November 30th – December 1st
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 18 degrees, Calgary -2 degrees snow, Lethbridge -2 degrees snow”
I hate cold weather.
First thing in the morning after having my smoothie in bed watching HGTV it was time to start the Christmas chores.
Jackie and I started at put up the tree and decorating it. We have some very nice ornaments that people have given us over the years as gifts. I love the look of some of the fancier tree ornaments that make it look special.
We also on arrival had a nice bouquet of flowers and a wonderful looking Christmas table runner that Audrey gave us. Beautiful looking !
After getting all set up we decided to do a bit of Christmas shopping. The stores were not busy at all which was nice so it didn’t take us long to get what we wanted. Had a wonderful customer service representative helping us today.
After shopping it was bleed time again. This time I went to a mobile spot which I was impressed with as it was very organized and ran extremely smooth. Again I come home with both arms bandaged. I guess even with experience and training a nurse still makes mistakes. Although to stab someone and miss a vein should be a clue that that person doesn’t know what they are doing or simple bad luck. Forget the fact I have a hole in both arms and in one vein. I don’t like needles at the best of times but this has happened to me toooo many times. “They” say veins sometimes roll. I say with training they should consider this and take steps to minimize the possibility. This morning though luckily I wasn’t bruised to bad. A lot of time they tape the needle to the arm and it causes a huge bruise with the pressure.
Came home ate and drank to refill my lost fluids and all is good.
Here is late picture. We all know the Stamps won. Fred watched the games with me. Being from Edmonton he wore his Eskimo jersey each game. I then discover he is a closet Stamps fan !
Snowing this morning as I am looking out the window. While pretty looking I don’t care for it. The one enjoyable thing about winter is the fun driving on snow. It makes for a much more entertaining and interesting drive. We are heading to Lethbridge tomorrow morning where between today and tomorrow we are expecting 8 cm. ( 3 inches) which is nothing.
Planning Christmas is not enjoyable. I think a lot of people get a funny feeling in their gut trying to please everyone and make sure they are doing their best to accommodate. For us as a young family it was NUTS. We would get up a 6 am at our house, open presents and then head to Mom & Dads for a gathering, open presents and have a wonderful Christmas dinner. ( best cooking ever) We then would head to Audrey’s place for present opening and another wonderful Christmas supper. Up next morning and headed to Peter’s place for a gathering and dinner. I LOVED Christmas when we used to head out to Edson to my Grandparents place as it was a one stop Christmas. When we moved to Calgary it became even more complicated with the stops. As the girls got married it became even more complicated as they had families on both sides to deal with. To plan and have the get together’s is very difficult. We travel to Edmonton we potentially miss out on our kids Christmas. We don’t travel we miss out on my families Christmas. The girls also have to struggle with juggling their families around and timing to get everyone on the same page the same year is not easy. Hosting the events is nice in the fact you have your immediate family always together which I enjoy when we have done that. We had a wonderful Christmas when the girls all came down to Mesa AZ with us but the spouses then had to miss out their celebrations. There is really is no win.
December 2nd- 3rd
“Mercury Forecast Calgary -4 degrees with snow , Mesa 17 degrees , Edmonton -4 tons of snow”
I started my brainwashing tonight as I knew we were going to a game.
Friends of Victoria’s gave them two tickets to the Hitman game tonight. Tor had a function to go to and Cor wasn’t feeling the best so Jackson and I headed out in the snow to the game. Just some comments. First just because of a little snow doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. The streets were empty. The parking lot at the arena was empty and the seats were empty as you can see by the pictures. Shame, as this was my first WHL game and I was impressed. This is every bit as good as hockey as the NHL. Fast and wonderful skaters. Fights and extra effort by all of the players. They were playing the Edmonton Oil Kings. I don’t know what is wrong with Edmonton. Remember they screwed up the Oiler uniform especially with that bolt jersey, well the Oil Kings did the same. The new logo and colors you wouldn’t even recognize it as Edmonton.
During warm up Jackson stood by the boards in his new Hitman toque and lo and behold a player actually shot a puck over the glass for him. There were a lot of boys that didn’t get as lucky. He was very happy. Later his hands and face were totally black from the puck. Spit and a napkin helped a bit. 12 rows up at centre line are perfect seats. Only issue is they are in the centre of the row so bathroom breaks are difficult. But the seat delivery is awesome. Beer, hot dogs etc delivered right to you. Same price except with a built in 19% gratuity fee. Very convenient though.
The Hitman mascot is a fox and his name is Farley. Jackson loved that as it was his first dog’s name.
I have parked in my underground garage for 12 years now without any instances. Tonight as i pulled through I didn’t make it. The door came down and hit the rack. I believe the door was out of align causing it not to be all the way up. I only have about 1/2 to 1 inch clearance. The door panel bent and pulled out of the tracking. I AM NOT GOING TO PAY FOR THIS. I called to get to it repaired and the door guy didn’t know what happened. THE DOOR RAN INTO ME. If the condo board phones me, my answer is ” The door hit me. If I pay for the door, I will sue for damages to my vehicle” Hopefully the end of it.
Scared Jackson and I as we were half way through the door when it hit.
Got home and he headed to bed and slept the complete night really well. One small break for a second and all is good.
Still snowing in the morning. We were supposed to only get about 2 or 3 inches but a little more than that fell.
We had a good drive down to Lethbridge as today was Atticus’s first birthday party at the YMCA. I was a little surprised with the lack of snow plowing done as you had to be very careful passing and getting thrown around with the slush snow. Even salting wasn’t done on all sections but still a very easy drive. Funny as we arrived at the Claresholm Tim Horton’s Victoria and Corey pulled in with Hazel.
Atticus had his party in a kid’s room at the YMCA which was awesome. You can bring your own food in , they supply tables and chairs and a large room with a play center like Tommy K Play’s.
A fun party and everyone had a blast.
After the party we headed to Starbucks for a bit longer visit and a little quieter time.
I was impressed with August at Chapters. The amount of toys and info he knows is amazing.
Today was budget numbers and I am still not caught up but my eyes are getting sore.
