Dec 10th The Wives and Widows Christmas Lunch 2014 with Photos
Here we are again �
another Wednesday of great company, cheer and food. Noel outdid himself
today with very tender chicken and crispy fries. Our man Stan bemoaned the
fact that there were very few fries but his plate had a lot more than mine �
phew � it was still a lot of great food!
Today, new faces blew in the door! Bill Gooch � always the organizer of things needing organizing � brought in a small but VIP entourage. Henry Newton and Ken Ljunger � packing legal smokes � accompanied him. It was quite a treat for our regulars to see their wonderful faces and not only were there 25 conversations to the 19, there were even more as the guys recognized each other and then everyone tried to catch up on each others� news. It was more than marvellous! Thank you Bill Gooch!!
Okay � numbers, numbers. At one point we were 18, then 19 and then we stuck at 19. Not too too shabby, what? We even had a working stiff in a tie join us. Photos were taken and I�m sure that Stan will have posted them up on the ofarts site by now.
Okay, All, � someone went
home, inadvertently, with a roll of tickets, beige in colour, that Stan kindly
purchased for our Xmas lunch. We had a lot of fun pointing fingers at each
other, and finally, looking under chairs, into my hat, into my handbag (what a
bunch of perverts!) and any available canes in use(again, you bunch of
perverts). I�m sure that it will turn up and Dave has a great lead.
Donny Cole contributed to the fiasco with �it had to be a communicator that
stole it, an El would never do that � just to get one going, what a dag!
As for me, gotta bounce!
we go again. We just celebrated the third Wednesday of this month already.
My God, we must be having fun.
ice and wind are upon us. Yesterday, I was out being a social butterfly at
the Flying Pig out on Bank Street. Then, I was nearly was blown out of my
coat as the buildings are so sparse - hence, no windbreak. And
today, the Wind loved the walk home by shoving you over the icy spots on the
sidewalk. It would seem that Loki has decided to make us dance � one has
to watch out for these Old Norse gods.
numbers. We got up to a Feisty fifteen today. Cookie made us
shepherd�s pie and coleslaw. It went down a real treat given how cold it
was outside. There were big holes in our plates � our food disappeared
generators, old carbon monoxide detectors, old passport photos, winter gear, who
to vote for (Federally), Christie somebody or another. Christie
Clark, was it? Ok. Then, we had the difference in cost of 6� copper
tubing, how to reduce the cost of your Rogers cable bill, phones and the eternal
BB versus Apple. Photo albums also hit the table. And that was just
the first half hour. Then it was � pass the ketchup, I need some of that
new sauce, more ketchup and onions; we ate, we chunked it down and we enjoyed it
before I forget, three people have pulled out of Barrie�s Lime Lunch this
Friday. Another person chimed in during the lunch, so that leaves an
opening for two. Please contact Barrie ASAP (email redacted)
so that he can keep an eye on his numbers.
Christmas lunch is coming up quickly � December 10 is the magic date. .
And now to get serious - numbers, you will want to contact Dave Smith at (email redacted)
very soon. Our numbers are currently listed in the 40�s which makes us
shy of 20 or so. We need the numbers so Cookie can know how much to
purchase ahead of time. He has very limited space in his freezer and needs
to set up kitchen help, too. Stan will be sending out an up-date on the
procedures and prices shortly.
speaking of gatherings, today our own Dr. Rant (Dave Smith) printed off a bunch
of our photos from days way back when. It went down quite a treat!
We had a lot of fun placing the names of the photos that were taken by the
professional photographer that was down on Sparks Street (beside the post
office). Does anyone remember the name of the company? He was a
professional photographer and did a lot of government work as well as famous
people like us.
week, I got my new Movie Entertainment magazine. Today I got an even newer
Movie Entertainment magazine. What! How can it be possible?
Moses Almighty - not only is next Wednesday our �payday� but tomorrow, the
date of December 01 nudges in on us in a mere 11 days.
Info! Another topic came up was that Jim advised that guys back in those days
had to be 23 before they could be posted out. I was only 19 when I joined
back in August �75 so I had to stay in HQ for all of that time before I could
be posted out at 21.
am 60 � unbelievable! Don�t we all get a little shock every time we
think about our current age? I sincerely hope you don�t have to go
through my daily routine � up at God-only knows what hour of the clock, go to
the washroom without the light on beside the mirror, make a coffee in the dark
so there aren�t any reflective surfaces. Then I do about 25 crossword
puzzles with my book light on. After another coffee, I have a leisurely
shower; blow-dry my hair while the mirror is still all foggy. Then I make
sure I�ve taken my severe anti-stress pill and sneak up on a mirror.
we did not play the �what�s his name� � I think it had to do with the
brilliant blue sky, the strong wind blowing in the right direction and snow is
down which is brightening up the bleak November scenery. Phew � because
my invention isn�t ready � I still have to catch a cat, procure a trike,
those jumper cables, etc.
the end of lunch today, we all gathered around one of the tables when the tales
started coming out about Frobisher Bay, as it was called in those days.
was after we had discussed that false soldier that had been interviewed by CBC
on Remembrance Day in the parade around the Cenotaph. It has angered a lot
of people and it has been agreed by the legal system that he will be charged.
But to what extent, is the question. The general consensus was that it
will be just a tap on the hand. That is not the impression I have been
getting from the press, but who am I to go against the general consensus.
The press loves to drum up business � they love contributors to their rice
more Wednesdays to Xmas Eve.
� yesterday was amazing! There were very moving ceremonies� the
prayers, the parades, the crowds and their appreciation for the Veterans, our
military, our RCMP, the police, the list goes on. The piper and the
trumpeter were spit-polished and perfect. The size of the crowd was just
beyond belief � it was larger than that of the past years according to the
CBC. I found it was probably that of what you come across on Canada Day
but no one was moving so you just came up against a wall of bodies. It was
a challenge to get home after a mere 5-K walk with my walking club. I
finally found a way through the throng on Albert Street as the police were
enforcing the narrowed bus route. The general consensus around our table
today �Stay home�. That being said, I just found out that our
Legion�s vets gather and does a march from Cyr Avenue up to the Cenotaph,
accompanied by police and pipers every year. Here�s to 2015!
numbers floated around for a bit. Just as I said, we will be a small crowd
but who should walk in � Ray Fortin! He no longer had time to shake a
few hands when in strolls Doug Budd. Once the food was served, the count
was taken. We hit the Fabulous Fourteen!! Not too shabby.
