A Hot Little Number

The day, like any other day started innocently enough wit coffee and internet, but then BW got the case of the Sunday’s again where for some reason, hanging out all day in your underpants on a beautiful July day isn’t her idea of a good time. Who knew?

So.. the plan was to go get one of these first: Beef on weck

That, my friends is a beef on weck that is only sold on an aptly named food truck called roaming buffalo, and then go to the botanical gardens to look at all the pretty flowers and I could give my new wide angle lens a workout.

So, food first and then double back to the gardens. Trouble started when we realized this food truck was a car show in a small town in western New York called, Marilla, and that this car show is pretty big, and once you’ve parked and walked a mile or two you realize just how big this car show really is, and of course the food truck is at the far end of the show. Best laid plans and all..

 

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We walked…

beautiful wife

and walked some more..(hoo, do I love that dress)

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And along the way we managed to see a car or two:

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Lots of red cars today out there…

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We really didn’t stick around too long because we really weren’t looking to go to a car show and really – we just wanted to go for a sunday drive and get some roast beef on a bun for lunch and then hit the botanical gardens afterwards.

But, after walking for so long and with some of us not really dressed for walking (It’s all about the shoes) we gracefully bowed out of the middle of nowhere new york and made our way home.  We stopped for Vietnamese on the way home to end our perfect sunny July day.

Hope everybody had a great one!

 

Fast and Furious

Well, fast anyway.  Check this out:

fast dog

(click the photo to enlarge)

This is Bailey who is Canadian just like me (and we both have the same svelte physique) but boy can this dog run. Holy.

He tagged along with his owners, S and A who popped over the border to drink beer, talk silly and run around in the backyard (the dogs, not me )

And of course, thedog was thrilled to have the company:

dog and scott

TheDog just loves people of any size be it adults or kids.

New Dog on the Block 

I should back up a bit and introduce the characters: S and A are good friends I met playing tennis more than a few years ago now..

Wait, I have to interrupt this story with an important update:

BW comes into the room just now with the laptop and says “Here’s the diamond ring you can buy me when you ask me to marry you again” How soon they forget. I sold my prized possessions so that I could scrape up the scratch for her current rock, and then just over a year later, she’s shopping for a new one. Sigh, and you wonder why I need to blog – it’s therapy for married guys one word at a time.

Ok, back to my story. S and I have been friends for some time and are great friends to have and they have no problem with coming to see me and BW. (Also, the gas is cheaper too), and it was really good to see them again. And, as the photos dictate we ate well too. (again). For a time, S and A let me live in their basement until I could move over to the USA and get married. They would feed me every night, so now that I can return the favor, I am more than happy to host (with much help by BW. If it were up to me, chips and salsa would have been the main event.

 

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Bailey is a new addition to S and A’s household and has only been with them for a few months, but once I got over the fact that it’s one big dog and the speed of which it can run, this is one quiet (if a bit lanky) dog and it was a pleasure to have Bailey and Co. come for a visit.

Greyhound Dog

If you’d ever have told me I would be at my happiest with not one, but TWO dogs around me I would have told you that you were crazy. But now that I’m married and in love with BW – well, never say never. It was a day of sunshine, beer, steak and ice cream.

How can you beat that? Oh, wait – apparently with more diamonds. Sigh.

All in the Family

If there’s been one change I have had this year since getting hitched this winter (note to self, six months coming up – buy flowers) it’s that I never, ever get lonely. Either people are in our house or we, in theirs.

This past week alone, we will have hosted 3 times by the time the week ends. I’m not used to this – all these people around me, all the time🙂

Now, this is all tongue in cheek and all –  but between hosting and painting there sure isn’t a whole lot of ‘me’ time lately (that, and fixing computer problems for BW, but we’ll leave that alone…hoo boy touchy subject)

Take this Tuesday, for example. We had company, or visitors and it was my family that came to see me. They brought gifts, and of course we had a lovely time as we spent time together away from the TV:

TV in the USA is just cooler.

All is not bad on the Island of Grand, though because when we host or get hosted, one thing happens time and time again, and that is: we eat well. A little too well, methinks:

I need to get skinny

If you can’t read the numbers, that’s OK. Let’s just pretend they’re low. My point is that with all this social dining lately, I think I am starting to feel gravity’s pull a touch more than I am used to.

I blame the following:

Burgers

Burgers with Blue Cheese Dressing

medium rare steak

Grilled Sirloin Steak

Cheesecake

This might have something to do with my weight increase too I think.

