January 2022

January 1st -3rd

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 20 degrees Edmonton -28 degrees Calgary -15 degrees”

The start of another year. On our way to Arizona !!

Fred & Terry picked us up right on time. We loaded up everything in the back and bed of the truck we were bringing. Not a lot but extra stuff as we needed WINTER gear just in case we broke down etc. So boots, togues, gloves etc stuffed in the bed just in case. And let me tell you it is COLD outside. So glad to be leaving the cold. I wish everyone that wanted to could do so.

We left Saturday from Calgary around 10 am. This was a blizzard warning in place thought to hit Lethbridge and south Saturday evening with winds gust up to 100kmph. This flat area of the world gets lots of wind and blowing snow can be bad for visibility and can ice up the highway. We experienced a bit of this around Claresholm but very little plus the roads remained bare.

A gas stop, pee break and our last Tim’s Horton stop until April 2022.

Arriving at the border there were very few cars and it took only 20 minutes to get thru. Mostly caused by a shift change right on the hour. I do have to say the USA border guards overall are a lot more friendly and professional at the same time than a lot of ours on return.

The roads continued to have light blowing of now across them into Montana but not collecting or making them icy. Through the passes the odd spot had one lane perfect the other with icy spots or accumulation. It was a very easy winter driving experience. Fred’s Ford drives extremely well. It is heavy but steers well and feels safe. In the dark through the passes was a little more challenging as you could not see the black ice but still very easily managed and it is winter.

Beautiful sunset on a dry easy driving highway in Montana

First let me say Daisy from start to finish considering everything was exceptional. She is a pain though for eating and taking care off but she makes up for it by batting her lashes. We were appreciative of Fred & Terry’s flexibility with things. They normally stay at Best Western’s but when I phoned there, they wouldn’t accept a pet. I found a same price hotel Comfort Inn which turned out fantastic. The bed and pillows here were to die for. Comfort to the extreme. We had rooms on the opposite ends of the hotel as the pet section is a separate wing.

It was later already so we headed to pick up some beer for the room and fast food. Feeding women is so much more difficult than a guy. Finding a food, they like that someone carries, and just finding it isn’t easy. We found a close Burger King but no salads, and no wraps for the girls. Whoopers for the guys, done so I ordered a Chicken sandwich (no grilled). Turns out it had a sesame seed bun. Between brought along Yogurt and a bit of chicken they had a supper.

The wonderful mattress and pillows turned out for fraught as young kids were running up and down the halls until 1 am. Daisy wouldn’t calm down or stay in bed so needless to say we didn’t get a very good sleep.

Daisy waiting for us to come to bed

A free breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon then on our way. We left fairly early around 7:30. Another day with some wind and few spots blowing across the road but the cruise could still be set at 140 kmph and away we go. We had a few stops which was excellent to get Daisy out for a poop and pee. Jackie had her full winter gear on. We had a fairly easy drive today of about 10 hours.

Tonight, our stop was Mesquite NV. We saw a line up on the opposite side of the highway that stretched miles and miles and miles. I was unbelievably long caused by some accident with multiple cop cars.

I don’t have an exact number of times we have driven down ( appr 6 times) but this time the snow was a low as St George. In fact further down on Hwy 93 east of Vegas again snow lined the highway. They had to have some cold weather. In fact it was not until Kingman where Fred was able to remove the snow/ice buildup from his tonneau cover. If he hadn’t some poor guy behind us got really of got hit with flying ice chunks. In Mesquite the girls whipped to Pizza Hut for supper and stopped at Walmart for salads, LOL and came back to the hotel. Pizza and beer how can you go wrong.

All the way to Kingman which is 1.5 hours past Las Vegas before our ice would leave the truck.

Fred came up with the perfect plan. Leave Mesquite later to avoid the Vegas morning rush and arrive in Phoenix before the afternoon rush. Our timing worked out to be impeccable as in both cities it was not busy.

We arrived at our second home around 4 pm. I was going to go out for groceries, but I found chicken breasts and potatoes so we will get those tomorrow. Daisy even loved coming home. It was colder out than I remember and that was at 17 degrees. I started up the water and heater plus turned on the furnace. Tomorrow I will put away all of the Christmas decorations and do my clean up.

Jackie took Daisy for a walk as she had forgotten her phone in the truck. It took a while as she was stopped by neighbors welcoming her back.

Daisy is sound asleep on the couch after an exhausting day driving, LOL

Nice to be home, nice to have a good drive, wonderful that Daisy was well behaved and awesome that Fred & Terry were flexible with the inconvenience of having a dog. I think secretly Fred love Daisy.

Everything was wonderful on our arrival.

Thought of the Day

“There ain’t a man livin’ who hasn’t talked to his dog.” – Hank Williams “Dogs have boundless enthusiasm but no sense of shame. I should have a dog as a life coach.”

January 4th

” Mercury Forecast Mesa 18 degrees, Edmonton -28 degrees, Calgary -28 degrees ** extreme cold weather warnings in both cities ** “

Wow, is it cold in Canada. EXTREME COLD WARNINGS for both cities and lows down to minus 31 and 35 at nights. I am so glad I do not have to be in Canada to endure this. Having said that 18 to 20 is warm and beautiful and not hot.

It was wonderful sleeping in our own bed, with a cool night and warms sheets in the dark.

Jackie has moved her walking time back a bit as at 7:30amd it is only 5 to 7 degrees, so the ladies have decided on 9 am as the perfect walk time. First day walking and I understand Daisy loved it getting to me her old friends in the dog park plus getting to run around and walk in the resort.