Now go home Marvel Comics and remember that you heard it here first!
played the memory game again. One of these days, someone is going to have
to design a hologram deck for us. In so that when we try to remember
someone�s name - we can see the face, we can invoke the hologram deck at our
table. It shouldn�t be so hard to do � just some jumper cables, duct
tape (to stick the jumper cables to our heads), a cat, a trike (for the cat to
ride), a white placemat, or may-be a black placemat � no one knows yet what
colour we will project in. Hey � feel free to jump in here � this
might even prevent Alzheimer�s but then it might depend on the cat, too.
Ah, good one. Ok, but I don�t think the cat should be allowed any jumper
cables. The cat just might show us up, you know, old sock. So,
ok, the trike, yes. Oh, so many variables, so little time, Igor!
Direct is having a great sale right now. I might just head out over there
to check out their jumper cables.
woke up around 11pm last night and channel surfed for a bit � for quite a bit
to find something interesting. I was just giving the clicker a rest when
this ad came on for travel insurance. I stuck in an ear after seeing the
guy go through the security line-up and throw in his car-keys that had a
rabbit�s foot tab into the tray. Then, they scanned his carry-on and
came up with a baggie of green stuff. He cheerfully answered the security
guard �Those, oh, they�re just my four-leaf clovers�. The guard ran
the wand again but to the rear of him this time. Off went the wand.
To which he cheerfully replied �oh, that�s just my horse-shoe�.
� I missed out a lot on the show-n-tell as there was much talk about winter
travelling down to Florida. Actually, that�s not entirely true � there
was a lot of talk as well about some female political figures being quite good
looking and some politically incorrectness dialogue being directed at them.
I stuck in my oar re good-looking male politicians and there was a quite
different reaction. How wonderful to have lunch with people you know and
like so much. We all respect each other and our separate views.
5U4 � Lou has been up on his roof again � the PVR connections, I couldn�t
hear properly - and poor Marg is not comfortable with this situation. I
don�t blame her one bit � I couldn�t hear properly because my fingers were
in my ears. I was scared just listening. The 5U4 came up because Lou
said this wasn�t a 5U4-deserving situation.
we started to try to search our collective brains to remember who the last
recipient was � we encountered some intermittent technical difficulties
because the cat was on strike, the trike had a flat, and someone stole our duct
tape. And we all know what is tech speak for intermittent technical
difficulties. I say. That damn cat.
the weather came up as our temps are dropping from that beautiful Nov.11th.
As always, someone says � winter is coming early this year. No so.
Exactly a year ago, at a Union conference here in Ottawa, we were just starting
our health break and were gaping at the snow coming down outside of the Delta
hotel. I remember it so well because Ian Black walked over to the window
beside me and said �What! I didn�t forecast this for today!� Man, I
miss working for the Weather Office � they were a great bunch. And even
weirder than DFAIT.
those of you who received an email from the FSNA on non-credit continuing
education, you might be interested to see who the lecturer is on the Middle
East. Any of you remember Jim Gould? He was the 2-i-c in Baghdad
when I went in on TD during one of the wars Iraq/ Iran. I also sat on the
same side of the union table with him during LMC�s back in those days
when he was the President of PAFSO. Now, he carries the label of doctor
who is obviously pursuing his dream.
the name of the forward-looking EL that we were trying to remember is that of
Yvon Pelletier. He was the only EL that was on the pilot project when
Signet was first starting up. Now, if this included all groups � of
which our Dr. Dee should be our advisor � what about the AS�s and FS�s?
I do remember having to take the exam and passing with more than the required
mark of 60 versus 65 for the other groups. And, much to the disgust of a
member of scy group, she brought this up in a scathing way. Leger
Roy came out of his office and said �yes, but you�re not the one that is
losing your job!�. Remember the telecom family, all?
jobs. When are we ever going to stop running out of projects? I hit
the Tassimo on Monday morning and it has been wild in this house ever since!
It�s just like participating in a conversation at OFARTS � nineteen to the
dozen and I�m the only one here! Remember that feeling you get in the
pit of your stomach when you realize that your inventory is late, you�re
trying to remember if your shot book is with your passport and where the hell is
your passport, anyway? Okay, I�m not the cat on the trike but am feeling
close to it. The variance did go through and City Hall approved it last
Wednesday at 5:35pm. Yay!!
� it�s Green light so far. As long as there are no further objections
� a legality again imposed by the City � all is well. Shovels � big
shovels � will be going into the ground come late Spring/early Summer.
The senior architect had to sit in session from 1 until 4:15 pm because all of
the huge companies brought in their property lawyers to argue their
everybody, start taking photos of your separate areas because they � the
photos - will be worth money soon. Just here in Lowertown, DVD�s
are already being sold of what North Dalhousie used to look like back in the
�mid-century� according to our local rag. Gosh, when I moved here in
1975, the Market was fascinating with Woolworths, the old shops selling working
lamps for a dollar, shops where you went in with a broken small appliance and
they fixed it right on the spot � many times without a charge. We have
chosen to settle in a good city with good people. Yes, the climate is
brutal in Ottawa. But, we are living in a city with a great heritage.
Why not become a tourist at home � you will be amazed what is hiding in plain
all blew in around lunch time � literally. We started up this week�s
lunch with typical November�s blustery weather. There was lots of
wind, heavy dark clouds and leaves swirling around. And that was just
outside. Once inside, it was quite a surprise to see lots of light and
hear the sound of coins and bills being counted by hand and by machine.
Poppy time, already. We are still all staggering around after that
horrible incident at the cenotaph
and the charge into Parliament of that lone wolf. We were all in shock
with horror and grief of the loss of such a young and vibrant single father who
held down two jobs. Our walking group went to the cenotaph
and security was overwhelming as was the sight of all the flowers, teddy bears,
hand-written poems � some of them written in crayon. Sens� caps, beer
mugs, and toy puppies augmented the huge tribute to that young man that had no
way to defend himself against the brutality of that terrorist. The rest of
the world mourned with us while friends and relatives scrambled to hear if we
think Canada found out that day just how unprepared we were that day.