If you recall, when I started this blog I told you we did this. Well, it’s been some time since that actually happened let me tell you, and much to BW’s dismay we have to start again. There’s a fine line between fat and happy, and well – just fat.

The takeaway is that all this socializing comes with a price, and that price has to be paid in 2 mile daily increments or else.. like I said, fat.

I guess that this is a small price to pay for visiting with your friends and family, and truth be told – it’s priceless. But all this socializing sure is hard on a (former) skinny guy’s waistline.

 

 

I’m a Mac.

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T’was five months before christmas,
and all through the house,
there was screaming and crying
and waving of mouse.

She huffed and she puffed,
and she blew the house down,
and I’m very very sure
they could hear straight across town

The excitement you see,
was based on this quiz:
what better OS?
Mac or PC?

Comments and Accents,
were needed by B.
And when the Mac doesn’t work
she calls upon me.

At that my friends is when
the story goes south.
For I made this mistake:
I opened my mouth.

She just wanted the Mac
to do what she wants.
She doesn’t want answers,
just the comments to work.

I tried and I tried,
to explain that you can’t
The Mac doesn’t have bubbles
and that truly blows.

So now here we are, with the
Apple Koolaid all drunk
Steve said it would work,
but it stinks – like a skunk.

So back we go to the store
with our heads hung so low
We bought a Mac,
but we didn’t know.

Steve said it would be better,
but Bill left some things out.
Microsoft Word is not working,
for B, without doubt.

Now here we sit,
with our old Dell PC
it’s old and it crashes,
but at least it formats

One day they will make
the PC that truly will please
but until that day comes,
I’ll be down on my knees

I’ll pray for a PC
that does what she wants.
Then I’ll be fired.
She’ll need no support

She’ll type and she’ll type
and all will just work
and I won’t feel helpless
like some big old jerk

That I cannot bring her
what she truly needs,
not computers or jewelry,
but just some hot tea.

A Story About Tea

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Since crossing over to the dark side of married life, there’s been a few things that tend to be different here in the good ‘ol USA. Not only do I stand in amazement and wonder at the cereal aisle at the local Wegmans, I am also confronted by new and unfamiliar signposts at home too.

Take tea for example. Because BW comes with an Argentinian background and family history there are many boxes in our cupboards that makadanosense to me, and the examples above are one such example. Tea is pretty big for the both of us. Despite the fact that I’m known for my coffee consumption, I have been known to drink the other hot beverage from time to time.

In fact, it’s our nightly routine to share a cup of tea together at day’s end, so it’s not like I’m a stranger to Tea. Heck, even thedog is named after what looks a lot to me, like Tea.

we now break for obligitory photo of thedog: 

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 new dog photo. old manual focus lens. even older photographer. 

Now, back to the Tea.

You see, a couple nights ago we were well into our routine on tea making when BW called from upstairs: “ I’ll have a Boldo”

“What’s a Boldo?” I asked,

“It’s Tea – it’s in the cupboard with the other teas”, she says “Boldo is for the stomach, and Tilo is for Stress”

I then ask her what Boldo tastes like, and BW says it tastes like a herbal tea.

I then ask what Tilo tastes like because, surely it all can’t be the same.

“It tastes like Boldo” she says

Now, this is where I went.. huh?  This was not the answer I was expecting at all. I mean, how can two teas taste alike? especially when they’re designed for different purposes? I mean, the stomach tea and the stress tea taste the same? really?

The takeaway: All Tea pretty much tastes the same, rergardless of name or country of origin.

That, and you can never have enough photos of thedog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Bug

With the invention of this little blog o’mine, I’ve re-affirmed my love of photography. It’s become a challenge of sort to have some sort of decent art to go with the story. I blame my journalism training.

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All this to say, It’s been a while since my camera has been picked up.

When BW and I were courting, due to the US/Canada border thing, it was a pain to bring the camera along. Coming into the US, it was not only more gear to haul, but the less stuff you bring with you the better. And for the Canucks, they just want to tax me and again – a hassle to bring the camera with me and then explain that I didn’t buy the digital camera in the USA, but in Canada.

This means that all our photos up until we got married were probably shot with a smartphone, which is a shame. I did shoot our wedding invite flowers one weekend in Toronto, but that’s about it.