Today was a great day to get a few things done. I started by removing all of the Christmas decorations. Put as many away as possible and will place the remaining when I get my shed done. I hope to find a fair amount of room for stuff even though it is on the small side. I hate being confined by small spaces. This lot is too small, and our Oasis lot is too small. Never enough room.

I then started tree removing and trimming. I removed the tree in the back, I removed a tree on the west side where I am going to place my shed. I trimmed back the lemon and orange trees and a couple of bushes. It is all piled on a tarp tomorrow to take to the dump in the morning. I will modify my rear deck now with the tree gone.

A full day outside working in the sun was great.

Jeff & Wendy arrived, and we walked over to say hello. Their rental unit looks like a winner for them.

Our first BBQ supper outside was awesome. I had to put on the heater as my legs and toes were a little chilly. I hate safety features on anything. Tonight, to start my heater with a BBQ lighter was a pain but finally got it done.

BBQ porkchop, potatoes and salad sitting outside watching the news was just a nice feeling.

Our first supper outside of 2022

Daisy stayed in the house while I worked, and Jackie went to get groceries. Baby steps to get her to stay at home herself. Slow process but achievable.

Thought of the Day

How many times have you gone to a BBQ and the person says ” Well done is ok right? ”

January 5th-6th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 18 degrees, Edmonton -28 degrees, Calgary -24 degrees”

What gorgeous weather. Not so much for Alberta. With the wind it is hitting -34 degrees or more at night. That is ridiculous. Hard on vehicles, difficult on people as outside activities are limited and just not fun, unless you like to be trapped in your house.

First thing this morning was a trip to the dump to get rid of all of my branches that I removed to trim the trees and make easier access to the shed.

Then off to Home Depot to up some material to build the base of the shed. On the way Fred washed his truck. I picked up my material I needed, and we headed home. Fred went home to polish, vacuum and clean out his truck.

I levelled the area, move stuff around to get it out of our way and worked on building the base. It didn’t take me long.

After lunch we headed to Lowes to pick up the walls and sheathing. Fred helped me and did quite well today. Two different ideas on how to build a slant shed each correct in their own rite but one more time consuming than the other. The first day we got the long back wall done and started on the slant side walls. These were taking a way to long with angle and measurements, so we stopped about 4pm which is a long enough day. Then I decided to build the side walls the old fashioned way and got one done in about 1/2 hr after Fred had left. I will get the other two done tomorrow.

First day and not a long day we got the base levelled and built, the back wall up and sheathed and one side wall done. A good day and it will be a good enough sized storage locker.

I know everyone says they had the best Dad but I DID have. It is 12 years ago now that we lost Dad.

My Dad Jesse Willard

My Dad Jesse Willard

This man was the most gentle, quiet, giving, unselfish, loving person I have known. He is still one of the smartest guys I know. Mechanic, machinist, welder, carpenter, plumber, inventor he did it all and did it very well. He built his own homes and ran a service station. Other kids may have had a parent drive them to hockey for a bit each week, but my Dad spent countless hours on my cars every week. I mean countless hours. You just don’t realize how much one does for you. I could phone Dad and get an answer from him on any problem I was running into with electrical, car, plumbing etc. He always had an answer or if not a suggestion to help. This is man that never swore, rarely drank, and a man never to anger. I am so grateful to have his violin sitting in our living room as a reminder of him everyday. I miss my Dad as I am sure most people do losing a parent but I do have to say it is one thing to lose a parent but it is another to lose a Super Dad. He was amazing and was a huge factor in how I am today as a person.

I started at 9:00 this morning and worked to about 4pm this afternoon. This 20 above is such a comfortable temperature to work in.

It was a good day’s progress including a couple of trips to the Depot to pick up stuff. We got both side walls up and complete. We got the front wall all framed up and installed. We installed all of the rafters. (First time ever where I didn’t bird mouth the rafters) There is no snow load factor, it is in a protected area, and it is a slant roof plus the height worked out good doing it this way. Never mind the speed.

We got the roof sheathing done and I finished installing the roof edge and shingles.

Two things to mention. Arizona does not sell spruce products, but they do sell fir. It is a lot straighter but is very hard. It is difficult to screw into and hard to nail into. It is nice but leaves a lot of splinters in your hands.

Fred & I stopped for lunch at Chick-Fil-A. Wow are they organized. The lineup was at least 20 cars which at any other spot would take a long time to get thru, so we were hesitant. Abot 10 cars back a young guy with a portable menu electronically takes your order. Another 5 cars forward a young lady takes our money. Nearer the window a runner comes to our window with our meal all predicated by our name taken at our first encounter with a staff member.

Very very good chicken sandwich but I would say in my opinion the Popeye’s one is still a bit better.

A good day’s work and the shed is starting to look good.

A long walk around the park with Daisy and then some TV time to end the day.

Thought of the Day

A man needs a shed to clear his head.

January 7th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 21 degrees, Edmonton -23 degrees, Calgary -22 degrees”

Well look at that. Here in Arizona we are +21 degrees and in Calgary it is -22 degrees. Which would you take ?

I worked on the shed this morning finishing off the front wall. Only the door and trim now to get done on Saturday. Plus the painting. Starting to look good !

It was nice to buy Christmas gifts that people put to good use. August had a blast on his skis that he received even though it was still very cold outside. I hope they get some great use of these. Also talking to Victoria their new Roomba is working great for them.

