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What I Did This Weekend  «
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Monday, 30 August 2010
Topic: What I Did This Weekend

Summer Vacation is over, The wedding is finished, and all my assorted obligations are now completed and met. WHEW! This is the first week since March where I have absolutely nothing on my calender.  I suppose I should reveiw where I have bee doing since the wedding and stuff.

First of all Some Sad News.  Our oldest cat Lucky was not well for a while and he was getting less and less well with every passing week.  By May he could no longer jump up on things, and by July he spent much of his time sleeping and hiding. We moved his litterbox upstairs because he could no longer go up and down the basements stairs.  Two days after the wedding while we were packing for our trip I noticed his one leg was fatter than the other and he was dragging it behind him.  Later in the day his leg was three times it's normal size and he was having trouble moving both hind legs.  He was also wobbly and very weak.  We decided that it was time for one last visit to the vet. You know the one -the visit where he doesn't come back? He was suffering from massive organ failure and the fluid build up in the leg was a sign that the end was near.  So Lucky is no longer driving us crazy.  No more peeing where he happens to be standing, no more poop by the front door no more stench of fresh cat pee in the laundry room.  

Since then Trixie-Cat has been a bit more social with us and a bit more affectionate.  After Dave got home she went to Lucky's hiding spot and sniffed a few times, but unlike the cats of stories she didn't go crazy or start yowling or anything else.  She's aware that something is different, but beyond that I doubt she's noticed anything specific. 

Our trip to Haliburton was a lot of fun. Steve added a couple features to our trailer space such as a picnic table and a fire pit.  It's quite the nice set-up. We have a barbecue, two camp stoves, two tables to set the stoves on, a shelter to keep the cook almost dry, and we have the trailer for rainy days.  We went to the town of Haliburton and that was the extent of our touristing.  After the stress and non stop go-go-go of the time leading up to the wedding it was nice to take it easy for several days. 

After returning home we took a day trip to Sauble Beach.  It's too bad we didn't get a cottage up there this year, that's the one thing that I will regret in the middle of winter when recalling this summer. The beach was the same as it always is, sandy, sunny and watery.  The wind turbines were barely visible dots in the distance, not the giant hulks hovering in the air like in the mirages last year.The water was quite warm and we all got a little sunburnt.  Lots of fun.  Next year I think we should get a cottage near the beach again.  Haliburton is fun, but so's the beach. And Haliburton doesn't have stores that sell cheap flip flops.

So now it's time to think of What To Do Next. I have some ideas. Clean out my e-mail inbox, tidy up the old web site.  I have some clothes on mine that need repairs and alterations.  I need to clean up my sewing space.  And I need to clean up the computer of old files and old registry entries and crap like that.  

Yesterday I did my MIL's computer. It was a bit of a mess.  The computer auto fixed a few things to correct some issues, but it screwed up.  No one needs a gigabyte sized temporary internet cache, Windows media player does not need to look for updates every hour, and no one needs Pr0ndialer in their registry.  How THAT got in there is a mystery. Now the machine is faster, leaner, and meaner.  There are only 30 running processes that start up and the registry has over 150 fewer entries. I also cleared up over 9000 cookies and temporary internet files and downloaded and installed Firefox for a leaner and meaner internet experience with fewer prondialers trying to hide in the registry.

So now it's time to figure out what to do next.  Maybe I will make LOL squirrels. 

git closr to my nutz  I kill ur nutz

And that's all for today. To review: no more Lucky, vacation's over, and it's time to get back to work.  Later!

Posted by lincatz at 10:57 AM EDT
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Monday, 9 August 2010

Topic: What I Did This Weekend

Less than a week to the wedding. The food for the reception is not an issue! I have one more applique to put on an my dress is finished.  We have a suit for Ben.  I think everything is under control. I hope.

This weekend was spent on a few non wedding things. The big Blues music festival was downtown Kitchener this weekend and we were there both Friday evening and much of Saturday. The big show on Saturday was David Wilcox and he filled King Street, The entire city hall square, and the balconies and walkways of city hall.  The show was great, although it was rather odd to see a bunch of kids and their parents singing and dancing along to "My Baby Does The Grind" He always brings the big crowds downtown.  This year's weather was much better than last year's...or the year before...or the year before...The Blues festival always attracts the rain.

On friday we visited several downtown stores including "Out of the Past" which is a local hippy/goth/punk/vintage store.We also went to"in Orbit" another good vintage store.  They has a vintage boomerang shaped coffee table that matched the vintage boomerang lamps I already have!  I have a list of "vintage things to grab the second I see them" and a boomerang table has always been in the top three.  This one is wonderful. it's all solid wood and looks almost new.  It's will be perfect in my mid-century modern basement room. Now if i could get at least one lamp table with a crescent shape

So now that the wedding is all under control...I think...we can now start a brouhaha over what happens after.  Dave and i have decided to put or foot (foots? Feet?) down and we are not changing any of our plans for our vacation.  This is Dave's only vacation time this summer and we(he) needs to get away. So if anyone has any thoughts of changing anything thinking Dave and Linda won't mind, they are always willing to adjust...sorry.  Not this year.  Our plans are now cast in stone and we aren't compromising. 

A really bad and really lazy photoshop of a spider squirrel. Adorable, isn't it?

And my Fark contribution of the day: Headline: Salmonella in pet food may be making kids sick" Article: No cases or evidence of any kids getting sick from pet food" If it makes it cool.  If it doesn't, still cool. Anyways, the article itself contradicts the headline, and the headline is misleading. All in all, bad journalism.


