JULY 2021

July 1st Canada Day !

Jackie and Jackson all dressed up for Canada Day quite a few years ago. But I just liked the pic.
Celebrate it as we are an amazing country

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 40 degrees, Edmonton 35 degrees, Calgary 37 degrees”

Hopefully you all celebrated Canada Day as we live in a great country. Put all of the noise about cancelling behind you and enjoy the day. I won’t go into the issue at hand but to put it bluntly we are not being told all of the facts. One fact Tuberculous, Cholera, SmallPox and Scarlet fever to name a few were massive killers and were natural deaths not beatings, hunger or deprivation. Most graves would have been marked with wood crosses. Wood rots, stones get moved or fall apart. The grave sites could have been communal sites.

One quick question to make you think. How many people received the strap at school or home and what harm did it do ?

On to better things and more real thoughts.

Don’t you love this weather. Talk about being lucky having such a long stretch of warm weather. It usually never happens especially in Calgary so let’s enjoy it while we can.

No breeze today so makes for a wonderful day to golf. It is amazing how fast the fairways are drying up. The potential is more roll from the ball. I didn’t notice it.

Three great guys making for a fun time with discussions as I am sure we could solve all of the worlds issues if they would let us and fun playing golf.

I did not golf near as good as yesterday yet I am relatively happy overall. I way too many missed putts, a couple of sculls and two lost balls. This Turner course is my nemesis as I can not score well here as I can have a couple of blow up holes that kill the score. You take a 8 and a 7 it takes a lot of pars and birdies to make that up. I didn’t.

My one partner struggled in the heat today. A little overweight and with heart issues he actually took a pill that lowers his heart rate when it is stressed. He still carried on like a champ to finish all 18 holes but his golf was off the last few and he moved a little on the slower side. Again I didn’t mind it. I did have a small amount of perspiration on my brow again but did not sweat even with drinking four bottles of water. What I did find though the muscles loosen up and you can swing different pulling left often. Some wonderful shots, some long shots and the bad few holes and putts raised the score. I lost $2 bucks on our quarters game but still am waiting to see if a won a snip on one hole with my birdie. Fingers crossed.

Absolutely like normal now with rakes, no masks etc, Nice !

Our after golf was fun as we sat inside the restaurant to help our partners cool down.

A beautiful looking 1967 Camaro convertible in the parking lot when we were leaving. Gorgeous but one of this “authentic” guys which I am not a fan of. Why live with a 327/210 horsepower engine and 2 speed Powerglide when you can have so much more. Only after marker add on was a Sun Tach. That is like putting a parachute on a Honda. Wrong ! Nice car though.

Thought of the Day

We are close to being in a world where chickens can cross the road and no one questions it’s motives.

July 2nd

Mercury Forecast Mesa 39 degrees, Edmonton 30 degrees, Calgary 31 degrees”

Gorgeous day this morning with some overcast skies yet hot. Without the bright sun it fools you into thinking it is cooler than it is.

Jackson came over bright and early as Tor dropped him off on her way to work.

I moved our golf tee time today to a much earlier tee than normal. Everyone has the time of day they like to play at. I like earlier mornings as you can golf and still have a large portion of the day left but my most preferred time is around 1 or 2. You can still get things done in the morning as a good reason but the best reason is after golf you can sit down and have a great socializing event. Plus you don’t miss lunch. But today I changed it to 10 am to help with the heat. It was a 30 degree day but due to being overcast it seemed a lot cooler. Having said that though it was humid which when combined with heat always results in a hail storm.

We arrived at the course which we haven’t played for quite a few years. It is funny as I can play a course once and remember every hole even if it is years later. It is sort of like remembering every shot on each hole which I can recall after a game. If I drive once to a particular spot that is memorable in some way I can in most cases retrace my steps again years later.

We checked in and paid for an extra cart so that Jackie was riding by herself, and Jackson was riding with me. Jeff & Wendy shared their own. After getting out of sight of the starter and clubhouse I let Jackson drive. He drove the whole course except for Hole 1, Hole 18 and one short stint in the middle when the Marshall snuck up on us. If anyone has golfed Springbank Links they will know this is the hilliest course in Calgary. Large coulees, drops, sharp corners, bends and cliffs. Jackson was stellar following directions and was exceptional at driving. Not once did my life feel in danger. Funny thing is Wendy’s cart did fall back into us and loosened up a molding on the side. Not only did he excel at driving this time, but he is using his feet correctly, is judging turns pretty good and loves to put it to the floor going up the hills. I am sure he had fun.

My partners didn’t like this course. I will say with the front nine being a links style it is fairly difficult compared to most flatland courses. I enjoyed it this time and overall was pleased with my golf. The odd hiccup and mess up on Hole 17 but overall pretty darn good with long drives, only a couple of slices but still found the ball and a ball loss on a hole. Jackie didn’t play well today which was similar to Jeff & Wendy which didn’t have their A game today.

I have had two memorable events on this course. The first was my annual golf bet with Ray from Totem and Brian from BPCO against Mike ( one of my favorite reps that worked for me) and myself. It was a $100 bet each. Mike and I won on this course but when we were sitting down after to take count Mike made a calculation error. Mike and I each gave our $100. Ray & Brian kept it a secret for a full year. Being the honest guys they are ,they confessed the following year when they won and we were to pay them. Nice guys ! The other was my debit card was compromised here years again in the pro shop when I was pulling my $ 100 out of the ATM in the pro shop. My bank phoned the next day to call me in to get a new card.

I found the temperature today perfect. A slight damp forehead but not sweating at all.

It was a fun day again golfing in nice weather, golfing with fun friends and having a UBER driving golf cart. I would yell each time I needed the cart to come calling Jackson ” Guber” . We had a lot of fun.

On the 11th Hole we had this beautiful Golden Retriever run out to our cart as we were getting ready to hit off the tee. Wonderful friendly dog. His owner started walking over to us to get his dog and we started talking. This is amazing. Here was the real estate agent we used for two transactions. Scott McEwen was a good rep for us. We listed our Shawnessy home on Friday and sold it by Saturday noon. Anyways, he comes up to us and recognizes Jackie. Here what is amazing. He not only remembers our names but who we worked for with the exact name. This was 12 years ago. We had a nice chat. I would use him again in a minute.

After golf we sat on the patio and had a wonderful meal. I believe everyone thought their selection was great. I know I did. A well made Caeser drink and a frosted glass of beer is always a great thing. Jackson sure can eat as he is growing boy.

Fun socializing after golf in the warmth on the deck.

The sky was darkening as we sat on the patio and after looking at the Doppler we decided to head home. We could see the storm cell and lighting to the west of the city. We stopped at Audrey’s to pick up Daisy and dropped off Jackson as we wanted to get home before anything happens as dark clouds, heat and humidity you know it is going to hail. In fact I actually planned to take the Jeep rather than the Flex just in case but had to switch with the additional passenger.

Not long after arriving at home it started to blow hard, rain heavy and then hail. Large hail in fact wind driven. Large enough to cause damage. Car alarms were going off down the street. Daisy was super curious and even on the deck chasing hail stones as they flew across the deck.

Calgary is pretty prone to damaging hail as our history has shown. Audrey’s complex got hit and her unit with sustained hail resulted in a broken window. Pain to replace a pane. I would expect at least a 2 to 3 week wait for a new sealed unit replacement. Hopefully the overall damage for this event was a lot smaller than we have seen. I do know Midnapore, Sundance area and west of there received golf ball sized hail. I am sure the river is a weather divide in Calgary as so many times one side has major damage and the other none. News at 11pm will have more details.

Thought of the Day

A storm makes you appreciate the warm sunny days that much more.

July 3rd4th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 38 degrees, Edmonton 28 degrees, Calgary 27 degrees”

Well for a short duration storm the hail caused a fair amount of damage again. We all knew it was going to happen but the when is always the question. Heat and humidity mixed always causes storms with potential hail.

Watching the news though this one was on the minor side with siding on some houses, cars in certain neighborhoods, the odd window, patio furniture wrecked and so on. Add it all up and big bucks again for the insurance companies though but lucky it wasn’t a big storm.

Here is list of damage of hail for us over the years:

  • St Albert- Cedar siding had to be re-stained
  • St Albert – shingle damage and fence re-stained
  • Shawnessy- siding and roofing replaced, all fascia, eavestrough and gutters replaced
  • Shawnessy- outside furniture, patio table chairs destroyed
  • Calgary- roof vents, trim and minor other RV damage twice
  • Calgary- $9K damage to 2006 Ram truck
  • Oasis- plants and outside furniture wrecked.
  • We have lost bedding plants numerous years in all locations

Why the insurance companies don’t discount the rates substantially for Hardi-Plank or Canexel is beyond me. These products are a way nicer looking than vinyl and are impervious to hail. They cost double vinyl or more but for better looks, performance and no claims it should be a no brainer.

Everyone will need to check their RV vents after this storm. I have the Airflow protectors on all of mine now except for the bathroom one so we should be ok. The windshield has a sunscreen on it which will help direct hits to it.