August trying out the new skies.

Off Jeff, Wendy and us to Western Sky Golf course for their first round of the year and our first round in three weeks. Overall, everyone played quite well when you consider the time frame off. I was very happy with the front nine shooting a 39 but had a couple of not so perfect holes. Still anytime low 80’s I don’t complain. The slice after 3 weeks came to bite me today. I wish I could get rid of that. On a tight course I get killed due to that.

First game of 2022 for the Graces and us. Western Sky was in perfect shape.

After golfing in a beautifully warm day with Daisy being the best playmate ever, we decided to order from Fat Willy’s and eat supper at our house. Fat’s had our order ready right on time and everyone enjoyed their choices.

A great day, a fun day golfing, and capping it off with a nice golf game and visit with the Graces was awesome.

Thought of the Day

Golf is a puzzle without an answer. I’ve played the game for many years, and I still haven’t the slightest idea of how to play.

January 8th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 23 degrees, Edmonton-25 degrees, Calgary -16 degrees”

What a wonderful warm day.

Jackie actually slept in today instead of going on her normal walk. I think Daisy was disappointed.

Fred came over around 9:30 and we started working away. We finished off the exterior of the shed today. We made our door and installed it. We applied all of the trim on the cable ends and side wall. We also installed the eaves and soffit material. So, I have the painting of the walls and trim and then the shelving and hangers and it will be complete. It is going to come in very handy.

Fred saved me at least $100 as I was going to use smart trim boards, but he suggested smart siding and rip it. Smart siding is only 3/8 while trim is 3/4 so I was hesitant, but it worked out perfectly.

Good looking shed.

Just the painting of the walls and trim left to do.

We dropped off the tools at Fred’s shed and had a couple of beer. Life is Good.

Fred had a new router and couldn’t it to work so we went in to see what we could do. We tried a few things to no avail and then I remembered the WPS button. I pushed it and it went right in, like it was breaking. We had to use a knife to get it out. I thought I had broke it. Fred has a nice Mac Notebook ( Note to self- never buy Apple- no enter button) I was playing around with the Mac and entered the password for the router and lo and behold a message pops up it found the router. Instantly working. More luck than management but nice that things worked out.

Jackie and I headed out to pick up some groceries and then we are done for the day.

Another day in paradise!

Thought of the Day

There’s a funny thing about paradiseevery day is pretty much the same as every other day. One slides into another; weeks become months.

January 9th-10th.

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 24 degrees, Edmonton -2 degrees, Calgary 8 degrees”

Finally, the weather is getting better for our Canadian friends. Calgary is 8 above every day this week so it will be a sloppy mess. Nice for them to get a break. Today and yesterday our weather was gorgeous.

It was a fun Sunday. Along with us, Ralph & Tracy, Jeff & Wendy, and Fred & Terry played golf together. Yes, you read right. Fred golfing. Fred hates golf but Terry convinced him to come with us as a group. Funny thing is Fred could be good as it hits the ball a mile and with more practice may start to like it.

So, the 8 of us in two foursomes had a lot of fun out on the course. And it was a warm beautiful day. A low 80’s score I can live with, so all was good, and it was a lot of fun.

After golf we stopped at Fat Willy’s for supper on the deck. It cools down at night, so we were lucky to get a patio heater. The food and service tonight was excellent. I had the French Dip with the roast beef and bun exceptional. Jackie had the California Chicken Sandwich which I had a bite of was wonderful.

Good service, good food and good friends make LIFE IS GOOD

Jackie went with Daisy for her early morning walk with Terry, Tracy and for the first time Wendy. As usual when they got back and hearing about the walk Daisy had a great visit with her buddies at the park.

I started first thing this morning and finished putty patching and caulking the shed. I then sanded it all. It was ready to paint. I have one small piece to install which I will do later.

I golfed with my group today. It wasn’t the most stellar game. Chips gone wrong, putts not wanting to drop and missed shots. That happens but an 80 yr old beat me today, again ! I lost money today.

I had all of the guys over to my place after golf. Our group was 8 guys today. Jackie’s covid safe snacks work out perfect. I am getting low on Rum though. LOL

Another fun day.

Thought of the day

I miss the 90’s when bread was still good for you and no one knew what kale was.

January 11th-12th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 22 degrees, Edmonton 3 degrees, Calgary 7 degrees”

For the next week our temperature is 70 degrees EVERY day. That is nice. I am booked for more golf than normal this week. I have 5 days out of 7 with games. So far this week it has been GREAT game, OK game, Great game, Poor Game so covered just about everything. 3 different courses also which does make a difference. Sunday was at Viewpoint with our gang of friends, Monday was at Viewpoint with VP men’s group, Tuesday was with Jeff& Wendy at Johnson Ranch (I love this course) Wednesday was at Longbow (beautiful high-end course).

Monday was at Viewpoint again with my guys. Another fun outing at our resort course. It was surprisingly cooler today. The group as a whole had a less than stellar outing. That happens as we all know with golfing. Cooler temperature and wind do affect the game.

I really liked the Johnson Ranch layout and course. Everything about the course was great. It was funny as they changed Hole one with Hole 10. I restarted my watch 3 times before I figured out their system. It was a fun game with the typical good and bad shots thrown in. Luckily for me I played very well that day. After golf we stopped at the clubhouse outside eatery, and I have to say the food was amazing. Jeff’s brisket sandwich looked excellent, and he said it was awesome. Jackie’s chicken burger looked amazing and bonus we had direct heat from an overhead heater. Great day with Daisy having another nice golf outing.

