Weekend Notes

Apr 10 – Saturday morning when the alarm went off I laid there thinking I really don’t want to get up for work today. Then I realized it was Saturday and all was well.

Bowling – on Saturday Becky was hosting a baby shower for her sister. That set up a “boys night out” for Ben, Shaun and Ben’s uncle George along with grandpa. It gave me a chance to play with my new point and shoot camera although the lighting and ambience at the bowling alley was not ideal. For those of you who have checked out my Facebook page I did end up posting a video of Ben, twice, as the original version was too big to stream well over most connections. Will have to remember to shoot at lower resolution to make it easier to post. However, a good time was had by all. To make sure Ben did not have to sit too long between frames, I use that as an excuse to be a spectator/photographer only and not bowl myself. I had thought we were going five pin bowling not realizing that tenpin was the order of the day. Ben did surprisingly well considering he was using a 6 pound ball as it would likely have been better if we could’ve found a lighter one for him. His delivery was kind of interesting.

Ben Bowl

25 and counting – contrary to my expectations, Detroit managed to make the playoffs again for their 25th consecutive appearance. This is the longest uninterrupted playoff qualification by any team in major professional sports. With a couple games left, I really thought they would miss because they had to play a couple of the teams they were challenging with and were actually out of the playoffs from a wildcard perspective. They managed to sneak in by finishing third in their division because they had a better head-to-head record with Boston. Effectively they “lost” their way into the playoffs as Boston beat them and then Boston lost to Ottawa which allowed them to hold onto third place in the division. If they had had to qualify for a wildcard, I think they would’ve been out of luck, as Philadelphia would’ve outranked them there. I really don’t expect him to go anywhere in the playoffs, although be nice if they did, but at least they kept their qualification record intact.

It was also nice to see the Leafs secure last-place as the most useless team in the league. I guess I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should, because even though they are finished last, the story is they only have a 20% chance of securing the first-round draft pick. What a joke on them if Edmonton grabs it off again. How many more chances does Edmonton get, to figure out what a hockey team looks like.

OHFs – we have finally hit the real final weekend of minor hockey for this season, or I should say last season. The OHFs wrap up this weekend with the Ontario championships. No local representation, which is not a surprise. What that also means, is guess what, tryouts for the 2016/2017 season start next week. Tryouts are always an interesting time as associations, coaches, parents and players attempt to come to an amicable resolution of who should be on what team. Often, it does not go well.

BLOMHA – when we got back from bowling on Saturday, we made a quick trip to Mainway arena to watch one of their house league championship games – at the minor bantam level. Kudos to the Burlington Lions Optimists minor hockey Association for running a good show. They gave the house league teams a nice experience in their championship game which is always good to see.

Montréal – the blog will likely be going dark until at least Thursday next week as I am off to Montréal tomorrow morning to an annual conference typically rotates between Toronto, Montréal, and Ottawa and this year the spin stopped on Montréal. Having lived there for a couple of years, I really enjoy Montréal as a nice city to visit, although I would have no interest in moving back. The good news with the conference is that I have dinners booked for Monday and Tuesday evening at some very nice high-end restaurants and Montréal does a great job on fine dining.

Chunnel – I booked my Montréal flights to fly out of the island airport, first of all because it is more convenient for me. I can simply take the go train downtown and take supporters shuttle to the airport. Also, this gives me a chance to check out the new Toronto Chunnel which while scale wise is nowhere close to the English Channel version will be interesting to see in terms of how much better access it provides to the airport. The ferry was always fine but the tunnel will be a nice option – hopefully.

Sports weekend – several choices today in terms of sports to watch. Canada is in world curling championship final which I hope they win, but I don’t think they’ve been curling that well, and I am not a big Kevin fan.

Second, the rites of spring are in full force as the Masters is underway in Augusta Georgia. With all the hype about the twentysomething year old’s it is great to see Bernard Langer, a young 58-year-old within striking distance. As an old geezer, I will be cheering for him today as they enter the final round. Would be really great to see him win what would be his third Masters title.