Hail is an issue and a costly one every time not only for insurance but people dishing up the deductibles , time involved, and replacing stuff not covered. I will take hail though over a tornado, hurricane or floods any time of the day.

I did a bit of my June budget today but didn’t finish.

Today was a family gathering to celebrate a few peoples birthday that were missed due to Covid and or coming up. We haven’t seen Danielle since last year, July I believe and we celebrated Augusts and Audrey’s birthday.

It was supposed to be a rainy day and we got so lucky with it being very very nice. Not the 30 degrees but an enjoyable 20 ish and no rain.

Out at the lot today we had Alan, MaryAnn, Kennedy, Danielle, Jessica, Penny, Atticus, August, Audrey Victoria, Jackson Corey Kristen, Sheldon along with Jackie & I. Needless to say the BBQ was full with burgers. I had a full grill with Keg Burgers, Lean Beef burgers and Chicken burgers.

I copied a technique that I saw Jeff Grace use once where he cooked the burgers then kept them hot in Dianne’s sauce. I tried this today as I had to have two loads of burgers on the grill for everyone. It worked perfectly as everyone can eat at the same time and as everyone knows Dianne’s sauce is awesome. I added sweet onion salt, salt , pepper and garlic to the burger. Jackie did very well with the condiments. Hot Lime sauce, Jalapeños, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, relish, Spiced Cheese and American cheese. Four different types of buns with my favorite being the Pretzel Buns which where awesome.

I loved my burger and I am pretty sure everyone else liked them very much.

Three different cakes tasting perfect. Costco carrot cake is great.

The kids even got to go swimming in the pool. Being Sunday people pack up and leave early so it was fairly empty.

It turned out to be a wonderful gathering.

Thought of the Day

This is not Burger King. You don’t make it your way. Take it my way or NONE.

July 5/6/7th

“Mercury Forecast – Mesa 41 degrees, Edmonton 21 degrees, Calgary 18 degrees

Scattered rain showers today so planning is a little more difficult. I can’t pull tools out as wetness is the enemy of electric, and battery motors. I will leave my garden/trellis/divider project for later. Plus wood is still going down in price so I can wait.

So today I thought I would ready up my motor. Checked the oil, took the old gas to the dump, cleaned it all up and greased the leg. Got it out of the storage and loaded it on my Jeep rack.

I thought rather than drive out to the lot I would work on it here and at Tor’s place. I filled the barrel with water and set up the engine. It has a funny tranny as getting into neutral sometimes is difficult. The prop turns slowly if not right in neutral. Checked the plug, cleaned everything all up and worked on starting it as it has been TOO LONG since I last used it. You have to make sure it is running before heading to a lake. I got it started and let it run for at least 10 minutes. A bit of miss at full throttle but this cleaned up after a bit. At full load on the water will be the real test. Nice that everything is perfect and it is all set. Biggest pain is getting in and out of storage and on the rack again. This is where a garage would be nice. Oh well. I like the condo !

All of this took me too about 3:30pm which used up most of the day. Next thing on my list is I want to install proper oar locks and get oars for it rather than use an electric motor on the trout lakes. I will get this done this week.

I took Daisy for a walk and just got in when it started to rain. Lucky !

Lots of heavy lifting the last few days. Moving the motor out of storage onto my cargo rack, carrying the engine to the barrel, moving a 3 x 4 wood crate I built for my seats to the back of the lot and moving the cargo rack from the Jeep to behind the motorhome. Funny how things get heavier.

I worked out at the lot for awhile organizing things. Cut the grass, dead headed the plants, cleaned out the fridge and had an enjoyable day working away.

Up earlier and took my Jeep in for it’s oil change and service. I arrived and after giving my name and phone number I was told a 2 hour wait before they could get me in. This is called the Express Oil service. LOL Jackie had an appointment around 11am and I didn’t feel like waiting for three hours so I headed to Mr Lube. A good check on Tower’s checks. A few bucks and only 15 minutes and I was done. It also brought to mind again the need for a set of tires.

On my way home to start my internet check on pricing on tires I stopped and dropped off my SAS sandals at the shoe repair guy. I have two pairs of these at $210 each and they continually need repaired, albeit one pair is probably 10 years old or more. LOL Wonderful leather but the elastic strips used for ease of putting on break every year. My shoe repair guy laughs every time I bring them in. Only $5 this time.

Checked every place, type and brand of tire and settled on Kal Tire Yokohama’s. Talking to the guy and with explaining I don’t want Goodyear as this is the third set and only 120,000 kms he suggested a set of Nokian for mileage and quiet. I set up an appointment for Monday with them. I then checked reviews on these tires and discovered they don’t make my size of tires. What did the guy order ? I phoned Kal back and sure enough he ordered the wrong tires. And WOULDN’T you know it they don’t make my size so I accepted one size bigger. Pretty much the same diameter but about 1 inch wider.

255/75-17 285/70-17 285/70-17
Diameter inches (mm)32.06 (814.3)32.71 (830.8)0.65 (16.5) 2%
Width inches (mm)10.04 (255)11.22 (285)1.18 (30) 11.8%
Circum. inches (mm)100.72 (2558.2)102.76 (2610.04)2.04 (51.84) 2%
Sidewall Height inches (mm)7.53 (191.25)7.85 (199.5)0.32 (8.25) 4.3%
Revolutions per mile (km)629.09 (390.9)616.6 (383.14)-12.49 (-7.76) -2%

New size, new pricing and having to buy 5 tires. LOL They do have a 100,000 km service life and are made in Finland so I am hoping for a great tire. A company that in Finland has been making tires since 1898 should have it right. I am also hoping the extra sizing will fill the wheel well and look good. They are a good looking tire to begin with.

The Dickson side of my family which is my Mom’s side included Roy, Frank, Lil, Ethel, Ruth, George, Jean and Dorothy as my Uncles and Aunts.

Uncle Roy, Uncle George, and Uncle Frank passed away years ago. All of the male Dicksons passed and each husband of all of the Aunts have passed. This left Aunt Lil at 95yrs old, Aunt Ethel at 93 yrs old, Mom( Ruth) at 89 yrs old, Jean at 84 years old and Aunt Dorothy at 83 yrs old all still around. That is some good longevity.

But today I learned my Aunt Lil has passed away at 95. There are certain relatives and people that you are drawn to. Aunt Lil was my babysitter when needed. I spent summers with her and Uncle Bruce on their farm and acreage. One year as 14 yrs old I was spending time there when two special events happened. I crushed heavy on this girl much older than I at Bible Camp. I can’t remember her first name but her last was Lyon’s. Dream girl. Aunt Lil was very trusting. I had just earned my learners license in Feb and in July she let me drive her and the family in and around Westlock. I thought I was so big. I was very proud and looking back grateful and impressed that she trusted her life in my hands. Driving into town is a little intimidating at first. I had a lot of fun while on the farm or acreage pounding in fence posts with Uncle Bruce etc during the summer. The driving experience was awesome though and fondly remembered.

I wish I had a picture of Aunt Lil but I couldn’t find one anywhere.

Thought of the Day

Life is full of pain and sorrow,
You’re here today,
Gone tomorrow.

If only we knew when we’re going to die,
We would all be prepared to say goodbye.

July 8th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 44 degrees, Edmonton 32 degrees, Calgary 27 degrees”

My men’s league today at Turner Valley. And what a beautiful day it was. One out of our foursome had a stellar day. Two guys as 10 handicappers scored a 92 and 96. I was also high 90’s. But our one good guy scored an 80 and guess what he is 81 years old.

AGAIN I GET BEAT BADLY BY A 81 YEAR OLD THIS TIME. LAST TIME A 84 YEAR OLD.

I don’t know what it is about Turner Valley that I can not score well. I am hitting my driver at 50 to 75% of real swing speed trying to be smart etc and it just comes back to bite me. I only lost one ball but the rest were just dumb mistakes. Like I previously said I love the course, the conditions etc but I can’t score well. It has some odd holes though that I don’t think are fair.

  • Hole 1- a good drive and you are in the water to the right or pull in the bush to the left
  • Hole 2- you can not use your driver as you will be the bush to the right
  • Hole 4- a good drive and you are in willow trees to the left or bush to the right.
  • Hole 8- you can’t use driver and have to lay up before the pond.
  • Hole 12- you have to have a very accurate drive or bush to the right or down in the valley to the left
  • Hole 14 – no driver or you are in the pond
  • Hole 15- no driver or you run into the pond
  • Hole 16- hit right side of fairway and it 100% of the time bounces into the bush

I don’t really care for all of these layups or having to hold back. In my opinion it lessens the character of the course. Some will say just play smart which works but it just isn’t fair to have to change up your style of play so much. I will conquer this again. I used to shoot low 80’s easily here now am struggling in the 90’s.

I hate going to another course and low 80’s or high 70’s happen. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

No money won in the snips game and no money won in the corners game today but still a fun day golfing with a great group of guys. Ridiculously good old men golfers are annoying though. LOL

Thought of the Day

There are ONLY three ways to improve your golf game: take lessons, practice constantly… or start cheating.