Beautiful views from the top of the mountain.

Today was at Longbow which is a higher end course. A strong breeze was a factor today but not the biggest factor. The stimp meter was 11.5 which is fast as a typical PGA game is set at 12 on the stimp meter. There was a ladies tournament going on hence the fast greens. Needless to say this was the biggest factor in poor scoring for everyone. Out of group only ONE was even to their handicap and none below. My partners today were 5 and 6 handicap players and both of them finished off with an 85 score. There were a few swear words as their ball flew past the hole. Putting killed us with 4 putting happening on a few holes. Everyone was much higher than normal score wise put teh course was in excellent shape and fun to play.

So 4 straight days of golf. Tomorrow it is shelf day in the shed.

Thought of the Day

Do you ever get up in the morning, look in the mirror and think “That can’t be accurate.”

January 13th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 22 degrees, Edmonton 2 degrees, Calgary 5 degrees”

Another beautiful day and every day for the 7 over 70 degrees. So yes, it is nice.

Jackie was up and out early for her walk with the girls and Daisy. Daisy loves her romps with the other dogs. She sure gets her exercise. In fact, she is staying quite slim which is great.

Jackie was golfing today with her ladies’ group. I believe this was Wendys first time in the group this year. Covid has changed the gatherings etc which is too bad but still to get out and golf is very nice. This was the first time they actually gathered at the south pool tables and firepit outside for a get together. The social part after golfing is always fun to get know everyone just a little bit better. I reminded Jackie her cart doesn’t have brakes anymore so be careful. LOL

And guess what one of the ladies gets a HOLE IN ONE. These are fun but are like looking for the Holy Grail to find. I know a few people that have multiple ones like Bob Ferris, Sandy Sutherland and Denis Holden’s wife but most never get one. I am so lucky to say I have one and will remember it forever.

This lady in group on the short Par 3 uses a 5 wood and drains it. Nice!! Oh, how I would like another.

Today I started at 9 am and ended at 4:30 pm finishing up the shed. I can say it is DONE with one quick exception and that is a small caulk line at roofs edge to the house. I need the tall ladder so will plan it around something else I need to do.

I am ecstatic with the looks and functionality that it provides. It now provides storage for 4 chairs, 3 sets of extra golf clubs, all of the Christmas decorations including my Noel and Santa Bear, ladder, misc small tools (as we keep most at Fred’s) paint cans, sundries, small table, tree trimmer, blower, tarps, sunscreens and misc. boxes. It has made a big difference in our closets. Very happy with the looks and functionality and I built it for less than a Resin (plastic) one from Home Depot the same size. All is good.

Another shed all done and will be very useful for us.

A wonderful supper and a bit of TV watching, and another day done and over and fun!

Thought of the Day

I picked up a hitchhiker. He asked if I wasn’t afraid, he might be a serial killer? I told him the odds of two serial killers being in the same car were extremely unlikely

January 15th 16th

“Mercury Forecast- Mesa 22 degrees, Edmonton 6 degrees, Calgary 8 degrees”

Weird weather in Alberta. 8 above then next day -15 degrees. That kind of weather is hard on people and driving with ice then melting. This time of year, in Mesa it is wonderful as it is consistent, it is warm during the days and cool in the evenings. For the conversion people 22 degrees is 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

I am planning just to do a little organizing house/shed today. Look at what I need to for the addition to my rear deck and go with Jackie for groceries.

The wind is out a little today that usually subsides in the afternoon as we are planning a get together wiener roast with the group. Fred & Terry, Jeff & Wendy, Ralph & Tracy and Jackie and me. These are fun. I will bring all of my cutoffs from the shed building. Fir burns and cracks wonderful.

I had previously mentioned how our block has been devastated in the past few years losing some wonderful people. We have at least a 50% turn over. We have lost some very, very nice people and just recently another. Bob Prosser was a very talented musician that played on his back deck with a group of friends whose music was enjoyed by everyone on the block. Besides the talent he was just a NICE man. Sad again and so young.

Bob & Chris bought the unit that Derrick & Ann had built that is the twin unit to ours. Derrick and us both dealt with a sales lady named Patricia that was awesome, but we are the only two units with the additions on the wrong side as she wanted us to have the trees on our patio side and when she ordered Derricks, she just used the same floorplan.

No one knows what life brings so as I have said before you have to enjoy yourself while you can. It is ok to be selfish with your time and your wants. Try to put a smile on your face every day as it would not be a fun life to be grumpy. Always think positive as nothing brings yourself or others down like negativity. There is some good in everything and everyone.

TIP : To remove negativity from your life stop watching the news. Without knowing it, it can cause one to be anxious and cause stress. News intent is to show material that causing impact. Negativity can remove years from your life.

After our wiener roast, which was a lot of fun and perfect, went over to the Key’s to play a few games.

Daisy enjoying the campfire

We played a few rounds of dice and a few games of golf. In dice Jackie killed us the first time. Card golf was an interesting game that we hadn’t played before but is fun. Jeff was the low score in card golf.

I had a few Caeser’s at Fred’s place that I really enjoyed for a change. You get 8 people together with a few drinks in them it gets loud. LOL

Another fun day in the works.

A relaxing Sunday, watching a bit of TV, working on my computer, measuring up what I need to finish off the deck extension, moved stuff around in the shed, Jackie cut my hair, and I made a full eggs & bacon breakfast.

