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Shirley's 2012 Epistles

From: Shirley

Old Farts, Dec.19th

  Friday is Dec.21st – it should either be tremendously boring or tremendously exciting.  Or just like any other first day of winter.  Another good showing of hands today.  Cabbage rolls does tend to do that and Cookie does love it when we practically lick our plates clean.
  Before I forget, the Clothesline number to call is 613-746-4633.  They will pick up clothing, household items and unwanted electronics.  They are part of the Canadian Diabetes Association.
  Given that it is such a messy day, as have been the past 2 days, we were all talking about winter vacations.  I will definitely be up for one next year.  Dave Smith had been told that he'd been told the best vacation was a riverboat vacation.  On the back of the latest Legion Magazine, there is an advert for European Waterways flying the Canadian Flag.  Cabins are still available if needed.  The number to call is 1-800-265-8174.  Try I also see lots of cruises advertised in the Sat. Citizen.
  And speaking of cruises, Jim and Faith are basking in the warm breezes down in the Carib.  Jim: you’ll be happy to know that no one took your chair today.  Which means you no longer have to sleep overnight at the Legion J J
  Next Wednesday is Boxing Day.  It would appear that not too many of us will show up given previous commitments.  However, this shouldn’t stop those who want to stop by and enjoy a cold one at our table.  And on the next Wednesday, Jan. 2nd, the usuals will be occupying their respective chairs again.
  The subject of Rogaine hit the table towards the end of today’s lunch.  I had been using a product called: Chron-O-Stim (day and night formulas) in conjunction with 2 tablets daily of Anacaps.  In my case, I was helping out my hairdresser in getting her yearly RRSP contributions maximized.  Incidentally, the only place I could find these products is at Jean Coutu, conveniently located a few blocks away from our Legion.  I have been taking less to none of these products since November, and I’ve noticed the thinning coming back.  I guess there isn’t a permanent solution and the reason I stopped was just because of a hatred of pills.
  The new thermostat is installed and the young lad was very enthusiastic and talkative.  This thermostat is so much easier to use than the old one.  It can be either F or C and it can also be lowered or raised by ½ degrees which makes it much more comfortable than my old programmable.  On the negative side, I have been hearing a lot of clicking as changes occur to it.  That is my only complaint and it is a small one.  Any one else hearing this?  I still haven’t gone onto the website to register and set up my profile.  I should do that soon but at this time of year, it’s so busy that you arrive at a party and realize that you have put on your pantyhose over your shoes!  For other horrible sights, watch the movie: Wanderlust.  You will instinctly know which scenes I’m referring to (blech) :/
  Moe and Donna are meeting up with their family down Vermont-way.  I found this out as he very nicely tried to donate a wool coat to charity (or do we not use that expression anymore?) and in the end, I took it to add to my collection of stuff for Saturday’s Clothesline collection this Saturday in my neighborhood.
  Canada Computers had a great sale on for a small Canon laser printer at $60.00.  It was a great buy but I opted out as it goes against the down-sizing grain. Wah!
  I hope everyone has themselves a great Christmas and always remember, Santa – just like us – is subject to a faulty memory and there is always Jan.6th which is another Xmas celebrated just close by.  Last year, I took my son and a guest to the Westin for the Xmas celebration.  Expensive but well worth it.  No mess, no dishes, no piles of tablecloths to wash and iron, on the downside – no left-overs but then, I had that much more room in the fridge for Eggnog J
  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, mes amis!

Old Farts, Dec. 12th

Ten of us today so it was a cosy gathering. You could almost participate in every conversation but not quite.

Today’s weather allowed a few of us to venture out into the day without fear of either blowing away or being freeze-dried in minutes. Good old Ottawa.

Show-n-Tell: “The Wealthy Barber Returns”. He still has a unique writing style and shows you some eye-popping facts. Assuredly, worth a look, especially as we will all be checking in with our financial advisors shortly and need to make sure the decisions made, will help our/our wallet and not his/hers. Then, comes every Canadians’ most hated time of the year – Taxes. Blech! And you just know that some sicko dreamed up the time we must pay – just after we all ran away from the icy cold to warmer climes and then must pay for that experience twice. Once, the actual return to Feb. weather and the other the damn tax return, itself.

Chuck is getting work done on his bathroom. Always an expensive reno. Most of you will have received Roly’s follow-up on the link to the provinces re home reno’s so, if, as a senior, you wish to remain in your home as long as possible with the province could be kicking in some coin. While visiting this link, you might want to visit “Ontario Trillium Benefit”. I plugged in my figures and found out that I am eligible for $647.00 . And that’s as a CS2, newly retired.