Posted by lincatz at 11:35 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Pictures from our weekend!
Topic: What I Did This Weekend

So I finally dumped all the pics from the camera onto the computer and re-sized them so they don't break everyone's browser. Let's begin at the beginning:

This, needless to say, is the beach.  This is the view from the bench in front of our car.  Arriving at 11 in the morning means that we got the best parking spot on the beach, close to the beach, the harbour, the change-rooms and it was in the shade all day.

Could the day be anymore perfect?  This is looking south over Lake Huron. It had been stormy recently, you can tell by all the thousands of small flat pebbles washed on shore in waves.  The pebbles rattled and sang as the waves broke over them.

Dave and I went for a hike along the harbour and railway trail.  This is looking over the harbour.  I tried to add a sense of linear perspective to many of my pictures, this one captures the effect I wanted.

Giant grain elevator along the harbour trail.  It rose up beside the trail like a cathedral, or a freight train.

This is a view of the Maitland River from the big train bridge. The water is very high, normally at this time or year the river trickles over gravel washes on the banks, there are wide expanses of pebbles and little vegetation other than a few chicories and goldenrod. This is nearly up to spring levels.

Looking toward Lake Huron from the bridge. Salt mine, grain elevator, evaporator, and boats.

The Train bridge at Goderich. It was once the main CP rail bridge, built back in the early 1900's to cross the wide expanse of The Maitland River.  the river and the harbour were once the main port of entry on Lake Huron where grains, salt, and other goods loaded on and off the many ships and were transported across the great lakes and beyond.  Now it's a pleasant summer afternoon walk.  The bridge still smells like coal tar and trains.

The Hike is over.  Both Dave and I are quite hot.  The sun is relentless and we both got a little overheated. Dave Dave and I cool off with a dip in the lake.  The water is warm as bathwater and it cools us off quickly. We both agree that so far the day is perfect and the only thing that would make it better is if one of the big great lake freighters came into the harbour.  We look out over the lake and see a tugboat right at the outer breakwater Could it be?

Yes, our ship has come in, accompanied by three tugboats, who will soon be earning their paycheques. It's the "Algosteel" run by the Algoma Central Railway.  It is here for a load of road salt which will ultimately end up in Toronto -according to the guys on the ship who talked to the crowds of people these ships inevitably attract.  It is a highlight for more than just my bunch. .

Now let's put this into perspective shall we?  the ship is HUUUUGE and long.

The crowd of people stood and stared.  Long ship is long!

Here's where the tugs earn their pay.  They pivot the entire ship around, stem to stern, in the harbour.  I wish there was someway to let everyone hear this snapshot...Oh yeah!  I can! Like so:


If that doesn't show up here's the direct link to You Tube:  and here's the link to my channel:

And now we near the end of the day. It's six-thrirty and everyone has packed up and gone away for dinner.  The ship is loading up on salt, Dave Ben and I are all quite red, fed and almost dead!  We spend a bit more time staring over the water, enjoying the last bit of our picnic food and soaking up the sun and fresh lake breeze.  We don't bother changing out of our still wet swimwear before packing up the car and heading home.  The drive takes a little over an hour and bit.

All in all as close to perfect as a day can be

Posted by lincatz at 11:19 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Animal-free sleeptime!
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: What I Did This Weekend

We are back from Haliburton.  I wish we were still there. It's hot and steamy and I would LOVE to be able to jump in the lake, even though I can't swim.  Next time the girls are going to teach their aunt how to swim...or at least stay afloat. We slept in out camp trailer, which was cold two night and hot two nights. How could it go from a low of 6 Celsius one night to low of 20 the next night?  There's lots of wildlife up there and much of it had to check out our campsite at night while we tried to sleep. We heard Loons, Wolves, Coyotes, unidentifiable small mammal, deer, and possibly a bear. And of course we were visited by the official bird of the Canadian Wilderness: The Mosquito. Additionally, I had terrible trouble with the Deer flies. These are triangle shaped flies that don't sting, they actually take a bite of your flesh.  They seemed to love me, I have about eight bites on my neck and a few elsewhere.  

Last night I slept well, even though it was hot and steamy.  The only animal sniffing around was Trixie the kitty cat, and she's mostly harmless.  She missed us terribly and spent the night sitting on our windowsill watching us sleep. She tried to wake up right at sunrise, but quickly gave up. 

The drive there was quick and relatively painless.  The weather was good, we stopped a few times and didn't make any massive wrong turns. The drive back was different.  It started off hot and steamy, continued to get hotter and steamier, and ended hot, steamy and smoggy.  In Newmarket on Time and temp sign read 36C humidex 45. That's inhuman. it almost made me miss the deer flies.

Now I'm catching up on emails and crap.  And slathering lanacaine all over my bug bites.  Later I'll go to the train tracks and collect some jewel-weed and crush the juicy stems and leaves all over the bites.  I'll also steep some in cold water to make a lotion. Jewel-weed is ten times more effective against bug bites and irritation than calamine lotion, which really doesn't do anything.  And if you get hit with poison ivy or oak or nettles, not even doctor's prescriptions are as effective at curing the rash as common jewel-weed. Knowing a bit of herb lore can be a good thing.

Now it's off to the basement to get some fans and then upstairs to hook up the AC.  We got a small window AC unit that we're giving to Dan and Heather.  If it doesn't fit their window we'll use it here and we will have house guests for a few days, until the heatwave breaks.  I should be fine as long as I follow two rules: stay out of the sun and don't cook at the hottest part of the day. 