School kids sent home to empty houses, employees not allowed to go home, just to
mention a few things. A very few things, in fact.
of you will also be interested to know that when they allowed the PM out, he was
put into a very huge armoured helicopter which flew directly over my house
on the way to Sussex Drive. Then I heard it returning again � this time,
apparently, it took some of the MP�s to the Pearson Building. There is a
reason why we refer to it as �Fort Pearson�. I live about a 12-minute
walk from the Pearson � and that�s going against the wind. Ken Watson
lives even closer so he must have had his ears bombarded.
� time to stop chewing your nails! Our numbers were great today � we
were 18 digging into either pork loin or roast beef when who should saunter in
� Late!! Kevin, of course. He said hello to all around the table
after signing the Late book and checking out our food. I had mash so he
couldn�t steal any fries from me! So our numbers rose to 18 plus 1 �
what should we call that? The November Nineteen? Why not � that
date falls on a Wednesday � done.
before I forget, I am writing this blurb on behalf of Roly Mailloux � he was
sitting in the Blurber chair and has confessed that he is too shy to put words
to �paper� so I�m stepping up to the plate for him. No worries,
Roly, you can reward me with a few fries. May-be some coleslaw, too.
has his book back � the one written by a FS�s wife on the tales, woes and
challenges of living in the Foreign Service those many years ago. It has
proven to be very popular and after I�d passed it on to Chuck, it has made the
rounds. Even as Dave was leaving today, someone key-holed him from it.
I missed a lot of it as Roly had swiped my seat. Did I mention that Roly
had swiped my seat, by the way? Dave (Mr. Rant) brought in a special
connector for your toilet that has a very clever over-ride in case your water
connector is compromised causing flooding. He is investing (wisely) in as
many as needed � your toilets, your dishwasher, etc. Who wants their
flooring and ceilings to be damaged in case of flooding.
clothing. Yep � we are Canadians and this is what we do best.
I�m finding lots of Merino wool long-sleeved shirts at Costco. Warning:
don�t move too fast � you will die of heat. Just as your Canada Goose
gets hotter the faster you move. It can be minus 40 and you can hardly get
that coat off because you are so hot! Moe and Donna Rainbow converted me
to Canada Goose and I sing sermons to Canada Goose now. The only down-side
to this is that Canada Goose is now American-owned.
� this is really nail-chewing time for me. Today is the ruling on the
variance for my 3-floor renovation. Normally, in life�s experience, good
news always comes early. The variance hearing was at 1pm � it is now
nearly 4pm. And the phone hasn�t rang yet. If I were to leave an
unsuccessful union negotiation, I would call this a call post-mop-up. I
think it is time to watch the Comedy channel.
was a good point brought up today � important dates. I can�t tell you
how many times I�ve been asked �when is the Xmas Lunch�, etc. I try
to post this as much as possible but it isn�t always obvious. Maybe we
can discuss adding something like to the OFARTS site and see if anyone can
assist Stan in any way he sees fit.
� we had a good turn-out today, we ate well, it was beer-day for a few of the
boys, Art handed over a club to Dan, and we even had to add a new table to our
usual three. Well done!
and I sat together, as usual, and brought each other up to-date over the three
or four other conversations going on. Then lo and behold, one of the guys
nudged me and asked who was the tall blonde guy over by the elevator.
Moses all-mighty � and there he was. Another Newfie! (Brian
Madden) And who should be helping him � another Newfie! Naturally being
such a shy creature, I quickly brought them over to our table and it was
old-home-time. Yay � then we were four!
Shirley went walk-about for the October 22 and 29 gatherings. But David has snagged a few photos of the dependable dozen.
Smoke, again, 19 to the dozen! Just as I was getting concerned over our
lower-than-usual turnout, we were descended upon by some of the techs from I
Branch! And they were wearing passes � something that is now only a
concept to regulars at OFARTS.
fed us heaps and heaps of food � roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, ham,
massive amounts of green beans and carrots, mashed potatoes, gravy and a wedge
of tourtiere. We all heroically munched and munched and did what we could
to be able to see the bottom of our plate. (Please note: there wasn�t a
fry in sight!) Then, came apple pie.
of this was accompanied by our choice of beverage and lots of conversation.
majority of you know that Gary and I like to niggle each other in a good
mannered way. I was going back through and cleaning up my Outlook email
and came across one from him I hadn�t read. As he�d addressed it to
all of you, I thought I would save from reading two emails from me. Here
is his original:
re our exchange last week about downtown and Rideau st.,, we were in the
on Sunday and out of curiosity, drove down Montreal rd. and Rideau st. Wow, it is considerably
worse than I remembered it. Buildings very grubby looking, sidewalks dirty, cig butts, bits of
paper flopping around, a number of panhandlers and very rough looking characters around,
not a bit of color or interesting design on any of the store fronts, just a sad downtrodden
looking area. I hope tourists are steered away from it. I realize that the area you are in is
in fine shape, but your comments about how much Rideau st. has improved, just don't hold water
reply: Gary � I keep telling you to stop hanging around in those
retirement homes! Especially on Montreal Road. (Rideau officially
ends at the Cummings Bridge.)
sent an email to Al and Ruth Couture to find out what was happening about 3
weeks back. Here is their answering email Sat., 27/09/2014
your email is well timed. We just arrived back from a trip to Ottawa and London,
ON last night. My mother has not been well and while we have been waiting for
the closing date on the sale of our Embrun home (presently scheduled for end of
October). We stopped in Ottawa on the way home for Friday/Saturday and Sunday.
We were able to visit with our grandchildren (4) who we hadn�t seen in 18
months. Then it was off to London on the Monday to see my mother. She hasn�t
been well and we felt we couldn�t wait any longer to visit. We took 2 days to
drive home. The first day we drove to Levis, PQ and then home yesterday�..
roughly 850km each day.
It would have been nice to have
been able to get to Ottawa in mid-week but scheduling didn�t work that way.
Yes, we�re enjoying our time here in Diligent River, Nova Scotia. It really is
a good community to retire to and live. We also got good news from the county in
that after our appeal of the removal of the ap on our municipal tax assessment
because we weren�t living in Nova Scotia immediately after my father-in-law
passed away; our appeal was successful and our taxes have been reduced by 25%.
Cheers to everyone. I have been following some of your news on
of this was accompanied by our choice of beverage and lots of conversation.
of the high-lights were but not limited to:
The RBC in the Pearson is giving up
the ghost next year and our accounts will be moved over to Sparks Street.