March Madness! I asked Lou for an update and he remains optimistic that it will happen!! Me too! This time, we should put some extra time on our scheds to be able to mingle before/after the meal. Let’s face it – the building isn’t the most attractive but the company more/more than makes up for it! Especially, my 94-year old lunch companion.

The PeakSaver guy comes tomorrow – I made sure that they couldn’t come in on a Wednesday. Their major questions were about the central a/c and any medical conditions re summer heat. I burn gas in the winter so , naturally, my furnace doesn’t enter into the equation. The only thing I’d like to add is that several years back, in an effort to get my electricity bill down, I changed the setting of my furnace fan to only run when the heat comes on. It made a really big difference. But, I’m sure you have already utilized that one.

Moe the Finger contributed in where to find the cheapest ink cartridges, and the like. He will send me the link a bit later. I am still trying to figure out if I want to buy a Canon laser printer from Canada Computers which will cost $70 before taxes. The sale ends the 14th if you are looking for one.

Incidentally, I had purchased a Diconix mini-inkjet printer back in either ‘88/89 when in SPORE and was in love with it. Naturally, 23 years later, I ditched it at Heartwood on Rideau. I googled Diconix as I’d love to replace it but don’t really need a second printer. However, it was a pleasant surprise to see that the Windows drivers are available from 1992 onwards. There are some MAC drivers, too.

What else? The cost of gold. Old gold. Look at your stuff and make up your own minds. I hied off to Marigold in the market and she bought all my old rings and things which saved me $2000 plus on my diamond earrings. Did I mention that they are ½ carat each? They are my pre-pre 60th birthday present to myself and I shall never regret them!

And speaking of money, Lou mentioned that dimes issued pre 1967’ish, they are now starting to look up. Not too many in circulation these days so it reminds you to start going thru your old jars of change. I have been using nickles and dimes to be penny-weights in my flower vases so life is about to either get disappointing or just plain disappointing.

Chuck let us know that Elfrieda still continues to amaze him. After two cataract ops, her eyesight is improving daily. Still! How great it is to hear that. Rock on, Elfrieda!

Okay, Stan – hop it.

Cheers all and if I don’t see you at our next Old Farts lunch on the 19th, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. For those travelling at this time of year to warmer climes, I hate you )). I shall stay in Ottawa to help contribute my warming footprint to Ottawa from the up-coming -25 temperatures. Feel guilty now? No – try again but dig deeper this time, bro ;)))

All the best!


Wednesday, Nov. 28th

A large gathering today! We even had to add another table to accommodate all 20 of us. Tom Miles joined us – he looks the same as the last time I saw him 5 years ago. Terry Webb turned out to be the only working stiff amongst us. Terry - if you only knew what you are missing! You will so kick yourself once you do retire. It is bliss.

Dessert today was provided by Ruth Couture. Pot of Gold chocks disappeared rather quickly. Thank you, Ruth!

Don Cole and Jim Rogers disappeared rather early today. Don is having his new Peak Saver Honeywell thermostat installed. Pretty spiffy. I hope that it didn’t ship with a burnt-out translation tube, Don!

Stan already has one of these Peak Savers and sings its praises. I’ve been meaning to go that way, too, as my Honeywell is a very basic bottom-of-the-line programmable thermostat. I can’t switch it over to Farenheit so I am cold at 22C and its too hot at 23C.

For those of you who want to have a cheat-sheet conversion from C to F, just take the number, double it and add 30. You might be out 1 degree at the most and unless you are in the airline business transporting food or figuring out the icing conditions, (and a lot more for the airlines) this should suffice. My first job was with the weather office and was there for the huge conversion to Celsius back in ’74. And I was the first contact with a very angry public at the Halifax Weather Office.

The coffee wars are going well. If you have a Tassimo, you now have more choices but not at the same chains. The Independants’ are carrying Timmies and Second Cup t-cups which you can’t get at Presidents Choice, yet.

Next week is the Xmas buffet lunch. The numbers are up to 62 and if you still haven’t replied, please send an email to Dave Smith ( ) if you wish to attend or have to withdraw. Last year was an astounding success.

