Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Loaf of Bread

My wife is out stuffing the turkey with a loaf of bread from the "Atlantic Superstore." I noticed the price. It was $2.59, best before date was Dec 18. There was also a half-price sticker. So she paid $1.30. Then I saw that there was another sticker under it. That price said $1.25,  Again, there was a sticker under that. It said $2.49, best before date Dec. 18. A lot of time spent on that one loaf of bread.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I just seen a supermarket ad for sugar pies. Good Lord!
Raining cats and dogs. In fact, when I opened the front door to get the newspaper, there was a strange cat sitting there.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

I seldom put in to win a free book on goodreads. It seems most are book on love, vampires and werewolves.

Monday, November 17, 2014


    Not all meals are of the A1 type. As everyone knows, somewhere along the line there are leftovers. Such was the case yesterday, at least for me. In this case it was fish, leftover from the day before. Basa, from the Mekong, a type of catfish. Small world, eh? I asked my wife if she wanted any, as there was enough for two. She said no. A few minutes later she said, "I don't think I'm a fish person, I think I'm a steak person."
    She hasn't always been a steak person. I remember when we got married in Germany, we would go out and have anything from deer to frog legs. When I got transferred back to Canada, she was into club sandwiches, something you couldn't get overseas. Somewhere along the line, that morphed into steak. I asked her once why she always preferred steak. She said, " It seems such a waste to go to a restaurant and not have steak."

Sunday, November 16, 2014


    Oh! Oh! Oh! I cut my finger. Not once but twice. Washing dishes. Put the dishrag into a glass to wash it out and the side of the glass gave way, cutting my finger twice along the way. I'm blaming my wife for this. Yesterday, I suggested I be fired from this job. She said no, and now today, an injury. If she had agreed with me, I wouldn't have two bandages on my finger. Would this fall under the umbrella of a need for marijuana to dull the pain. At least there was one good result - she finished washing the dishes for me.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Down She Comes

    Last week, I had one of the trees in my backyard cut down. A maple tree about 70 feet high. The trouble was where a branch had been cut years earlier. The spot started to rot, filled with bugs that eat wood, ants, etc. I was afraid that in some future hurricane, it would blow down on my neighbors house. Right now the house is abandoned, so I don't know what the outcome would be, but the place has been sold for taxes and I am expecting a new house to be planted there. I wouldn't impress the new neighbors if my tree fell on them.
    I had two guys, about my age, do the cutting. Ex power company employees, pole climbers by trade. I told them to just get the tree down, I would look after the rest. So for the next two days, my wife and I cut it to manageable pieces for the wood stove for some time in the future, and got rid of the rest. I told my wife she would have made a great pioneer.
    The next morning I noticed that the tree next to this one didn't have a leaf on it, while the rest of the trees in the yard are still full.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Old and New

    Every weekend, our newspaper has a section on the first world war - stories, photographs. The section makes me think about previous wars. Before photography, there were paintings. Think about those from the Napoleonic Wars. Large, vivid in colors, seldom dark or morose. Wind blowing capes, horses, one foot in the air, the general, brave and daunting, in front of his troops.
    Quite a contrast from the first world war photos, with their singular color of black and white, no brave general leading his troops, but troops dragging through mud, falling over dead and dying friends. Horses pulling gun carriages, straining at the load, starving, never to see green fields again.
    The Napoleonic Wars had the same grief, the same mud with the generals at the back of their troops, and the soldiers dying in the mud.

Friday, October 24, 2014


     A couple of days ago, I wheeled my daughter into the van and drove her to Wal-Mart. It's so easy to do with the new van. I find that when I am driving, I am a touch more nervous than normal. Been driving for 55 years - not afraid of driving. At other times I drive the car and all is normal. But the van is a wheelchair type and cost over $60,000. I'm not worried about my driving, I'm worried about everyone's else's. Any type of accident would be disastrous. Even a slight touch on he back may not allow me access to the ramp, and then how would I get my daughter out. It would be a struggle getting her through the side door and I would never get the wheelchair out. So - extra careful.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Onion A Day