Which explains why Sparks Street branch is going through such massive
Please note that our yearly Xmas
lunch will be held on Dec.10th � there will be the same menu as
above and the cost will be a mere $15.00. I will be bringing a doggie bag
as he serves very large portions.
Ron Belanger is looking for a MAC
user to bounce some ideas off of as he wants to buy one shortly.
More and more families seem
to be getting away from the traditional turkey dinners this year. Unless
you are having your family over, a turkey for two people is massive. I
made (from scratch) shrimp dumplings and bok choy in oyster sauce � my son was
very happy � I was very tired.
DFAIT retirees� luncheon �
it�s this Friday and the procedure has changed slightly. This time we
pay at the reception desk and it is recommended we have the correct change so
that things move quickly. However � you will be given a ticket and if
you lose it, no lunch for you! Also, this year, there seems to be a good
change that the space will be larger as the room next to us will be empty so
let�s hope we will be spread out more.
Jim has changed the heat pump in
his hot tub and has been running an analysis of the Hydro cost per minute.
I couldn�t hear anything after that as we had to start shifting chairs around
for more new attendees joining us.
Travel plans, Glen Cameron�s
retirement, who might so and so be, remember what�s-his-face, all the usual
I�d like to add here that Ron
Belanger gave me his special recipe for cooking a perfect roast. You can
be assured that I will try it on Xmas day.
Roly ate two desserts today!
to the dozen today! At least that�s what it sounded like. We
actually got up to nineteen with Bob Belter coming in later than usual.
And, there were so many conversations going on, it was hard to keep track along
with eating real home-made hot chicken sandwiches and fries. Stan was in
seventh heaven over the fries. The table grew quieter and quieter as more
of us were served. And then dessert muffins were served �by then
Roly was in eighth heaven, while staring at our uneaten ones. FYI, he has
vowed that he will change that behaviour in the near future. Roly: �But,
for now, all those muffins, you see here, they are mine, all mine!�
Please don�t change Roly � we love you too much to see you change.
yesterday, two of us Old Farts and Donna toddled and dawdled around
Almonte and drank copiously of the scenery, separately. The air was
so totally fresh and the colours have just started to promise great beauty.
Moe went m.i.a. from the group (our walking group) and experienced a great chat
with one of the energy plant workers. He knows a great deal more of the
town, now, than we wanderers that fell in love with it. Meanwhile, while
we were hitting the sidewalks in a very relaxed mode, a car stopped and a guy
grinned at me. Lo and behold, another Old Fart. Now living in
Almonte, no less. It was Mike what�s-his-name, he was at Old Farts just
last week and sat beside Moe. I am having a few blank moments but he has a
French last name and had a posting in London � possibly replacing Moe.
Mike Trepanier, yes, thank you, now I remember the name � sorry about the
mis-spelling. You can now call him Gramps. Officially.
weather certainly was a precursor to what is about to become fall. I hope
not with that brutal wind! However, we get to give Mother Nature a good
shove, if the predicted weather is to be believed. These weather systems
are now just screaming by. When I worked at the Weather Office (the Met),
on the Atlantic side, it was pretty frantic during the Autumn and, especially
the Winter, given those fighting air streams. Now, it must be even
worse. Sunday was a totally odd afternoon as I was making a huge stew for
number one son � it was so foggy outside that I had a total brain burp to
start cleaning the kitchen window. However, once outside, I found that the
fine fine rain was coming down in sheets. Beautiful.
had a wonderful email from Bob Davidson � he is eager to join the fold again
after a few health issues that are clearing up. How wonderful to hear from
him � even more so, to see him, today at lunch. He got a lot of hugs �
I hope we will see more and more of him in the months and years to come.
and tell: Roly brought in half of a set of an old arcade game, un-labelled
except 1 of 2. It was a 5 � diskette, write-protected, even!
He also brought in some Fit-Bit bands and a usb charger to hand over to Barrie
� who didn�t SHOW!! A-hem. What, what did I say?
we started speaking of down-sizing, clearing out basements � those sort of
mountainous jobs. Stan said that Mary wouldn�t allow him to lend me any
plastic packing boxes � which is so totally understandable. That is why
we buy them in the first place and fill them with utter precision. I am
now an owner of 12 of them myself. And I expect to need more � even
after the addition.
golfers were in and got their food first. Hmmm. But, then, what do
we care. We get to nap in the afternoon. That is, you guys get to
nap � I have to do the blurb. But, I am not complaining, whatsoever.
As revenge, I get to bore you to death if you choose to read them. Or not.
had a special visitor today � Neil M. seconded over to I Branch from the
Australian Foreign Service a few years back. I guess his years here were
quite productive and useful for Canada as we now have gained a new son and three
week, a few of Old Farts connected over a few comments on Facebook. It
started out as a comment or two on babble which then turned into comments on the
Tower of Babble out of the Bible. I jumped in with saying I�d seen a
zigguarat while in Iraq and said it was amazing. Jim Fanning, our man in
impeccable grey avec the fedora, said �a zigguarat is what is passed around at
a rock concert from the guy beside you saying �puff, puff and pass�.
Now, that, is a comment that cannot be left alone. It has to be shared.
Jim must have one of the world�s greatest sense of humour.
Sept 17th 2014
is rapidly rolling into Ontario! I went out shortly after 9am and was very
glad of my down-filled vest and merino undershirt under my wind-cheater.
But, I certainly needed gloves! It was only 7 degrees.
Numbers: 14 hungry people chowed down, left early and stuffed to the gills. I ordered a pastrami sandwich and got two of them!! Noel must think we are way too light in our loafers and need fattening up in time for winter. The servings were huge � even Barrie said he was stuffed! No one even had a thought of pudding in their heads after that lunch of shepherd�s pie or liver-n-bacon-n-onions. Roly ate my extra pickle and promptly passed out.
I finally went on a long walk and got to speak with this older lady, Gertrude.
Get this guys � Gertrude physically built her own sun porch on her house
which is on Frank Street and the Canal. I think I heard she did this when
she was just 71. Challenge!!
the Byward Market and Sparks Street Mall are vying for customers. The
councillors for Sparks Street Mall had started a huge campaign about to 8-10
years ago to revive the flagging consumerism which hasn�t really been working
due to parking costs. The City has been replacing their parking meters
with those new-fangled solar ones all around town � many, many local street
users spend about 10 minutes trying to figure out how to use them. God
help those American tourists. Needless to say, the City is now just adding
confusion to help making you feel like a total idiot. I�m so glad just
to be a walker but I�m also an observer.
