Archive for August, 2007

Trying Times…

Sunday, August 26th, 2007 by Ian

Shelley’s away in Saskatoon with Quinn, and while you’d think I enjoyed having the house to myself, it gets awful quiet.  Dylan is hardly ever around … just me and my renovations — and of course my REGULAR JOB.

We’re getting there — slowly:

  • The basement is almost complete.  Just a little touching up of things that aren’t quite right (small jobs — touch up paint, fix a particular mess left by the contractor — I’ll detail that later — and install a closet door) and the baseboards.  We need to buy a little more furniture too, to get the TV off the floor, but it’s within sight.
  • The bathroom is ready for tile (except the tile we wanted to use has been discontinued, so I need to locate them some first — or pick a new one), the tub is in (but it has a leak, so I need to get the company to send a plumber — if it fails after THEY fix it,THEY’RE on the hook), so I’ve been drywalling and tiling flange’ing, and spackling.  I forgot to mention that plumbing was HELL this time.  I COULDN’T get things to not leak, so I ended up taking the whole thing apart starting fresh.  I think the key was a pipe thread sealant supplied by a friend called — ZWAK.  Wonderful stuff.  No leaks!
  • Shelley has been painting. She’s painted the garage door and the fireplace brick in the family room.  Both jobs look great, but we’ve decided we need a different picture hung on the fireplace now since the brick is about the same colour as the picture.  It disappears.  We need CONTRAST!

I’m just tired of the renovations.  I want them to be done.  And I’m gonna WHINE until they ARE done!  Weee!  Weee!  Weee!  Weee!

Ah well.  School’s coming soon, then there will be a whole NEW set of stresses and annoyances.  Hope everyone has had a good summer!

More Spring in The Atipodies

Saturday, August 25th, 2007 by Scott

Well what a jolly fine weekend this has been. Leigh and I got busy and dug over the veggie garden on Saturday. The improved soil tilth is noticable as the clay is being mitigated with some good old humus. We covered the whole thing a foot deep in pea straw to act as a mulch. Planting will begin when the rislk of frost is past. We also added a wee tap to the outside of the house to water a pile of new trees we put in. I got onto the bee keeping and I did the early spring AFB (american foulbrood) tests on the bees. With the exception of one wild caught swarm that is struggling, the rest are just booming away!

I also got four very good flying sessions in, two up at the slope with the Caterbury sailplanes arrow and two down in paddock with the park fllyer. I’m getting 20 minute flights on one 1000 ma lipo battary. What a HOOT. The arrow is really twitchy and interesting to fly. When a flying wing shape stalls the plane just drops for well up to 15 m before it starts to fly. if you are closer to the ground well … you land early. I’m enjoyingt he flyingand Ian is still ignoring my UAV suggestions,.

How are you folks …….

Brady On His Way to Kaz

Saturday, August 18th, 2007 by Terry

Brady left today for DC…first step on his way to Kaz. He’ll be in DC two days for staging, then off to Almaty, via Frankfurt.

Packing has been hell…he’s there for 2 years, and needs business suits as well as winter and summer clothes….plus all the accoutrements of life…all in one bag of no more than 50 lbs, and a carry on of 25 lbs. He and Viv were up most of the night trying to get it right. They kept me out of the way so I couldn’t rant about why he didn’t start packing earlier, etc. Anyhow, I was on call, and had to go in around 4 AM, so I could get done and go to the airport with him.

Once packed, he was quite calm and relaxed. The fact that he can speak some Russian is reassuring…he knows many going can’t speak any Russian at all, yet.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been doing some last minute stuff with him. Viv and he went on a camping/kayaking trip to northern Wisconsin/Lake Superior for about 5 days….they had a fine time…probably the highlight was watching the Perseids at a campsite with a dark dark sky……then Brady and I went fishing on the Mississippi River. We hired a guide for a day…caught lots of largemouths and smallmouths, some Pike, a white bass and some catfish. The catfish are gonna be TV stars…the Guide is gonna be on a Food Network cooking show about regional chefs, and his job was to supply catfish. Our catfish. Guess thats not even 15 minutes of fame, eh? We had a lotta fun fishing, first time on a boat on the Mississippi for both of us.

So he’s off….he’ll be writing a blog: I’m sure he’d appreciate you guys checking it out on occasion.

