Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New curtains for cooler room and better tv viewing

Margaret found a sale on black-out curtains today and we redid the front tv room with them. Still a bit undecided about colour. Also, the look from the outside is a bit of an issue which may require another layer to resolve.
I took William and Griffin to "Man of Steel" today. For the most part I liked the re-interpretation of the story, although I was amazed by the amount of damage to the city in the final scene. The online analysis brings in the damage to Metropolis at 2 trillion dollars, about 10 times the damage to New York in the Avengers film. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Last supper with good friends

Our friends Leslea Mair and Leif Kalder have sold their house and are moving to Winnipeg tomorrow. We had them over for some food as a break in the middle of their preparation for handing over their house to its new owners tomorrow. We'll miss them and William will especially miss Teagan, who has been one of his best friends for his entire life. The film tax credit repercussions keep on coming. Also in town today are Bob and Tady, visiting from Edmonton with Griffin. I cooked lamb steaks for the first time.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cat lit by backyard fire

I felt like I was coming down with a cold today. Soar chest, shaking, unable to warm up. It subsided late in the day, but the result is that I did pretty much nothing of value today. I tried to read but just couldn't kick my brain into gear. This evening Margaret lit a back yard fire. The cat walked back and forth on the fence. She never seems particularly concerned about what we do. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lego Mania in Moose Jaw, lots of photosGhost

I didn't think it was going to be a big deal, just a way to kill a couple of hours, but the Lego exhibit at the Western Development Museum in Moose Jaw was great. Most of the sets were constructed by a very creative collective. I liked a lot of the superhero stuff like a version of the Fantastic Four and a mock up of the Ghostbusters car and characters. William's friend Griffin is in town so we were able to drag him along. There really was something of interest for anyone. Ran into Allan there.
Lego pirate island

Allan Dotson and Lego

Lego Fantastic Four

Lego James Bond and Goldfinger

Lego Antman


Lego alien cloning chamber

Steampunk Lego

Steam punk Lego Batmobile

William and steam punk Lego

Ghostbuter Lego

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Living statue wannabes?

While at the night market a couple days ago (sorry for delay with this, but he pictures were on Margaret's camera and I didn't download them until today), we hung out by the living statue for a while. He has waved me over in the past and if I try to slip away he gives this wonderful big-eyed puppy look and guilts me into coming back. This time I used his gestures to draw William over. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Computer crashing problem solved

After a couple of weeks of unpredictable computer crashes and a complete re-install of all software, I finally hit upon the solution. While there was a boot disc error message which recurred, I had never suspected the solid state c-drive (SSD) because I had told myself that they have no moving parts so should last a very long time. However, Mike and Paul informed me that these drives do indeed fail and that could be the issue. I did a search for indicators of SSD failure and found someone who described the exact problem I was having, that the programs would freeze but would allow you to move the mouse for a couple minutes before the computer crashed. He suspected SSD failure but others in the forum were trying to say it was a video card issue (I've had video card problems and this is nothing like them). Then someone else piped in suggesting that it is a firmware issue with the SSD. The person on the forum claimed this fixed his computer and so I searched out updates on the manufacture's site and voila! It has not crashed in over a day! Thanks everyone.
successfully updating firmware of Micro solid state drive fixed the crashing problem

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crazy photo stitching at farmer's night market

The farmer's market held a nighttime event with food. It was pretty good, even though I think there could have been more vendors and perhaps quicker delivery in some cases. The image above is stitched from four photos and works fairly well until you look closely. The guy in the green hoodie is missing the back of his head, but more humorous is the guy in line with the beard on the woman's body. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gelato with Mike and his beard

Mike is in town and he spent some time trying to solve my computer crashing problem, so we concluded the day with a trip to the Naked Bean on Broad Street to check out their ice cream.
Later this evening we played some games including the fifth mini-pack for Carcassonne, the witch and wizard. Paul and Margaret tied for the win.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fence fixed - finally after two years!!