Market is getting cleaned up � unfortunately, for me. They are now
moving over my way � which is closer to the Chinese Embassy. I totally
blame this on Moe � can you blame me? This is being said totally
with cheek � but there is one guy that is very aggressive which made me
buy those walking poles. I move very quickly and aggressively for an
old female FART. I was a lousy Tai Chai student. Took it
once, it didn�t take. I prefer all that studied whacking stuff executed
by Bruce Willis and Helen Mirin. Also, it�s a bit different from
knitting � ah � one needs to get away from math, which knitters rely on, all
the time. Trust me on that fact. I will restart next week, but
first � hie yah! Now - that feels more like fun!
time! How doth our friend Terry do? I so hope he has had a great
harvest and he will share it with us � in a pickled state, of course.
And by that, I mean the garlic and onions, naturally. As for Terry, well,
we dearly love him and hope he will never change. Even though he starves
with cred, Barrie gives it up! The next re-union will happen in 2016
in, maybe, the same digs as last time. TBA! Keep your nose to the
grindstone, kiddies! Some of us never age but keep getting younger � if
you want proof, look at our Lou and Mr. Borse � what do they put in that beer?
in the ground � Smoley!. Things are getting very serious � the first
two payments are in to them and I just got a call this afternoon. There
went my nap. My packing time just ramped up � maybe it was just a
warning but I am starting to save all kinds of packing things for next week.
My call-out is this � if you have large plastic containers, I will gladly take
then off your hands until my extension is done. I I figure it
will take a year until I get everything sorted out after Xmas � which suits me
fine. It will not cost me anything extra as my contract was signed with
OGC and they honour it. I am just so glad not to have to do the grunt work
with the back-ground checking, the hiring, the firing, and ensuring they have
the necessary permits. And that�s before the variance that allows all of
this stuff to happen.
it truly time to cut the cable? I listened to an interesting article on
this � one might be surprised. The big networks are scrambling as they
are seeing what consumers are opting for. Personally, and I will
emphasize, personally, I like to have a DVD that only costs a $1.50 and is
available at my Loblaws or Metro that I can just toss into their bin after
a reminder about the RA DFAIT retirees� lunch will be the 17th of
October. Here�s a copy of an email I received this am:
at 7:36 AM
HAVE NOW REACHED THE LIMIT OF 200 PARTICIPANTS FOR THE LUNCHEON AND CANNOT
ACCEPT ANYMORE REQUESTS.
YOU ARE NOT ON THE CONFIRMED LIST TRY AGAIN NEXT YEAR AND MAYBE WE WILL SEE YOU
115 RUE JOSEPH-GOSSELIN
Gatineau (Masson Sector) Qc.
T�l�phone: (819) 986-3358
heard through the grape-vine that Stan is bringing back lobsters for all of us
� if so, I can supplement that with K.D. That way, we could feed
the whole Legion, which might bring the numbers up to about 25 or 30 on our
lunch days. If anyone, like me, doesn�t like to cook up a whole pack of
K.D. Costco has now come out with a huge box of 40 pouches of KD that
serves up two bowls at a time. Hey, works for me once I hand over 20 of
them to number one son! Like Jim said today, Lewis is such a bean-pole at
6�4� and he can eat like he hasn�t seen a meal in a month!
subject of RIFFs hit the table today and Jim�s sage advice is that you must
ask for the tax to be withdrawn at the same time. I am yonks away from
this so it isn�t on the radar. Then the subject of age hit the table.
Our new regular, George, turns out to be our baby!
Sept. 10th, 2014
then we were twelve! We arrived quietly and some in their own way. I
got there under my own steam and saw Barrie pulling up so I decided to wait for
him so we could enter together. After two minutes, I gave up. I
think he was fixing his make-up and I didn�t want him to feel embarrassed.
has some news to pass on re Gayle Robichaud. As a lot of you know, we have
lost contact with her and we�re concerned so it was great to hear that she is
doing well and living in a retirement home. Barrie is our news source on
shovels in the ground � yet. The request for the variance is holding
everything up. I suspect it is at the local level as the community
association has to be contacted. They, in turn, pass on their decision to
the City of Ottawa. OGC prides themselves in never losing a variance
request. I just now spoke with the chief designer of my project and it
appears that the community association needs a few pokes to get things going.
After that, it should head over to the City for mid-October. Once there,
it takes 20 days to ask the neighbours if they have any objections. Which
then moves the spades-in-the-dirt into late November. But, if there are
objections, it then moves everything, if it is resolved, into December.
Obviously, that isn�t a good time to have the back end of your house yanked
off. So � we now move into March. I�m glad he was honest about
it all. I hate it when they say �oh, in a few weeks or so� and then
have to chase after contractors because its Xmas and you have no kitchen
cupboards. I�ve done this work separately before. It�s no fun,
especially when you are a single parent, working full-time, plus being a
volunteer in a very responsible position.
isn�t going right with my Outlook. I sent out a Mad Monday lunch request
a few weeks back and didn�t get back any answers as much as a
shut-up-n-go-away email. I suspect you all have me going to your spam
folder. Shame on you!
is starting to sway to a different line of thinking. All the Brit
political leaders are rapidly beating a path Northwards to check the yes vote.
Then, who is next? Wales?
snowmen in Calgary. Not unheard of but it must have been wonderful to
cavort in it knowing that warm weather is just a few hours away.
Apparently, the almanac is calling for an early winter. Get those Snow
Goose jackets ready!
insisted in telling us about the latest novel he�s read. It had to do
with the climbing of Mount Everest. During my first posting to Delhi, an
immigration officer and I decided to go up to Kathmandu to check it out.
This was during the time that the Canadian �assault� on Everest was coming
about. Remember Laurie Skreslet and Pat Morrow? Those two were
successful by scavenging the wasteland of dead oxygen tanks. They made it
but the original team lost many members � even one of the photo crew. It
was quite interesting to talk to Laurie � he was my dinner companion at a
hastily-arranged dinner by the Hi-commer, John Hadwin. Yes, we were
hi-jacked into dinner at a moment�s notice after Canada�s successful assault
on Everest. It was quite an event � and then came breakfast the next am.
