Thursday, January 26, 2012

For my birthday

I am giving you all over 2 months to organize yourselves and take up a collection.

Green is one of my favourite colours and, luckily, emeralds are my second favourite gem. Next to diamonds naturally.

The world's largest emerald is going on sale in Kelowna, BC in the not too distant future and I think it would make a fetching tiara. Mind you, I am partial to hats and I wouldn't want to have to decide between a hat or a tiara.

Perhaps a pinky ring instead. In platinum of course. Thanks in advance.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Proud Sinner

I know that Pride is one of the seven deadly sins but I can’t help myself. Not in this instance. On Friday, on schedule, I placed my whites in the washing machine. After I let it fill with water and the soap get all sudsy I noticed that, what I have since learned is called the agitator, was not agitating.

The bottom part was doing its back-and-forth thing but the tower portion stood motionless. After a press, a pull and a whack, I decided it was indeed broken. IronMan calls me his handyman but such machines fall outside my realm of expertise.

I feared an unplanned expense that would cut into my established wine budget for Italy this July. If that were curtailed I’m not sure it would be worth the trip. Mind you, it might not have hurt the captain of the Costa Concordia to have one less glass with dinner.

Memories of my dad’s ‘support local business’ stance and the repeated references from the Doll House girls motivated me to visit Faulkner Appliances. I found out that they sell units but don’t make repairs. They did however furnish me with the name and number of a serviceman they recommend.

Calling on Saturday, I didn’t expect, or indeed get, an answer or a response before Monday. The whites had been washed, if not properly agitated, but I still had towels to do! This wouldn’t stand.

Putting on my “now” generation hat, and mustering up my dad’s DIY attitude, I scratched my noodle and hit the internet. In less than 3 minutes I found a YouTube video explaining just my situation. In less than 10 minutes I had my agitator removed, disassembled and the worn out dogs removed.

Chronic impatience and frugality led to one slight misstep. Instead of ordering the part on-line, as explained in the video, I drove to Canadian Tire, Home Dept and Rona in search of it. Why wait AND pay for shipping I thought?

Soon enough, I found myself back in front of the computer ordering the piece on-line. $8.44 shipping for a $2.62 part – I was outraged! Pink Girl has since informed me of a plumbing supply store par excellence that I will keep in the old filofax for future reference.

I must concede that $8.44 for overnight shipping isn’t THAT bad when I consider the expense of a repairman. Mind you, depending on the hanyman…..

So here I sit, Chianti in hand (I need to start practicing now), prouder than I probably should be, listening to the gentle slosh slosh slosh of the WhirlPool SlimTwin that I fixed!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I take it back

Let’s tally the score shall we – Mother Nature 1, Jack Front, in cahoots with aforementioned Mother, 1, Robert, 0.

It was not the 100 Years War, not even the 7 Year War. Rather, more like a 72 hour war and I concede defeat. The white flag is waving and once again nature has triumphed over man, at least this one.

‘Unseasonably warm’ is how this January has been described to date. No snow or ice on the path has indeed been a blessing as I cycle to work each morning. But mix together a light lake breeze, near freezing temperatures and thin bike tires and you have a recipe for Jack Frost to be mischievous.

As I rounded a corner this morning the back tire of my bicycle slipped out from under me. Quickly following was the front tire and the rest of Molly. Gravity then went to work on what Fauntleroy calls my ‘hefty’ hips as I smashed to the ground.
Based on the bruising, gash in my jacket sleeve and road rash, my left elbow appears to have made contact next. The last bit to fall victim was my ego. Quickly looking around for witnesses I jumped up, brushed myself off and tried to peddle away only to find my chain had also popped off.
Hobbling to the grass, a fellow cyclist that I had fortunately passed before turning the corner so he did not see the spill, stopped to query if everything was okay. “Chain just popped off” I murmured as I massaged my hip.
I took not sliding into a fence, tree or the lake as a sign Mother Nature wasn’t exerting her full wrath. Rather, she was giving me a chance to reflect on my “bring it on” attitude.

Well Mother, you win. I will heed this most fair warning and take the opportunity apologize for my action.

I hate to admit defeat so easily, but at my age, one needs to mind their hips as they tend to be prone to breaking.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Bring It Mother Nature!