So off to catch up on things.  My least favourite part of vacations is all the stuff that is waiting to be done when i get home.

Posted by lincatz at 10:30 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Topic: What I Did This Weekend

The family went to Haliburton for the weekend.  It snowed one day and it was sunny and cool one day. The leaves wear all luminous hues of orange, red and yellow. I have pictures, I have to get them off the camera.

We left on Friday and it rained the whole way up.  The drive took about five hours.  We made a wrong turn at Orangeville.  That seems to be a common theme as we made a wrong turn at orangeville on the previous trip.   Most of the time all we saw was grey skies, fog and clouds.

Saturday was thanksgiving Dinner Day.  It was also go for a long hike day.  We went out for a couple hours. I got some interesting mushroom pictures.  This time there were more than just bunches of red waxy caps. There were lots and lots of turkey tails just in time for thanksgiving dinner.  I found the turkey tails oddly inspiring, some were quite colourful. The mushroom that was the most common was small ascomycetes in yellow, red and orange.  The gravel going to our trailer was covered in orange peel fungus and small yellow and red cups covered long fallen trees.  These were almost invisible among the bright leaves.  Many of the logs and stumps had cup fungus on them, from bright yellows to blue stainers to boring brown lumps that looked and felt like freshly popped pimples.

On Sunday I had the urge to sew.  Brenda had a night gown all cut out for Vanessa and it was just sitting I turned on her sewing machines and finished it up in a little under an hour.  Vanessa was thrilled, of course. It was from a Kwik Sew pattern.  I took a look at the instructions and there were maybe five or six steps to the whole thing. That's one reason why I tell beginners to get Kwik Sew patterns, they are easy to make and the instructions are excellent.  For someone like me it was relaxing brainless sewing.

The high light of the trip came on Sunday when a neighbour arrived with a freshly shot and killed duck.  We had to dress the duck, meaning, take off the feathers, scald it,  gut it, cut off it's head, singe the pin feathers and prepare it for roasting.  The feathers come off easiest while the duck is still warm so scalding it while plucking helps release them.  Dad, Amy and I gutted it.  It wasn't difficult and everything came out cleanly.  If the intestines break then the duck is toast.  We put it away over night so we could roast it the next day.

We got a late start and for some reason there wasn't much enthusiasm for freshly killed mallard roasted with ginger, orange and onions.  It smelled delightful while cooking.  Sadly, it wasn't ready before it was time for us to leave. We didn't want to drive in the dark on some of the small roads, it's too easy to miss important road signs.  So I missed the duck. that would have been a nice birthday meal for me if it had been started a bit earlier. I hope it turned out okay.

The drive took a while.  The traffic was quite heavy on one stretch of the highway between two small towns and very slow.  The traffic slowed down after it passed through a police radar speed trap. We made a wrong turn is Orangeville AGAIN! the signs are not very well marked and they have no indication where to turn if you want the highway to Arthur, which is the one that leads to the Waterloo road.  By the time we got on the right road twilight was falling and the road was growing dark.  We decided to head for the 401 and take that the rest of the way home.

The one outstanding feature on both the trip there and back was the unbelievable amount of road-kill.  We saw countless raccoons, numerous skunks, several porcupines and a red fox.  The skunks were smelled long before they were seen.  We should have stopped to pick up a couple, then I could have made one of these:

This is apparently made from a a road kill squirrel and a dead fish.  just because you CAN make something doesn't mean that your SHOULD.

And that's all for now.  I have pictures to suck off the camera, e-mail to check and other crap to deal with.  Later! 

Posted by lincatz at 12:16 PM EDT
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Monday, 31 August 2009

Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: oracular spectacular -MGMT
Topic: What I Did This Weekend

So I am officially back from holidays.  No more beach, no more hiking, no more sleeping on a creeky narrow double bed, no more falling asleep to the sound of waves, no more waking to the sound of seagulls.  My new camera was everything I had hoped for, and far more.  I now have over 700 pictures that I will suck off the camera, edit for size and then post on facebook, flickr and wherever else I can find room.

We did a lot of touristing around the Bruce peninsula.  The peninsula is considered a UNESCO world biosphere.  It's an exotic destination due to its unique vegetation and geological features.  The prominent feature is the Niagara Escarpment, made of Silurian age fossils.  The escarpment doesn't contain fossils, it's all fossils.  Every cubic inch of the rock is comprised entirely of dead pre-historic creatures.  Break open any rock and you can see shells, snails, clams, and critters that are long since extinct.  The Young Earth Creationist idea that fossils were made by people and then scattered by humans to be found later, and that no one has ever randomly found a fossil in a rock is a total lie, the escarpment is proof of this lie.

This part of the world was originally the long ago continental shelf.  As sea critters died their shells and exoskeletons drifted down and settled on the base of dolomites.  More and more shells built up and the lower layers solidified and stratified.  as glaciers came down and settled on the shelf everything was compacted more, the heat and pressure turned all these dead things into rock.  The escarpment has several different rock formations, all easily identified by the colour and consistency of the rock.  Most fascinating are the Elora Gorge formations, the skeletons of long ago coral reefs.

We checked out Owen Sound, which we saw last year in the dark.  It's an amazing little town.  It was a shipping and dock town.  There were dry docks, ship builders, trains, and all the workers one would need to keep a busy harbour running.  It also had a reputation of being rough around the edges, one nickname for the town was "blood gulch" When prohibition was activated the town became "dry gulch"  They didn't repeal prohibition in Owen Sound until the 1970's.  They have an amazing downtown, larger and more bustling than Kitchener, but serving a smaller population.  The buddings are all from the town's boomtimes in the 1800's.