Thought of the Day
First birthdays are always fun. The kids love them and the parents enjoy having them and getting together with friends. Everyone is checking out the other kids to make sure they still believe their little one is the “BEST”.
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 19 degrees, Calgary -2 degrees, Edmonton –2 degrees snow,
They fixed the overhead door today and have it working perfect. It is actually higher than the previous one which is good. I had a couple of calls from the management company,pretending they are concerned but really just fact gathering. I am waiting for the board to contact me. I will NOT pay for something that is not caused by my error negligence.
Went out to the lot today and it was beautiful out there. Very little snow and very few people. I plugged it in and turned on my heater as I was looking at removing my bedroom TV. Came out very easily and I was surprised it wasn’t a huge backed unit. Quite small and light really.It is a analog TV and only 480p so the flat screen will make a huge difference. I needed to see the hook ups and as I thought RCA connectors. Not used very much any more on new TV’s. But they make a conversion HDMI to RCA wiring which if I have to I will use. The DVD player is on the opposite of the room so I can’t change out the wiring or move the DVD. I will need to do a bit of carpentry work as new TVs are rectangle instead of square. A few hours and it should be done.
I enjoyed myself out at the lot except for the cold. Fingers were turning white.
December 5th -6th
“Mercury Forecast Mesa 16 degrees rain, Calgary -6 degrees, Edmonton -7 degrees
Jackie went out shopping today with Audrey. It is very odd only having one vehicle as I was trapped at home without a car.
I spent the day working on my budget as I am still a few months behind. Eyes get sore and head a little with all of the numbers. It sure is an eye opener where a person spends there money. I watched a TV show where they stated $600 a month was the average grocery bill for two. Well throw that out the window. $1000 in August on gas. $165 in July at Tim’s. Mostly due to trips, and working out at the lot. Next year we will spending most of the summer out there which we should see a reduction in gas and food. When you think of it though, one trip to Edmonton in a good vehicle for gas mileage is still a $150 of gas back and forth. My golf budget was a way under as I only golfed 70 games this year. You would have thought I would get good. Not meant to be. I will work on the balance another day again.
Have had some wonderful suppers lately and with no alcohol for a couple of weeks have lost 5 of the 7 pounds I gained to much in Mesa. 2 more to go to be back at my wanted number which I watch and maintain.
I went to the gym and spent most of my time lifting weights instead of on the treadmill. Muscles will be sore but it feels good and is needed as I notice age does affect mass. The treadmill does the heart and lungs good but you don’t want over do that.
We had our meeting with our financial planner this morning. Nice new building they moved into.( yours and our money at work) It is funny as I am not overly pleased again with their presentation . While I understand “rules” dictating what they are allowed to suggest I would like a comprehensive plan with tax implications, withdrawal limits, RRSP withdrawal strategies to minimize taxes and yet provide livable income. While all of this is covered they don’t convey to me the confidence and a thought for logical collapse and seem to have the banks interests come first by wanting amalgamation of dollars under their umbrella. Luckily with Jackie’s knowledge having taken the financial planner courses and my understanding and way of thinking we will use a combo of their ideas and or own strategy and hopefully make it work for us. We do not want to preserve capital which is always the go to thing an investment banker suggests. We remove assets out of picture as they can be sold or gifted at a needed or wanted later date. Plus the fact banker programs always use NET WORTH which really means nothing. If you have a 500K house but no income you may have a Net Worth of 500K but be broke. But it is a sales pitch that on paper presents itself better.We had their plan using 90 years of age but realistically any longer than 85 is saving to much money. At 85 your expenses are drastically reduced unless in a seniors home which can be supplemented by the government. i believe after our discussions and booklets and Jackie & I ‘s input with each other we have a plan for the next five years and will adjust again then. We are sitting fine. I need 1% more return and we are good. It is a drag having such low returns .
WOW another TSX hit today. Better re visit our plan. LOL
Checked out my clothes for the BNS Retiree Christmas party tomorrow. I hate suits so I will not be wearing one. I wore a suit for 30 years so now I DO NOT NEED to. Funny today though one of the gentleman we saw today had a pair of wonderful shoes with buckles on them that looked cool that I liked. Downsizing my closet I am down to one dress shirt and one large large dress shirt. The second shirt should have been gone as it is three times too big for me now.
Well, the management company from our condo contacted me. Sent me an email rather than phone me. Much easier for them. I will have a little fight on my hands. The old door was previously bent and hung below the door opening which could have been the cause of the incident. If they try collecting I will attempt to sue for vehicle damages due to a malfunctioning and dangerous door. Time will tell. Sometimes things have to be chalked up to a no fault accident.
December 7th – 11th
“Mercury Forecast – Mesa 24 degrees Calgary 4 degrees “
Back home again. Quite an ordeal the last 4 days. What is really funny is Jackie & I were missing for five days and no one missed us. We could have followed the GPS into the mountains and being lost. Quite funny !
We left Friday to head to Edmonton as Mom had another episode with a transient ischemic attack (TIA) on Wednesday which is a brief episode of neurological dysfunction caused by loss of blood flow (ischemia) in the brain, spinal cord, or retina, without tissue death (infarction). TIAs have the same underlying mechanism as ischemic strokes. With Mom it is instant extreme weakness, very confused, difficult comprehension, face drooping, difficulty speaking and significant headache. The strange thing about her episodes is after a few hours she recovers to just about normal. In 8 hours practically no residue effects at all except for extreme fatigue.
