Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Road Weary or Just Pain Tired

A warning for those of you who like to get every last mile out of your tires. This mile may be your last. Our poor van barely made it to the side of the road when our tire went.
When the tire did decide to throw away it's last breath, it made sure we knew it had had enough. This is all that was left, a sad reminder of something that used to be round.
Once our tire was literally 'rubbed out' we were stuck on the left shoulder of the rainy HWY401, with no way to A: make enough room to replace with the donut, and B: get the donut out from under the van even if we were able to swap it. Tow truck anyone? How about a side of flashing OPP cruiser with that? As if our van doesn't attract enough attention as is...

Hey! That reminds me. When you see any kind of emergency vehicle on the side of any multi-lane highway, you HAVE to (by law) switch lanes, leaving a full empty lane between you and the emergency vehicle. Police, fire, ambulance, even tow truck. Basically anything with flashing lights. If you really want to know why, stand on the side of the road with cars and trucks going by at 100-150kph less than 3 feet from you.

(addendum: Please don't stand by the side of the road with cars and trucks going by at 100-150kph less than 3 feet from you. Just take my word for it, move over.)

At least someone benefited from all of this. (someone other than the tow truck driver and the Canadian Tire store that got a big unexpected tire sale) Yes, it was the OPP officer who got to shuttle the kids to the garage. She was able to learn, in under 10 mins, every single detail about every single thing you ever wanted to know about Lego Space Police. That's got to be better than trampling national anthem singing hoodlums downtown.

I guess she wasn't too put out, because she took the time to snap a few shots of the kids posing in the car as we waited to get unhooked from the tow truck.

Leah would now almost consider a career in law enforcement, except they won't let you keep your stuffed toys in the trunk.Quinn swears he wasn't giving gang signs here. He was simply "pointing a fake gun" at the officer taking the picture. Let's hope this is the last time he sees the inside of this kind of vehicle.

In conclusion, check your tires and watch for emergency vehicles on the side of the road. Otherwise you might end up missing more than your itty bitty baby cousin's wedding. (although the reception was smashing!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

January Wish List

Well here we are, January. I've been a bit neglectful of this blog, but with relatively good reason. I believe actually living life should generally take precedence over writing or musing about it. Having said that, it seems my version of living life is working 24/7.

Truthfully though, the past few weeks have been slower work-wise. Christmas was nuts as usual, and now I am recovering from a minor elective surgery. Nothing serious, but tends to take the wind out of your sails for a week or two. I am now firmly on the road to recovery, and looking down it I once again see the looming mountain of work waiting for me. Perhaps now is a good time to pause, and think about what is needing to be done in the next few months.

There are several things I'd like to accomplish this year aside from my current day (and night) job. In no particular order they are as follows:

1) I'd like to start a second blog.
"HA!" you say. "Because there is so much material bursting out of your head you need to spread it out between 2 blogs?! Ha! again!"
Actually I'd like to start an illustration blog, with my own pictures and drawings. I just feel it would be best to keep that in a separate section of the virtual world, as I think it would have a very different theme and feel from this blog. Of course, it means I have to have content to post, and since the majority of my work is not for public viewing, this presents a hurdle.

2) I'd like to post more often on this blog. C'mon, at least once a month for pity's sake.

3) I HAVE to redo the Goat website. It was created before the gallery itself, and since the whole project was and is an ever evolving process, the current website has little to do with the actual 'Goat-tique' This has to be a priority this winter.

4) I really should be adding to the collection of sculptures I have made so far. They were'nt quite as big a hit as they were the first year, and I believe the line needs some freshening up with some new life put into it.

5) I'd like to make it to EVERY comic jam this year. So far I get to about one in three or so. Not only is it a fun night out, but there are great people there to connect with socially and industry wise.

6) Oh let's see what else. There are about a billion things that need doing all around the house. Electrical upgrades, kitchen and bathroom renos, insulation, windows, doors, exterior steps, tree cutting downs and ups, barn upgrade projects... The list is endless, and so is the price tag.

Well that's the major stuff anyways. There's more but maybe on a more personal level. If I manage most of the stuff on the list it'll be a stellar year, but we'll see what happens. Of course it's already the waning half of January, and once I manage to get this couch off my butt I've got some real stuff to do, but it's still early enough to have hope.

Here's a wintery shot of the barn for you, while you wait for me to return.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Leah!

Leah turns 11 tomorrow. Cats! 11 already. I figure I've got about 2 years max to get my FAC and have time to do some practice before all Hades breaks loose around here. Yikers!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weeping Willows

Well the 100 year old willows at the back of the property are finally showing their age by falling over. They technically aren't weeping willows, but we sure are sad to see them go. There is a constant flow of life on and around them, and they provide us with lots of shade and block the winds that come down the river. This one fell a week ago while I was in Ottawa visiting friends.

It's up off the ground high enough that I can drive the lawn tractor under it. I guess I'll wait till winter when I can walk out on the ice to cut it up. It is actually still alive, and has shown no signs of dying off. It was leaning way over before, and has really just changed its pitch as opposed to falling over. There is probably about a 10 degree difference in its angle now. There is no splitting visible at its base. Maybe it's just resting?