What to drink � beer or tea? The water wasn�t safe, obviously, and
unfortunately, coffee wasn�t an option. Tea, please.
PM is quite the explorer! He personally found those relics from what is
hoped to be one of Franklin�s ships. Or so, he wants us to believe.
If only they had listened to the Eskimo elders who knew all along where it was.
They pass on knowledge by word of mouth mostly. My grandfather, a
travelling missionary of my faith, once showed me an Inuit bible. All I
can remember, vaguely, is that the writing symbols were mostly geometric but I
am going back 55 years ago. I don�t think there are too many of these
bibles around but I would love to have one to study the Eskimo written word.
I was born and brought up in Labrador and had daily contact with all of the good
people there daily. My father took hours to teach us kids how to know and
use the vital words of the Innukittuk � I think I learned about 50 of them
before I stretched out and hit Nova Scotia. We kids had to learn the
words of water, knife, dog, seal, seal breathing hole, polar bear!, those
every-day type of words. Once in Nova Scotia, I had to learn different
types of words � beer, fun, cheap milk and food!! In Labrador, all
food-stuff had to be flown in, given the climate, so the cost of food was
incredible. I`m sure that has changed now that there is a drive-able road
as the Churchill is now tamed, but in those days, nothing could harness that
� what hit the table today? Everything. Not much. Too much.
When you have the Dirty Dozen sidling in, you have to expect what you can
expect. We had Lou�s Chili, or at least, Noel�s version of it.
It didn�t look like Lou�s type of chili to me as his chili looks very rich
and meaty . The word on the �street� was that it was soup and had a
bit of a kick. The boyos happily accepted the fries that came with my
burger and I was happy for that as I can�t eat chili because of the sweet
peppers. However, my version of chili truly kicks butt, too!
brought in a new condiment that didn�t seem to be to the liking of the boys.
It is a maple/whiskey sauce that is truly marvellous. Hey � more for me!
seems to be leaving earlier and earlier these days. I used to cut out at
13:30 and leave a crowd behind. Now, there�s practically no one left.
Was it something I said? I also shower daily!!
God particle came up � hey, only a K more left to live, kats and kittens!
today with funny fries. Enough said.
numbered sweet sixteen today. Some of the boys had golf scheduled for
early afternoon so they managed to join us.
Perhaps I should just let you ask Roly and Stan about their devices � a TV box
and a Belkin device respectively. Both of them will be learning more about
them very shortly. I still think my onion goggles has them both beat out!
Yes, Roly, PINK!
Day Parade! Not only that, it turns out I should be suing CTV for filming
me without my knowledge. And they also filmed my Eddie Bauer purse, too!
Both my purse and myself were flying union flags at the time so may-be I
Facebook page has also been busy with photos being posted of the parade.
We had the Sons of Scotland piping us (PIPSC) all the way from City Hall to
McNab Park. Kilts were swinging, bagpipes were making bagpipe sounds, cute
knee-socks were marching, and the tams� ribbons were flying! But, that
was only when they were marching. Apparently, when the band is standing
still, they aren�t allowed to play. At least, that�s what I was told
but it does beg the question of why the lone piper plays standing still.
crowd in McNab park was enormous and still growing by the time I left. It
took me over an hour to find the owner of the really big flag I had toted.
Thank God there wasn�t a lot of wind that day as it can knock you over from
the drag. Also, it was a gorgeous day. I was wearing SPF 40 and was
the colour of ketchup the following day. Time to get clothes with a SPF
factor build in! I know that Eddie Bauer sells them but I�m wondering
who else does, aside from MEC and Expedition.
finally found the new 2-nd floor food court in the Rideau Centre. It�s
across from Peoples� Jewellers. It was hard to find out what types of
food was available as the food court was busier than a bunch of drunken elves
during the 24th of December!! Seriously, I�ve never seen so
many people in the Rideau Centre ever!
Rideau Street project. According to the work going on, summer is still in
full swing! They�ve re-tarred one lane from King Edward to Nelson.
Aww � such a wonderful smell on a hot summer�s day. Perhaps that is
why there was a young man sprawled out on the grass, asleep, besides Loblaw�s.
Or perhaps he wasn�t, as the security guard was calling 911. I didn�t
check out the situation as there were so many big delivery trucks parked on both
sides of the side-walk. I had to slither through and then, the fire-truck
arrived from pumper station #13 (yes, true) but couldn�t enter Nelson
entirely. Then the fire chief arrived, followed by the paramedics.
Just as I was about to heel-toe-it to the Legion, the bus finally arrived.
Can�t be late for lunch, you know � you�ll get chewed out by Chuckie!
speaking of Chuckie, his bartender can now afford to feed his family a meal or
two. May-be three if he sells off Chuck�s hair for a wig. I guess
we will all have to get spiffed up now.
approached us and explained that we will have two options for the 17th
� there will be both shepherd�s pie and liver. To sum up, we had four
people that opted for liver. I went for the pie as I already have a liver.
eggs and ham! At least that�s what we were joking about towards the end
of lunch. Bill and Wendy�s chickens will be laying by next week and
those of you that want some, please bring in your cardboard cartons so they can
members � in case you�re not aware, you can get a very substantial discount
at Goodlife Gym � nearly a half in price of an annual membership. Here
are some very useful phone numbers, if you are interested:
1-800-363-9736 � press 5 to get to this level to talk to a real person.
They also refer to this as tech support.
Wellness Section of Goodlife 1-877-348-8742 ext. 222
not too sure about the level of tech support as she told me that you can only
suspend your membership once only. However, when I spoke with the
Corporate Wellness person, she confirmed that it is for every year that you have
a membership, up to six months. Done! I�m now suspended for six months.
Phew � no more guilt for half a year!
was given a challenge at lunch. Barrie challenged him to turn the rib
bones into dessert. My lips are sealed as to the result.
Okay � I don�t want to scare anyone but we just celebrated our last Old Farts� lunch for August! And we numbered thirteen today! And, if that�s not enough, check out this picture of Eric Carter � he deserves to be quite proud of this one: it was taken at the wives and ladies� Xmas lunch at the Legion last year. I didn�t even photo-shop it! I swear. Okay, I�m getting up off the floor now but I�m still laughing madly! I love it!