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April Snow not Showers

Apr 5 – The weather Monday morning suited my mood in heading back into the office after having taken a three day weekend. Seems Oakville got hit a little harder than usual with the white stuff over the weekend and especially Sunday night as things were a bit snowy when I headed for the bus.


Not real happy with this morning’s chill either as I am definitely ready for some warmer weather.

While it is officially Spring and Major League Baseball is officially underway, April can still deal an interesting, although not appreciated weather surprise.

Elmira – Kitchen Kuttings – I originally had been given different plans for my Friday off, but they morphed into a visit to Elmira to buy “Kool-Aid”!  It seems that the individual “packets” of unsweetened Kool-Aid are a vanishing breed, They are not available in any of the major metro grocery chains in our area. It is all the “newer” fangled stuff in fancy packaging and pre-mixed, pre-sweetened liquid junk and, or “bulk” packs, Unfortunately the “Official” Millbank recipe for home-made popsicles stipulates two of the Kool-Aid packets. Rumour had it that “Kitchen Kuttings”, a local store in Elmira carried this item – hence the trip.

Kitchen Kuttings 2

The good news is they did! The bad news is that we finally escaped from the store with our bank account $240 lighter thanks to:

  • 150+ packages of Kool-Aid including two full cartons of Grape – the favourite flavour plus a goodly supply of some of the more exotic ones
  • Several bags of “Jello” powder in more exotic flavours to complement the Kool-Aid flavours. The “bulk” form of Jello that hopefully works the same once we equate grams and ounces.
  • 2 litres of Maple Syrup – from this year which is supposedly a “banner” year for the quality of syrup/
  • 4 jars of home-made preserves (jams and jelly) including a jar of the scarce and endangered species – Eldeberry Jelly – my personal favourite (now I just need the actual berries for a pie).
  • 2 jars of pickled beans (an impulse purchase)
  • A monster stick of locally made beef & pork summer sausage – need to share with da boys.
  •  Maple cream coffee beans – sample was tasty
  • 3 bags of Peanut and Mixed Nut Brittle (clearly another impulse purchase – at buy two get one free, who could resist – one gone already)
  • A chunk of Pralines and Cream fudge (ditto to above but still unopened – I think) and
  • A wheel of Gouda cheese (I think that’s it).

“Such a deal” – only $240.

Kitchen Kuttings

Having said that it is all great quality stuff that was reasonably priced and the store is definitely worth a visit if you are up that way and have a taste for the “different” and “home-made”. Our purchases were only a sampling of all the stuff they have. They also did not even raise their eyes on our Kool-Aid transaction as apparently we are not the only ones trying to corner the drink crystals package market.

Render Unto Caesar – It is approaching that time of year again – the April Income Tax deadline. Instituted as a temporary measure under the War Measures Act, this has become a permanent and despised (but necessary) part of all our lives. While it rears its’ ugly head on every paycheck, the annual filing is the opportunity to really feel the “love” as you realize exactly how much the usurpers have squeezed out of you. Numbers are always staggering and subject to individual interpretations. I look at how much has been gouged out of me on my T4 form and (unfairly) compare it to my total pre-tax annual salary when I started working. Given that it is more than a double digit multiple it just elevates my blood pressure.

This weekend I bought my annual Intuit tax software, not intending to do anything with it yet – I usually procrastinate until the last minute, but then I sat down to run a quick return to “assess” the damages.

This year’s version has an interesting, or not, feature in the top left – an ongoing calculation of your “tax balance”. It was somewhat disconcerting to see that value as I went along hoping it would hit “0” and then zoom up in my favour. Was not happening until I got to entering my transit passes which finally got me out of payment mode and including some RRSP deposits did get me to a good place. That takes a bit of the sting out of remembering how much loot they still pillaged from me. But it is done, filled and now we wait for either the money or the auditors.

Toys for the Boys – In celebration of my sort of successful foray into taxes, I treated myself to the frivolous purchase of a new “point and shoot” camera. While I still prefer and will continue to focus (like the pun) on my digital SLRs, it is handy to have a decent camera that you can just stick in your pocket for convenience or casual shots. Figured it would be great for GK adventures, camping or travel etc.

