October 2019

Oct 1st-5th

Ok we set a record. Yesterday was the largest snowfall we have ever had in history in Sept. I hate snow and I hate cold. Snow the first of the season always looks pretty. Then it gets pretty tiring pretty quickly. I am looking forward to Mesa already. Only 30 days before we leave. Yahoo.

The completed Jack-o-Lantern project

August had another great sleep but Atticus had a fever and cried a few times in the night. No matter what you never get a proper sleep. Jackie made pancakes with the kids eating a lot which was nice.

A early morning bath, and more lego fun then it was time to head to take them home. This trip I loaded up the Jeep. Stuck it in 4 wheel high and headed out as Jackie stayed home as she was working today.

The roads overall were 80 % better than yesterday plus the fact of having a 4 x 4 . Having said that Volker Stevin company should be embarrassed of the job they did on Hwy 2 South of Calgary. Other than the main east /west corridor HWY 1 this highway HWY 2 is the main highway in Alberta. Yesterday we could not travel it. It was too dangerous with the amount of snow, slush and wind. I forgive them on this as it was the first day. Today the second day and no snow for at least 8 hours they have not done their job. You can tell exactly where one division ends and another starts. For a main highway to NOT be plowed is unbelievable.  Between tire wear/heat and salt melting we had one passable lane today. The shoulders were covered and one lane had 6 inches of packed ice. It was so rough no vehicle could travel in it. I smiled as I was in the clear lane when a Red Arrow bus thought he would pass in the ice packed lane. He got right beside me then gave up and pulled behind me and stayed. I can imagine the rough ride and never mind the pulling on the steering wheel. Go another 50 miles and a new crew had shoulders and lanes clear.

All Volker Stevin employees should be embarrassed with this job. The other lane is impassable.  This is on HWY2  the main corridor highway from the States and between the largest cities in the province.

I was able to take this pic as we were going at 20 kmph as the rough on this side had just finished. Any time a third party has responsibility you are risk of a poor job with no accountability.

Everyone has played ” I SPY” in the car while travelling. Our mission today was I SPY ANOTHER CAR IN THE DITCH. We counted 22 cars in the ditch between Calgary and Claresholm. Even today a vehicle could be caught in the slush or thrown by the ice as in the pic above and be in the ditch. August is so funny saying ” Papa why are so many poeple in the ditch ” We even got to watch a large tow truck pulling a semi out of the snow.

We made it and the kids jumped into Jessica’s truck for the ride home. The drive home was even better as the salt ate up some more snow. Saw two plows out finally which will make a big difference.

We are staying at Victoria’s place taking care of Jackson.   He has to get up 7am to be at school for 8am. How dumb is that for a 8 year old having to start at 8am and finishing at 2:30pm. They say the reason is due to school bus planning. They can carry the elementary and then do the high school and Jr High later in the morning. I would have thought it would be the other way around getting up the mid and high school kids early and letting the young ones sleep in a bit. Works for high school kids to get a job after school and works for young kids not having to go to bed so early knowing they have a very early rise. Teachers must love getting off so early though.  I beleive I have the times right but as a kid I had to catch the bus at 8am and didn’t get home until after 4pm.

We have three granddogs in our family. All three of them are wonderful dogs but two of them have issues. One barks uncontrollably and one looses so much fur it is unbearable. We all love our dogs but I am very very glad that I don’t have to deal everyday with these two.  Hazel is such a loving, kind, quiet, gentle dog. The perfect family dog except for the hair. You leave the house looking like a hair ball yourself. It is literally everywhere.  I wouldn’t have chose this kind of dog.  A every day brushing may help but a young family has difficulty with the time required. Golden Retrievers should be outside dogs only living on a acreage or farm. It is a good thing no one in their family is allergic to dogs with the hair and dander. Love her wanting to have you pet her all of time though. Hair Hair everywhere !!

This snowman suffered from the small head syndrome

I had a fun experience driving to school each morning delivering Jackson. I parked in the back alley to watch when the doors opened to let Jackson stay warm until then. (first objection– whose brain wave idea was it to lock the doors until class time. A kid needs the bathroom or is freezing too bad you don’t get to go in )  I am parked with about a 10 foot space beside me to allow cars to squeeze by. A mother in a Benz pulls up behind me and honks her horn wanting me to move. A 10 ft wide space I could pull my motorhome through so I didn’t move. I had my drivers window open to see clearly when the doors opened. Another stay at home Mom with array hormones yells at me ” There is a car behind you ” As if I couldn’t see the car, as if I couldn’t hear the horn, why would I move when she has plenty of room to go around, what business is it of hers to be involved.  I didn’t move. Funny thing is the Benz driver was good enough she backed up ten feet to turn around yet she was scared to squeeze through. I parked in the exact same place every morning but didn’t see her again.  Darn, I wanted more fun. WOMEN !!

Jackie got sick so she stayed at our house while I took care of Jackson. We went to DQ for ice creams. After all it was a stressful morning in the alley and Jackson had to go to school all day. LOL . We built a snow man in the back yard but had to use a cucumber for a nose as no large carrot in the fridge. We went grocery shopping and got to pick out all of our favorite things to eat. Ice cream sandwiches, popsicles, chips, pudding, and a few needed groceries for supper and lunches. We went tobogganing down a nice hill. Another good move on the cities part to plant trees on the bottom of hill. Kids love sledding and they should have known that they were endangering them. The city’s solution was to put up a no tobogganing sign . We used the hill ! Jackson flew down the hill and even was air borne going over a bump.  After about ten minutes of us sliding down the hill we were joined by some other kids and one other parent. A nice hill for sledding.

