do some people look forward to retirement and others want to stay working for as long as they can ?

Turns out 85 percent retire early for many reasons, including a dislike for their jobs, divorce, elderly parent care, or a desire to enjoy other things in life. Some people retire early and some later due to bad or good spending habits, health issues or the one big issue money or lack of.

Interesting article I read indicating more white-collar workers retire early than blue-collar. I would have thought the opposite as the wear and tear on the body would take it’s toll. Yet it is the white-collar worker wanting to retire and retiring early due to high stress and cognitive decline. Most blue-collar workers do not lose their ability to do their job compared to white-collar workers. I think we are all familiar with 80-year-old farmers still working away.

I think retirement is one of the more stressful things in your life for people to wrap their heads around. Marriage, divorce, death, children, first house etc are in that group.

I think of retirement like a Christmas present. Not knowing what is in the box until you open it and then you discover it to be your favorite all time toy ever.  Merry Christmas to you hopefully!

Remember even with all the miracle cures, vaccines , flu shots etc we have not extended the average age by very much so don’t wait too long.  Average lifespan in Canada in 2016 is 81.85 years old. It has increased by 3 years in the last 20 years. 82 years minus 65 years old when retired = 17 summers of fun only. Plus how many in poor health.  Cant say it enough ” Retired poor is a lot better than retired dead ”

The infant mortality rate has been the historical contributor to the advance of increasing the average age. It can’t improve much better. If we could cure cancer and heart decease we could have another spike but that is years and years away.

Thought of the Day

We have not prolonged healthy living; we have only prolonged life by preserving chronic illness. I can’t really call living with prolonged chronic illness a good thing.

March 5th

“Mercury Forecast” Mesa  23 degrees   Calgary -11 degrees and snow

One more cool day for us and then we have a full week over 30 degrees. Got to love it. Cool pool and warm sun.

Jackie did a bunch of clothes washing and house cleaning today. She organized the sheets in the closet and  cleaned the kitchen.

I went over to Mel’s place and turned off his water and furnace. I also turned off his hot water heaters. Had to make a quick call as I didn’t see the small white switch on the shed hot water heater. His visitors appeared to leave his place in tip-top shape.

I then washed the Jeep, cleaned the inside and waxed the outside.  The air in Arizona seems to carry a lot of dust in it and it settles on the vehicles and combined with any kind of morning dew it makes a vehicle dirty.

I printed off 30 yard sale signs and Jackie and I went handing them out on the street.  I also group emailed them and discovered an email error.

Here is a tip for any email user. It is fine once people send one email and add you to their contact list but anytime there is a period in an email there is a chance it will be forgotten and you may miss info.I know years ago companies thought it was a good idea to use first name then period and then second name as a system for their company emails.ie Joe.blow@ company.com.  It works but outside emailers a lot of the time forget the period. Plus some email servers don’t recognize periods so the separate identifier doesn’t really work. I believe the period just makes it a little more cumbersome to correctly state or receive mail. I know JELD-WEN which forever had the hyphen as it was and still is in the corporate logo removed it on all  email addresses.

My friends are getting a little trickier. First Fred leaves a gift certificate at Fat Willy’s via phone call to them and then this morning Jackie finds an US bill under the table place mat from Keith & Jenny. Odd it is of the denomination that is currently being counterfeited here in Phoenix.  I will have to be careful where I cash this in at. I do have to say it sure is nice to have great friends.

One thing I forgot while here Jenny and Jackie spent an entire day shopping at TJ Maxx. I have never seen so many shopping bags come into the house. Clothes, kids presents, shoes they had everything. They had fun I am sure as they kept talking about their shopping experience with sparkling eyes.

Completed my February budget numbers today. I am relatively pleased with everything and the number did come in under budget mostly due to low gas pricing and vegetable pricing. The one number that was huge was the golfing number coming in at twice and some the amount I allocated. But I had fun and Jackie golfed more than she normally does by a long ways. We spent in one month on golf just about as much as my entire yearly membership in Calgary is for unlimited golf. If I had just gotten a little better I would even feel better but that didn’t happen.

After getting everything done we walked around the park and then sat on the patio and watched Dustin Johnston win another one. I like him and hope he keeps it up. Phil Mickelson was fun to watch with his spraying. He was in more trouble than I have ever seen but finds a way to eliminate the error. Amazing!

Watching golf on the patio.

Watching golf on the patio.

Today in the main hall was the memorial service for all the residents that passed away in our park from the past year. This year there were 41 seniors that left us. We had two residents from our block that were on the list. This is one reason you see quite a few homes for sale in the park each year.

Memorial Service

Memorial Service

The Memorial Balloon release

The Memorial Balloon release

There were a lot of attendees and the balloon launch is a nice idea. Each year in the main hall there is a pin board for pictures and memorials. Unfortunately it is a fact of life for all of us. One thing we are extremely grateful for is the fact we have enjoyed this park for 10 years this year and for the last 3 years have enjoyed it the entire winter. I would love to say I have enjoyed Viewpoint 35 years in the future.

Anyone else notice the Calgary Flames have MORE WINS than the Oilers as of today !

On track to break all time record of 11 consecutive misses from making the playoffs.

On track to break all time record of 11 consecutive misses from making the playoffs.

Thought of the Day

I am retired and living off my savings. What I will do 10 years from now who knows .

March 6th

“Mercury Forecast ”  Mesa 24 degrees Calgary  -7 degrees and light snow

PENNYWISE TIP”

Aside from my thought of the day joke above, one has to be very cautious with their money. Nothing would be worst then outliving your money. There have been many many studies that show a withdrawal rate of 4% the number over any historical period is the number that appears safe to use. If you look at this number it gets scary for some people. IE

$1,000,000 in the bank ( which very few have) @ 4% is $40,000 only. CPP and OAS another  $13,000 a year approx. x 2 if a couple. So being a millionaire and collecting the average benefits without a company pension your yearly income would be $66,000 a year. Here is where the “experts” get it wrong. The 4% factor is ONLY if you want to preserve your capital. They want you to only withdraw this amount as they use your money within their system. They sell this on the emotions of ” you want to leave an inheritance don’t you”. What is shocking is people buy into this. Do your own calculations with a reasonable a withdrawal rate and a reasonable end of life age and you can spend a lot more. They have 95 years old as their number. Average lifespan in Canada is 82 years. They want capital preservation. Why ? Spend your money and leave the assets like the house and cars. If you make a mistake and spend a little too much sell your assets . Oh well, there will still be some left. Don’t buy into saving the huge amount. Don’t buy in to the 4% rule. Make your own rule and calculation. You can find numerous articles on retirement that contradict the norm.  Overall, retirees have a medium annual household income of $42,000 and net worth of $295,000, and a medium debt of $19,000 in Canada in 2016.  DONT BUY INTO THE BANKING SYSTEMS WAY OF MAKING YOU SAVE MORE THAN YOU NEED AND WORKING LONGER THAN YOU WANT. I can tell you now after 3 years of retirement their numbers are wrong.

” Memories”

Careless Driving

Not proud of but reality that I received three careless driving charges in my life. First let me reiterate that a traffic cops background as a generalization is that they were bullied in school, have low esteem, and have a personality type that requires them to feel important so any chance they get to power trip over a teenager they take it.

First time– Driving with a couple of friends on a Friday night in the west end of Edmonton just cruising around when we come to a red light and a couple of very pretty girls in a nice Olds 442 end up beside us. They were a little older than us but being guys that didn’t enter our heads. We each rev our engines a bit and at the green burn rubber off the light. A 1969 Nova SS against a 1972 Olds 442 turned out to be a good race. I can’t remember who was winning as I saw flashing lights behind us trying to catch us. We slow down and the cop attempts to corral both of us over to the side of the road. I do remember the cop was younger than the good-looking ladies. Loved the ladies as they were very aggressive stating ” our boyfriends are lawyers and we will see you in court etc ” The cop wouldn’t listen to reason and issued both of us careless driving charges. After a few coffees at the local restaurant the lady driver and I had formulated a defence plan using her boyfriend. As we plead not guilty we asked for our trial to be together as the charges had been laid at the same time. We had both charges  reduced to stunting which helped on the fine amount and demerit points. FYI  Careless driving is normally only charged when there is an accident or injury involved and  in this case the over zealous cop thought we might just plead guilty.

Second time-Again cruising around the west end,heading back to the west end A & W which was our gathering spot along Jasper Ave. It was about 11pm and the Bingo had just ended near the Klondiker Bar. The entire bingo hall emptied out and was crossing the street with no regards to the walk signal on the traffic lights. For those that know this area it is a little rough around the edges as are the people who attended this particular bingo. The little devil on my right shoulder whispered in my ear. As this huge crowd meandered across the street not paying attention to the walk lights I dropped my car two gears and booted it about a 1/2 block away.I don’t think I have ever seen  people move so fast. Loud pipes, revving engine and squealing tires has the tendency to make people pay attention. They scattered everywhere. They were in no real danger. Unfortunately the cop coming from the other way didn’t think it was funny. Even though the law states the difference between stunting and careless I was charged with careless as the judge thought human life may have been in danger. It was not. Loss for me.

Third time– One of my friends and I were out enjoying ourselves for a Sunday drive in Spruce Grove. He needed to go home for some reason. Now most people don’t want their parents to be scared when their child is out so they would like the driver when dropping them off to be as good as possible. DONT TELL ME THAT and everything would have been fine. The little devil on my right shoulder says after letting him out of the car DO A BURNOUT. Well my burnout’s are a cloud of white smoke 20ft in the air and 1/2 block long. Unfortunately Ken’s Mom was outside the house and ran to the front yard to see what was going on and ended up getting a small stone spit at her and hitting her. That could have really hurt. She phoned the cops on me and they laid a careless driving charge. Another loss for me as the injury, an older witness to the scene I could not come up with a defence.

Never had a careless after that. Quite a few stunting but that was ok as they are fun and harmless. Only hard on the pocket-book to buy new tires.

“PENNYWISE TIPS”

Two money tips in one day I may have to start charging for these. LOL

A man  is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her  shower, when the doorbell rings.The  wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs  downstairs. When  she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door  neighbor. Before  she says a word, Bob says, ‘I’ll give you $800 to drop that  towel.’After  thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in  front of Bob. After  a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves. The  woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When  she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, ‘Who was  that?’

‘It  was Bob the next door neighbor,’ she replies.

‘Great,’  the husband says, ‘did he say anything about the $800 he owes  me?’

Moral  of the story:

If  you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with  your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent  avoidable exposure.