Given we had a stack of “Optimum Points” that got stuck on a gift card (long story) and that Shoppers DM had a good Saturday / Sunday deal on, I picked up a Fujifilm Finepix Xp80.

Finepix Xp80

Given my first 35 mm SLR was a Fuji (ST-705 W) I have no concerns re Fuji quality or capabilities. Turns out this little beast is incredible with such minor details as 16 Mega pixels, full 1080p movie capability in addition to stillframe, build in wifi connectivity, wide angle – telephoto zoom lens, auto or manual everything and it’s waterproof down to 45 feet (they say “up to” but that makes no sense), dustproof and has an extended temperature range. Therefore you can shoot in the rain or snow or underwater or in a sandstorm in the desert without risk to the camera. You however are another story.

So – maybe I got a little carried away on my “simple” point & shoot camera plan. Hard to believe all of this technology and capability is packed into a nice camera I picked up for $149. I worked through the manual and setup Sunday night and think I have most of it figured out. However, it probably does not matter as in all likelihood, 99% of the time I will use 1% of the features. Look out GKs and Waterpark – when it warms up – here we come! Will have to get some practice in first.

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Wrap up Q1

March 31 – just enough time for one more quick post before the end of the day, the month, and the quarter. Hard to believe how quickly the time has passed so far in 2016 but I guess part of that is because we did not have a very rough winter and hopefully “Spring is in the air”.

Easter-this past weekend was Easter which was early this year compared to last year. Instead of the usual Saturday, we had the GKs for Good Friday since they were booked for a neighbourhood Easter egg hunt on the Saturday. Then on Sunday a number of the Powell clan met at Linda and Ken’s place for Easter dinner. The fund matchup of the day was the two wee ones as Oliver meets Parker. Can’t remember if this was the first time these two kids got together but they are roughly the same age as Oliver was born in mid-August and Parker at the end of July. The picture below is of the two of them sizing each other up.

OP 1

This will be an interesting matchup as the two of them get older. Oliver is GK number three Parker is my wife’s sister’s daughter’s son – whatever that relationship is described as. I. e. my nieces son.

Not my dime – I was fortunate the other evening to enjoy an evening out in one of Toronto’s better steakhouses. While I enjoyed the experience and the food was good (I never turn down a great steak) it did strike me as to how expensive it really is to “eat out” in these types of restaurants. My steak on its own was north of $60. To that, add the basics like potatoes, and vegetables, start off with an appetizer, include desert, a couple of drinks and tips and I expect the bill for the five of us would have been well over $1,000. I guess all things are relative, and yes it was a good meeting with one of my vendors, but it just strikes me as one heck of a number for a meal.

Tri-County – while I have commented a while ago on how the season was finished for the local minor hockey squads, I guess I should have also mentioned that for the Tri-County teams that did not make the OMHA playoffs, their seasons were not over. A lot of young players were still battling away and what were meaningful playoffs to them. Congratulations to my wife’s, brother’s, daughter’s son who broke into the travel hockey ranks in this year up in Guelph at the AE level and ended up as the silver medallist a.k.a. finalist in the Tri-County championships. The good news is my opinion doesn’t count – what really counts is what the young man thinks about his accomplishments – and he did well.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking – just having fun with my voice to text software to see how well it could pick up on things like apostrophes and possessive. Hence the goofy description of the relationships mentioned above. It actually did very well in figuring out what I meant.

Playoffs – I was hoping to be able to watch my Wings in another playoff series this year but I’m afraid with recent events their participation streak is ending in a couple weeks. Philadelphia got hot as did Pittsburgh and Detroit did not so they fell out of their wildcard birth have given up games in hand and like the Leafs are doomed to an early golf season. Had they made it, this would’ve been the 25th consecutive year that the Wings made the playoffs. Already holding the record for the longest consecutive number of playoff appearances in professional sport, the streak will not be extended. That’s too bad, as I typically don’t watch much of the regular season games but do enjoy getting into it during the playoffs. I guess as a second choice, if I want to have someone to cheer for, I’ll have to root for Pittsburgh.

