Sunday, 26 December 2010

Light Pillars

Driving back from Carman last night, we saw these beautiful light spears shooting up from just about every source of light.

My pictures do not do justice to how pretty it all looked.

And being that I am very shaky, even when resting the camera on the window ledge, some of them are just a little odd.
The Geek discovered they are called light pillars. I think they are lovely.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
May you all have a safe, peaceful, and happy holiday!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Chilly Sunrise

The river is still open in places, which is unusual considering how late in December we are. But the combination of high water, as I mentioned earlier, and a lot of snow has made freezing a challenge.And it really wasn't that cold this morning; only -18. The 'balmy' conditions are expected to continue until after Christmas.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

A Prairie Problem

Extension-cord law stirs Regina debate

Resident creates frigid fuss over $25 ticket

REGINA -- The harsh realities of a prairie winter and the right of pedestrians to move freely on sidewalks have collided in Saskatchewan, where civic lawmakers are dealing with a debate that could only have erupted in courtesy-conscious Canada.

Regina resident Bob Klassen has created a frigid fuss over a $25 ticket he got for running the extension cord from his car's block heater across the sidewalk to an outlet.

The city said people could trip over the cord.

Block heaters, foreign in warmer climes, are a winter driver's lifeline when the mercury dips. The electric heating element, juiced by a plug in the grill, keeps an engine from freezing up on long, cold nights.

Klassen doesn't have a garage, or a driveway on which to park his 1991 Corolla, so he has to run an extension cord from his house to the street.

"For an older vehicle it is really reliable, but it does need that extra little bit of TLC, you know," Klassen says.

Enter a bylaw officer who chose to enforced traffic Bylaw 9900, Section 68, Subsection 2: "No person shall allow any cord or cable left across, above, or on any public highway or sidewalk to be attached to their vehicle while that vehicle is parked on a street."

"I was dumbfounded," Klassen recalls.

"Let's face it. We live in Saskatchewan and not everybody is really rich. We don't all have off-street parking. We don't all have garages.

"I'm thinking, that's a law for Saskatchewan? It just makes no sense. We get down -- often for weeks on end -- to -40 C."

He took his grievance to city hall.

At first the only acknowledgment was an explanation -- we don't want people tripping on cords.

But when Klassen expressed his outrage in a letter to a newspaper, things began to snowball.

Debate has raged in online forums ever since. Some people are urging a more common-sense approach to bylaw enforcement, while others warn that anyone given an inch of cord will take a mile.

On Monday, the mayor and Klassen's councillor are to put forward a motion asking a committee to review the bylaw and consider options. Whether they are enforced or not, similar bylaws appear elsewhere on the Prairies. Some larger municipalities, however, have hit on solutions.

In Medicine Hat, Alta., drivers are allowed to run a cord through trees or anything else at least 2 1/2 metres above the sidewalk. In Grande Prairie, Alta., a cord may snake across a sidewalk if it is "done in such a manner to ensure due care and attention for the safe passage of vehicles or pedestrians."

Klassen says his situation is particularly galling because he meticulously clears his sidewalk of snow and makes sure walkers can spy his cord.

For this crusader for free-range extension cables, the only thing that really works is letting him keep it on the ground.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 18, 2010 A7

Friday, 10 December 2010

Hardly Room for all the Big Heads

The Geek is having one of her Instructables published too!
She got this letter the other day.
Hey there,

Instructables is trying something new! We're turning some of our guides into eBooks that will be available for kindle and iBooks readers. They'll also be free to any Instructables pro member through the site. This means we'll be getting your awesome projects out to a new audience and even more people to share.

One of your Instructables was chosen for a collection of solar projects. If for some reason you would rather not be included just PM me and let me know.

Congratulations again on being a part of the ongoing improvements at Instructables and thank you for sharing your project!


This is her project.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Alfalfa Sprouts, Bean Sprouts, Tomato Sprouts?

I a still working on finishing up the last garden tomatoes. They are a little wilted, but otherwise unblemished.This one, however, is trying to ensure a continuation of the species. I wonder if I have come across the next health food fad?

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Wow! I'm to be Published

I received this email today.
"Hello, Sox.


Your Instructable has been selected for inclusion in an Instructables eBook. We're taking some of our Guides to the next level, and converting them into an eBook format to better share Instructables projects with a wider audience.

You'll get a copy of the eBook, which you can share with friends and family -- especially those with iPads.

You can see a draft of the eBook here:
Before publishing the eBook, I will be writing up a description of the projects and a link back to

We hope you're as excited as us, and wanted to reach out to let you know this was happening.

If you don't want to be included for any reason, please write back and let us know by Dec. 9.

Instructables Robot"

This is the instructable that will be featured, so the Geek will be famous too!

And don't worry. I won't forget all the people I knew 'before'.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

In My White MInd

There has been a lot of snow on my shovel, I haven't been on my bike, and driving has been interesting so, needless to say, I have been thinking about the white stuff quite a bit.
Here is what Environment Canada has had to say in terms of snow stats.

Snow by the numbers

110.6 cm = The average snowfall for an entire winter in Winnipeg

21.4 cm = The average snowfall for November in Winnipeg

55.6 cm = The amount of snow that fell on Winnipeg this November (an additional one centimetre fell in October)

80 cm = The total amount of snow that fell last winter

1.4 cm = The amount of snow on the ground in November 2009

15 cm = The amount of snow on the ground in November 2008

62.8 cm = The amount of snow on the ground in November 1996

80.3 cm = The record snowfall for November, set in 1955

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Seasonal Flowers

You can always tell where the cooler parts of the house are. The Christmas Cactus by the window has buds but the one on the floor in the centre of the room acts like there is nothing going on.