We then went to some waterfalls, something the area has in abundance.  Inglis Falls is the star attraction.  It's huge and scenic with a deep limestone gorge and with a small 1800's era dam on top of the gorge.  The damn powered a flour mill, the mill is long gone and the falls is quite natural and un spoiled.  There is a link to the Bruce Trail and a few side trails including a trail the leads to some Ice age Glacial Pot holes. As the waters of the glacier retreated it would form whirlpools.  If there was  large rock in the whirlpool, a large round hole would be carved into the limestone. We can see these today as small potholes. I have a couple pictures of these potholes.

The next day we visited Tobermory again.  We went to the lighthouse at the end of Big Tub Harbour.  We watched the boats, the guys had some fresh fish and chips, we wandered the harbour, bought some fresh fish to take home and then went back to the beach. 

We went to Southampton and walked along the beach there.  We all got a more that a little sun and windburned.  Ben left with a bright red nose.

We also checked out Bruce's Caves; an impressive cave carved into the bluffs of the escarpment along Colpoy's Bay and we checked out Indian Falls, a large curtain type waterfalls that has carved into the Queenstown formations and exposed the lower level red rocks.

At Sauble itself the first day there was something freaky happening.  it was very bright, very sunny and very warm.  There was lots of distortion along the horizon and a few mirages.  Towards Southampton we could clearly see the large white flagpole and the big red Canadian flag.  This was behind the point along the horizon, nothing special, it just looked far closer than usual.  The second horizon is usually not there, nor are the large wind turbines that were between the two horizons, nor was it normal for them to appear twice as large and much closer than the Southampton flag pole.  I wasn't the only one taking pictures.  Several turbines appeared to hover in mid air above the horizon, a few were below the lower horizon.

After we checked the maps to see where they are.  The are south of Port Elgin, more that 45 km's away.  In Southampton we couldn't see them until we were at the southernmost point of the beach.  Later in the week they were mostly invisible, turning the their natural size and location beyond a single horizon, smaller than the flag and flag pole which was so tiny I needed to use ultra zoom to barely see it.  Needless to say, my camera captured the scene quite well. 

The most bizarre mirage I've seen in the area was when the far shore of Michigan appeared in the clouds upside down, and when the islands of Oliphant Bay appeared in the clouds upside down.  I was a kid and me and my cousins did not go outside that day because the sky freaked us out far too much.

I always enjoy the drive, through small farm towns, past fields where cows graze on grass, yes those poor beef cows are certainly tortured for their meat, spending day after day in a field munching grass is horribly cruel, especially when the stupid animals are too lazy to move when another is pooping on it.  Cows poop all over each other all the time. If there are three cows and one is laying down, the other two will be sure to poop on the resting cow.  And she's so stupid that she won't move, she just sits there thinking, "It's the brown rain again"  As we pass each town they all have something to be proud of, corn fest, bean weekend, potato fair, home of the world record holder in 400 meter hurdles, home of an NHL hockey player, come and join us for our world famous beef BBQ weekend, with the weekend tacked onto the sign.  Some signs are faded some are new.  There's an endless parade of restaurants, some have been there since I was a kid, some are new, some are closed but still have signs and picnic tables and swings for the kids.  There's an endless stream of boat launches, small rivers abandoned rail lines now used as trails and of course the "old highway" forking off from the "new highway"  The old highway is always rimmed with greenery and has driveway that go to stone foundations with no buildings, the old highways is cracked and falling apart yet still bears the center line, sometimes it has a mile sign with "Harriston 6 miles"  Miles haven't been used since I was a kid.

It was odd, just the three of us.  Dan and Heather were there on Saturday and Sunday, and Heather's family was there on Sunday, but for the most part it was just the three of us.  We had fun, but it was different.

I haven't mentioned my garden yet.  I harvested five cucumbers, four spaghetti squash are embiggening, and I have more roma tomatoes than the Ragu factory.  I hope I can use my mom's kitchen for turning these guys into three hundred jars of tomato paste! Sadly, the zucchinis are insect food and the peppers are also feeding the bugs. The onions are very large and look good.  Peas are over, beans are over and lettuce is also over.  But we'll be eating cukes, squash and tomatoes until the first killer frost!

MGMT is over, now it's onto The Ting Tings.  MGMT is my new favourite band, next to Passion Pit and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Fleet Foxes.  Gosh, I'm really doing the pretentious hipster thing today, aren't I?  the only thin that I think saves me is the fact that i find Metric mostly meh. 

Yesterday i had a case of the post vacation grumpies.  I'm no longer grumpy, but I have a crapload of work i need to do. I need to find a scrap metal dealer, I need to find someone to patch the foundation where it's crumbling near the driveway, I have to make myself a dress for mom and dad's anniversary, so for me summer is over. 

So now it's time to plug the camera into the USB thingy and start moving pictures onto the 'puter.

Posted by lincatz at 10:55 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 5 August 2009
I am a mosquito's lunch
Mood:  energetic
Topic: What I Did This Weekend

So we got back last night from the Haliburton area.  It was quite nice.  I love how the air is so clear, clean and fresh; the only thing I can smell is pine, cedar and juniper.  It was so quiet at night that all we could hear was the waterfalls and the sound of loons paddling in the water.  The loons woke us up during the night with their song.