Weather – as I sit here, I can hear the rain just pounding down even through my headset. While I have mentioned that we didn’t have much of a winter, it would be nice if the weatherman could make up his mind and move onto spring and summer. Waffling back and forth between warmer weather, colder weather, rain, snow, sleet with occasional sunshine is not a lot of fun. Let’s hope for a bright, sunny, warm April starting tomorrow.

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Yesterday was quite the news day

March 23 – Yesterday was quite the news day. Going through the day, the media was having trouble allocating time and space among the tragedy in Brussels, Rob Ford’s passing, the pending Liberal budget and not least of all the Western US primaries.

There is really no way to reasonably comment on the terrorist attacks in Belgium. One has to wonder what that country has done different from anywhere else in that they seem to have had a disproportionate number of events.

Love him, or hate him, Rob Ford was quite the character. I don’t think anyone can argue about his advocacy for Toronto and some of the support he provided for less fortunate residents. However, there was the other side of him and his actions that put us on the world stage in a less than favourable light. Regardless, it was hard to believe he was only 46 when he passed away and that in those 46 years good, bad, or indifferent, he had left his mark on a number of things. I don’t think any of us wish that type of ending for anyone.

As far as the Liberal budget goes, I hope everyone is ready for major deficit financing with a budget that does not seem to give much to anybody for the spending involved.

My only comment with respect to the primaries is that between the coverage of the bobble head versus the lunatic it makes for great TV. Better than any of the reality shows that I make a point not to watch.

Storm warning-as I sit here practicing with my Dragon Naturally Speaking, I can’t help but wondering what the landscape will look like tomorrow morning, in the dark, when I get up for work. Everything but the kitchen sink has been forecast including rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow. I thought we were done was that type of weather for this year, recognizing that we did not get much of it, but if this is Winter’s last hurrah then I think we will happily work our way through it.

Out with a whimper – not with a bang. The local minor hockey season did finish up last night in Barrie. It was an unfortunate and disappointing way to end the season as the minor midget AA team ended up losing game six of what is typically a five-game series – actually they play to six points – so Barry won the series 7 points to five. What makes it tough is the local boys won the first two games so effectively had four opportunities to clinch the gold.

What that means is that of the 27 Tri-County teams that started play this year for Oakville, none of them were successful in ending up at the top of the podium at the end of the year. I don’t have all the records, but it seems to me that it has been a very long time since Oakville was effectively shut out the way they were this year. You only have to go back to 2012/2013 season to see six championships on the board from only 25 teams. That’s a far cry from 0 for 27. Coupled with the AAA team performance that means that from their 37 championship eligible teams this year, Oakville only managed to pick up one OMHA championship.

Tri-County- OMHA 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
A Teams 27 27 28 25 27 25 25
B Advanced to Qrtrs 8 9 13 19 22 19 17
C Percent 29.6% 33.3% 46.4% 76.0% 81.5% 76.0% 68.0%
D Advanced to Semis 5 6 9 14 18 11 12
E % of total A 18.5% 22.2% 32.1% 56.0% 66.7% 44.0% 48.0%
F % of Advanced B 62.5% 66.7% 69.2% 73.7% 81.8% 57.9% 70.6%
G Advanced to Finals 4 4 5 11 13 11 8
H % of total A 14.8% 14.8% 17.9% 44.0% 48.1% 44.0% 32.0%
I % of Advanced B 50.0% 44.4% 38.5% 57.9% 59.1% 57.9% 47.1%
J % of Advanced D 80.0% 66.7% 55.6% 78.6% 72.2% 100.0% 66.7%
K Gold Medals 0 1 1 6 7 8 7
H % of total A 0.0% 3.7% 3.6% 24.0% 25.9% 32.0% 28.0%
L % of Advanced B 0.0% 11.1% 7.7% 31.6% 31.8% 42.1% 41.2%
M % of Advanced D 0.0% 16.7% 11.1% 42.9% 38.9% 72.7% 58.3%
N % of Advanced G 0.0% 25.0% 20.0% 54.5% 53.8% 72.7% 87.5%

Looking for occupants – who says that downsizing is a bad thing? A friend who is downsizing decided that she would not have space for her wine rack. Given my recent forays into the development of Moorehead Estates Winery, she asked if I would be interested in taking it off of her hands. Of course I said yes, and the next thing I knew it was being delivered to my door.