July 9th

Got to Love it.

Calgary Stampede. Well the event in a very restricted way is going ahead. So different than other years but at least a chance for people to feel semi normal. It starts tonight with Sneak A Peek.

Take a cowboy with smouldering brown eyes. Add a cowgirl in tight blue jeans. Then throw in plenty of booze and a party atmosphere and you risk rustling up a whole heap of trouble during the Calgary Stampede.

This 10-day annual event has been known to descend into debauchery for some, as inhibitions and even common sense are not abundant.

“You’ve been branded,” is a common saying when a young lady plants a kiss on a cowboy’s cheek. A few drinks, party atmosphere and things happen.

Impaired driving explodes during the 10 days with 129 cases happening in one years ten day span

The number of people starting to file for divorce also spikes after the festivities of Stampede have come and gone. Within 6 weeks of the Stampede divorce discussions increase by 30% according to one divorce solution company.

Concern about taking a roll in the hay prompted Alberta Health Services to launch a campaign last year that distributed posters and bar coasters showing a condom, shaped as a tiny cowboy hat, along with the slogan: “Protect Yourself This Summer — Put A Hat On When It’s Hot.” It warned that infections such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are on the rise.

STD clinics see a big increase in testing right after the Stampede.

Large groups of organized crime supplied prostitutes arrive every year for the event.

So you can see the big impact this event has on our city and society. But in all cases even considering all of these above negatives it is without a doubt ” The Greatest Show on Earth” and is fun for the kids, parents and businesses

Real cowgirls or party girls
Gone Golfing to Raduim/Invermere for a couple of days.

July 10th-12th

The weather for our stint in Radium was awesome. each day it hit 32 degrees plus. Car gauge read 35 degrees the first day. And it was unbelievable that we had NO wind. The one time when we would have liked a little.

It is only about a 3 hour drive but it took us 2 hours to get to Canmore. There are three exits or entry’s in to Calgary from the west side. Talk about having dumb planning to have major construction on all three. Some times you have to just shake your head. Hwy 1 the major TransCanada Highway is a nightmare with the Ring Road construction and widening of the highway itself. There is miles and miles of construction with merging vehicles and up to three lanes wide stopped on the highway. It took us a long time to get thru there. To carry on with construction talk I knew what we had experienced coming to Radium so I thought on the way home we would take Hwy 8.We got about half way to town after the traffic circle on Highway 22 and dead stopped with miles of traffic lined up as they are widening and paving the road. I did an illegal U Turn in the middle of highway and headed to the circle and down thru Bragg Creek. We get into town and it is a disaster again with the south portion of the ring road. If It was dark and night time it would be very confusing knowing where to drive with all of the barricades and cones pushing to each side of the road. Another long trip thru construction. 3 entrances all 3 major construction. Not right !

I always love Highway 93 to Radium. It is a wide, smooth highway with lots of curves. Only two downsides. First the speed limit is 80 kms and 90 kms only. Dumb. Second cops love to patrol this road as the socialist BC government knowing Albertans speed on it have instituted a law if you are caught 30kmph over the speed limit they impound your car immediately. Think about that. That is only at 120 kms you can loose you car on a wide open smooth beautiful highway. You need to find a ” rabbit” and follow to go. Our Flex handles the curves extremely well being so low. A fun highway where the cops suck the joy out of driving. I was lucky I had my rabbit blue Vette pass me that I could follow.

We still arrived a bit early so we drove around and checked out our motel and area. We then headed to Jeff & Wendy’s place which was about 1/2 hr away but on the way to the golf course we were playing .

I am very familiar with Jeff & Wendy’s complex as over the years I have hit that building numerous times. It is on the right had side of a fairway, right at the distance that anyone sliced a bit you hit the building. Jeff’s unit is in the perfect location as you can’t get hit unless by a very errand shot and you get to watch the green right below you. Perfect location. The entire complex is looking good with a brand new coat of stain, paint and a abundance of flowers. Look great. The Graces, end unit one bedroom is very large and nicely fitted. I may question if a window a/c unit could keep up to the heat in such a large place but luckily being in the mountains it does cool down quicker and nicely even after a hot day. They have enjoyed this complex for years and many more to come. A nice place for a short get away to relax and enjoy. BC is still a little behind us in removing restrictions which is too bad as Fairmount Hot springs had very limited capacity.

We sat on the deck and enjoyed a cold beer watching the golfers before heading across the highway to golf Riverside Golf course. A hot one hitting at least 35 degrees today but not over bearing. The course was in excellent shape and is a fun course to play. It has a very high slope rating and can play difficult but I found it quite nice. I played very well. The cart girl was around lots which was excellent for getting ice for our drinks. Our little Daisy was exceptional sitting in the back of the golf cart the whole time. Lots of water, getting to eat ice and the cool breeze between shots kept relatively cool. A fur coat isn’t the coolest but she did great. I did break a small bead perspiration on my forehead.

Caught of guard. See how nice the course looked.

If you look real close there is a bald headed eagle on the dead tree behind the girls. A huge bird. Cutbacks must be happening as you notice the goats are now the grass cutting machines for the course. On your mark go for a golf cart race.

It was a wonderful drive thru the mountains, a nice pre-visit with the Graces, a great round of golf and super meal on the deck at Riverside in the shade and nice visit after at their condo.

We were so lucky to have one of those special people at the Riverside Course. We were looking for a place to have supper and with Daisy that isn’t always the easiest. I found one table away around the side in the shade. I went inside to the dining room and asked teh waitress if she would be willing to serve us outside around the corner. Very nice lady and very accommodating. Our waitress saw Daisy and loved her and commented. ” I don’t see a dog” . Health rules being what they are don’t allow dogs in a eating area. We all order different types of food and everyone was pleased with their dish. I know I loved mine. What I really liked was a waitress with common sense and wonderful customer service skills. She was a fun waitress that only made our day that much better.

After a drink and nice visit with Jeff & Wendy we headed out of Fairmount to Radium to check into our motel. To find a available room, at a reasonable price, that is pet friendly was difficult. I found one Crystal Springs Motel at $195 for one night. A $20 upcharge for a pet. It was a standard two level motel that was kept in very good repair, nice flowers, landscaping and looked great. Checking in the owner were very Covid prepared. Sanitizer station, masks, no entry as you talked and worked from behind a window all were done very well. In fact the next day we noticed the have a guy with a large backpack that “bulk” sanitizes each room with spray before the cleaning crew even enters. The rooms were freshly renovated with vinyl plank and modern furniture. The showers were spa like. Overhead rain shower. pulsating spray jets, hand wand etc. Very nicely done. If not for too fat of pillows I would say the perfect room.

The view from our seating patio at Crystal Springs Motel
Breakfast in front of our room.

Daisy slept very well all night. In the morning while Jackie was showering I took Daisy for a long walk. She loved the area with it’s smells and new things to see and hear. Nice also for her to do her business. I walked quite a few blocks. I discovered Radium doesn’t have any fast food franchises. So I dropped off Daisy and walked back to teh local coffee shop. Awesome place with everything homemade. Better than a chain. I ordered two breakfast sandwiches, coffee and tea. No hot cup band so let me tell you my hands were getting pretty hot walking back. LOL

Another long walk with Daisy after breakfast and a nice sit down on the patio furniture in the front of our motel.

A 5 minute drive to our next great golf experience. We arrived at the exact same time as the Graces. Radium Springs course is a beautiful course. A little on the pricier side but worth it.

You don’t realize you have a few wrinkles and are getting older until you see a snapshot in time. I must be standing on a hill. LOL

I didn’t golf as well today mostly due to the odd slice right happening. This hurts on a course where you can lose your ball easily. Some great shots though and some wonderful holes. Jackie today on a long Par 3 over a gulley got a birdie. Makes her come back for more ! No juice !!!!

It doesn’t happen often for Jackie so extra cause for celebration.
Golfing in BC. Warm temperatures just perfect for muscle relaxation

Daisy again was exceptional.

About the 11th hole we meet Dale Shudra who is the course Marshall. Dale is a great guy. I first met Dale when he became the new owner of Continental Door & Moldings in Calgary. It is always great to have a wonderful relationship with a customer. I choose Dale to send to Sweden for the World Junior’s tournament as a guest of JELD-WEN. It was a nice short visit and hopefully we can get back for more time and visit with Dale & Marilyn .

After another round of golf we decided to head into downtown Radium as I knew they had decks on the west side so we would get shade and hopefully find one that worked for Daisy. Luckily the perfect spot at Jack’s Ribs. Nice deck, shaded area and great food. Jeff had a signature Jack Daniels with lemonade drink a house specialty and said it was super. I had a couple of beer and was driving so couldn’t partake. Wendy’s food specialty ribs looked awesome.

Then off back to home. A great visit , wonderful golf games, nice motel, good food and drinks and a short mini vacation comes to an end. A nice drive home and with a surprisingly busy highway.