We had a nice visit and evening with her with Mom feeling quite well and comfortable but tired. Getting up in the morning everything was going well even though she again said she didn’t sleep well. She is fanatically clean so she started to gather a bit of laundry to walk down the hallway about 50 steps. Arriving back in the suite she sat down for a break and I went to fix her walker and asked where the wrench was when it hit her. It appears to come on quickly not something that she can feel is coming. Confusion, unable to communicate properly, headache etc. We called the center’s RN up for an evaluation and we decided to call the ambulance. Strokes are scary as to the damage they can do. She didn’t want to go but we finally had her loaded in the ambulance and headed out with sirens on to the U of A hospital which is the main stroke center for Edmonton. It is sad to see the fear, anxiety and tears happen with the stress adding to the situation. I am going to say the U of A hospital is EXCEPTIONAL. Within 5 minutes of arriving at the emergency they had Mom moved to the back private room and numerous nurses and doctors looking after her. Not good service but EXCEPTIONAL service. They have some pretty well renowned and recognized stroke doctors on staff. For the next few hours it was pretty amazing the testing, cat scan, X ray, sensors, machines, more testing etc going on. The nursing staff were very very competent, professional, accommodating and nice. Mom isn’t the easiest patient as she is very strong willed but the nurses convinced her on everything and handled it so well. I am not sure of the exact time but I would bet only a few hours passed and they were able to move her to a ward bed with only two occupants to a room. Her partner is another story but still very lucky. The unlucky part was the noise generated by her room mate. TV on, cell phone and the noises from a feeding tube were not nice. The ward nurses again were EXCEPTIONAL. And it is funny now as the young RN’s and trainees would come into the room I would say to Jackie ” Look Sugar Lash” referencing Victoria’s new job and the fact three of them had beautiful looking long eyelashes. For anyone to say our system sucks for cases like this, has to be insane as from Paramedic to hospital nurses and doctors in this situation only 5 star, first class, and exceptional can be used to describe the experience. Next day a whole new battery of testing going on including a MRI which I think everyone would agree is a horrible test. You would think they could quiet that machine down. Again wonderful nurses helped calm down Mom and she endured the test extremely well. I do have to say though going in to the hospital you can be assured you are not going to get any rest or sleep in particular. We drove up to Edmonton expecting to help Mom have a recovery time for one or two days but it ended up being quite a while. We didn’t bring a change of clothes or anything to use over an extended period of time. Luckily I thought to bring along my BP pill dispenser so I was ok. Sleeping in a hide a bed in a strange place, new noises, different temperatures, in not so private home and not having been prepared for a longer haul than expected wasn’t fun. It is not the same as having your own room, being able to cook for yourself, and it is away from home. Besides for anyone that knows me I HATE hospitals, and elderly homes. I hate the noise, the smell,the germs, the contamination etc but Mom’s place is one of the best I have seen with our experience with Jackie’s Dad. It is the correct place for Mom as the company, the events, the food prep , and her room is beautifully fixed up. It is in the independent area which is nice. It is ridiculous they charge so much for visitor parking at hospitals. In the patients interest it should be free. The hospital has some nearby food venues and a great in house food court for us to eat at as we had two or three meals each day there. This being her second TIA in four days the doctors worked hard consulting with each other including her past doctor from the Grey Nun’s hospital. After all of this the conclusion is she is not having TIA’s but having seizures. We had a long discussion on this as I wasn’t convinced with her face drooping. After it all I understand. The short affect of the drooping is the minds memory and weakness in the muscles from her actual stroke. So new pills are going to control this. The main triggers for the seizures are supposed to be stress, being over tired and dehydration all of which can be managed. The pills are supposed to eliminate this.We organized her pills, organized with the home her food requirements as she has a test coming up with specific needs, bought groceries for her to use her self, arranged meal delivery, changed light bulbs etc. I was impressed with her eating as everything she liked she ate which was awesome.
I do have to say it isn’t the easiest thing being away from home for days. Picked up breakfast one morning from McDonald’s which was good and a supper one night from Canadian Brewhouse which was fantastic. Awesome Shepherds Pie made with prime rib shavings.
With her excellent recovery and no side affects of her new pills we decided and needed to drive home. Wouldn’t you know it. It started to pour. Raining like mad in December isn’t that common. Anywhere there was ice on the street or sidewalk it became treacherous. The rain lasted until about Wetaskiwin and then dry roads. Victoria is heading to Leduc the next day so she should be fine. Busy upcoming week. With Victoria out of town we can pick up Jackson, he has a Christmas concert on Wednesday, Jackie has a luncheon on Wednesday, Jackie has a doctor’s appointment on Thursday, and we have a Christmas party on Friday.
I booked the Jeep into a highly reviewed independent shop because when we were going up to Edmonton we had very little heat. Very little. I checked the coolant and all is fine. Banged on the thermostat housing but to no avail. Due to having only one car and the busy week coming up it is booked in for the 19th. Before it gets cold i am thinking. I am going to hope this shop is good as I am tired of getting ripped off at the dealers. Plus I know I have a weak cell in my battery in the Jeep so when in the cold part of Alberta, Edmonton, I backed into my parking spots just in case. My brother asked why I didn’t just replace the battery. I was told two years ago the battery had a weak cell, I was told one year ago again a weak cell ( from a trusted shop) but the battery just hasn’t failed. Two years of $200 in my pockets is worth it the chance especially when it is parked in a heated space. Crooks. I am not positive but the weak cell affects the cranking power only.
It is a funny world. Maybe a different word then funny should be used.
Baby it’s Cold Outside a Christmas iconic song is now under scrutiny for it’s innocent wording that people are misconstruing. Amazing !
Midget hockey which we all grew up with now has to be changed as the “Short People’s Association” is upset with the word that they perceive as derogatory. This age group is usually 6 ft tall by then. 12 to 16 years of age if i remember correct.
Next the “Men with Little Penises Association” will want the Pee Wee name to disappear.
The ” Doughnut Association” will be upset with Timbit’s .
First time in along time I lost money on a Edm/Cal bet. I thought for sure we would win but with a unfair suspension of our captain, playing the night before and having won 5 in row a loss was due to for us. Having said that Edmonton just HUNG on as they didn’t really win.
I love teasing, playing with minds, and playing tricks on people. I sent out a “Fake News’ email to my group and only two people questioned the “FACTS”. I was impressed as the one of them is close to being the oldest and the other the youngest. The email was Birthday 2018 if you want to go back to verify. LOL Life is fun !
Thought of the Day
HOSPITALS – the only place where the word POSITIVE is a BAD thing !