My fence between my yard and Dave's next door has been decaying steadily since it was built 12 years ago (Dave moved in 11 years ago). We fixed one panel of it two years ago, but then time and weather got in the way and it sat unfinished for a long time. I had hoped to finish it before having people over for Geremy's camera obscura, but that didn't happen. The storm a few days ago blew another section of it over, embarrassing me enough to dive into it today. William and I worked on all of the 2x4 horizontal pieces (requiring the purchase of a new level and the deciphering of the chop saw instructions so that the wobbling blade could be tightened) and after supper Dave and I cut and nailed up all of the vertical pickets. Good fence and a good neighbour. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Saskatoon berry picking, 7 buckets full!

We picked our winter's worth of Saskatoon berries this morning. The weather was perfect, allowing us to somehow duck what William calls "the inevitable heat stroke". The pick your own place is west of Regina about 10 minutes (directly out Dewdney Avenue and turn right when you hit the Sherwood Forest signs, then just a half mile and you are there). They charge $15 per bucket and also have other berries. You can also eat as you pick and they don't even re-weigh you when you leave!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wonderland arcade - closing this fall

This morning we had brunch with mom and I saw my sisters off (Sharon and Maureen had to head home). This afternoon we went to a friend of Margaret's 40th birthday party which he was holding at the Wonderland arcade on Broad Street. Wonderland has been open since the heyday of arcades in the late 70s and will be closing this fall. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dad's 80th Birthday, day two with photos

We had a big celebration for dad today, all at their house. We brought over our 10'x10/ tent/shelter. Lots of food. My cousins Shirley and Julia and family came in from Winnipeg, which was nice catching up. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Dad's 80th Birthday, day one with photos

I did some shopping and errands today, including paying our unbelievably high credit card bill, and was home in mid afternoon waiting for my brother in law to pick me and the new tv up when I heard a storm hitting. I raced downstairs and grabbed up all the cushions off the chairs outside and was returning upstairs when I noticed the floor at the top of the stairs was wet. I could tell that the wind was blowing in through this norther facing window, but didn't think that much had come through it. Suddenly I started getting water on the back of my neck and I finally realized that water was coming from the ceiling. I zipped upstairs and discovered that the north attic window was open to the storm and the futons were soaked and the floor was covered with water, the same water which was now dripping through to the lover level. Ugg.
Eventually Al came (having been delayed by the storm in other ways) and we surprised my parents with the tv and set it up. Mom and dad were both happy with it, saying that they had wanted to get a  new set for some time.
This evening, my other sisters arrived in town and we had a nice party at Lori's house.
Margaret is convinced that Chris and William have the same evil smile.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Poetry and Film

Nathan Mader, Kelly Reiss, and Matt Hall at Poetry and Film in Regina
Due to water damage at the Filmpool two weeks ago, the Poetry and Film event was rescheduled to today and was hosted instead at the Neutral Ground gallery. There was a good sized crowd including Richard, a mature student who audited my Film 200 course about 4  years ago. I showed "It's About Time" and talked briefly about how I feel silence defines the prairies.
William and I built the tv stand for dad's new tv.  It is real wood and metal and seems of surprising quality for its price. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Backyard fire get together with Leslea, Paul, and the kids

Did some house cleaning and hosted a small backyard gathering today. Leslea, her daughters, and some friends came over, as well as Paul (who helped me make progress on my computer). William got dressed up and played the host. I also went out earlier today and purchased a tv and stand for dad's birthday. Later in the day, while I was at my parent's house struggling to get their new wireless modem working, Lori called and she'd decided that the 50" would be too big. We went out together before supper and traded it back for a similar LG 47". 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

CJTR Radio, Gerald Saul and Nathan Mader on Soul Connection

Poet Nathan Mader
CJTR Soul Connection
After years of avoidance, I went to CJTR radio this evening. It was very pleasant as I sat down with poet Nathan Mader to talk on Soul Connection regarding the forthcoming, rescheduled "Poetry and Film" event/reading/screening on Thursday (July 18). More to my surprise, Margaret tuned in and listened (the first time our radio has been tuned to CJTR since her show was rudely cancelled)

Kids making Toffee?