     Depending on airport flights, airport waits can be long, and if not prepared, tedious. I find that a book as a travelling companion is a must. With or without a book, people watching can be most interesting, productive or disheartening.
     I sit in New Jersey - my carry-all luggage wrapped around me - a chapter finished. The spies can wait while I eyeball my surroundings. Raising my head, my first blink, like a photo, captures a couple, each with a hamburger laid out on a napkin, which tries its best to stay in place on their laps. It appears each has ordered a patty with the same trimmings. As I watch, they began to trade condiments - she dislikes onions, he tomatoes, she dislikes pickles, and he lettuce - and so it goes. With trading completed - both satisfied, they press their sandwiches back together, happy for the trade. They appear to be a good match.
     A man walks by holding a submarine sandwich by three fingers. The other two fingers clasp onto a dangling plastic bag. It hangs down rigid, eight inches long, dragged down by the weight of an onion. Not just any onion, but a large one, yet unpeeled, its outer skin green and brown. Is it a souvenir - something to brag about to Midwest relatives, "Everything is large in New York, look at this onion." Then again, it could be dessert, one I would shy away from, and I suppose from anyone who consumes one raw. Wonder what flight he is on?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Italian Craftsmanship

While walking along a passageway on the Caribbean Conquest, at center I noticed a bump in the floor bearing a sign, "Watch Your Step." A year ago, on the Norwegian  Spirit, there was no such bump. I asked my son about this. "Oh," he said, " this ship was built in Italy. The ship last year was built in Germany." It seems they build Caribbean ships in a naval shipyard as two pieces, then welded together. Italian craftsmanship - maybe they should stick to purses and shoes.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Down South

Just back from three cruises down south. First, Carnival Conquest, second, Norwegian Sky, and third, a swamp boat in the everglades. No meals on the third one. I think we were the meal, catered.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Tha Best Man?

I read this from Tom Clancy. "Corrupted men only select other corrupter men to be their peers."
That reminds me of my air force career. Drunks promote drunks, cad players promote card players, and golfers promote golfers. It's the same in every business. I expect it's the same at the White House security. Then there's that Ebola farce in Texas.

On the Ball

On the ball this morning. Lathered up with shaving cream, then grabbed my hair brush.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"Red Rabbit"

Reading Tom Clancy's "Red Rabbit."
Finding it slow going.

Title To Wonder About.

Working on my book. Still haven't made up my mind about a title. My three thoughts are
"The Man in the Panama Hat." "The Scavi Incident." and  "Neocropolis."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good Books

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." -

Mark Twain

Sunday, September 7, 2014

All Good Books Are Alike

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Thriller Is About People In Danger

A thriller is always about people in danger. The key is to make the reader share the hero’s anxiety. In all popular fiction, the author’s aim must be to get the reader to feel the emotions of the characters. That’s what makes the reader turn the pages.


Friday, September 5, 2014


When I watch American news at night, I notice that the first 15 min. is the news and the last part is what I call fluff. Stories about cats and dogs and other touchy, feely things. Facebook is the second part of the news.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Fridge

     I used to have an under the counter fridge. It became so packed, I couldn't find anything. So I bought a large fridge for downstairs. Over time, they became so packed, I couldn't find anything. When I did the last renovations on the kitchen, I bought a large fridge for upstairs. But now both fridges are so packed I can't find anything.
    Yesterday, I told my wife about this, and as an example I told her that I was looking for pepperoni, but the fridges were so packed, I never did find it. So she said, "That's because I never bought any."

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Van Farewell

This is the last picture of my van as the new owner drives it away. I hated to sell it. but, things move on. Now I have my 2014 wheelchair van. As soon as I opened the back door, my daughter's eyes opened wide and she let out a big laugh. Easy to drive her in. That was last week and today we are going to Wal-Mart. I better bring my Kindle with me. Don't need to walk every aisle, touching things.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mail Delivery

    Well, it's official, home mail delivery ceases next year. Then it will be trudging off to some super mail box somewhere. It won't be one of the joys of winter.
    Went to the Rehab Center on Fri. My daughter was all measured up for the insert for the new wheelchair. Of course, it was raining that day. Hail and rain just as we wanted to get out of the van. Spent the next ten minutes answering questions. "When do you think it will stop?" " Is it stopped enough?" "Is that hail?" "Should we try it now?" It did stop and we made the mad dash.
    Did learn something new. They are getting a new system in and they want to see if she can use a computer by just using her eyes. That sounds intriguing. One can only hope. Don't know when the system is coming in.
    Back again next week for another fitting.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Rehab Center

    We were supposed to go to the Rehab Center on Wed. and get my daughter fitted with an insert for the new wheelchair, but that didn't happen. Tech. was sick, so we are supposed to go today. Just as well, it was raining heavy at the time we would have gone. Did you ever notice how it rains more when you are leaving or going to your vehicle? Got a call the other day hat my new van will be returned next week. Told them I want a rear camera installed before I pick it up. Over two months since we started this venture. Paid for the new wheelchair yesterday, $4300.00. Will have to pay for insert later. Just heard it may rain this afternoon.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Old Truck