We also took Daisy down to the park. More often than not she likes to be chased but today she kept chasing this Beagle. She makes a good chaser.

Thought of the Day

A cold seat in a public restroom is unpleasant.  A warm seat in a public restroom is worse.

January 17th

“Mercury Forecast

Today is my big brother’s birthday. Alfred as a big brother was awesome. Yes, I took a few punches and hits from him over the years as with any brothers, but he had my back always. I may have annoyed him once or twice and when he would go to hit me, I would yell, and my parents would get after him to leave me alone. Worked perfect. Once he pushed a kid away and told him to go home as I was in a fight with this kid. The kid was a lot bigger and to be honest dumb so I may have needed help. Later that night when Alfred was working at Safeway this kids Dad (which was just as dumb) physically attacked Alfred while at work. He lent me a pair of brand new G60-15 tires to use on my 1963 Nova SS as I was only 16 and no money. I burnt them down to the cords in a month. We had some interesting times with cars. No matter what car I had I never beat Alfred in a race ONCE. In his 1969 Camaro 427 we raced a 426 Hemi Cuda on Hwy 2 near Nisku. We had enough power that after the speedo max’d out we still had 500 rpm to let the Hemi catch up and then leave him again. Coming around a corner the Hemi’s front end lifted so we shut it down. Another time the cops stopped us on Hwy 16 as they liked cars and wanted to see how fast their cop car was. I thought it was a bait and trap. We pull onto the highway and Alfred boots it thru all of the gears and beyond. Not even close but I thought for sure they would stop us again and give a ticket, they didn’t. Normal cops for change! His collection of nice cars would be worth a fortune today. Here are just few I remember. A 1956 Chevy ( tri-power) 1967 Camaro, 1969 Camaro 427/425hp, 1970 Z28 LT1, 1972 Nova, 1988 Corvette, Squarebody lifted Chevy, Squarebody Quad cab lifted ( 44″ tires and at least 12 lift) plus numerous others not so valuable.

He is getting OLD.

Happy Birthday Alfred.

Even at this old age he cleans up pretty good.

Today was my men’s group at Viewpoint. We had one in our group that had come into closer contact with a positive Covid person, so he let us know which is awesome. That is the correct way to prevent spread. The person presented no symptoms as days later our partner golfer didn’t. Golf is one of those sports it is easy to follow protocols. He golfed with us using his power walking cart, stayed his distance and trust me no one touched his balls. Give a few days he will be safe to go. In fact, distancing was very obvious as even his power cart looked like it was trying to stay away from him.

I golfed pretty decent with only the odd incident, so I was happy including winning money. Ron our out of park golfer once a month buys us beer and wings at Fat’s and that is always excellent. Safe as it outdoors on the patio and good wings and cold beer. Expensive for Ron.

Thought of the Day

I really don’t mind getting older, but my body is taking it badly.

January 18th-19th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 22 degrees, Edmonton -17 degrees, Calgary -10 degrees”

Two full days of golfing.

On Tuesday we were golfing with Jeff & Wendy at Apache. Not my favorite course with the amount of desert that comes into play but still for the price and proximity it is great. Jeff played quite well today, Jackie had an ok game, Wendy played really well as she missed numerous shots at birdies, and I played quite well ending up with an 81. Just the odd mistake still I need to get rid of. I am finding it appears ALL of courses here are using very sloped greens to add difficulty to their tracks. It was a fun day, a little on the cooler side as it was overcast and a slight breeze but still plenty warm to enjoy. The Clubhouse was closed when we finished so we decided to head home rather than eat out.

On Wednesday it is my Men’s league at Longbow. This is a higher end course with a standard rack rate of $ 134 per round. Luckily our group gets a special rate.

Today I was playing with gentlemen from Regina, Moosejaw and St Catherines Ont.

The greens again were fast and hard. Stimp at 10 today. I was extremely happy with my play today on this harder course. I ended up with 85 but took a triple on a Par 3 and a quad on a Par 4. Bring those down theoretically to a boogie and that is 81. When I consider the difficulty in the greens I am very happy.

A short get together after where I collected my winnings, so everything is wonderful.

I stopped at Safeway to get another case of beer as my guys are coming over to my house on Friday and picked up supper at the same time.

I made BBQ’s ribs and roasted veggie and potatoes. Yummy if I have to say so myself.

Just a relax night and then an early start tomorrow at Fred’s place to lower an awning and trim out a couple of windows.


Text versus Email. Few things bother me but TEXT use over email does. Text (SMS ) was created before phones had internet access, as a communication tool. Once phones had the capacity to use the internet TEXT became redundant. Encryption for email or SMS make both secure. But it is the organization, it is tracking, the sequencing, the searching and difficulty in use of text versus email that should be the deterrent. Multiple contact texts especially are cumbersome and dangerous sending correct info to the right people. SMS is really the smoke signal of communication today. Having said that email use is slowly being eroded by the younger generation as it is losing its foothold to apps Like Whatsup, Chat , Messenger, etc but it’s use today are still far below email.

The number is 306.4 billion e-mails sent and received each day in 2020 and increasing dramatically each year. For text 18.7 billion texts are sent worldwide every day, not including app-to-app messaging which are WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger that combine for more than 60 billion messages sent every day. So, you can see the HUGE disparity in numbers. 300 billion versus 78 billion. If anyone working in an office environment receives 300 emails today, received text instead they would blow up. Most likely lose their job as they couldn’t manage them. For a quick easy one phone to another short message, it may have its place.