The question mark in the title is not accidental. William had Teagan over this afternoon. She is moving away in two weeks, so he'd like to get the most time with her he can. They wanted to make toffee so I let them. I did suggest that vinegar in toffee didn't sound appetizing, but they followed the recipe and had lots of fun. However, the end product was not chewy and tasted terrible.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Computer problems and shopping for dad's birthday

As some of you might notice, this blog was not posted on the day it is marked as, In fact, I'm writing almost a week later. My daily routine has been compromised by unusual crashes my computer has been having. I thought it might be a software thing so I took much of the past week to re-install the OS and software, but that doesn't really begin until July 18. As of the date this is posted, I am just feeling agitated. Furthermore, even with software re-installed, the problem is still not completely solved. I wish I knew what was going on. It has been okay so far today, running for a couple hours, but perhaps it has been overheating?

I went out with Lori to shop for a tv for dad's 80th birthday today. We saw some good choices but decided to sleep on it. I think we can go for the 50" but Lori is doubting it.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pacific Rim and Veronica Mars

Margaret was back at work today. I took William to a few secret garden tour sites and to the movie Pacific Rim. I love giant robots fighting giant monsters so it was enjoyable, but William was on the mark when he observed that half the time you couldn't tell what was going on. The giants seemed to always be fighting in rain and smoke and ocean spray. After the movie we went to HMV and I bought all the episodes of "Veronica Mars" and we started to watch them. I love that show. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Catching up on the blog

On Saturday July 13, I spent almost the entire day catching up on my holiday blog entries. The only thing I wanted to blog about was the Safeway on 13th Avenue which is gutted. The curved front was still intact but the building was open and you could see through it. I went for milk and didn't have a camera so meant to go back. However, I didn't get around to returning with camera until two days later and by then the whole thing had changed to this:
William got to spend a good long day with his freind Griffin who is returning home to Edmonton tomorrow. We also went to Terry's this evening to socialize and so William could have a late evening with Xander. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Vacation 9 - antiques in Portland and the voyage home

William playing pinball
Our last day of the trip. William and I had a going-away round or two on Thomas's pinball machine as we packed up all our stuff for the journey home.

panorama of Portland airport
With our flight leaving Portland at 3:40 this afternoon, we were able to take yet another tourist/shopping combination venture into Portland. First stop was to pet the chicken's which live in the back yard of Veronica's friend and to pick and eat some of her plumbs off of her tree (wow, I can't eat much of this but the bit I had was wonderful). We then headed down to a street known for antique stores. Most of the buildings have plaques on the outside explaining what they were built for a hundred years ago. Had a nice break at the bakery and bought some $15 opera glasses (no case, a bit worn but might be good as part of a steam punk get up).
Panorama of inside of Portland "Sock Dreams" store
Shopping high point was finding "Sock Dreams", an independent store which sells nothing but socks which are designed by the owner. I bought a bunch of pairs for myself: THEY SELL COOL SOCKS FOR MEN!!!!

At the airport, customs and security were all quite friendly today and none of the terminals (Portland and Vancouver) seemed busy so the trip how was quiet. The plans were small and didn't have TVs but William and I watched "Sullivan's Travels" by Preston Sturges on the laptop.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vacation 8 - Crazy Shopping Sprees

I am finding it more and more difficult to remember all the things we did on this trip. It seems we accelerated throughout the week, doing more each day. Some highlights today were having breakfast at a French restaurant which had some of the finest baking I've had in months, then going downtown and other places and walking around all over the place, buying little gifts as we found them, then driving thirty miles out of town to the outlet mall where I bought four pairs of Levis (two in "lead" colour), as well as some shirts and a sweater from the Eddie Bower outlet.

We managed to fight the traffic back home in time to eat and go for gelato and to the gaming store "Guardian Games", which is located in a non-descript warehouse location but is jammed with more games than most people could play in a lifetime.

Guardian Games in Porotland

Thomas Phinney waving from Guardian Games