    Well, I didn't see that coming. My neighbor sold his truck, just as I got used to borrowing it. He took it in for a brake job and found out it would cost a $1000., so he bought an SUV. I certainly can't borrow that to haul topsoil. Oh well, at least I had it for the two weeks while he was away. I was able to bring in two loads of topsoil, one load of gravel and the wood for the fence.
    Most of the hard work for the summer is now done. Earlier this week, we painted the fence, and my wife painted the patio. Now its down to cutting the grass every week. Of course, my wife still has that list, and I've having been that anxious to look at it.
    Cut the grass last Monday, a non-rain day. Actually, I need a non-rain day and one or two days to let the grass dry before I cut it. It's raining today and Sunday, so there goes Monday's job.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fence Posts.

    Two weeks ago, I decided to replace some broken fence posts. This a ritual I do every year. It's usually two or three posts. This year, I decided to replace them with treated ties. Take them longer to rot. As it turned out, we replaced all twenty of them. Do it now and get it over with. I won't be replacing posts next year. It took my wife and I three days, with my son helping on the last day.
    I have a simplified fence, not meant to keep anyone out. Posts are ten feet apart. Between the first two posts I have two five inch boards, then it's one board to the next post, then it's two again, so forth, all the way down. That's one- hundred feet on each side. The back fence is wire, put up by the mall. Beyond is trees.
    When I first came here, back in '74, we had a white picket fence. Painting that was something else. No Tom Sawyer here. Then one day, my wife surprised me - she sold the fence. Seriously, I didn't think anyone would buy it. But, someone came with a truck and carted away each section, leaving me the posts. So I copied the one my father had in his yard.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Cut the Grass

    I cut the lawn yesterday, the second time this year. That's pretty sad with June a couple of days away. But it rained almost every day, and on the other days it was too wet. I just did the front lawn. Had to put the bag on for the grass. Don't want a mess out front. It takes time to drag that bag back and forth. The grass was quite long, so it took a number of trips. After that, it was the whipper-snipper. It's the same one I bought in 74. You would think it would have packed it in by now.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sunday Mass

    Our church has two levels of seating, upper and lower. The back level has a railing in front, about five feet high. This guy I've named 'The Confessor', sits in the back level, center section, front seat, right end. Every so often a man comes along the railing and stops in front of him. 'The Confessor' jumps up (he's about 65 yrs. old and overweight) and waddles to the railing, gets down on one knee and bends his ear to the other man. After a few minutes, the other man leaves, and 'The Confessor' returns to his seat. Then, another man will come along - same thing - this happens three or four times while I am there - I don't know if it happens before I arrive. I think he always comes early to make sure he gets his seat. I saw a woman stop once, but he remained seated and spoke from there.
    When it comes time for communion, it is all done in an orderly fashion. The lower level goes first, then the upper, section by section. But he doesn't wait his turn. As soon as the lower level is done - he is gone like a flash, and that's the last I see of him.
    At first I thought he was like the Protestants, and got raptured, because when I return from communion, there are people around me who have disappeared. But then I would see him next week. Then I thought he was raptured on Sunday, but on Monday God saw that he wasn't Protestant and sent him back.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Truck

    The other day my neighbor went on vacation for two weeks and he gave me the keys to his truck. Great, I thought, I have some yard work to do. So he hands me the keys and says, " Don't worry about the red and orange lights, I have them all disconnected." So. I have to disregard all alarms. As he is leaving, he turns and says, " Don't go too far, it's almost out of gas." I guess that alarm still works.  Bet there is just enough gas to get me to the gas station.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Rubber Hose

    I went to see a friend of mine last week. He lives around the corner. The first thing he said was that his garden hose blew up. I couldn't get my head around that. He said, "yeah. it blew up." Then he explained to me that it was one of those hoses you see on T.V. The one that grows when you put the water in, then shrinks when the water runs out.
    He took me to have a look at it. There it was, a long snake with the side blown out. What it is, is a wire mesh that expands, and inside is a hose like a balloon. Not he thickness of an inner tube, but the thickness of a balloon. A spot on the wire mesh had broken so that the balloon made a bubble at that spot. It kept growing, and then 'Boom,' water everywhere. And that's the saga of the hose that blew up.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pens and Pencils

