Archive for October, 2019

A Beautiful Earth

James sent me a couple of new eBooks to read a few weeks ago.  I always appreciate his suggestions because he has introduced me to great authors that I otherwise would not experience.

Probably the best example is the Andy Weir novel The Martian.  I remember when he sent me I thought “oh damn a Sci-Fi book”  Turned out to be one of my all time favorites and obviously a good book because they made a great movie about it.

His selections  last week were a two book story by Mary Kowal.  It is based on an alternate history.  In 1952 a huge meteor hits the east coast of US.  This is a meteor strike that will lead to the end of civilized life on earth over the next 100 years. Think of the end of dinosaurs.

So the space race is accelerated to settle people on the Moon and Mars.  Takes the NASA developments to land on the moon and cuts corners with all the cultural accouterments of the 1950s.  Female astronauts required to show up in public in dresses and 1950s limited developments in computer technology.

Anyway that is not the reason for this blog.  As the books progress the environment on earth is getting worse and worse.  Think of rapid advancement on the global warming scenarios we all hear about.

I was reading the book totally involved where the world is going for crap, when I took a break to walk Reese.

A beautiful day in Paradise.  A cool 10 C but crystal blue skies and the mountains are painted on the horizon.  Took a deep breath of our fresh air and gazed up into the sky.

It takes a book about an alternative future to realize what a wonderful world we live in.

Granted I am in Paradise and not in a polluted town in India or China, but what a great planet we live on.

A Boring Blog

I realize I have to be much more boringly specific in the title for my Blog.

In the past I have told my blog followers of titles that lead to many responses beyond my target audience.

The most famous one was my blog from many years ago entitled  “Granddaughters are Easy”  Major responses on that one and I suspect I am still on a potential pedophile list with the RCMP.

I wrote about my bran muffin story earlier and included the word Muffin in the title.  I ended up with responses from many sources offering me (if I paid) optional recipes.  If I wanted optional recipes I could ask Lisa as she makes many great varieties.  But I do not.  Bran Muffin is my signature go-to treat.

But my core group of followers can still enjoy my personal blogs.

By the way tonight (it being Friday) I prepared for the bride, a halibut filet wrapped around shrimp and covered in Phyllo pastry and baked in the oven.    Not bad for a boy from Tregarva.


The wife and I attend many little meetings with our various groups.  Executive meetings for Probus and meetings for the dance or party organizing events that fill our year. These are typically 10 am until noon (so as not to interfere with those who golf).

It has been become more common for the person hosting a meeting, to not only supply coffee, but pastries and fruit.  Actually this sometimes has gone kind of crazy with every meeting having something more exotic.

When I am hosting a meeting I have one special treat… fresh bran muffins with raisins or cranberries.  Still warm out of the oven.  Pat often adds some fruit on the side… but not needed as my muffins are famous.

Meeting after meeting, the ladies ask for the secret to the muffins that I make because they are so great.  What is the recipe?  They have a buttery flavour and just the best mix of fruit.  I tell them that it is a family secret but I keep being pressed.

Well here is the secret for my Blog family.  I buy Quaker Bran muffin mix.  I stir in some raisins or fruit.  I use a bit of butter to line the muffin tins.  And serve within 3 hours.

You too can be a hero.

New Household Devices

I have been watching This Old House on TV for over 40 years.  Love the program.  I never had any formal training on working in a home and have to admit much of what I have learned on framing and installing windows and doors came from watching episodes with the many details.

These days you can see all these skills on U Tube but I still love this program and the side show Ask This Old House.

They introduce new technology in homes all the time.  I first heard about tankless water heaters (which we have) on an episode.  Just one example.

Saw an episode recently that really could be a new thing.  A clothes drier that is not vented outside.  It is basically a heat pump that uses the reverse of heating and cooling to dry air and dry clothes.  All you need is a drain to take away the water.  Uses half the energy of a traditional clothes drier and can be placed any location where you have a drain tube.

As Jack Aubrey (Captain) said in Master and Commander… It is a marvelous new world we live in…


Life as a Dog Princess

Years ago I read an article about a Saudi Prince staying on his yacht in Monaco.  One of his personal servants quit and told stories about the lavish lifestyle on the yacht.

A note that I remember is that the prince did not use toilet paper to wipe his behind but the small towels used to wash your face.  Left them on the floor for the servants to pick up and wash.

Always thought that was the ultimate in arrogance as a prince.

But as we are the executives of maintaining the lifestyle of our Reese… it occurs to me that we are nothing more than the poor Saudi servant.

We follow her on her walks through the neighborhood, and when she decides to do her thing, we are obedient slaves to gather her feces in a bag (heaven forbid this is left in the environment) and furthermore reward her with a “that’s a good girl”.

Who is the master and who is the slave?

Leftover Night

Pat and I are off tomorrow to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with Blaine and Lisa.  So time to clear the fridge of all the leftovers from our week of meals.

There is no question, it is difficult to prepare an interesting meal for only two people, well aside from BBQ.

So we prepare dinners during the weekend and then re-enjoy the meal later in the week.  I have no idea why we prepare the fancy meals on the weekend as we are retired, but we do because of events that we attend on weekdays.  Normally we space the leftovers out.

But as we are off tomorrow, we cleared the fridge and had a buffet of excellence.  Stir fried pork with veggies and cashews,  chicken pot pie… with creamy potato salad

You might have to go to… well maybe not expensive, buffet restaurants to experience this meal.

Rider game tonight so must sign off.

Progress on The Mathew

This is the model of The Mathew I am building for Meagan and Jorg.  I made this same model several years ago for Ryan and Corrie, but enjoyed it so much, I decided to do it again.

It is an easier technique in the build than the previous Frigate because the bulkheads are cut from Baltic plywood instead of forming all the frames.  This is the way kit models are made.

Works for this ship because there are no lower areas shown below the main deck.  Still an attractive model.  The upper frames are still pear wood.

Purpose for this blog is show the progress.  I am in the process of applying the hull planks up from the keel.  Love this stage as every plank has to be curved to fit and I get to use my treenails.

However the picture shows the detail I want to point out, the clamp fixture.  This allows me to tilt the model back and forth to apply the hull planks.

The device was made for me by my friend Harry after I finished his model of the Golden Hind.  Harry has skills in welding and metal work that I do not have.

This building frame has been a godsend.