December 12th to 16th
“Mercury Forecast Calgary 4 degrees Mesa 19 degrees”
I was just checking out our RV lot webpage and discovered a surprise. It appears they thought our lot was nice enough to promote it on their webpage front and center. And this is before I built the western fencing, installed the wood battens over the windows and added our Saloon sign. I do have to attempt it makes me feel good our hard work is appreciated. I still have a lot of landscaping and pretty things to add in the spring. I am adding a underground irrigation system for the beds so when we are away the flowers will be kept alive, flowers, metal cactus lawn decor and lighted cactus for night, complete the outdoor kitchen, and add artificial grass section.
Click on this link as we are featured in the first part of the ad.
We had Jackson’s Christmas concert tonight. I love these things. This year he was amazing, singing loudly and doing the movements with gusto.
Very well organized, fun to watch and a enjoyable evening. Love Christmas concerts with kids.
Finished our financial plan with Jackie & I running our numbers and including tax rates and returns and messaged our adviser with directions. For 2019 we are going to attempt to budget for $1000 per month reduction. Less Tim’s and gifts. LOL We will revisit late next year again. In the night another scenario hit me that these professional planners didn’t suggest that will save us quite a few tax dollars. Good thing their advise is free. LOL
The mall today was nice as it wasn’t busy at all. I hate the customer service levels in our stores, As I said before the Americans know customer service . Nobody to help. I finished off my Christmas shopping in about three hours. I am so lucky Jackie does the rest. I hate shopping. Only thing is I can’t complain on the dollars spent as she is doing the work. LOL And she is generous. LOL
No beer or red meat for a couple of weeks but my gout decided to pain me today. So drinking gallons of water and a couple of pills hopefully will make it disappear. It has been at least two years since the last episode.
Christmas party tonight with some of Jackie’s banker friends. This group only starts to talk banking after quite a few drinks. LOL Nice fun group of people.
The bank party this year was a lot more fun. Perhaps as people have left the company for more years now, the subject isn’t the most prominent one. I enjoy listening to other people’s perspective on taking CPP/OAS , I enjoy listening and discussing the retirement life style options and what people are doing. Some have homes in the States, some rent each year, some only take a short vacation break and some chose to stay in Calgary all winter long. Each person has their own way of thinking and life style based on wants, needs and finances. I enjoyed hearing about and talking about golf experiences, border crossings, what is keeping us busy etc. I hate it when the topic turns to aches, pains and illness. We all have them, deal with it don’t make it the main conversation point as so many older people do. Ron has a wonderful dog that was the main event. He is a cute dog with a neat personality that drew a lot of attention. Great food and drinks provided by our host Ron and he has lots of seating at his house in a comfortable sitting area
Fun night and the latest we have stayed out for along time not getting to bed to near 1 am.
I had a text from the Heatherglen Golf course wanting to meet to discuss next year’s opportunties. Both the GM and tournament coordinator that I have worked for are gone as of November so a new way of doing things for 2019. The GM Joel was there for my last four years and Shaun was one of the better guys to work for. I will meet and discuss with the manager to see if the new structure and their ideas work for me. I enjoy the job, enjoy the outdoors, love teasing and razzing the golfers but I do not want it to interfere with my fishing, family get togethers or vacations. I do this for enjoyment not money and most importantly the free golf.
Jackie bought a new mattress topper we are going to try. $1000 for a mattress is a big spend. The only issue is the sagging in the middle so we roll into each other in the night. Turned the mattress over and topped it so we will see. Jackie is very mattress funny. As long as I don’t feel metal bars below me I am ok. The odd time my hip gets sore if I am on a mattress that is too hard.
Washed the Jeep today just to get off the salt. Took over an hour and still not complete as i ran out of Armorall and Windex.
More budgeting, more planning my outdoor kitchen, more Googling items I need and relaxing days. Looking forward to more active days coming up in Arizona in only 20 more days. It seems like we have been back home forever. I like the other home much much better.
Thought of the Day
It is so easy to forget how as a child we laughed and smiled all day. Go back there in your mind and revisit those times. We can all have fun everyday if we choose. Your choice !
Beautiful sunny day out. That is one thing you can say about Alberta is even when it is minus 30 degrees it can be very sunny.
Cleaned the BBQ today. My Napoleon unit is 11 years old and just like brand new. I did notice a rust color around one edge but very minor. I did a lot of a research to decide between Napoleon and Weber before buying. Ended up with mine due to the sizzler burner so you can sear a steak and then cook it and have it completed in about 5 minutes. Love it. The road grime is amazing how it floats in the air up to the balcony. Used Windex and Stainless Steel cleaner and it came out great.
Cleaned the outside windows I could reach which makes a big difference in the visual look from inside of the condo. Cleaned the furniture a bit and patio and is done until spring.
I received our City of Calgary tax bill today. The assessed value is down 30K but the taxes are UP 10 % That is an unheard of increase but when you have the downtown with a 25 % vacancy rate in downtown Calgary someone has to pay. All due the people that thought they were helping by voting NDP. Amazing. I can’t imagine the increase if the property values had increased. Wouldn’t be nice if only the NDP and Liberal voter had to pay .LOL
I do have to admit the politics of the world is baffling. Trump is an idiot, Trudeau is worse , Notley is in a league of her own, Macron is a dummy, Putin is a weasel, Jong-un has no description. These are our leaders and we are supposed to be happy. Riots, protests are happening world wide. Socialist agenda’s, environmentalists agenda’s, rights for everyone are causing economic chaos that will be difficult to correct. I feel for the younger generation. We need to go back to a simpler way of doing things. Forget political correctness and fix things. Let all of those thinking their rights are being sabotaged suck it up until we can get more things under control.
We all went to Swiss Chalet for Alan’s birthday. Big day for him as he turns 55 years old.
I love Swiss and had to have the Festive Chicken dinner.
I remember years ago ( 30 yrs) when Rollie and I used to meet every Wednesday in Nov/Dec and have Swiss Chalet Festive meals. We each had accounts near so it made it easy. The only difference was it used to come with a Toblerone bar instead of Lindor chocolates. We all had a wonderful meal. Alan had MaryAnn, Danielle, Dan, Chris, Kennedy, Lexi ,Audrey, Michael, Jackie, Jackson and I out with him. Special treat and extremely generous as MaryAnn paid for everyone’s meal for Alan’s birthday. Fun get together. As always things happen and it was fun to listen to Audrey’s and Micheal ordeal of finding the place. They followed precisely the instructions which didn’t exactly specify the EXACT location and their struggles to find Swiss Chalet. We then all headed to the Bowling Lanes.