But, boy oh boy, am I making up for lost time lately. That, and I found eBay and that the old school lenses and camera gear  go for a song:

Take this Nikon EM with lens: Total cost $37.00 shipped!

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I had bid on this only for the lens, a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 E series lens. It’s known as ‘pancake lens’ as it only protrudes from the camera an inch or so, and is fine and fast manual focus lens – the camera was a bonus and is in absolutely pristine shape! I’ve put a roll of film through, and have yet to have it processed, but all seems to work.

There was a time that I’d have to have the latest and greatest camera and lenses, but I’m having a blast with this older nikon lenses and cameras. This one’s from 1979 ! These E series lenses were designed to compete with cheaper stuff, and sometimes the plastic can be a little cheesy, but the optics are superb! I took this photo with another Nikon E series lens – a 75-150mm f/3.5 zoom and it looks pretty good to me. I have a super duper zoom lens with all the latest autofocus and vibration technology, but it’s slow and heavy and costs much much more than the $50 average I paying for this stuff. In fact, I’m planning to sell the fancy superzoom to fund the entire E series collection. There’s about six lenses in total,

Of course, these are all manual focus lenses, but even with my progressive lenses in my glasses I find I can get some very sharp photos for an old guy. And this is much more fun, and these cheap lenses are fully compatible with my Nikon digital camera. The only thing I don’t get is autofocus, but all the other stuff works just fine – metering, focus indicators, the works…

In Other News..

We painted the fence!

fence

BW, bless her heart – earlier this week said “Let’s paint the fence”. Now, this is, and was fine but I have some issues I need to deal with:

  1. We’re on different time zones, BW and I. You see, to me “Paint The Fence” means first thing, like 8 or maybe 9.  The trouble with my way of thinking is that BW isn’t even awake by 8 or 9, let alone ready with a paintbrush in hand. So, after coffee, and bacon sandwiches (delicious, btw) and farting around with facebook and the like, the official start time was 12:30pm.

Folks, I gotta share: THIS DRIVES ME NUTS! If I had my way, the fence would have painted first thing and then we’ve got the entire day to do other stuff. But, now that I’m married, my way has become our way so it was a later afternoon start.

  1. BW tells me that it took her and her Dad two days to paint the fence. Even with our late start and a trip to home depot to buy more paint we were still done by 4pm. My only guess why it took two days was it had to be stained again first, and then shellacked. We just did the latter, so maybe that’s why we got off easy, I dunno.

Lastly, I’ve been busy making some changes to the site, and one is that tidy husband is more compatible when you read it on your smartphone, and the other biggie is that you can see the photos bigger than before. Every photo from now on is clickable for a bigger version. And, it’s a bit easier to read, have search engines find me, and so on..

I’ve been away for a few days from my regular blogging routine, so that’s why I haven’t been around. When I first started I thought I’d have to write every day, and a lot of days I do, but there’s days where the most exciting thing is mundane doctor’s appointments and we’ve had a bunch of them back to back this week (nothing to worry about, just maintaining the standard) and I don’t think anybody needs to hear that I had a common cold earlier this week.

I’ve got a few stories planned for this coming week, so be sure to come back and read more about our adventures.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

 

 

 

Lawn School and Old Skool.

Lawn School

One minute, your life is humming along just fine, the birds are chirping and then all your  hard work  can be wiped out in a second:

Nice hack job , eh? Sigh. I’ve spent the past month or so watering our newly placed sod day in and day out and within seconds all my efforts are wiped out. Let me  explain:

We have had zero rain this summer.  None. In fact, the rest of the lawn looks like this:

I didn’t hack this part up because I didn’t have to. There’s nothing to cut as there’s nothing to grow. But despite the fact that our entire front and back yard looks like this, the weeds grow and it’s also been a month since I cut the lawn due to the lack of rain so I also just wanted to be sure the riding mower would still start. I was doing great, and  although I was a complete newbie at the beginning of the summer when it comes to lawn care, I’ve gotten a feel for the mower and thickness settings for every other part of the lawn  – except for this:

There’s a lot of reasons why this happened, but because this is fresh sod that’s watered daily as compared to the rock hard dirt our grass (or, what was our grass) sits on – as soon as I rolled over the new sod and felt the mower sink I knew it was too late to save myself. The damage has been done. If you look closely you’ll see the roots for the grass, so here’s hoping it grows back and I can re-evaluate my grass cutting technique and mower settings again to compensate for the softer ground. At least we didn’t spend six hundred dollars for this. Even with my hack job, six hundred dollars buys a lot of replacement sod if need be. It’s a good thing we’re going to be here for a while.

