December

December 1st

“Mercury Forecast  Calgary 2 degrees  Edmonton -4 degrees Mesa 19 degrees”

I got so busy watching Jackie decorate the tree I forgot it was December and needed a new page. I had to move from Nov to here. LOL

I bought a special golf pass for myself and Jackie for this summer with Jeff & Wendy that hopefully will work out good. I have two years free golf at Oasis yet and I have my Turner Valley membership on retainer which I will use for Thursday’s men’s league I love and the odd other time. Turner from Oasis is over an hour drive so doesn’t make much sense for gas and time while we are out there and I plan to spend a lot more time out there this year.

Jackie was Christmas decorating mad today. She is pretty good at finding just the right spot. I am one of those that refuses to accept no decorations or tree for Christmas no matter cost or short time span. This year the decorations will be from December 1st to January 2nd so that is very good.

Jackie starting the tree decorating

Tree done

Made me think how much fun it was having kids help with the tree. It was always a fun time.

“Memories”

Four neat Christmas memories that come up.

  1. Going out to my Grandma’s farm every year as a kid. Granddad would have cut down a spruce tree waiting for us on Christmas eve. He would nail it to large piece of wood to stand it up and we would decorate it. Alfred, Darlene and I with Mom & Dad would have a blast. There were some old style decorations but it all would end up looking wonderful. Christmas morning we wouldn’t be allowed out of bed until Grandad had started the wood stove to heat the house. He along with Grandma would be up at 6am or earlier depending on the bird size as it was a wood/coal stove and it took lot of hours to cook a huge turkey. I bet we had 50 people there some years.
  2. Most likely the second year Jackie was my girl friend I headed out to Edson to my Grandparents new home in town with my present from her. I opened it in the morning and it was a pillow. I was convinced she had wrapped the wrong present for myself. Some time later I discover a lump in the case. She had put my new Canon SLR camera in the pillow to keep it from getting damaged. My family though it was hilarious that I was fooled. I did not. LOL  A wonderful camera that I bought many lenses for including a 12in long 500mm zoom lens with a 2x multi lens. I could see a pimple on a person a mile away but the camera was especially good for close up pictures with my 65mm Macro lens.  I still have that camera today in perfect shape but getting film for it might be an issue as that was before digital.
  3.  Another year out at my Grandma’s farm I wore my leather visor that Jackie had bought me. Along with my long hair my relatives really didn’t like it. If anyone knows me that didn’t really matter. I was hand churning butter when Grandma went to remove my visor and my instinctive reaction was to throw up my arm. It hit her arm and she smashed her hand into her eye giving herself a very black eye. I felt so bad as she had this black eye the entire Christmas.
  4. It was 1983 and we just moved into a house we couldn’t afford in St Albert and we had no money for a lot of stuff so had to sacrifice on everything including food.  I went out to get our first Christmas tree in St Albert and the girls first Christmas tree. I ended up bringing home a trimmed to perfection real Scotch Pine tree that was $75 that we didn’t really have any money for. Jackie was a little upset. After decorating it with what we had it looked magnificent. FIRST TREE come on !! She has never let me live that down.  

Watched a bit of TV had a good supper and enjoyed the evening. That is most likely the best part of being married is the fact you have someone to talk to and discuss. I also like the fact that Jackie has her own opinions on things that don’t align with mine but we are both ok with that.

Thought of the Day 

If you don’t have the facts and are going by hearsay or media you really don’t have a valid informed opinion.

December 2nd

“Mercury Forecast”  Calgary 6 degrees, Edmonton 1 degrees Mesa 22 degrees

Nothing other than Audrey’s move coming up this week. I may make my irrigation manifold for the girls system this week.

I went out and renewed my registration. That is getting expensive. Today was a $582 bill for the four vehicles with each being a two year term and one being a one year term. The office wanted a 4% charge to use visa/m/c so I used my debit and forfeited my rewards. That is over $23 more to use your card. Not right.

I also phoned and paid my Viewpoint bill for the month. Hit the girl on the perfect day as she says you know you could hold off on that until next month with no charges. I said NO I will pay now. They were probably trying to save their visa rate charge. These card companies need to be controlled a bit. I was happy  a company like Costco actually kicked out Visa from their stores.

Hard to but I will not comment as I see the news and protesting from a small group of unionists.  Only comment I will make is a quote from Ralph Klein. “If I don’t see a protest I wonder what I have done” . As a province we are finally getting on track after a couple of extremely poor PC leaders and the worst Premier of our lives in Notley.

Just one thought : KISS  ( keep it simple stupid) Kenny ONLY cut 3 cents out of every dollar spent. It is the unions pretending they have to cut jobs to get public support instead of looking at their budgets. Try getting rid of the mid and top level admin people first . Won’t happen.

Cyper Monday and we don’t need anything. Darn !  How can that be.?

I sure do miss the activity of being down south. Having said though I lost the 5 pounds that beer added when in Mesa.

Thought of the Day 

Due to budget cuts the light at the end of tunnel has been turned off. 

December 3rd -4th

“Mercury Forecast”  Calgary  0 degrees snow  Edmonton -1 degrees snow  Mesa 22 degrees 

Jackie ordered a few presents online for Christmas which with our Prime membership will arrive in a couple of days.

Decorations for this year are all done.

2019 Christmas decorating all done

I was surprised at what a natural athlete I am. I went down to the gym today without exerting myself for about two weeks and ran 2 miles without a problem. Today though my Achilles heel hurts a bit but after another run today it will stretch out. Lifted a few weights and again today the odd muscle is sore. One needs to do this consistently.

I picked up Jackson and we headed to the rink for hockey practice. Today he was practicing as a goalie for his game on Saturday. He did very well. He doesn’t flinch when a puck is sent directly at him at all. With a little more practice he could be good but I would prefer him to be a forward. Lots more fun to score than being scored on. Putting on all of that equipment was fun trying to figure out where each buckle goes and the order  of dressing. We did awesome and I installed only one stretch cord at the bottom in the wrong place. Another guy showed me where it was supposed to wrap around the toe of the skate. Overall the system is quite good. It was a fun practice to watch.

Great job Jack

I talked to Jackie on my cell and said we should meet up for supper as she was out shopping with her Mom for a washer & dryer. Then my phone when dead so no way of getting a hold of her. She said later she texted right after and when I looked at it was 3 min to0 late of dead. So I whipped to Leon’s as they had just started the paperwork and it was no more than 10 mins away from the rink but they had left before we got there. Turns out Leon’s was out of stock on the model they wanted.

So I took Jackson to my favorite place. HARVEY’s for a burger and my poutine. Kids are funny with their food choices. He doesn’t like anything on his burger. At the line though he did add lettuce. Everyone is different but condiments make the food. I have mustard, mayo, ketchup, relish, tomato, pickle, onions, and peppers. Mustard on ham, burger, hot dog, is a MUST.

Corey was working late and Tor had her Soul class to go to so I stayed and watched Jackson. We watched this movie called HOT ROD which was great. A fun movie for kids and adults.

Got home later and watched a bit of TV with Jackie. Another great day.

I saw this thing on a show about a guy attempting to make his days better where he wrote each day something that was awesome and then wrote a book on his awesomeness. I won’t write a book but I like the positive thinking.

AWESOME THOUGHT

It was a very fun evening watching Jackson play hockey and spending the time with him at home.

A prelude to my Thought Of The Day – If you hang around with people that swear continuously you may think this is the norm and find yourself doing the same. If you hang around with drunks or druggies you will again start to think this is the norm and do more damage to your brain that you would like. Hang with thieves and you could end up with a criminal record. CHOOSE YOUR FREINDS WELL and choose who you want to be.

Thought of the Day 

Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself. We all choose to become who we are. Others can influence us bad or good but we CHOOSE.  Next time when you are sad choose not to be. Surround yourself with happy things and thoughts. Next time when angry ask yourself why ?  Does it accomplish anything other than to hurt yourself as you may think it affects others, and it may, but really in the long haul it will only hurt you.

December 5th

“Mercury Forecast ”  Mesa  21 degrees, Calgary -3 degrees, Edmonton -4 degrees

Another wonderful day in winter paradise. Looking at the mountains in the morning with the snow on them they are very beautiful. They do add to the overall “greatness” of Calgary. Very few large cities have such a majestic background.

First thing was to deliver our paper work for our cruise to our agent. Signed everything and all set to go. Dalhousie Station is a ways away. Loads of construction on 14th with the new LRT lines and loads of construction on Crowchild. We have always lived in the south part of Calgary put I can tell you the north part is a disaster for roadways. They built new communities without the infrastructure to accommodate the traffic and now have snarls everywhere with the Crowchild in my mind being the worst road in Calgary.  I love the south of Calgary for access, for ease of amenities and it some how just has a friendlier feeling. But that is just me.