On the ice practicing. He has become quite a good skater

The Waldie house has TV issues.  Finding extra HDMI cords to use or change out to make a DVD player work didn’t happen. Along with no finding a remote that worked on the DVD player.We had a great movie to watch. Finding a remote that worked for any TV was impossible. Finally after dicking with the main TV downstairs I managed to get it to work using the remote from upstairs. So it was very nice of Tor & Cor to pay for our movies on Demand TV. LOL

Kids and their games. Hours of hide and seek. Hours of throwing suction cup weapons. We had a lot of fun.

Jackson had a hockey practice in Forest Lawn which is quite a ways away. Ice time must be short in the city. We got him all ready and off we head. He is quite organized with his stuff and can get just about everything ready himself, completely except for tightening his skates. He is a slow methodical guy getting ready. He is a slow methodical guy getting ready.   I had to repeat that. LOL He did very well in the practise. Perhaps should pay attention a little more rather than goof off but right after school and with freinds that isn’t easy to accomplish. He has one young girl on his team that is just as good as any guy in skating and shooting. Her backing up needs work though. I felt bad for her though as she was always on her own as the guys were joking around and playing with each other. Not an easy time for her with her isolation and not an easy thing to have her included in everything. I laughed at the one goalie. He literally didn’t move. It didn’t matter if soemone was attempting a shot or not he just stood there not moving a muscle. A shot was a goal. LOL  A great practise. A few great players but overall pretty much equal to each other.

Speaking of women. There was this mother of one of the players that appeared to be the self appointed fund raising lady. She drove me nuts in the stands with her excessive taking, her expressions, her opinions, her over zealous personality trying to talk to every parent about ways to raise money.Nice to have a go getter that wants to help but I think her efforts would be more negative than positive.

Another hard day at school and practice and too late to cook supper so Arby’s to the rescue. They do have great sandwiches and curly fries are always good.

More games, and another movie to finish off the night. Thanks Tor & Cor.

The amount of frost on the windshield of your vehicle each day is amazing.  Just made me think I haven’t had anyone interested renting out my parking space this year and it is going to be cold. If no calls I will park the Dakota inside all winter. The young lady that rented it for the last few years has moved. I am still hopeful as it is $500 in my pocket. Time will tell.

I smiled to myself as the Oilers win last night. Off to great start they think. They played poorly and will be no contest to good teams. Mc Happy Meal loses his helmet and causes a goal for his team but he did make up for it by getting the game winner. I felt bad for the fans all dressed up as pumpkins in the seats watching them until they got that last goal. Must be a early Halloween event.  The Calgary connection Smith did well.

How can that happen ?  You paint a nail and the whole thing comes off in one piece. Jackie showed this to me but I was shocked. My favorite color and an issue. There should be a warranty . LOL

I finished off my September budget numbers. Not too pretty with a few one off’s hitting us. I paid the property taxes in Mesa. I paid the house insurance in Mesa. I paid for our airfare tickets in November and January 2020. I put another 2K into our lot at Oasis with TV, toilet, sink, blinds, bed, light fixtures and solar lights. A fairly heavy gas bill when compared to most months with a trip to Edmonton, Crowsnest Pass and three trips to Lethbridge ( Claresholm) and running back and forth to the lot with supplies.  Small numbers but all add up.September was a fun month. Quite a few golf games ( some of them gifted which was awesome) at Heritage Point, Turner Valley, Speargrass, Crowsnest Pass, Nanton, and Michelson National. I keep hoping the one-offs stop but they seem to happen all of the time. I may need to adjust up my budget numbers using the generally accepted accounting practices that no one can explain. If the numbers don’t balance adjust. LOL

Our RV park is raising our fees from $75 to $125 per month. Just like when Viewpoint our Mesa community started charging us year round garbage collection people are going nuts voicing their uninformed emotional outcries. I ask you why are there getting to be more and more stupid people in the world. We should do a study as it maybe caused by the water. LOL . I will keep this very short.  To get a lot so close to Calgary with a pool, basketball court, swimming pond, golf course, general store, social activities arranged, security for $125 is a DEAL. We used to pay $100 a month for storage alone. The rate increase as per the budget set out is reasonable. What it does for the park is averages out the high expense months with the winter months and allows it to balance rather than run a deficit for years. As per the contract the $125 is max allowed for ten years.

I think the whiners and complainers would be better off to just  leave.  Then feel the regret and remorse of a poor decision. If you don’t leave please don’t tell everyone how upset you are because everyone is NOT upset.  Just you select few.

Off to pick up Jackson at school and see what trouble we can get into today.

Walk with Hazel

Off for a walk with Hazel and Jackson on his scooter. A big dog like this should have two walks a day but being a little lazy she only gets one from us.. She has a lot of energy as I had to run behind in spurts and then rest. She loves it though. I am sure if she had extra exercise her stamina would build up she wouldn’t pant and let her tongue hang. She stays in her kennel all day and then has to sleep at night it doesn’t provide much exercise. Staying with her all day at least gets her out to play in yard ( not exercise) but nice for her to be entertained. You sure can tell she is a retriever as she is chewing on something and walking around with it all of the time.