Another funny thing as Alan received his FIRST seniors discount in his life as they had reduced rates for over 55. He will discover it is a wonderful thing. Just funny to see it right away.
Ok I lost. Alan won. I said it. He won !
There were a few good games from certain people. First Alan with a huge amount of luck beating everyone by a lot. MaryAnn and Jackie having a good game and Audrey playing very well and beating Micheal. He had one pin left for 2 points which would have put him ahead of Audrey but he missed losing by one point. Jackson played very well again staying ahead of Audrey and Micheal. Again MaryAnn was very generous paying for everyone’s games. It was a fun night except for having to admit defeat. But if you all remember the saying “customer golf” where you allow the customer to win in my subconscious I knew it was Alan’s birthday and didn’t want to spoil the party. This I am sure of.
Fun night and very kind of MaryAnn . I guess the old fart deserves it.
Up early this morning at over to the dentist. I hate dentists but we are lucky to have a good one. Very honest and exceptionally watchful of not charging for something that is not needed. The fluoride makes you feel funny but I guess it is supposed to work. All done in about a hour and good for another year. I have one old silver filling he is watching but other than that perfect.
Watched the finale of the Voice. Another surprising end winner. Chevell while a great singer wasn’t my pick by a mile nor Jackie’s. Time will tell if she is successful.
Thought of the Day
Isn’t odd the same boiling water that soften’s a potato, hardens an egg.
“Mercury Forecast – Mesa 21 degrees Calgary 4 degrees”
Up early and took my Jeep into a independent shop. First experience so far so good. They are going to do a radiator flush, and a heater core back flush to see if that works. The thermostat and blend doors are working fine. If that doesn’t work another heater core exchange and we all know that cost. I replaced the heater core in our Cherokee, ( $2000) I replaced the evaporator core in the Enclave ( $3000) the Dakota blew it’s heater core and now the Wrangler heater core perhaps and i know it needs an evaporator core guessing at $2000. Lots of bad luck with this. Dodge products the bulk of them so I can’t say it is only one brand. My guess is cheap Chinese products sold to the manufacturers. We are spending a way too much on auto repairs lately. But one bill of $2000 is only 4 months payments on a new vehicle so I am still ok with it. Considering I only have 80km on the Jeep and am expecting to hit at least 250Km on it before replacing it. Fingers crossed the back flush works. I may attempt to replace the Dakota one myself this summer as it is pretty hard to sell with out a heater working.
The TSX isn’t being kind. Good thing our budget plans call for a reduction in expenses for next year.The TSX is the lowest in 2 years. All blamed on monetary policy of the reserve, China trade and USA/ Mexico wall. All i know is it sucks with the decreases all of the time. My Christmas wish is 7% return rates and TSX hitting 17,000. Not asking for much. LOL The only good thing I can say is it should be a good time to get into the market. It is a catch 22 with your money as the equity market is the only place for some growth but it so volatile. When retired you don’t have a huge wait time for the uptick. Remember the 72 rule. At 4 % it is 18 years to double your money. At 5% it is 14 years. If you retire at 65 by the time your money is supposed to have doubled you will be dead. And remember you are drawing your money down. We need a rate increase now.
It allows two different scenarios to help you understand your money. It has an inflation factor. For anyone not familiar with it here are a couple of tips.
- Average lifespan of a Canadian male is 83 years old.
- Average inflation has been 3.2 % but using 2% makes sense for the last 10 years
- Estimate on known budget numbers your needed income.
- Add the longevity of your saved dollars to your age and you will know how long it will last.
Guaranteed your financial planner uses a similar calculator. There are plenty more that are more detailed as you can adjust by year but using logic ( your income will drop as you need less as you age) this work will work out to be quite accurate.
BAD LUCK– heater core has to be changed out on the Wrangler, A $2500 hit. The only good thing out of this is that I am having the a/c evaporator changed out at the same time. The book that service stations use for pricing, lists it at 12 hours of labor to complete the job. Dash, steering column , engine intake, all have to be removed to fix it. Not something easy. I could change out a heater core in my muscle cars in about 1 hour. That is how smart the new engineers are. Think about a headlight on some vehicles now taking 1 hour to replace or on a Ford 350 having to remove the entire cab from the chassis to fix anything mechanical. Upset over 2K but again I go back to my way of thinking, in that it is only 4 months of payments on new vehicle. Worst thing also is no stock other that Dodge and they are only about $200 more than it should be compared to the after market guys. Bad luck with a/c and heater cores. LOL
I have come to the conclusion that we couldn’t live with one vehicle.
Computer issue have to take it in to remove Critical Error
December 20th to 23rd
A busy few days. But not a lot of activity so I discovered that drinking beer and rye with activity equals no drinking and no activity with weight gain. I gained the same amount in the same time frame under both scenarios.
Busy days and EXPENSIVE days.
First the Jeep. Ended up a backflush didn’t work so a change in the heater core was the only solution. Huge job as even the top of the engine plenum had to be removed. So while the truck was completely torn apart I had the evaporator changed out also. The garage had a hard time finding this for some reason. Now a evaporator is much thinner and smaller than a heater core and should have cost less as it is listed with Napa, Auto Village or even Rock Auto. Only place was Dodge in Red Deer with one and they were at least $250 more than they should have been. Now OEM parts are usually better than after market as China parts are so abundant. No choice and had it fixed recognizing it could be a good thing as you don’t want a failure in the near future due to import poor quality.The factory one had a leak in it from day one but the dealer won’t warranty it. Good luck on warranty from dealers. All in the final bill was $3200. Ouch again !! But I now have perfect heat, perfect air conditioning and a new battery where hopefully everything lasts another 10 years or until I need to sell the Jeep.
There is always a but. I checked everything when I got home as the dash was completely removed and discovered my PIAA lights aren’t working. In their connection of all of the parts this was missed. I did a quick check in case it was a simple thing then said to myself for $3200 they can fix it so will wait until the 27th to have them correct it.