    Yesterday we went to a 'Caregivers Luncheon' on the other side of Halifax. It was very 'poo poo,' china cups and all. I remembered to keep my pinkie up when I drank my cup of tea. There was the Master of Ceremonies and three other speakers. Each one of them started their speech by apologizing  for someone senior to them who was unable to make it. It seems they were out saving the world or something, and they found this out just an hour before the luncheon. Personally, I would rather have not known about it. Besides, I've watched the English version of 'House of Cards', I know what all that means.
    The guy next to me was a social worker, and wouldn't you know it, he was from my hometown. I left there 53 years ago, but still they find me. It's like I have a sign on my forehead, 'I'm one of the bye's from home, eh.'
    He was a great conversationalist. He told me about his tattoos and I told him that one of the nurses that came with me had a tattoo on her behind. She had a hand tattooed to each cheek, and when she walked, it looked like the hands were clapping.
    Everyone at the table had their veggies and dip and pieces of fruit. I ate two giant cookies.
    The best part was that I got a free pencil. I love pencils and pens and scrap envelopes to scribble on. Junk mail finds a home here, well, just the envelope. A few years ago, my brother Tony gave me a nice pen. He found it in a jewelry store where someone had it engraved, but didn't pick it up. It said 'Tammy, R.N.' On my last overnight visit to the hospital, one of my nurses was named Tammy. I kept the pen out of sight.
    That's enough for now, I have to go and sharpen my new pencil.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


    The area behind my shed is where I do my composting. It's kind of a dangerous spot in the winter, tree roots, holes, uneven, ice, etc.. Last week I decided it was time for a move to the side of the shed where it's easy to get at. First, I built a 4' x 2" wooden container. The one in the back is falling apart. I've had it for a number of years. I sifted the compost from there, filling two garbage cans. My wife will use that for the flower boxes. The container is still half full, so I'll just throw the rest in the gardens.
    A friend of ours gave me a square black composter she didn't want. She said to just come and get it, which was easier said than done. They hadn't used it for five years and it had about a foot of compost inside. Roots had taken it over. I had to rip it all apart.
    When I had it all back together, I put it beside the wooden bin. I have a similar composter, which I put next to that. Each spring, I move all the compost from one bin to the next one. So it takes two years to get compost.
   I talk like I've done all that, but I'm only half finished. Have to work on non-rain days. Did some yesterday, but it started to rain. Can't do much today, I have to go to a "Caregivers Luncheon." Not my thing, but it is what it is. (I seem to be saying that a lot lately.)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hearing Test.

    Well, I went for a hearing test yesterday. I have to tell you how that all started. I have a 41 yr. old daughter with C.P., who is bedridden and has to be fed by a tube. When the machine is finished, it gives off a beeping tone. So therein lies the problem, I don't hear the tone.
    It just so happens that a flyer came around offering free hearing tests so I made an appointment. The test told us that I have no problem hearing voices, in fact it is above normal. The problem is that I can't hear high frequencies. The clinic thought that I could get along without a hearing aid at this time. The price of $2700. confirmed that, as far as I was concerned. Of course, they still tried to sell me one.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


     Yesterday, my wife got me involved in a bit of skullduggery. It involves bushes on my neighbors property. First, I have to tell you about the property. I can't remember the last time there was any repairs done. When the ceilings started falling in, her friends convinced her to move to an apartment, which was not easy. She kept coming back, stay for awhile, and then back to the apartment. The visits got less and less and now I haven't seen her for awhile.
    While out for my walk the other day, I noticed a new piece of paper pinned to the front door. Every summer there were slips of paper telling her to cut the grass or else. This one said she owes back taxes since 2009. Pay up or it goes to auction on July 8. (Yes, I was nosy.) This has happened before, but she rushed in and paid the taxes. She hasn't been around to see the paper, so it may happen this time.
    Which brings me to the bushes. One is a lilac bush, which is getting wider and crushing our fence. My wife had me get out the chain saw and reduce it to half. The other was a thorn bush which became four bushes and started to spread to my yard. So we huffed and puffed and dug and pulled it out.
   Better done now. New neighbors might not like our antics.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Yesterday, I read this article about potholes in Halifax. It said that 6000 potholes had already been repaired, with 1700 remaining. My first thoughts were how they came up with this number. Did they have some guy going around counting them? Well, it would have to be a team of two, in case one guy fell in a pothole, the other guy could pull him out.
Another possibility is that the entire Highway's Department teamed up and took one day to count. This problem racked my brain for awhile, until I think I came up with a viable solution. I think they just take the number from last year and add 10%. So that means next year you will know how many they repaired this year.