agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Remember the shipping bolts ordered from Sears? I was glad they arrived. I was a little perturbed when the first thing I see is a standard form attached to the receipt, bigger than the receipt, achtunging that things cannot be returmed to Sears but must go back to the maker.

Yep - the bolts didn't fit.

The threads weren't even close.

If you or your pension plan is invested in Sears, get your money out now.

Oh golly.

Jun. 3rd, 2017 09:01 am
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
We are now living in Salmon Arm in my Mom's sewing room. Just about everything got packed. The movers realized we were moving from Vancouver and not Victoria, so they arrived at 3:00 pm, having missed the 11:00 am ferry. So, that meant they couldn't start the move because there is NO PARKING on Cordova between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, without exceptions, which I told the movers about again and again [1]. The movers thought I was kidding, and were surprised when the parking checker was there at 3:08 threatening them with towing (yes, the city has access to equipment that will tow a 7 ton moving truck). So the move didn't start until 6:00 pm.

There are more funny-later stories to tell about this move, but it isn't later enough yet, so I will just say that I am glad that we got rid of so much stuff because the 12 by 12 storage unit is stuffed solid.

[1] - when I worked shift work, I stopped telling my boss the very particular days I needed off (very rare, but needed) because it just seemed to focus their attention on that date so that I would be scheduled for a very critical don't-miss-it-or-lose-your-job thing on that day. So, it is only normal that after being cautioned repeatedly about the no-go of parking between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, that it would focus the mind so powerfully that the warned people would arrive precisely at 3:00 pm.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
I am a person who keeps every tiny thing because it brings back a memory that I cherish. Yes, I hoard.

It is amazing how the lure of keeping things for sentimental reasons gets weaker and weaker as the moving day arrives.

FLAME THROWER!

*ahem*

I am not using a flame thrower, nor planning to use a flame thrower, but one can see how such an item could be used to advantage.

Argh.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
So. It is possible to overburden one's phone until it absolutely freezes and does not respond to buttons or begging. I had too many internet tabs open and it froze completely. However - I let the battery run down - let it absolutely drain - recharged it, and all is as it was. Whew.

Let me tell you - the thought of losing all my contacts three days before moving day - argh argh argh.

The battery is pretty good: It was at 94% when it froze at 10:05 on Thursday morning and it was completely toast at about 2:00 pm today. I don't know when it failed, but the phone was still frozen the last time I looked at 10:00 am today.

LG X Power. :)

(I can't imagine having my whole life on there - email, social media, banking - blue screen of death would be unbearable.)
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Yes.

I sniveled about the Sears bolts - and they have arrived.

Which reminded me of Monday, when I texted someone that not only were we late, and then delayed, but that now we were at the stop, there were no buses. There hadn't been for ages, until I texted, whence came many buses.

Which reminiscence also reminded me of my favorite tactic for finding something in a store: I find a clerk, ask them, and the thing will be right beside them. I now go and find the clerk and look around - and yes: often the thing I want is there.

I think it is unfortunate that whining works, but it does, so I will.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
We had the junk removal services here today, taking away two broken down couches, a warped metal filing cabinet, buckets and hoses and broken plant pots, and assorted unnamable debris. If you are in the lower mainland (Vancouver BC and environs) I would like to strongly recommend Mister Junk Removal to you:
https://www.misterjunkremoval.com/

They did Lorne's brother's apartment - and got all (many many) his books to various donation places. They are reasonably priced, and careful, and on time, and I would use their services again in a heartbeat.

We also had the apartment inspection - oh boy. I am not a good housekeeper - and we have cats (currently cat, but aged, so more so) who barf when you least expect it. Ugh. Yes, the carpet will have to go.

I keep saying this, but it keeps on being true: everything left to pack is so heavy and weirdly shaped. Either we need a long narrow flat box (bamboo door screen), or a pair of perfectly square boxes (top and bottom of a domed cake stand/ punch bowl contraption), or I need a bunch of really lightweight things to go in a box with a cast iron dutch oven - and we're out of light things because they have already been stuffed in other boxes.

The one who is suffering is the aged cat: we keep packing (or throwing away) his sleeping places. All the clothes closets are full of packed boxes. Both couches are gone (inside and out). He's getting a little tired of heading off for a nap and having to search out a new place.

Now. If Sears would just get on with delivering the shipping bolts for the washing machine, that would be welcome.

Rosy view.

May. 15th, 2017 04:39 pm
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
I now remember why I don't drink ruby red grapefruit juice and gin. It tastes so good and harmless one has thrown one's caution to the winds before one even realizes one has stood up. So very more-ish, indeed. I would also like to caution you that the fact that one's troubles fall off like so many paperbacks off a cat is another feature requiring navigation.

Before I relinquish all elegance of phrasing, I would like to say: huzzah.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
I have been sick with the flu - at least 7 days, maybe more - I've lost count. Aches, chills, shudders, orbit-disturbing dry hacking coughs, spirits in the waste bin, etc etc. I thought I was better Friday and went out - bad bad plan. I am just now feeling like my eyebrows are not my enemies (this is because hair roots can ache - oh yes they can).