Love driving this little truck. My courtesy car was ” my fathers Buick” and it was exactly that. Nice enough car being old school but a nice luxury to have so near Christmas with a lot of repair shops not having this option. Overall I am pleased with this shop. I will use them for the next few repairs. Pleased but not ecstatic. Higher than normal on evaporator, loaner charge not mentioned, battery removal labour charge when they had to remove it anyways for the core replacement and lights not working. All forgivable so pleased with reservations.
Then off to pick up my computer. Microsoft should really have a class action lawsuit against them as they have more issues than anyone. A new update and issues every time. I couldn’t repair this ” Critical issue”. Turns out the computer shop couldn’t either and decided to uninstall and reinstall Windows 10. A huge hassle for me as you lose so much of your needed and wanted stuff. I will need to reset so many passwords, set up favorites again etc. The repair guy suggested I go back to the EDGE instead of Chrome which I will try again. Got it home and started it up. Another BUT. The cursor doesn’t show and after restarting and resetting etc I reverted back to a manual mouse. I hate a mouse as the cursor with keypad is so much easier to work with. So I will return it also on the 27th to get repaired. Fun and games ! I don’t believe an expectation of job to be completed right the first time is too high for anything.
Another email from the condo board with the invoice and video of the door incident. They say things come in threes. LOL I was pleased they sent the video as it confirmed 100% as I expected the door hitting me. The door to begin with was bent and weather-stripping hanging down for a long time. The repaired door is opening higher and seems to be working better. I was very disappointed in the management company and board sending me the invoices attached along with the video. They must not have even looked at the video. Here are the facts that happened. The door does not open unless you are at the top of the ramp with our fob. You are supposed to have 12 seconds to get through the door. The door came down at 9 seconds in the video. I also tested the timing yesterday and still 9 seconds which is 25% faster than it is supposed to be. Also in the video it shows the truck 40% of the way under the door when the door started to come down. The sensor must not have worked to allow the reopening.On the invoice the overhead repair company stated “excessive wear”. Any time there is excessive wear you know a maintenance schedule hasn’t been followed. First the timing being 25% faster is dangerous and asking for trouble and second the sensor not working due to lack of care of the door is dangerous and thirdly not to maintain these things is very dangerous to people and property. I am not paying for their incompetence in scheduling a regular maintenance program so that the door works as intended. Another email back to them and hopefully common sense prevails and they realize bullying someone in a no fault situation will not result in them paying. Probably the most annoying things is the board not having the guts to contact me and using multiple emails in their bullying attempts thru the management company in their hopes I would pay. Not going to happen. If it comes down to small claims court I am very very positive the judge will side with me seeing the video evidence and understanding the negligence on the condo’s part. The end result would be the condo paying for the door, security, repairs to my vehicle, cost associated with the court and the possibility of the costs due to emotional distress brought on by bullying.
We have all of our Christmas shopping done which is nice. The is the last year we will spending the amount of money we did. When retired every dollar spent can’t be replaced. But the kids and grandkids will be very happy. It is always a nice sight to see the joy and feel the love.
Plans change but so far we are heading up to Edmonton on Christmas morning and returning that night after visiting my family. The kids will be at our place on Boxing Day. We are going over to Audrey’s place on Christmas Eve. I love the Christmas food and company. Jackie even picked up a fruit cake which I love and some eggnog.
Very difficult working on the computer when it isn’t properly working but at least I can accomplish most things until the repair is complete.
Completing a few computer things to try to back to normal. Passwords are a pain as I have 39 different passwords that I use. Making each of them different and remembering them is difficult compounded by the banks giving you only a few tries before they lock you out.
It was nice to see Edmonton lose right after Calgary did. I think thoughts of sugar plums were dancing thru their heads and them not concentrating. Christmas is right around the corner. The 30 days we have to stay in Canada does seem long. I am looking forward to Arizona very soon. But first I have the World Juniors to watch which are always fun, pick up a new TV for the motorhome, have at least I hope a couple of turkey dinners and enjoy the company. I did notice Christmas week in AZ is cold this year with a couple of days rain , and highs only hitting 13 to 16 degrees. Not bad but cold for there.
Visited the medical centre and the doctor laughed at me when I said I need a few more pills. The last time I had a prescription for gout was 2014 and I just ran out. I do not want to ever be without these as when I feel it starting one pill or two and it disappears for another year. As previously stated the pain is worse than childbirth.
A dull day today which is too bad. Ok warmth. All Christmas stuff done except for some last minute stuff on Boxing Day. Jackie picked up a peanut mix today that is incredible. Worst thing it is somewhat addictive.
Thought of the Day
An ugly Christmas sweater I am sure is a cry for help. And remember nothing is meaner than giving a kid something that is useful.
A lot of travelling to get to family for the holidays. People rushing to get the last few things. Busy airports. Busy roadways. Telephone lines burning up. A busy day.
Jackie got lucky to squeeze in a doctors appointment today as they must have had a cancellation. Works out good for us as we leave in a week or so and we have time to for the doctor to ensure everything is perfect. She doesn’t like it when we have an appointment then leave. So this worked out perfect.
The TSX today again takes almost 2% hit staying well below 13,800. Just a few months ago we were over 16,500. This hurts no matter where your money is. Equities results in big losses. Guaranteed venues just don’t pay. I would love a steady market instead of this up and then huge down swipes. I have protected a larger portion of dollars but still take huge hits with such large down turns.
My postings will be sporadic as Christmas is a busy time visiting and travelling to Edmonton. Plus the fact I am working with a handicapped laptop. LOL
We went over to Audrey’s & Michaels place for Christmas Eve.
Audrey cooked a wonderful meal. Took pork loin and made it super fancy with a special stuffing. Stuffed pork, gravy, mashed potatoes, veggies, salad etc which was delicious. Loved the dressing with the pork. Missed the corn though. LOL The table was all fancied up and looked wonderful.
We had a private concert put on by Michael and his trumpet. He has only being playing for a few months but did a fantastic job. Knowing the difficulty of reading music and learning an instrument I was impressed with his progress. Between the singing and music it was interesting Christmas entertainment.