To further complicate the text procedure Apple does not communicate the same as Android. iPhones are far inferior in a lot of areas. Text with multiple contacts comes as multimedia file and has to be downloaded. Security, Apple wins everything else not close. 73 percent market share Android holds over Apple


January 20th-21st

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

Jackie was up early for her walk again this morning. Daisy loves these early morning walks. I had to get up earlier than I normal as I had to be at Fred’s place to help with some window trim and awning removal. He had it all cut and painted already. Ralph came along to help which was good as the awning was very long. It only took a couple of hours, and the new trim work makes a huge difference in the looks.

A short visit then I headed home. I whipped to the bank to get some cash and stopped for lunch with Daisy.

I came home today and decided today to relax so I went to the backyard and did just that. It is wonderful just sitting in the sun and or being protected by the sunscreens in the warmth. I made a material list for my deck extension which I will start soon.

The day ended with another wonderful BBQ’s supper.

Friday was men’s league at Viewpoint. Today I was with Jeff and Ron. An almost 60 yr. old and an almost 80-year-old and myself. Wouldn’t you know Jeff and I both had to pay Ron again. It was tough sledding today with Pars hard to get. Missed putts, bad hits and dumb mistakes took its toll. Still a lot of fun. I think a big issue today was the slow play. We waited on every hole. It throws off the concentration and focus. No matter what, the group is always a fun group. If you look at our group, the average age is about 68 yrs old and Ron being 80 at the end. These guys play three to four times a week plus throw in pickleball or baseball they are amazing. They make getting older look great.

The guys came to my place after for a few drinks and giggles. My doggie gate caused an issue with one guest as it tripped him getting out. Luckily, he didn’t hurt himself. Or so he said. I hope that is true. I couldn’t email him as his wife reads his mail and I don’t have his phone number on file. Anytime someone 80 yrs old falls on concrete it is a concern. He was embarrassed and shouldn’t have been as he tripped on the gate which could happen to anyone. I am hoping and that will be my first question when I see him on Monday.

Jackie spent part of the working and the balance doing some house cleaning. She had everything ready for my guys when they arrived.

Another wonderful fun sunny day.

Thought of the Day

Apparently, an RSVP to a wedding invitation “Maybe next time,” isn’t the correct response.

January 22nd -23rd

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 22 degrees, Calgary 10 degrees, Edmonton 4 degrees”

Time is going by very fast, and it is staying nice and busy.

Saturday the first thing on my list was to repair the doggie gate. I went to Fred’s to repair the legs that hold it up but I them being made from Chinese particle board taht failed. So we cut new ones from my sheet of OSB. Not as pretty but as effective and stronger. Re-did the latches, straightened and shimmed and switched the gate from a one-way swing to two swing hinges. People for whatever reason struggled with this. I left the gate latch, which is simple, but people struggle with it, but I need some enjoyment. It is like the enjoyment I get a campground watching people trying to back into their spaces. Scary part is “these people” were giving a driver’s license.

I got lucky again this year with our location and finalized our group for the May Long Weekend. We have camped the May Long for about 45 years. This group we currently go with has morphed over the last few years with additions and deletions. It started off about 15 yrs ago or so with Keith, Ron and me. Then Fred joined our group and then the kids started coming which made it a fun family gathering. We had Alan & MaryAnn come the odd year and we have had Jeff & Wendy come out the odd year. We had Troy & Jen and Amanda join us in years prior plus our kids. The Graces have stayed in a cabin or a hotel the few times they have come. Alan & MaryAnn did a day visit prior and then last year rented a motorhome and this year again they are coming in a rented motorhome. And we have had Jason & faily for years stay in Keith unit and we are lucky now to have Steward & Carrie with their new unit join us.

Ron has not come the last few years due to Covid and Fred has decided not to move his unit anymore. So, this year we have Jackie & Larry, Jenny & Keith, Amanda & Justin, Steward & Carrie, Victoria & Corey, Jessica & Penny, and Alan & MaryAnn plus the grandkids. Jason & Steph may join again with Keith.

The proximity to everything is awesome. Halfway between Calgary & Edmonton and only 7 min away from the beach, stores and ice cream shop plus right on an excellent golf course. I am already looking forward to it.

Our Saturday night potluck theme this year is A TOUR of the MEDITERANIAN. Lots of food choices from most likely the best food spots in the world with France, Italy, Greece etc. I can’t wait to see what people offer up.

I was very happy to get confirmation early as May Long’s are always difficult to reserve. I remember one year where it took over 100 phones calls from Arizona to Rocky Mountain House to get a reservation.

We had Jeff & Wendy over for supper tonight. I thought it was wonderful. With Jackie’s help we made dry rubbed, with my secret 12 herbs and spices pork tenderloin, fluffy creamy mashed potatoes, grilled seasoned asparagus, garlic bread along with cheesecake desert brought by Wendy. Awesome sitting outside on the patio having a great supper.

My outdoor patio heater started to run out of propane so we headed inside. Wendy says she was a beginner at Crib and what ends up happening is her and Jeff beating Jackie & I. Now there was 5 card hands, cards slipping out of sleeves and 5 points for pegging a 31. LOL Some very good hands by everyone all night but the Graces turned out to be the wieners.

A huge golf cart parade today as people were cheering on their favorite NFL team. All I want is Brady to make it to the bowl again.