Booked my Critter Getter and A/C service people to inspect and do their thing just as we are leaving. I got an excellent deal on the a/c service as with multiple units to do he dropped his price from $75 to $55.

I have to leave a lot earlier than prior years as my insurance runs out April 5th so I would like to be on Canadian soil by that date. Prior to retiring I remember golfing in early April so hopefully the same thing this year.

Love sitting on the back patio relaxing in the sun writing this.  Time has flown by this year faster than ever and I don’t know why. It is a shame to be enjoying yourself so much and have it seem like a short time. Having said that though 60 years seems to have flown by. My Dad when he retired said time flew. His reasoning was when you are working you are looking forward to the weekend most of the time but when you are retired it is looking forward to an event sometimes a year away and the time flies by. I don’t want time to go slow as that would be boring but a little slower would be nice.

New story in the Calgary Herald on the new bill going to the US congress on snowbirds. AS most know we are only allowed to stay 180 days a year. This bill wants to add two extra months to that which would be excellent. Hopefully they are smart enough though to have the IRS come on board with immigration and change their taxing criteria to the same.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/national/trump+tightens+border+congress+bill+would+allow+snowbirds+stay/13049472/story.html

It is the IRS that scares me not the Immigration. Currently the IRS will tax your worldwide income if over 120 days without a 8840 form and 180 days if using the 8840 form.

Thought of the Day

Fear of God and the IRS are the only issues.

March 7th

Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 28 degrees Calgary  -9 degrees

I was one upped today. I have always loved trash talking people when it is their birthday. I enjoyed the teasing, making fun of and hassling of employees, friends and family when they turn another year older. A roast of sorts. Here is the power of fake news. I once wished a Happy Birthday wish to Melissa a sales rep of mine stating Happy 30th Birthday when she was only 28 years old as a joke. EVERYONE believed it to be true and to defend herself only enforced the fact she must be 30 years old for her to be so upset.

Today my mother-in-law one upped me and I am disappointed I didn’t think of it. I sent an email message to my sister-in law today wishing her a happy birthday with my usual roasting including her driving and height issues but Audrey wrote a PRE-OBITUARY. This is the perfect vehicle to say to some one you are OLD, real old in fact, just about dead without really stating it. They know as they see the OBIT. I will remember this for the future. Love the idea. An obituary of sorts on Facebook and everyone would believe the person is gone. This is perfect.

MaryAnn

For the record MaryAnn is still kicking.  If anyone runs into her today wish her a Happy Birthday and console her. It is tough getting old as a woman with the extra costs of eyebrow tattoo’s, hair dye every week, pedicure, manicures etc.  FYI  MaryAnn is standing in this picture. LOL

Hot out today and the next few days even getting hotter hitting 32 degrees. I don’t care to suntan any more as I have seen the damage to some of my fellow Arizonan’s and Peter but I do enjoy being out in the warmth. Sat in the backyard for a while but had to give up as it was just to hot. A way to hot. Moved into shade of the side patio to enjoy. Love it.

Picked up Mel’s & Fred’s mail today and left it in Mel’s place. Went grocery shopping to pick up a few things. We have billiards tonight and a meeting for organizing our blocks yard sale to raise funds.

Golf tee time for 7:45 on Wednesday am which will be great as we will miss the heat of the day. I HAVE to do well tomorrow. I went to the driving range yesterday for about an hour and discovered three things. I can hit them left. I can hit them right. And I can hit some perfect shots. I cannot be consistent and it is quite annoying. I am hitting longer than ever but the slice is bigger than ever when it happens.  I would say every 5th drive it gets away from me. My new name Larry PHIL Willard.

Just got invited to go with Bob & Pat to the Black Angus Steak House to help them celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary. Looking forward to a perfectly cooked steak. We maybe late or not show up to billiards depending on the meeting length and how our meal goes. Will be fun. As I said before how fast time flies.

Bob yesterday was one of those golfers that shoots his age. On Viewpoint he shoots a 69 and is 69 years old. He is one of these guys that just gets up and hits it and it works out for him just about every time. He can scramble with the best and putts very well. And he is long off the tee.There are some amazing golfers around here. Just let me shoot consistently in the 70’s please. I can wait 10 years to shoot my age. LOL

“Memories”

Stress

Around 1982 Jackie was having a few issues and the doctor asked her to take a few days off and relax. She was stressed at work and needed a break to refresh. So we thought a quick couple day trip up to the mountains should work. We did this rather spontaneously and didn’t book any hotel rooms.  Loaded up the Corvette and headed out on a nice summer day. I had to fill up with gas and didn’t know the distance between Obed Hill and Hinton so decided to stop for gas at this old Husky Station at Obed. ( FYI Obed pass is the highest elevation 3819 ft on the Yellowhead Highway, seems so low)  I filled up and took off towards Hinton. I got about 100 yards and my car started sputtering. I knew right away what it was. I walk back to the service station and sure enough looking at the glass bulb on the tank ( all pumps used to have these) I see water in the bowl. I am annoyed now . This was supposed to be a relaxing event. The guy had a small Toyota tow truck that after a heated argument he said he would pull my car into Hinton. ” Your not pulling my Corvette with that Mickey Mouse of a truck” I phoned and got a tow truck out of Hinton to tow us. Corvettes have a long nose and every bump on the highway I could hear the front end scrap. Luckily only the plastic dam under the front end so no damage. We get to another Husky Station in Hinton and the guy was kind enough to state he would work on my car right away. Right away took at least 4- 5hours as they had to drop the gas tank to get the water out and that is never easy. Big expensive bill. On the road again very late afternoon. We drive to Jasper and search for a hotel but as it was later none were available. Head back to Hinton. No vacancy at any hotel except for one room. $ 140 a night. I refused to pay that much so we headed at night all the way back to Edson and found a room. Remember this is supposed to be a relaxing time for Jackie.  Arrived home not relaxed, a lot poorer and did not have a enjoyable time. That Monday I head to Husky’s Corporate Office which was on the south side of Edmonton. The secretary hooked me up with a customer service agent. As usual you get the corporate line ” we can’t be responsible for our franchise owners” My answer to that ” You accept the royalties every month from the garages, you accept their money to buy your products and gas and YOU put your name on the station. I would suggest in good faith, good customer service and the fact in a law suit you and the station will be named that you accept as your responsibility to uphold your name in good standing and protect your integrity as a company”   I give HUSKY full credit. Showing the bills and after a lengthy discussion and explaining the situation the agent said they would fully reimburse me. They would send me a cheque for the gas I purchased at the first station, they would pay for the tow truck and they would pay for the repairs to my car at the other Husky station. Pure luck to use both Husky’s as it made it a lot easier for them to deal with me. I still today support and like the Husky stations which I believe also own the Mohawk stations. A company that is willing to stand behind their products is worthy of continued support. You should have no problems with these guys what so ever.

Good guys at HUSKY

Thought of the Day

A retirement nap is called a horizontal life pause.

March 8th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 29 degrees Calgary -13 degrees

That is a 42 degree temperature difference or a 107 degrees Fahrenheit difference if anyone is counting. I can’t say anything but “wonderful, perfect, beautiful, ” as a description of the warmth.

Last night as I said prior we were invited to join Bob & Pat in celebration of their 47th Wedding Anniversary. Bob made reservation at the Black Angus Steak House. The interior is wonderful all fixed up with a western theme. Comfortable booths to sit at and a wonderful young girl waitress. I have said before the training and the desire to please of the waitresses in the USA is no comparison to our Canadian counterparts. Our young lady was wonderful !!  All four of us had their “special feast” The quantity of food is amazing. I had a rib eye steak, shrimp cocktail, caesar salad , and  a loaded potato while Jackie had the chicken breast , loaded potato and Caeser salad. All of this including carrot cake desert for $58 for the two of us. Bob and Pat had the “feast” also but choose prime rib and ribs with the sides including an amazing bread pudding desert. Needless to say all of us were over stuffed.As it was a celebration we had Bob pick out a perfect red wine. Pat & Jackie had a toast with the wine but Bob & I were forced to drink two whole bottles of it. I have to get up at 6am. Water all night and other than being tired my head didn’t hurt which was a good thing and I can honestly say it was the first time I have consumed a whole bottle of wine myself. I always thought wine made me drunk quicker. But know I different.

Nominal values:
One bottle/can of beer: 12 fl oz @ 5% = 17.7 ml of alcohol
One glass of wine: 5 fl oz @ 12% = 17.7 ml of alcohol
One shot of liquor: 1.5 fl oz @ 40% = 17.7 ml of alcohol

So nominally, one beer, one glass of wine, and one shot of hard liquor are the same as far as alcohol content. A 750 ml bottle of wine yields just over 5 glasses at 5 fl oz each. I start to feel a little woozy on beer after about 8 bottles so one bottle of wine is nothing.

Pat & Bobs 47th Anniversary. Fun nght

 

Picked up again at 6:15 for golf in my men’s league. It is amazing how one day from another a different golfer can show up. Today on every shot I was hesitant after 5 poor games. I slowed down my swing and backed off my driver to drive only as far the rest of the group which is hard to take but I was in play all day. Ended up on this quite difficult course with an 83 which I was happy with as I knew the missed chances I had to be better at. Why cant every day be the same. I will amp up the power next outing when I feel comfortable with the driver again.

Got home and the temperature was 31 degrees. Tired due to being to full and not sleeping well. I went in the back patio and fell asleep on the couch. LOVE IT>

“MY RANT”

Today is International Women’s Day. Makes you start to think as a white male. We all realize that it’s not  fair and reasonable for minorities and women not to rise to quality positions and recognition in our society, it’s essential to a balanced and modern world. There’s hardly an intelligent soul out there who doesn’t agree with that. But anyone who’s paying attention also realizes that there is an undercurrent movement driving to not just find equality in jobs, earnings, and positions but to diminish the status and accomplishments of the white male while trying to create this equal balance. Most likely caused by the same people who need the balance but are resentful for the oppression for so many years. I think most would agree this is understandable, it doesn’t make it correct . The truth is, until the last century, we have been a world predominately protected by, advanced by, and directed by white males – since the Pilgrims landed anyway. You don’t have to like it, but it’s true. However, that has changed, and it’s good as equality for all is a good thing. Just not at the detriment of the poor white male. White males are largely too busy to dispute this idiotic representation. No one advocates for them. But by and large, they are the ones killing Bin Laden, serving as the foremost surgeons, are still the leaders of innovation in our scientific community and still control the finances of the world. Even if you think this is “inappropriate,” it doesn’t make it untrue. While this may change in the future, today, it is what it is. I want the “best” in my police, doctors, and scientists, not a watered down version caused by a politically correct selection criteria.  I would love to see the government out of this process.  The good old white male is an easy target, simply because he’s the guy “without” a host of organizations serving his causes. It’s time we realized he’s still the mainstay of the world, and help minorities and women reach their goals but not at the cost of the white male. International Men’s Day will come in November and not a whisper will be heard because that is who we are. There will be no walks, no protests, etc, yet men are now the ones being ostracized. BUT THAT’S JUST ME

Had a nice long walk around the park. Checked Mel’s place to ensure his blue bin was out and enjoyed the wonderful sunset. The plethora of colors in the sky with the pinks, oranges, blues, grays etc is beautiful. Jackie’s foot is still hurting her a bit and my back begins to pain after a few blocks but in the warmth and in this quiet park it is just a wonderful experience.

