Monday, May 30, 2016

That Old Dishwasher Works Again

      So one little roller was not going to let me throw out my dishwasher. With the broken roller I could only use the bottom rack.

     So I finally found an old top dishwasher rack at the Habitat for Humanity store. The rollers looked similar to mine and they said take the rack if it works okay and if it doesn't throw the rack away. The rollers did look much like mine in size and shape. 

     So I took one roller off. Now dishwashers they make these days are crap but try taking the thing apart.

     When I put the new roller beside the old roller I thought there would be nothing to it. Wrong! I found the roller was too thick so I had to grind it down more than half. The hole for the shaft was too small so some reaming out took place. Then the screw that attaches the roller caught on the railing. So grind out a bit so the screw is inset. 

    And there you have it . A lot of work to alter a roller to make it fit. 

    And away goes my dish washer.

    Now there are only two of us so we don't have a big pile of dishes. I do all the dishes. So around here it wouldn't be disaster if I didn't have  dishwasher. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Accidental Theme

     It seems that once in awhile I have several posts in a row on the same theme. Sometimes it's planned and sometimes completely unplanned. Today's post is an accident.

     My last post was on a house being moved and saved from the wrecking block. It seems many readers feel the same about wa
sting resources and energy by throwing material away that is still in good condition.

     So this morning when I filled the dishwasher the top rack wouldn't come out. When I did get it to come out it wiped out the dishes on the lower rack so something had come off so that the top rack was hanging down.

     Now it took quite a few looks before I saw what the problem was. A small roller that runs in the slide that is part of the mechanism to pull out the top rack had broken. More to the point this little roller had almost disintegrated. 

      I phoned the best appliance parts place. No, these rollers are not made anymore. I tried a used appliance place. They didn't have a roller. They gave me the bad news that appliances only last 3-5 years before they need repairs.

    I went to Habitat for Humanity and dug around in the mountains of used dishwashers and parts. I couldn't find anything.

     Now for the wise use of resources and energy. I bought my dishwasher in 1987! That's right. My dishwasher is 29 years old and I'm not going to part with it yet if I can help it.

    I've done repairs on this appliance but have never taken it to a repair shop. I've changed a little control valve twice as they get corroded and then seize up and won't work. There are a couple of zip ties holding things together, I've painted racks to cover the rust. For most of the time only two of us have been using the dishwasher. I don't wash pots and pans in it. Sometimes I run vinegar in it and other times some margarine. I also clean out the screen for the water outlet.

     I wish that more quality was put into today's appliances. I hate to see things thrown away. However, if everybody used their dishwasher for 29 years the making of dishwashers wouldn't be very lucrative and the fat cats wouldn't make their millions of easy money. 

    I will not throw my whole dishwasher out just for one small roller that is missing!

This is my central vac motor that needs a talking to once in a while.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The House Went That Way.

     I live in a subdivision that was built a little more than  50 years ago. Now 50 years isn't old for a house. My house was built in 1963.

     However, there are fools around who want to replace a house and build a new one. As I said, a 50 year old house is still good if it's been maintained properly. Some houses are better now than when they were built.

     At least 6 houses have been bulldozed and hauled to the waste management sites. What a waste! These structures are still in great condition, but somebody has too much money and wants a new house.

    Now last week  I noticed one of the houses loaded on a truck and ready to be moved out of town. Now this is a good idea as the materials aren't wasted.

    The sad part is that it costs about the same to bull doze the house or move it to another site where somebody wants it. There should be regulations that prevent people from hauling a perfectly good house to the waste management site.

    Now I did get some photos of the house loaded on the moving truck. The next morning at 5:00 AM it was to be moving and on the road. I wanted to be up and ready to take a photo as it was going right by my house. I was awake. I discovered that it's still dark at 5:00 Am so any photos would have been of truck lights. 

    However, sure enough the house went rolling by my place at 5:08 AM. They really move along with a house.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Let the 51st Begin

      The honeymoon is over Poochie Pie.  By Stompin Tom Connors

       Yes, the Micro Manager and I recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. I'm sure most people say , "They don't know where the time went." or "It seems just like yesterday we were married."

        So we were married in Inuvik NWT. Get your map out and look for that one. It was a bright sunny day and warm enough for not having to wear a coat. The anniversary day here was terribly cold and windy and you had to wear your winter coat to keep warm

        One humorous thing sticks in my mind. We went to the minister in Feb to get organized. We had to request that he marry us and outline plans we would have to have in place. At the same time were were getting the marriage license from him. He shuffled  around in his office and couldn't find the book with licenses. He thought maybe he sold the last one in his book? He would get some more licenses from another pastor,but he would have to charge us $2.00 instead of one dollar because the last couple hadn't paid him!!!