I like December Christmas spirit.

I talked to Telus with their new pure fiber they are offering. All said and done I get a way faster internet and on our cell, TV and internet billing I am getting a 25% reduction from what I am currently paying. Win !

I talked to Primmum our insurance company. I was able to deal with manager as they were short staffed today. After all of our discussion on insurance as they had raised my rate due to the fires and floods in Alberta I am now paying $500 less a year. This is on all combined motorhome, Dakota, Enclave, Wrangler, boat & motor plus Condo and possessions. It all adds up and I am a happy camper. Win !

I talked to Princess today for at least one hour. I actually talked to 4 different agents in the process but finally got the access done. As we have cruised often enough with Princess we belong to the Captain’s Circle Ruby level so I didn’t want to re-register and lose our history. I am hoping now everything will be right.  Ended up with a very friendly young girl agent.

Some days things just go right. Honey is always more effective than piss and vinegar. A good day.

I drove by Audrey’s new home which we are moving her into tomorrow and the construction will not be an issue what so ever. Hopefully all goes well.

I reminded our management company of my need for a new door fob and she says she will phone me asap. Hopefully as running around and opening it from the inside is a pain.

AMAZING THOUGHT

Isn’t it nice that there are so many helpful people wanting to do a good job for you if you are  reasonable and compromising. Today I saved a lot of money due to people’s willingness to help.

“PENNYWISE TIPS”

5 Reasons to retire as soon as possible.

You work hard for your money throughout your career. In retirement, your money needs to work just as hard for you as you’ve worked for it, to cover your costs once you’re no longer collecting a paycheck. It’s a challenge to get to that point, but once you do, the freedom that comes from financial independence can be quite the game changer for the rest of your life.
That freedom puts you in control of your life in a way you’ve never before had, and the earlier you reach it, the longer you can keep it. With that in mind, here are five reasons to retire as early as you can.
No. 1: You have only so long to live well
The average life expectancy at birth in Canada is somewhere between 78 and 82 years old. Hopefully, you’ll be among those who bring the average up, but even if you are, the reality is that we tend to slow down as we age, with health concerns and costs tending to rise the older we get. So the younger you’re able to retire, the larger the portion of your life — and your healthy life — that you’ll be able to spend enjoying your retirement.
No. 2: Someone is going to spend your money — it might as well be you
As the old saying goes, “you can’t take it with you.” Even then, it’s not entirely clear that you can successfully leave it behind for your loved ones, either. Unfortunately, if your goal is to establish a legacy that allows your family to live comfortably for the foreseeable future, chances are that future won’t play out the way you hoped. The vast majority of inherited money is lost by the second generation — and by the third generation, around 90% of family fortunes are gone.
The reality is that money is easy to spend, and large amounts of it can be quite tempting. That’s particularly true for people who never had to sacrifice to earn it. As Warren Buffett has famously said, the perfect amount to leave for your kids is “enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.″ So join the legions of people with the “We’re spending our kids’ inheritance” bumper stickers and enjoy the money you’ve spent your career earning.                                                                                                          No. 3: That famous deathbed regret
One of the most common regrets people mention on their deathbeds is that they wish they hadn’t worked so hard throughout their lives. All the money in the world won’t buy you much more time at the end of your life, but quitting work once you’ve reached “enough” can get you more time at the earlier end of your retirement. It’s during that early part of your retirement that you can build the antidote to that deathbed regret and experience the time with your loved ones that really matters.
No. 4: Even if you don’t quit, the fact that you can matters
Buffett is well into his 80s, is one of the richest people on Earth, and has indicated that he has no plans to retire in the immediate future. No matter what you may think of that decision, the reality is that he has found a way to get paid to do what he loves, and that allows him to enjoy his time in what otherwise would be his golden years.
If you had enough money to cover your needs, what would you do with your time? If the answer involves providing some sort of service for others, then there’s a chance you might be able to get paid at least a token amount to do that work once you retire. There’s no crime in working for pay once you’ve reached financial freedom, but you should take advantage of the fact that you can stop working for pay to find a job you truly enjoy. If that plan is good enough for Buffett, it’s good enough for you.
No. 5: To make the memories that will last well beyond your lifetime
Once you’re gone, your kids and grandkids will remember you for the time you spent with them and the experiences you shared together. That’s true even if those experiences were as low cost and simple as tossing a ball around the yard, or going for a walk together, or exploring a nearby park.
Still, for them to have those memories to cherish once you’ve passed, you need to be there with them to build those memories. That legacy — a legacy of love, time, guidance, and direction — is one that has the chance of lasting for generations and truly changing the course of your family tree for the better in a way that mere cash alone cannot.

Thought of the Day 

I put my cell phone on airplane mode. I threw it and it is the worst transformer ever. Dropped straight down.

December 6th-7th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 21 degrees, Calgary -4 degrees- snow, Edmonton -8 degrees snow”

We were up early this morning as today was moving day for Audrey & Michael. This is Audrey’s 8th move since I have known her. That is a lot. Jessica is the only other person I know that has moved so much moving 7 times.

Not a good thing if you want to save money but there are personal reasons that may dictate a move such as financial or medical reasons that have to be considered.

“PENNYWISE TIPS”

 Real estate is similar to the stock market. Warren Buffett’s strategy of Buy and Hold works and is proven. The expense of moving is just too costly to recover in higher equity values in such a short time frame.  ie  the average real estate transaction costs are 7% of the first 100K and 3% on the balance. $300K house costs $13k to sell . Plus hook ups, moving, lawyer fees etc. The average sell price in Calgary is actually -9.5 % down in the last 5 years. The only way you can win is if you are in a hot market. 

The move itself went over very well. The moving company hired to move the heavy stuff did an awesome job. Professional, organized and strong young guy movers are nice to have.

I bought water and doughnuts for the guys. Not your normal workers as we had donuts left. Timing or company policy but it was odd.

Audrey bought them pizza later in the afternoon and the same result.

Alan & MaryAnn were helping us today. I have moved different people with Alan & MaryAnn’s help numerous times in the past all of which were fun. Hard workers, smart workers and sense of humor make a ugly job fun with them. Each time certain events happened that make it easy to remember. This time no different.

This day was filled with a lot of unnecessary drama.

Audrey’s new place is very nice in fact if I could go back a few years I would like a place just like it. It is similar to a Horizon Village complex  having side by side bunglows for the most part in a private crecent. They only thing would be a double garage versus a single stall. High ceilings, nice deck of the back and a great floorplan. They should make more units like this as downsizing becomes more common. Just a few personal changes and I would love it.

We got a lot done, most of the main floor complete other than the small stuff in the China cabinet and the odd box in the closet. The upstairs is just about complete. The master bedroom is done. Pictures like always are the last thing and those take time to fit into the right place. Audrey now can work away doing all the little things still needed. Her new furniture showed up so the place should look nice.

Today was just a rest day with no plans for both of us.

I checked off all of our favorite excursions with Princess Cruises today. Paid some bills. Watched some golf with Tiger doing good but not great. Watched a Hallmark Tv show or two. These are supposed to be happy but the one today was sad.

Thought of the Day 

It is odd how some people create their own storms than get upset when it rains.  aka  MG

December 8-9th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 17 degrees, Calgary -5 degrees snow, Edmonton -11 degrees snow

I hit the gym a few times. I have hurt my foot though on the treadmill and I can only say “See exercise can hurt you” .

We ordered a few presents online.

Jackie went out with Audrey to buy a new washer & dryer. They threw in a few rugs. LOL.

I decided to clean up the house to my standards which was just dusting and vacuuming. I watched the Hero golf and the PNC Father & Son tournament which was awesome to watch. Some good golfers.  I did a few computer things and had a great lunch.

Jackie & I watched an ok Netflix movie. As with any movie you just never know if it will good or not. Received 4 stars but that would be pushing it a bit.

I picked up some parcels at the post office and drove to our management company to get a new fob.  This took one week to get and cost $75 but that is another whole story. I come home and wouldn’t you know it, it doesn’t work. Great, made me smile. It still amazes me the incompetence of some workers and they are ok with it. So it looks like another trip back to the office. Things should be easier but we all like to complicate things.  I don’t really understand a employee not doing a good job the first time. Think about a nurse giving you the wrong needle. Could be trouble. But in real life mistakes happen and if one my employee’s screwed up I was always confident it wouldn’t happen again as I stood behind them every time and in some cases costing the company $40K or more.   I would have thought it should have been tested before giving it out but that falls on the procedures or lack of. Oh well I do like the drive.

I got to send a birthday wish to my friend Keith Harry in Edmonton today. I have known Keith for 44 years and have had some crazy, wonderful, fun, stupid, dangerous and entertaining times with him over the years.