Thought of the Day

Men wear the pants but women control the zipper

March 9th

“Mercury forecast” Mesa 31 degrees  Calgary -7 degrees

Had a phone call from Alan & MaryAnn this morning. Early early this morning. They were planning to come down this week for a visit but have ran into an issue. They took their pet dog Dundee to the vet on MaryAnn’s birthday and were told that he had a tumour growing and they would have to be prepared to put him down. You cant do it on a birthday.For anyone that has had a family pet you know how they become like part of the family. It is a difficult thing to hear and an extremely difficult decision to make. Your torn apart in wanting to keep you pet around and what is best for the pet. A dog seems to know when it is time and has a subtle way of telling us, usually. As I write this my eyes tear up as I loved my Teddy and it was extremely hard to let her go. The process was done with such compassion and class it eased the burden but the decision to go ahead has no way of being made easy other than to know in your heart it is the right thing.  I feel for Alan & MaryAnn as it is a sad experience and a loss that remains with you.

Teddy . This little angel was the best dog ever. I love to look at it but it does make your eyes water.

I loved when Teddy used to run to my face when I sneezed to check if I was ok. I loved how she would just cuddle in your arms for as long as you wanted. Loved her walks, loved her treats and never barked. She had at quite a few plane rides in her life and was the best behaved dog ever. Teddy left us in Feb 2013 and it still hurts. Some of the reason not to rush into getting another pet is the fact I am scared we can’t find another dog as wonderful as Teddy.

I think the cutest story out of a sad situation of a family pet having to be put to rest was Victoria’s Farley. Farley was in pretty bad shape when the decision was made. On the way to the vet the Waldie’s stopped at McDonald’s and Farley got to eat a Quarter Pounder and fry as his last meal. I am sure he thought he was in heaven before even getting there.

Farley .

I hope Alan & MaryAnn have a wonderful vet that makes the inevitable process a little easier when they feel the time is right.

Memories”

At work I hated people getting sick. I posted a sign in the coffee-room ” Think not of ill and disease and thou shall defeat the foe within”  Just my spin on positive thinking. It was probably my biggest pet peeve of employees. Yet someone would phone me and tell me their family pet had died or was sick I was more than willing to give them plenty of paid time off.  Odd as I look back at. But that was just me.

In this same coffee-room I used to have Jackie give me the time valve of money formula based on 25 years and the cost of one pack of cigarettes trying to encourage stop smoking and save that money and look how much you would have. It adds up quick.

Anyone else notice that after 65 games Edmonton Oilers with all their supposed “STARS” have only 9 more goals, and less wins than the Flames.

On track to break all time record of 11 consecutive misses from making the playoffs.

It was one of those unbelievable days hitting 32 degrees with no wind.  First thing in the morning I cleaned up a bit in the kitchen and then started to assemble the lights we are selling in the yard sale. I made price labels and taped all of the pricing to the yard sale items we are bringing. I will work tomorrow getting everything ready for the Saturday sale.

I had Jackie rub muscle relaxation crème on my back and I took a back pill before heading out to golf. I knew I wasn’t going to be drinking today so I knew the pills and alcohol wouldn’t hurt my liver.My partners turned out to be the neighbors across the street. The two ladies were awesome golfers. Great tee shots and carried on with some wonderful second and third shots. Both of them would have ended the game around 90. I golfed the best today in a long time. Only one hole with a slice but a great shot from the other fairway and still ended up with a par. My best score this year so far at 77. These ladies are dedicated and committed golfers with no gimmies , moving the ball, foot wedges etc. The one lady even had a woof shot and called the penalty on herself. The couple pulled putts and two shots where my ball was sunk in a divot caused me the only issues on the course. I only had two birdies but missed at least 5 birdie putts from the 8 to 12 ft mark.

Came home and visited with Bob and his buddy’s for a bit. I heated up the BBQ and had garlic toast, grilled asparagus and big juicy pork chops. Sitting outside as the temperature was still in the high 20’s was wonderful.

Another wonderful day in paradise. Living the Good Life means everything here.

Watched a short video of Jessica talking about her job, school,training and International Women’s Day and I must say very impressive. Her speech pattern, lack of saying uhm, or like or pauses is very refreshing. I have given 100’s of presentations and speeches and have witnessed many and her speech and presentation was extremely well done and as I said impressive compared to a lot of seasoned presenters. The one thing I hate is a Dale Carnegie graduate. I can spot them immediately in their hand gestures and speech patterns. I am now sorry I put all of my reps through it. Speaking from the heart and mind without notes is also unique and commendable. Some might say I am biased but my answer to that is listen to it yourself and let me know what you think. I also love the eye glasses prop. Everyone knows glasses give the presenter the “smart” look. Very very impressive job Jessica !

https://www.facebook.com/jessica.willard.524/videos/10158766005740725/

I am very proud of both of my girls in the way they can express themselves, relate to people, present themselves and the level of professionalism they exude. I think they got the best of Jackie & I in that department and have reached a level we didn’t until much later in life.

Here is a link for the best bridesmaid song EVER  that Victoria sang to Jessica on her wedding. Everyone killed themselves laughing.

https://youtu.be/_QUqohCwzOQ

We have two very smart talented girls in our family. It is with immense pride that I watch my girls express themselves but the undeniable Willard humour that is instilled in them is the most fun thing to watch. I am so glad they did not inherit the humour that the British think is funny.

Thought of the Day

The face of a child can say it all. Especially the mouth part of the face.

March 10th

Next few days of weather we have to deal with. LOL

“Mercury forecast”  Mesa 30 degrees Calgary -17 snow showers

 

Wow am I glad I am here.

First thing on the agenda this morning was to get ready for the Block 800 Yard Sale.  The block gathers together any yard sale items and uses the proceeds to fund pot lucks, Christmas decorations etc. This year the unit that is collecting the “stuff” is owned by a couple from BC. This gentleman had a job that I am jealous of. He was a Marine PILOT Captain. If any of you have ever cruised you know a local Captain boards the ship and guides the ship to port. They do this for the local knowledge of the rock formations, wind directions, and any unknown issues that a Captain not from the area wouldn’t know. He would get to drive a cruise ship, then a ferry, then an oil tanker. That would be fun. The guy leading the Nascar the few laps before starting might be fun job also.

I picked up tables, picked up balloons and signs for the sale. We will all meet later this afternoon to organize it all and hope for a good result.

“RANT”

This is repetitive but we need to look at old people and vehicle licensing. The one good thing about Calgary’s streets is that people actually drive the speed limit and above. Today leaving the park there was a lineup of 6 cars  trying to enter University Drive. I waited for a bit and after seeing the HUGE gapping between cars and this vehicle not moving I knew we were in for a long haul. I moved over to the right lane and entered University right away and did a U turn about 1/4 block away from the entrance. Driving past I see the same 6 vehicles plus two others moving in behind them. I understand hesitation and better to be safe than sorry but when you combine worsening eyesight with cognitive impairment, and reduced reaction time it is unsafe not only for the individual but everyone on the road. I would advocate YEARLY testing  both road and paper for everyone over 65 years old and every 5th year for anyone under. If they don’t receive a certain mark they have to take courses and training to achieve it. Most drivers under 25 years old THINK they are good but lack of experience, judgement and no fear makes them equally as dangerous as an old driver. Most likely the BEST drivers on the road are around, lets say 60 years old. Old enough to have experience, young enough to have a quick reaction time and skills enough to understand other drivers and road conditions.  I have had people say to me ” you just wait and you will be one of those ” I can emphatically say “THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN” BUT THAT’S JUST ME

“Memories”

Driving with Mom

My Mom was always the first one to go for a ride in any new vehicle Alfred or I had. She didn’t say a word about our driving and came to give her support of our new pride. Three funny stories about Mom and her rides.

  1. I bought a wonderful incomplete go-cart. My Dad spent a lot of hours making this  cart a thing of wonder. There is no kid in the world that wouldn’t have been jealous of it. It had airplane landing tires on the front, wheel barrow traction tires on the back, a 3 spoke chrome and black racing steering wheel and a PVC high back chair. Extremely well-built and looked fantastic. The only thing Dad forgot to put on was a braking system. The system it did have was to judge the distance for roll and reach behind and push the piece of metal against the spark plug to kill the engine.  The first engine was a Briggs & Stratton 5HP lawnmower motor that moved it about 20 mph or more. Mom got on it and had a great time driving around the acreage and road. She then decided to come to a halt near the garage. I can’t remember if she managed to kill the engine or not but smack she hits the wood garage door and damages it. She didn’t get hurt but it was very very  funny to watch.
  2. We were lucky enough that Dad bought us a 440 Artic Cat snowmobile. It was a wonderful machine with it being called a Panther and having a leopard skin bench seat. It also had which a lot of other machines didn’t was steel cleats on the track for better traction. I asked Mom to come for a ride with me. She gets on the back and we go for a long spin. Snowmobiling is a fun thing. On the way home I decide to do a few 360’s with it on the icy road. With the steel cleats and power we had it was very easy to do. Wouldn’t you know this time during the 3rd or 4th 360 I hit a rock sticking out of the road and the machine ( super heavy machine) flipped on top of Mom and I in the ditch. I was killing myself laughing then realized I better ask if she was ok. She was ok luckily and after pushing the machine off us started laughing. She didn’t get mad at all and only accused me of trying to kill her.
  3. I was 14 and started driving with my parents and family in the car when I had my learners. On this day it was just Mom and I with me doing the driving. I entered into our driveway and here is where we have two different stories. Mom believes I hit the gas instead of the brake and she had to quickly move over and step on the brake to save us. I believe I took the corner to fast for Mom’s comfort and she moved over and stepped on the gas while I was on the brake. Either way no damage, no accident and something I remember. LOL

Enjoyed a relaxing day.

