A New Blog

I know, you are all wondering if I had passed away. Honestly there is not a lot of excitement going on. Lots of sitting in the back yard watching golfers go by and just loving the scenery, but nothing exciting.

However I do have a peeve I should share.

When we or I take Reesy out for a walk we always have at least two baggies. We try to be responsible dog walkers and pick up when needed, but often I find traces left by dog owners who do not care.

We often take Reese to the local college grounds where there is a lot of space and green areas. Our old lady dog does not like walking the streets in the neighborhood, but does appreciate an adventure location. Particularly if she gets to ride in the passenger seat of little Red.

The college grounds are a popular walking site although you meet very few people. Some time ago I started to bag droppings from other dogs, provided I was within a reasonable walking distance of a garbage can. My observation is that the droppings are not from small dogs but German Shepherds or Boxers or Huskies. Big breeds with owners that strut around bragging about how big their dog is and ignore the wastage.

I recently read about a new law in Tel Aviv. Apparently 10% of residents own dogs and with all the walking they are experiencing a problem with dog droppings not being picked up. So they now require every dog that is licensed must provide a DNA sample when they re-license. When city workers pick up a dog dropping they test for DNA and the owners are charged a $300 fine plus the cost of the testing.

I cannot see our local government taking this on. First of all would be all the lawyers and civil rights people maintaining that dogs have the right to fecal discharge wherever they want. Plus we have many trails that are shared with horse owners and we know full well they would take the case to the Supreme Court rather than unmount and gather the mounds.

Still it would be interesting. I suspect I will have to continue to bring extra bags to cover the laziness of big dog owners.

Poor Reesy

There is no question that older actresses do not want to be photographed without full makeup. The age can be very apparent.

We recently had Reese shaved down like a military school candidate. It was hot and she was very uncomfortable.

Reese seems to love the freedom (granted it is also cooler) these days and she is running around. But it is a good thing we do not have a dog mirror.

Picture 1 is what she normally would look like and Picture 2 is as she is now. Older lady with no makeup.

This will grow back before Janine and Vedran visit, but as we take her on walks, people are stunned to realize that she is a Westie. Reese does not seem to mind, but again there is no mirror and she is the equivalent of 90 years old.


We have a pergola across the back of the yard where we hang flower baskets. This year one of the baskets has been adopted by a Bushtit bird. At first we thought it was building a nest but that does not seem to be the case. It just likes to live in it.

If I come near the basket to water or even mow the grass the bird flies out and then swops at me going Tit Tit Tit Tit.

It keeps this up until I move off, despite my telling her, (many times) that I built the pergola and bought the basket so I have every right to be there. No mercy from the bird. Unusual because these birds are normally in flocks but this one is solo.

Another Bird Project

This is pretty much the end of my bird related items. It is a bird feeder.

I have gone through all my cedar and time to think of another project.

This was originally going to be a Chinese Temple birdhouse for Janine and Vedran, but got too big so I decided to make it a feeder instead. Big issue was to find the plastic tube that goes down the center to hold the seed. I checked out a Sally Ann store and found this item that is supposed to hold wooden spoons on your counter. At 78 cents a good buy. Threw out the metal frame and kept the tube.

The top lifts off to fill the tube.

With the good weather spending less time in the shop anyway.

A Friday Dinner

It is Friday or, as we refer it to in our home, as Mackerel Snapper night. I had planned an evening out on the patio with the meal prepared on the BBQ. Turned out to be raining.

Would California just love to have our local issue with many rainy evenings.

I prepared skewers of prawns and local scallops along with skewers of veggies.

Big scallops. Very lightly seasoned and heated just a couple of minutes on the BBQ.

A delicious meal. But always takes me to mind..

Pat’s Aunt Mary used to talk about when she grew up on PEI and Lobster was a poor person’s food. They had to eat it as kids because sometimes real meat was not affordable.

So I wonder if the first Nation people that lived here in the valley over the eons, thought of scallops as poor person food. Granted they did not have lemon pepper to season it… but still….

Bike Riding

Many years ago I realized that running, or jogging, was not a good exercise. Well many of you might disagree, running while upright, is not a natural function for the homo erectus in the last 40,000 years. Bad on the knees and the feet.

I decided that riding a bike was better. So for many years when we lived in Oakville I would do my cardio by heading out on bike rides around the community or in the countryside.

When I did runs from Oakville to Burlington on Lakeshore Road there was one thing I prided myself on. If I saw someone coming up on a bike behind me on my helmet mirror, I would speed up. No way would anyone pass me.