We are still packing. We've given notice for the end of May. I've called a mover. We don't have a place to move to. I have no new address to give to places that want you to have a current address with them (banks, credit cards, pension plans, etc etc). I am well beyond all freaked out about this.

Moving low-water front-loading washing machines involves getting "qualified technicians" to come and bolt the drum with special shipping bolts. These were not left with us when it was delivered because only "qualified technicians" should install them. However, after nine years, Sears doesn't want to know about you anymore, and fobs you off on a contractor- they don't even set it up for you for a price. It is a lovely machine, and I have really loved using it and having it for the last nine years, but one knows that one is going to spend a lot of time and money and angst to get it moved - and it will never work as well again. I can hardly wait.

IMPORTANT: if you have a desk at work, then when you retire, do not retire until you have a desk at home. I cannot stress this enough. This is like suddenly not having hip joints, or something. In a vague way, you knew that hip joints were important - but you had no idea how much you use them for everything, including brushing your hair and singing the national anthem.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
.... I am going to call it No No NO NO NONONO:

except that I can't figure out the no-doubt mind-numbly simply photo interface, so never mind.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Was still a member at each board when HOOPP lent the Home Capital Group Inc 2 billion dollars:
http://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/home-capital-group-director-keohane-resigns-after-fund-backs-2-billion-loan

The why it is such a supremely bad idea for the pensioners is detailed at Greater Fool, at the post I listed last entry, plus the previous GF post.

Bad bad bad. Even worse.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
In the bad old days, unethical board members "helped themselves" to their employee's pension funds - as loans, of course - often draining them completely before the company tanked.

Can't happen now, you think? Oh boy.
http://www.greaterfool.ca/2017/04/27/conflicted/

If you are pre-retirement, you *must* put your own money away to work for you in retirement. Nothing is safe or sacred. Winning lawsuits after the fact won't actually get you your pension back.

As Detritus said: "Bad bad bad. Even worse."
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
We held Greg's memorial yesterday. It went well. It just seemed wrong that he wasn't there.

Open ID

Apr. 14th, 2017 11:06 pm
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Okay, oh people who know more than me: what is good about Open ID and what is bad about it?

The latest DW email encourages newbies to get their Open ID before they delete their LJ accounts.

In general I don't like the idea of having one sign in protocol for all my online things. Easy to use, yes, but if compromised, oh dear.

So, for those of you who love Open ID - why? And for those of you who hate Open ID - why?

I suspect I won't change my chicken-hearted little mind, but every now and then someone shares something that gives you a whole new viewpoint to look from. Yay new viewpoints.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
So.

I have been pressuring myself to post something anything as at least grist for the mill of this style of social media - which of course leads to paralysis: is this witty enough deep enough topical enough thoughtful enough enough enough. And the answer is always "no" because this is like suddenly thinking about the process of achieving orgasm while attempting to achieve orgasm - not happening now.

So fine. My fall back position (oh dear) is cooking: posting recipes so that I can find them again. Here, therefore, is my favourite split pea soup recipe:

http://www.pulsecanada.com/food-health/recipes/recipes?mode=details&recipe=120

It is a hassle to puree the soup in batches - but so totally worth it. I cheat by dusting just a bit of cayenne into the soup as I puree (instead of the chillies), or sometimes leaving it out and letting people dust their own at table. But don't leave out the goat cheese crumbles on top of each bowl.

Thank you!

Apr. 10th, 2017 10:34 pm
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Someone has given me a gift of one month of paid account - how very generous and welcoming! Thank you very much!

I will use it wisely - or at least become wiser from having used it - IYSWIM.

Thank you!
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
It took two days to get every last scrap, but my import from LiveJournal is complete. I am cross posting this entry back to LiveJournal to indicate where I have gone, but I shan't be checking LiveJournal anymore.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
... however, I am flailing magnificently.

So. LiveJournal, yada yada. I read the new non-binding English translation of the new rules, and it didn't seem any more my-bat-my-ball-my-rules than most terms of service, but others who are more knowledgeable pointed out the LGBTQA-negative move to label all such content as Adult+, hence: naughty, with options of sliding into more repressive stances - and (draws breath) it is obviously time to say farewell.

I am in the process of importing all my stuff. I know: only I love my stuff - but I *do* love my stuff, so over it comes.

Once importing is complete, I will do one cross-post for redirection, and then ... and then .... well, I am having to give up a lot this year, so the deletion of the account may have to wait until I can bear it.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Things are currently amorphous.  Undifferentiated.  Blending one to another randomly.

So.  I retired.  I realize now that I wasn't ready in terms of my work.  I was ready in terms of not having all my time used for the purpose of my work, but I wasn't ready in terms of never doing my work again.  Also, I have lost my desk.  I don't have a desk at home, and since we are in the throes of preparing to move to Salmon Arm when the right place becomes available, I am not going to get a desk for a while.  I need a desk to work through things.  I can't work through things with papers spread out on my lap on the couch - for one thing: the cat keeps wanting to sit wherever I have put the papers.  Yay cat.