We had a generous lunch of great salads, hot roast beef sandwiches, fries and vegetables today. They were better than the Reubens of last week but we will be drinking our water taps dry! I will confess that my hat is off to Dr. Dee � he ate the sandwich without the gravy. However, we�ve never gone to our weekly lunches for the food but remain forever grateful that they feed us and therefore, we have a spot to catch up on each others� doings. The Legion wins too, as we are members.
We forgot to get Dragon Lady a going-away gift!! We were all so intent on the various conversations and who was ticked off with which company � it totally slipped our collective mind!
Blackberrys, Androids, etc., they came up today and who is giving the best deal out there. I was a long-time Rogers user until I went with my little son who wanted the I-phone 4 those many years ago. We went to FIDO, and while waiting for him to get his paper work out of the way, I did a no-no and browsed the hardware and contracts. In the snap of a lizard�s eye-lid, I signed over to FIDO and returned to the Blackberry world of smartphones. The Rogers� contract dismissal fee was waived (they own FIDO) and suddenly Lewis and I could call each other for free and unlimited time. FIDO also has started an enticement where when you sign up with them, they ask which FIDO customer has recommended you. Once you give them the person�s name, that person then gets a $25 credit to their account. I deal with the FIDO office on George Street � they are all terrifically young and have memories of your accounts that will make you want to book an appointment asap to check out the possibility of early Alzheimers!
Gun laws in Arizona. I saw today that Arizona has the least strict gun laws of all the States. A 39-year old instructor was killed by a 9-year old girl today as he was giving her instructions on how to operate an UZI. She and her parents went to a family-fun centre where there are lots of activities. She had her parents� permission to take the lesson and did so. The video showed her taking single shots and then her trainer shifted it over to hundreds of rounds per minute. According to their training protocol, they have to lean over the client at the time of training. Barrie broke in and related his training time with an UZI � he said they are crazy sensitive and push upwards because of the recoil. Given that and she lacked a lot of strength to stop the recoil, it was a blameless but useless death. Also, in Arizona, children as young as 8 can start gun lessons. Such a pity for both the victim and this little child.
DFAIT is up for awards (self-appointed?) and so I nipped over to the Shopper�s Drugmart (yes, yet another one!) to check it out. The car-park of the funeral home next door was stuffed to capacity. I patted down my arms and legs and was glad I wasn�t the guest of honour. Then � a horrible thought crossed my mind that may-be it was Terry Webb who might have died from a lack of a shave and a haircut!! Stop grinning, Terry.
I�ll have to read to obits tomorrow but Ron Pearce is very much on top of them when it comes to Foreign Affairs and regularly posts on Facebook. I�m a member of so many groups that I can�t quite remember which one but just query DFAIT or Foreign Affairs and you should be able to join the particular group.
And speaking of groups, this year�s DFAIT retirees� luncheon is scheduled for October 17th at the RA Centre with Ron Pearce being your main point of contact:
Please send your RSVP to him � he does an amazing job and gets an amazing price. My best advice to you, after you RSVP, AND/AND if you are lucky enough to be accepted, is to get there early � I would recommend no later than 11am. Parking is abundant and free.
Skunks! Still. With all this construction going on, this critters keep getting moved around. Which I like � why should I have to host them for a year or so, avec odour, while my lazy squabbling neighbour who pays $200 plus a month in rent doesn�t even cut her weeds or grass. I listened with great interest to one of the boys, Dr. Dee, I think, that said Lowel Green was quite livid that someone had called 911 to state they had seen a skunk. That brought over a haz-mat team to deal with the problem. However, that doesn�t deal with my question � how many legs did these skunks have? Ottawa abounds with both.
Now we have had July weather yesterday and today. I have been so happy with that. For those of you that love the hot humid weather, you must hate me for jumping with joy! I can walk, skip (yeah, right) and jump where-ever I go.
Well � here we go � Show-n-Tell. I brought in my technical gadget of the decade, of course! I was most astounded that the boys didn�t bow down to it. Maybe they just don�t like pink but I was asked where to get them. Them, being Onion Goggles. And if I have to hear one more time about cutting onions under water I will scream! Do you hear? I like to cut my onions in good light and these goggles work by surrounding your eyes in a comfortable form-fitting and snug design. And I love my onions as they are so good for your heart-health. My grandfather � God Bless him, lived to be 2 days less than his 100th birthday. His favourite sandwich was a raw-onion one. My mother loves onions and is now a cantankerous 80-plus with no signs of slowing down.
Dave brought up the power of FSNA and CAA membership. Please look into it. I don�t own a car and haven�t even pumped up my bicycle tires in 5 years, so I shall pass this one on apart from Dr. Dee is your rant God on this one.
Stan was our style afficiando today. Who knew. And the wheels on the bus go �round and �round.
today but can pretty much up-date you that Reubens� weren�t served.
Phew! My favorite sandwich of all. And there I was moping on the
couch, feeling sick, forgotten, shivering, starving, and watching re-runs.
Did I mention starving? Wahhh!
may-be not so forgotten as Stan did send me some of the numbers for today.
And they were pretty good considering our stormy am weather. He also
tried/tried to infer that I should have sent in a sick slip � he�ll get a
sick slip, alright! J
Dirty Dozen rode again! This time they didn�t skulk; they only darkened
doors as they dove for cover from the pelting rain � they were trying to
protect their skulk pelts, and so would I if I had been there! Wouldn�t
you have? And read those words again, �. Skulk pelts. Not skunk
pelts. The first would be for brollies and the second would be for certain
supervisors or �., well, you get the picture.
it from a good source that the boys had a great time � too bad I missed it.