We went over to organize the tables and “stuff” for sale at our garage sale. Jackie as usual is good at putting things together . With Gail’s help and the Whitehead family organizing  it is looking good. As we were there Russ & Carol came by and in the conversation a TV came up as a sale item. They saw a 32″ New TV at a place around the corner and drove there to save it. I went a bit later and picked up my new TV  and it is perfect. $60 and looks good on my outdoor kitchen. Now I don’t have to take my TV out of the living room each time. I just need to get a plastic cover for it and then we are set. Plus a splitter.

My new TV from the YARD Sale !

The tennis club was having their year end round up party tonight and went with the “WHITE” theme. This is Bob & Pat looking very virginal.  They do look great. I warned Bob to watch where he sits.

Married 47 Years and still wearing white ?

I should have lent my white runners to Bob for the night. Pretty spiffy looking couple. Who do you think will come home from the dance with a stain ?

The neighbor lady two houses down was driving down the road beside Hole #10 when someone hooked a ball and it just about went right thru her windshield.  Her passenger friend had glass chips sprayed all over her. I have lost the odd ball over that fence myself. Luckily the golfer checked over the fence and he agreed to replace the windshield. It is too bad it is the golfer’s responsibility but I guess it is no different than if someone damages property anywhere it should be their liability. I understand you now can buy home glass insurance as a golfer in case one does get away from you.

I use the middle name of CRIB quite often due to my success in the game, I love Crib and it is a fun game to play.  I was on a two game winning streak. Bob & Pat got back from their “white” dance and joined us for a 4 person 2 team crib game. This is very difficult to say. My team LOST. Bob had cowboy horse shoes up his butt. The hands that Jackie and Bob received were amazing. They kicked Pat & I down tonight. I will rise again to win another crib battle and earn back my name. Bad luck tonight as the cards just didn’t happen, A fun night though sitting outside at 10pm in 24 degree weather playing cards with friends.

Thought of the Day

Bedroom Fail- A/C was on so when I went to pull up the blankets on our bed my hand slipped and I punched myself in the face.

March 11th

“Mercury Forecast” Mesa 32 degrees  Calgary -14 and light snow very

Up early to be at our garage sale. Hey I am retired. Any time up before 7am is tiring. LOL

Peter, Dianne, Gail, Doug and Bev all helped us move a lot of “stuff” We generated a $100 for the block to spend on another party. Yahoo !

Jackie & Pat made their rounds and Jackie found a gold mine. Her first find which she paid $8.00 for a pair of Adlake antique train lanterns. Any one that knows trains knows the value of these. The pair we have at home is worth $850 which is the large red and green glass swing lanterns that I have rejuvenated. The pair that Jackie today paid $8.00 for is worth about $200. These new ones are the small kerosene ones that have already been converted and are in perfect shape and are the wall mount type.  If I wire the small and large on a separate circuit with a switch they will look absolutely awesome on a Pergola and can be on when the patio lights are off. I love them and am amazed at Jackie’s find.

Antique wall mount train lanterns Adlake which was company that made these in the late 1800’s. Perfect red & green lenses and all ready converted.

Her second find which some people said I would never find was perfect. On our last trip to the golf course with the 4 golf bags in the back of the Jeep Jackie’s golf bag head cover ripped as it was shredded by the wind. These covers are needed to keep your clubs from rattling and not flying out when laying your clubs in a trunk or transporting them anywhere. They are also a security item of sorts as they hide the valuable driver and woods from sight.

Jackie’s new golf bag head cover

A very good day to say the least. I am now sitting in the shade sweating as today it is hitting 35 degrees.  No complaints here from me as I love it. Drinking a lot of soda though as you do feel thirsty. Can’t start the cold beer as of yet as it isn’t 5 o’clock yet. An afternoon life pause may be in order.

Talking to Jessica in Lethbridge and wow do they have the snow. I don’t think I remember a year in the last few with so much snow and cold for Calgary and Lethbridge.  The global warming effect is real. LOL

“Memories”

CHRISTMAS

I believe it was our second Christmas together as boyfriend and girlfriend. My family still went to Edson for Christmas as Grandma was still living then. I enjoyed Christmas’s out there every year. This year we gave each other presents to take to our respective Christmas gatherings. On Christmas I started to open my present from Jackie. It was large wrapped gift. I ripped off the wrapping and discover a pillow. I am thinking and said to my family ” She must have mixed up my present with another” We are all laughing. Then I discover hidden in the middle of the pillow a small box. In the box was a wonderful Canon SLR camera. We all laughed again. I loved this camera and over the next few years bought a lot of accessories for it. I was still working at Sterling Distributors at the time. In our sporting goods department we dealt with Bushnell for our rifle scopes so I had Ralph who was our buyer order me a 10-18mm wide angle lenses, a zoom lenses 300mm, a 3 x multiplier lenses and an attachment with slide in lenses for different effects like starburst, sepia and others. I still have that 35mm camera in PERFECT shape but finding film for it now may be difficult as everything is digital. Advancement sometimes sucks.

Does anyone really like Day Light Saving Time. I never did when I worked. I found I was tired every morning for a long time after the change. Now it does matter as it isn’t the clock getting me up it is my own timing and a change won’t matter unless I have to be somewhere at a specific time. Older people have a tendency to be early risers. They feel tired all day and then go to bed at 9 or 10pm. You would think it would click. Stay up to 11pm, sleep in until rested and enjoy a non-tired day.

Thought of the Day

Did you know that 98% of all statistics are made up ?

March 12th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 34 degrees Calgary -11 degrees

I noticed a big change in the weather for Calgary coming up. A Chinook must be happening or as some say ” the worst example of global warming I have seen ” .   The snow should melt pretty fast with the expected temperatures. Here in Mesa we have some days coming up in the high 30’s . Any time that happens a 100 degree Fahrenheit  is possible.

Last night in the pool the water temperature due to the air temperature felt like a bathtub. It was absolutely wonderful. The full moon was shining , the stars were brilliant even though the  dipper here is upside down and the air warm until late in the night. We were sitting outside on the deck until near 11pm in the heat. Life is good !

Jackie & I are going golfing today in the heat so hopefully she handles it. For me the warmth is pleasure as it keeps the muscles a little looser. As soon as I get back to Canada I have to visit my Deep Muscle Stimulation physiotherapist Sebastian Simard. If anyone has back or muscle issues this gentleman is a dream. I used to have trouble getting out of bed in the mornings with my bad back and after visiting him I feel amazing and it releases the muscle for months. I usually only need one or two sessions to be as good as I can get. The long needles when they hit the muscle you feel it contract and release. If I could wish for anything a good back would very high on my list as I have pain everyday of my life for 45 years. A sports injury, two roll over car accidents and a family history of poor backs doesn’t help.

We have the International Scotiabank Golf Tournament here in Gilbert on Tuesday which will fun.

Memories”

Scotia Tournaments

We have had a lot of fun and some interesting  things happen:

At a tournament in High River we were paired up with two friends from the bank, Joe & Dianne who were both beginner golfers. The format for this one was a 4 Man Best Ball. As everyone knows in this format the winner scores are usually around -8 to -12 to get the title.  Our foursome’s score was +15 so I thought for sure we were going to get the Horses Ass trophy for last place. This can be a good thing as it usually is a good prize. Luckily we didn’t “win” that prize. LOL

At a tournament in Ponoka Jackie was golfing with three guys. On one hole with a hidden rolling hill one of her guys tee’s off. Smack it hits another golfer of the team in front of them and he fell to the ground. They all rush to check on him scared it maybe a dangerous situation. Jackie comes up the gentleman ( she knew him) and checks his head as he said he was hit in the head. She felt a huge dent in his head and began to panic. The guy laughs and says “I am ok. I had brain surgery last year and have the dent as a result of it”  He got up and played the rest of the game. Jackie’s game was thrown off.

At the Highwood tournament Jackie and I both won gifts. Jackie won for Ladies Longest Drive and I won for Men’s Longest Drive. We  were razed quite a bit for this. Nice gifts !

Speaking of longest drive I have been in a lot of tournaments and some guys don’t understand or follow the rules on this. The drive has to be in the fairway on the short grass. Even if it is 1″ onto the second cut grass you can’t count it. But people do.

The golf today was wonderful. We ended up golfing with a couple from Calgary. She was a Principle in the Calgary School system and he an accountant with Ernst Young. She was an amazing golfer. She had a perfect golf swing. Few ladies I have seen have a the shoulder turn with a straight left arm to power thru on the drives. Most bend their elbow a way too much and in doing so lose power and good contact as the mind finds it more difficult to comprehend the sharp angle of attack.

Jackie overall had a good day with some amazing shots and some shots she would like to take back. The score ended up 79 for myself and 102 for Jackie. I missed at least 5 putts for a birdie that were in the 10 ft range. Oh well next time. No double boogies which is always nice. Just a wonderful day at 34 degrees in the shade and over a 100 F on an outside gauge. Love It !

Sitting outside and watched our other good Canadian golfer WIN. Adam is also in 4th spot on the FedEx point list which would be amazing.

Pacific Division
GP
W
L
OTL
P
GF
GA
Diff
L10
STRK
Sharks
67
40
20
7
87
185
157
28ion
6-2-2
L1
Flames
68
38
26
4
80
187
182
5
9-0-1
W9
Ducks
68
35
23
10
80
176
172
4
5-5-0
L1
Oilers
67
35
23
9
79
190
177
13
5-4-1
L2
Kings
67
33
28
6
72
168
168
0
5-3-2
W2
Canucks
68
28
31
9
65
156
195
-39
3-4-3
L3
Coyotes
67
24
35
8
56
164
217
-53
4-5-1
W1

Not saying a word but very happy for the moment. Go Flames Go

On the golf course today we saw a family of turtles. Odd to me but desert turtles I guess are quite common. Just neat to see them sun tanning themselves.

 

Our own Ninji Turtle. One ran into the water as we approached them.

Our won Ninji Turtles

Thought of the Day

Remember ladies : Housework is for women only that don’t play golf.

March 13th

“Mercury Forecast’ Mesa 32 degrees Calgary 3 degrees

This being retired is getting me tired. LOL   Tomorrow the Scotiabank Golf Tournament is on with a 8am shotgun start. The following day my men’s league which means a 6am wake up bell. What sacrifices I have to put up with !!