Scott…I recognize Leigh’s desire to live on the East Coast. After visiting France, I’d live there for a while. Trouble is, I’d tire of the French after a while. As I think Leigh would tire of the East Coast US mentality. Awaiting her pics……sounds like she had a great time.

Anyway, next, in two weeks we’re off with Tim to St Cloud…then I get my couch back!!!

Update for Scott.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007 by Ian

Scott’s been begging for an update, so here goes.  It’s been a pretty busy couple weeks:

The basement: It’s all been painted now.  The carpet is in, all the outlets and switches are “live”.  The contractor is coming back next week to finish up a few things he wanted to leave until the carpet was in, but, for the most part it’s done.  (Baseboards don’t count! — Shelley has them, but there’s no real rush to get them in).  I’m gong to buy a 46″ LCD TV tomorrow, so I’ll need to get the cable hooked up, but it’s all small jobs from there.  Quinn likes it so much he had to spend the night down there last night!

The bathroom: The tub went in tonight — much easier than I anticipated.  I was delayed little while because I scraped the “popcorn” off the ceiling, then had to fix up the drywall.  It’s a hideously messy job (scrape, fill, sand, repeat), so I figured it was better to do while there wasn’t anything in the room.  So now, I start the plumbing – drains then taps and shower head, then “Denshield” (drywall), then tile the bath/shower, then tile the floor, then the toilet and vantity go in…maybe paint before the floor tile, toilet and vanity…I dunno yet.  Oh, and I have to remove the old medicine cabinets and fix the wall there too.  Anyway, lots to get done there.  I’m hoping to have the shower going before the kids go back to school, Sept 4, so we’re not sharing the one shower…

Camping: In the midst of this, we went camping to the Columbia Valley for a week.  It was nice weather for the most part, but we came home a couple days early because it got quite cold and rainy.  When you’re only 3 hours from hom, it’s hard not to justify packing up and heading back to comfort.  Anyway, we got several good days of swimming and sunning in.  We stayed the first few days at the Fairmont Campground, which, honestly, was a bit of a “crampground”, but it wasn’t too bad, and we were a 2 minute walk from the pool.  We spent the next couple days at the “Redstreak Campground” in Kootney National Park.  A very nice spot if the weather had stayed with us.  Lots of room.

So, that’s been the last couple weeks.  No time for planes or UAVs or anything like that, but it’s nice to see some of these home projects coming together.  In another month or so things should be returning to “normal”, whatever that is, and we’ll have a little more spare time on our hands.  There’s always more tiling to do!

Leigh is Back

Friday, August 10th, 2007 by Scott

Well team, its spring down here in the far south …. early spring but the daffodils are starting to come up, there is duck sex on the pond and well it just smells of spring. Ahhhhhhh another crushing (wink) winter survived.

Leigh has also returned from her pan-USA trip. She fell in love with the place and want to move there. The eastern seaboard really touched her and she could just see us living in Maine or one of those places. I suggest the next holiday be in the middle of winter to get the full effect but hey …. Seriously she had a great time and is doing really well. If people want we’ll wack up a selection of photos for you . She took 1000 photos. Digital is great.

I’ve been improving my RC flying with my little parkflyer (a SpreeEP for those who care). I’ve been getting 30 minutes of flying in after work! This electric stuff is great, but given it only weighs 450g it needs to be a calm day. You cannot even hear the plane at half throttle until it is 5 meters away. I cruise around a field down in the orchard. There are three projects in the works right now. 1) I have about an hour left to finish my big LT-40 traier that is combustion engine powered four chanell plane (the next step in learning to fly RC) 2) a seaplane kit that I bought 10 years ago. I young fellow a work who loves building planes is assembling it for me. He’s a absolute craftsman and is happy just building it. 3) A giant Unmanned Aerial Vehical (UAV) that looks like the RQ pioneer. I’m talking just under 3 meter wingspan and using a converted weed eater motor spinning an 18 inch prop. Way cool … Ian is being bullied into building the GPS based auto pilot. I intend to have my own photo recon squad next year. Am I paranoid enough?? The air to arsehole motorcross bike riders missles are on the drawing board.

So thats kind of it. Sam is doing great, Uni goes well , he has a cool job up in Auckland this summer and then tumbles into his last year Today he is in Blenhiem at a memorial service for a cousin killed on Mount Blanc in France a couple of weeks ago. Sad.

What news from the frozen north? progress Ian? New Photos Terry? Viv? Joan??