So.  Good news about my Mom's cancer:  the chemo therapy seems to have done its job, and there are no longer abnormalities showing in the lymph nodes of the body core.  Unqualified Yay!  Especially since the medical team had been concerned about a compromised lymph node between the kidneys.  However, Mom is now in the radiation therapy part, which is every day, five days a week, for five weeks.  That's a pretty exhausting schedule, but it is done in Kelowna, which is a two hour drive each way from Salmon Arm.  The roads in the Okanagan/Shuswap are severely overburdened with traffic, and people are absolutely insane on them - passing on a blind corner over a double line on the pin kink hanging over a cliff is a run-of-the-mill occurance.  And there has been incessant snow, with the temperature ranging between plus 2 and minus 2, so that it is often both sloppy and icy.  So, currently the biggest exhaustion for Mom regarding the radiation therapy is the drive there and back each day.  Dad is also getting tired, and he is already worn down with worry for Mom.  However, as Mom says: 7 sessions down, only 18 to go.

And: we have been broadsided by something that still has me completely dumbfounded.  My SOGP's older brother has died.  This was completely unexpected.  Granted, he was 71, but his Mom is still going strong at 96, his father lived to 84, other ancestoral beings all lived to 80s and 90s - and he was the most clean living person ever.  No drinking, smoking, drugging; no coffee, tea, junk food.  Lean and whipcord strong.  Careful selection of personal care products (avoiding obscure chemicals).  Never owned a car - walked everywhere.  Strong as a horse with excellent stamina.  The death is natural causes, probably heart or aneurysm.  There won't be an autopsy since 71 is an age for a natural death, so the precise cause won't be definitively known, but I suspect that even if we had a tidy name with a tidy cause - we still would not believe that he is really gone.

The loss of him is having repercussions for his Mom.  After SOGP's father's death, his older brother took on watching over their mother.  In the beginning it was very small stuff - changing a high lightbulb sort of thing - but in the ten year's since SOGP's father's death, his older brother has become more central to her day-to-day life.  In a very light-handed unobtrusive way he made it so she did not need to think about whether or not she could continue to live on her own in her own home.  I mean: she is not an idiot, so she is fully aware that his help made things smoother, but it was all just people enjoying doing things together, and not one person making noble sacrifices for the other person's benefit.

The big issue is: aside from the heavy blow of having lost one of her children, even if she is able to stay in her home and care for herself - she is going to be so lonely.  The place where she lives is a coop, with a strata council, and a central shared room where they hold regular potlucks and other social events.  But most of the couples who were there when she and SOGP's Dad moved in (they were part of the wave of original tenants) are now gone, and new couples with new ideas are there.  People are perfectly friendly - but it is not the same as visiting with your friends.

So.  None of us yet know how to be usefully supportive to her.  We too have all relied on the oldest brother taking her under his wing.

These things will all get sorted out, and better times are coming, but right now I feel a little like one of those old-fashioned wind-up toys, where, if they are overwound, just sit there vibrating impotently.  I haven't achieved sad, yet; I'm still in nonplussed.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
So, I saw this recipe in my travels around the interwebs:
http://porterandcharlesrecipes.ca/recipes/bacon-penne-a-la-vodka-for-a-crowd/
and I thought it looked so tasty.  But my SOGP is a vegetarian, thus the bacon is out, so I wondered whether chestnuts wouldn't be an acceptable substitute.  So I bought the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and fresh basil leaves.

Then I discovered that I had no penne or vodka in the house - so I improvised with these:

(I forgot: I can't upload pictures from my computer at home - and I no longer have access to another computer.  It was a picture of La Molisana 51 Tubettini pasta di semola de grano duro, Dand-D-Organic Chestnuts, and Cirroc distilled grape spirits in a swanky bottle.)

and it was excellent.

Here are the sauce ingredients

butter
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
2 fresh tomatoes chopped
1 tin tomato paste (369 ml)
water
heavy cream (35% mf)
distilled grape spirit
chestnuts chopped
fresh basil leaves chiffonaded (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiffonade)
parmesan cheese grated

Here are the steps

Bring water to a boil.  Once boiling, add the tubettini, stir to prevent sticking, cook 8 to 10 minutes.

At the same time, melt butter in medium heat pan.  Add diced onion and saute until translucent.  Add minced garlic and after 30 seconds add the diced tomatoes.  Saute until softening and juicy, then add tomato paste and enough water to rinse the tin and thin the tomato paste for stirring.  Sauce should be thick and your wooden spoon should leave lines in it when you stir it.  Allow it to heat through until it begins to blup.  Add enough heavy cream to change the colour to your preference.  Allow it to heat through until it is blupping again.  Add distilled grape spirit and return to blup.  Add chopped chestnuts.  Drain the tubettini, stirring the pasta in the strainer to help each little tube dump its water.  Add to tomato mixture and stir to combine well.  Add chiffonaded basil and stir until well combined.  Turn off heat.

Serve immediately with grated parmesan liberally heaped on top.

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