I worked on finishing my June budget. A way over budget due to another large repair bill but still income higher than expenses so everything ok. Lucky for us the TSX is doing so well.

I think Daisy likes being home.

Thought of the Day

Funny being retired, as you really don’t go on vacations anymore. Retirement is vacation only interrupted by commitments.

July 12th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 42 degrees, Edmonton 28 degrees, Calgary 25 degrees”

Big day in Raymond. Our second born grandchild turns 6 years old. Time goes by far to fast. August is such a cute kid, a handsome young man and neat personality. He is loosing teeth like mad which he likes. Happy Birthday August !

Already !

Makes you feel a little older when your kids are almost 40 and your grandkids are growing up like weeds.

Tor dropped off Jackson first thing this morning. And brought Tim’s with her. A short visit then off to drop the Jeep for it’s new tires.

Jackson and I had a lot of fun looking at Epic Fails etc. on Utube. Things that make you laugh. As humans we are quite dumb with what we attempt knowing fair well we could get hurt. And in most of these we do but they are funny to laugh at others pain.

I received another phone call from the tire shop with them stating I needed new rear brakes. I asked the mil left and was told 2 mm. First of all that is impossible as the front is still at 8 mm. Now rear brakes do wear first and in most cases two or three sets to one set of front ones. Then the old pitch. They will not install pads only as they back their work with 100% satisfaction guarantee and believe the rotors have to be changed out. I call B$## S$#! I have changed myself at least 10 sets of pads and only replace the rotor if warped or grooved badly. $ 450 for brakes that I can replace for $60 and 1 hour or so. Why are service stations so crooked?

I love my new tires though. They look a lot meatier as they are 3/4 inch taller and 1 inch wider. They are quiet and I like the feel of the stiff sidewall. Good looks, I know better performing so I am happy. Expensive, and my first set of Nokian Tyres but I am pleased. Biggest difference is they are a LT tires versus P tire so are much stiffer. I did notice a full cranks reverse one way only they just touch my flaps but the rub is extremely minor.

I got about three blocks away and my TPMS light came on. Drove back and was told to drive around a bit and if it doesn’t reset come back and they will check for a defective one, dead battery, or damaged during the install. A little hassle but things happen. Just time consuming.

My kind of movie

Jackie, Jackson and I headed to the movie house to see F9. I love these kinds of movies and Jackson was all keen on seeing it. He actually is a little bit of a car guru.

Buttered popcorn, soda pop and we find our seats. I feel bad as only 10 patrons in this huge movie room to watch.

5 out of 5 stars for another high action, car chase, fighting, things blowing up, loud movie. This poster I put above is incorrect as the 1968 Charger in F9 had the engine mounted behind the drivers seat as a mid engine vehicle not the 1970 Charger with the blower sticking thru the hood. Small error I will forgive. Some nice cars in this movie. The NSX was super. My favorite a 1970 Nova SS looked great. I had a 1969 just like this one. The Jag XE was also cool. Best gimmick car was the 1984 Pontiac Fiero . In real life these cars were sort of cool being the first mass produced mid engine vehicle by GM. It had composite body panels, speakers built into the seats and hidden headlights. Plus a nice looking sports car. But quality issues were abundant that Motor One called it the worst sports car ever. The biggest issue which was it’s demise was it was a fire bomb with a horrible record of catching on fire. It lasted only 5 years which is too bad as if they would have pumped up the horsepower and had good quality it would have been a real winner.

Excellent visual effects were used in this movie and all were well done. It is amazing how Dom and his friends can all avoid getting shot or killed and after rolling multiple times or getting blown up just walk away.

We all enjoyed it.

Dropped off Jackson, did a little repair job with Corey and then headed home for a bite and some relaxation.

Daisy escaped our pen today and we arrived home she was out just waiting for us. Nothing destroyed and we did not hear any noise from her so who knows what she was up to. LOL

Thought of the Day

How come we never see the headline ” Psychic wins Lottery ”

July 13th

Special day today for Jessica & Penny. Time flies is the saying which as we all know all too well is very true. Jessica & Penny celebrate their 8th anniversary today. They have had an interesting 8 years with a few moves, job changes, a brand new built house, two kids and starting a new side adventure food truck besides their current job of running a hair saloon and managing a beauty school. Busy people.

Here is to many more wonderful years ahead.

First thing this morning back to Kal Tire for a TPMS reset. The young lady helping me was amazing. She fixed me all up in just a short while. Very cordial and professional as she “read” each sensor and then used the port to “learn” the computer. Great service.

July 13-14th

Forecast today is warm everywhere. LOL

Jackson came over and we played a few games, watched a TV show and UTUBE. It was a nice relaxing morning.

Jackie whipped Daisy over to Audrey’s to be taken care of as with Jack and Daisy it would be a lot.

We got all loaded up and headed to McKenzie Meadows for golfing today. Then a hiccup. I offered to pay for an additional cart for us so Jack & I on one and Jackie on the other like we did at Springbank. The young check in girl gave me the two keys but said she couldn’t charge me as I would need to check into the pro shop. I could have just started golfing but that would not have sat well with me so off to the pro shop I headed. Then a voice of stupidity, no common sense and being irrational happened when I spoke with the clerk. He took the stance that a non golfer was not allowed on the course due to liabilities and company policy. I then asked to see the manager to find out if anyone in the shop had an IQ over 80. Exact same answer with attitude saying ” I am not going to argue, that is the rules”

Dumb. Let’s think about this.

  • It discourages juniors from the taking up golf as they don’t get the chance to see the game first hand.
  • A golfing husband can’t have his wife ride with him to enjoy an outing or his grandkid.
  • During Covid businesses need to be adaptive and understand child care is difficult if not impossible to get. Many companies allowed children to come to work.
  • The course was not overly busy so why not be excited to have another golfer on your course and willing to pay extra to have the non playing guest ride along.

Needless to say sometimes you can’t get through to people. Supposedly a corporate rule and no one willing to common sense and work around it.

Jackie did not golf and returned home with Jackson. Turned out perhaps even better for Jackson as Jackie took him to the skate park which he loves. I golfed alone with Jeff & Wendy. So the course not only lost one golfer revenue ( $89) plus the additional rider revenue ( $20) they have alienated a loyal customer. I love McKenzie but will make an effort NOT to book with again. ( I know we will as it is only 5 min away from our condo but it will be a lot fewer times)

If anyone remembers my “customer service pet peeve ” they won’t even know a action to their reaction has caused less revenue.

As Jackie had left under duress and hastily I had no house keys with me, no car in the lot so I phoned her for a pickup and to join us on the deck. I didn’t want give them an extra money but the conditions were right and I knew their food was good and hunger took over. Cold beer, and a steak sandwich special after golf on a nice deck is wonderful.

I golfed very well today. Anytime I break 40 on a nine I am happy. If only a few more putts would have happened plus I lost one ball on the second nine I would be really happy but I can live with a low 80’s score anytime.

I witnessed something today on the course I have never seen before. I have seen clubs bent, thrown, broke , swearing, hitting etc but this is the first time ever where I was witness to an assault. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t figure out what would have been so upsetting to have stirred up this amount of anger and emotion.

Jeff was a victim of spousal abuse today. A large pencil with an extremely long dangerous sharp point was used as a weapon today, viciously. I missed the exact moment of time so can only speculate that Jeff put up his arm to protect himself and took the blunt force trauma to his arm. He bled profusely and even after a long period of time one can see the obvious deep cut that may leave a permanent scar. Jeff’s whole game was thrown after this PTS causing event. And I thought Wendy was having a great game. I was so happy that after golf our entire table was able to experience laughter, joy , jokes and still feel safe knowing the dark side we had just seen.

I would suggest long sleeves to Jeff to cover up this life changing “scar”

Jackson and I headed out to Oasis today as Jackie had some family things to do. I had an old phone that I charged up for Jackson and set up for him with Gmail, UTube, Google etc and kids messenger. He will be able to do most everything if connected to WIFI but can’t use the phone as it doesn’t have a SIM card for a carrier or phone number attached to it. But if he is at a friends house he can text, message or Gmail to let his parents know he is leaving or where he is. He was pretty pleased with himself.

After I finished up all of my work we headed to the store for a hotdog and ice cream cone. We both chose Tiger but we had a different second scoop. Jackson had cotton candy and I had heavenly mash. Awesome cones.

We rested for a bit then changed into our swim suits. The pool has a person that monitors the amount of people and tracks who is in the pool. I signed us in and just as I was doing that a young mother with three kids walks in. An old women in the pool nastily spews out ” This is adult time still ” They have an adult only time in the afternoon and evening for an hour each. A nice comment, reminder or even a sign at the gate would have been nice. I felt for the mother and looked at the old bag with disbelief. I do not understand people.

We walked to the pool and arrived 15 minutes early for our check in time but the younger mother who was the monitor said go ahead we are under capacity. So we got to go in early and as the pool was less than capacity each hour we stayed in close to 3 hours. The water is lovely.

