Month: September 2015

Everyone smiles when they think about their ears.

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I got the notice of regatta today for the Pumpkin Regatta at Fanshawe Yacht Club. It’s this weekend. I will be sailing with Heidi on Saturday and I’m not sure who on Sunday. Heidi can’t make it Sunday. If you are interested go to fyc.on.ca for info and forms. It’s always been a good regatta. Saturday there’s a turkey dinner too! Mmm turkey. I’m looking forward to that.

Today was Taco Tuesday. So we had tacos. Heidi and I made them. She prepped the veg and I cooked the meat. Ground chicken with an onion and a couple grated carrots. Jasmine likes it so I’m going to keep putting the veg into the meat mix. I have to admit that I like it that way as well. It seems to be more hearty.

Today was a big day for Jasmine. She got a haircut and had her ears pierced! She has been asking about the ear piercing for a few years now. Can I get my ears pierced…. Please…

Well on the way home from the wedding she asked again. (Persistence pays off!) Heidi finally said yes! Yes you can have your ears pierced if you really really want to. (Heidi justified this decision on how well Jasmine behaved on the weekend. She was really good and didn’t complain when there was nothing for kids to do at the wedding. We kept getting comments from strangers at the wedding about how well behaved she was… (We must be doing something right…)

So after we indoctrinated her that she was a big girl now and had to live up to big girl standards we took her to the mall. Heidi and I don’t like the mall. It’s like a foreign environment for us. I personally can only take about 30 min and I’ve had enough. Heidi used to work in the mall so she can take it a little more. I think for me it’s that it is so pretentious. (Note: I’m a Yacht Club Member saying this!.) I know the yacht club is more down to earth. (that could be the thing. No natural environment. Just glitz and glitter. And $$$$$$$$$$

Jasmine got a Bob hair cut. Me being bald doesn’t give me any permissions to comment on any hair styles. But her haircut looks good. After the haircut it was off to the piercing place. Not the one that does tattoos as well. The one in the mall that sells hair clips, earrings, and frilly stuff that I have no idea of the purpose of.

Heidi signed the forms in triplicate and some girl poked holes in Jasmine’s ears with a fancy stamp thing. It was over in 30 seconds. (The paper work and the care instructions took 45 minutes… )

Jasmine is so happy. She can’t help smiling when she thinks about her ears. (Everyone smiles when they think about their ears.) Try it….

See.

I made a video about the experience and have edited it. I am having trouble loading it to YouTube but should have it rendered and up by tomorrow.

Yes the seeley eyed librarian gave me a new library card!

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I got it! Yes the seeley eyed librarian gave me a new library card! She also charged me $2 for it!

I was going to a all candidates meeting at the Wolf performance hall tonight for 7pm. It’s part of the Central library downtown. So since I was dressed nicely and 10 minutes early I thought I’d give trying to get a new library card a try.

I walked into the library and stood at the front of the lane. Nice and tall. No one was behind the desk… (Probably watching my posture on video surveillance from in the back.) I just stood their with a nice smile and waited patiently. Then she appeared in a puff of smoke. How can I help you she said while staring right through me. I said good evening. Can you help me. I have lost my library card. She just stared for what seemed like an eternity… Then she said can I see some photo ID… Of course you can. Will my driver’s license suffice? She said yes. So I gave it to her.

She looked at it closely and memorized the signature for what was to come. There is a $2 replacement fee for the card.

Oh I see here…. (Never a good thing to hear from any person in a library!) You have an outstanding late fine of $2. Can I take care of that now I asked shyly.

She said of course… Then she grabbed the computer screen and wrenched it around in my direction and said. Is that all correct? I said yes.

Then she tried to get rid of me… I see you home branch is Cherry Hill… I replied That is the closest to my house. However I don’t like going their. It’s full of old people. (It’s surrounded with retirement apartments.) The lines take too long at Cherry Hill. She smiled.

She then made me sign the back of the card while she watched… I guess I did Ok because she let me keep it! She even validated my parking when I asked! So I got free parking for the small fee of $4.

After I ran from the library I went to the hall that the meeting was to take place in and found the doors locked… # other people were there for the meeting as well… Somehow we didn’t get the right information. Hmm. Email scandal…?