I had to include a special warning as I am worried that Greta Thunberg may get him arrested with his excessive methane gas emissions.

keith-2

Keith wondering beer or water ?

Here are a few of my favorites which I have mentioned before but are always fun to reminisce about.

  1. Slowly driving by the hookers on 97th street in my beautiful 1967 Camaro with the windows down and the stereo cranked belting out ” Fat Bottom Girls” by Queen
  2. Both of us had lost our licenses at the same time so we decided to head out to party on our bikes. Consuming a wee bit much and having to bike from downtown to the west end was not a good idea. Lucky to be alive.
  3. Seeing Keith’s driver head fly further than his ball when his driver shaft snapped.
  4.  A darn close Bear attack and Keith stands up and claps his hands at it. It worked.
  5.  The only guy I know that can light his socks and farts on fire.
  6.  In a moonshine stupor sneezing 24 times in a row without waking up.
  7. Leaving a bar and getting lost under a tree in cold winter weather

I could go on and on and some I can’t mention here to protect ourselves but a lot lot of fun over the years and it carries on today.  Last visit to Arizona Kieth & I took a self directed tour of a gold mine in the pitch black dark where we were not supposed to be and didn’t get caught or hurt. Amazing !

Made our plans for this weekend as we are heading to Edmonton to see Mom and celebrate Christmas with her and my siblings. We are having our immediate family here for Christmas Day this year and extended family gathering on Boxing Day. Always nice to have left overs.

I agree 100%

How clean to get your chicken wings.

5. Respect

4. Minimum requirement

3. Is a huge waste

2. The wing fryer get a free slap to your face

  1. A lifetime ban from the establishment. Seriously don’t come back.

I have had a lot of chicken wings in my life. I mean a LOT. Every Wednesday for years Jeff & I would have wings at the Bull & Finch. But the most wings ever was when I was the GM at Henderson’s and EVERY Friday night my Assistant Manager Edward Buhnai and my lead Sales Desk Darren Wood would meet at a bar on Elbow Drive. It had a few names over the years but the name that I remember most is Bent Elbow Pub. The three of us would order a 100 wings at a time. They would be all  gone and we would need to reorder. Now Darren Wood was a bigger man and I could eat with the best of them. Edward always had his fair share. Between the cold beer and the TONS of wings we had it was always a fun evening. This went on for years and years, No wonder my cholesterol went up. LOL

I still love wings today but do eat a few less but I always had to constrain myself when I saw anyone not cleaning their bone. Wings in a lot of places are sold by the pound and guess what weighs the most in a wing.  Come on guys and especially girls clean the bone . Girls don’t want to get their face dirty.

Made a reservation for all of us at the Something Else Restaurant in Spruce Grove for Alfred, Mary, Darlene, Jim, Mom and us for a Christmas get together on Friday night. Hopefully it is a good place. I looked at the menu with Greek being their specialty with lots of pasta and steak.

This is on the long side but hopefully if you listen to it you will start to understand the hoax behind the climate alarmists.

https://youtu.be/6lYBCAGaA6Q

We all need to be aware, we need to do a much better job of taking care of our planet but we also need to be real about it. You can’t eliminate plastic overnight. You can’t stop oil production but you can do it a lot more conducive to the environment. We can do better but without destroying our economy.

Thought of the Day 

We bald men don’t spend all our time shampooing and rinsing our hair. It’s one of the many selfless acts we bald men perform every day to make our world a better place. The bald also don’t have use for plastic combs, or no hair dryers either so that’s got to save on electricity. Come on. We have got to go bald – all of us. Walking around with a full head of hair is like driving an SUV or dumping toxic sludge into a river. It’s irresponsible. Hey, you hair people, shame on you!

December 10th-11th

“Mercury Forecast”  Mesa 20 degrees  Calgary -3 degrees Edmonton -8 degrees snow

Another NHL coach DONE !  Stars fire Montgomery for unprofessional conduct.  I can imagine Tocchet and Tortorella are having a few sleepless nights. It doesn’t make sense where we as a society are going. You can’t ask a 8 million dollar boy to stand in the corner for a timeout. ( hockey rinks have round corners, LOL )  It is becoming a much too sensitive world. Remember Ron Francis a GM is still on the hot seat also.

Telus came today right on time. I would say they OVER communicate with texts and emails about their arrival and appointment etc. It started getting to be too much. LOL  A company just can’t win. The tech today was awesome and had our pure fiber finished in about 2 hours. He double checked the internet, TV and land lines to make sure everything was working good. With pure fiber we have the capability to have any speed we need but the 25mbps is more than enough for us. We even received a new router modem which has the capacity for 2.4 and 5 g networks plus is auto search to the less busy channel at any given time. We should have no slow periods now. I like Telus except for the fact they don’t have satellite internet/TV.

I could buy a Slingshot which appears to work perfect and we could watch our TV anywhere in the world from our TV box. $500 bucks though so it isn’t on my wish list.

Out of the house a 9am for my blood donation. Now I do not like giving blood but it works for me and helps others so everything is great. The new center moved downtown but with ample underground parking and a first class new operation it works out perfect. This was my 38th time giving blood and I have to say the best experience today ever. Trust me I have had some bad experiences including one time coming home with both arms bandaged and no blood giving. The veins turned on the nurses on both arms. That wasnt the only case of this happening.The interview lady today for no other word was AMAZING. I had a blast with her. Same age as Jess & Tor. She became a hair stylist and then moved on to nursing  and now works for Blood Services. I had a lot of fun teasing her and neat conversation with her. She had every finger nail painted the same color. If you are in the now, you need to have one nail on each hand a different color. Her husband doesn’t like that way. He also doesn’t care for sparkles on them either but she had extra sparkles put on just to bug him.Her poker for a prick to my finger to test blood broke and she needed to get another one so I bugged her on that. Sure two holes for this process just wait until I get the humongous needle in a few minutes. She tried to repunch the same hole but missed. If every employee would take a lesson from this young girl any company they worked for would appreciate it. The other young lady taking my blood looked no older than 20 years old. I had to ask how long she has being doing this. 2 years. I say to myself well not new ,so should be ok. She was Muslim lady with a head covering. Absolutely beautiful facial features and loved to kid me. She checked and hit the vein like it was nothing at all. No pain, no twist and fast flow. She used to be a lab tech before joining Blood Services. So as I said this had to be my best visit in years. I really appreciate kind, friendly engaging people in the workplace. Great soup and crackers with added extra cookies.

Came out of the parkade and man did it snow and it was still coming down in big flakes. We most likely received another inch.

Parked illegally on the street and whipped into Hallmarks for a gift Jackie wanted. Hard store to find and hopefully didn’t have the parking general  drive by as I was in the store for 5 minutes only after finding it.

Driving home was interesting. A car flipped on it’s roof on Deerfoot. Rear end accidents at two lights. People are amazing how poorly they drive. THE ROAD IS NOT SLIPPERY UNLESS YOU TURN A CORNER TO FAST OR TRY TO STOP. Drive speed right as going slow isn’t the answer as it causes accidents. Avoid stopping quickly. Panic stricken people stepping on the brakes every two seconds cause accidents. It took a lot longer to get home than needed but with snow in Calgary you know it is going to happen EVERY time.

Going out this evening shopping for a few things which should be interesting.

Whipped to Walmart to pick up a few things for Christmas and received a call from Tor that she was heading with Jackson to the mall. Santa was there. Turns out Santa works very little. Must be a union guy. LOL  The only time we could get was 8:30. Now that is bad planning. Forget your hour supper break at 6 and have it at 8:30pm when the kids should  be in bed not at the mall. Poor planning.

We headed to the food court for a bite. Lots of choices which is nice. I ended up with KFC as it is one of those meals you only want or need rarely but love.

Jackson has this habit of buttoning up his shirts all the way up like Bubba Watson. Drives me nuts so I bugged him about that all night. Are you sure you can breathe ?  Don’t you feel hot ? It may the new look but it looks uncomfortable to me. I did love Tor’s response though. “If Papa wants the buttons undone he can pay for the Santa pictures !”   Funny and good. The buttons stayed up and the kid sweated and choked all night. LOL

Just a quick note on politics. I know I said I wouldn’t but this funny. People are just DUMB. The UCP announced the Senior’s Drug program is being changed and people are upset. We are the only province that allows the spouse of seniors to receive the same drug benefits. Benefits aren’t changing only the fact that you now have to be a senior to receive it like every other province does and like the benefit name states and should be for.Makes me smile on this but not as much as the CBE getting caught ( as I said when they first announced layoffs) playing the media and politics and having to re-look at their strategy. Looks bad on them. Now they are being externally audited. How much do you bet they find excessive salaries for upper management and mismanagement including the Taj Mahal building head office they have. Cut this out and we can hire more teachers and not cut salaries which should be what  anyone would want.