Apparently Mother Nature does not like being told to leave me with my youth. Nor does she like my being a party to taking four of her geese during our now annual Dave and George Mitchell memorial hunt. At least that is all I can assume.

She was so displeased that she deemed it necessary to sacrifice one of the many pawns on her chessboard of life. Said pawn took the shape of a jumbo sized racoon during a night drive heading out of Fergus.

Geese breast and legs in tow I headed home for a highly anticipated scrumptious meal. Not 10 minutes outside of Fergus I spotted, a little too late, a set of glowing yellow eyes. They darted across Liza's path and stopped on the centre line.

Much like the suicidal birds I occasionally run into, literally, the fool of a racoon decided it was a good idea to run back in front of me!

Needless to say, it did not end well for neither beast nor machine. About 1/3 of my bumper, apparently made out of plastic and held together with rubber bands, joined Ricky Racoon on the side of road. The protective rubber under-fender cover also went flying off into the dark.

Boo I say. Boo indeed. But I also say bring it Mother Nature. Bring it. I have snow tires and insurance. Bring it on!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Absolutely NOT Fabulous

For our first Thursday in 2012, the boys and I tucked into a healthy meal (courtesy of Kitkat) and in addition to each others company, also enjoyed a couple of TV treats from across the pond.

First, was the Downton Abbey Christmas special and like the series, was lovingly better than expected. If you haven’t watched the seasons yet don’t jump to the special or it will ruin everything for you.

Second, and still hilarious, was an episode of the new Absolutely Fabulous. The writing was spot on and brill as usual but the actors are, ummmm, showing their mileage. June Whitfield (Edina’s mother) aside, the cast definitely looks 20 years older.

That’s right. Ab Fab started in 1992! 20 bloody buggery years ago darling. On Patsy, it only added to her over the top, ‘once was’ character and you could go with it. Edina’s work was evident but again, worked with the part.

Bubble however, is a completely different story. When Jane Horrock first appeared on screen I almost dropped my drink. I thought surely it was a dream sequence and they were trying to age her character. Sadly, this was not the case.

Fauntleroy, while equally shocked, burst our little “we look good for our age” bubble by stating that “we are that old you know” and that we were around when the show started. He also asked if we actually thought we looked like we did when we were 25.

To his first point, Bubble was born in 1964 (yes, I checked) so she has 5 years on us. And no, I don’t look like I did when I was 25, or 30 or 35 or anything in between. I still think it’s unfair, and I know, life isn’t…..., that we all get to experience youth and then ever so slowly have it taken away.

Kitkat tried to buoy our spirits by stating that “we all still have our hair” but who knows how long that is going to stick around before migrating down my back?

Acknowledging that the first blog post of the New Year should be positive and upbeat I have to admit this one is a stitch cynical. Cynicism, so eloquently put by Lillian Hellman, is an unpleasant way of stating the truth.

I am just going to say it – I hate getting old. I know hate is a strong word, but it’s not strong enough.

They say with age comes wisdom. I would rather be stupid and young with no lower back pain and good knees that I can still tuck behind my head. And PS, the latest study suggests our brains “start to lose it” at 45. Well now that’s just great…. 2 years after I get my wattle I get to go crazy.

They say with age comes stability and financial security for your ‘golden years’. I would rather be young and dumb enough not to know the difference between a ‘defined benefit’ and ‘defined contribution’ pension plan and have no concept of the consequences of living on credit.

They say with age comes “respect for your elders”. I am only 42 but go into any store, particularly painful in A&F (arguably I should not be shopping there) and every question, comment or conversation begins or ends with “sir.” Mind you, I hate it just as much when people presume it okay to call me “buddy”, “bud” or any other variation thereof. Perhaps I need to print a t-shirt that says “please call me Robert.”

Father Time, I beg of you, keep your Zoomer magazines, your senior discounts and designated seating. Stop telling me, and trying to convince yourself that “40 is the new 30” or “70 is the new 60”. They are not. At 40, you’re 40. You do NOT feel the same as you did at 30 or 25 or any other age. I’ll give you 39 if you just turned.

And Mother Nature, stop giving me lines, sags and spots in places where I Clinique 3 Step. And that is EVERYWHERE. I'm doing my part here, little help?