Jackson on his scooter

Jackson’s balance is incredible. Have I lost some of my balance over the years ? He spins it, jumps it and twists and turns like it is nothing. He had a fun walk us except for one incident. During the walk Hazel slipped out of her harness. How she did that is unbeleivable as it wraps around her body and is behind her front legs. She only went about two houses before sitting and waiting for us. Jackson thought she was going to be lost.

Had a good home made supper. We laughed as in the fridge is mixed veggies ( peas, carrots, corn ) Jackie hates these so had to pick around what she didn’t like. There were 3 full bags of these. LOL

This is a kid getting ready for school in the morning. LOL

 

Another successful babysitting approach

Darn no honking women today. I parked in the same spot again in hopes. No luck. Avoidance perhaps.

Schools today are weird for a number of reasons.

  • The doors are locked so a kid can’t get in first thing in the morning, at recess or noon hour. Stupid, but based most likely on interference of personal time on the teachers part. For the record my guys and ladies on the sales desk sat answering calls from the moment they sat down till closing time. No break what so ever and ate their lunch at their desk. Most days 7:30 to 4:30pm. A rotating schedule with min staff would remove this obstacle for the kids. Fixed !
  • The kids have to carry thier own garbage home. Each class room has bins as does the lunch room and school, yet the kids are forced to put thier wrap, half eaten food, drink cups etc back into their bags to take home.
  • No drinks allowed for the kids at snack time in the classroom. Who can eat a snack without a drink ? They can have a drink only in the lunch room. What do we have janitors for if they accidently make a mess ?
  • Half day Fridays. The kids are only in school for 5 hours a day during the week and only 3 1/2 hrs on Friday. No wonder our education performance is dismal compared to other countries. We need to keep them in class longer if they are going to excel. No wonder so much home work as the poor teacher has no time to teach.

I see nice weather is coming back for about three days then cold again. I am going to fully winterize and close up the lot on Sunday. It will take about 5 hours or so as I peak charge all 6 batteries and tarp and wrap all of the furniture. Have to remember to bring my distilled water and charger with me. I bring all of power tool batteries home with me to be in warm storage.

I think I am going to sneak out and golf somewhere on Monday as it is the only warm day all week.

Wow is this election about giving out OUR money away like no other. All 4 parties are handing it like candy to try to solicit voters.  Shame on us ( took that line from Greta ) to be bought with our own money. The ironic part of it all is it is our kids and their kids that will end paying for it not us. I like a few policies being thrown out. Most likely won’t change a lot of votes as the youth are blind sided by good looks, money give ways like crazy and social media. But I like the policy of the PC’s.

Conservative ideas-

  • 1.5 billion to reduce medical wait times
  • Reduce foreign aid by 25%
  • Home renovation tax credit
  • Getting rid of the Carbon Tax
  • Employment Insurance on pregancy leave tax free
  •  30 year mortgages. ( I dont like this ,if you cant afford a house, rent)
  • Removing Gst on home heating
  • Extra $1000 age tax credit .
  • Commodity corridor under fed’s jurisdiction

The list goes on. I am hoping that the party has done a full costing on each item. Deficit running is no good for anyone. It won’t be climate change that hurts the youth of today ( under 30’s) but the massive debts they accumulate. I always smile when I hear a millennial talk about not affording anything then go out for supper to a new restaurant wearing designer clothes. All on credit. It is killing our country with do-gooders wanting free everything and it will make two generations Gen X and Millennials have a lower standard of living than their parents. If you don’t save you will never have everyday living expenses paid for or save for the future to retire.

“PENNYWISE”

What should you aim for, savings-wise?

As a standard by the time you’re 30,  you should have saved half of your annual salary. If you are earning $50,000 by age 30, you should have $25,000 banked for retirement. By age 40, you should have twice your annual salary. By age 50, four times your salary; by age 60, six times, and by age 67, eight times. If you reach 67 years old and are earning $75,000 per year, you should have $600,000 saved. This is just to live a “normal” retirement with nothing fancy. If you have a pension the percentages change but pensions are becoming like the dinosaurs. 

Picked up Jackson from school and the FBI, SWAT team scenario is happening. My lego gun is wonderful. Tired though of running the hallways. Jackie has put him to the test in the gym right now while I relax. I offered to go to the movie house and can you believe a 8 year old that says no to the movies. I think it is because he cant have popcorn due to his teeth spacers.  Abdominal Snowman or Angry Birds and he says no. I can’t wait until he likes movies such as Fast & Furious or Rocky , Bond etc. Hopefully then he will like to go. I was so looking forward to the popcorn . LOL

An excellent job Jackson did in creating a robot

Yet a 8 yr old boy talks about a crush on a classmate. Priorities !! LOL

Thought of the Day 

90% of babysitting is just thinking about when you can lay down again in the quiet.  That brings up the question why do they call it beauty sleep when you wake up looking horrible. 

Oct 6th -7th

Jackie and I headed out the lot. We started to winterize the lot. Cleaned out the cupboards and fridge of the outdoor kitchen and started to tarp everything. We rolled up the carpet, tarped up the furniture and tarped up the kitchen. Jackie cleaned out the motorhome cupboards and pantry. I cleaned up the Saloon and put everything away.  We worked for most of the day. Then we packed up everything and headed home.