The trip up was mostly uneventful, except for a couple wrong turns that still took us where we wanted to go.  We did not take the 400.  It was bumper to bumper and moving about 30MPH.  We went through Newmarket, the last suburb of Toronto in the north.  After Newmarket it's cottage country.  We ate chips and drank pop in the car and looked at the scenery.  It's quite pretty north of Lake Simcoe, it's the last of the limestone and the start of the granite of the shield.  There's nothing prettier than sheer rock faces on both sides of the highway glittering with thousands of quartz crystals.

The cottage is at the end of two private gated roads.  The first road is off a one lane gavel road that turns off a two lane tar-and gravel road.  the isn't really a road, it's named *** Trail, so you know it's narrow and receives little traffic.  The road after the first gate is okay and goes past three cottage lanes and a farm.  The second gate is where the road become a roller coaster ride.  As we crested the highest ridge we couldn't see the road on the other side.  The hill was very steep. We had to drive pedal to the metal to get up the hills and coast on the brakes going down.  All I could thing was "WHEEEE! THIS IS FUN!"  

The property is on a series of ridges and valleys.  Much of he Haliburton Highlands is ridges and valleys with lakes, streams and beaver dams dotting the landscape.  Steve has a couple lakes, front on one large lake, he has a babbling brook running through the middle of everything and he has a very impressive beaver dam with a family of several beavers in it.  We saw lots of evidence of deer and other critters.  Bears are quite common in the area.  The family has a dog to help scare away the bears.

The dog is named Luna, which was from Harry Potter but now more like short for "luna-tic" She's quite nice, very affectionate and even Ben liked her.  Ben hates all dogs, with the exception of Luna-tic.  She's a poodle retriever cross.  She doesn't like to swim, but when the kids go swimming she tries to jump into the water to rescue them.  Sometimes retriever instincts can suck!

We didn't do much that qualifies as exciting or blog worthy, we enjoyed the outdoors, we enjoyed the silence and we enjoyed getting a way from everything.  I have some pictures that I will post later.  There's a really super-fantastic yarn shop in Haliburton and I got some yarn there. 

We didn't get to Bancroft, the chatter around Haliburton was  that it was so successful this year that people were being turned away because the town had run out of parking spaces.  Sad.  maybe next time we'll come where they don't have the rock festival, after all; the rocks and abandoned mines will still be there! just not all the tourists!

We fed the wildlife well.  I have several mosquito bites, a few deerfly bites and a couple possible blackfly bites.  Up there you quickly get used to sharing your space with a variety of insects, most of them biting, stinging, and carnivorous. The worst bites are the deerflies, I have one on my neck and one on my arm.  Both have hard lumps under the skin with a large patch that appears bruised around the bite. 

The drive home was nice.  We took one of the girl's friends home. I think she likes us; we turned on Z-103 on the radio and let her sing along with Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga and all that other music on that station. We stopped and the Kirkfield Lift lock.  There's a bridge over the highway, and boats go on the bridge and over the highway.  We passed through a couple severe storms, everywhere we went there were dark clouds and we could hear thunder in the distance and/or see dark clouds spitting lightning. The drive went reasonably well in spite of a couple more wrong turns. 

Important Announcement: Dyslexic People make poor navigators!

Now I'm back and i have to do lots of laundry, grocery shopping (Dan cleaned out the fridge when he and heather moved) and finish un-packing. Now Dan is gone and it feels weird, I started up to Dan's room at 8:30 to see if he was going to work then i remembered that he was no longer living here. I had 65 e-mails waiting for me, fortunately none were of any real importance.  This has been the first time in a while that I've gone away and not returned to some sort of Big Problem.

And that's all for today.  Later I'll unload the camera and then post a whole bunch of pictures.

Posted by lincatz at 11:38 AM EDT
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Monday, 13 July 2009

Topic: What I Did This Weekend

The weekend went well. It began on Thursday when I went with Dan to help him buy a bed from the local furniture store.  I saw a couple options for Dave and I.  We need to replace our old bed set, we've had it since 1993 and it's saggy in some parts and squeaky in others.

Friday was Cruising on King night.  There were over 300 cars this year and for a few hours the main street was alive with the sound of roaring engines, screeching tires and people cheering the burn-outs.  Just like back in the 1970's. Ben and i got there a bit after 5 and we stayed until way after 10.  There were lots of Bel Airs that looked like jets on wheels, Fairlanes with the chrome check mark, Imaplas with fins and Galaxie 500's, the ones that just about stood on end if you hit the gas a little too hard.  There was a restored Gremlin, restored dodge Darts (!!!-at one time that was a cheap-ass nothing car!) lots of Chargers, and a few true rarities including one built-at-home-from-spare-parts car and a Bricklin, a Canadian made car that had gull-wing doors like a DeLorean. There aren't many of these around and they are quite the futuristic looking machine. They were made in the mid seventies long before the DeLorean and they were at least ten years ahead of the times.

Saturday was the Cherry Festival in Cherry Park.  This park is a little oddball that sits in the middle of a mixed residential/ light industrial area, one of those oddball neighbourhoods that make up the urban landscape of Kitchener.  There were vendors, crafts, kid's activities and of course, lots of fresh cherries.  Heather was selling hand made stuffed animals and did pretty good.  My Dada did hundreds of these shows when he was starting out and he said any show where you sell even one item is a good show; he had many where he would sell nothing. We went there several times to help out Heather.  The day started awful, with an intense thunderstorm and buckets of pouring rain. That was when Heather was setting up.  The day was fine after than, warm and sticky, perfect for an outdoor gathering.