Today’s lesson? You get what you pay for.

Old Skool

A couple cool things showed up in the mail recently, so I thought I’d share. BW puts her shoe purchases on facebook, so I can show off a toy or two, I figure.

Exhibit A:  Technics ST-S3 Quartz Synthesizer FM/AM Stereo Tuner

This old Technics tuner showed up in the mail today. It’s actually for my good friend Gord but I’m trying it 0ut before it goes to live at his house.

Look at those champagne buttons. 1980 was a great time to be a stereo enthusiasts. I remember poring over Stereo review magazines at stuff just like this.

Digital was still cool.

 

Exhibit B:  Nikon AF Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6

I picked up this Nikon autofocus lens for a whopping $26.00 (please don’t tell her how much). Introduced in 2001, it’s not quite as old as the stereo above, but for the price I paid and the cheezy plastic design, I’m very pleased with this lens – all the stereo photos above were taken with this 11 year old zoom lens for well under $100. One of the reasons I shoot Nikon is that every lens from photo school in 1990 still works just fine with modern digital cameras, as do all other lens from 1977 and newer.

Here’s a few sample photos from my twenty-six dollar lens:

 

These are all flowers that we grew, the snail too. 🙂  All in all, a good  day today – If only I could get my lawn mowing technique down..

 

A Weekend at the Poconos

Wow, what a busy weekend. We travelled over 800 miles round trip and saw friends, family and more in the two days we visited. One of the best parts was just hanging out, eating well and  – well, I made a list:

I Hung Out With The Ladies

Some, loved to get their photos taken:

Others, not so much.

I Watched Some Birds

Kicked Back with Nature

Made Popcorn 

You have to watch the turning – it’s all in the wrist. You just need to turn a little bit..

Because when you get it right, it’s the best popcorn ever!

I Got NO Respect

and lastly,

I Learned How To Run. Fast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Years is a Long Time

My future man cave: I have 30 years to plan the renovation.

Item number 1:

Today B managed to lock us into a 30 year mortgage at a very ridiculous mortgage rate that, according to the mortgage broker (and good friend) is the lowest mortgage rate she’s seen. EVER. 

Now, because I moved to B’s country and home, I’m still in the dark about how much things cost here, and when it comes to keeping me in the way I’ve been I have been accustomed. In fact,the finances work like this: “Jim, we have no money”, and when I hear that I stop shopping on eBay and get back to work and hand over all my income**  to she who must be obeyed. Hey, it works. 🙂

Back to the mortgage: 30 years is a long freakin’ time.  I could be buried in the backyard behind the shed by the time  we get our  digs paid off.  Hey, I just realized that with a 30 year mortgage and a water heater lifespan of 15 years, we’ll be through our second water heater before this thing is paid for. Goodness gracious. The good news is we’re locked in to that super low rate for the entire 30 years.

Item number 2 

Kind of freakin’ hot out methinks –  a perfect day to drive to Pennsylvania again this weekend  with no airco in the car. I  mean it’s not  like we were just there or anything. But with all the lack of rain our lawn is sure taking a beating. Just take a look at both the photo above, and this one.  The brown grass to green grass ratio favors the former by a big margin.

Item number 3 (and somewhat related to number 2)

BW told me today I had to stop flushing  the toilet today because of ‘the water shortage’. There’s a few issues I have with this:

  1. No.

  2. We live ON AN ISLAND. Guess what surrounds us in each and every direction? You got it – water. I mean, Niagara Falls is just down the road, once we cross the bridge over all the water we apparently don’t have. When the falls stop, then maybe I’ll reconsider but in the meantime, I’m jiggling the handle  at will.

 

Item number 4.  See the dog below? She looks kindof harmless, yes?

You are looking at the fastest, and stealthiest mouse killer (or more likely, lick to death) this side of the Canadian border.

Last night we were reading:

when we heard squeek squeek squeek coming from the back yard. Our first question was “whats’ that?”, followed by “where’s the dog?”.  Turns out the dog was outside, so we went and collected her and went to bed. in. In the am, I go to let the fuzzy one out and as soon as she’s  in the back yard, the squeeking starts again. Long story, short – apparently dogs are fast enough to catch mice. I scooped two up today that had been licked to death  and tossed ‘em in the garbage.