I’ve been playing more with the video editing software and am really liking the program.

It’s very easy to use and you can do complicated things easily. I thought that I would practice on the stock I took at the aquarium before I got to the wedding stuff. It’s going well. I’m about ½ done and need to upload more videos into the program to continue. I’ll do that tomorrow.

They didn’t tell me that I was the photographer…

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So there was a wedding yesterday. I think I mentioned something about it in yesterday’s blog post… Here is the rest of what happened…

Before the wedding I dropped the girls off and hung out in an empty English pub and played with the new Video editing software. When I was playing and after I had taken things up to the room I noticed that something was missing.

Coleman! My little sock monkey buddy. He was still back at the Radisson hotel! I was at the Old Mill about 30 min away. And I didn’t have an hour plus to go get him. (Jasmine made him for me when she was 4. Yes she could sew at 4!)

So I called the hotel and left a message for housekeeping to please save him. I told them that that they could call me and arrange something to get him back. I left it like that until I was speaking with Heidi. She said… Forget about him! (How could I have married such a heartless woman!) I said… Never! Then I got on the phone again to the Radisson. This time to the front desk. Luckily the lady remembered us checking out. I told her my friends were checking in any time and that the hotel could just give Coleman to them. Then I sent a txt to my buddy Aidan and his wife Wendy. They thought I was joking… However after many txt they said that they would get him for me.

Wedding time. 4:55pm I go into the chapel with my camera, bag and extra tripod. I’m told by the reverend that their was a professional photographer and that no pictures are to be taken during the ceremony…. But I was supposed to Skype call a friend In Thailand!!! for the couple… The reverend said. Oh you must be the photographer… I said… Sure.

So I set up my tripod off to the side at the front. (I didn’t know I was supposed to do this…) I did tell them that I would take video of the ceremony but I thought I would get the typical guest view from behind… They didn’t tell me that I was the photographer…

So having set up I just stood up front during the whole thing. I Skyped our friend Leona in Thailand through the whole thing. She on the LG G3 was in my left hand while I ran and moved the camera/ tripod with the right. It worked out really well. My first professional wedding shoot. Leona told me that it felt like she was there in the chapel. People I didn’t know came up to me afterwards and referred to me as the photographer in conversation. People that know me told me I looked really professional and like I knew what I was doing… Some lady asked me how long I’ve been a photographer…

LOL! I have a $10 tripod from some junk shop in a flea market. My Canon PowerShot S5 cost me $40 with the bag, 8 gig card and 8 new Duracell batteries. The other tripod I have, the Chinese knock off of a Gorilla flexible tripod was $8 from China. The head mount on it was $15 from Kijiji. I was wearing a nice suit though. That’s probably what did it. I look good in it. Really!

After the ceremony we all went to have pictures of the guests on the big stairs of the hotel… I missed this somehow…(Chatting with well dressed strangers.) Then it was off to the reception dinner. I took some video then too. Stuff like the wedding party entering the room. Some of the speeches. (Heidi’s) and I did a walk around of the hotel with the video running. Just the nice parts like the gardens, fancy places, etc.

I took Jasmine up to the room about 11:30 and we caught up on Casey Neistat videos. (Check him out! He does some great stuff on YouTube. Daily Vlogs that kick butt! I would love to do video work like that.) Hmm maybe that is why I got a video editing software package… (It’s why I got the Chinorilla tripod.)

Heidi got back to the room about 1:30 after helping clean up the hall.

Today we all slept in. 10 am slept in! Heidi and Jasmine wanted to go get breakfast. They got to the restaurant just before they were closing. (2 min before.) The restaurant was great. They gave the girls take out boxes and said got to town and take whatever you want. So they filled the boxes and came back to the room and shared. I stayed back to have a shower and was surprised when they arrived with the food. I ended up having smoked salmon on a dark rye bread that had seeds in it with Gouda cheese and thinly sliced lightly pickled onions. I also had some fruit. Not bad for a complimentary breakfast!

By contrast the Radisson had scrambled eggs (Good ones too! Soft and squishy. Mmm) Sausages, and home fries, along with 3 types of bread to toast, BB, Jam, 5 different dry cereals and Oatmeal on demand. I thought I was in heaven when I opened the steam tray and saw those soft squishy scrambled eggs! They were the type out of a bag too! Made to perfection! (Ever had those hard dry scrambled eggs… Yea. None of that at the Radisson!) Everything else was great too!