Time picks Greta as the Person of the Year.  Sad

We are just about done with the gifts. Jackie likes to get something small for each niece and nephew and their kids. Me not so much . Take a $5 to$10 gift times 10 or more  it is $100 before you know it. She is too kind. Christmas is too much about the gifting.

Thought of the Day

If only employees would remember a customer is a person who pays indirectly their monthly salary, their vacations, their golf games and opportunities to better yourself.

December 12th 

“Mercury Forecast  Calgary -3 degrees, Edmonton – 11 degrees snow, Mesa 19 degrees “

Onex Corp finalizes the deal with WestJet. Here is what will happen and this is my opinion based on my knowledge and experience of Onex taking over JELD-WEN. It will NOT BE GOOD. First it will get de-listed from the stock exchange as Onex takes it private. First as WestJet emphasized it’s entire existence ” An employee owned company” as part of a employees incentives were stocks. This is a wonderful incentive to have employees fully engaged as they felt like part of the company. And you could see that as the employee interaction was far superior to any of their competitors. The employees now will feel let down and disengage as it will be a job like every other. A 20 year employee  would have received shares at $5 a share and today be paid out at $34 a share. A lot of long term employees will now have a few bucks and leave. Moral overall will be down. But Onex will cut and cut. There entire business program is to buy a good company, privatize it and make the books look great with a 5 to 10 year period and then sell it and some cases re-list on the market making huge profits. They made huge profits on JELDWEN but destroyed the company in it’s attempt to make it as saleable as possible. In my mind a company is much much more than a higher EBITA which is their focus.  I see the future of WestJet for me as a consumer as not as welcoming. Higher seat pricing, fewer flights, less employees, and poorer customer levels. Onex itself is a wonderful bright spot as a Canadian Investment Group but they buy and spit out companies for profits only. I loved JELD-WEN when it was a family owned company that followed the Golden Rule as its modus operandi. Time will tell the affects of this takeover but I am fairly positive as a consumer we won’t be happy. Maximum profits and great customer service don’t often go together.

Jackson last night wrote a letter to Santa. I was bugging him to ask Santa for a red corvette for me. He added it to his letter. LOL Love that kid.

What a nice kid. Perhaps the air restriction to the brain due to the tight collar is a good thing. LOL

Wow how could Scheer be so dumb, to not acknowledge and let everyone know the payments for his kids education is a legit expense and approved by the party. It was done as a perk to cover the cost differential between schooling in Regina versus Ottawa. A moving perk which is legit . INSTEAD the media is calling him out as crooked and a thief. If it is not legit he is a hypocrite in having deep religious beliefs and then stealing which doesn’t make any sense. Power destroys so many good people. No charisma but I believed he would have done a good job until now. If you are willing to steal money from the public coffers you are capable of doing anything. He should be criminal charged, lose his house seat and pension if found guilty of breach of trust.  I am hoping the party stands behind him and states the TRUTH to eliminate the bad media. The truth better be he has an approved moving allowance negotiated when he become the leader. Good move on his part but to have the party pay for education for your kids still stinks in my mind as extra special treatment. Maybe a good negotiator !

My vote would be for Michelle Rempel or Rona Ambrose to be the leader.

Come on business people, First we lose Don Cherry’s bar, then Robin’s Gourmet Burgers closes and now Hooter’s. Yes it is a difficult business climate but once these places are gone they will not come back. Having said that though Harvey’s has come back to the south and it is busy !!  Hooter’s gone unbelievable. The best chicken wing place ever even though their specialty was breasts.

50 that is 5-0 ( FIFTY) office buildings put under court protection by a Strategic Group as they are trying to survive.  It is not bankrupt as of yet and gives it a chance to sell off assets. Who is going to buy ? The office vacancy rate is 32 percent and doesn’t include the new Brookfield Place set to open which will add another few percentage points.  1 in 4 office buildings in Calgary vacant. Compare that to Toronto’s rate of 2.2 per cent.

We need much deeper cuts across the board in the Cities budgets, Provincial budgets and Federally they have to help. There should be no whining, complaining, protesting etc as it is getting worse as it has been going on for too long and everyone has to ante up. If it is going to take a year for a knee replacement plan for it, if it means 30 kids per class make it work, if it means a 10 percent cut for any employee suck it up and be glad you have a job.

125,000 oil related workers lose their jobs and the media goes nuts on 300 nurses and teachers losing theirs. I have friends and relatives that have lost jobs and some only working 3 days or less a week as they have no work.  The environmental issues mean nothing if we are a collapsed economy that can’t support itself. It is surprising that the youth are still not getting it yet on the news you see interviews with engineers coming out of school and having to bus food. Any new nurse or teacher won’t find a job. It won’t take long for them to realize what is real and how government policy can damage the economy and their way of life.

Having said all of that I was out doing a bit of shopping for Christmas and I love December. EVERYONE to a certain degree is awesome. People are friendlier, happier and try hard to help. All three stores I was in today had wonderful helpful staff. I love it. Makes you smile when you see a young store worker running to help someone. I had a great experience at each store. Good job guys !!

Jackson said he was going to do this. He is at that age that he is just not sure. We still pretend everything is as it is supposed to be.

Interesting how the new WHS will change the handicap for golfers. You need less holes to establish a cap which is good. You needed 90 holes before now only 54. But the one change that I believe will effect it the most is the change from your best 10 scores of the last 20 to your 8 best scores out of 20. The NET Double Boogie handicapped will be consistent everywhere now so the closeness to actual capability will there. Currently I use a 7 as a max score for handicapping. Now on 13 holes I can take a triple and the other 5 a double net. I believe everyones cap should go up a bit. Adding a weather condition to your capping is a neat idea and really is drilling it down for more accurate scoring. The max handicap has been changed to 54. In my opinion if you are a 54 handicapper you should take up a different sport. That means on average you are scoring 126. That is a lot of shots. LOL

Jackson Christmas choir

It was a fun Christmas Choir for the Grade Three & Four’s . I love watching kids enjoy and show off for their parents.  Jackson always is a full in participant which is nice. I smiled whne the Principle thanked the music teacher and indicated what a good job it was but wished there had more songs. It was a 1/2 hr concert which is plenty.

I was talking to Corey at the concert and we both wished that  a person could remember your childhood events. Myself as a kid had a ton of concerts with school concerts, choir concerts and Kiwanis competitions. I particapted in all of them including choir, singing soloist and violin quartet. It’s funny as most memories are memories of something like a picture or someone telling us about it and it repeated not the actual event. It appears most of us have implicit memories ( not actual memories but unconscious emotional recollection) starting around 10 years old or later. That is what is scary as poeple that play with minds can influence someone drastically by implanting false memories. If I could remember I know it was fun and that is the most important thing. Jackson always enjoys himself and I always enjoy going. Next week we get to see August’s first concert which will be fun.

Thought of the Day 

Its all fun and games until Santa checks the naughty list !

Dec 13-16th

On the road up to Edmonton for a pre Christmas visit with my family.

A busy but fun few days.

On Friday morning we headed up to Edmonton. First let me say I have driven a lot of miles and in a lot of different conditions on the highway over the years. I have seen much much worse driving conidtions but the this time the highway was pure ice. It was perfect until Red Deer and the just before you could feel the vehicle started to move on the highway. I had to quickly pull the lever back to get it into locked in 4 x 4 . It is funny as with a slippery road it is no problem unless you need to stop or go around a corner at a higher speed and the bulk of the people are oblivious to the situation. I forever have “tested” the road when it appears or feels icy by gently applying the brake and see how fast the ABS starts to sound. This road was extremely icy. I would say no more than 5 miles after putting it into 4 x4 we came along a multi vehicle crash with numerous cops. It looked like a Dodge Ram car derby as 3 of the vehicles were black Dodge Rams all requiring to be towed away. It remained ice the rest of way but with people trying to stop at the accident they smartened up and realized it was extremely icy which resulted in us driving the balance of the way between 60 and 80kms per hour. Even the city streets were brutal. The temperature or lack of equipment had to be the reason but it did create a unsafe road to travel on.

Jackie & I had a great visit with Mom who is doing well. Almost 88 years old now and with her strokes her strength is gone and she requires a walker but her mind is sharp as a tack. My Dad died at 89 and he was the same way with a wonderful mind so hopefully that is a good sign for my future.

As a get together I planned for my siblings to meet at a restaurant in Spruce Grove as Alfred worked that day and it was half way in between. The roads still were slick at 5pm. I picked from the internet and that can be difficult getting the true picture but between reviews and gallery my selection turned out awesome. Most likely one of the high end place in the Grove with most entrees hitting $30 or more. Not pretentious at all as it is in a mall. Nice décor. Everyone loved their food choices so if you ever need a great place to eat make sure to visit the Something Else restaurant.