Trying to get a hold of Brett Sigurdson as a friend in BC needs a window package and the pricing he has received on one quote is miles to high for the product. I am hoping we have a supplier or a supply &install agent that when we give great pricing too will make sure to pass it on. I am sure Brett will look after it for me.

Trimmed the fruit trees today as they were a little shaggy. Swept up the leaves and blew them as best as possible without pushing them into the neighbours. Looks good but had to very careful as the orange blossoms are starting and I didn’t want to remove them.

Too hot today to be in the sun so spending a lot of time in the shade and drinking water and soda in between work jobs. Forecast is 32 but with the temperature right now over that we should hit at least 34 degrees

Economy still crappy in Alberta and especially Calgary.  My one daughter is still looking for work and our son-in-law as a finishing carpenter isn’t working full hours per week either.

IT IS A ABSOLUTE SHAME THAT PEOPLE VOTED FOR THE NDP.  Problem is the bulk of their support came from the unions that she won’t touch. She needs to cut and cut big.The other portion of her votes from the young voters that put tree hugging, environmental issues, and compassion causes ahead of creating an economy where we can have people working. Calgary’s unemployment rate is still over 10% . Alberta over 8%. That is an HUGE amount of people sacrificing while we have no minds in politics holding our economy back.

Here is the most stupidest program I have ever heard of. ( remember 10 % unemployed and millions in debt now)  Alberta is rolling out an energy savings program which will cover the cost of LED light bulbs, low-flow shower heads, smart thermostats and other cost savers — including installation — as part of a five-year, $645-million program funded by the province’s carbon tax.  I sure hope somebody did their due diligence as to how many years the pay back will be. Amazing waste of money  . How about just keeping coal generation to keep the our costs down and we can buy our own devices with money from having a job. Beside knowing the typical layman they will think the government is GIVING them this instead of them knowing that they are the ones using their own money on it.

Any one would to start a NDP installation company that changes lightbulbs and shower heads only ?

Notley Destroys Province

I went and got the groceries today. Another first in that my temperature gauge in my Jeep hit 35 degrees outside temp. It has never been that high. Looking forward to my kabob’s and corn on the cob tonight for supper. Drove past the pool and it was packed . There are a lot of counties with spring break happening as we have a lot of younger visitors in the park. First time I have seen people at the pool where their skin fits their bones right.

“Memories”

Street Racing

I was out with my brother one night when this 426 Hemi Cuda Plum pulls up besides us. He wants a drag. We head out to HWY 2 south which late at night has light traffic. Alfred at that time had  a beautiful 1969 427/425hp Camaro which had a lot of special order items like the COPO package . Today that car would be worth $200,000 as there were very few 427/425hp L72 COPO’s made.  IN fact records show only 1015 produced For those car buffs these were factory ordered not like the YENKO’s.The 425 hp was far under rated but auto manufactures regularly under announced their numbers for insurance reasons.  A factory dyno record was found on the ZL1 version which is the same engine except aluminum at  575 horsepower. Here are two of the fastest limited productions car of the day on the road as the Cuda was rated at 425 horsepower also.  We slowed down then booted it. It was a fairly even race with us having the lead the bulk of the way. At 140 MILES PER HOUR  ( 225 kms )Alfred could slow down and speed up and the hemi couldn’t keep up. He had at least 500 rpm over 140 mph to go. This with a factory 4:10 rear end ratio.The COPO package Camaro was the only Camaro made with the 140mph speedo as every other Camaro came with the 120mph. At our 140 mph or so the Cuda hit a small bump in the road and his front end lifted due to wind lift/draft and he shut it down as it scared him. Great race, and even more amazing cars. Given the under statement of horsepower from GM and then you add the cam, headers, intake, spark and tran kit  we were hitting some pretty high numbers. Pretty impressive numbers for 50 years ago.

I loved his car except for one thing. He had N60 x 15 tires on the rear and the cops hassled him enough he had to fabricate a wheel flare of sorts which in my opinion wasn’t the prettiest.

Thought of the Day

If we only knew what we know today when comes to cars. women and money.

March 14th

Different font today as our internet is still going off and on and I wrote this on word and pasted.

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 35 degree Calgary 9 degrees with winds

Last night we looked out our window and this little guy was really hungry as he kept eating and eating.

What a beautiful day. Up at 6:30 this morning as it was time for the annual ScotiaBank Retiree Golf Tournament. The location was about ½ hour away but on a busy highway so you don’t want to get caught up in heavy traffic. We both got ready fairly quick, had our smoothies, loaded up and headed out.

We arrived about 40 minutes early which is great as the bankers get to talk to one another and enjoy the day before we golf. I wish it was a scramble but it was individual play. There were 53 golfers the majority of them retired bankers which is amazing how so many gathered in the area with the bulk of them either owning or renting for the winter.

There is a saying about it being a small world, will it is very true for today again. Jackie and I’s playing partners were Bill & Sandy Salter. First of all they were wonderful people to play with. Great speed of play and great personalities. Here is the small world thing. It turns out their daughter has been Jackson’s day home care giver since he was a small baby. Jackson even calls her Grammy Sandy as she filled in for her daughter for appointments or vacation etc. You come all the way to Phoenix and you are paired up it is amazing. Western Skies was in wonderful shape today. It is becoming lush and the greens were nice. They had just been punched but still rolled great. Today was one of those off days mostly on chips. Both Bill and I had so many 60 yard chips we missed the greens, in the sand , high balled it or scald it. Too many missed putts also didn’t help. I had an 87 and Jackie 106 which is ok but not want I wanted. The winning score was 71 so I was a way off. On a Par 72 score to come one under as a retiree is amazing. I am sure this guy must have been a vice president spending everyday on the course with potential clients. 76 was the second best score.  Bill scored quite well today ending up with an 80. He is an 11 handicapper. He had one of those “lucky” days where we thought he had a poor shot and it turned out to be excellent. My luck on one hole 100 yards from the flag I hit my wedge and wham I hit a tree and now hitting 168 yards to the green.  You just have to laugh and hit again.

Jackson will be surprised to see us golfing with Grammy Sandy and Bill

On the longest drive hole Bill gets up and drives it a mile. I get up and drive it 1 mile and 1 inch. All the way driving to our balls we kept switching back and forth as to whose was the longest. They were both on the fairway but one on each side. We drive up and we agree mine is closer and I fill in my name. We look across again and they look tied or perhaps Bill’s is ahead. So I thought let’s try the GPS to determine. Turns out we think Bill’s is closer so Bill writes down his name. In retrospect the longest ( which is what it is called isn’t necessarily the closet to the pin depending on the angle of the green which is what we used) Different GPS also have different readings so we should have used one GPS but they were so close the GPS doesn’t do inches anyways. The Golf God’s were with us today as Bill and I received a nice Scotiabank golf shirt for our efforts for longest drive.We kidded each other the whole game after who was really the longest.

Awesome in Five Scotia Bank tournaments I have entered I have won longest drive 2 times. It helps as I noticed a tremendous amount of the men bankers are short which doesn’t help with length off the tee.

Western Skies did a wonderful job with the tournament and it was in great shape. I would love it to be there again. I would like the format to be Texas Scramble as it is fun as a team to compete.

On our return the temperature gauge hit a new high sticking at 37 degrees all the way home. Watch for me in my new Scotia Shirt !!

Tired and very warm getting home. I am writing this in the shade but the sweat is still running down my forehead. I think hair was supposed to stop this from happening.

Relax this afternoon and then billiard night. Would love to come out with a winning record again.

A Great Canadian Company
Ps buy shares

Thought of the Day

Today after golf I am doing nothing. Yes I did that yesterday too but I am not finished. I am no quitter !!!

March 15th

Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 34 degrees Calgary  5 degrees

Watching the news yesterday it looks like we are heading for the first day over 100  degrees this Saturday. We have warmer than normal conditions for the last little while which has amazed everyone.

Last nights billiards was another fun night. I had a couple different partners and we won a few games. Some amazing shots and some bad shots but very enjoyable as the group are all nice people and every week you can the skills getting better. Jackie and I enjoy the night a lot. Our main organizer is leaving so lucky for us Russ and Carol are going to sit in the drivers seat for the next couple of weeks.

Nice quick visit on the patio with Russ & Carol and headed home. Bob & Pats daughter just arrived so they were sitting on the deck when we got back so we had an opportunity to meet her and her boyfriend. I am sure over the next little while we will see them around in between their excursions.

Alan & MaryAnn should arrive around between 4 and 5 tonight as they are driving in from Vegas.

Up at 6 am again for my men’s league golfing. Great partners today with my captain from Edmonton and partners from Thunder Bay and North Dakota. We didn’t win any money today but a lot of fun with great guys.Very close but no skins today even with me getting 5 net birdies. I was not happy with my score at 85 but as I think about it, 5 years ago I would have loved that score. Driving today was an issue. I think I thought I was in a long drive contest as I hit them just a little too hard and with some movement on the ball. Worst part is a had a quite few balls 1 foot of the fairway but couldn’t play it as they were in cactus. Fried eggs in the sand and one ball centre of fairway in a 1 inch deep divot. The odd stupid putt. Remove all of these LOL and I would have had a great game.

Memories”

Jackie for one of our early Christmas’s gave me a beautiful leather carved visor. I loved this visor and wore it for years after. I went out to Niton Junction with my new visor on, all loving it. I walked in my Grandma’s house to meet everyone.  On entry my Grandma says ” What is that on your head ? ” and attempts to remove it. Natural instincts kicked in and I lift my arm up to block her attempt and she punches herself in the eye. The eye blackens. I felt horrible and my Grandma had a lot of explaining to as the why she had a black eye. My fault.

Eyes are closing, I think it is horizontal life pause time.

Thought of the Day

Life always offers you another chance. It is called tomorrow . Maybe . LOL

March 16-18th

Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 34 degrees Calgary 3 degrees

Busy days and may have even forgotten a few things. Alan & MaryAnn arrived right on time. They had a great  drive from Vegas even thought they did take the longest way possible to get here. Their GPS didn’t show them the new 303 ring road. Getting up at 3:30 am and flying and driving all day makes for a tiring. So we had a nice easy supper, hung around a bit and had a good visit . Visited with Bob and Pat for a bit and then they headed to bed. The things we did maybe not be in order of the dates and timing. We returned Alan’s rental car  with no issues. We all went grocery shopping. We walked around the park and we all agree the new area with the beautiful blue lighting and large fire pits looks amazing. We had a great block party with everyone dressing up Hawaiian or colorful.  It was a fun night with a fun games and amazing food. We went to the main pool in the evening for a long swim and had a enjoyable time.