Only one incident in the pool where two 7 year olds were play fighting and the one kid got scared as he was held down too long. He got out of the pool crying and ran to his Dad. He recovered in a bit and was back at it. Play fighting in water is NEVER a good idea as no one that I know likes being held under and not being able to breathe.

The kid is just cool !

Has the aviators and hat. Look out it is Maverick !

Thought of the Day

I often wondered why a kid can learn to drive so quickly but it takes forever for them to figure out a lawn mower, snow blower or vacuum.

July 15th

Mercury Forecast Mesa 39 degrees, Edmonton 29 degrees, Calgary 30 degrees”

Just as Jackson was walking thru the door I was leaving for a Court Officer visit to contest my speeding ticket.

Those one way streets are a pain when looking for a parking spot close to the court house. I found one about 5 blocks away but after driving around and around I lost which direction the court house was. All of the buildings look the same. When you are walking a distance you would rather not take the long way by blocks. Google maps is wonderful.

Arriving at the court house there was a line up outside. Turns out a large sign on the door stating that traffic court is closed and no officers of the court are available. They had a desk with a gentleman to explain the “new” system.

The Alberta Govt now has a full online system. I will say it is brilliant, should reduce labor costs, is effective, fast and works perfect. Prior you had a long wait at the courthouse to talk to a an Officer of the Court for either a reduction, or to set a court date or to ask for time to pay.

This new system searches the ticket number or name for you. You have the options:

  • Not Guilty
  • Guilty
  • Guilty with time to pay
  • Dispute the ticket.

With the dispute function you have miles of room ( Over three hundred words I believe) to state your case as to why your ticket should be tossed out or reduced. It allows you to upload pictures or documentation needed to support your argument.

I believe this system will remain as it is brilliant, efficient and easier for everyone.

After submitting my pictures and verbiage it took no more than 10 minutes for the prosecutor to email his/her decision.

One thing I learned today is with the new system they access your driving history for the last 10 years.

Luckily for me my argument and supporting documentation was enough to convince the crown that my ticket in it’s entirety was flawed. It was agreed that my argument was reasonable. Unfortunately my 10 year driving record suggested that I may not be as innocent as I believe.

I am happy with the decision. My ticket went from 3 demerit points and $198.00 to NO DEMERITS and $160 bucks. Yahoo ! It was obvious by the response from the crown that past history had a huge effect on the final decision.

I really like the new system, I like the final decision but wish that the fine had been further reduced. I am not convinced that using your past in decision making is a good system though.

I came home and made Jackson and I wonderful BSTC sandwiches. Confused ? Bacon, Spinach, Tomato and cheese sandwich. Jackie keeps buying spinach not lettuce. I love her spinach salads but spinach itself has no taste whatso ever where Iceberg lettuce is wonderful tasting. Still a great sandwich made.

Jackie had another family issue to take care of so Jackson and I headed to the skatepark. First let me say. He is very good for the short time he has been practicing. He is daring trying new things knowing full well that it is going to hurt when he falls. It is too bad as it was very busy so it makes it more difficult to try things. At one time at least 30 kids were flying around. About 5 great guys on boards and loads on scooters. And he did fall but was very valiant in trying. He accomplished at least two “drops” off a ledge and one close to be perfect “drop” from a higher hill. He will get it with practice but it will HURT. He did do a “Ollie”. There even were three girls at the park just learning. Two were at least 16 as they drove there themselves. It was fun watching him, a little scary as you don’t want him to hurt himself. He just needs to be more confident and he will get it done. I was very impressed with his tenacity and wanting to attempt difficult tricks though.

Very good balance and being very daring.
Great catch of the board.

Thought of the Day

It is better to go out hurt than fail to attempt.

July 16th

” Mercury Forecast Mesa 38 degrees, Edmonton 24 degrees, Calgary 26 degrees”

The smoke sure has settled in around Calgary. Makes the eyes water a bit and I can imagine anyone with breathing issues may find it more difficult. Hopefully either a rain storm or a lot of wind to clear us up.

I can say today was the perfect temperature. For anything.

Jackson arrived early in the morning and he laid down for about an hour for a longer catnap which was good.

Jackson and Daisy had a play game going on. It was funny as when her stuffy was put on her head she refused to move.

Now that is cute !

It was our last day this week looking after Jackson so we let him decide what he wanted to do.

We headed out to Oasis and got everything ready for us to use. After that he wanted to play Chinese Checkers. Jackson beat me one game. Surprised me and was very enjoyable for him. Grasshopper has caught on very well. He loved it.

Jackie made us a great lunch with a one of a kind egg salad sandwich. It was good.

Lots of options such as horseshoes, basketball, swimming pool, golf, board games etc but his choice was the pond. He played there for hours in the pond, down the slide, in the sand and swimming. He also wanted to be buried in the sand.

Who do you think won ?
Another unmarked burial site
Acting tough with a smirk doesn’t work

Jackie & Jackson were right on the beach shore when a baby muskrat swam right up to them only about 2ft away. He lifted his paws and cried like he was asking where his Mommy was. She quickly came and lifted him undo her back and swam away. Like she scolded him on the way. Very neat to see.

We stopped off at the store for a quick ice cream cone. Tiger is the best.

When we got back to our lot we noticed a new addition. Now in retirement it is always good to have multiple income strings. Now I will be able to charge the neighbors a boarding charge to take of their horses. Luckily they eat very little and no poop to clean up.

Pretty thin horses.

We dropped off Jackson and made plans to meet the Waldie family at Boston Pizza. Remember for years we met there on Friday nights. Great food, cold glasses and beer and good company make for a fun night. I enjoyed the gathering so much I forgot to take a picture. It seemed just like normal. Awesome !

Walking into Boston Pizza this older guy comments he likes my rims and tires on my Jeep. Turns out in discussion he personally owns, today, 34 cars all Caddy’s and assorted muscle cars. Neat conversation. I only wish to have his money.

Jessica & Penny as you know are part owners in Prairie Dogz Food Truck which has become quite successful. Unfortunately they are being bullied by Prairie Dog Brewing here is Calgary with them implying trademark infringement. You would think a smaller company like the brewery would concentrate on growing their own business rather than attacking another. As I stated prior to this there is no infringement. Prairie Dogz refers to their location ( Prairie) and to the goods sold hot Dogs . My hope is the brewery sees the negative feedback they will receive and not carry thru with any ligation.

I love small business and encourage everyone to support them and buy local but perhaps certain bullying entities like Prairie Dog Brewing should be questioned.

Here are the two logo’s

Not even close to the other and in my mind a way better logo.

There is NO ONE on earth that can be dumb enough to confuse these two logos as being the same company. Even the name is far different and NO ONE could confuse it. Prairie Dog Brewery versus Prairie Dogz Food Truck . Is there anyone out there dumb enough to confuse the two ? I am asking. In the Breweries mind they believe so, as they have trademarked Prairie Dog for Canada. They believe the two entities can cause customer confusion and have said customers have come into their place and stated such. I call this 100% Bull%^& but it their word.

Amazing ego and attitude to believe that they need to protect a trademark that in my mind isn’t close at all.

I have always enjoyed the challenge when facing adversity over rules or actions.

I have spent hours and hours in a court room fighting tickets. I have lost twice out of perhaps a 100 times.

Once in Red Deer the nice lady judge says ” Mr. Willard, I believe, you believe you were not speeding but all of the evidence points to the facts, you were “

Lost time and money. And she was nice about it.

In court in Edmonton and I brought Jackie along. The judge got out of bed on the wrong side this day. QUILTY AS CHARGED, NO TIME TO PAY. Off they haul me to the cell for a speeding ticket. Jackie was left downtown with no money, no car, no cells at the time and to top it off dressed in short shorts and no bra. She looked awesome but the wrong area of town to be wearing this especially asking for money to make a phone call. LOL Luckily she got a hold of her Mom and they both came to the detention center to bail me out. Not a win this day.

I had to go to a hearing as the City of Calgary wanted us ( Henderson’s Wholesale Building Material) to remove 50 ft x at least 400ft of asphalt and landscape to beautify the area after applying for a permit. It was a STORAGE lot for shingles, rebar, siding etc. It would have cost us a fortune. It ended up that I was allowed to leave the asphalt but from the fence to the road I had to landscape. I choose rocks and a couple of trees for a few hundred bucks. LOL After my presentation and questioning the bylaws I received the help of one councilman Ray Jones. He questioned the validity of a bylaw in an industrial area with me. They never did change the bylaw but I received an exemption and saved us 10 or more thousands of dollars.

I had to go to a wrongful dismal case where an employee charged he was dismissed without cause. This took about 15 minutes and the adjudicator says he heard enough. We both were scared of the individual as he was a freak with the strangest eyes. I always wanted to give anyone the chance but quickly learned over the years it was better to fire certain people if my grief was greater than the return. I had documentation of time sheets showing missed days and late arrivals. I had documents signed of a first warning and second warnings of insubordination, irresponsible behavior causing damage and the last straw hitting our building with a fork truck due to carelessness. The case was over quickly without any financial impact.

