Jim

All in the Family

If there’s been one change I have had this year since getting hitched this winter (note to self, six months coming up - buy flowers) it’s that I never, ever get lonely. Either people are in our house or we, in theirs.

This past week alone, we will have hosted 3 times by the time the week ends. I’m not used to this - all these people around me, all the time?

Now, this is all tongue in cheek and all -  but between hosting and painting there sure isn’t a whole lot of ‘me’ time lately (that, and fixing computer problems for BW, but we’ll leave that alone…hoo boy touchy subject)

Take this Tuesday, for example. We had company, or visitors and it was my family that came to see me. They brought gifts, and of course we had a lovely time as we spent time together away from the TV:

TV in the USA is just cooler.

All is not bad on the Island of Grand, though because when we host or get hosted, one thing happens time and time again, and that is: we eat well. A little too well, methinks:

I need to get skinny

If you can’t read the numbers, that’s OK. Let’s just pretend they’re low. My point is that with all this social dining lately, I think I am starting to feel gravity’s pull a touch more than I am used to.

I blame the following:

Burgers

Burgers with Blue Cheese Dressing

medium rare steak

Grilled Sirloin Steak

Cheesecake

This might have something to do with my weight increase too I think.

If you recall, when I started this blog I told you we did this. Well, it’s been some time since that actually happened let me tell you, and much to BW’s dismay we have to start again. There’s a fine line between fat and happy, and well - just fat.

The takeaway is that all this socializing comes with a price, and that price has to be paid in 2 mile daily increments or else.. like I said, fat.

I guess that this is a small price to pay for visiting with your friends and family, and truth be told - it’s priceless. But all this socializing sure is hard on a (former) skinny guy’s waistline.

 

 

I'm a Mac.

JIM_3414

T’was five months before christmas,

and all through the house,

there was screaming and crying

and waving of mouse.

She huffed and she puffed,

and she blew the house down,

and I’m very very sure

they could hear straight across town

The excitement you see,

was based on this quiz:

what better OS?

Mac or PC?

Comments and Accents,

were needed by B.

And when the Mac doesn’t work

she calls upon me.

At that my friends is when

the story goes south.

For I made this mistake:

I opened my mouth.

She just wanted the Mac

to do what she wants.

She doesn’t want answers,

just the comments to work.

I tried and I tried,

to explain that you can’t

The Mac doesn’t have bubbles

and that truly blows.

So now here we are, with the

Apple Koolaid all drunk

Steve said it would work,

but it stinks - like a skunk.

So back we go to the store

with our heads hung so low

We bought a Mac,

but we didn’t know.

Steve said it would be better,

but Bill left some things out.

Microsoft Word is not working,

for B, without doubt.

Now here we sit,

with our old Dell PC

it’s old and it crashes,

but at least it formats

One day they will make

the PC that truly will please

but until that day comes,

I’ll be down on my knees

I’ll pray for a PC

that does what she wants.

Then I’ll be fired.

She’ll need no support

She’ll type and she’ll type

and all will just work

and I won’t feel helpless

like some big old jerk

That I cannot bring her

what she truly needs,

not computers or jewelry,

but just some hot tea.

A Story About Tea

JIM_6804

Since crossing over to the dark side of married life, there’s been a few things that tend to be different here in the good ‘ol USA. Not only do I stand in amazement and wonder at the cereal aisle at the local Wegmans, I am also confronted by new and unfamiliar signposts at home too.

Take tea for example. Because BW comes with an Argentinian background and family history there are many boxes in our cupboards that makadanosense to me, and the examples above are one such example. Tea is pretty big for the both of us. Despite the fact that I’m known for my coffee consumption, I have been known to drink the other hot beverage from time to time.

In fact, it’s our nightly routine to share a cup of tea together at day’s end, so it’s not like I’m a stranger to Tea. Heck, even thedog is named after what looks a lot to me, like Tea.

we now break for obligitory photo of thedog: 

JIM_6542

 new dog photo. old manual focus lens. even older photographer. 

Now, back to the Tea.

You see, a couple nights ago we were well into our routine on tea making when BW called from upstairs: “ I’ll have a Boldo”

“What’s a Boldo?” I asked,

“It’s Tea - it’s in the cupboard with the other teas”, she says “Boldo is for the stomach, and Tilo is for Stress”

I then ask her what Boldo tastes like, and BW says it tastes like a herbal tea.

I then ask what Tilo tastes like because, surely it all can’t be the same.

“It tastes like Boldo” she says

Now, this is where I went.. huh?  This was not the answer I was expecting at all. I mean, how can two teas taste alike? especially when they’re designed for different purposes? I mean, the stomach tea and the stress tea taste the same? really?

The takeaway: All Tea pretty much tastes the same, rergardless of name or country of origin.

That, and you can never have enough photos of thedog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Bug

With the invention of this little blog o’mine, I’ve re-affirmed my love of photography. It’s become a challenge of sort to have some sort of decent art to go with the story. I blame my journalism training.

JIM_6512

All this to say, It’s been a while since my camera has been picked up.

When BW and I were courting, due to the US/Canada border thing, it was a pain to bring the camera along. Coming into the US, it was not only more gear to haul, but the less stuff you bring with you the better. And for the Canucks, they just want to tax me and again - a hassle to bring the camera with me and then explain that I didn’t buy the digital camera in the USA, but in Canada.

This means that all our photos up until we got married were probably shot with a smartphone, which is a shame. I did shoot our wedding invite flowers one weekend in Toronto, but that’s about it.

But, boy oh boy, am I making up for lost time lately. That, and I found eBay and that the old school lenses and camera gear  go for a song:

Take this Nikon EM with lens: Total cost $37.00 shipped!