Thought of the Day

Jackie asked me to take her to one of those restaurants where they make food right in front of you. I took her to the nearest BLIMPIE’s

January 24th-25th

” Mercury Forecast Mesa 22 degrees, Edmonton 4 degrees, Calgary 9 degrees”

The weather has been so consistent. Cool evenings and mornings and beautiful mid days. Each day hitting around 20 degrees.

Today was my men’s group at Viewpoint. We got lucky to start on the 8th hole so we had no line up on teh Par 3 ninth which is always a slow hole. Another fun outing with some good golf and bad golf mixed in. I would love to be consistent, but it seems not in the cards. I continue to have an 82 game then a 91 game. Amazing. Today it was more putting more than anything that raised the score. Viewpoint’s greens are EXTREMELY undulated with huge movement. Three putts on certain holes are common. The odd screw up shot in between, and it adds up. My partners fared no better with our net scores all within one. It was another fun day of golfing, teasing and fun on the course.

After golf was at Barry’s place for a few quick drinks and discussion. Peer pressure for some of guys was funny when they tried to leave.

A quick supper as it was later, and Jackie had already had hers.

A walk around the park with Daisy was nice. Cool, dark and man does Daisy walk fast which is nice.

Another full day in paradise.

Early start to the day as it was a busy day.

First the birthdays. Corey and Wendy’s

Corey had his 39th birthday today. Time flies by. If I had to pick a son-in-law I could not pick a better one. Well maybe a little taller, maybe liking the correct hockey team in Alberta but other than that. I know he went out for supper and had a great time with Jackson and Victoria, and I know he really enjoyed the Oiler/Flames game at Rexall Place he attended.

The other is our friend Wendy Grace’s BIG birthday. I am not positive, but I believe it is Wendy’s 60th birthday today.

We picked up Wendy and Jeff thsi morning and headed to Chandler to golf San Marco’s. I have golfed here a few times but don’t remember the greens being so small. It was a fun day. Other than the odd bad hole it was a ok day. I thought 43 on the front nine I could pull off a much better score with 3 Par 5’s on the back. A two hole slice changed that. At least it wasn’t in the 90’s. It if funny as waiting losing focus can come and bit you fast with a huge slice. A real fun day golfing on a nice course (even though the pricing was too high)

Wendy picked out and Italian spot to eat Simply Crust. Dog friendly patio and everything. First our waitress was exceptional. A very short Italian girl that was pleasant and very funny. I gave her a big tip as she made it enjoyable. She even put a candle in Wendy’s cake and helped us sing Happy 60th Birthday. Awesome.

I can’t speak for the others, but I really liked my spicy sausage pasta dish. The others seemed to like theirs also. The Butter cake for desert was awesome. A great meal.

Good thing we didn’t fit all of needed candles on this cake. The cake wouldn’t be big enough and at Wendy’s advanced age having enough wind to blow them out could have been an issue.

The Graces after a full day out in the sun, drinks for supper and a huge supper had a long day so retired early. Perhaps us a bit too. Next time to revenge ourselves at crib.

Though of the Day

I will never be an old man. To me 15 years older than I am on any given day is old.

January 26th-27th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 20 degrees, Edmonton 1 degrees, Calgary 6 degrees”

Two full days of working on the place. Wednesday 9:30 to 4:30 and Thursday 9 am to 5 pm.

I had Fred, helping the first day and I worked solo on Thursday. I am happy with what I got done. I will say working with wrong tools, different sized screws, etc does make the job a lot harder.

One would think in Arizona which is a desert and doesn’t get alot of rain things would not rot, warp, decay etc. I think it is worse here as the products used are different, rain comes in buckets even though rarely and heat wrecks things. I had wood rot spindles and post bases along with horizontal trim that literally turned to sawdust. To make it 100 percent I should have ripped all of the spindles out, trim boards and started over. That would have been a week project and at least a thousand bucks. I choose to remove all of the posts base trim, remove a bottom base trim and remove a couple of spindles. With a little putty patch and a good coat of sealer/paint it will look like brand new and last for another 10 years. It is 15 yrs old now. The balance of the spindles once painted and the replacements it is good to go. I used solid PVC trim for everything. I loved it. It is solid, cuts like wood, screws and nails like wood and doesn’t split and it is strong. The store only had smooth finish the size I needed which I would prefer the texture, but this looks good.

After seeing what happens to Smart Trim I am convinced to NEVER use it again and I believe like Pine Shakes the government should BAN its use. It is so common on just about every house and is a disaster waiting to happen. It wicks up so much moisture, swells and turns to mush and sawdust. A cement base TRIM board would be excellent, but these PVC trim boards are the cat’s meow. I purposely did not miter them as i wanted to end nail them and I am unsure of contraction and retraction in the heat. I do know they are impossible to rot out. I also added under supports as the rails had begun to sag and this levelled them back to normal.

While I had some tools here, I screwed on the valance that had pulled away, and i extended the rear deck and made a small step for it. I had to be creative as the step has to be removable as all of the water lines are right under it. Getting it level and sturdy was a chore, but I am happy with the results.

I had hoped to get it all caulk for Jackie to start painting but that will need to wait until Saturday.

Jackie had a fun day golfing today with the girls. They decided their BIRDIE juice wasn’t being used enough so today was PAR juice day. For Terry’s birthday some years ago, most likely when she turned 60, we got her a flask and had it engraved Terry’s Par Juice. It turned out to be a great par day. See what I did there. LOL 6 Pars so 6 shots. I am sure some of the girls were feeling it. Jackie came home and I was shocked she was as sober as she was. I will need to check to see what they consider a shot is. (1/10 of an ounce) I may need to buy her a SHOT size plastic cup to carry. lol

Well, the end of another great day finished off with BBQ’d chicken breast along with tin foiled BBQ’s potatoes and salad. Love it. Some TV tonight and relax and get ready for tomorrows golf with a sorer back than I have had in a long time.