We packed up and I took the stuff to the car. Their was some type of African wedding going on across the river in the park. So I walked down to the bridge and took a look. It was interesting. The bride stood alone in the middle of the park on some pedestal. She looked to be 9’ tall! All the women that attended wore white dresses with white woven or crocheted shawls over their heads like a head scarf. I didn’t get to see a lot of it because Heidi came looking for me. My presence was requested by the bride and groom.

Heidi had got up to there room to give them our gift and drop off Paula’s shoes…I don’t know how she got them? They wanted to thank me for videotaping the wedding. So I told them it was no problem and that I would give them an edited copy when they returned from Italy in 4 weeks. (That gives me time to figure out the new program.)

We took off around 1 pm and just hit the highway for home. Traffic was good all the way.

once home Jasmine had to go play with her friends down the street. Heidi needed a nap. And I needed charcoal and meat. I went shopping and got what chicken legs, charcoal and other stuff we need for the week. I lit the charcoal when I got home and marinated the chicken. Chopped beets and carrots to roast on the BBQ and got to it.

On Thursday Jasmine and the neighbor girl decide to have all the girls on the street over to watch Shaun the Sheep at our house… They even made posters and distributed them to all the girls on the street… So at 6:30 we had a house full of little girls and they had a blast.

I would have liked to go sailing but Heidi needed help with crowd control. So I ended up being the only boy at the girls party again.

True to life. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride.

I got a txt this morning that operation save Coleman had been a success! They now were holding him ransom though! they will keep him until we come over for dinner next! I sent a txt back thanking them and offering to bring burgers for tonight. Heidi thinks that was a little too fast so I said any day this week except Wed or the weekend. (I’m Sailing.)

I’m relieved that Coleman is safe and in the hands of new captors. I plan to write a nice letter to the head of the Radisson Hotel chain about our experience with their service. And the beds! Wow were they great! I think it’s time for a new one for Heidi and I now.

To be continued….

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It’s been a busy day. It’s also the next day as I write. 12:05 am Sunday.

I was up late last night playing with the new editing software. I didn;t get a lot done but I’m figuring stuff out. I went to bed about 2am. The fire alarm went off at about 2:30 am~! Yes the fire alarm. I didn’t know what it was at first. It wasn’t a typical fire alarm bell or like any smoke detector or even alarm system that I had ever heard before. It came from a speaker in the kitchen area fo the suite. It was such an odd noise that I called the front desk to ask what it was… The guy that answered the phone said… Alarm… And that was hard to understand. English isn’t his best language.

So Alarm…? Why. Is that smoke I smell? Why do I smell smoke in my hotel room? Is it my battery charger? Have I cooked some batteries? Hard to tell because the faint smell of smoke is everywhere… I looked out the door. No smoke. Same smell.

That’s when Heidi got up. She wanted me to turn off the noise thing… (Alarm… Of course it had to be me making the noise…) Then the guy that I spoke with on the phone got on the loudspeaker in the room. (The same thing that was making the noise.) He said that their was a fire alarm situation…. Guests are asked to stay in their rooms. Great! We were on the 14th floor! I know I can get down 12 floors in less than a minute but that is with no one on the stairs and no family to bring along. We listen to the guy I spoke with announce that the fire department will take care of the situation. That’s when I determined that the problem wasn’t me and I put the batteries back on to charge. We sat up while Jasmine slept through the noise. The whole thing only lasted about 30-40 min. We went to bed when a firefighter got on the loudspeaker and said that everyone could return to their rooms. (We were told to stay in…?)

Wow that bed was comfy! Really really comfy! It had some type of sleep aid thing that you turned on and it did something that helped you go to sleep… Sleep Number…? I didn’t know how or why it worked. It just did.

We got to the Old Mill for 12:30 for the girls to get ready and have pictures taken. I got to have free play time! We couldn’t check in until 4 so I took my laptop and camera and went and hung out in the deserted bar. It was great. An empty bar with comfy chairs and tables. And an electrical outlet near one table. I sat their. I knew that I would have to plug my laptop in at some point. It only lasts about 1:20 minutes on the battery alone while online. I was going to play some more with the video editing software. It uses more juice while doing that.