Sunday was spent in the rock garden, weeding and thinning out some of the plants.  I have some very impressive Marigolds, but they are being overwhelmed by the sedums and succulent ground cover.  I ripped out tons of the succulent so the marigolds are more visible. After we were done Dave and i realized that we had been on the go non stop since Thursday, so that was how we justified a quick trip to the local Dairy Queen for Milk Shakes and Blizzards.

And today is going to be rest and recovery day.  I have a skirt cut out,  with outer fabric, lining, elastic and trims.  All i need to do is assemble the whole mess together.  I'm also cutting the dress pattern for that thing in September. Rachel the Spider will be happy, she loves to watch whatever is happening near her tank. She ate another cricket yesterday.  One got loose and Dave and I had to hunt it and catch it.  Cricket hunting is best left to the spider.  I also completed the design drawing for a painting of a King Bolete and a very upstanding morel.  All will be bowing their caps to King Bolete and the morel will be proclaiming its high Morel standing in the community. Those are mushroom jokes, people.  You can laugh.

Posted by lincatz at 11:44 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Topic: What I Did This Weekend

You are likely wondering why a Wednesday entry is listed as "What i did this weekend"  Well, Dave took Monday off, and yesterday was Canada Day, so he's been off work since Friday, so we had a four day weekend. 

So, where to begin?  Since this is a Litterbox, lets fill it with a little kitty litter.  And as we all know, Kitty litter isn't just for cats to stink up, it also makes a weird facial treatment for people who don't mind applying disinfecting and deodorizing chemicals to their face:  Kitty Litter Facials: would you or wouldn't you?  According to one of these so called Beauty experts on some afternoon talk show, you can save no money on not so expensive clay mask facials by melting clay kitty litter and applying it to your face.  This expert apparently doesn't realize that cat litter isn't just clay, there's other stuff in it.  Since kitty litter isn't required to list ingredients, you have no idea what's in your box.  And it's not like clay masks are expensive.  A tube at Shopper's Drug mart is about 5$ and works as well as the expensive 50$ one.  In addition, clay from the art store in about ten dollars for a big block, and when you're finished your face you can make a nice flower pot.  Or something! 

Yesterday all the guys were over to check out or old camping trailer.  We haven't used it in five years, when Ben became too tall to sleep comfortably in it.  We began renting a cottage and found we enjoyed that so we've been doing it for several years.  Last year, or thereabouts -we decided to sell it for parts, we figured we had many years of use, we had fun when the kids were little and since the kids weren't children, it was another childhood thing to let go. Later that very same day we decided that we should sell the trailer for parts, my brother said we should bring up to his new cottage and park it there.  He would build a deck in front and a shelter for a picnic table and it would be near his cottage and the lake that he owns part of...

So yesterday, with Dave and I mostly knowing what we were going to find...a neglected mess...The guys came over to open the trailer to see if it can be repaired.  To make a long and ugly story short, everything can be repaired or replaced and it would be far cheaper than buying a new trailer, or even a used trailer.  We can replace the stove, do a bit of plumbing work, repair of replace some of the canvas and we can repair the roof and roof vent.  Here's a picture:

They are taking the canvas off the roof and removing it from the base.  Then they took off the roof and began removing the wood shell from the aluminium of the roof. Then the ceiling panels can be taken off and new plywood and screw strips can be put in place.  Then there will be a good base for the canvas to screw into.  Some of the canvas is fine, some has been home to carpenter ants, sadly.  We thin we got the queen, so that's good.

Since there were seven guys working on the trailer, I did some garden work.  Here's a picture of one of my lilies in full bloom:

This one is a hybrid and goes by the name of "Manhattan"  It's a bright pinky orangish red and very striking.  It's the second lily to bloom, the first was a first-year planting that gave me one flower.  I've fertilized the first year plant well so that the bulb can grow big and strong for next year; when I hope it gives me a huge yellow spotted lily.

After all that work we went off to the Canada Day celebration at Columbia Lake, at the university. We met my brother and his bunch.  We also met Heather's family.  The show went on for about twenty minutes, the longest one so far. 

In case you didn't notice, i got the camera cooperating with the new computer.  It likes the new computer much better than the old one.  I've also got the camera and my new software, Photo Impression, working well together.  Dan like GIMP for photos, I don't.  Many pros recommend photoshop, I find it quite large and clunky for simple image size adjustment and enhancement.  Photo Impression seems to do what I want it to do, it does it quickly and easily, and is far cheaper for a full version of the program.  I've successfully used the lite edition that comes with cameras and such and it's like the kiddie version compared to the full version. I think I'll stick with this, Dan can keep his GIMP.

So now that the camera is once again a happy camper, I am going to get out my dummy and a bunch of things I have made and make a new album of stuff I've made to replace the old obsolete album.  A few of the things in the old album are now parts of new things and no longer exist in their old aspect.  (sort of like dream after The Kindly Ones story arc)

Speaking of all things fashion and designer, here's a page of Pucci Shoes on Zappo's  There's something wildly indulgent about these 200+$ flip flops:

There are other shoes, but something about these puts them head and shoulders (or is it ankles and heels?) above pedestrian flip flops from Old navy.

And that's all for today.  Later!

Posted by lincatz at 11:27 AM EDT
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Monday, 5 May 2008

Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Aternate stuff on internet radio.
Topic: What I Did This Weekend


For some reason I have the song "Paper Airplanes" by MIA stuck in my head.