Great food !!

I had a wonderful steak and everyone else with their choices were very happy. We had Mom, Alfred, Mary, Darlene, Jim, Jackie and I as a group. Nice also to have just adults to spend some time together. What was excpetional I had a great experience making the reservation and they even followed up with a confirmation call a few hours before our setting. The service also was wonderful. What I really liked was the atmosphere which allowed us to have a 4 hour supper and gift exchange with no feeling of them trying to rush us out. Exceptional !  A nice evening.

A lot less slippery driving back to Edmonton was nice. I am all for cutbacks to save money but to have three deep pot holes on main roads of Edmonton is stupid. They spent all of their money on bike paths and LRT and are not fixing the roads.

We had a good sleep and Mom gave us breakfast and light lunch while we visited with her msot of the day on Saturday. Darlene came for a visit also.

The roads were pretty good on the way back as the salt was finally starting to work. Driving with dirty lights isn’t that fun though as slush was flying everywhere.

We picked up Audrey and met Alan, MaryAnn, Danielle and Kennedy at Earle’s in the Westhill Mall for a get together of Alan’s birthday. I was not a fan of Earles prior to them banning Alberta Beef and still not today even though they are buying from a Ontario producer instead of the USA. Very small menu and they are catering to the “younger” crowd with food called Healthy Omelette.  A brunch menu with 8 items. No toast ! No bacon and eggs. Odd but the yuppies like different things. It was a nice gathering and again great service and no rushing us out. Nice too we catching on to giving good service.

Alan’s get together

Alan another year older

Went grocery shopping to end the day and then watched the Presidents Cup which was fun to do.

Jackie is meeting an ex bank employ for lunch today so I will pay a few bills, make a grocery list for Christmas Dinner that I need and go to the gym.

I had to add this picture in as it is just too good.

Now that is cute !! Jessica and Atticus

Flames are doing great and are tied for second which is nice to see.

We went for lunch today with one of Jackie’s former bosses. Ron Antony is a super guy and has traditionally held a Christmas party at his house every year with this year being the first of no party. Unknown reasons. . We had a very nice visit for at least 4 hours at Boston Pizza with Ron. I had something different from Boston than my normal as the menu has changed so much and to the worse not better. I had the Grilled Chicken Sandwich and it was fantastic.  Most of my pasta dishes are gone like Smoky Mountain Spaghetti, Spicy Penne and they wrecked their steak sandwich so it was nice to discover something new I liked.

Thought of the Day 

Family is funny as you can smile about the way they are and you can laugh as there is nothing you can do about it.

December 17-19th

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 18 degrees Calgary 6 degrees Edmonton -2 degrees “

There is a saying ” It’s a small world” . Well it is. Today at the elevator I run into one of my ex sales reps. Turns out Melissa is moving into our building just a few doors down from us. It was just odd and funny to see her. She is renting here and I am sure with the gym, spa and underground parking she will love the place. I was teasing her no loud parties and her come back was most people in this building are old enough to wear hearings aids so they can turn them down. LOL  Hope it works out well for her.

I went grocery shopping and picked up a lot of our Christmas stuff like a 21 pound turkey, a 5 pound ham, chips, pop, spices, bread crumbs, milk, eggnog etc. A full cart. I thought the turkey pricing was exceptional as for a 21 pound turkey it was only $40 bucks. I know places like Sunterra and Pies & More are well over $100. Fresh does add to the cost but it is the inconvenience of picking it up as a fresh turkey should only be left in the fridge a couple days at the most. That’s done so now just the fresh veggies, potatoes,pies and buns etc just before the 25th.

Didn’t do much else as I relaxed watched a bit of TV and paid the odd bill. Starting to get a little concerned as a couple of gifts in the mail should be here by now and they haven’t arrived with no way to track them.

Great movie

We went out to a afternoon movie with Jeff & Wendy today. Nice as the movie house is fairly empty. I do love the new reclining lounge chairs they use. This is not a typical movie I would go see by any means. Having said that is was wonderful. Very entertaining. Great acting and a plot that kept you guessing and interested. Well done job. Daniel Craig was superb and should win an award for carrying the show. Funny as I have three things I like in a movie. I like high action, car chases, fighting, dark drama and odd lack of clothing scenes. Behold we had a gratuitous car chase scene and Jackie bumps my elbow and laughs. Made the show. LOL  You never think of yourself getting old but then you see someone the same age as you and say ‘What happened ?” I loved Jamie Lee Curtis. She had a special look and was amazingly sexy in True Lies. Then I remember that was 26 years ago. People change. I do have to say though she has not weathered as good as most Hollywood stars perhaps due to no surgery, special tucks or creams. Getting older really is not a good thing. LOL   Nice to go out and have a good movie to see. The pricing was only $9 per person but the popcorn and pop was $32. Go figure !  I brought some popcorn home with me. Yes .

After the movie we headed to Boston Pizza’a lounge for a couple of beer , food and the Flames game was on. We had a chance to talk to Jeff & Wendy about thier upcoming three month Arizona trip to the resort we live in. We are meeting with them this Saturday to go over a couple of trips coming up.

A nice day !

Listened to and watched a bit of the impeachment. I am disappointed in politicians . Doesn’t matter Canada or the USA they suck. They vote by party lines and forget what is right for the country. Doesn’t matter their personal beliefs what so ever. As much as Trump is easy to dislike he has done more for the USA than any president for decades. Lowest unemployment rate, record high stock exchange, highest corporate profits, trade deals with Canada, Mexico and China that are good for them, tariffs to US companies compete, making Nato partners ante up, moving the embassy in Israel, dealing with Iran and North Korea, and dealing with illegal immigration plus, approving pipelines and coal plants plus many other good things. The Dems knowing the Senate won’t remove him have wasted time and energy to no avail. Trump likes leveraged negotiating and does the same in business as in his presidency. The money went to Ukraine albeit a little late. Not complying with the congress requests should not be considered a crime. He has been a target of the media and the Dems from day one. The Dems may have handed a solid election win for Trump in 2020.

Why can’t politicians vote free of party lines and what is good for the country ?  Our Liberals and Conservatives are the same.

Thought of the Day 

 Wouldn’t it be fun if  just before you die you swallowed a whole bag of popcorn kernels. I think it would make the cremation a lot more interesting.

December 19th

On the road to Raymond for August’s first Christmas concert

We all know southern Albertan is windy. On the way the tachometer was reading 2800rpm when it should be around 1800 rpm. Pushing a lot of wind and watching the gas gauge lower fast. Jeeps are not designed to be a quiet vehicle with removable doors, top and front windshield but it was quite noisy on the this trip. The wind has blown most of the snow to Saskatchewan as there is very little left.

Made it to Penny & Jessica’s place in perfect time.

Ok let me say this . This concert was one of the best Christmas concerts I have been to and that is saying a lot as I have been to many many over the years. Organized and efficient. The neat part of a small town, Raymond, and in particular a Mormon town is the importance of the family unit.  This organized Christmas party was for Grandparents ONLY.  We had cookies and drinks and in a large hall with risers for the kids to stand on. This was a pre school concert. The interesting thing and the reason for the quality of the show is that each class room only has ten students and each class room has one teacher and two assistants. These 4 year old kids memorized 7 full songs. Yes 7 full songs including the actions for each. Every kid had a costume such as a Santa hat, angel, maid, etc. Another first was the teachers had the kids rotate so each group was allowed to be front and center on the lower rise. Awesome idea that no one else has thought of. This was a superb concert. Best ever!

On arrival before set up each kid was given a craft to make. August made the perfect snowman. Margie his other Grandma was with us.

August was exceptional and was having fun. He is a kind gentle sweet kid. He sang every song with the arm actions perfectly.  We loved it !!  Everyone loved it !!

Front row Santa and then they rotated to the back upper. Great idea.

Parents are funny. There are some unusual names for kids that not only make it difficult for the teachers but all their life people will spell it wrong causing issues for the kids. I don’t understand why. I do like an out of the norm name that sounds like it is spelled but has a cool factor. Here are just a few names I like of the group and some that will have trouble in the future.

Kamryn,Manaia,Mya,Nevaeh,Phoebe,Saphira,Tre,Adalie,Aria,Macson,Calyssa, Kastin, Kaydance, Legrand, Sami, Jeter, Nevaeh, Bayne to just name a few that are going to have issues. To Nevaeh’s then I figured it out. It is heaven spelled backwards. Amazing two parents had the same idea.

I love these names in his class- Tennessee, Remington, and Hunter. Why not one kid with Larry. I don’t understand but even regular names like Tom, Dick and Harry have disappeared. Not one Angel which is odd. Oh well !!