And speaking of success, Stan got the award today of a quasi-real (Stan- insert type) tube which drove the old Rock-ex. Apparently, the real one belonging to the Old Farts was stolen. Sorry I can’t remember the name of the tube but by now, Stan should have the photos up on the site. The presentation box was made by Ron Cooke and what an amazing job! Stan got the award for bringing in his laptop and antenna for Show-n-tell to instruct us how to get access to Digitial TV. Unfortunately, the translation tube was busted as we could only get French – thank you, Don Cole!, for that input )))

Lots of chat going on about Windows 8. I wasn’t paying too much attention to it as I’ve no intention of switching over for a long while. My server is running 7 and the laptops are running Vista and 7 respectively. I am still doodling around with my Playbook and am loving my new BB with the way that it organizes my emails in my Contacts. For instance, if you are in my Contacts list, to see all the emails to and from you, all I have to do is access you and there are the e-mail threads right in the Contacts info. I’m sure the I-phone has a similar feature. My son has one and we discuss how these methods are done in a similar way for both devices.

And speaking of phones, I did visit 2 cellphone places to see what their prices are like. The first one said $25 to unlock the BB and the second said $40. If you want to unlock, please remember to do a back-up! It will save you much grief.

Thanks to Jim Rogers’ guidance, I can hardly wait to start in on my cupboards to make them look like new! I still have to get the cleaner but then, am off to the races.

Don reported a problem with his new computer. He was having difficulty in porting over his email addressees because he kept getting a strange character popping up when he was typing the @ symbol. Immedly, came back all the experience of being a Signet trouble-shooter and I told him to change the keyboard language from French C to English C. As for his email folder, his grand-daughter tapped a few keys and it was done. Phew – saves me from having to do some serious investigation. I think I want a grand-daughter. : )))

November 21, 2012 

Hi All,

I was taking a break from all the sorting and lugging and kicking, and thought I'd briefly jot down some of our stuff from today. As usual, if anyone doesn't want to be on the mailing list, too bad, so sad. I don't have time to edit the PDLs.

November 21st Legion Lunch Bunch for the Old Farts

What a beautiful sunny warm day it was today, considering we are so late into autumn. We were 14, then 15, and finally 16 souls by 13:15. It’s great to see everyone looking so happy and content. Discussions were going on with great gusto around the table. The conversation subsided when the stuffed peppers arrived only being replaced with a great multiple application of forks and knives to what was put in front of us.

I found out today that Home Hardware managers/staff vary greatly with their pc skills across this great city of ours. Yesterday, I tried (unsuccessfully) to get those marvellous wood products that both Jim R and Dave S were so rapt about. My Trudel Hardware (the oldest of them all in Ottawa, by the way – 1942) informed me that the products were no longer produced. Wah!! But!, Dave had sent me the product page with the SKU’s and I called my other nearest Home Hardware down on First Street in the Glebe. They had access to a whole whack of this stuff.

If any of you remember, we always had a saying – the client (Home Hardware client service, in this case) is never wrong. The problem exists with the connection between the chair-back and the keyboard.

Dave brought in a book for Lou called “Of no Fixed Address”. It was published in 1993 and we were trying to remember who the CM was in either PRGUE or BPEST, etc. I think it was Dave Nutty but only Dave N. can answer that one. The joke at the table was there-in lay our job descriptions as perceived by Ambassador Fraser’s wife.

Roly came on board with showing me how to fold up newspapers to encase your food scraps. Of course I got it wrong on the first try but he graciously showed me the second time around. In reward, he got to eat half my fries which were dosed with Crosswell’s best malt vinegar. Not only low GI, but Heaven!!

Don told a naughty joke about Timbucktu at lunch. He thought I couldn’t hear but I have ears like a hawk has eyes. Especially for the naughty ones – tch, tch, Don. And that would be why you only had one of the girls.

Diets came up again with a short discussion of aspartame in Diet drinks – please don’t consume these. They are directly linked to tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and I had this horrible symptom for many years after consuming them for only a few years. Diet drinks also have been proven to trick the body into believing that you are actually consuming those 90-160 calories per drink so you are wiser just to quit sodas altogether. Roly saged “you should just drink beer.”

Barrie announced the next CM/EL reunion for 2013. It will be at the Hellenic Centre in the last week of September 2013. He will send out the official email very shortly. Get your tickets!!

Canadian Capers came up again and segued over to Orders of Canada being issued once everything was all over. Al contributed to the conversation about his recollections of being on the CM 70371 union executive and being involved in seeing that Mary O’Flagerty being recognized for her role as being one of the last ones out of Tehran during that time.

Moe the Finger didn’t show today so I figure that between his grandson and his work with his photography, he was exhausted. I’m sure that his grandson is now loving Moe and Donna in a much closer way than before as he got to spend all that loving company from them.