I suppose the title should be "What I did since Thursday" or -more accurately- "what i did since the video card died in a sigh of one long and three short bios beeps"  On Thursday Ben and I wen to my mom's for a while and when we returned he attempted to turn on the old computer only to be greeted with one long and three short beeps from the bios.  Normally the bios makes one self assured BEEP! with an exclamation mark to let the world know that all is functioning well.  If things are not functioning, then the bios sends out little R2D2 beeps to tell what's wrong.  This sequence meant the video card was acting up.  We decided to wait until saturday to fix the problem, since we had to find the electronic testing meter, bring the computer upstairs, take the thing aprt, etc.  We tried everything we could think of, even cleaning the contacts, but we couldn't get the bios to recognize the card.  So we repleced it with our old card.

So let's start with Thursday, shall we?  The combination of Sara leaving and the writers strike put the show into a bit of a funk, unsure of it's direction.  There has been talk in some of the internet groups that Thursday was going to hint at the shows new direction.  If this is true then all i can say is "change to that direction now!"  It was excellent!  CSI's strecgth has always been that it appeals to geek culture.  This episode played on the geekiness of the show.  From the Start Trek trivia to the cameo appearance of the Mythbusters (Is that Jamie and Adam?  It IS Jamie and Adam!  What are the Mythbusters doing there? -that was our reaction! -along with one big all in the family nerdgasm) and the way both the lab rats and the regulars worked together --all this made worked together to make for a stand out episode.  If this is the new direction, then i like this better than the "sin city/ tiny house killer" story lines of last year. And Adam and Jamie!  Mythbusters!  On CSI!  totally cool! 

Best line of the show:"It's like you're this geeky guy inside a woman's body" And she said "so are you"  Talk about burnination!  Believe me, I've heard that one about myself.

Friday was quite interesting.  We had no computer, so Ben was bored out of his mind.  Or he was until he remembered that he's was writing a story (long hand) back in the summer last year.  So he brought out all his notes and began working on the story again.  He's writing  much of it long hand.  If nothing else, his printing and hand writing is becoming legible.  (I'm not being nasty, handwriting issues and fine motor control are a symptom of his autism, so this is a good thing)

For me, I began drawing the pattern for the jeans in the picture below.  I followed a different draft, the modern mono-butt or booty cut draft and for some reason it didn't look correct. The grainlines -where they meet at the center back -seemed splayed out.  And there seemed to be a bit of a tilt to the front.  I fixed the front tilt and tried to adjust the back and it still looked wrong. I was unsure if I should fix it so it looked right to my eyes or to use it as is, since it was my first time using the draft.  I didn't have a lot of brown twill, and I got the last two meters from the last brown bolt at Fabricland so I didn't have any twill to spare.  What to do?

I got some muslin and made up a test garment for fitting.  I was right.  And I know why so many of thsoe jeans have gapitosis at the center back.  it's built inot the pattern!  I don't know if the fit models all had some spinal problem or some one was on drugs or what they were thinking, but there was a gap at the back that would be from the grainlines not coming to the correct point at the center back seam.  The dart between the back yoke and the main pant at the side seam is very pronounced, it's close to an inch and a half, that's likely why these newer cut jeans fit the butt so well. The front tilt  needds to sty where it is, it helps the low rise jeans hug the body at the hips and stay in place when the tilt is brought forward when the pants are sewn up and worn. The back was fixed by angling the centerback seam and adding the change to the side seam.  So there was a problem, and the other problem isn't a problem, it's a clever way to take care of a classic hip-hugger fit issue.  

Saturday was a day for nerdgasms.  A total geekarama day.  For not only was it FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!  it was also the day of the annual Rock, Mineral, and Gemstone exhibition.  And both were within three blocks of each other.  We got several comic books.  There were two per person allowed.  Heather got two how to draw books, Dan got X-Men and a how to draw.  Ben got two Hellboys.  I got the EC sampler and a sampler of alt-underground comics.  I have never ever seen Carry-On so busy.  Ther was  a constant line up with a minimum of five people waiting.  Free comic book day was a complete success. Ben also got the next Sandman novel, World's End, he's still all agog over the ending.  I got 1941-42 Krazy Kat Kollection.  So we not only got free books, we spent real money. 

I also checked out Dave's  Dave Sim that is -Dave's new title, Glamourpuss.  It's apparently supposed to be a humourous take on the world of fashion.  It's in reality a humourous take on fashion written by someone  with no sense of humour and with nary an inkling of what goes on in the fashion world.  It's like he picked up one issue of Cosmo girl and then forgot everything that was in it.  And even more problematic, fashion is supposed to be about the cutting edge, the shock of the new, yesterday is long forgotten...this whole book felt...dated...old...not in step with what's new and what's happening.  Being old, out moded and out of step can be the kiss of death in the fashion world.  He's not into fashion enough to know what's funny, what's food for humour, what's not funny, and what should be treated reverently.  The only way you can successfully be irreverent is by knowing what is sacred.  He seems to think fashion is just a bunch of teenage girls buying clothes, he couldn't be more wrong.  Yes, Ugly Betty an The Devil Wears Prada both are successful satires of the fashion world: but both are done by people who were once on the inside.  And outsider like Dave can't even begin to satirize that which he doesn't know.  He really needs to immerse himself in the fashion world and treat it seriously, not with contempt.   And by immersing himself in the fashion world, that he should do more than just reading my blog. And those out of dated clip art fashion plates kill the "fashion aspect of the book.

He's got some asinine petition going, if *we* agree that he isn't a mysoginist wea are supposed to drop a line or publically post somewhere that we agree with him.  It's sort of in the manner of the "do you still beat your wife" type of loaded question; the kind Groucho Marx made famous.  And if we don't agree with him then he's going to take all his toys home and we are never invited back to play with him again. I wonder if Dave still has all the Marx Brother's movies on video or DVD or whatever?  One Sunday we spent eight hours watching Marx Brothers.  I was all marxed out at the end of the day. 