On the way I saw something I can’t say I have ever seen before. A customized trike with two large dogs riding in the back. They loved it. Probably wouldn’t be called safe but it sure did work good.

Now that is a bike !!

Alan & MaryAnn invited us to their place for supper so we headed out all the way up north. I was surprised we didn’t see Santa we are so far up north. I could tell by the tree line difference between tropical south and wintery north Calgary. Derick & Ann were there also. It was a nice evening. A wonderful meal, chicken parmesan with special garlic bread and salad. I loved the shrimp as a appetizer.

It is interesting to hear other retirees and retirees in waiting talking about financing. We are so lucky as an employee perk getting a personal professional advisor and group helping us plus the reduced management fees. Everyone’s money situation is different . Some have their money in TFSA, RRSP, RRIF , stocks, housing, or in cash and the amount varies drastically between people. Some have lucrative defined pensions that make retired living a lot more comfortable and never a fear of running out of money. Each also have their own priorities and wants. But listening to everyone it made me think there is a HUGE opportunity for a “management company” to actually advise and guide people with this. We have companies like Edward Jones, Investors Group etc that do a lot but overall a lot of people get misinformation, are guided wrong based on the companies incentives and not given guidance on reducing taxes and withdrawal plans. A “class” that goes over all of this would much welcomed by a lot of people.

“Pennywise Tips”

I have done a lot of research on pensions, investments, taxes and along with my personal banker Jackie are fairly current with most models and situations. Having said that we made a huge mistake by having too much money in RRSP’s and will pay dearly in taxes and don’t have pensions. To all of the young people, a pension especially a defined pension from a unionized company is the goose that laid the golden egg scenario and should be the first deciding factor in applying for a job or deciding a career.  Here are a few things to consider.

RRSP’s – A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a retirement savings and investing vehicle for employees and the self-employed in Canada. Pre-tax money is placed into an RRSP and grows tax free until withdrawal, at which time it is taxed at the marginal rate. It is a DEFERRAL of taxes only which a lot of people don’t understand. The concept is, invest when at a high tax rate and get the return and withdraw a lower rate. Just remember when you see your account and you have $ 100,000 in it, you don’t, as you have to pay 15 to 33% tax on it. RRSP’s have to be collapsed by age 71 and turned into an annuity, lump sum or a RRIF. In an annuity which is a safe monthly income stream that money disappears if you die early and doesn’t become part of the estate. I don’t believe anyone would recommend a lump sum as the tax implications would be huge unless the RRSP is minimal.

RRIF’s– A Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) is a tax-deferred retirement plan under Canadian tax law. Individuals use an RRIF to generate income from the savings accumulated under their Registered Retirement Savings Plan. A Registered Retirement Income Fund isn’t actually a product, but a type of registered account. It’s what happens to your RRSP when you retire and is designed to provide an income stream from your RRSP. But different rules apply to RRIFs. The government requires you take out a minimum amount from your RRIF every year. If you don’t have a pension plan your RRIF withdrawal counts as pension income and you get the first $2000  tax free. This is why I believe everyone without a pension should have a RRIF when your 65 instead of waiting to 71 to take advantage of this.  If you have large deposits in your RRSP when you convert you may experience OAS clawbacks up to 50%  as the income threshold will be broken. For 2019 this threshold income is $77K. The worst part is if you die young the government gets around 45% of the collapsed fund if your spouse isn’t the beneficiary. It maybe a good idea to start drawing at 65 from  a RRIF to get the tax credit, and “cash out” your RRSP slowly. At 65 you are required to withdraw 4% which I have indicated before is one of the golden rules of retirement as at 4% your money SHOULF last you your lifetime. Caveat to this is the low return rates we are getting and every year you have to take a higher percentage out. One strategy maybe to take out say 10% and put into your TFSA each year to help the burden on taxes in the future. 

TFSA- in my opinion these should be filled to the maximum every year. When your young it should be the first thing to save your money in. When your income increases then concentrate on RRSP and maxing the TFSA. Even with a smaller limit of appx $6k they are useful in building savings with the interest and withdrawal not being taxed.

Real estate investment- this is an interesting vehicle for retirement. You can use the rental income to live on if you have the property paid for. You may have a positive cash flow even if the building isn’t paid for which would be good. What I like most about this investment is that capital gains are taxed at 50% of income rates. Ie $100K in income is 26% while a $100K in capital gains is 13%. But this type of investment require a lot of work ( dealing with renters) and risks but if timing is right and land values increase fast it can be very lucrative. I always found it interesting though when someone says they made $100K on selling their home. ( difference between what they bought and sold at)  They ALWAYS forget they paid the interest first on a mortgage on it.

Example-  Bought a house for $100,000. Sold the house 10 years later for $150,000. They made $50k it appears.  In this scenario it would  have cost them $26K in interest so the real gain is $24K.

Take the same 100K invested at the same interest rate paid as the mortgage above compounded you would have $162K a net gain of $62K versus $24k.  Remember the tax rates and it is a little closer and the income generated by rent isn’t calculated into the equation.