     So this is what it looked like at the start!

     And this is how far it has gone!

      So by now the honeymoon should be over!

       My daughter wrote:
           Through thick and thin:
           Arctic adventure, chores,
           and play, kids, grand kids,
           in-laws , outlaws, you
          made it all work. You gave us 
          something to aim for.

       My son wrote:
       Congratulations on your special's quite a milestone indeed. I hope it's filled with happiness, Best wishes from all of us on the left coast.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Oh! Oh!

    This is what I woke up to this morning! Yes, a little snow and temperature of plus 1 C(34 F). When I went to bed it was raining and it rained in the night. Sometime in the early morning it turned to ice pellets and that's what you see in my newly planted garden.

    Now this is the start of what we call in western Canada the May long weekend. Other Canadians call it Victoria Day weekend which is a time to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday. Yes , we still have a Queen! I'm not sure why. I did see her a couple of times. Now I think it's more to celebrate the present Queen's birthday..

    We joke about camping on this May weekend and how often we camp in very inclement weather. Usually we're around campfires with our winter jackets on. However, being eternal optimists we continue to go camping on a weekend that has big odds of very poor weather. Oh, it's going to be cold in the tent tonight! Now I admit that I'm not going to go camping. I haven't gone out on this long weekend for close to 40 years.

    Now Buttons at Buttons thoughts had a good post on our May weekend. Go over there and read her excellent piece.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Fort McMurray Alberta

       Things have more or less been at a stand still in the city of Fort McMurray.  The fire,the beast, slowed down for a few days and then it got hot and windy again. The only good thing was that the fire was away from the city. There are many hotspots that could be dangerous. Yesterday , trees in a park area in the city started burning. To date the fire has burned 425000 hectare. This is about 80% of  Prince Edward island.

        Plans to return and open the city have been on hold.

       To open the city gets to be a bit complicated. All the gas was turned off because gas lines could and did rupture and add to the fire. They have to check gas lines for leaks and then all the pilot lights have to be relit.

     Water lines were ruptured and the water was turned off to the whole city. The water treatment plant has to be started and all water lined checked and flushed.

     All electricity had to be turned off.

     The hospital and medical facilities have to be cleaned and opened.

     People are told that when they go back they have to take food and water.

     Yesterday the fire threatened larger work camps. A 650 person camp burned. There are 18 other camps with some holding about 1000 people 8000 people  from the  camps have been evacuated

     Today the Premier announced that June 1 is the date to start returning to the city. For many reasons this  could change .

    For many people the decision to go back is difficult. Are schools going to be open? Will business be open? Will their job be needed now?

     It will take a long time to open Fort McMurray again. Then the rebuilding starts.

Monday, May 16, 2016


      You've seen this figure many times. I've written of how it came to be. The birch tree died and we left a 6 ft stump to turn into "something". We wanted to carve it but soon realized carving was way beyond our ability. We settled on a little outline of a house. Not my idea though!

      We've had fun with this creation as people have commented and lots of little kids have to look at it each time they go by.

      We were sitting in the backyard yesterday afternoon when we noticed someone at the front door. We called the guy to the back. He had stopped to tell us to take the bark off the stump so the wood wouldn't rot.

     He had just finished this chainsaw carving at my neighbors.

      We visited with this guy and it was a learning experience. He had taken a good look at our creation and saw things that other people never see. There are silhouettes of faces on either side of the stump!

      What he did for my neighbor has lots of detail. The ideas were my neighbors and the guy just followed instructions.

     I can imagine many little kids will look at this carving.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Octopuses or Octopi

     Now here's a topic that could generate a few discussions. some discussions may even be a bit heated. And then other people may say, "Who cares?" .  Now the other day I heard a discussion of the plural on a radio show.

     Is the plural of octopus, octopi or octopuses? We see it written both ways and are not sure what is actually correct. It's one of those plurals that I fumble with and take the simplest one octopi.

     Well apparently both are correct according to your dictionary, but one is more correct than the other. Since octopus is of Greek origin the plural should be es. The pi ending is a Latin form and I can't find why it's used.

    So for a word that's not that common it creates an issue over it's plural.

Squid, Octopus, Fish, Meeresbewohner, Dry, Delicious


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fort McMurray Again

      Have you heard anything about Fort McMurray lately?

      Not likely!

      The media is around when they can get sensational pictures of billowing clouds of smoke and flames licking through the trees. Well, there are no big fires so the media has gone on in search of some other sensational story.

       But Fort McMurray is still there and it's still a serious story.