Do you think he saw us ?

We had a wonderful lunch and wonderful visit before and after the event.

Chilling out after the concert and play time.

Penny had clients coming so Jess, the boys and us headed into Lethbridge for supper at Ricky’s.  As usual the food was good and an entertaining meal with two young boys.

A very windy drive home with very dirty headlights. They don’t stay clean long.

Thought of the Day 

It is all fun and games until Santa checks the naughty list.

December 20th -21st 

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 22 degrees SUN ,Calgary 4 degrees FOG , Edmonton -4 degrees SNOW

Had a fun day babysitting Jackson. He is getting old enough to play some games that don’t require to much energy.  We picked up a few things at Walmart and Cdn Tire we needed with him and then came home. Tim’s for lunch.

We played pool and is getting a little better at that. We played marbles and I “let” him win at that. A chair pretending to be a car took up some time. He then painted a dinosaur and read a good book. Fun day !

Hallmark movie night AGAIN ! lol

Looking at the temperatures I shake my head why anyone enjoys this weather compared to laying by the pool in 22 degree sun.

The fog today is quite intense. I can assume a lot of de-icing at the airport as the cars are covered in a layer of thick frost including ice as it rained last night.

Welcome winter soltice. Isn’t odd that winter officially starts today. Someone I think has got that wrong. The solitice and winter do not have start at at the same time. For me winter should start Nov 1st.

What is nice everyday going forward now until June is just a little brighter each day. Don’t you all feel better now.

Jackie finished off our Christmas wrapping and we are 99.5 % done with just short stop at Shoppers to finish it off.

Headed over to Jeff & Wendy’s this afternoon. I do have to say they are enjoying being retired. Wendy has made piles of delicious deserts and treats. Baking is a great hobby but eating them as they taste so good perhaps isn’t all that good. I ate a lot. Nice to have a hobby to keep busy and it is always fun to create something.

Jeff found a deal on Keystone Beer so we enjoyed it and I liked it. There is a saying “You learn something new everyday ” It is true. Keystone and Coors are made by the same company Coors Brewing Company. It is the exact same liquid as Coors Light  just not with the marketing dollars attached to it. Identical beer at a less cost. Good thing to learn. I will now be a Keystone drinker. Who would have thought !

We had an excellent home made Chili supper which was awesome. Along with a ton of treats I was full.  It appears Wendy has become a master chef at treats with her free time.

We got most of our excursions booked including the train ride to the Yukon, Whale watching, mountain hike in rainforest, and a glacier closeup cruise. Nice to get the commitments done and gives us a few months if one wants to pay it down. I do like to pre-book to ensure we get what we want. Should be a fun trip.

We talked about Arizona as far as timing for hotels, distance, passes and Viewpoint. We are hoping they have a great time as it would be nice for them to come in future years also. Wendy bought herself a “caddie” of golf push carts to use. It is one nice cart. With this new cart and Jeff & Wendy’s new Sketcher golf shoes I am expecting low golf scores from them.

I was thinking if Keith & jenny came for a visit we could have a big Alberta party with Fred & Terry, Ralph & Tracy, Jeff & Wendy, Keith & Jenny and us.

A fun nice visit. Enjoying the life.

Still foggy on our way home. The overcast fog day stayed all day and didn’t burn off.

Thought of the Day 

I have always said success occurs when opportunity meets preparation  

December 22nd-23rd 

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 23 degrees  Calgary  1 degrees snow  Edmonton -2 degrees fog”

Jackie headed out to shop with her Mom today. The negatives to one vehicle which as a family we could never do.

I did some banking, moved dollars to the US acct and relaxed for the morning. I hit the gym with no one there which was nice.

We then went out late afternoon for one last present. I laughed to myself as she was out shopping for 5 hours and didn’t finish that up.

Snowed most of last night and continued on today. Just the light fluffy stuff making it slippery out. Watched the news and made supper and another day done. Looking forward to my Arizona days though.

Thought of the Day

The gap between what is expected and what is delivered is where the magic is. This is true for Christmas, business and life in general. 

December 23rd 

” Mercury Forecast – Mesa 21 degrees  Calgary 1 degrees Edmonton -3 degrees”

I don’t mind the temperature, I like the look of the snow but I still hate winter and am looking forward to getting back to sun and golf. At least today is bright and sunny.

I find it funny I can buy something and before I leave the cash register I have an alert stating a charge has been applied to my card and yet when I pay off the bill it takes three of four days to be applied. A simply transfer of MY money between accounts can take in some cases instantly or 3 days depending. Banking is one sided for sure. Look at us paying 18% interest on a card when the bank rate is 1.75% . That should be called racketeering and yet the government allows it.

Hoping the Flames have a few game win streak happen so when the season is half over we are ahead of the Oilers so I can bug some sensitive people again.

Remember a week or so I mentioned businesses closing down. This makes me mad as we see protestors against cut backs as numerous businesses are closing due to lack of sales all the while they have jobs and good paying jobs.  Besides the Don Cherry’s, Harvey’s, Hooter’s today we see the Rona and Lowes closing in the south east of Calgary and today the Pier One store in Shawnessy closing. Numerous small businesses in Kensington and 17th ave gone including a 20 year old Starbucks.  The small businesses are entrepreneurs that are losing everything including staff now out of work. In a span of two months we LOST 29 businesses on 17th alone.  We are losing 6 to 11K businesses in the year due to hardship.  That is correct 6000 plus companies closing down. I am 100% behind the local business as a independent or franchise. They employee a lot of people. When we started up our Blimpie Subs it cost us $250,000 out of our pocket, so you know these entrepreneurs are all in.  We had close to 12-15 employees on any given day. You lose these small businesses the community takes a hit, the city tax bill takes a hit, we lose good jobs, and the owners take a major hit no fault of their own as government policy created the slow business scenario. I have a distain for unions as it is a socialist mentality that had it’s purpose years ago but as the world has changed they need to be dissolved and the union workers need to experience reality in the work place. Everyone hates the 10 guys looking down a hole with their foot on a shove; and the one guy actually digging.

We are babysitting Jackson today for a while. He is full of energy. I am lacking in energy having a couple of weeks of laziness and being a couch potato. LOL    Playing pool, magic card tricks, hide & seek, lifting weights, jumping on furniture, having a popsicle, smoothie, having an Ice Capp and playing on the iPad kept us quite busy. He is excited about Christmas. He received some neat gifts from his grandparents in Red Deer and was proudly wearing some of them today. He had that hipster look going on.

IPad and a smoothie

The young guy was careless and cracked his screen again on his IPAD. Jackie and I replaced it once but this time he will need to look thru the scratch and hopefully it will not affect the performance too much as it is a touch screen. He was so serious when he told us he made a stupid mistake. Made me smile.Lesson here is if it doesn’t work properly there is a consequence to your own actions.

Memories”

Years ago I had Flames tickets and Jackie & I thought we would have a family night out to the game. The girls for some reason that night were continuously fighting. I warned them a couple of times on the drive to the arena. It didn’t work. I stopped and turned around and headed home. For every action there is a reaction. They were not happy but hopefully understood they have to take responsibility for their behavior. I can’t say if it resulted in that but my intentions were good.  

Needed to finish off the groceries such as buns and the odd and ends we still require. The parking lot was jammed with people. Carts were very full of food related to gatherings. Chips, pop, treats etc. We bought everything we needed so are done in that department. Man, is food expensive. The 10 people on the 25th and the 19 people on the 26th better eat a lot or someone is going home with a lot of extra food as we leaving only a couple of days past New Years. it is very hard not to gain weight at Christmas time.

Jackie has all of the bedding readied. I bought extra Eggnog as when we were in Raymond August loves it and refers to it as Christmas Milk. Love it.  Christmas milk with Rum sounds wonderful.

Thought of the Day

CHRISTMAS IS CANCELLED !!!  Apparently you told Santa you were good this year and he dies laughing. !!

December 24th-27th

CHRISTMAS EVE –

We cleaned up and finished off a few things. I cooked two pounds of bacon in the oven. Double checked my ingredients for the stuffing etc and we are all set to go.

I will post most likely on the 27th as we will be quite busy with Christmas Eve, Christmas dinner and Boxing Day lunch.

Merry Christmas to everyone. !!

Remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas

December 27th 

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 11 degrees rain  Calgary -1 Edmonton -1 degrees”

A typical storm front thru Arizona sure dropped the temperatures. Still beautiful to golf in but in the evenings does require a coat. Should be gone in a couple of days.