This one fell Friday night. We were just saying goodnight to some friends who were over, when we heard what we thought was one of Quinn's lego boxes falling over. We grabbed a flashlight and went out to discover it lying in the river. This one was overdue to fall, it has been sporting a large crack that has been getting larger for the past few months. Now that it is down you can see that the core is really punky. It's actually a miracle that it stayed up as long as it did.

Everyone was excited to go and check it out the next day, including the cats who crawled all over it. Maybe they were just looking for birds.

Others also came to see it. This heron stood on it for quite some time.

Out of the 9 trees we had back there, 7 are left. From those at least 3 maybe 4 more need to be cut down soon before they fall. Only one of those is posing any danger to us, leaning sort of the wrong way. The rest are likely to fall away from the house (and propane tank) Still, cleaning them out of the river is not an easy task. Looks like I'll need a new chain for the chainsaw in my stocking this year. And the kids will need a new spot to hang their tire swing.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Beer Can Chicken

I love this way of cooking chicken. For me, I tend to over cook things on the bbq, so chicken in particular gets kind of dry. By shoving a beer can (or pop) up it's nethers, it allows me to leave it on the q for extra time, and keeps it very moist. Of course I burned the veggies cause I waited too long, but so be it.

Here he is after just a few minutes.

I've used a can of Kilkenny, but I have used others such as coke in the past. I put him on a tin pie plate, cause the first time I did it I didn't use anything, and the result was a pretty black chicken. We don't generally eat the skin, so it didn't really matter, but the pie plate also allows you to baste. The result is a beautifully colored chicken, like this.

He needs just a few more minutes here. I use a digital thermometer to make sure he is cooked through. Really I worry more about the kids than myself. I've never had any problems, but I assume it's because I'm careful. And probably lucky.

I also refuse to buy a beer can chicken holder. You see these things around pretty much anywhere. I really believe it's a gimmick designed to take your money. Think about it, chickens can stand very well from the moment they are hatched. How is this different? Well, OK, it's not really standing on it's own, but I think you'll find the little pecker will stand up remarkably well. Between the can and the legs and its butt, it's pretty stable. The tough part is getting it on and off the grill. I just used an oven mitt and a pair of tongs, and had some help with the sliding door.

This bird was basted with an olive oil/basil/Italian salad dressing mix, and I stuck a few cloves of garlic down his gullet as well. The garlic flavors the bird of course, but it also helps to trap in some of that steam, which is the main idea of this method after all.

Try it, I'm telling you it makes a damn fine bird!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Buddy!

Quinn is 8 years old today! Add his sister in and it's been over a decade since I've had a decent night's sleep. Quinn is a fabulous kid though, and despite the occasional trouble he gets into, we love him tons and couldn't be happier. Tonight we will celebrate by going to the local Comic Jam held at a restaurant/pub in town. For Quinn it's less about the drawing and more about eating out. He insists that they will be able to make him a cupcake. It is after all, his special day.

Now that I've broken my many months long silence, I promise to continue adding to this blog. It's been a busy winter/spring, and it promises to be an even busier summer!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Dining on the Dindon

Yes, I know, I know, I'm a bad blogger. It's just that I've been really really busy! Honest! There are tons of things I should be doing, (You DON'T want to see the list, trust me) but instead I spend most evenings sleeping on the couch. You see I've been working of late. Strangely the job started about the same time I stopped adding to this blog...hmmmmm... Yes, my close to a year long retirement has come to an end, and I am back to the mines, although this time I am mining other things altogether. I've been working with a barn reconstruction crew, quite a bit different than the old TV animation work. I'm outside every day in pretty much all kinds of weather, and actually enjoying it quite a bit. It's good hard honest work, and I can come home and tell my kids (somewhat piously) that TV is bad for them and they are best to avoid it. That always seemed a bit hypocritical given my last gig where I was responsible for creating it...

Anyhoo here we are, I've managed to find a bit of time and actually have something to write about. Lesley's mom is here preparing 'Butch' the turkey . (You may need to know who Stuart Mclean is to get that reference. Honestly, this turkey has less skin than a pot bellied stove and is actually missing an arm. Wing - whatever.) While she was stitching it up and warming the stove, Belle was by the back door barking. Now that the leaves are gone from the trees you can see into the fields behind our house, and she often barks at the horses there, and she had just come in minutes before from chasing squirrels away from the feeder. However, as Rose looked up she saw this:A group of wild turkeys wobbling along the opposite bank of the river. The dog was going nuts, the kids started shouting for slingshots and bb guns, (blood thirsty little imps) but I smartly grabbed the camera instead. Watching these blokes wandering so close to our house was kind of funny for me, as I have been reading a very old copy of Robin Hood stories, and just finished the section where Little John and the rest of the gang rescue Will Stutely from hanging. Now I'm sure that the Sheriff had no plans of eating poor Will, and I doubt the feral turkeys would have even recognized the pale, goose-bumpy, one armed, headless, naked, stuffed with breadcrumbs and held together with skewers cousin of theirs in my kitchen sink, but still, it struck me as odd, and while everyone looked intensely out the windows, I quietly latched the door. No one was going stop Butch from reaching my plate. Not my own stuffed to the gills stomach, not it's 'Utility Grade' classification, not a knife fight, and certainly not a roving pack of wild turkeys.

Have a great holiday!