Wine Rack

Now, all I have to do is fill it. Which means, I have to convince sons number one and number two to get on board and hunt out some hot wine making deals. Not to worry, I only need 50 bottles to fill it.

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The Dragon is back

March 21  The Dragon is back – I definitely am a challenger for consideration in the terrible typist competition. I chose Latin instead of typing in high school and was never a Mavis Beacon candidate. Having said that, several years and a couple of computers ago, I purchased a product called Dragon Naturally Speaking. I think at the time, it was version 9. The other day, I received an email featuring version 13 of the Dragon home version for $49.95 and that version seemed to have all of the same capabilities and more that my original version had years ago.

Dragon 2

So I downloaded it, fired it up, trained it a little, and Speech to Text here we go. Wild bulls the Dragon and I still need additional training, so far, it seems to be working fairly well. I was surprised it downloaded and installed as cleanly as it did as I have a somewhat complex and convoluted setup with my notebook, Dynadock, USB external hubs , external drives and assorted other dongles attached. But, it installed perfectly, fired up right away and actually recognized on it’s own that I was channeling the audio through my Dynadock – impressive.I suspect that there will be a number of typos or grammatical miscues that will sneak into my content but such is the life of your wayward blogger – especially around the use of acronyms.

Maybe, this will make my postings a little more dependable and regular.

We were that close – as I thought the OMHA’s would be over for the local crew last night. Three teams were involved in the AAA championships, the minor bantams and the peewees hosted in Oakville and the atoms on the road. While that took care of the SCTA entrants, the minor midget AA’s were also playing in their fifth and supposedly deciding game last night as well.

Congratulations to the Adam AAA’s as they brought home an OMHA gold championship, which may be the only gold seen locally this year. We were going to go and watch the minor midget AA’s play their game at 8:30, hoping to see a local victory, but I got caught up in the Sunday night blues and we decided to stay home. Turns out that was a wise decision as they tied Barrie in game five and instead of using over time to settle the matter they have a scheduled game six tomorrow night in Barrie. So much for closing the books on the season.

What that also means is that I cannot post the full story on what has to be a disappointing season while it is my opinion and my opinion only, the local program seems to be suffering from a long-term decline if you measure success in the number of OMHA championships. 10 AAA teams answered the bell this year and only one came home was gold medals. If you consider the chart below of the 10 AAA teams only two made it through the SCTA qualifiers and the other two got to play in the championships as they represented the host centre (Oakville – last year’s champion). From a recent high history of four gold medals from nine teams in 2011, it is quite a drop off to one metal from 10 teams for the 2015/2016 season.

SCTA (AAA) 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Teams** 10 10 9 9 9 9 9
Survived SCTA*** 4*** 5 5 4 8* 5 4
OMHA Tourney 4 5 5 4 8 5 4
Gold 1 2 2 1 1 4 1
Silver 0 0 1 2 2 0 1
Bronze 1 1 0 0 1 0 0
Did not Place 2 2 2 1 4 1 2
* 2012 Novice qualified as Host          
**2015 Peewee AAA – 2 Entries – Team 1 Qualified
** Minor Peewee qualified as back door – Buffalo not eligible
** 2015 Minor Atom qualified as host
** 2016 MB AAA – 2 Teams – Team 1 Qualified as Host
*** 2016 – 2 Teams qualified as Hosts – only 2 real qualifiers

When the minor midget series is finally completed and I post the Tri—County performance tracking chart you will see that those are equally if not more disappointing numbers. While the argument could be made that it is getting tougher and tougher to win it all, I think that same commentary would hold true for all. Stay tuned for a final summary.

For more detailed results, and to see where each team ended up, please feel free to check out the 2016 play down page on my full site.

Thus ends my dictation phase/test of my new Dragon Naturally Speaking software. Overall, I would have to say that it worked fairly well.

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I may have returned?

March 20 – I have given up making excuses for not posting as regular as I might like so I just move on with what I can. It is an insidious process since as soon as you let a few days slide by, you get out of the habit and before you know it “6 Weeks – or more” have slipped by.