I did play for about 2 hours uploading scenes from our trip to the aquarium. Then I watched a couple YouTube videos on how to use the software… Still have a way to go to get it down…

We asked at the front desk if we could check in earlier than 4pm and they gave me a call around 2. So I went and got the luggage from the car and put it in our room. The I went back to the bar to edit. The bar started to fill up around 3:30 so I got out of their and came to the room to get changed into my suit.

Heidi has returned from the dance. I brought Jasmine back early. I’ll finish this later on Sunday.

Blue Cheese Butter Cod. MMMM!

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I’m currently sitting at a office desk in a Radisson hotel near the airport. The suite is as big as our house. A little nicer too… There’s 2 big flat screen TV’s, microwave, coffee maker, sinks… Everything but an oven. It’s 10:30 and we just got in from dinner. Jasmine and Heidi have gone to bed. They had a big day.

We left London at 10 and showed up at the Ripley’s Aquarium at noon. The traffic was good until we got on the Gardiner Expressway. Then it slowed down for construction. We parked just outside of the aquarium and just about under the CN Tower.

I bought the digital camera in with us. I’m glad I did! That place is awesome! I took tons of video and a bunch of pictures. Mostly of the fish. They are everywhere! In tanks. In picture. In videos. Everywhere but the cafeteria… (More on that later…)

We had a great time and could have spent another hour or so looking at all the fishes. But we had to go to the wedding rehearsal at the Old Mill.

We didn’t stop for lunch before we got to the aquarium so we stopped at a fish and chip shop near the Old Mill. Yes Fish and Chips. Mmm seeing all those delicious fish got us hungry. We didn’t have fish though… Just a large basket of chips. After that we went to the Old Mill. We had hoped to go to the hotel first and change but were short on time. So I changed out of my shorts into my pants in the parking lot and the girls changed in the washroom at the Old Mill.

That place is huge! It must have at least 6 conference rooms. One chapel and an old mill part. I didn’t even figure out where the hotel rooms were… The practice wedding went well enough. Now everyone knows where to stand and when to stand there.

After the practice wedding we went and checked into the Radisson. It’s a really nice room. Other than the airplane noise it’s great. (We are very close to the Toronto International Airport…) I guess we are a little used to the sound of the planes for the Yacht club back home. It’s at the end of the runway for the London Airport.

we only had about 30 min  to get ready for dinner. Dinner was at the Old Mill Brew Pub downtown. (No affiliation with the Old Mill Hotel.) Traffic was a problem. A normally 25 min drive took an hour! So we ended up being about 20 min late. We didn’t miss ordering though. We just walked in and glanced at the menu and ordered.

I had the steak with Blue Cheese Butter and hand cut French fries. Hand cut in this case was running the french fry cutting machine. (One would use your hand to manipulate your finger into a straight position to push the ON button.) The food was good. I’m going to improve on the blue cheese butter once we get home… I have really nice blue cheese and butter in the fridge. A steak in the freezer too…

Heidi did what I had hoped she would do. She ordered fish and chips! Yes! After seeing all the pretty delicious fish  in the early afternoon she ate one. I think that is one of the reasons I married her.

Now we are back at the hotel. I uploaded the last of the software that I purchased yesterday. I figured that I may as well download it while we were out.

I have looked at the videos I took and look forward to editing them with the new software.

I won’t have time tonight to play with it. I have to make sure all the pictures and videos are downloaded to the laptop and the SD cards need wiped before tomorrows wedding festivities.

I am going to use my camera to video the ceremony and will give the newly married couple a copy for them to keep. (My new software has a specific wedding editing and showcase template that I will use. Should be super easy.)

Dog gone!

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Dog gone! More correctly… Dogs gone!

They left today after supper. Mom came into town and we had supper here. (Seafood lasagna, beets, rice and salad.) We went for a walk to the school down the street after supper to show mom how well behaved her wild hounds were now. They did pretty good. Bad Dog 2 ran along off the leash and followed Bad Dog 1 all over the place. It even showed mom that it can jump up onto and over the containment step at the play area. (Mom thinks that is is too delicate to jump or run. Not any more. It’s just like any other regular dog that is smaller than a guinea pig.)