Well here is hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I believe most people would say it is a tiring time. Not only the extra hours awake, but the stress of gift buying, entertaining , cooking, travelling etc wears on people. I have to say Jackie & I had a wonderful Christmas.  No travel this year which is nice as the girls and kids came to our place. We had a Full house. We had Jessica, Penny, Atticus, August, Victoria, Corey, Jackson, with Hazel, Olive and Kate staying overnight. With the Murphy bed, plus air mattress and foamy on the floor everyone had a place to sleep in relatively comfort but it is away and different from being home. It is much appreciated the entire family was able to be together.  A person when faced with the chaos just has to relax and enjoy the noise. The kids were amazing.  They tried and were quite successful in staying awake late into the evening. Overall very well behaved. It is a little stressful being a parent with kids at another person’s home. We played boards games, we had numerous laser tag gun fights and a way too many treats. Jackie made cookies with the boys for Santa to put out. The dogs all were very good. A little hairy LOL but that never killed anyone. We all got to bed just before midnight on Christmas eve. The outside temperature was perfect for a fridge as the beer stayed cold on the patio as the fridge was full. 

Twas the night before Christmas. Snow and fog for a pretty sight if you like this kind of thing. lol

If you are from Canada you have to play Sorry !

Brilliant idea for a pre Christmas present to open, Laser guns kept them busy for hours

By the look of Tor’s face she may have been caught cheating trying to win against the kids. LOL

Jackie making cookies for Santa

Even the dog had to wear her Christmas hat for the occasion.

The ladies getting together for a pic

Sock opening time. I like the socks a lot with the small different gifts in them

Everyone has a favorite present. This is mine. A DONALD TRUMP golf club head cover. His hair blows in the wind. LOVE it !

We guessed right on this gift. Atticus loved his power drill and tool set. It is funny how there is this innate sense built into us of what we like and aspire to. The drill got a workout. Good job Jackie with the pick

Everyone in bed and the socks and tree are stuffed.

Cars and boys

Waking up Christmas morning is always fun with kids. The gifts these kids got are incredible. I will name a few but will miss a huge amount of them. Laser guns, car garage, power tool set,Switch electronic games, guitar, clothes, hot wheels, books, plus many many more. I think everyone was very happy with their gifts.

I received a new fancy watch, golf balls, a wonderful golf head cover, socks, Fat Willy’s gift card, toque,magazines, and a few other things.

Jackie received a phone holder for her car, Sketcher golf shoes, fancy hair products, books and toque along with a lot of smaller other things.

It was a fun Christmas morning with the chaos going on.

I made a bigger breakfast to hold us over to Christmas Supper. This year we had a 21 pound turkey, 5 pound ham, at least 2 pounds of dressing, 6 pounds of potatoes, one pound of peas, one pound of corn, 12 large carrots, cranberry sauce, gravy, pickles, pumpkin pie, apple pie and buns. Audrey joined us for the meal so we had 7 adults and 3 kids. This size of meal is relatively easy to work with. More burners and two ovens would make any meal prep easier. I cooked larger than needed as we were preplanning for Boxing Day.

It was a fun entertaining day with a wonderful Christmas meal. After new toys kids are pretty easy to entertain.

Having said that the kids didn’t go to sleep to 11pm again. Where they get their energy is unknown.retsful

Another nice sleep over night with everyone getting a little more restful sleep. LOL

We had 20 adults and 3 kids for Boxing Day lunch. Using our left overs and with MaryAnn bringing hers we had lots of food. In fact a way to much food. Again a fun get together. Dave, Kristen and Sheldon came down from Edmonton as did Alan and MaryAnn’s parents with Alan and Florence. Danielle’s boyfriends mother was visiting from Eastern Europe was along with them also.

We rented the games room which works out perfect as it is large, spacious with lots of seating and with the pool table, poker tables and movie theatre we can entertain people well.

An odd app as Victoria and I look the same age/ Mean Santa’s

One of the games that was fun was HEADS  UP by Ellen. The girls had an unfair advantage as a category of songs and movies where they had a lot more up to date knowledge than Jackie & I. Fun party game though.

We watched the World Juniors hockey game which was awesome on the big screen. It took two Telus employees and a carpenter to get the thing to work that uses Shaw. They had to reset the router and a machine that hasn’t been working fired right up.

Jackie was like a mad woman cleaning up after everyone had left and then she settled down. It was so quiet in our condo. LOL

We went to Golftown to exchange Jackie’s golf shoes. I had taken an insole to get the right sizing but she felt she needed a 1/2 size bigger. Remember the difference between women and men when shopping. We had to try on at least 8 pairs or more of shoes. Women are funny. We ended up trading in her Sketchers for Nike as she liked the feel of them better. The new ones are nice as they are Nike Air spike less.

Prior times I have mentioned the power of marketing. The golf shoe executives are brilliant. Golf shoes can last a long time as they aren’t worn that often. You need to replace the plastic spikes but the shoes being well made could last 10 years. ( mine are at least that) NOW they have come up with the idea of spike less shoes. This way in about two years of wearing them there will no spikes left and you will NEED to buy a new pair. $150 for spiked shoes and $150 for spike less. Over ten years the spike less will cost you $150 x 4= $600. The spiked $150. These guys are brilliant. The replacement of the spikes in making them money just wasn’t enough and people are now buying these new shoes left and right. See what I did there.?

ANOTHER WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS IN THE BOOKS.

” Memories”

Like everyone we have a lot of fond memories of Christmas.  In my mind the most favorite times are when we used to go to Niton Junction to my Grandparents house. A large family with nine kids bringing home their kids adds up to a lot of people. One year Grandad had to take his horses and stone boat out to the highway to pick up some family as the roads were snow blown in and no truck or car could get thru. Many years we watched Uncles with 2 wheel drive trucks try to break a path to get closer to the house. Cousins and Uncles all jumping up and down in the truck bed trying to get thru the 4 ft snow drifts. We used have a HUGE meal then with Grandma cooking on a wood stove to get it done.  Loved it when Grandad let us go with him to feed the cows on the stone boat. His horses would fart every time and he would just kill himself laughing at us. Running 100 yards outside to the outdoor toilet wasn’t fun. Man was it COLD !!

Great Christmas Memories !

Thoughts of the Week

Christmas sweaters are only acceptable as a desperate cry for help.

Don’t blame Christmas for being fat. You were fat in August.

Anyone that believes men are equal to women hasn’t seen a present wrapped by a man.

While at the mall I was thinking which is going to give up first. My feet or wallet.

December 28th

“Mercury Forecast   Mesa 11 degrees   Calgary -3 degrees  Edmonton -3 degrees “

It was a fun wonderful enjoyable night watching the Flames BURN the Oilers.

Flames bring the heat.

Just a few points for you people to ponder that think the Oilers are good.
  • Season is 50% over and the Calgary Flames are ahead of the Oilers in the standings and have a game in hand.
  •  Good news for the Oiler fans as the odds just changed to 1.6 % chance to win the Stanley Cup.
  •  Great news as the Oilers have a 40.7 % to make playoffs versus Calgary at 60.7%
  •  Battle of Alberta sure ain’t what it used to be. 5 -1 . We have to go all the way back to the 80’s for the Oilers to have a winning record over the Flames
  • I moved to Calgary in 1991 and between the Flames dominating and the Stamps crushing it I was able to retire on my bets.
  • A L L    G A M E S                  
    DECADE:         W-L-T  Win % GFPG GAPG         
    2010’s:        18-32-0  36.0  2.7  3.3 |
    2000’s:        24-30-3  44.7  2.3  2.5 |
    1990’s:        28-37-5  43.6  3.0  3.5 |
    1980’s:       51-33-11  59.5  4.6  4.0 |

Tonight’s game did bring up few questions ? Why did the Oilers wear their Ugly Christmas sweaters to the game?  Does Edmonton hire the refs for their home games as they are very home biased ?

The next meeting will even be more fun.

The sink drain has plugged but down a very long ways, most likely in the garage as it takes a good few minutes for the water to back up into the sink. I have asked the condo management company to get this fixed before we leave as we don’t want a major back up. Luckily it is the kitchen drain which is only connected to two other units.

I met Jeff at Dixons today to watch the World Junior Championships with Canada playing the Russians. I do have to say Dixon’s pricing is getting to be ridiculous with a beer at $8 a pop and a hamburger at $16 as is a pound of wings. The waitress says they are the big wings though. I can buy a whole chicken as Costco for $6.99 roasted.Worst part is the beer wasn’t cold enough for my liking and the burger sucked. They only sell a gluten free burger bun and it falls apart in your hands. It crumbles as you try to eat it. Maybe an old bun softened up by juices. Overall the burger wasn’t good at all. I would give it a 3 out of 10. To me Gluten free Bun and burger should not be put together. Let all those food health nuts suffer and give me a GOOD burger which they shouldn’t be eating anyways.I do understand Dixon’s has new owners which may have been a factor as I remembered the food as wonderful in the past. Disappointed but not as bad as in the Canadian Junior team. Poor goal tending, no effort, no hitting, and did not represent Canada as a hard hitting good effort team wither we win or not. We sucked losing against the Russian’s 6-0. Worst part is Dale Hunter can’t even ream them out as he may hurt their feelings. We finished in 6th place last year and I believe with the effort shown today we will be lucky to finish that high. I love watching the Juniors but this felt like a Pee-wee team playing. Great thing was it was fun going out, good company, and great french fries. A good way to spend a Saturday.