This one also bloomed last year and I don't think the other one did. Hmmm

Thursday, 25 November 2010

We Have Snow

It started snowing last week on Friday and it hasn't stopped.The river tho' is still open, and who knows how well it will freeze since it is it still very high.
I love Manitoba but I certainly don't like this stuff.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Arduino Playground

Ruzter sent the Geek this arduino for her birthday. (It is the small blue bit near the pencil).
I have no idea what it does, but she has been spending a great deal of time playing with it using this website and by all appearances having a great deal of fun. There is no need for me to understand.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

A Record?

I don't think the docks at Winnipeg Rowing Club have been out this late in the season. Of course, the river is much higher than normal as well.

Monday, 15 November 2010

A Seven-Layer Cake

N2 likes a layer for every year, so this year, since he is turning seven, he got seven layers.
There are some structural issues, but there is plenty of space for candles.

Happy Birthday!!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Tougher Than Last Year.

I was impressed last year by how long the delphiniums lasted.
This year, they've gone at least a month longer. They are looking a little worse for wear, but they are still blooming.

And it looks like that '1' has flipped itself around again. A non-conformist to be sure.

Monday, 8 November 2010

If You Can Believe What You Read

Saturday, on the curb up the street, we found this lamp sitting on the cover of a portable galvanized sink.
The sink is temporarily housed elsewhere, and the lamp is currently hanging over the utility sink in the basement until it can be installed in the back hall.
The Geek, for some reason, looked it up on eBay and found a trio for sale.
A rather hefty price tag, I must say. I wonder if anyone is going to buy them at that price?

And how does she know these are the same lamps?

Sunday, 7 November 2010

There's Aliens in the Kitchen

I am amazed at how many lights there are glowing around the kitchen table.
What can I say?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Installing Winter Tires

First, you have to move the lathe to access the tires.

But before you do, you have to try the other, single point of attachment.Then you have to finish the project.
Tires to be installed tomorrow....

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Firsts for this Fall

We had the first killing frost Thursday morning. Good bye basil.

We turned the heat on for the first time Friday night.

We has the first dusting of snow Saturday morning. It was gone as soon as the sun came up.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Why Do I Worry?

The back lane was 'fixed' September 29. I was worried about the high speeds and traffic that would inevitably happen.
We had a few days of rain, and there were potholes again. I muttered darkly to our councillor, and, before I could get pictures, a truck came out with some black gunk, the holes were filled and packed with the wheels of the truck. I doubt that will work, but I think this lane will be very bumpy again before long.
Gah!! What a waste of taxpayers money.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

What's Finished, What's Not

The front part of the fence and the gate are finished,

The windows have all been washed and the storm windows are installed.

But we have yet to have a killing frost in the yard. The basil and tomatoes don't look happy, but they are not dead yet either. One of the tomatoes still has blossoms.
They are being pulled out today as it is supposed to be raining and miserable for the next few days. Not at bad season at all.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Decor Bales

I saw this sign on Saturday when I went to pick up gravel for the fence. When I checked, bales were going for roughly $2.50 each, or about $4 for alfalfa.
If people are buying these, this guy is doing pretty good.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

One Weekend Worth of Fence

The Geek and the next door neighbour, Kit, managed to get most of the fence done on the weekend.
The Geek just has to close up the front and make a gate.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Tought Tomatoes and Blackened Basil

These are great tomatoes. They taste wonderful, produce tons of tomatoes,
and bloom well into the autumn.
And the basil has not frozen yet, tho' it was a little chilly in the yard last night, judging by their blackened leaves.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Out With the Old

Take note.
The old fence is going down and being replaced with a newer, taller one so the neighbours hot tub is now safe according to local by-laws.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Hello Kitty

Ruzter has been practising Random Acts of E-bay. He sent me these 'Hello Kitty' pins. They are quite cute. I just have to incorporate them into my wardrobe and we're off.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Racing the Frost

I found a pansy blooming in the garden yesterday.
I wonder if the buds will have a chance to bloom too?

Monday, 11 October 2010

It's Not Even Garbage Eve!

On the way to supper at the Peartree's, the Geek noticed something out of the window and I had to stop so she could investigate.
She had noticed a lathe on the side of the street in, what would be the 'not needed' spot were it on street. She had a peek and knocked on the door of the house, but no one answered. We continued on our way so she could ask Mr P. about the give-away culture in their neighbourhood.

She ended up leaving a note in the owner's mailbox, and brought the lathe to the Peartree's on their wagon.

The motor needed to be tightened down, and the says the cutter angle is a little off, but other than that, it works well. The rust on the shaft is easy to deal with.She, of course, is tickled that she has a lathe.
And a free one at that.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Circus Time

The nephews are the proud owners of a little dirt bike. It is even smaller than the one Sister C had when she was a kid.
Several tall people had to try it out on the weekend.

Sister T is almost the right size.

Thanksgiving weekend

The weather was beautiful.

N2 was certain he had never previously seen Nana out of the house.
A picnic behind the school.
N2 and N3 ride with Granddad in the tractor.
Over-the-head canoe shot.
Playing in the bullrushes.
More rides.
And walks at sunset.