Gotta run – Julia Childs is calling with her cookbook for Friday’s dinner and I still have to clean the house. WAH!!


(Lou - might I suggest that you add to this email what you currently have available this week. You mentioned an electrical winch (large) if anyone needs it.

Short and Sweet, Nov. 14th
There were 17 of us today to enjoy cookie’s lunch.  Judging by how fast the food went down, everyone enjoyed it.  We had a new server today and he had a different routine.  Some weren’t served until very late but no one left hungry.
Lo and behold, we had light in the Legion today.  What an improvement!
Show-n-tell:  Don brought in his play-toys again and there were comments around the table about how much fun his aircraft were.  I think lots of the guys will be putting them on their list to Santa.  I hope you all have been very good :)).
Speaking about Xmas, we are now down to 40 hair-splitting, highly stressful and panic-stricken shopping days left before that ultimate holiday.  And I’m just talking about on-line shopping as you are trying to desperately remember what your loved ones said what things they hated all the year long.  Good luck.
Show-n-tell:  The new 20$ bills were hitting the table once lunch was cleared away.  Dave got to compare my new 20$ and remarked that the Braille was very noticeable.  We had a small discussion about how to store them – clear finish to alternate with its mate in your wallet won.
This am was a bit of a walk backwards into my working life as I was determined to get a better deal for my newly-purchased BB Bold.  As I already have 3 services with Rogers, I called them and found out that they can certainly top Fido and out-do them even tho they are co-companies.  My cell bill (once everything gets ported over) will go down by 10$ a month but my total Rogers bill will go down by 12% overall as I have another service with them.  Caller id and voicemail is free.  All that is left for me to do is to locate a place (or find out how to) unlock my smartphone while bringing in my new Rogers SIM card so they can put it in.  They (Rogers) waived the activation fee (35$), as well. (I wish I had known all this back when my old BB drowned in that huge rain storm but I was also going thru that eye nightmare.)
Moe the Finger will be getting lots of exercise – he and Donna are going to take care of their 4-month old grandson while Mum goes for a doctoral conference in TO.  What a great time to observe the wonderment of children as you see them learning and comprehending things at such an amazing speed.  I’m sure there will be a great leap in the amount of family pictures taken by a very proud grand-pa.
How to avoid bank fees at the ATM:  when you find yourself stuck without your branch close by and you need to purchase groceries, hit Loblaws.  Once you pay with your bankcard, it will prompt you “do you want cash back?”  I say yes when I need it and there is no/no transaction fee.  Whatsoever.
Just as I was getting ready to leave, Don said “Shirley, tell everyone that I will be bringing my yip-stick next week.  I shall leave you with that image (?), idea (?), thought(?).  Please don’t dwell on it.
Cheers All,


From: Shirley 
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 17:18
Subject: Nov. 7th Old Farts' Lunch

Hi All,

November 7
Millar Time.  I invite you all to ask Jim for his keen purchasing skill for his and Faith’s new house they bought last year.
Hallowe’en – wahhh!  It’s over.  Personally, this is an unmarked Holiday in my home with a son that goes mad on decorating for these few precious hours.  Last year I had 3 kids but this year all my Hallowe’en candy is gone – yeah!  I decorated for about 3 hours with the obligatory pumpkin and they came.
All chairs at the three tables were full today with a ton of talk going on.  We even had our wooden sign sitting on the middle table.  Anyone know the origin of the sign?  Please post – thanks!
Ottawa was an uninvited guest to a 4.2 earthquake on Monday.  The epicentre was between Chelsea and Montreal.  I was awake and watching tv when it hit.  Not a boo.  However, Lou and his wife were nearly robbed by the quake monsters!  The stairs were creaking with what sounded like footsteps – aaieee!  Friends, this is how you re-cycle your old cast-iron frying pans – you keep them under the bed.  As for rolling pins, you all know how that one goes.
We are only four days before Remembrance Day.  All of us made a very valiant effort to keep poppies on our person.  A lot of us used Canada pins to hold them in place and that really works.   Marliyn Marwah’s came up over the fleur-de-lys to hold down the Canada poppy – or was that to put Canada in its place.  Meow.  MAJOR meow.  But, to continue on, we discussed the official colour of the poppy and why the tiny green centre had been dropped several years ago.
Food today – beef steak eye-of-round was spied by Stan before it hit the frying pan.  Obviously cookie doesn’t get earthquakes.
I shared my really good news today – eyesight is still improving.  Donna and Moe (the Finger) brought me to my appointment and we were out of there in total record time.  I even had time to cadge some extra advice for those of us that suffer from chronic eye dryness.   You apply a warm damp towel over them for a few minutes.  This will evoke natural skin oil.  After that, apply your favourite skin cream to the eyelid area to reinforce the moisture.  As for the eyecream, he was very vague but I would stick to either Vaseline or cold cream.  Your call.
Xmas Lunch!  Please get your answers in to Dave Smith so the numbers can be given to the cook.  We had a wonderful lunch last year with an amazing turn-out!  It is so wonderful to meet the spouses and I truly wish the spouses would start coming out to the weekly meetings, as well.  Most of you know I’m generally the only female technical there but not to worry.  The worst is that I now have even more brothers to tease me – and they soon learn they will get it back with interest!  Kapow.
Taylor safes made themselves into the conversations and the transport of.  You could see the visible shiver of memories past with these massive safes going around the table.  This then led to elevator nightmares around the world and idiot managers that could not understand weight and basic controls over brakes.  Not good, as they over-rode the very sound advice of the post Technical. Managers=buoys.  And we all know what floats, right.
Crank radios versus crank weather forecasts.  Welllll - at least, we are now collectively starting to put together emergency kits at home after what happened to New York.  This is still happening - or not happening (heating)to them after such a major storm.  Ottawa has always been lucky in that its been TO or MTL to get it in the neck.  Hey, we have the politicians at the trough so who really gets the darkened end of the stick could be up for debate.
Cheers All,

