Happy Saturday morning all:

A new insight from deep within the shadows of the foothills of the La Cloche mountains:

”It’s like we’re experiencing death by a million regulations, why, even trapping will soon require some pinny bureaucratnik sitting at your shoulder.” ~ Our north woods everyman we’ll call Claire

I tend to agree with Claire. In fact I’m surprised that I am able to brew my morning java without someone checking some regulation or another (other than Marcia of course). In fact it’s way past time to assess the upshot of the never-ending laws, codes, rules, licenses and guidelines governing just about every activity we can think of.

In fact, just last evening we had dinner at Thessalon’s Sinton pub – now more of a restaurant than a pub. The reason? Ontario changed the limitation governing blood alcohol – downwards. Then, quickly began to enforce it to the hilt. Overnight the business dried up. Anyway, without getting into a rant, the resultant all-you-can-eat Friday fish fry was spectacular! Oh yes, I did enjoy my draught beer – very tall and served in a very thin etched glass – just the way I like it. As the designated driver I designated Donn to drive, which he did expertly.

A week and a half – since the bro’s were here and every so often there I’ll be with a silly smile across my face as I remember one incident or another. One favorite was of George sitting in the middle of a large muck hole on the ATV, solidly stuck on a log. Actually, not so much seeing him sitting there, but seeing the facial expression that accompanied the predicament; hilarious.

It’s started – the old sliding door leading to our screened in porch left for the dump. The new door requires a larger door opening. More importantly it required a leveling of the base plate. I am now hard at work learning about the magic world of construction and things such as joists, plates, headers, and much, much more.

Donn has been my mentor in this venture. My work on Thursday earned me a grade of D+ since I demonstrated minimal skill using the saw-all. On the other hand, Friday was an all thumbs-up (and yes, both thumbs are still on) day. The first item of business was the creation of a temporary arch to transfer the weight of the roof from over the now-open doorway – all was fine except for the fact that I had to toe-nail the uprights. Since I had little interest in nailing my toes I decided to toe-screw them.

Hopefully, two more days and the door should be in place – which is a REALLY good thing. REALLY good. Here’s why:

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Slider’ out – so this left a gaping, wide open, hole. Then – an hour or so after we went to bed the wind started blowing straight from the north and straight into the living room. By morning the temperature had dropped into the 40s. Sure, the weather forecasted the weather change, but who listens to weather forecasts?

The next morning our neighbor casually asked if we had noted the bear which came through camp around 11:30 PM – Huh? No we hadn’t; we just happened to be sleeping soundly protected by a wooden screen door – unlocked at that. The weather did not improve the next day, temp still cold and the wind was still blowing too hard to work on the door So, I just spent time securing the place, sealing the hole with tarp and moving blankets. We had come to grips with the fact that we had transformed Northern Comfort into a bat cave. But Bear proofing? Really? Not!

With the heat on, plus sleeping with the great (think very heavy) Dutch woolen blanket inherited from my mother.

Shooting to have the door in by no later than Monday is not unreasonable. Especially not unreasonable since there could again be wind on Monday; that, and I really don’t want Bear Spray on the nightstand.

Tappas – for a camp farewell evening for neighbors Bulent and Barb was lovely, especially considering how good it felt to drop hammer, claw, and saw-all – even for one evening.

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Animal planet – Several days of wonderfully clear skies opened up the nighttime skies for viewing. The Milky Way ran like a band across the sky. I happened to catch six meteors which were part of the Perseid Meteor Shower. Best of all was seeing the International Space Station go tumbling by.

Fini – Make it a great week everyone. Now, time to head for the lumberyard to buy, as we say in the building trades, some ‘sticks’.
Cheers.
Dirk

From the Archives
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Morning all:

The last thing I heard before falling asleep last night was Marcia saying something about wanting to go to the “all Northside” yard sale in the morning.

Now Northside has been a fringe community in our area that has been recently re-discovered. This is especially so since it does have some wonderfully interesting old housing stock. I know exactly what she’ll say; “a number from the gay community have moved there and they might have some wonderful stuff up for sale”. Would it be PC for me to retort by saying: “yes, but they tend to way overprice their stuff”? Another hour we’ll fight that battle, for now I’ll focus on a coffee refill. Thankyouverymuch.

It always drives me nuts when I allow myself to fall into this trap. Whenever I happen focus on something it seems that for a while that everywhere I go or look I’ll notice it. Early this week I spotted one of those Dodge Neon cars and made an observation that its headlights were all clouded over making them look like they had cataracts. By yesterday I must have seen nearly ten of these things, all with cataract headlights. I have some family members that are seriously into cars and I’ll ask them: so what gives with these Neon cars and their cataract lights?

Mentioning cars reminds me that some of you might be concerned with the current fuel prices and the cost of a fill-up. Just to make you feel better let me swing this little tidbit by you. Last weekend Marcia and I drove our little Citroen Deux Chevaux to a festival that was twenty-eight miles from home. After we returned I mentioned that the next time we take it out for a ride I’d probably want to fill the tank since it was below the one-quarter mark on the gauge. Just to let you know, the last time I filled it was October 2004—the tank holds six gallons.

Our families have gotten serious into toddler-speak. Kirstin shared Derek’s newest word, one that substitutes library with “bibaby”. Couple that with classics such as “elebator”, and Marin’s “mogidykle” (motorcycle) and you’ll find our conversations have stepped dramatically away from the language given to us by luminaries such as Shakespeare.

This week at work I hosted a Round Table event that was broadcast over a call-in telephone link and also over the web. Participants were from as far away as Egypt. I have handled several of these events, all on a much smaller scale and these were quite one-dimensional. This one was totally interactive with instant participant polls where in 20-seconds bar graphs were displaying the results of various polling questions that were presented. The system manager was getting constant real-time feedback from the project leader, who was in another city. Participants were able to privately key in questions and responses could be broadcast or sent back to a single individual. It really was a privilege to have a hand in this and see this technology at work and also dream a bit about other possible applications.

Since I am on the topic of business, I came across a business site that has an amazing amount of information about world events, as well as companies and people. It is from a French society, The Henokiens, whose members are individuals who run companies that are all family owned—and which have been around and been continuously in business for at least 200 years! Take a look at a tab marked “The Time Machine”. In case you are wondering how I came across this site, I was Google-ing around trying to check up on my competition. Hey, we gotta do what we gotta to do.

Make it a great week,
Cheers,
Dirk

8/13/2005 07:55:00 AM

One Response to “Toenails, not nails in your toes”
  1. Kirstin Says:

    Perfect Brittany impersonation!!