I doubt there will be any updates this weekend, but I can be  sure there will be more than a photo to share and a story to tell when I’m back.

Have a great weekend, all. (Hi Dad!)

**don’t tell her about my recent eBay purchases. If anybody asks, this didn’t happen. I can trust you guys, right? 

Hot, Hot, Hot ! (Water,That Is)

Okay, a whole whack of stuff to share today so let’s get started shall we?

  1. Five months ago right about now, I  was sitting  down to dinner for the first meal of many to come with my newly married beautiful bride. I know I tend to make BW as the evil wife and  she is a little silly, no doubt  – but she’s the best thing to ever happen to me. And , we’re still married newlyweds to count months  –  not  years so  I’m  enjoying this while I can. To celebrate here’s a photo of the flowers I bought her. (ok, ok..so they were seeds we planted… they’re still flowers. And, $2.99 is a lot  of money. Don’t judge me. ). Later, there’s apple pie to celebrate.

  2. If you’ve been a regular reader (Hi Dad!) you know that our numero uno project has been to buy a brand new water heater before the old one emptied its’ contents on the basement floor (the same floor where my stereo stuff lives). In Canada, we just rent the suckers until they crap out from the gas company  but here in the  good  ’ol USA you have  to buy your own. I know you’re dying from the suspense, so want to see what $1000 will get you?

You’ll notice we went all out and bought the fancy one with hydrojet. (whatever that is. My best friend works in the biz, and  he told us we did OK, so that’s somewhat reassuring.

we had the good folks from Erie Plumbing come and install this bad boy the other day and now BW can have a bath in her big soaker tub (she has yet to do so, which just baffles the mind considering that beside the fact that we needed a new heater for hot water, one would  think she would be in the tub the moment the water was up to temp.  Girls, go figure.

I know I have found the water to be considerably hotter and have to watch what I’m doing more than before so I don’t burn myself

  1. I think  they should  rename married  life to solving problems for the rest of your life. It seem that  you just sit down and whammo – another problem. I mean we just got the rental car thing sorted out and I turn around to find a hole in the garden hose.

Want to know what  I know about garden hose repair? Nothing. So.. I did what I’ve been doing all these years when I don’t know how to fix stuff. I learned this at my father’s side:

  1. Use  Vise-Grips®

  2. Use lots of tape.

  3. Deny everything

For this particular problem I applied number 2 and 3  and the results were less than stellar despite using half a roll of tape. Our garden hose ended up just looking like a snake that swallowed  a mouse.

Also, I blamed the dog. I’m not sure if she bought it though.

 

Off to the Ace Hardware store I go thinking there’s got to be a way  I can fix a garden hose rather than spending $50 or so on a new one, and I find out there is indeed a very cheap and practical method to repair garden hoses. It’s called a garden hose repair kit – the things you learn when you’ve somehow becoming the problem solver more and more every day. I turned my hose that looks like a mouse to:

This leak-free repair! I know some of you are laughing, but this is a big deal here. We’re the blind leading the blind here so I was thrilled to find this repair kit. That saves us fifty bucks, and we can put that money towards the next repair. I figure the way we drag the hose around, we’ll have about six more of these installed come this time next year.

  1. The  brake light on the car went out. Hey, it happens.

I drag out the manual and figure out how to get at the light bulb, I pop off the lens and there’s the bulb.

I yank out the old burned out bulb and go to replace it with the bulb BW had picked  up at the auto parts store. But, little did we know we had been sold the wrong bulb.  We were sent home with a  4000 and we needed a 4399. Want to know what the difference is when you look at the two? Not much. So I push and wiggle and try to get the new bulb into the socket .  I think  well, the bulb is just tight because it’s new, right? I  end up fiddling with this silly thing for much longer than I care to admit. Only then, after cracking the bulb holder does it dawn on me that maybe, maybe it’s the wrong  bulb. I compare the model numbers and sure enough..

A quick trip to the auto parts store  for an exchange and once I have the right bulb we’re up and running in ten minutes.  I’m  sharing this because this is where my day goes – dealing with the water heater guy, fixing garden hoses, walking dogs and just solving problems.

I wondered when I started  this little adventure of husband-dom what I’d be in for, and although I grumble at  times that it seems like all I do is solve problems (oh that reminds me- car needs gas, and  there’s  laundry  to do) I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy 5 months (and hot water heater day) B.

xoxo