       A few days ago the wind changed and the temperature dropped so the fire died down and travelled away for mcMurray. There are still hot spots which can become very dangerous again.

      So people are going back home? Not so fast. There's lots that has to be done before 90000 people go tearing home. Infrastructure has to be checked to see if it's working. So checks on electricity, gas, water , sewer and other services have to be made. Basic stock in all businesses has to be filled. There's no gas in the whole city.A grand plan has to be made before people can return home. It's not going to happen anytime soon.

     Today adults were issued debit cards for $1250 each and $500 for each child. The Red Cross is issuing $500 per person. The Red Cross has raised $67 000 000.  After  seven days some basics have to be purchased like clothing.

     People will be going back but not right away. Their kids are being enrolled in schools. 11000 kids were enrolled in Ft McMurray schools when they evacuated. Many of those kids will remain in their new schools until the end of the year.

     Now 85 - 90% of the city was saved. Over 2000 buildings were destroyed. That puts many people in a difficult situation. Those who lost houses will have some difficult decisions to make. I think in the short term temporary housing will be brought in and construction camps will be used.

    So there's no hot news but the real tough story is still there and will go on for years. Estimates of three years for rebuilding are being suggested. Estimated damage is nine billion dollars.

Ron Quintal from the Fort McKay volunteer fire department was surprised to be getting a call to help in Fort McMurray, and the damage left the veteran firefighter taken aback.

This is a photo from CBC

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Special Day

     Sometimes I go looking for a special day for a post topic. Today that day is ready made and I don't have to do any looking.

    So Mother's of the more meaningful of the special days.

     So Happy Mother's Day to the special bloggers I follow who are Moms. I was once asked why so many of the blogs I follow are written by women. Well, today gives one of the reasons. Most of the women bloggers I follow are Moms.

     I can also take time to remember my Mom. My Mom had super challenges in her life. She was a young person in the 1930's and was married in 1938.  Now the really hard part happens. She had four children in five years. She had to live in a very small house with absolutely no conveniences...electricity, running water ...nothing. I can't imagine doing washing for a family without a power washer. To sum it up Mom put up with very challenging times.

    Later on Mom lost her only daughter.

    Mom left us all too early at age 59. It was awful to watch cancer take her.

    Next week Mom would be 102!

    So Happy Mother's Day to all my followers who are Moms. You're the greatest.
Mom about 1920

Family photo 1966

1969 with my son

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fort McMurray Fire

       By now most people would be aware of the dangerous destructive forest fire at Ft McMurray. Wildfires were in the area but on the weekend one fire suddenly went very wild. Windy hot conditions allowed the fire to go toward the city of Ft. McMurray. By Monday a mandatory evacuation of the city was ordered. The evacuation order was almost too late.

       Ft McMurray has a population of about 90000. There is about 1 1/4 roads out of McMurray. There's one divided double lane highway and a much smaller two lane highway . Since almost all people ended up on the highway , a massive traffic jam took place. Adding to the misery, there was no gas left in McMurray so people started with less than a tank of gas. It's a long way to another town with gas so people were stalled on the road with no gas.

    About 15000 people went to the north to empty work camps. 65000 went south toward Edmonton.
Now it's hard to imagine that many people on one road trying to get away. Once they were a few Km out of town they were out of fire danger but there was no place to stay.

    Ft. Mcmurray is 587 km northeast of where I live.

    You probably connect Ft McMurray to the massive tar sands oil development. The large mines and plants are in no danger as the mines have cleared all the forest. The city is located in a beautiful boreal forest area.

     So an emergency situation has made it very worrisome for us even if we are far from danger. My neighbor works at McMurray. He came home safely but it was a difficult trip.

     Now about 50 years ago there was no road to McMurray. It was a small isolated village. There was a railway to McMurray.

   At this time the fire is still out of control.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

eBoy's Lunch

    Yesterday was the  eboy's lunch. eboys are a small group of teachers who taught together  at a school in the 70's. We were mostly in our 20's and left our rooky teaching years and become effective teachers. During that time we became good friends. We were in the same boat. We had little kids, were broke most of the time and loved to socialize together. We had a couple of older guys who were great mentors and also stayed friends with us.

     We missed this lunch last year and the year before I could not attend. We all show a little aging since the last lunch. Our mentor was not able to attend due to his health condition. He's just not able to cope being out anymore.

    So yesterday there was talk of colleagues we've lost recently. Then talk of colleagues and sharing news. And retired teachers always have to talk about former students.

    Lunch was great but the visit was awesome. We had an awesome relationship when we were young and it's still the same although we don't see each other very much. Man, did we have energy in those days.

    The photos are from 2013 so yes we've aged over the 3 years. Don't look for me. I was the photographer.