Our new pool is wonderful with it’s BBQ’s and cabana’s

Laughed as the heater was broke so the pool was cooler than normal but the most funny thing was not being able to use the shower as the lack of hot water. The new pool area was built without a shower which is a contentious issue for many in the park.  We went for long tourist drive.

VP had an amazing car show this year.

This year for the St Patty’s Day parade they had a car show. The quality of cars were amazing. My favorite was a 1965 Nova that was built. He wanted 38K for it but with the work done worth very penny. It had a front clip added, with a spring over coil system, a 4 link rear end suspension, amazing custom interior and dash gauge pack plus custom inside fender wells. With a fully chromed 350 small block with all of the accessories.

Best bike ever a 1957 Chev 350 engine at the VP car show.

Our first adventure was out on Hwy 87 which is listed as one of the top highways in the USA as a sight-seeing route. It twists and turns thru the mountains and has a wonderful desert view to enjoy. It also has a couple of wonderful tourist attractions along the way. We stopped at a wonderful little creek picnic area and had a wonderful picnic and a fun talk with a couple that were going to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in Canada. They were from South Dakota.

Salt River Drive

When then headed into Tortilla Flats , visited the Jackalope Museum , had an ice cream cone and visited the bar and shops. The water was actually running across the dip today. When then headed to the Salt River Tonto Forest area. Most of the area’s are still closed as it is early in the year for the residents. But the drive , the marina , lakes and sights were all wonderful.

Tortilla lookout . Notice how green the desert is this year ?

Other than Alan’s hair getting messed in the Jeep the day was a lot of fun. We came home rested a bit and then headed out for supper. Alan & MaryAnn let me choose the restaurant as they said it was for my birthday. They generously offered to pay for our supper. First 60 is great as I have never received so many great things. Second how is that Jackie gets her meal paid for when it is my birthday. Very generous of them.

Alan & MaryAnn at Tortilla Flats

This is the funniest picture ever. Jackie & I killed ourselves laughing seeing MaryAnn’s posing. I can’t say Alan was laughing but I caught him. LOL

Alan at Tortilla Flats. Notice how the lady just about was perfect.

 

We headed to the Olive Garden with Alan & MaryAnn along with Bob & Pat joining us. As usual the food was great and the company fine. I even had a REAL Caeser there. I brought along a printed version and handed it to the waitress. It turns out they are starting to sell Bloody Caesers which is our version except they didn’t add the celery. Awesome and not bad at all.

Came home and headed to the new pool and sat around the fire pit until about 9 pm. We then started to play crib. Boys against girls. I can’t believe my luck lately as the girls beat Alan and I My teams have lost two games in a row.

For all my Lethbridge friends here is a picture of a very accomplished golfer. He is in the top ten of the money list of my Men’s group. He has to be careful as the name Sandy Sandbagger has been whispered. Mr. Sandy Sutherland of Lethbridge Alberta achieved the very talented feat of getting a Hole in One at our parks Championship Golf course. He registered with the National Hole in One but somehow the US post office lost his certificate. After 6 weeks of hearing this very say story every morning driving to golf of the lost certificate I took it upon myself to create him one. ( some may say to stop the whining LOL)

Sandy receiving his HOLE IN ONE certificate

We had numerous walks around the park but it was a little too hot to stay out for any length of time. The cactus and trees with this heat are blooming huge !

The Cactus’s are wonderful. It looks like someone photo bombed us.! Darn, wrecked the picture !

Sitting outside right now in 35 degrees having supper after dropping off Alan & MaryAnn at the airport. You can feel the difference in heat as it has dropped one degree in the last hour.  Wonderful. Just trying to figure out our plans for the kids visit. I think I will help Jackie get ready on Sunday and then golf on Monday as a single.

Thought of the Day

Isn’t it funny seeing a cactus with a sign on it ” Don’t touch this”

March 19th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 35 degrees Calgary 4 degrees

Watching the news this morning and the Chinook hit Calgary with them setting temperature records at 15 degrees. That will melt the snow.  Those always fool the forecasters. We have had 35 to 37 temperatures with them only forecasting 32 degrees. Need the snow done as we will be home in a little over two weeks and I want the courses to be open fairly quickly. Forecast today at 35 so we know it will hit 37 plus.

I did a little running around this morning showing Tim’s place to potential renters.  Trying to figure out which key is for what had me going for a bit. You know how they say our last names are always a derivative of a father’s last name or a family job etc. I have figured out the history of my friends last name. They are Irish and I am sure their Great Grand Daddy had to be a locksmith and cut keys or perhaps a key keeper at the local prison. These are the few keys for the KEYS here in Arizona. Try figuring out which is which LOL.

The KEYs key chains !

Pat & Bob’s daughter made me a wonderful, wonderful Ceaser this morning. I miss those as they are a great drink but they have to be mixed right to taste good. A lot of the time even at my favorite place to have one The Keg each one that arrives tastes different so I can only have two or three. Bobbi’s today was excellent with the rim and garnishes plus the pickle juice. I need her to make me a gallon of them to keep in the fridge.

Went to Target and Safeway today to pick up some food for the girls arrival on Tuesday. Jackie had to set the all time record for longest shopping grocery spree in history today. I watched my temperature gauge wanting it to hit 38 but it wouldn’t. Stuck at 36 degrees all day and didn’t move.

We caught Bob in his perfect Irish shirt. I love the shirt and I think Keith Harry should order one of these on line for himself.

Patty’s Day Shirt

I am playing golf on Monday with a scratch golfer and was told to bring my A game. Mind games even before playing eh ! On a new course ( I have played it once) and a difficult course with lots of sand it will need to be my A+ game.  Low 80’s I would like. It has 109 bunkers and 12 acres of sand on the course.

Thought of the Day

I just have to remember if I could believe in Santa Claus for 8 years I can believe in myself for 4 hours. I really only need to hit about 14 drives well and I know I ca n score low.

March 20th

” Mercury Forecast ”  Mesa 36 degrees Calgary -1 degree

Today I was playing at the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes golf course with Ian, Stu and Sandy. Sandy picked me up right on time again to make our drive to the course. Getting there about 45 mins early we practised a bit on the range and putting green. First let me tell you what a beautiful course this is. Fantastic with really fast greens and sloped greens. This course is a $99 rate or more. I was very lucky as Ian got a deal 2 for 1 and I played for $39 which is a smoking deal for a Troon course. More than amazing as this is a Troon course high calibre course. Like I said it has 109 sand bunkers and 12 acres of sand traps. I saw a lot of these. Today was a very off day for Sandy and I. In fact it was the worst game of the year. New course, not playing well and screw ups just added to the score. I ended up with a 97. Not because of poor driving but poor play and sand shots and second shots. Every hole was surrounded by traps and more traps including bunkers in the middle of the fairway.I am very disappointed in not doing well with this group of guys today. I like to do well on a beautiful course playing with good golfers. Ian golfed a 71 today. I checked and the last time I golfed there a few years ago it was my highest score for that year also. Darn. The par 3’s were the hardest as they were completely surrounded by traps and on one I took a 7 and on another a 6. My ball had less than a finger nail showing up thru the sand as it was fried egg to the max. No hope but hit hard and pray. I started and ended up with the same ball which on a new course is good. Most importantly though I had a wonderful time.

Today hitting 36 degrees it was hot hot out. First time after taking blood pressure pills I felt dizzy numerous time today. It is a funny feeling , a little scary as you feel funny. I drank a lot but still feeling like you are going to faint isn’t good.  No excuses though other than not playing well all day. I do think not having any thing to eat for lunch isn’t good for the energy and concentration level. Lost $6 to Ian and Stu today.

Southern Dunes.  You can see what we were dealing with all day. Including a 7 on a Par 3 trying to get out of the sand.

Just sitting on the deck enjoying the warmth and drinking more water trying to cool down.  No Fat Willy’s tonight as I just ate coming back from golfing. Talked to Victoria and Jackson and great to see them excited about coming to Phoenix tomorrow.

” Memories”

Christmas

We had just moved into a brand new house in St Albert. We over extended our budget but loved the house and only after living in it for a few months the 75 year old company I was working for went bankrupt and I needed to find a job to help feed ourselves and two infants. It was Christmas and Jackie sent me out for a Christmas tree. We were very short of cash at the time and other years I had cut down one at my parents acreage. I came back with a $75 beautiful trimmed blue spruce Christmas tree. The most amazing tree ever. Needless to say Jackie wasn’t too happy. Until, it was decorated and we sat looking at it with the fireplace on. All the time wishing we had some money to go buy something to drink and eat.

The beds for the kids. Looks like army barracks.

Jackie moved tables and chairs around and beds around until we had this. Just like army row beds we have three beds stuck together for 6 people all together. Hopefully no loud snoring keeping everyone awake. The two kids in the middle bed will be stuck in between the adults and cant get out. Should work just fine.

Thought of the Day

One should never give up on their dreams. Keep  sleeping

March 21st

Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 31 degrees  Calgary 5 degrees

Checking the weather and Arizona is going to cool down to the high to mid 20’s for the upcoming week. This is a very comfortable temperature and in most cases warmer than we ever get in Calgary. Calgary has quite a few double digit temperatures coming up this week. I received a notice from my course where I marshall that Blue Devil is planning to open this weekend if the temperature stay double digit and Heatherglen soon after. Heather is treed so the greens need warmer temps and sun. So it is looking good.

Funny going to sleep and thinking about stuff. All night my high score bothered me. I was getting upset at myself for doing so poorly. I am a much better golfer than that. If I had scored a 83 or 85 I would have been ok with it but over 90 and high 90’s is stupid. I replayed what happened. I can say a little bad luck but with good shots luck wouldn’t even be mentioned. I love the course. I am going to play it again and do well. I have played it twice and both times it has been my highest score of the year. In 2016 I had a 99 on the course. Restless sleep after golfing poorly is funny.

I am going to fix my eaves trough today before the kids arrive and then head to the airport to pick them up. I have to use Fred’s truck to fit everyone in with the car seats etc. I don’t like to do that but I checked into a van and $600 plus a week is just too expensive.

Washed and waxed the Jeep today. Amazing how fast it gets dusty . In Arizona though the air carries a lot of dust. 303 protected all of the black as the sun is a killer on black pvc.  Washed and swept the driveway. Washing the truck again I felt weak and dizzy. I hate that. IF  I have another day I am going to cut back on my high blood pressure pills.