My formal resonse is: I believe with all my heart that Dave thinks he isn't a misogynist, that he really does believe in what he says and if we would all do as he says he really does  believe the wrold would be a better place  Dave can also think and believe in his heart of hearts that blue monkeys fly out his ass, but that doens't neccesarily make it true.  Dave needs to learn that he can have his opinion, and everyone else can have theirs, and it doesn't make his wrong, mine wrong or anyone's wrong.  Opinions are like assholes, we all have one.  And when we see pur opinion as some sort of higher "Truth" in capital letters, then we are merely living out that quote from usenet: "People who capitalize the word truth in the middle of a sentence are usually furthest from it."

On the other hand, I think I understand what he's trying to say, he's not misogynist against all women, only the ones who fit the profile of the type who screwed him over when he was still dating.  These he's constructed into a strawman that he calls the "marxist feminist"  Women who aren't "marxist feminists" he's okay with.  Unfortunately this strawman is of his own construct, and this strawman tends to be a liquid concept as Dave changes the parameters of the definition.  It changes as Dave's opinion changes. I have met a few of his female voids (the ones who destroy all light and life), and a few of his marxist feminists, and to be sure they are as reprehensible as Dave believes.  But most of us pass of the so called "voids" as utter bitches and ignore them or roll our eyes at specific incidences of bitchiness. The feminist writers who he rails against have lost most of their influence in the feminsit community simply because their fallacious arguments have been exposed as fallacies.  The ones who espoused nurture over nature and every sex act is an act of violence have mostly been ignoreed by the feminist community, indeed that line of thought dates from the early nineties and is now mostly ignored by 21st century feminists. Man hate is badly out of date.

I do feel sympathy for Dave.  He's an incredibly complex person and that comlexity does NOT come through his writing. Indeed he seems the opposite, shallow, spiteful, and odious; the very things he dislikes in others.  As I have said many times, there are two Daves, the guy who writes the comics and the essays and the guy who came to the family christmas eve party and who was a sparkling converstaionalist and a charming companion -and the two were in a constant battle.  I still say the wrong Dave won. I think maybe he's getting his feelings hurt again.  Maybe it's time for him to reach out to others and agree to disagree and maybe we can all meet halfway in the middle.  He can hate me all he wants, but it won't change my mind about him.  I don't hate him.  Life's too short to waste on hate.  And far too short to spend ranting agaist imaginary strawmen and far too short to get into a lather about deep philosophies that aren't really that important in the grand scheme of things. 

None of that should overshadow his artistry, espcecially on Cerebus. He left an indelible stamp on the art of graphic story telling, from his freeform use of panel layout, his style of narrative to making the text, the ballons that contain the text, and sound-effect words an integral part of both the visual appearance of the page and as a method of advancing the story line.  When Cerebus belched you could almost smell the sour, gassy, booze smell conveyed by the unique way the letters themselves were formed. His work shouldn't be questioned. And that's far too much talk about Dave.  And this will be deleted if I start getting any flak about it or too many comments.

After the comic book store it was off to the rock show.  I'm very happy i didn't have any money, it was far too tempting for me.  Ther were about twenty vendors selling gems, rough stones and component for making jewlery.  I was wanted to get some moonstones and some tumbled stones, but I have enough other projects to keep me busy as it is.  All the people from the local rock club said that anyone who wears an ammonite fossil as a piece of jewllery should belong to a rock collectors club.  That actually sounds like an excelent idea.  They were giving away a few fossils at one place.  You got to sift through some fossil laced mud, and you could keep five fossils.  Dan got  couple shark teeth, a fish fin, and a shell and his girlfriend found a peice of fossilized fish poo.  Once she got her fossil fish poo she was happy. 

Free comics...and a rock and mineral show.  Does it get any geekier than that?  I doubt it!

Sunday Dave -talking about my hubby Dave -worked on the basement.  It appears the leak is fixed so Dave drywalled the wall back up.  Now we have to tape it, plaster it, then prime and paint it.  The room, as mentioned  -is going to be painted in retro colours and it's going to have a new retro theme. 

Today I have a busy day.  I have to do laundry, there are two working guys in the family now aming dirty business casual clothes, not to mention pre shrinking my brown twill, and i need to do sme gardening.  On saturday we had heavy rain and we could see everything turning green, the grass, the trees, everything.  I want to take advantage of some warm sun on some moist soil and plant some more lettuce.  Last night we had or first harvest of the spring with dinner, some sorrel leaves and some fresh green spring onions.  Yummy!  I made them up with some special rice that a combo of six types of rice, and I seasoned it with some sumac powder.  It comes from the ripe berries of thsoe ubiquitous shrubs that grow alongside highways and the sunny side of glacial eskers.  It's got a sweet, pink grapefruit/pink lemonade taste and goes well with the lemony tang of sorrel. 

I have a hair appointment coming up mid month.  I'm thinking warm blond, and letting my hair grow a bit longer.  I see far too many with the bob these days.  Last spring it was a bold move against the long and sraight hair ewveryone else wore, now EVERYONE seems to have a bob. Or maybe I'll get some side layers, and go copper.  I know -copper and blond streaks! I liked that combination. Do did Dave --hubby Dave that is. But I do like blond...the only problem is that people tend to talk slower and louder to me when I have blond hair.


Posted by lincatz at 12:30 PM EDT
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