Sunday, November 22, 2015

Monsters in Little Italy

I wonder what will happen to these diggers at Preston and Carling when the 45-storey condo is built. Will they just be buried underneath like the diggers of London? Or converted into furnaces like Mike Mulligan's steam shovel?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lending the chainsaw

A few weeks ago, my coworker Lori mentioned her husband had some wood to cut, but didn't have a chainsaw. I quickly offered to let him borrow my mine. I use the chainsaw to cut up the firewood I scrounge in the neighbourhood, but could easily spare the saw for a few weeks and I'm always happy to help out another modern lumberjack.

So, I put the chainsaw in my car and drove it in to work. It's a light chainsaw, so I could have brought it into the building to give to Lori, but we figured it would be better to do the transfer in the parking lot. We had a feeling that it would make the front desk security guards uncomfortable to have someone walk past them with a chainsaw. Like there probably isn't a specific rule against chainsaws in the building, but they'd feel they should do something about it.

I mentioned that the blade could be lubricated. "They have dedicated chainsaw oil, but I just use a heavy motor oil or bicycle chain oil, whatever's around," I told her.

Gord had the chainsaw for a couple of weeks and then he returned it. I don't know much about Gord, but I can tell you he is the kind of guy who returns things in better shape than he borrows them.

Here is the returned chainsaw.

Notice the wood attached to the blade? With nice heavy screw knobs? He made a guard for the blade! Cut a piece of wood to a perfect shape, drilled some holes and attached those really nice knobs. And, he threw in a jug of proper chainsaw oil!

I'm trying to think of what else I can lend Gord.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Feeding the Chickadees

 Yesterday, Manon and I met my dad at the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary down near Morrisburg. We arrived in time for the 2:30 p.m. feeding of the Canada Geese. It is fun to see thousands of geese feeding at the same time. The feedings continue until the end of October, so you can still go.

But the really cool thing was when we took a walk on the boardwalk trail through the wetlands.

We were swarmed by little black-capped chickadees. It's like they knew that Manon and I had supported them in the campaign to name them Ottawa's unofficial bird.

It seems people are allowed to feed the birds. (There are no signs saying you can't and nothing about it on the website.) We passed several groups of people offering bird seed to the chickadees.

Then we came to a group that was offering black sunflower seeds. And a man with them offered us seeds so we could try it.

These tiny little birds were landing right on our hands and taking the seeds. The birds are so light you can barely feel them.

The very kind man with the seeds explained that he thinks the black sunflower seeds work particularly well because they contrasts well with skin colour and the birds can see them better.

His friend was also able to tell us that the other birds with a blueish colour that that were around but a bit more shy than the chickadees were nuthatches.

Friday, September 04, 2015

A Planter Mystery

Can you explain why I'm encouraged to save coffee cans for planters, but I've been expressly asked not to save pop bottles?

Look at these beauties:

Thursday, September 03, 2015

A Solair Mystery

Can you guess where we bought our new Solair Chair?

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Is Magi Dead? Episode 5

Magi shows her versatility as an actor.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

You might be right to ignore my advice

We had a successful time at the Great Glebe Garage Sale yesterday and I learned an important lesson.

At the very last sale we stopped at, Manon spotted an odd glass dish. "Do you know what this is for?"

It had a spindle sort of thing in the middle. I asked, "is it for a Bundt cake?"

"No," she said, "the sides aren't high enough and there's a pouring spout."

"Well," I said, "if you don't know what it is, you don't need it."

That was enough for me, but Manon is more curious and she had to know. So she asked another customer who made the same guess I made and then Manon asked the adorable 90-year-old Ukrainian woman running the sale.

The owner explained that the item was for roasting a chicken in the oven. You put the chicken upright over the spindle and pour out the juice to make your gravy.

She accepted a very reasonable price that I cannot share with you because her daughter who originally paid for it might come across this and we can't let the daughter know what it went for.

The lesson learned: People may do well by ignoring my advice. And if they do, I might get some roast chicken out of it.