CPP/OAS/GIS- for what should be a simple program is causes a lot of people angst as the gov’t convoluted it a way too much. To me it is pretty simple. We know the average life span of a Canadian male is 82 years old. The saying ” A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush ” is perfect for this scenario. I believe EVERYONE no matter their wealth should take CPP early at 60 years old and collect until they die. The “break even” point for most people is around 74 years old. One question then. Will you spend more money from 60 to 74 or more after ? You are only 8 years short of the average life span. Take the money early and if you don’t NEED it put it into a TFSA or RRSP if you want a tax credit. The new rules on CPP hurt as the reduction between 65 and 60 is about 36%. But again, $700 a month now or $1000 at 65. Nice thing about CPP is it is actually a defined pension fund as employers and you contribute to it and is not a government asset or liability .  OAS–  is another income stream that everyone gets as long as they have lived in Canada for 10 years. For anyone born before April 1958 you can start to collect at 65. If  born after 1962 you will not collect until 67 years old. It is scaled by the month for those born in between. You do not need to apply for OAS. You do need to apply for CPP. OAS has a clawback scaling system also based on income. If you make more than $77,500 you will NOT get and OAS or GIS.  GIS- is only available to low income earners. If are make more than $18,500 you get nothing.

There is no right way, there is no way to avoid tax, each person has to decide what is right for them and live with it. It does not take money to be happy. The experiences maybe different but the happiness levels will not be a lot different. 

Fun evening.

I was lucky enough to get another comp golf game with Wendy & Jeff at Heritage Point.  I actually love this course even though as I said before it is too expensive. We got hooked up with a single today. The marshall/starter didn’t handle this too well. The three of us drove up the tee box with two carts, Our single joining us came up in his cart. The marshall demanded us to use only two carts and hook up together. We argued that having Wendy drive her own would speed up the game but to  no avail. Funny thing I saw this same marshall allow 5 golfers in a group. Must have been buddies. We switched bags with Jeff & Wendy going together and myself with Ken. Nice guy and we had a lot of fun golfing together. Wendy had her usual great drives, better chips but just a few too many little mistakes. Jeff drove very good today. Irons on second shot and a few lost balls killed him. Ken is a higher handicapper ending up with a score of 118  but watching him it was lost balls and chips so I believe it was just one of those bad days. I was relatively happy. Only one hole I had to pretend to be Irish. Good drives, great second shots ending up with 9 pars on the card. I missed nine chances at birdie from 30ft  to 4 ft away. We also were dealing with the wind quite a bit today.

I forgot to mention after  a few holes we fell behind a bit. Our not so friendly marshall asked us to speed up. We didn’t. We golfed the whole day being about a half to whole hole behind. Holding up the behind group ever so slightly only once and awhile. One also has to remember Heritage has tall grass lined fairways so losing a ball and having to look for it can take a little longer.  A fun golf day with very nice weather. I think it hit 18 degrees. The wind did make it seem a little cooler.

Jackie met us at Tommy’s in Seton for supper as pay back a bit for the golf to Jeff & Wendy. Great food and drinks here. I ordered the Halibut fish & Chips. A 8 oz piece of halibut. First let me say it was delicious. They had a cod on the menu also. When I looked at the bill it was $36. Shocked for a fish and chip plate. After a little research at home ( learn something new everyday) Halibut is the king of ocean and at most restaurants is more than the beef dishes on the menu. More than a steak. So while I consider it expensive it was awesome and I learned something.  A great fun evening meal and get together.

Up early in the morning to take the Buick in for it’s pre-trip to Arizona inspection, oil change and tire rotation.

Thought of the Day 

Funny game golf is, you never know why you play good or bad. 

October 8th

I took the Enclave into my favorite Midnapore repair shop. As usual these guys are great., The Buick is still in perfect shape which is good as I plan to keep it now for a little longer than my ten year plan. Only thing wrong is that 2 tires are on the low tread depth. At 4/32 I like to change tires out if winter driving. If normal road conditions you can run to 2/32nd. I have two at 4/32nd and two at 6/32. With all wheel drive like 4wd all 4 tires should be changed out to the keep the system from stressing. The front tires always wear faster as they are turning different directions. That is why rotation is important. I must have missed a rotation the last oil change. I researched tire pricing this morning and I am impressed by dealers in Canada getting their pricing in line with the States. About time.This time Canada is $11 cheaper a tire without even factoring in exchange. I am putting the 6/32 on front and will run another 10 to 20 thousand kilometers before changing all 4 of them. If we were winter driving I might do it now but it isn’t getting the full value out of the tires. Another $1000 bill one off. LOL

Snow storm again last night. This is the worst year I can remember weather wise for Calgary. A very late spring, a rainy summer, windy summer, no fall weather and early winter conditions. It sucks. In July/Aug/Sept we had 71 days if rain. We had twice the amount of hail storms as on average and the number of wind storms tripled. It was also a record year for lighting strikes and we set a all time record for snowfall in September in a single day. Wow just great.

Most of us that like politics and or are concerned with the direction Canada is going would have watched the debate. Are we in trouble. We are a mess. Quebec needs to go. Leave Canada as I am sure NO ONE will really care. We all would be better off. No party will stand up against Quebec and they are killing us with policy, equalization, special privileges, and forcing a second language on us.  They are like the spoiled kid.  Elizabeth May, now that is a piece of work. I can’t see woman being proud of her. She doesn’t represent women well at all.  I would never vote NDP but Singh is awesome. Loved his come backs, jokes and had a few good points. Funny how some decent people like Notley just fall into the wrong parties fold. Light socialism will never come to Canada. We can’t afford our current situation never mind giving free medicine, education and playing into the environmentalists agenda.

