Normal Service Resumed …

Well, maybe.

It’s been a busy 18 months since I last posted here. Sold the house and bought another one; visited Germany twice; visited England once; been to Mexico; planning a month in Portugal; continued with software stuff (struggling with new usernames and passwords); built two large pro bono web sites; lost a large number of golf balls; and found another life partner – the most significant news of all.

Get back to work!!!

Yes, it’s been a while since the last post. Yes, I am going to be updating and adding material ‘soon’. Yes, I have some serious resolutions for 2017. And sibling catalysis will play a role …


It’s later than you think

Over the past couple of weeks, the weather here was beautiful. Blue skies, warm sunshine, temperatures in the high teens. Me wondering why the golf course was closed but feeling it was just as well as I had a zillion small chores I ought to do before it got cold.

Splat! High winds, temperatures around and below zero, and horizontal snow – the best kind because it blows away (or drifts deep around the house), followed by some rain and more snow. I look at my uncompleted ‘outdoor’ list and hope I can get a dry, windless, not too cold weekend. At least then I can run the gas-powered gardening devices until they’re out of gas and can be poked away in a garage that could use about six weeks of tidying up.

And then the sun goes down. It’s later than I think. Time to start re-planning all the great outdoor things I’ve had on the to-do-list for years and actually get them done in 2017 … mostly, maybe.

I’m a teapot

Of late, I’ve been having all kinds of troubles with this site. The deeper I look, the more confused the picture becomes. I am hoping for enlightenment and a solution or that the issue(s) go away and stay away.

At least, I’m not getting 418 errors.

details at

See details at

Do people adapt faster than cats?

Once again, the ‘Spring forward, Fall back’ (or whatever you call it) thrusts us into uncharted territory. Do I get up in the dark, nap all afternoon, then go to sleep earlier (or is that later) … or something else.

The Time ChangeTM is a great opportunity to get all the clocks and devices that display the time to show the same time (whether it’s right or wrong).  Some of my devices are up to 10 minutes fast, other are up to 5 minutes slow. This occasionally causes consternation when I leave the house in plenty of time and by the time I get into the car I’m five minutes late.

But after a week, I’m fairly adapted to the ‘real’ time.  The cats, not so much. They know it’s time to be fed. They are on ‘stomach time‘. They sit by empty bowls in the afternoon and look pathetic until I give in and feed them early – 3pm my time, 4pm stomach time. And in the mornings, they are jumping on the bed, making piteous noises, generally being underfoot and complete a**holes until I produce food – in total darkness these days – before anything else.

Right tool for the job

All this for democracy!

It’s municipal election time around here (Toronto, Ward 44). Liz is working as the campaign CFO and I’m the webmaster for a candidate site – One of the benefits of working the political scene is that you get to do all sorts of tasks that you never expected to be part of the normal routine. One of those is that Liz voluntold me to undertake the mission-critical task of putting an election sign in place.

So, we have the sign, we have the stakes and all we need are the tools. Getting the hammer is no problem – I have lots!

The other critical item is a staple gun. Once upon a time I had a nice staple gun. I’d had it for years. And then I bought another staple gun (these are real ‘guy’ tools, along with assorted hammers, duct tape and a can of WD40), so putting up the sign was only going to be a moment’s work. ha ha!!

Continue reading

A cautionary tale

Watch where you’re going

Apparently not everything happens to me or Mrs. B. Sometimes, it happens to one of the kids. Here’s a recent email:

Hello family,

This could happen to you

This could happen to you

I was riding my bike home on Wednesday night around 11pm and went through the alley where some power lines had fallen and caution tape had been used to mark it off. Thinking I had successfully dodged the entire thing through the parking lot at the side I rode back into the alley and straight into a (completely unseeable) caution tape line across the alley. I fell off my bike and got the handle bar straight in the ribs at a 90 degree angle, plus I banged my knees up a bit. Continue reading

Would you mind looking again

A teachable moment for the bank

Mrs. B occasionally runs across something on e-Bay that she wants to buy. Now nobody in their right mind actually gives out a credit card number on the Internet (do they?), so PayPal is her preferred choice for payment.

Every once in a while, a buyer doesn’t have a PayPal account and needs a good old money order. So, Mrs. B buys a money order from the Canadian Post Office and sends it off to the seller in America … and back comes an apologetic e-mail from the seller:

Hello Liz,
Our bank just returned the money order you sent to pay for the [edited out]. We didn’t notice is was a Canadian money order, but of course, our bank did and will charge us US$10 to collect the CAD$6.95.

Continue reading

Traffic Jam – we can fix it

if we can find it!

Strictly speaking this isn’t a rainy day story – more like a rainy month story. The sort of thing that keeps me away from doing what I enjoy and trying to do ‘something’ to engender a sense of fiscal responsibility for local taxpayer money.

As a result of a Transportation Study done sixteen years ago, my community was recently presented with a number of alternatives to solve the “traffic problems” in the area, specifically on Port Union Road. After a series of Open House meetings, the preferred solution involved a $3,000,000 expenditure (of taxpayer’s money).

As a long-time area resident, I’ve driven on Port Union Road every day for 15+ years in the morning and evening ‘rush hour’. I’ve never been in a traffic jam, or anything close to a traffic jam. In fact, most of the time Port Union is pretty well wide open as far as you can see in both directions. And in the ‘rush hour’, sure there’s occasionally more traffic but the picture below shows you a fairly typical ‘rush hour’ view of Port Union Road.

This whole concept – a study of a non-problem with the preferred solution being to spend $3 million – bugged me so much that I created an entire website about it.

Final score
Time will tell. Whatever happens – will my taxes go down?