I smile to myself though knowing how much Michael dislikes Donald yet his choice of instrument is a TRUMPet. Ironic. No wonder it is hard to learn. LOL
December 25th to 29th
Issues with password protected sheets and not being able to use the touch pad and no cursor are difficult. I can’t work near as fast with a mouse and can’t do half the stuff I need to. But I have to struggle away as the shop isn’t open until the 31st.
First let me say this was one of the most INTERESTING Christmas’s in awhile. There were so many unique, unusual and different happenings that just made me laugh inside. Any time you can get joy and laugh to yourself it is a good thing. I can’t tell all the real stories but Jackie & I killed ourselves with some of them.
We got up early Christmas morning and opened our socks. As always Jackie was very thoughtful in her gift choices ( sorry Santa ). In my sock I received new violin strings, shiner minnow bait, magnetic drink holder, handwarmers. shaving crème and many other little things plus we both received a way too much chocolate. We both opened our main gifts on Christmas Eve to save time which we both loved. The needle in the haystack gift Jackie wanted I finally found and as there were two different types of the same thing I bought both to be safe. Smart !
A quick stop at Tim’s ( any Tim’s in a Esso station was open on Christmas Day) and then on the road.Half way to Red Deer a car pulled rapidly over to the shoulder and younger guy runs out of the car into the ditch. The driver chases after him and starts tucking and wrestling with him as he is trying to jump over the fence to get away. I said to Jackie ” It looks the first guy didn’t like his onesie he got for Christmas and the other guy is saying sorry and ran away ” Just an odd sight to see.
We get past Red Deer one mile and a white out. Blowing snow and only one lane open with the snow accumulating and no plows in sight. We were all travelling only 80 kms per hour with the snow and very slippery roads. A few trucks and cars hitting the ditch along the way. Getting to Nisku the snow stopped and roads cleared up which was nice.
Travelling on the Henday all of a sudden a diesel lifted Dodge truck passes a car right in front of us on the opposite lane by using the shoulder lane. He pulls in front of the car and slams on his brakes. Jackie swears the car hit the truck but being lifted and no hitch I am not sure but the truck driver jumps out of his truck and runs to the back so I think the car did nudge him. Road Rage incident unfolding right in front of us. We had to carry on so we do not know what the outcome was.
I realize Edmontonian’s have a lot to be depressed and angry about, but road rage, on Christmas Day seems extreme.
We made it to Darlene’s place in perfect time. This Christmas gathering was with my sister Darlene, Jim, Kayla, and Kari along with my brother Alfred, Mary, Garrett, Mariz and Mom. I will state again that my sister using a lot of my Grandma’s recipes makes the best Christmas turkey dinner ever. She is an amazing cook. This year due to a gimp shoulder she counted her kids Kayla and Kari to chip in.
She had the table all set with Mom’s Royal Albert china which is very nice.
The gift that Mary gave us was the best and most thoughtful gift you could give. We received a picture frame of three pictures of Mom and Dads wedding pictures in black & white. The picture is amazing and much appreciated. A nice family get together but due to in-law commitments and distance our girls struggle to make it to Edmonton to complete the group plus Graham was on vacation this year. Cassie has made it a couple of times but not as of late.
It snowed about 2 inches during our Christmas activities. We left after supper and headed to Jackie’s brother Dave’s place to see him and drop off the gifts from the Calgary group. I think we caught them just before bedtime as they seemed very tired. And they are young ! And it is Christmas so you aren’t allowed to be tired. Erin’s Mom who is struggling with cancer looked fantastic and was in great spirits. Erin’s Dad was very talkative and we had a great conversation about golf courses and things in general. Kristen was there also with her little pup Sampa which is super cute puppy. Visited for a while but we could tell they were looking forward to bed more than conversation. LOL
It was a longer drive home than normal with the roads. Very slippery and snow covered with one long section of the highway closed due to a major collision with a detour using the side service road. It was a good four hour drive with the road conditions resulting in us not getting home until after 11pm.
Red Deer Gasoline Alley with it’s new entrance ,I am sure has affected businesses. I have a plan now that I will take the second exit which is a little more cumbersome then the way it used to be. I know myself I will not stop as much as we used to. The stupidity of a entrance 2 miles before needed is something I don’t think I will ever like. Another example of the road engineers not being to clever. Where do we find these guys ?
We got to sleep in which was nice.
Victoria, Corey and Jackson arrived right after noon and Jessica with Penny, August and Atticus coming a few hours later. We played Kerplunk which was a fun game. Jackson was quite good at it and he was so good waiting for the others to arrive to open his presents.
We had a very nice day with everyone playing games and talking. The girls even brought a 30 pack of Coor’s along which we put on the deck to keep cool.
We all decided to go to Midnapore Lake to toboggan. This is the perfect place with a huge skating rink, lake skating and a wonderful safe toboggan hill. The girls and kids had an excellent time. August and Jackson loved the speed. Corey FLEW down the hill. Flash like. Nice also that the temperature was fine.
This picture is of Corey 5 seconds before a FAIL. Corey is a fantastic skater and played hockey so has much better skating skills than most people. Notice the forgotten blade guards on. He hits the ice and expects to fly but instead nose dived to the ice. Funny for us. Not so much for Corey. LOL
We then headed home and the kids got to rip open their presents.
August is still a little young for this hi-tech gaming but with some of the “kids” games he will figure it out quickly. Having said that though I think Penny is going to become the Switch guru teaching August how to play. Right away she downloaded from Nintendo special kids games for him. Jackson was super thrilled and excited. He will be able to handle this no problem. Victoria and Corey may have to limit his time on it but he will for sure be entertained. He says to me ” Papa you know every kid at school has one of these and now so do I ” Don’t know how he knows that. LOL It is nice to see the appreciation.
All of the kids slept very well that night. A little tired out with the outside air getting to them. They had fun as did the adults. They both received a Fugly which is a ugly monster stuffed animal that is supposed to keep “monsters” away at night. It worked !!