Memories”

Camping

On vacation years ago in Penticton Gary Leedahl and his family came to visit us. It was a fun day playing in the pool , lake beach etc. We head back to our campsite for some food and drinks. Gary’s young boy was acting up a bit. Over the campground intercom system which was a ways away we hear this voice saying something. We all stop and listen and then say to the boy ” See God is even telling you to behave” He shrunk down a bit and was good the rest of the night.

If any friend that is reading this is shopping at Costco and sees the Kirkland brand of golf balls in the store please buy two dozen of them for me. I will get you the money back asap. Costco and Titleist are in a court battle over patent rights. Kirkland balls are identical to Pro V 1 and are 1/3 the price. Problem is as soon as the court battle became public they ran out of stock. Let’s hope Costco wins the battle and at least fills their shelves soon before they may not be allowed to sell them.

March 22 – 30th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 30 degrees Mesa 18 degrees  Calgary 9 degrees

The weather is dropping to normal for the next week. Each day around 24 to 28 degrees after we get past our one day of cooler and rain.

First we had a wonderful hot day again to golf in my men’s league. I was relatively happy with my score and our teams performance but we got unlucky with our segments and didn’t win any money. I am still not happy with the drives.  One screwed up one and three slices but not lost balls. I need to work on this as I want 90% of them long and straight. I am not comfortably at the tee which is the problem. My swing to correct a slice is a constant work in progress. After the grip change it is like square one again. Great meal and great guys to golf with again. One more time left and then done for the season which I will miss.

Penny , Jessica, August, Jackson, Victoria

Had supper when I got home and then headed to the airport with the Jeep and Fred’s truck to pick up the group. Parking in the oversize lot works perfect. Their flight was delayed 45 mins which we knew before leaving and so arrived in the perfect time. Always nice to see Jackson and August happy to see us. The waves and hugs are nice. They loved walking outside at 8pm at night and having it be 80 degrees plus.

Jessica & Penny with August . Jess is the only that got sunburned

The beds worked out very well as everyone slept well. Having 7 people in the house with one more coming on Saturday does make it a little hectic. Especially have the bulk of the of them being women . A new toilet roll was put on in the morning and by the afternoon it was gone.

Tacky Tourist visors fromt he Country store complete the look

The kids played a lot with Penny’s sister’s children. All day at the pool and only one person getting a little sunburnt. Jessica.  Heidi’s kids are amazingly well behaved kids. They had a great time playing in the pool.

August swimming with Scarlett in the pool

Went and visited the Country Store where Penny bought some visors for the girls. The perfect tacky tourist look but they enjoyed it.

Jackson practicing his swimming

More pool time but the heater still was not working but they posted a sign to use the North Pool which we will do next time.

This was August’s swimming pool.

The kids all had fun riding the Viewpoint train around the park. We visited the Country Store and bought a pack of Swanns Ice Cream bars.

We had numerous walks around the park.  Went for groceries and Penny bought some ingredients to make us supper. Penny made us an amazing supper with back ribs, mashed potatoes, and asparagus with corn. It was extremely well made and very enjoyable. Awesome !

Jackson and I spent at least another two hours by ourselves in the north pool. He just never seemed to tire. Like the energy bunny.

Booked a golf game for all of us. Booked the tickets for the new Odyssey Aquarium. This is supposed to be spectacular and our hope is they are right as the tickets are $35 each plus $25 for the kids tickets. Planned for the Mesa Market and booked our supper at Hacienda De Rosa’s. Filling in the days with fun stuff.

Swam at the North Pool with Jackson until 9 o’clock or more. He was dead tired after spending hours in the morning and evening at the pool. Numerous trips to the backyard to remove and hide from the heat.

A farm outing in the evening with lots of horses and BBQ going on. Jackson and August were spoiled with toys to use and have. The neighbors have been exceptional.

The farm outing for the girls and kids turned out to be awesome. The kids had ATV rides, played football with a lot of other kids, petted horses and played with two bunnies. The young crowd had a very big BBQ and dance party. I had dropped them off around 5pm and then picked them all up at 11:30pm. Quite funny as Jessica, Penny, Victoria thought this was a pre birthday party as the drinks flowed freely and they were hurting units in the morning. But they may as well do this before they get tooo old and can’t. Jackie and I stayed home to relax and clean up a bit. It is amazing the amount of noise and mess made with two children and six adults in a 1000 sq ft house. The grandkids have behaved exceptionally well.

More time spend at the pool. Only a slight sunburn on a few areas of the kids where the screen was washed away or forgotten. But not bad at all.  Lots of fun at the pool always. First time though where the pool was quite busy with school break happening.

All dressed up and we headed out for Mexican food. Victoria and Jackie dressed up like we going to a high fashion spot while the rest of us went Arizona causal. I thought at first they were trying to get us free food. As usual the food and atmosphere were perfect. Funny though as when Penny asked about an authentic Mexican dessert our Mexican waiter stated he didn’t know what it was. Must be real authentic but one thing for sure it was very very good. A fun night. Jackson didn’t want to ride in the Jeep as hair was going to get messed so he rode in the truck with me and a couple of girls. We are so fortunate to have Fred let us use his truck for these outing as we would have to make two trips. Using both vehicles we fit in all eight easily in one trip. I try not to use it at all but certain trips it is a must.

I made a big breakfast this morning. I had to cook some fake food like turkey sausages for a few of the kids. Luckily my big fat Italian sausages covered up the smell of the turkey ones. I also had the wonderful smell of bacon in the oven to override the turkey. Jackie made toast which was awesome but again we needed the beautiful white tasty bread to cover up for the ugly grained brown bread.

Jessica and Victoria’s 34th birthday today. We had our outing last night and tonight we are having a family with friends wiener roast  in the park. Our own tailgate party which will be fun.

3 months old

7 years old

20 years old

34 years old in Mesa. Perhaps a little older as we dont change our clocks here.

 

 

“MY RANT”  

Health Kick

People get so caught up in trying to eat healthy they are not getting enough nutrition. Here are few of my pet peeves.

First brown bread versus white bread. – The media has done a disservice to all of us with the propaganda against white bread. First you only live once so why not eat something you enjoy. Second the difference between the two is so minimal it make no sense to sacrifice good taste for perceived health. Did you know a lot of manufacturers just add caramel coloring to flour to make brown bread. My Dad used to say that the plants at the end of the day  used to sweep their floors and throw the flour back into processing to make brown bread. I think this may be right.

Turkey sausages versus Beef sausages. – This shouldn’t even be a question. To sacrifice the taste of a real sausage for a perceived better choice is asinine. Turkey should never be made into sausages for breakfast but people buy them again because they believe they are better for them. Turkey sausage has 150 calories Beef sausage has 180  calories. Turkey has 1/2 the carbs and a little more protein but it is the fat that scares people away from great tasting foods. 15 grams of fat versus 8 grams of fat. People wonder why they think they are eating right and feel only ok. You NEED fat for energy, for hormone and gene regulation, for vitamin absorption and for taste. All extremely important things that a lot of people have forgone in the sake of cutting fat and in turn causing their body to react negatively. People’s moods are controlled by the amount of fat they absorb. People blame thyroids, acid reflex, lactose intolerance etc as a condition they have. I guarantee everyone of these people are not eating right in particular lower their fat intake which is the reason for the ill feelings. Funny thing these same people are taking vitamins in pill form not realizing it will NEVER be absorbed in their body to due lack of fat. FAT does not cause you to be FAT, Lack of exercise and eating TOO much is.  Trans-fats are different.

Yogurt-  Biggest misconception ever that it is good for you. People believe it help you digest food better with the probiotic effect. It does work well for this but the sugar content and sugar being bad for you is just starting to be recognized is brutal. Flavoured yogurt is a real battle. The added sugars or artificial sweeteners negate any benefit of the probiotic.

Best advise. Eat everything in moderation and quite fretting over what is good and bad and you will feel better and be a lot more healthy.

BUT THATS JUST ME !

Listening to all of the chatter in the room with 6 people supposedly trying to sleep is funny. I am sure they think they are on a camping trip. Or a boarding house experience.  The neighbors  have been exceptional with toys and games for the kids. Very lucky.

Memories”

Camping

When Jessica & Victoria were about 8 years old we went camping to the mountains west of Calgary. At that time we had a tent trailer which we loved. It didn’t have a furnace in it so if it ever got too cool I would turn on the stove for a bit and would heat the entire unit up. It was a cooler night but with loads of blankets and fresh air to breathe it was always a great sleeping experience. This time it was so cold I kept waking up to put my hands over my ears to stop the frost bite. Waking up in the morning and gathering enough will power I started the stove to warm the unit up. On the counter was a glass of water frozen solid and looking outside 6 inches of snow on the ground. Over the years we have had quite a few camping trips with snow on the ground.  It melted around noon and we had a great day outside playing and riding our bikes in the mountains.

New Jeeper

August didn’t think much or the open air hitting him so hard. Worst problem he kept rubbing his eyes and with his armour coat of sun block he got into his eyes and hurt him.

Loads of pool time. Both Jackson and August are having a blast at the pool each day. The weather with the high 20’s has been good as no one yet has burned themselves. Jackson is getting very good at swimming and has no fear which is good and bad.

This morning before going to the pool we sat on the back deck telling ghost stories which he loves. He has a vivid imagination.

Our wiener roast last night was in one word awesome. All of us and the best tailgaters ever Bob & Pat attended. We all had a blast but the event was extra special with Pat’s attention to detail. She had salads, pickled carrots, pickles, condiments, lemon-aid etc all with her. Like a seasoned pro. We had a great fire and cooked a lot of dogs. Jackie bought Victoria her turkey dogs  which I have to say are not good. ( I never had one but the looks and smell )  Bob had C& W cd’s playing in the back and we had a cooler full of beer. I could have fit a few more beer in if it wasn’t for the water I had to bring. Penny had her sister Heidi visit and came along also. It was a very fun evening. Then back to our places and sitting at Bob & Pats. A few bottles of wine and lot more beer along with the discussion it was a lot of fun. Heidi was wonderfully funny with her comments. The whole group had a blast. At about midnight, normally a way past everyone’s bedtime our neighbors cam over for a few more. I think the balance of us headed to bed around 1pm. Our latest night this year so far. It is amazing what a few drinks and fun people can do to keep everyone awake.  Pat for our “party for the girls birthday” also made the most amazing carrot cake cupcakes. We had an ice cream cake along also for the event. Some one threw away a few pieces of OSB board which we burned. WOW does that create heat and flame. Fumes maybe bad but they were going straight up.

BEST tailgating party !