At Blimpies we hung a banner every Tuesday promoting for our Twoonie Tuesday special. The bylaw officer wrote us up and said we were not allowed to hang a banner in front of the store. A neighboring store had to have complained. After a lot of research I discover yes the bylaws read no banner flying in front of the store for advertising but in small print a few sections down I find a clause stating a business can hang a company flag if hung by two points only in the front of the store. I flew a company flag ever Tuesday hung by two s hooks every Tuesday until we sold the place.

This infringement is a easy case if in court. Logo’s are far from close. Name while similar should never be confused by one another. Place of ORIGIN cannot be trademarked in this case Prairie. Goods/ service cannot be trademarked in this case DOGS and changed to DOGZ. The Brewery is using a gopher ( Prairie Dog) as it’s name and the food truck is using the place of origin and the item it sells. There have been weird trademark cases in the past like the Polaroid one but in this case it seems black & white. While I understand the passion in defending your name there is no real similarities other than both in the food industry and having Prairie in the name. Not enough to confuse anyone in my mind or anyone else’s/ I believe, yet the pub says on Facebook they had people eat a dog in Raymond and state they had one of theirs while in the bar. Highly highly unlikely yet you can’t say liar.

Thought of the Day

Anybody that thinks talk is cheap should get some legal advise.

July 17th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 36 degrees, Edmonton 24 degrees, Calgary 21 degrees

Up earlier this morning to see Jackson play his first football game. I have to say this league is extremely well organized. The game had two refs that called numerous infractions and wonderful coaches teaching the fundamentals to the kids. I would make a poor young kids football coach. There were so many times “my” team with a clever maneuver could have scored but the coaches stuck with basics. Our team ( Jackson’s ) lost today but it was a very well played game. Jackson was very instrumental in the game. He scored a touchdown with a great catch and run plus he flagged out a player while playing defensive.

It was fun outing to watch, numerous parents watching and even young puppies for Daisy to play with. There were also MANY many Mosquitos today which is the first time they have been out. Tiny little guys that hurt. Victoria is amazing as a bite turns into a huge welt right away and I noticed Jackson is a little similar.

After watching the game we headed to Tim’s then off to the dog park. Daisy had a blast again but did get heated up a bit. We carried her for bit as she rested and cooled down before she met the next dog adventure.

We then headed to Sikome Lake as Alan, MaryAnn and Audrey were there enjoying a day out. It was a beautiful day. Besides the conversation and people watching we even got to witness a wedding picture taking event. Beautiful wedding dress and bride. I was not a fan if the bridesmaid dresses as they were a dull grey. Pre-death color really. Short people everywhere. 3 out of the groomsmen including the groom were on teh very short side. The groom even shorter than his bride. One normal height groomsman and one normal bridesmaid. The photographer brought along his girlfriend to help pose the party but I thought there was awkward moments in his work when he would demonstrate how he wanted the bride and groom to kiss etc by using his girlfriend. Just looked odd. But the whole event kept us entertained for a long time. We also saw two old guys i would guess at least 70 yrs old with no shirts, ponytails, walk out of the back country side by side. A mini episode of Deliverance or Brokeback.

Alan kept letting the ants run up his leg thru his underwear than killed them on his arm. We couldn’t figure out why ! He said it tickled. LOL

There were a couple of electric bikes in the park also. We all know going ten miles on a regular bike if on flat land is as much exercise as walking one block and with the gearing available, so going electric and saying you are biking is a very great example of an oxymoron. I bet the Fitbit wouldn’t even measure it. But you do get to see the country and not exhaust yourself. Fish Creek Park does have a few mean hills that will pump up the heart and perhaps with electric help a bit or kill you trying to push it up the hill.

MaryAnn just sitting with Tia enjoying shade on a sunny day in the park.

It was a very nice interesting day with a lot of different things. Enjoyed it !!!

Thought of the Day

Take a look around you with fresh eyes and you may be amazed.

July 18th-20th

Road trip to Raymond. I hope to complete the irrigation, build a ramp to fill the shed and a deck on the bar end. Electrical and wall building time depending. Time flies so I will do what I can and leave it at that.

Up at 6:30 am to head out. I stopped at Tim’s for an early breakfast and to fill up with gas. Price is sure up. Luckily it seems better mentally as the tank is small on a Jeep.

The smoke this morning was unreal. I am going to say no more than three cars lengths visibility and when travelling at 100kms per hour that is not much room. Plus using a/c which is internally circulated air my eyes were still hurting from the smoke.

What I saw at the traffic circle was ridiculous. The Granum/Hwy 24 traffic circle has been there for years and is well marked. Approaching the circle I find a Dodge Ram stuck in the middle with it’s front end suspension ripped out from under it. The guy was texting and I am going to speculate for a tow truck. Limited visibility but stupidity caused.

Another 14 hour plus day working.

First task was a 14′ trench shovel width wide and 12 inches deep. This took a long time. I remember the gas trencher I used when I installed the lines the first time how it struggled and my shoulders. Their ground was like ROCK. Literally. I had to run another line from an existing line as a head ended up under the shed. I found the line and ran the new extension and put in the new head. Refilled the hole and laid back the sod.

Next project was the swing doors. I shimmed up a one hinge to try to even out the doors. As the project was built during very expensive times ( some would say exorbitant) I tried to “cut” a few things I normally would do like using standard OSB instead of pressure treated plywood for the flooring etc so I made my own swing doors. I would call them rustic for a couple of reasons. Not enough time, improper materials and not the right tools. Having said that once they are all stained up they will look great and work well. After squaring them up I installed barrel bolts on both doors and tied them together, I adjusted the inside door stop and cut out spaces for the bolts. I still need to install a center mullion piece to cover the crack. A piece of their T&G paneling will work prefect. I forgot to get two hook & eyes to hold them open when being used so will need to add that later.

I then adjusted all of the heads so they don’t spray onto the shed. There is this special key to do this. Penny has been keeping this safe for me for two years and gave it to me again today to use. When I was leaving I COULD NOT FIND WHERE I LEFT THE KEY . LOL She worked so hard and I lose it. I checked everywhere. When I put my tools away I will check there also. If not I will need to get a new one.

I had Home Hardware in Raymond cut me a new piece of glass for my homemade windows. I broke one last time when installing it. Nasty when they break. Managed not to break this one on the install. I used screws this time which is more difficult than the brad nailer but no glass broke so all good. A little short of 1 x2 which I will need to get later as this is my window stop. No time but the glass up to the exterior stop needs to be clear caulked as MDF won’t last long if moisture gets to it.

I had plans to move one sprinkler head on the other side ( I could see it under the half pipe) but I am convinced there still is one head under the other side. I have a plan B for next time as there is one section of lawn not getting water.

Next on my list was building a ramp to make it easy to push in the lawnmower, bikes, pressure washer etc. I would normally used Pressure treated but I had a few 2 x 6 spruce still left so I used that. With paint or varnish 10 years but easy to replace while the PT is a 25 yr life span.

I will say even though the eyes and throat are sore from the smoke the temperature was kept down to being perfect. I did not break a sweat all day.

I then removed the sod from the planter area . Another difficult task. Sod grabs on to hard soil and is not easy to get up. Luckily it was only a 4 x 2 ft section. I broke up the rock hard soil and filled the balance with new top soil. All ready for plants with color.

So my to do list to finish the shed is :

  • Build a 10ft x 42 inch deck for chairs to sit at the bar counter
  • Install the center mullion on the bar doors
  • Wire the shed, 2 outside lights, 3 inside lights, 3 inside plug, 2 switches and 2 exterior plugs one high for patio lights and one low for edgers etc. Only power draw will be a fridge and lights. I find 12/3 fills a box to fast and in most causes 15 amp is enough.
  • Build a 10 x 10 interior wall before wiring.
  • Windows need caulk around glass outside.

I will say one more time. Man do tires make a difference. I say this every time I drive my motorhome as I hate the movement from my Michelin tires compared to the Goodyear RV tire. These Nokian Tyres are awesome on the Jeep. A way less movement in the wheel and quiet. Love the looks of the larger tire. Hate the price. LOL

On my way home I stopped by the food truck for a hot dog. I used the “Make your Own” concept they have. I will say right now it was the BEST HOT DOG I have ever had. I love dogs and have tried most kinds. I have had a NYC dog, and Chicago style dog, A+W, Orange Julius, Costco, other food trucks and even my own but nothing even close. I upgraded to a smokie, had lettuce, tomato, green onions, pickled jalapeno’s, banana peppers, cheese, bacon, mustard, and relish and it was beyond spectacular. The smoky was awesome and the bun like no other. Amazing.

They teamed up with a home made ice cream truck and pop shop which makes for a great combo. Game night and they will be real busy.