Dear Edmonton and BC voters. Remember any vote for other than Scheer is a vote for Trudeau. You vote for NDP or Green you are allowing Trudeau to gain seats over the PC’s. Please vote smart !! I am hoping Ontario and Quebec favor Singh a bit as the PC’s with the split vote between the Liberals and NDP may just come up the winner.

We have been bugging Jessica and Penny to make sure they winterize their Rv. I didn’t have the time last visit I was there. It is extremely important to do because if the temperature stays around -3 for a few days or the one night of -6 degrees it will be very expense to fix. Hot water heater alone could be up to $300 bucks or more but a split line in a wall is a disaster. I was going to head down today but forgot the Buick was going in. Tonight Lethbridge it is getting down to -12 degrees. Luckily it appears they found a friend to get it done. Hopefully this spring no issues. Most RV’s have plastic faucets that break easily and pex lines freeze and split easy as RV’s do not have a lot of insulation.  Time will tell. I told Jackie that me putting in a underground irrigation system may not have been the smartest thing to do as they HAVE to be blown out early not to freeze up. I said to Jackie I have to stop worrying about what they aren’t doing ( winterizing, blowing out lines, oil changes, driving on bald tires, no or poor brakes etc) as they have to do it themselves or suffer the consequences.  Funny thing is it all seems to work out ok for them. So maybe they have it right. LOL

First school picture of August. This is his first year in preschool. I wonder if a limo is required for pre-school graduation. I am sure the way society is going this must be a thing by now.

August’s first school picture

What is James Neal doing ?  4 goals tonight. 6 already this year when he had 7 total all of last year. The bum !!!   Just wait until the Oiler’s see how many goals Mike Smith will let in.

Thought of the Day 

Beware of jealousy. It can burn you up like the flames on wood. ( see what I did there ? Flames, jealous  LOL ) 

October 9th

Baby it is cold outside. The snow is still 4 inches on the ground. Temp today not even getting to zero. Dumb !!

I went and picked up a new key for the Enclave as Jackie misplaced her old one. ( she may dispute this)  $49 for a chipped key. That is dumb !  I got it home and had to program it to work. Make a mistake and your car has to be towed into the shop. Luckily everything went well even though I really scared myself as when I went to put the new key in, it had a burr and got stuck. All done now though and all is good.

Turned the a/c last night for the first time this year as the temperature outside was getting to low. I had to open the patio door a little later this morning to cool the condo down.

Dropped off some stuff at Tor’s garage. I moved my stuff back into the Jeep from the Enclave. I picked up groceries for the next few days. I had a job reference call today that was about 1/2 hr long. Good compnay, nice people.

My golf course just emailed to say my final golf tournament that I look forward to every year will be cancelled on Friday due to the snow still covering the ground. Darn. This is one man scramble 2 ball tournament that I love. Oh well hopefully next year. It is by invite only so you never really know. They rescheduled it for the 18th which is the last weekend the course will be open.

For fun I did a intelligence, emotional, and age test online. The results sometimes are hilarious as you know what answer will lead to a comments direction but still fun.  My age test determined I was 48 years old. I don’t know if that is good or bad. LOL

Thought of the Day 

People say age is just a state of mind. While true I believe it is more just the state of your body!

October 10th-11th 

You got to love Edmonton. Front page in the Sun Newspaper  “OILERS ARE UNDEFEATED” . Come on guys it is 3 games only. That means you could lose like 79 in a row. As I said before I do not believe along with numerous hockey pundits that the Oilers are good enough to make the playoffs never mind the cup. Time will tell ! After 20 games when we examine the record it will give a better idea. In the meantime enjoy the hockey as the football is just about over for Edmonton. We as in Calgarians will enjoy watching two good teams play !

Above zero !  This is the time of year I hate. The waiting for warmer weather, to cold to finalize certain things and too early to pack everything up for Arizona.

At least there is a lot going on in politics. Between our election and Trump there is lots to watch. The Dems have to get past the fact they lost. For everything bad, horrible and embarrassing about Trump he has done so many great things. Sounds like his statement. LOL  Pulling out the troops from a endless war makes sense. Sometimes you just have to let figure the issue out themselves.  You hate to see the civilian population get harmed as in most cases it was the country they were born into not chose. This is similar to Scheer dropping foreign aid to middle- and upper-income countries . As he said some of that money is shoveled to repressive regimes that are adversarial, if not outright hostile, to Canadian interests and values. Why not drop it to zero.

I have been working on my Viewpoint photo directory for our block for full two days. First the set up and corrections and add-ons this time were numerous. As I said before you don’t do something for a long time you forget the system a bit. I use Powerpoint for the bulk of the cards along with a word/excel listing sheet. I am using a custom size print page to save money. Staples this time was excellent. Standard glossy sheets cost about .40 each. My “guy” Jeorge at Staples talked to me about my project and suggested a bulk item at his counter. It was a lighter less glossy paper but for .10 versus .40 and having to print 900 sheets and with what I was doing I am going with it. I had to run home quick to try a sheet as a lot of paper is made for laser print only and I have inkjet. I bought lots of cartridges on line at Amazon for a great deal. Less than 1/2 price of Staples in stock. These sheets worked perfect, not the same quality and less thick but will be just fine. I have to print 900 pages so you can imagine the time, paper and ink I need especially as they are full color. This time I went with standard print instead of high quality. A inkjet printer chugs.