Today’s post is just a quick “restart”

A lot of “stuff” has slid by – St. Paddy’s Day (my Limerick won an LCBO gift card), Hockey – Leaf game, OMHA play-downs, the FSMT, work, and home/family life in general – it does fill the days.

We have had fun recently with a sort of standing “Saturday with the GKs” event – the older two anyway although Oliver dropped by for a quick visit yesterday. As “tweeted” the bubble Blowing season officially opened yesterday as we were out on the back deck and the bubble juice in the deck box and the wands had thawed, Ben and Lily (and Jane) had a good time playing.

We were also down checking out the “new” park and other than the climber that Ben particularly enjoyed, I think we will stick with our “old” one.

An errant slip of the tongue means my “work colleagues” are now aware of the countdown to a significant birthday, and I suspect evil plans are underfoot to make me pay a price for that – but all in good fun.

FSMT – This past January – a topic I missed posting on – we ran our 15th annual tournament and it is hard to believe 15 years have gone by. Basically the same core crew is involved and this tournament has developed into one of the premier House League events anywhere.

This year we had 50 teams from around the province in the Peewee and Atom age groups – which is fun hockey to watch as the kids have developed a level of ability but are still young enough that they are excited and thrilled to be at an “away” tournament. For many of them this is their first experience at this level of event.

Things went very well. We got some nice media coverage as Cogeco showed up and did an interview with yours truly which then aired and I hope gave a positive plug to the tournament.

Had to mention the FSMT as we had our post tournament review / debrief meeting last night to identify what went well, what could be improved and to start our planning for the 2017 event, what will be the 16th Annual Frank Sabatino Memorial Tournament.

It’s a lot of work but the smiles make it worth it.

More Hockey – Through Jan and Feb, Jane and I have tried to hit a few of the local (and not so local) minor hockey play-off games. They are always fun to watch and while we do typically cheer for Oakville, it gets interesting when relatives or friends or friends of friends have players on the opposing squad that we also want to see. Lots of questions – where do you sit, who do you cheer for, what do you say.

The bigger issue is “cut the noise” – Music during stoppage of play is maybe OK but it does not have to blast at 160 db and involve horrible “songs”. Second – fans – control yourself. Cheering is fine but clanging away on monster cowbells for extended periods and no reason at all next door to my ear is just not acceptable. Smarten up and show some consideration and respect for other people.

Even more hockey – If nothing else I did create and am trying to update my annual “featured” “playdown page” in my general site. The 2016 playdowns are winding down for the OMHA as essentially most, if not all, will be decided at the end of this weekend – either the playdown series or hosted tournament formats.

Stay tuned for my posting of the annual local recap. The chart is not looking good this year and effectively continues (in my opinion) a decline since I was unceremoniously exited from my position of power in the organization. It has only been 8 years so I should forgive and forget – NOT!

I thought the locals would pick up their first and possibly only OMHA title last night but it did not happen. Up 2 games to none over Barrie, the Midget AA could have closed it out but Barrie hung tough despite the home crowd and the series heads back to Barrie 2 – 1. It has since gone to 2 – 2 and we may go and watch the fifth and likely deciding game tonight.

This is a big week-end as there are six OMHA AAA Championship tourney events underway from Novice to Minor Bantam inclusive. Oakville is hosting both the Minor Bantam and Peewee events at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex so there should be some good hockey to watch. Unfortunately the locals got in as a host exemption and not through qualifying which does not bode well for their chances.

Regardless, if you get a chance check the schedule and go out to support them.

Did not make it out but the locals did not end up with any hardware from the two hosted series but congratulations to the Atom AAA squad that picked up Oakville’s first and potentially only OMHA Gold Championship today.

Some other general stuff.

Don’t block the doors – But last night I did. I was working late (begrudgingly on something) and was on a tight TTC – jogging schedule to make a train. Missing it by “that much” would have meant sitting around Union Station for another half hour waiting for the next run.