JIM_6601

 

I had bid on this only for the lens, a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 E series lens. It’s known as ‘pancake lens’ as it only protrudes from the camera an inch or so, and is fine and fast manual focus lens - the camera was a bonus and is in absolutely pristine shape! I’ve put a roll of film through, and have yet to have it processed, but all seems to work.

There was a time that I’d have to have the latest and greatest camera and lenses, but I’m having a blast with this older nikon lenses and cameras. This one’s from 1979 ! These E series lenses were designed to compete with cheaper stuff, and sometimes the plastic can be a little cheesy, but the optics are superb! I took this photo with another Nikon E series lens - a 75-150mm f/3.5 zoom and it looks pretty good to me. I have a super duper zoom lens with all the latest autofocus and vibration technology, but it’s slow and heavy and costs much much more than the $50 average I paying for this stuff. In fact, I’m planning to sell the fancy superzoom to fund the entire E series collection. There’s about six lenses in total,

Of course, these are all manual focus lenses, but even with my progressive lenses in my glasses I find I can get some very sharp photos for an old guy. And this is much more fun, and these cheap lenses are fully compatible with my Nikon digital camera. The only thing I don’t get is autofocus, but all the other stuff works just fine - metering, focus indicators, the works…

In Other News..

We painted the fence!

fence

BW, bless her heart - earlier this week said “Let’s paint the fence”. Now, this is, and was fine but I have some issues I need to deal with:

  1. We’re on different time zones, BW and I. You see, to me “Paint The Fence” means first thing, like 8 or maybe 9.  The trouble with my way of thinking is that BW isn’t even awake by 8 or 9, let alone ready with a paintbrush in hand. So, after coffee, and bacon sandwiches (delicious, btw) and farting around with facebook and the like, the official start time was 12:30pm.

Folks, I gotta share: THIS DRIVES ME NUTS! If I had my way, the fence would have painted first thing and then we’ve got the entire day to do other stuff. But, now that I’m married, my way has become our way so it was a later afternoon start.

  1. BW tells me that it took her and her Dad two days to paint the fence. Even with our late start and a trip to home depot to buy more paint we were still done by 4pm. My only guess why it took two days was it had to be stained again first, and then shellacked. We just did the latter, so maybe that’s why we got off easy, I dunno.

Lastly, I’ve been busy making some changes to the site, and one is that tidy husband is more compatible when you read it on your smartphone, and the other biggie is that you can see the photos bigger than before. Every photo from now on is clickable for a bigger version. And, it’s a bit easier to read, have search engines find me, and so on..

I’ve been away for a few days from my regular blogging routine, so that’s why I haven’t been around. When I first started I thought I’d have to write every day, and a lot of days I do, but there’s days where the most exciting thing is mundane doctor’s appointments and we’ve had a bunch of them back to back this week (nothing to worry about, just maintaining the standard) and I don’t think anybody needs to hear that I had a common cold earlier this week.

I’ve got a few stories planned for this coming week, so be sure to come back and read more about our adventures.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

 

 

 

Lawn School and Old Skool.

Lawn School

One minute, your life is humming along just fine, the birds are chirping and then all your  hard work  can be wiped out in a second:

Nice hack job , eh? Sigh. I’ve spent the past month or so watering our newly placed sod day in and day out and within seconds all my efforts are wiped out. Let me  explain:

We have had zero rain this summer.  None. In fact, the rest of the lawn looks like this:

I didn’t hack this part up because I didn’t have to. There’s nothing to cut as there’s nothing to grow. But despite the fact that our entire front and back yard looks like this, the weeds grow and it’s also been a month since I cut the lawn due to the lack of rain so I also just wanted to be sure the riding mower would still start. I was doing great, and  although I was a complete newbie at the beginning of the summer when it comes to lawn care, I’ve gotten a feel for the mower and thickness settings for every other part of the lawn  - except for this:

There’s a lot of reasons why this happened, but because this is fresh sod that’s watered daily as compared to the rock hard dirt our grass (or, what was our grass) sits on - as soon as I rolled over the new sod and felt the mower sink I knew it was too late to save myself. The damage has been done. If you look closely you’ll see the roots for the grass, so here’s hoping it grows back and I can re-evaluate my grass cutting technique and mower settings again to compensate for the softer ground. At least we didn’t spend six hundred dollars for this. Even with my hack job, six hundred dollars buys a lot of replacement sod if need be. It’s a good thing we’re going to be here for a while.

Today’s lesson? You get what you pay for.

Old Skool

A couple cool things showed up in the mail recently, so I thought I’d share. BW puts her shoe purchases on facebook, so I can show off a toy or two, I figure.

Exhibit A:  Technics ST-S3 Quartz Synthesizer FM/AM Stereo Tuner

This old Technics tuner showed up in the mail today. It’s actually for my good friend Gord but I’m trying it 0ut before it goes to live at his house.

Look at those champagne buttons. 1980 was a great time to be a stereo enthusiasts. I remember poring over Stereo review magazines at stuff just like this.

Digital was still cool.

 

Exhibit B:  Nikon AF Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6

I picked up this Nikon autofocus lens for a whopping $26.00 (please don’t tell her how much). Introduced in 2001, it’s not quite as old as the stereo above, but for the price I paid and the cheezy plastic design, I’m very pleased with this lens - all the stereo photos above were taken with this 11 year old zoom lens for well under $100. One of the reasons I shoot Nikon is that every lens from photo school in 1990 still works just fine with modern digital cameras, as do all other lens from 1977 and newer.

Here’s a few sample photos from my twenty-six dollar lens:

 

These are all flowers that we grew, the snail too. ?  All in all, a good  day today - If only I could get my lawn mowing technique down..