I slept like a baby last night as it was a long day. I don’t usually dream when I sleep but last night for some reason I dreamed I was hit by a golf ball in the knee as it was hurting all night. I woke up this morning and I have a huge mosquito bite on my knee that I scratched. Odd

My throat was sore from the smoke outside all day, my nose plugged and a dull headache. As a youngster my nose was always plugged and snotty with the amount of things I was allergic to but that went away until last night. Woke up this morning all is fine but eyes still itchy.

Another overcast day ahead of us.

Thought of the Day

You grow up the day you have your real first laugh at yourself.

July 21st

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 42 degrees Edmonton 22 degrees Calgary 28 degrees”

I have my plans and material list for the mini deck, wall, and electrical for the shed written down so should be all set to go soon.

Mom got her second dose vaccine as she was feeling better. She said she had no side affects at all. Awesome. I had a sore arm for about a day. Must have hit my huge muscle.

The time is going to fast. It seems like things are moving so quickly. Near the end of July already and I feel like the summer should be only just beginning. I don’t care for how quick it is going by.

Up earlier this morning as we had a earlier than normal golf game arranged with Jeff & Wendy. Today we were at Lakeside and it turned out to be wonderful. Amazing greens with difficult pin placements as it was the men’s league playing today. That made the greens that much harder to play. The temperature today was awesome. Perfect and NO SMOKE so perfect.

Golf- I was very pleased with my golfing today. No pain, perfect temperature, great course and unusually difficult greens with the pins. I had 7 close birdies putts and didn’t make one of them. Pars or boogies instead. I finished low 80’s which is fine but had no blow up holes or poor shots except for two drives off the tee. Everything else was working. Jeff for years was one of the better putters I have played with and was back doing his thing today. At least 4 long putts 20 ft or more dropping in and one 50 yard chip in. Fun to watch and nice to see.

I believe everyone liked the course and had a great time.

After golf we stopped for a short visit on the patio. I have been here numerous times before so know they have great food and a nice deck. I had the WAR WON TON and it was exceptional and huge. Loved it. And the Caesar drink was awesome with asparagus, pickle and a slice of salami. Jackie went paralyzed. We had to move a few times with the breeze pushing up our umbrella and beer cans flying around when a breeze swept in.

Life is Good on a patio, sun, friends and cold beer
Golf bunnies on the deck

The nasty mosquitos popped up for a bit to bother us but other than annoyance it was perfect.

Daisy stayed with Audrey today which was nice and easy for us to visit after the game without the dog. She likes visiting Audrey’s as it is a familiar place with cuddles, kisses and petting. She is a funny dog though as she holds her poop until she gets home. Not good but hard to break. A longer stay she will need to poop.

Visited for a while and then home to relax.

Thought of the Day

Poop jokes aren’t my favorite jokes but they are a solid number 2.

July 22nd

Mercury Forecast Mesa 41 degrees, Edmonton 18 degrees Calgary 24 degrees

They are talking about giving booster shots later this year. A new kind available.

What a wonderful warm day. Very little smoke and a slight breeze. This is what I would call the perfect summer day.

Todays was my men’s league out at Turner Valley. One new guy in our group today which was a nice guy and we had a lot of fun playing together. I have been playing better and better lately I think mostly as it has been consistent every second day or so. No 5 day misses etc. Today was a odd day. I had 9 pars which on Turner I am happy with but had 4- 3 putts. Now the course was set up for the Alberta Golf Assoc tournament so the pins were placed in some more difficult places than normal. A score in the high 80’s but considering, 9 pars, having four three putts , one a four putt, and everything else I am happy with what I did. I won a couple of corners even.

Due to the tournament we started about a 1/2 late and had a long round with the waiting. After golf though a great meal and drink on the deck looking at the mountains. A wonderful day. It feels good to golf well ( even if the score didn’t suggest so) and to have a fun time doing it.

Thought of the Day

You learn many things from golf. Like how to suffer.

July 23rd to July 30th

Wonderful summer weather !

Boy does time fly. I was shocked when I looked at my dates of entering. I may have forgotten to save my work for the 23rd and 24th. So now I will rely on my memory and Jackie telling me what I forgot. LOL

Here is what I recall and i will say not much. LOL Life is odd.

Jackson had a great football game. My MVP of the game with two touchdowns. He is a great catcher and reads the play to get in position. He also had an excellent tag on one defensive position he had. I love the professionalism of the refs. The coaches have been excellent at teaching the game. I would use a little different strategy to win sometimes but that is just me. It is a lot of fun to watch. One parent on Jackson’s team drives all of the way from Scenic Acres to play. That is in the complete opposite end of town. Her dog and Daisy like to play the whole time as we are watching the game. Jackie left the game for a bit to use the washroom and took a long time coming back. She had to go a ways to find a washroom she liked and decided to fill the vehicle up while out.

I loaded up the motorhome with my stuff and got it ready to leave for a trip to Lethbridge. A long carwash made it look like new again. A few RV washes have the walk ramp 8ft off the ground or so which are nice but I find them so dirty with mud from big rigs that I tend to go back to my normal RV wash where I have to reach as high as I can to get the brush to the top of the rig. It was a $24 wash this time. I must have been a little slower. LOL Looking good again so I am happy. I hooked up the Jeep and on the road.

It is always a nice drive cruising down the highway. I have been spoiled by adaptive cruise though as now I find it a little annoying when a car or truck doesn’t maintain a constant speed and I have to disengage and re-engage the cruise. If only a slight change I use the buttons but in most cases it means stepping on the brakes. I do need to clarify that I cannot maintain my speed on hills going up. When passing with the motorhome pulling the Jeep I don’t care to “hold” up vehicles in the fast lane a long time as a pass is a slow process at 100 kmph so I wait until the lane is free a ways back. And never attempt a pass on a hill like some big trucks and hold up traffic.

I arrived in Raymond and used Google maps to look for my campsite. It was very ambiguous mapping showing a dotting line over a lake to get there. I later discover it is referring to a pass over the water gate to enter. So I headed into the golf course and didn’t see any entrance to a campground. I stopped and asked a golfer who lives in Raymond where it was and he didn’t have a clue. Another golfer says he thinks you need to drive thru the residential area over there pointing which was quite a ways away. Off to the street where at the entrance no sign indicating a RV campground. Winding thru the streets I finally see the lake and a couple of trailers. This is where I discover Google was saying cross the causeway.

Nice smaller campground only about 5 minutes away from Jessica’s & Penny’s place so perfect. About 10 serviced sites and 10 sites with no services but right beside the lake, A nice amount of large trees for protection. I found a empty site and then looked around to find a payment drop box. A large sign indicating the process which is a online reservation system with a webpage indicated and no other system but did reference the golf course does work with the park on the un-serviced sites.

I attempt to use the online system right at the sign and unbelievably there is NO SERVICE. How many spots in Alberta have no service anymore. And being only 5 minutes out of town. I tried quite a few times making sure it was a service issue not a phone issue. I said to myself I have two options. Pull in a hook up and risk no one has booked the site and worry about paying later or whip to the course to explain my situation and see what they say. I get in my Jeep and as soon as I reach the causeway maybe a 200 yards from my site I have data. I had taken a pic of the sign with the webpage and loaded it. It requires an account to be set up for payment. The town of Raymond account was worse than applying for a 1 million dollar loan. A unbelievable amount of questions to pay for a campsite. LOL If you didn’t answer any question it would not let you continue. For a campsite- Full name, address, postal code, age, gender, phone number, cell number, emergency contact, emergency contact phone number, vehicle, site number, nights stay, payment method, etc which took forever. An account set up and then I check the campsite info. Supposedly the site I picked is booked for tonight and yet at 8pm no one is there but free for the week upcoming. I booked for the days past. Arriving back at my site I asked my neighbor if they had seen anyone in this site. I didn’t want to pack up in the late evening if they were late arrivals. I took the chance.

Very nice spot over looking a smaller reservoir, very well kept, lots of trees, spacious between the units and only about 5 units in the park.

I rather enjoyed myself sitting outside by myself watching the sunset and listening to the many birds.

Up early , had a shower and made a good breakfast and readied myself for the day. Jackie came down in the morning to help me for the day ( a extra pair of hands makes a huge difference) and was driving back that night as she had appointments to attend for Daisy and Audrey.

I first had to unload the shed. Pressure washer, lawnmower, spreader, Razor etc plus these two boys have to have more toys than ANY kids in the world. I think a garage sale or a give away event could be in order. LOL

The Jeep was packed with tools as you never know what you may need. Tons of tools and wouldn’t you know no hammer. LOL

I drive the girls truck into town to pick up some extra wood. I have to say I was quite impressed with the F150’s ride, comfort, power and feel on the road.

Arriving back at Jess’s, Jackie had arrived and helped me unload the truck.

My first project for today was a deck that wrapped around the bar window side and side bar entrance door. This was the first deck in over 10 years I didn’t picture frame it. For a couple reasons. Cost, extra time it takes and the esthetics won’t make much of a difference with it being smaller and a deck off a shed. The end result I am happy with. The price of wood is down a bit but still ridiculously high.