 

Spent sometime on the phone again with JABBA. This has been the worst experience of any service company I have ever dealt with. I hate it when a company has exclusivity as it leaves very little recourse as I would switch tomorrow if I could.

Had a fun golf game with everyone. The girls following Corey and I around. It was quite slow so we didn’t finish 18 holes as we booked super twilight but everyone had a fun time playing in the sun . Watching some of the shots coming up behind us they seemed to do very well. Victoria on one drive sent the ball past our cart almost killing Jackson then yelling 4 as it flew past us. Nice shot !

Lethbridge Pro

 

Fat Willy’s Burger night. A great burger, two big jugs and a patio you can’t go wrong. Until the wind comes up and fills your jugs with tree pollen. Another wonderful night in Arizona.

Fat Willy’s Burger night

The fun continues.

Pool time over and over again. Jackson absolutely loves the pools. Good thing today they are spending a bit of time there as they need to turn at least a little but of color before leaving.

Picked up Fred and Mel at the airport with no incidence.

We went to the New Odysea Aquarium which is spectacular. The tanks and exhibits are unbelievable and it is one of the biggest in the USA. I love the huge carousel that rotates around and stops at 4 different tanks with a guided explanation of the species etc. First class. Sharks, turtles, sea lions, penguins all with incredible tanks and observation points. We spent the whole afternoon there. MAKE sure you go the men’s bathroom right behind the entrance. The entire backsplash is the shark tank. You inches away from a shark only separated by the glass. Absolutely amazing.

Shark Tank in the washroom.

 

Alligators

Corn hole game

The night of our tailgate picnic party we had a conversation about the corn hole game with a few snickers. Wouldn’t you know a day later we see our first official corn hole game board. You know how we have 3 downs in the CFL and the NFL with 4 downs they have a one hole game called a corn hole game we have three holes and call it bean bag toss.

Horned owl

This is the nest of the Horned Owl family above the visitor pool. It draws a  lot of attention from the residents. Everyone looking up ( stiff necks so it is hard for them) and cameras going off. Very neat to see.

Jackie, Corey , Jessica and Victoria all played Viewpoint today. It turns out they all had great games with Corey getting 94 and Jackie 98 with both girls just over 100. For the limit golf they get that is fantastic. They cheated and had Fat Willy’s on the deck after golf which is always wonderful sitting outside on the deck with a cold beer.

I had my men’s league today with a 7:30 start. Wonderfully warm as the forecast was for 85 degrees and we hit that quickly. Our group had only three guys so for scoring we had a random ghost player for the 3 hole segments as a team score. I played the best I have played for a  little while today. First 9 holes I was even par ( 36) then it carried on until the 16th hole. Teeing off on the 16th hole with a score of 2 over my partners started  ragging, teasing and hassling me over my handicap and my score today. Sure enough I fell apart and scored 7 over the last three holes ending up with 81. If only. LOL. My own fault as I need to concentrate a little better to finish a great game. Fun partners and fun event and I am looking forward to it next year already.

Driving Corey to airport this afternoon in about an hour. He is at the pool as I write this to try to get some color before leaving. I told him RED is a color .

Pat brought over some home made cookies and squares. Man are they good. I had a few then had to put them in the house or they would have been gone. Bob brought over his best selling author Clive Cussler book that I am looking forward to reading. Wonderful neighbors.

I see more and more people packing up and their units closed for the season. Only a few more days left before leaving. I really don’t want to and next year will look at staying longer.

Delivered the golf cart to Fred & Mel after supper to Mel’s place. I had a couple of drinks. Three fingers vertical I am sure. I arrived home and everyone was sleeping already except for Jackie. I head for bed. Jackie thinks I am a little wobbly . The drinks must have been real strong. So getting up at 5:30am and having a few beer and a couple of stiff ones hitting the bed turns into a night of snoring. Jackie actually video taped me as proof. Now I do admit there were a few moments it was loud. Funny to see yourself snoring though. LOL  Trick is to get to sleep before the snoring starts which she didn’t accomplish.

Jackie and Fred drove all of the kids to the airport while I stayed with the A/C service guy. All four of our units were  in good shape except for two capacitors. The service guy gave a good deal on these to replace them and everything is good.

Started to pack up and get ready to leave. I had Fred help me move the rear patio couch to the front deck. I trimmed all of trees. I went to the Depot to pick up some storage containers and packed away the gecko’s and ornaments. Moved the rest of my beer over to Bob’s fridge . Shutoff my fridge and cleaned up the outdoor kitchen. Moved all of the furniture around and stacked all of cushions. Tomorrow I will dump the garbage and recycling at the dump. And start packing to see if I can fit everything in the Jeep.

YES I received my first official paycheck from my job being retired. Have you ever loved your job ( mine being retired) and hate your boss. ( mine Justin Trudeau) Why do I have such an idiot boss?  Love the fact of receiving my pay. And it was bigger than originally thought. As prior talking about CPP the early reduction hurts a bit more than a few years ago but the break even point is still reasonable for it to make sense to take it as early as possible. For 2017 the break even point is 74 years old if you take it at 60 years old.First ask yourself are you going to spend more money 60 – 74 or from 74 to death. Logic indicates during early retirement you will spend more. Remember 81 is the average life expectancy in Canada. If you are still working I would still take it and put it into a TFSA and have a win win.  I love being a government employee.

Thought of the Day

Results for many Canadians when they punch in their data into a retirement calculator

” According to your latest data if you retire today , you can live reasonably well until 5 pm tomorrow” 

I am going to fool them and start at 5pm tonight have the best 24 hours ever. LOL

March 31st

Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 19 degrees Calgary  14 degrees

Calgary weather looks great coming up with a 19 degree day in the 14 day cast. Mesa has a two day cool period and then 34 degrees each day after that.. I should have waited to trim the trees and pack until today as it is beautiful out instead of sweating to death.

I emptied my blue and black bins this morning at the dump and then started to pack. The Jeep has very limited cargo space and we have a whack of stuff to bring back. Let me rephrase that a TON  of stuff to bring back. Here is a small list and remember the size of the Jeep.

Two large suitcases, one smaller suitcase, a carry on bag, a duffle bag, two sets of golf clubs, two larger boxes of patio lights, two large RV mats, 3 Mexican metal ornaments with very sharp edges, fishing rod, one large garbage bag filled with our kids clothes, hats toys etc, golf shoe bag, milk crate with wax and windshield fluid, night bag, and loads of miscellaneous stuff. I was impressed with myself that I was able to load everything up.

Back of Jeep more than full to the brim

Funny thing every guest we had visit us this year left something for us to bring back. We have a pink bag that Jenny left, we have phone charger that MaryAnn left and we have clothes, plus hair irons etc that the kids left.

Weighted down

We had a very very enjoyable Feb/March with all of the company. It was a blast but it gets very expensive having guests with the extra costs of dining out, golfing, food, entertainment, and gas but I wouldn’t change a thing as it definitely keeps you busy. A fun time.

Meeting Fred & Mel at Fat Willy’s tonight for a going away gathering. It could get hard on me and may result in snoring. I guess I do that LOL. It will be a battle to split the bill etc as Fred was generous to me on the use of his truck and gifting me a card from Fats. I returned the card to him along with a small amount of cash for the truck. I think even and split tonight’s bill !

Groceries to get rid off and turn off the taps and we will be set to go Sunday am. Sort of a mistake to leave at the first of the month as April 1st is the day that loads of Canadians return home as they have to be out of most parks by the month. Could be slow with the motorhomes and fifth wheels on the road. So looking forward to Calgary’s traffic versus Mesa’s with the slowness here. It will be wonderful to drive without worrying of some illegal u turn or lack of signalling but most of all putt putting on the freeway.

Depending on hotel Wi-Fi, free time, and road conditions I may not be hooked up again until we hit Calgary Tuesday or Wednesday. Checking the weather there are numerous winter storms hitting Utah and Montana which hopefully will have all passed by the time we get there. This is always an issue by coming back to Canada to early. I remember last year  leaving at 34 degrees and second day down to 5 degrees near Idaho Falls.

Thought of the Day

A recent survey of one person indicates one should NEVER come back to Canada this early !

April 1st – arriving in Calgary

Left Viewpoint around noon hour after fixing everything up and saying our goodbyes.  I have made a mental note not to commit to leaving Arizona so early ever again. Well maybe when Mom hits 90 years old. Otherwise it is just dumb to come back to cold freezing weather. There was a large accident on the #10 so we had to find an alternate route. We did by using 17 and 51 and short cutting across to Wickenburg. I could have headed up to Flagstaff and over but I prefer highway 93. Driving through the desert was spectacular with the cactus’s all in bloom. The pink flowers and yellow blooms are amazing. We had a wonderful drive in high 80’s  temperatures.

Desert in bloom

First night we were booked into the Holiday Inn in Mesquite . I got a good deal thru Expedia but when we arrived found it to be a super special deal. A large suite, extra sitting room, kitchen, and a patio to sit on. Room rate on the door  was $ 299.00 and I booked it for $129.00.  As it is an express we headed out for supper as it was getting late. Couldn’t find anything we liked so went to the buffet at the Casa Blanca. Good food

Longer day ahead of us so we started out at 8am. We stopped the same night at 8pm. Should have been a 10 hour drive but we had issues. We had three hail storms with us having to hide under an overpass for 30 minutes or more. We had to drive with the flashers on for miles and miles to avoid car damage with the other storms.  For the entire 100 mile Salt Lake City drive we experienced torrential rains with it hard to figure which one of the eight lanes is yours. Small gas tank so we needed three pit stops which always take longer than wanted and we were fighting super strong winds head on for most of the day, Extreme winds that made the Jeep bounce like a tug in the ocean. Having said that though the Jeep was wonderful and fun to drive.

Stopped for a pee break and saw the most unusual dog going out for a walk. A pet PIG on a leash. What !

A pig on a leash. And it listened to the owner

Made it to Butte MT which I was happy with. Perkins Restaurants ran out of turkey. They are known for their Butter Ball turkey dinners and they run out !

Just after Salt Lake what do we do we see. Snow ! Way to early to come back.

Salt Lake City SNOW

Noticed the Oilers with 5 wins in a row. I like that as first round they will lose 4 straight being all tired trying to prove something. LOL

Plan to unload a lot of weight from the Jeep in Lethbridge. Even with the huge winds extra weight and cruise set at 130kms I checked and we are getting 20mpg. No complaints there but I did notice the further north my fill dollars went from $20 to $35.

Thought of the Day

I like the idea of 6 months of warmth in Canada and 6 months of warmth in the USA. Makes sense to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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