ongoing letter
for December 2012

2012-12-31 Monday

dinner out
We went to Bully's for a New Year's Eve supper.  Roast beef.  Really nice.  Floyd offered that I should drive there and he back because he wanted to treat me to a beer.  There was live music there, but they only played 3 songs and left, presumably to play later on closer to midnight.  Supper was between 6 & 9PM, but I'm sure people would stay there to ring in the new year.  The waitress was pretty.  She's the one who made mistakes in people's breakfasts.  I made a comment like, "I wouldn't mind if she made a mistake with my breakfast."  I don't think anyone got it.  Good thing.

Sprite update - wooden panelling
Floyd and I put up some of the wooden inside panelling on the Sprite.  The task continues today.  Pictures coming later.

2012-12-30 Sunday

fail for 2012
Have you ever seen any of these "fail" videos?  They're like the bloopers of real life.


a life lesson
For some "special" people in my life.

Or rather, no longer in it. 
(Click here or press F5 on your keyboard to start from the beginning.)

2012-12-27 Thursday

Pickle Pops
Now I think I've seen everything.

a white Christmas
There is a lot of snow falling all over.  If you were hoping for a white Christmas, I think you got your wish.

Right now in town it's -24º.  No working on the trailer today!  Even if I could bear the cold, the next thing I have to do is glue the wood panelling onto the inside walls, but the glue won't stick at this temperature.

caravan updates
Speaking of which, I'll eventually update the Sprite page.  Check back if you want something to help you fall asleep.

Okay, it's not so exciting just yet.  But I plan to fly places never before flown to - at least, by me.
23726861 helicopter 001 first flight.wmv
69397773 helicopter 002 first flight outside.wmv
There was another flight that went way down the street, but the video didn't work out.  Not sure why.  I'll give it another try.  The next video should be a little more entertaining.

2012-12-26 Wednesday

dog dreams
There was a magic guy from some place who could turn toys and stuffed animals into living 'people'.   He had a whole field of them next to a school.  He was kind of a 'bad guy' who didn't really care for his creations.  I came along, and all these toys befriended me.
I think I need a cup of coffee.  I'll be back. 

I wish I could live without headaches.  I guess it's on my wish list.

Watching something about cathedrals and King Solomon on KSPS, PBS.  Watch it on Nova (cathedrals, King Solomon).

2012-12-25 Tuesday - Merry Christmas!

Just a short note today to wish everybody a great Christmas Day!

a few surprises at home
Mom says she hasn't seen this number of gifts "under the tree" for ages.  (Yes, I know, there's no "tree".)  She & Floyd also haven't decorated the house in any kind of Christmassy way since there were kids at home.  Well, I guess I'm Mom's kid!

When I got up this morning, they'd already opened up one gift each.  So that was nice that they didn't wait for me.
No, not being sarcastic - for real.  I woke up with a headache at 7:00AM and took some Tylenol and Advil and one more when I got up, so I told them I'd rather have my coffee first and try to knock down this headache before proceeding with the jolly task of opening up gifts and acting jovial.
I'm okay now, and my headache is subsiding thanks to my cup-a-joe.

dog dreams
In case anyone is interested, here are my dreams from last night.  Why do I write down these dreams?  You never know - one could turn into an epic novel someday.  Gotta have inspiration from somewhere!
I opened up a hole in the floor of a room with a long pole.  It turned out to be a floor drain, but blue gooey water started coming out.  I tried to shut it, but it started overflowing all over the floor, under furniture, and into the heat register.  I found another smaller one and began draining the floor that way.  Blue goo!  Gross.
I looked around and found the ceiling Christmas decorations taken down.  I wondered why the hurry to finish the holiday season.
I was a student in a classroom taking some business course, and the teacher was away.  One of my fellow students (using the term "fellow" loosely here 'cause she was a woman) decided she was amoured with me.  Maybe it's a sign of things to come.

dinner plans
I had dinner with friends last night and met some new people.  Very nice to meet them.  One couple and their girl from Bolivia were there.  She's a teacher.  I don't know what he does.  Their daughter seemed like an intelligent person unafraid to use English the way others can be.  Great dinner.  Turkey with a tasty Venezuelan-style gravy, potatoes, two kinds of salad, and home-made Sangria.  (The word 'sangre' means 'blood' in Spanish, which is the colour of this wine.)  Kids were happy with their gifts, I think.  We did the gift trading thing like we did at work.  There were a couple new people there with a small baby girl who I didn't get to talk with at all.  Too bad.  They look like nice people.  Very nice to share the experience with their family.  Thanks, guys!  Oh, and I got a hoodie and a card.  Also very nice.
Dinner tonight will be at home with family.  Brian and Barb are coming.  Turkey with trimmings, and I'm not sure what else.  More later as it comes.
Tomorrow I'll be joining Joan and some others from work for a little get-together.