Now occasionally I would see that it was one of those crazy guys riding a $3000 bike, as light as a feather, with tires the width of your little finger, dressed in yellow speedos, butt up in the air… but that did not count. Just do not let a recreational rider pass me. No matter if I had to have a heart attack, not going to happen.

When I started riding a route around here I kind of followed the same routine. Granted not a lot of young skinny guys and gals on fancy bikes these here.

For the last year I had cut back on the riding but took it up again a few months ago. Some knee issues but better than going to the fitness club where you have to wear a mask while doing your cardio on a cross trainer. Very sweaty.

Lovely morning today so I was doing my normal 10 k loop.

I was riding down Anderton road and noticed a rider in my mirror catching up to me. In the past I would have geared up and gone ballistic, but I let the rider eventually catch up and pass. A younger lady, maybe in her 50s on the same kind of bike cruised past and we shared morning greetings. There was a time this would never happen.

She pulled ahead.

We kind of live at the top of a ridge. No matter where you bike there are great downhill stretches, but eventually you actually have to climb back up the hill. Granted we are not talking of Tour De France kind of stuff, but an uphill.

So I turn the corner to finally take the gentle slope up Crown Isle Drive home and there she was taking a break on the side. Pretending to talk to someone working on one of the houses, but I realize, she had gone off too hard.

Rode home and felt pretty good,

Birdhouse in position

As you know I have been building a variety of birdhouses.

Many versions, but this one I wanted for my back yard. here it is in the environment. I assumed the scary face would repel any birds, but there have been a couple of looksees.

Modern Music

Our generation comes a time when our parents were aghast at the music we listened to. For instance Everly Brothers Wake up little Suzie was banned on many stations because it implied that they had Sex.

Over the years we became somewhat immune to the music our kids played. I will grant you, never had a taste for James’s infatuation with Twisted Sister. But our daughters seemed to like nice music. We watched lots of videos.

Lately I have been listening to more music down in the workshop instead of watching TV as I move around. I hear some modern (last 20 years) music with sexual connotations and hope my daughters do not listen to this. Not the kind of music we enjoyed when we were young, or so I thought.

Then a series of songs by The Doors came on from the 60s.

Have you ever listened to the lyrics for some of their songs?

We could be so good together for example? We could get it higher… etc

I am surprised that Pat’s parents let her out on dates where we listened to this music in the car. I know I would not.

I think it is just best to enjoy the music and not listen to the lyrics. Or maybe I am becoming an old foggie.

A Canadian Pizza Night

Pat and I share a pizza about twice a month. Not an ordered-in pizza, but one I make myself. In the past I would pick up one of the pre-prepared pizzas at Costco and augment with extra toppings. Okay but nothing great.

Then, because we have nothing but time on our hands, I started to make from scratch. We do not have one of those fancy mixing machines, so I make the dough and knead by hand for 10 minutes. Good exercise if you have arthritis.

Later I spread the dough in a round to fit our pizza pan. I have not quite got to the stage where I can fling it in the air spinning. I hope Chandler will visit one day and show me how. But I do achieve a pretty good thin crust.

Our normal pizza is the favoured pepperoni with a lot of veggies.

Now over the years I have gone to some great pizza places. Buddy’s pizza in Detroit was great, and Janine and Vedran would treat us to Deweys in Cincinnatti. Wonderful pizzas.

But the pizzas I make are pretty good. Lots of guts and even though we do not have a proper pizza oven, not a bad crust.

A few weeks ago we had leftover pineapple and as a result of watching a TV ad (those in Canada will know which ad) I decided to make a simple Hawaiian pizza. And it was good.

I will grant you, to pizza lovers this is like a Christian stating they kind of like Thor or Zool. Sacrilegious. Apparently Hawaiian pizza is legally banned in Italy.

Again tonight (Saturday) I had leftover pineapple and black forest ham and decided to make a traditional Canadian pizza. You must know that Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada. Granted I did add a couple of things like spinach and roasted red peppers, but still the traditional Canadian treat.

When I was a teenager I would take my date to Norway bowling alley where we would share a Hawaiian pizza with our friends before rolling. Takes me back but still a great pizza, maybe a little too many toppings. But over the years I followed the concept that this was an evil pizza so we missed this treat for decades.

Great evening as we shared the pizza while sitting outside watching golfers go by.

Birdhouse in Use

For all the birdhouses I build, occasionally one will be used. This house I made many years ago from old barn board and old bark from driftwood. For the last few summers it has had a tenant. A pair of Chickadees check it out every spring, clean it and build a nest inside and produce a brood. Does not last long but they are a busy pair in that period.