After our walk and after viewing mom’s vacation pictures she loaded the dogs in the back of the Smart car and headed for home. She and we forgot to give her the baby gate that keeps the dogs out of Jasmine’s room. We can drop it off in a couple weeks when we go out to visit or she can pick it up when she is in London next.

I’m still considering video editing programs… (Been looking again tonight.) I don’t know if I want to just jump all in or get something that will just do. I’m using this site to compare programs. http://video-editing-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

After some more research I went with the PowerDirector 14. Ultimate version. From Ciberlink.com for $ 116.99 after $13.00 in coupons. (Got to Google for coupons…) It’s regularly $129.00. (Somehow theirs $.99 unaccounted for…?) I’ll have to email and ask about that.

It has great reviews and from what I have seen looks easy enough to use for a guy like me.

Now the learning begins. It comes with an  Android app so I can edit on my phone or tablet. That is super handy! If I’m traveling I can edit on the go.

I got the download version and am downloading it now. The first of 7 files only should take an hour…! I think the other files are smaller. I hope.

I’m taking my laptop to Toronto so I can play around with the new program on the weekend. I’m also taking my digital camera and phones to record video of our adventures. (The wedding too.) I have all the batteries charged and ready to go. Just have to free up some space on the memory cards and I am good to go.

During the wedding I am going to be Skyping our friend Leona so she can watch it. She is in Vietnam teaching English. (She says it’s warm…) She is 11 hour ahead of us so she will be getting up at 4am her time to watch. It should be a pretty good quality video because I’m going to use my LG G4 to do it. I think I can only use the back facing camera but that is OK because it is 8 megapixel. The front would be better because it is 16 megapixel but I don’t know if I can switch them around or not. I’ll try for sure.

Tomorrow morning we’re going to the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. I told Jasmine we are going fishing… She will be surprised.

I plan to do videos of the aquarium and just general Toronto stuff and will post them on my YouTube channel as I get them edited. Hopefully it won’t be a big learning curve for the new editing software.

It’s nice not having the dogs around. So nice.

Oil leak.

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I fixed a oil leak on the SAAB today. It was leaking from around the CPS that I Installed last week. I noticed that it was leaking a little while I was parked at a stoplight. Smoke would come out from under the hood. It smelt like burning oil… Or half burnt oil in this case.

It was dripping onto the exhaust pipe. Not a good thing… Because oil does burn… I use synthetic oil in the SAAB because that is what the manufacturer calls for. Good reason too. It has a high flash point. Higher than conventional oil. This being a Turbo car the oil shouldn’t be old dino oil. That stuff burns much easier. It also gets burnt in the engine… It turns to carbon chunks like coffee grinds.

Those coffee grind chunks clog the oil pick up and can starve the engine for oil. That is a bad thing! First thing to go is the main rod bearings on #3 cylinder… Then it’s #4 and then it’s all over.

It doesn’t take long to go from a knocking to a big clunk and no working.

I didn’t loose much oil. 250-300ml maybe. That’s not much.

I had to remove the CPS and apply gasket sealant to it and the rubber O ring to get it to quit leaking. Just the rubber O ring should have been enough to stop any leaking but it didn’t for some reason. It ripped part of the rubber O ring off when I tightened it down originally. It shouldn’t do that. The CPS only goes in one way… And that is what caused the leak. The ripped O ring…

I went to the yacht club to race after supper today. No one was there… Well 2 other guys. Brian and John. John had his small trimaran out and was playing around.

While I rigged the boat and made a video of doing so Brian came over and chatted with me. I asked him if he wanted to come out with me. He said sure, So off we  went. We almost got out of the mooring field before the wind died… It stayed dead too. So we drifted along mostly going forward but sometimes going sideways with the slow lake current. I had to use the outboard motor to get us back into the dock.

After we put the boat away we went over to the gabians and removed the cement forms for one of them. I didn’t bring any tools and all Brian had was a an adjustable crescent wrench… The wrench got the nuts loose on the threaded rod so we could break them the rest of the way off.

So now there is one concrete pad that we couldn’t take apart that still has the from on it.

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