Brian and Barb are here.  They came about 10:30AM.  Mom was surprised - pretty early.  Brian said he woke up around 4AM and got up at 5.  Anxious to get on with the day.  Dinner is at about 3 or 3:30, and they're playing cards now, so presents will be opened later this evening.

2012-12-21 Friday

a visit to Calgary
Yesterday we went to Chinook Centre and then on to Aaron & Shannon's house.  Then today we went to Crossiron Mills mall.  Really interesting places.

At Aaron & Shannon's we ate dinner a ham, corn, & potato dinner, had a couple drinks, watched their kids play cards and such, visited, and stayed the night.  Mom said, "Be prepared - their place is always really cold."  It wasn't so cold.  She also said, "We'll have ham, corn, & potatoes.  We always have ham, corn, & potatoes."  Yes, we did.  Nice visit with them.  Aaron has a similar issue with me - sleep ... or lack of.  Shannon is overworked with her teaching but seems happy to do it.  Joelle is a cute girl but kind of resembles Angela - grumpy in the morning.  Jayden is a bright kid who's into sports, mostly hockey.

Of course, Chinook Centre was a zoo.  Everyone was there shopping for Christmas, including us.  I thought the architecture and design and decoration was really something.  Crossiron Mills was also really amazing.  It's a newer mall.  Mom says she likes Crossiron Mills more.

We took my little car to Calgary.  $28 to go from home to Chinook Centre, Aaron & Shannon's, and finally to Crossiron.  Coming back, $24.

2012-12-20 Thursday

push come to shove
I found this comic at  I thought it was especially funny.

2012-12-18 Tuesday

early morning
I can't sleep.  It's now 4:58AM.  Been awake since 3:40AM.  I tried getting to sleep but just can't.  So now I have my coffee cup next to me as I 'surf' the web and 'blog' my life.

2012-12-16 Sunday

it's coming
It's cold out there but not snowing.  There's been more snow this winter so far than all of last winter combined. 

Canada's new Timothy
Timothy Eaton started a Canadian icon, Eaton's.  It's gone now.  My father used to work for them.  Anyway, these days the new Tim's is the one that serves coffee - Tim Horton's.

But can you believe, there are 10 locations just in town hereTen!  That's a little excessive, don't you think?

2012-12-15 Saturday

cheap tin
I got a 4x6' (120x180cm) piece of aluminum (aluminium) for the trailer (caravan).  It cost me $10 (
10,900; 6.30; RMB¥63.82).  Pretty good.  The guy originally quoted me $65.00.  He had a hard time getting any 22-guage from his supplier.  He showed me a sample of some 14-guage.  Holy crap.  No, that won't do.  Can't bend that stuff.  I'm not building a tank.  So he took me into the back (where it said "Must Wear Safety Glasses Beyond This Point").  We looked at a somewhat scratched and slightly wrinkled 4x6 of off-white.  Nice.  Looks just like my trailer.  So I'll put it on tomorrow if the weather's nice.

a reply?
Just listening to some Johnny Horton in the garage while cleaning up my boxes of trailer pieces.  There's one song called Ten Thousand Drums (listen here - ask me for pass password).  It got me to thinking of another song called Fiddle and the Drum (listen here).  It kind of sounds like a reply.  Reminds me of a couple of old country songs, one by Hank Williams and another by Kitty Wells.

Christmas lunch
We had our company Christmas dinner Friday afternoon.  Really nice.  We all met at the Coast Hotel.  Really nice good food.  Perhaps some might think it odd that I had the meatloaf, but I enjoyed it.  We did a gift exchange.  I got two bee's wax candles, a little penguin Christmas tree decoration, 5 Archie comic books (not sure I'll read them, but they're not bad for teaching), and a Christmas coffee cup.  I gave two wooden cars.  Erica seemed to like them.

paneling, Pak-A-Potti, paint, polystyrene, and plumbing parts
I bought the inside wood paneling for the caravan today.  They were regularly $13.00 each (4x8'), but I reminded them they were on sale just a few weeks earlier, so they gave me the sale price of $9.00.  They're 1/8" 3-ply mahogany door-skin panels, quite easily bent which is what I needed.  I got a 1-gallon (4-litre) pail of oil-based polyurethane to treat it.  I got the oil for $35 a pail rather than $55 for the water-based.  The floor was treated with water-based.  Yah, it's easy to clean up, but the price can't be justified for just that reason I think.

Brian sold me a Pak-A-Potti chemical toilet a while back along with a propane stove with oven, propane gravity feed furnace, some cabinet doors, and a sink, all used.  That was a couple of months ago.  Today he also brought over a door for a trailer, but the one that fits on the Sprite is a one-of-a-kind fit.  Floyd and I wrestled with it forever trying to get the blasted thing to fit, and it finally fits like a glove, so I'm not messing with it.  I guess I'll have to keep it for when Floyd and I build another trailer.