Thought of the Day

Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.

January 28th -29th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 22 degrees, Edmonton 4 degrees, Calgary 9 degrees”

A very windy day today. All through the night things were banging around and metal rattling outside.

Got up and the wind had not deceased. Palm trees were swaying like mad. Then my computer lite up with emails. (yes, my golf guys understand email is the most effective communication tool, especially when sending excel sheets) as people were cancelling and adding etc. It all turned out great as had a two tee times filled. The wind dropped after about three holes, and it was fabulous. The guys that cancelled had to be disappointed. (I have seen this many times in Calgary where friends have cancelled, and the weather is fantastic)

Viewpoint Golf get me. It is a VERY easy course other than the greens, but I can’t seem to score well. I scored an 81 at San Marcos then a 91 at VP. Three putts hurt but just overall it gets me. I will do better. NEXT TIME. LOL I thought for sure as I golfed more, I would get better but I think I have become worse. Money well spent. LOL

Lost money today which I don’t care for. We all went over to Kirk’s place to discuss our game and to have a few drinks. We got most of the tee times fixed for next week along with hosts and decided we will have our annual weenie roast late Feb. Jackie & I have organized this the last few years. Bob Ferris was key in getting it started. It is a fun event to organize and if we have a good turnout good have close to 20 people. I will start this soon.

I worked all day again from 9 am to 5pm on the porch railings. Putty filled, sanded, caulked everywhere and painted. I thought we were done but ran out of paint with one small section left. I may try to get this done before our guests arrive tomorrow.

I believe the product called Smart Trim should be removed from the marketplace. Similar to the Pine Shake fiasco it is a disaster waiting to happen. It is an amazing moisture wick, swells to twice its size and turns to sawdust. In most cases people butt up to it with siding relying only on caulk to prevent moisture from entering their house. The ends in particular are extremely sensitive to moisture. I am amazed a A class action against the manufacturer hasn’t been started as I am sure there are lot of homes with exterior/interior water damage due to this product. Hardie Trim would be the way to go being cement based. A 4-day job replacing the rotten Smart Trim and replacing it with PVC trim which will not rot. (Will it buckle, or warp, time will tell)

I am hoping the PVC trim pieces work out great.

After two months we are still experiencing poor service from Jabba our internet provider. We are getting less than 1mbps which makes doing anything HARD. We are paying for 10 mbps. I have started sending their customer service department daily a screen shot. LOL Hasn’t worked yet to get anything done. So I am having difficulty with my blog, Facebook and downloading pictures to anything.

Thought of the Day

Me, at my boss’s funeral kneeling down and whispering at the coffin: ” who’s thinking outside the box now? “

January 30th

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 22 degrees, Edmonton 3 degrees, Calgary 8 degrees”

Jackie was out early this morning with Daisy for her walk. I understand Daisy had a very active morning running like made with her friends. She is the perfect dog except for two things. She barks at people and dogs when we are in the car, or our house, and she doesn’t stay at home by herself yet. Otherwise, the perfect dog.

Daisy meeting teh big boys.

I was at Home Depot at 9am to pick up some foam brushes and more paint to finish off my railing. I started at 9: 30 am and finished about 1pm. If I have to say myself it looks great. Paint is amazing thing. Have I ever said I hate painting?

Got ready, showered and started prep for this afternoon. Fred & Terry came over for some crib and supper. The most important thing is the GUYS won. The meal that Jackie and I prepared tonight was awesome. 1-inch-thick bone in Pork Chops (seasoned with my 12 herbs and spices) mashed potatoes, roasted veggies (turnip, parsnip, rutabaga and beets) along with a salad. It tasted awesome.

It was a very warm night sitting outside on the deck for supper and games. I love Arizona.

Watched the NFL games a bit. Great games with one underdog team winning. Superbowl will have the Rams against the Bengals. Should be a great game.

Fred was involved in an accident with his truck and still has not heard from the insurance adjuster. Not having a vehicle to drive around in isn’t fun. Looking at the pictures I am sure it is about 6 to 10 k worth of damage and if started to work on would only be a bout 2 weeks. Hopefully things come together quickly for them

The finish to another day.

Thought of the Day

Accidents are not accidental, but precise arrivals at the same time.

January 31st

“Mercury Forecast Mesa 21 degrees, Edmonton -3 degrees, Calgary -11 degrees”

It was a wonderful bright and sunny day in Arizona for golf. Today was with my men’s league at Viewpoint. Jeff, Barry and Jim were my partners today. A quicker round today which was nice. Jeff and Jim had some very good shots with the odd bad shot thrown in. Barry played very well getting three birdies today. I played well put could not putt. Did lose a single ball. I played the irons semi decent, but the putting killed me.

My lowest score this year at Viewpoint is 84 which should be my average on this course, but I have had numerous games at 90, or 91. Shouldn’t happen. I am hoping I can get a handle on these greens soon, very soon.

Our after golf gathering at Mike’s was fun. A very fun nice group of hecklers to golf with.

A great re-heat supper and some TV tonight to finish off a fun day in the sun.

Thought of the Day

Golf is a lot of walking, broken up by disappointment and bad arithmetic


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