With all the construction and trying for an unfamiliar train time, the challenge is checking for it on a monitor, then getting my PRESTO pressed and then racing to the track platform. As I hit the top step on Platform 4 I saw the doors start to close. I dashed forward, jammed my hand in the door which fortunately sort of reopened and I squeezed in! That was the good news. The bad news? Whether triggered by my action or as a standard announcement, the train guy made the long and tedious announcement about not blocking the doors due to possible damage to the equipment, inconveniencing other passengers or risk of injury.

I can relate to the latter I ended up sporting a nice bruise on the pinkie finger of my door jamming hand. Glad I did not break it (my finger – not the door).

eBook Issues – Snow alert. I travel everywhere with my eBook as one never knows when one will get some quality reading time (like when you miss a GO Train). However, I have discovered a flaw in my Sony eBook which I presume is a common disease. You can’t read it when it is snowing. One morning at the Clarkson Station I was standing on the platform waiting for my train, with some snow flurries, and pulled out the eBook. For some reason it kept flipping back and forth between pages with an occasional menu popup. At first I thought “Oh Sh__” I am going to have to get a new eBook. But then I figured out that those vicious snowflakes that were landing on my screen were powerful enough for Mr. Sony to decide that he was receiving messages from ne and was responding appropriately!

Live and Learn.

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I Survived!

Jan 11 – I survived – Barely – A very busy weekend. Sunday was Oliver’s Christening or Baptism – whatever is the appropriate term. We took Ben and Lily for Saturday to free up Shaun, Becky and Oliver for “rehearsal” and, or other stuff.

That meant we got to take Ben to hockey and I got to remember how to put his equipment on. I probably could have pulled his socks up to his nose – they were long enough, but sizing is tough for the little guys. Sweater was good so that was fine. Burlington Timbits use NHL colours so Ben’s squad are the “Wild”. The green guys. Then it was off to Mickey D’s for a late lunch. Yup – back to MacDonald’s again – I thought I had passed that stage but apparently not. At least they now have decent coffee,

The rest of the day was at Chez Moorehead as my Facebook post indicated – a repeat of the morning activity – Puzzles for Lily and Wii Mario for Ben.

Sunday – Oliver got himself sprinkled so I guess he is now official. In my last post I commented on the risk of fire and brimstone with me in a church. Little did I realize that Sunday actually was the “official” fire and brimstone sermon Sunday, as was made clear in the homily? I kept sneaking a peak out the window waiting to be consumed by the lightning bolt but there must have been better targets somewhere else. Dodged it again.

I have posted Becky’s composite picture which I thought was pretty cool – same bat time – same bat channel – same bat photographer. All three GKs baptized in the same place with similar pictures taken by the same great photojournalist – Moi!

From the top down – Ben – Lily – Oliver


The pic also substantiates my claim that I have been in a House of Worship at least three times in the last five years. Add in a couple of weddings and you could almost call me a regular.

Post sprinkling we all retired to Shaun and Becky’s for post-game snacks, a touch of the grape, some gift giving and chit chat. We packed it in relatively early so that the senior set (us) could go home and rest up.

Weather – We also returned to base early last night in case the weather went south, or should I say north, and the roads decided to do double duty as skating rinks. Fortunately, this did not happen in our neck of the woods but things were definitely crispy with the wind chill when I walked out the door this morning. Went from no coat or light jacket on the weekend to the full on winter gear ensemble – heavy coat, gloves, scarf and toque this morning.

Good news was that I only encountered one “slippery” location hidden on the sidewalk on my way to the bus. Even better news is that courtesy of some surprisingly acrobatic moves I managed to avoid landing on my butt!

Fashion statement – someone is definitely doing a great job on parka sales for the ladies. It hit me this morning as I stood freezing my ____ off at Clarkson GO Station that a surprising proportion of the female commuters were sporting (typically) brown parkas with the (faux) fur-trimmed hoods. Canada Goose is alive and well and probably has a lot of relatives stuffed into a bunch of those coats. I was jealous.

Steelers Win – Fortunately they were playing Cinci who have a less than stellar play-off record. I did not see the game (GK Duty) but the boys picked up a Wildcard win and get to move on to the real play-offs. Not talking Super Bowl yet but the terrible towels are still flapping for at least another week. And no, I have not checked my final pool results yet but I can basically guarantee no cheques are coming my way.

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