I fixed the Pak-A-Potti with silicone.  The bellows pump was cracked, but Sears wanted $35 (38,150; 22.30; RMB¥225), so I just fixed it with silicone instead.  I'm sure it'll work well.  When I got it, it was already pretty clean.  Couldn't eat soup out of the toilet bowl, but it was clean enough to not be gross for sure.  But I cleaned it again anyway.

The polystyrene insulation is done.  Well, almost.  The door isn't insulated yet, but it'll get done some other time.  This means that the paneling is next.  I feared the retailer, Windsor Plywood, might be closed during the Christmas break, so I went to get it all today.  And a bucket of polyurethane.  So tomorrow I think I'll finish up the wiring ... oh! ... remind me to talk about the DVD player.  Right - so - the wiring and then the paneling.

Yes, the DVD player.  I got one on sale at Sears for $100.00.  It was a demo model, a 2012 model, regularly $250.00.  It's a Samsung HT-D5100, 5.1 surround-sound, 1000-watts, DVD, Blu-ray, etc.  So now I can play music in style.  Or I will once it's finally installed.

Hey!  Support!  I gave some money to them a few times.  Now it's your turn.  Yes, I think it's a good idea.  It's an amazing resource.  If you've got kids, they have a kids' version of it, too.  No ads there.  Just stuff to read and fill up your head with.  Knowledge is free - but distributing it around and supplying it isn't.

I don't usually say things like that.  Anyway.

a little puffed
Thank you all for your nice words for and about
Mom.  Yes, she's doing okay, thanks.  She's a little more tired a little more often these days, but she's holding her own.  Her memory - long-term and short-term - isn't as sharp as it once was.  I imagine it has a lot to do with the morphine she's taking.  Sure, it's low-dosage, but it's still morphine.

I got an email from an old friend.  They asked how I was doing and seemed genuinely interested and concerned about how I'm doing.  Thank you.  It was pleasant reading your letter.  I'll write to you soon, C.

I'm okay.  Sometimes I'm hit with bouts of anger and frustration about my life, but it passes.  I breathe deeply, I wait, I concentrate, I clear my head, I go on.  I try to take it all in stride.  Most times I take it day-to-day, sometimes week-to-week, and other times it's an hour-to-hour ordeal.  But it's all my life, and it's all my future unfolding before me.

Never did I imagine life would turn out this way.  I have long-term fights, I have long-term goals, I have the odd hope and dream.  I have a strong cup of coffee in the morning on my drive to work while I both shave and fill my face followed at work by another half-cup of coffee of equal strength.  I bring on my military stance and get through it all.  This, by the way, marks the first real point in my life I've utilized it.  At the end of the day I bow to someone or occasionally salute and leave the building.  The drive home isn't complete without Jurgen Gothe, but you get used to it.  I organize my stuff or, if it's not too cold to go outside, go work on my Little House on the Prairie (the Sprite caravan) until after 5PM, at which time Days of Our Lives is over and supper is on the go.  A beer or hot Chamomile tea later, and I'm ready for bed.  A couple sleeping meds later, the day no longer exists.  Dreaming about far off places and dangers.  Sometimes digging under houses for secret rooms, sometimes running through trains or jumping under them, sometimes hiding in closets or around doorframes, and sometimes searching, but always running.

Some days I would like to tell all my whole life here!  Other days you'll see even the phone's turned off.

That's how I'm doing.  Not bad, all considering the crap I've been through.

2012-12-13 Thursday

Sitting at Tim's, having a white hot chocolate, relaxing after work.  I'm supposed to pick up a roasted chicken for supper.  I have to leave in a few minutes.

2012-12-12 Wednesday


It's supposed to be some magical number when things will change.  It's funny that nobody talked about it much.  It wasn't splashed all over the news as some major event that psychic or religious groups say that marked the end of the world or that told of the beginning of a period of wealth or something.

I bought a ticket last weekend and forgot to check it.  I'll check it now.  ...  Nope - nothing.

It started snowing again today.  We haven't gotten much so far, but there's a little bit.

2012-12-07 Saturday

There's a couple here who dresses the same as each other - all the time.  Summer, winter, day, night - always the same clothes, except that one is bigger than the other.  Now some might look at this and say, "They're kooky!"  I look at this and say, "Aaaah, isn't nice ... but a little kooky."

from the web 1 - from the web 2 - from the web 3 - from Facebook

Click here for last month.  Sorry - Nothing for November.  The server suffered a minor crash, and November 2012 was lost.  Nothing much there anyway.