Sample:

Sample . A 30 sheet booklet for each unit and we have 32 units on our street

People like these to put a face to a property and to learn a little bit about each other. If you need to contact someone it is the perfect guide. I had a lot of changes to make this year. For the first 10 years or so we had very little changes but last year illness took it’s toll on our block. We had 9 changes or new owners. We had a cancer situation, dementia, cancer, heart issue, death, dementia, illness, moved,and moved.

My end of the season golf tournament has been rescheduled to Oct 18th so I am hoping a little warmer weather and the golf course is still open for it. I also had my Men’s group that I play with in Mesa contact  me for the first game of the season in Arizona. I am booked in for Nov 6th. The tee times are usually 8 am so it means getting up at 6am for this. But, it is extremely well organized and a great bunch of guys to golf with. It is a 40 person group with the bulk of them being from Saskatchewan as is the organizer. I was lucky enough to get to join as Bob Ferris knew everyone and I just tagged along. It has been at least 4 years I have played in this league and love it. I love the system of playing as a team low net score by 3 holes at a time for the team. Plus a snips game involved. Unfortunately Bob as he moved away won’t be golfing this year with us. I had a lot of fun riding out with Sandy, Bob, George and myself in the early morning going out to the course.  They say change is good but in this case I don’t like. We will miss our neighbors Bob & Pat.

Big game tonight as first place in the CFL West will be decided. We need Calgary to win and we need the Lions to win on Saturday to keep everything “normal”.  I will remain quiet on the Oiler’s until 20 games have passed. Then we will know for sure if they are a good team or not.

I will wait until next week to finalize the lot and motorhome.

I rented out my parking spot for the winter which is good. Buys me one or two extra golf games per month while in Arizona.

Only a short time left to use up our passes at Boulder Creek so I will need to watch the weather.

As it is International Day of the Girl today we have been watching a lot of stars and news reports on the successes of girls. Which is awesome, but in my opinion when everything is considered, women generally are as smart as men, perhaps have a different perspective on things, great organizers, and even a little more compassionate and there is equal opportunity for men and women alike today, yet men overall still seem to dominate in most areas. I think it is directly related to hormones. Aggressiveness has it advantages in a lot situations. Women if perceived as too aggressive do get a bad rap. Emotions also tend to run higher in ladies which can cause conflict, confusion and appears as a weakness. Having said this,why is it today board rooms, CEO’s , politics, current inventors, Nobel Prize winners are still dominated by men. I haven’t got the answer for that other than that there are huge differences in how men’s and women’s brains work. If you believe in creation or evolution the brains are different. With evolution the male was the leader of the pack, going out for food, fighting to protect the women and children and with creation men were expected to be the head of the household, the head of the church and the leader of family and faith. I think it will be a forever task trying to equalize the genders. No program forcing hires that are gender based other than qualification based can work long term.  The world today though is a lot better place with societies acceptance of differences but still on a equal basis. One can be different yet equal if we acknowledge it and don’t force it.

With everything that is happening in the world It seems the male population is forgotten in everything . We seem to get bashed for everything. There is no focus, no movement, no help for them. Unite Men of the World.

Thought of the Day

Boobs, proof that men can focus on two things at once !

October 12th-14th

We had a video conference with Jackson this morning. We didn’t go to his game as it starts away to early for us. Shame though as it was a big day for him.  He scored 4 goals and was awarded the PLAYER OF THE GAME. A single metal that has meaning not a metal for everyone for showing up. He was the BEST today of the group. It is a huge metal award on a chain that is heavy that he gets to keep until next game. My only hope is that it is in fact awarded for effort and skill not rotated among the team. Diminishes it then to a participation medal if they do that.

Player of the Game !

Not the best picture as it was snapped from a video conversation.

Way to go Jackson !!

The Stamps were wonderful being in first place again !  Just need to keep focused as they want to be in the Grey Cup for their home town year. Too bad we have such an embarrassing field to play in. We are not a government town like Edmonton or Regina so we can’t afford these extravagant expensive sports facilities.

Jess & Pen installed a “playcenter” with a climbing wall and swings in their garage. I sure hope they tied into the trusses and studs. Super neat idea until it gets real cold and snowy and they want to park in the garage. LOL In the meantime the kids will have a blast. Excellent idea ! They should just build a garage in the back and convert the current one to a big FAMILY room.

Went a voted today and was surprised how busy the place was. I am sure other than the odd riding and perhaps in Edmonton the PC’s will win most ridings in Alberta. Scheer needs every seat he can get to try for a majority as a PC or Liberal minority is something we don’t want. I sort of like the USA with only two parties as we have the opportunity for too many split votes. Liberals win minority due to Ont and Quebec and get support from the Green Party, Alberta will wither away. It is really getting frustrating having the young millennials and Gen X being brainwashed into the “Green Movement” without understanding the consequences. No IPad would exist without oil. No cell phone. No transmission lines. Nothing would exist as oil was involved in the manufacturing, transportation, or a material in the product itself yet they are bent on marching and protesting. Amazing to me.