From: Shirley G
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 17:39
Subject: Oct.31st

Hello All,

Before I start my email, please let me know if you no longer wish to be on my distribution list.  I had a comment today that I should start a blog and isn't this a more modern way of communicating.  I didn't answer but will now - listen up.  I have been contacted by some other old Farts to include them in my mail-outs.  It's also less work for our Super-Fart to post to the web-page.  Sorry - if you want to no longer be on the dist list, best let me know.

Hallowe'en already!  The weather isn't so bad - all of us dissed the weather stations that kept telling us we would be getting anywhere between 50-100 cms of rain on during the storm.  Thank God that didn't happen.  However, I now hope we all have tons of actual cash, lots of food and water in the freezer, new batteries, newer wills, etc.  ))  More on newer wills at another time.

Chuck was the happy recipient of a nice bottle of Remy Martin.  Al C has a lot of extra stuff (like all of us) and is starting with downsizing his bar.   Too bad we can't sell this stuff to the LCBO but with the enormous rates of tax, I'd rather give it to my friends.

Show-n-tell - rocker city!!  Stan the Biker showed up wearing his authentic $34 us real leather Harley Davidson vest with a cost tag of $129.00.  He got this at a dollar store in the town of Branson Missouri Absolutely marvelous!!  Someone asked where he should wear his bandanna and we were all of us most courteous.

The snitzel today was very generous.

Surprise visitors:  Andy Nimmo!  Now back from S. Africa and I believe he and his wife have now retired.  He said that he had a ton of projects to do in the house so we wouldn't see too much of him.  A pity but that is also the same for the rest of us.  I feel privileged as the boyos listen to what I have on-going at home and they give their suggestions to help.  In addition, Terry Webb showed up.  He is still unsure and it is a decision for him to make - I remember when I finally decided.  WOW - goodbye forever.

Discussions?   I wasn't sitting in my usual spot as Moe the Finger beat me to it )).  I did bring in my emergency crank radio and should have known better.  Some perp set an alarm and just as we were about to eat, off it went.  Growl.  The good news is that Chuck has a similar model.  I shall have a happy weekend programming my emergency radio.

There was talk about Labrador/Nfld.  As I hail from there, my ears open on auto.  The cod moratorium came up and we all expressed our true regrets at the loss of the cod stocks.  Personally, the govt. stepped in way too late and failed at the same time to fight off the foreign trawlers that always felt it was their right to strip the cod stock.  Once the breeding stock is gone, so are the levels of the available fish.  Logical.

Al brought in photos of excellent quality of his 60th where Ruth took him by surprise with that yummy cake.  All of us knew before hand so this was a double good one!  I will not speak of what he said later that hour.  (His mfc is a Canon - the model number wasn't given.)

I must ask Stan, Biker Man, to post again the Xmas lunch at the Legion (December 5th  1200) for spouses and guests.  It would appear that a lot of us, including me, didn't get an invite!! 

That's it so far, my friends.  And still no little bunnies or princesses ((

Take care all, a Safe Hallowe'en


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