I miscalculated the number of boards I needed for two reasons. One trying to do it on the less expensive side and a minor change of plans during construction. The deck adds a nice feature to the shed and allows bar stools to pull up the bar counter.

The next project was the interior divide wall between storage and bar. Simple framing so this didn’t take too long. Tight squeeze though.

Time goes by so quickly. Jackie & I around 6 pm called it a day and drove over to the PRAIRIE DOGZ FOOD TRUCK at the sports plex where they set up every Monday ( except for holiday Monday) I can’t say enough about these dogs. Amazing and I created my own again which was incredible. I love pickled jalapeno’s and banana peppers. I think my next creation is going to be a little more simple which I will call the PURIST DOG. Smokie, mustard, onions and relish only to savor the flavor.

Jackie looked after the boys while the girls were working the truck . They had another good night.

If you remember I talked about a company in Calgary harassing them over trademark infringement ? Look back at July 16th for some details.

Prairie Dog Brewing. I am shocked by the gall, audacity, arrogance and how aggressively mean spirited this company is. As I previously said there is NO true infringement in my mind. Infringement though is a biased weighted system of guilt as sounds like, geographical location, similar, or customer confusion is balanced in the decision. I am also surprised at Facebook. Brewing files a trademark infringement form with Facebook and they immediately remove the girls Facebook page and only send a message stating you can appeal and deal with the originator of the filing. Shocking to me on both fronts.

In my mind Prairie Dog Brewing has willfully engaged in an agenda to hurt another small business and is setting themselves up for a lawsuit of defamation and tortious interference or nuisance.

I looked into this company and definitely see a pattern. Their Trumpism attitude of bullying is evident in their review responses, their persistent harassment of another small business and arrogance that they own the term PRAIRIE DOG. These little animals were around long before them.

1- They have the arrogance to put on their webpage how their customers should write a review. Controlling or what. Who does that !

2- They advertise NO TIPS yet have a staff fund jar and a tip message on their on POS system. The old bait and switch scenario where we say no tips yet encourage contributions to a staff fund. Call it what it is. TIPS . They really can’t believe people are that dumb.

3- How real, and can you really trust reviews when the company offers you a $10 coupon to give a good review. Sounds like bribery to me. Make the service and food quality speak to get a good review, not provide incentives to try to have good reviews. Just not right.

4- A bad review is met with attitude, defiance and not owning it. One example is a review of receiving raw chicken ( dangerous and could kill someone) and they immediately retaliate with verbiage suggesting it was from a party of people they threw out of the pub. No matter what the circumstance THEY SERVED RAW CHICKEN. Another, when management again defensively tries to end the conversation, “we are not a good fit GOOD BYE” and stating they are liars. Unbelievable attitude.

The moral and ethical compass of this company is far off center and we all know karma eventually bites back hard.

Off to the store again for electrical and drywall. Drywall is heavy. Depot had no flat carts to use so I had one of their upright lumber carts. First of all how dumb is it not to have brakes on the wheels. Trying to load two sheets of drywall into this and not have it roll away was impossible. Found a different cart but the base on to was to small for a 4 x 8 sheet. Back to my original cart and after a few more attempts I gave up and went to the Pro desk and requested help. ( finding an employee is a task in any box store) Luckily a young kid agreed to help me and we loaded up the drywall. Then off of to the electrical department. As I was picking up stuff there I get a call from Jess and she is in the next aisle picking up exterior lights. She picked up some great looking wall sconces that will really make the shed look modern and cool. Pricey though.

Small towns and everyone knowing each other is always a saying or joke. Everywhere I have been with Jess and Pen someone KNOWS them. Today first it was the Depot employee that Jess knew well and then we run into Derrick a guy that helped me set up Jessica’s wedding tables, lights chairs etc. Small town, small world. Same thing happened when I visited the landscape center and the gentleman’s daughter went to school with Penny.

I met Derrick at Home Depot and 1/2 hr later we are both at Lowes. I had to go to Lowes as I had originally bought the deck boards there and wanted an exact match.

First order was to finish off the deck. I completed it and it looks good. My Makita clutch isn’t working proper ( I will fix it at home) so I had to use my impact to drill wire holes thru the studs. I installed the boxes and made up a plan that can be modified as needed as I go. Then the process of cutting holes in the walls for the exteriors lights and plug. This takes a while as you want them tight and have to back them with a piece of wood to support the light fixture weight. My oscillating saw worked well on this even with a dull blade and my last one.

I had some left over roofing sheathing 5/8 OSB and was able to cut it up to use for shelving. I did learn a quick and easy set up for shelving that I liked. You can learn something new everyday. I will remember this for next time. There is now 8 ft with four shelves on the one side which will come in handy and certain pieces of equipment can be placed under the first shelf. The shelves can not be loaded yet as I have to pull a wire there for the switch

I hate dull blades. I can use a $20 jigsaw and have it perform as good as a $100 one if using a good blade. On my return to Calgary I went thru each tool and have a list of new blades I need. While cutting on the tablesaw the amperage required due to a poor blade kept throwing the breaker. So a small shopping list to correct this.

I missed out on a wonderful Penny prepared steak supper but Jessica invited me to play golf with her. Now Raymond in everything it does, does it right and beyond. The same can be said for this course. For an unknown course it is simply amazing. Some very long holes. Some very long Par 3 holes. Great fairway set ups and very nice greens. A course that understands family situations. The boys rode with us on the carts. We let them hit a few balls here and there with some success. They were very well behaved the entire time. August, I am sure will be a sprinter. He has such perfect running form and looks like the bionic man running. And he is fast !! I was also impressed with the distance Jessica hit the ball especially after the first hole. Took her a bit to warm up. On a 210 yard hole she landed only 10 yards short of the green. Great water features and beautiful landscaping.

Jessica and August golfing on a hot summer night.

Sitting outside on a wonderful night at my campsite I look over the pond and hear birthday songs and wishes very loudly I might add from the Hicken home. A group had gathered on the beach and it is amazing how voices carry over water such a distance.

Nice thing about a smoky sky is the sun being orange.

As we are having such a great summer weather wise it has been awhile since we have had rain. It rained during the night. The temperature drop was nice, the smell wonderful and the sound of rain on the roof mesmerizing. I forgot one of the cushions outside. Only half soaked from the night. LOL

Nice campground with full service and inexpensive.

Another good breakfast and this time even fried cheese. If you have never had this try it. You will love it. Cut off a hunk of cheddar cheese and put it in the fry pan to melt. It tastes soooo good !

Another good drive back and then the unloading. I didn’t complete this fully and still need to fill my shelves orderly and neatly. Pulled the slides out and came home to rest.

A full two days working. Could have had a lot more done but working alone it just takes time. Not as long of days as normal, as I had to go for a hotdog and I had to go play golf with Jess ,but still a good 16 hours. I figure about 2 hours for wiring and about 2 hours for drywall left ,as there are a quite a few plugs to work around. Still need a centre mullion cover on the bar doors and kickplates on the doors and that should be it.

Up and at it for my Men’s league at Turner Valley. It is such a nice course with beautiful views that gets me every time. I continue to have huge blowup holes that destroy the score. Same thing again this week. It appears once I have a blow up hole I struggle to get it back on track and the game becomes another poor one in the books. I am surprised my handicap hasn’t gone up much with my scoring but it takes along time to go up and comes down a way too fast. I would rather play good golf than rely on the cap to win. My drives have gone whacky hitting still 280 yards but going into the bush. Like a magnet. If only Turner would clean the underbrush out. One shouldn’t hit into the bush but why aggravate yourself when you can go to another course and shoot high 70’s without losing a ball. Even if we would use RESORT rules and take a stroke instead of the two it would nice. I used to be low 80’s here all of the time but now struggle for a low 90’s.

So I ended up losing a couple of bucks today again to some old farts and winning no deuces or snips. Next time.

I had a wonderful meal at Turner Valley after golf and enjoyed the day immensely. The TEE OFF Burger can not be beat along with home made fries. Exceptional.

This morning we had a earlier tee time with Jeff & Wendy at Rivers Edge. We used to play this course once or twice a week for years. Today it was in perfect shape. We all enjoyed the course, the greens were exceptionally fast and there appeared to be more water than I remembered. Going in I thought I could have a record game here as it is my kind of course. Didn’t happen. Everyone today struggled. Jeff was crippled from tennis, Wendy had sore knees, Jackie tender thumbs and myself with a sore back from working and too many swings. But we all had fun including a nice sit down drink after on the deck. A great finish to the week.

We have never camped on this long weekend and we no plans for this year. Let all of the working stiffs enjoy the campsites during the long.

We are heading out Oasis this weekend though and will be out there all week.

Jeff & Wendy are heading to smoky BC for a couple of weeks so we have grandkid commitments and I want to get up north to fish with Fred if at all possible. I just can’t believe how quickly the year is going by. Scary ! Having said that I am so looking forward to going south this fall as it is nice to relax and enjoy the sun knowing others are dealing with the cold.

Thought of the Day

You could live to 100 if you gave up all things that make you want to live that long.

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