Went and bought groceries for Monday as we are having family over for Thanksgiving. I still need to hire a texturing for our ceiling which I think I will look into for December just to finish that off.

For the record today Greta would have been proud as we used ZERO plastic bags for our groceries as we have Sobey’s cloth carry baskets. Simple solution that has results. I can’t stand Greta ! If everyone did their part including the huge populations of India and China we could make a difference. Dont diss the oil industry though.

A nice sunny day. On the cooler side with it being 10 above but very nice and melting the snow. I may yet get my final tournament in at Turner Valley and my coupons at Boulder Creek. I see the odd course has closed already for the season. The season is so short.

Things to do before leaving:

  • Drive motorhome into Strathmore to fill the propane and gas tanks up for the winter.
  • Add Stablock to the motorhome and generator
  • Charge up every battery and unplug from 110 volt
  • Bring home my Barnwood plank to take to Mesa
  • Finish the cleanup at the lot, bring the ladder to Cor’s
  •  Drop off FOB to  my parking spot renter.
  • Remove all of our Christmas decorations before giving up our parking spot
  • Remove needed clothing from motorhome for Arizona.
  • Pack
  • Go do my blood lab work
  • Donate blood
  • Visit doctor for prescription refill
  • GONE

Speaking of prescriptions. I hate pills. I mistrust the pharmaceutical  companies. When I was working I had high blood pressure. 160/95  wasn’t uncommon and even higher. I told my doctor it was stress related and when I retired it would go down but being cautious she wanted me to take pills. That was about 10 years ago or more. I started off with 8 mg’s then 6 mg’s and currently I am taking 50% of the original amount at 4mg’s. My pressure again today was 110/72.  Between enjoying life and losing 35 pounds it made a huge difference. If it continues at this level I will try going to 2mg and watch it closely.  Time will tell. And the reading today was without me being active the last week.

We had a nice drive up to Edmonton.  I set the cruise at 119 kms to be safe and odd enough we had very little traffic on the highway. As “normal” we had to make our stop at the rest stop near Lacombe for Jackie to visit the facilities.

We arrived at Darlene’s is plenty of time as the dinner as at 1pm. Today we had Jim, Darlene, Kair, Kayla, Christian, Alfred, Mary, Garrett, Mariz, Graham, Abagail, Victoria, Corey Jackson along with Mom and us.

Darlene is an amazing cook. We have the BEST turkey dinners at her place. I know how diffiuclt it is to cook for large numbers and she appears to always make it look easy. But the quality is wonderful. The moistest turkey, best gravy, worlds best dressing and mashed potatoes with all of the extra’s is to die for. will that is how you feel after eating and getting too stuffed. This year Alfred brought pumpkin pie from Freisen’s in Stony Plain and I have to say it was every bit as good if not better than homemade. It was another exceptional meal and fun gathering. It was also quieter this year as we had less kids as parental obligations came in play. Having said that you get 9 young adult talking at the table and the volume is immense. The level of laughter and talking increases exponentially as they get excited about things.

2019 Thanksgiving  Darlene, Mariz, Abigail, Kari

Alfred & Mary did an Alaskan trip this year and Mary made a scrapbook of the trip which was amazing. The amount of work, time, effort and thought into this was unbelievable.  It was neat to look at and reminded me of Jackie’s step Mom as she did the same thing with every trip Peter and she took.It was a great day, wonderful food and some nice visiting with everyone.

It is funny as one ages how medical conditions become part of the subject. I proudly stated I was the perfect specimen of a man without any issues. Then my brother reminded me he saw me trying to pull in a 350 pound Sturgeon and that my arm didn’t seem right. I forgot about my broken bicep. Darn !

We left at 8pm and headed out. Pouring rain in Edmonton all of the way to Olds. The new section in Red Deer with the rain is just about impossible to see the white lines. That is not good!

I had to brake whip Jackie a few ties to keep her awake in the car on the trip. Turkey can do that to you.

Up early next morning 8:30 am to prepare for our gathering in Calgary. As we knew most people had one if not two turkey meals we decided to make Cottage Pie and salad for everyone. We made a 10 pound Cottage Pie and it was just about all eaten up. They must have loved it. We had Jessica, Penny, Atticus, August, Corey, Victoria, Jackson, Michael, Audrey, Shelton, Kristen along with Jackie & I.  Audrey and Jessica brought along pies. I LOVE Pumpkin pie. Another fun gathering and entertaining day. I do have to say boys sure are rambunctious. The day was fun and nice to get together. We especially are apprecative of Kristen and Shelton always making the effort to come when they can as living in Edmonton we don’t get to see them that often. Come in handy when Shelton’s parents live here.

The Waldie Family for Thanksgiving

The boys having a break for Thanksgiving. Jackie getting clever with tablecloth on floor.LOL

Sheldon & Kristen with Audrey

The Hicken family missing Penny

Penny, Tor and Jess resting after getting stuffed

Audrey & Michael

Well another Thanksgiving over an done with. Only 71 days until Christmas. Not having the excitement of Christmas and gifts does make Thanksgiving nicer in a way.

 

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