Audrey,Michael, Kristen and Sheldon along with their little puppy joined us for a brunch the next day and gift exchanges. It is fun listening to the stories, struggles, entertaining times and things going on in a persons life. Kristen and Sheldon ( a wonderful guy) live the “millennial” lifestyle with an apartment, dog, eating out, downtown hustle and bustle and enjoying it. Oh to be young again.
There is a saying ” Real mean don’t eat quiche ” I don’t get that one, as all quiche is, is an omelet in pastry. My quiche I made using two tenderflake pie crusts, 12 eggs, ham, onions and bacon in a large Pyrex dish. Turned out wonderful and along with a green salad and hash browns was the perfect brunch meal.
Another wonderful day.
The garage for my PIAA light repair wasn’t open so will need to wait until Monday for that also. I decided to try to fix some of my computer issues myself. I uninstalled the drivers for the touch pad, mouse and pointers. I then shutdown the system and let the computer find the missing drivers itself at startup and YES it worked. It now is working like it is supposed to. Yahoo ! Then on to the excel. All of the sheets were XLXS sheets so I converted them all to XLS sheets and was able to make that work with one smaller concession which was lost commenting on the excel sheets. I can live with that. I have the one password protected excel and one password protected word document that still won’t open. Getting closer. Getting used to Edge. So so so far.
Dull and dreary day today. The last warmer day supposedly before a cold front drops in. Nothing on the agenda today of importance. I need to wash the Jeep to get the salt off it. I may redo my word sheet and change a bunch of the passwords which is always a good thing. My investment page I may try to open on Jackie’s laptop and convert it also and see what happens. Took me a few hours but finally I have all of my sheets in Excel and word sheets that are protected by passwords finally working again. I do not need to take it in now as after all of the hours I have spent it is working perfect. Some very strange oddities with Office 365 etc but I will get used to it.I plan to eat my Terry’s Orange Chocolate today which I love. Turned the humidifier on high as the air is a little dry in the house.
Another Christmas come and gone. Fun gatherings, wonderful food, fun tobogganing, great gifts, nice visits and always fun seeing the excitement of kids opening presents. Now to decide when to take the tree and decorations down. I am thinking Jan 2 for the moment.
Junior Hockey on again tonight which will be fun.
Thought of the Day
Odd how when we stop believing in Santa we start getting socks and underwear only.
” Mercury Forecast Mesa 14 degrees Calgary -6 degrees”
It is winter but hard to believe that it is getting down to zero at nights in Mesa. Good thing I put the furnace on to keep from freezing up. Today in Calgary -18 with the wind chill. Edmonton getting down to -24 degrees which could hit -30 degrees with the wind chill. I saw on the news a 30 car pile on Hwy 16 at Spruce Grove so you know it is snow and cold. We are so lucky to be able to go to Arizona for the winter. 7 more days to go.
Played the violin for the first time in maybe 45 years or more. I lost the ability to read music but it is coming back slowly. New string works well. Found a good tuning webpage. Practised for a bit and semi pleased. It will take a long time to get up to speed. Learning music, and timing isn’t easy. Plus the screeching due to old rosin( 50 yrs old)
Took me an hour to wash the Jeep.
I have been studying Alberta law with regards to liens, small claim court procedure and dispute resolution and forms as it appears the condo management company isn’t backing down. It is shame our governments allow these organizations to have SO much POWER over an individual. They have a lot of funds available with monthly HOA and reserve funds to use against an individual with limited funds . All that is needed is a binding tribunal panel as a method of resolution rather than the courts. Not even a phone call from these guys or the board which to me is unbelievable. I would pay instantly if I felt at fault but in this case it would not be right to do so. I would rather pay the courts then be bullied into paying for a invoice that I am not at fault with. I have little patience with incompetence, and arrogance.
Lots of hockey last night with a great Junior win and a good game from the Flames but a OT loss. I am liking the way the Flames are playing.
This is a late posting but I have to show this off. Jessica created this which I think speaks of her incredible talent.
Thought of the Day
“You are unique. You have different talents and abilities. You don’t have to always follow in the footsteps of others. And most important, you should always remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and have a responsibility to develop the talents you have been given.”
” Mercury Forecast Mesa 11 degrees rain Calgary -8 degrees Edmonton -9 degrees ”
With the wind chill a lot of the cities in northern Alberta in the night were close to -40 degrees, Even yesterday with the wind it was cold.
We spent a few hours at the lot as it was so sunny. Cold though with the Jeep gauge saying -14 degrees. No wind but walking around your cheeks and face felt cold. It was beautiful out there with the snow and tranquility. Enjoyed it. I plugged in the converter the whole time we were there to charge up the carriage batteries. The chassis battery, I have a solar trickle on it that appears to be working perfect. If it is nicer out tomorrow we may go out to have a wiener roast.
Well the last day of another year. Plans are low key for tonight with us cooking baby ribs and mashed potatoes for supper and then watching a movie and relaxing. We flip back and forth between NYC countdown and our Canadian one. NYC has better guests and is high production but it is cool to see our fellow Canadian’s enjoy themselves.
I always love the YEAR IN REVIEW as you can get an idea what has happened and what you spent your time on.
2018 YEAR IN REVIEW
What another wonderful year that has past. My only complaint is time is going away too fast. A way too fast. It has been almost 5 years of retirement ( March 2019) and not one bored day. It was a busy year in 2018. A little different year as we didn’t travel, fish, camp or golf as much as the past few retirement years. I will fix that. Mostly due to our new RV lot we bought. 2018 was the 4th year of retirement and finances are doing ok. The markets are screwing up our plans a little so we are being a little cautious for a while with the any big spend ideas. 2020 will be our big spend year as Jackie is turning 60 and it is our 40th wedding anniversary so planning on big cruise. So here some of the high-lites of what we did in 2018.
Happy Number One
Hopefully I didn’t forget anything big to mention.
A fun year, worked more than I really wanted to but accomplished a huge amount. Not a good year financially with the stock market tanking and the one time expenses that kept hitting us.
Good Bye 2018 and thanks for the memories.
Though of the Day
New Year’s Eve celebration is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, friendly calls and humbug resolutions. New Year’s Day is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin to revert to your old ways as usual.