Try harder Canada

I received a text from one of my ex-sales reps Ken Reid. He bought a new 2006 Toyota Tacoma to use as a company sales vehicle.  He was one of the first causalities of JELDWEN managements stupidity after I had left the company. This vehicle just hit 650,000 kilometers. Now that is Toyota tough and impressive and I remember Ken needing no repairs to that truck while at work.  I guess you can’t go wrong with a Tacoma. I do have to say I remember Ken being a very conservative driver which may help. I have my foot to the metal every time I drive somewhere on the route.

Now that is good vehicle

Makes me thinking about keeping my Jeep a lot longer than I planned to save money.

Thought of the Day

I wonder if belonging to the HIGH MILE club is a fun as the MILE HIGH club ?

December 29th- 30th

“Mercury Forecast  Mesa 11 degrees Calgary 3 degrees Edmonton  0 degrees “

The last day of the extra cool days in Arizona. The cold front will release it out of the fridge and we will have our 20 degree days again. I did notice while checking Edmonton that they will have 4 or 5 days straight coming up of snow.

Speaking of Edmonton while watching the Flames destroy Edmonton they were advertising the team skills contest on for today. Made me smile. How dumb do they think people are to think there is skill on the Edmonton team. The perfect oxymoron to have skill and the Oilers named in the same sentence. I do think Mc Happy meal would do good at flipping burgers though if they had that in the contest. I wonder how many seats they sold as I am sure there can not be 20,000 dumb people in Edmonton. Wait they did vote NDP.

After saying that, the truth is Conner and Leon are much like having Wayne and Jari. Why are they on a team with a less than 2% chance of winning. Waste of talent. We could use them

Finished off my November budget sheets today except for the odd account and addition.

Jackie and I took down all of the Christmas decorations today. Put them all away in their special bins and boxes. All ready for next year. Nice to see the place back to normal again.  Only thing left now is to get the sink unplugged.

6 Underground GREAT MOVIE

Watched a great movie. My kind of show with lots of explosions, car chases, fighting and action with a couple of beautiful girls thrown in. We both loved the show.  Reynolds comedy is awesome.

Thought of the Day 

I was just thinking how lucky I am not be at Viewpoint for the New Years Eve witching hour. To be GUMMED by ten old women who are sloppy drunk isn’t fun. From 14 to 20 years old I may have liked midnight on NYE as it produced possibilities of something that may not have happened. After that midnight become a chore and a duck & hide event.                                      To give Jackie a NYE kiss is the best !

December 30th 

” Mercury Forecast  Mesa 11 degrees, Calgary 3 degrees Edmonton -4 degrees”

Still no plumber showing up which is a little annoying. I could phone a plumber and have one here within a few hours.  That’s the problem with management companies and lack of urgency.

Beautiful sunny day but still cold. Nice in the fact it is sunny but the snow isn’t melting though.

Wonderful to have Canada beat the Germans . The race to the top is very convoluted with a team losing,then winning and each country doing the same. No dominate team. Quite mixed up. If we win the next two games we still can finish first in our grouping. Let’s hope.

Finished off my 2019 budget minus the one day. Spent a way more than planned for, for a few reasons. Car repairs killed us with $5600  which is including new tires. New washer & dryer  along with a new mattress dropped $3600 bucks.  Overhead door incident was $2100.  Pre payment on excursions $1000. A way too much on gifting wither it be for Christmas, grandkids, incidentals gifts, birthdays and one of’s etc. Golf at $8000 which includes our 2020 membership. Plus $6500 on our RV lot improvements.  Just these few items hitting 30K hurts. No complaints though as life without living isn’t worth living.  Life experiences and life enjoyment can’t really be measured by a dollar sign and I will say this Jackie and I are having a wonderful enjoyable life.

I was just waiting for the CTV News when an odd thought hit me. This time of year was our annual inventory that everyone hated. Each company I worked at had inventory during this slow period. In those days inventory was on a Cardex system which was done manually for receiving and every sell. At Henderson( JELDWEN) it took us close to 5 days to complete working 12 hours or more each day for years and years.s We had shingles, rebar, siding and poly outside in the year covered with 4ft of snow that had to be counted. We had to shovel , count upside down, and wait in a running car for the pen to work and our hands to warm up taking turns. Truckloads of doors and train car loads of moldings to count. It was cold, freezing and very tiring. Luckily for me the actual physical counting for the most part came to end for me in 1991 when I became the General Manager. I had to work more hours but didn’t have to walk miles and freeze. I thought the first year this was nice until inventory happened. Now I had the responsibility of the inventory on my back. It was very stressful as you hope and prayed the shortage or overage was explainable as otherwise you didn’t really control it. I remember the first year I printed the first over & under and we were $40K short on pine molding alone. My knees went weak. I found an input error luckily. Every year waiting for that over & under number was stressful. I had some wonderful help over the years that made it a lot easier. Ed Buhnai, Arnie Henning, Blair Prentice, Cory Prentice, Terry Peppler, Larry Geddes and Brian Greebe were crucial in my success. They all worked extra hard, helped put policy and procedures in place that helped make us one of the best branches in the system. When I had Lethbridge  and Kelowna also it even became more convoluted but again with great employees and trust we did excellent. Tom Daniels, Rita Cadieux and Rob McDonald were awesome. I never was able to celebrate NYE as I was too burned out. Larry G had an anniversary that he never got to celebrate due to inventory when he managed Medicine Hat or when he was helping out in Calgary.

Now we can sit back and enjoy the down time between Christmas and New Years. It is sad that those people are mostly all gone. Not dead just not working for JW anymore. JELD-WEN as a distribution company in Canada no longer exists. To think only 6 years since I retired with 22  sale reps and 2 large distribution facilities in Alberta to have NO distribution and only about 5 sale reps now. There are very few people I know left there. In Alberta Bob Bauche, Larry Leitch, Romi Sharma, Thomas Hill and Melissa Welsh. Larry being the only long term Wilmar guy and Bob being the only long term Henderson guy. Across Canada now everyone has been laid off or resigned that was Wilmar or Henderson. To think only 6 years ago JELD-WEN  had  6 corporate jets. Astra /Gulfstream jets cost about 6 million each.In 2011 JELDWEN sponsored the Player’s Tournament at TPC Sawgrass costing millions.  Sad really and related to two things only. The first being private investor cuts and the second a decision of a very short term  Vice President to amalgamate the branches and central ship. Doesn’t work in a country as big as Canada or with distribution product that competitors carry in the local town. They will never have a presence in Canada again. JELDWEN Canada used to be one of the most profitable divisons of JW.

Thought of the Day 

A year from now you may have wished you started today 

December 31st 

“Mercury Forecast   Mesa 17 degrees, Calgary 3 degree Edmonton 3 degrees ”

Best to Everyone in 2020.

Babysitting Jackson today as Tor & Cor are heading to Edmonton to party !!

The plumber showed up around 10 am and at the rate it is going will be here for hours. As everyone knows plumbers are not cheap. As it is a multiple unit stack and we don’t use our garburator and are very careful what we put down the drain I do not want to be responsible for the costs. The blockage is at least 30 ft down and the plumber is struggling getting there. Another downfall of community living . No matter how you cut it the drain is blocked due to excess food waste. Where it came from will never be determined but as we are the low point of the drains we experience the blockage first.  Our management company is very helpful and thorough. The board overall is filled with good people with the one exception. Time will tell.

Once the plumber is done our plans for NYE is going out to get Chinese food then to the movie Jumanji with Jackson. The new theatres with the lay back lounge chairs are awesome. I love the popcorn there also and I am sure if this movie is anything like the first it will be very good. Interesting to see how busy it is.

The plumber was an awesome guy and worked very hard at fixing the issue. He was down at least 30ft before hitting the blockage. It is always nice when a professional that knows what he is doing is on the job. Great job Reggin Plumbing in sending Jason.  Having said that a 5 hour job for a blockage is a longtime but seeing the process and the distance away the blockage was one can understand. It appears it maybe a gratis quo job which will be good.

Thought of the Day 

At the stroke of midnight make sure to lift you left foot. That way you can start off the New Year on the right foot.

 

 

 

 

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