I missed show-n-tell but had my contribution all ready to go but couldn�t make
it. Rats. I ,like all others, always love to throw something on the
table that is met with either a look of �what�s this� or �how are the
plans going�. And then it starts!
stumbled across an August 9th ceremony which honours Canada�s
Peacekeepers on Sussex Drive just beside the American Embassy. It was
impressive and the Honour Guard certainly was as they came from somewhere
towards it. I�m guessing from the Armoury on Laurier/Elgin. It was
also the 20th or 25th anniversary of Canada�s
peace-keeping. I couldn�t hear the year properly as the ascoutics
bouncing off the stone buildings were something else. Plus, I�m just too
lazy to look it up ))
I had started out my Sunday stroll to check out some Rib restaurants in the
�hood and possible free parking so when I saw the kilts swerlling and the
pipes doing their amazing job (and they also wear those cute knee-socks!) it was
time to hop it to find a seat. Scored � I found a nicely-shaded bench.
all, it was a two-hour watch and it was worth it. The VIPs and their wives
sat in the hottest seats, unfortunately, and I felt sorry for those without
hats. Fantino, naturally, wasn�t there � what can anyone say about
him? There was a 3-word mention of Foreign Affairs and that was it � no
name and no mention of Glenn�s duties. He was the first and I hope, the
last, DFAIT employee to die in Afghanistan. Of course, the department is
now called by another name: DFATD � like CIDA was never a part of us?
ceremony ended at 11:30 and I was very happy to hear that the official
participants were invited to buffets at both Fat Boys on St. Patrick and the
Smoque House on York St. Those very places I�d started off to check out
� who knew they had just great taste!!
keeping everyone up-to-date and in the picture. The skunks have moved
across the road to where my awful neighbour lives � I am Happy, I am Happy,
I�m so Happy!!
A new chapter � and all of our numbers are even: 08/06/2014. This will be a lucky month for us all � but don�t hold me to that.
Today, we numbered the Notorious Nine! We die-hards just keep showing up but we had a few once-a-year friends that come and share good food and good times.
Also, it was another time of �remember what�s-his-name who was a real �..� Lots of names hit the table and tales were told. Most of the stories were hilarious and we have ab aches from all the laughing.
One of the regular tables brought over some printed jokes and they made their way around the table. One of them was about a wife that decided to sue her husband�s surgeon because her husband had lost interest in having sex after his operation. The doctor protested because the husband�s surgery was for cataracts.
Yes, folks, it was one of those days when we were all giggle-happy and the weather was glorious. Barrie was in good form and kept us laughing for an hour. Others jumped in with �I remember what so-n-so did to so-n-so in the comcentre back in ��.� Then we were off to the races!
Rollie told us what he has been up to. He shared lots of photos of his backyard work and the scariest one, him on the roof clearing out his eaves-troughs. It also turned out to be Rollie�s birthday and I�m sure you will all join me in saying �Happy Birthday�. Once Bev�s cake was served, we sang him �in�. He doesn�t look a day over 75 but we learned he just turned 71. )))) Projects, projects!! Stan had his roofing done, Rollie just finished his weeping tile project and Terry is growing God-knows-what. I am off to the bank tomorrow to discuss some of the technical stuff to pay the OGC to get my extension (yes, three floors that will go out 25 feet). Once they have the cheque in hand, all systems go. I only just signed off on the second set of plans so the time-frame should be mid to late September. I love September!
An old boyfriend stopped by last Sunday and we chatted for an hour or two. He said that a lot of retirees that he knows are complaining about what to do with their time. They obviously don�t know us!
A great pal stopped by for dinner yesterday. Some of you may know Marion Braid. She is x-posting from Abdjn to Hkong and is leaving tomorrow for TO and then on to HK. She sends her best to all. She will be in HK for three years and hopes for another x-posting after that.
Posting season, IT Abroad, the Sub-group AGM is coming up � can it get any busier than that? And just to top the name of STUPID, I also volunteered to help out the FSNA. They will probably toss me off their volunteer list forever � hey, one less thing to do.
Just a little thing to share with you all � one evening a work colleague and I went to an event at the National Arts Gallery. There we are, all strolling along with a large-ish group of people checking out the art. There was a sudden rush of activity and excitement. I turned to this unknown woman and asked what was happening. She gushed �Foreign Affairs is here!� I craned and craned to see who it was and realized it was me and my friend. Did we know this significance of the department when we joined? Of course not. To us, or to me, I should say, it was just a job I transferred into from the Weather Office.
Everyone looked great today � Lou was on time, no one was late, no late book had to be signed, and who was not there missed out on some great laughs. For those of you that like to count, seven ex-CMs were there today. Hey, remember Mel Swenson and Bob Matheson � great to see them! Given that we were such a larger group, we had more stories to tell but still, Don Butt�s name always comes up. Remember, CAW, CAW, CAW!
Just a head�s up � the prices will be increasing for our Wed. lunches. No big deal, all. Cookie is operating on a deficit and I told him that he should be increasing his prices then. He serves us premium delicious food which we devour like rabid wolves. What�s a buck � we get to keep our cook and our meeting place. If anyone has a problem with that, see me. Did I just say that? Nope, cancel that -- see Stan. )) Gotta bounce,
it is the end of July! Incredible. It would seem that someone wound
the clock too tightly, if that was possible, as the time is just screaming by.
We must be having a lot of fun, folks!
I got to
lunch an hour late today! I didn�t know I was having that much fun to
sleep in on a Wednesday. However, we missed a regular and I�m sure the
boys are pounding on their keyboards asking what happened to him.
is why we were only eleven instead of our glorious Dirty Dozen. Also, it
isn�t just us that are counting � so is the table that sits in front of us.
I joined them as I didn�t feel like heading for home quite that early. I
got to sit with Joe and Noel who promptly told me that I was late today.
And that we were only eleven. Ahem.
Noel that we are so happy to have him make us such wonderful meals thus far.
He shared his secret to his tender pork chops and I will use that in the future.
And I was told not to be late any more. Hmmmm.
Burns joined us today � I haven�t seen him in a decade if that at least!
It is always great to see old colleagues � we all of us have so many stories
to share and enjoy.
farmer guy showed up and is growing some stuff. I am assuming this would
be garlic and onions.
brought in some very old newspaper articles relating to the Titanic that his
daughter nearly threw out when she was getting ready to relocate. These
newspapers date back to 1912 and are replicates but wow!
another great day as I got to insult our dearest Art. We had a lot of fun
trying to out-do each other. He is looking as brown as a berry and quite
fit with all of his golfing.
brought back some memories of Delhi as he had done two postings there, as well.
He brought up a memory of our dearest �Rambo � aka Steve Matthews. To
this day, I have never have heard him referred to as Rambo. And, I worked
with him for two years in London. He was such a total gentleman and so
quiet. And then ,today, so many stories! Moses, Almighty.
disrespect, I would like to repeat a well-known fact: when in Indian,
don�t burp below. Dan was telling us a great story about Steve wearing
his impectible sky-blue safari suit one day. He was returning from lunch,
marching off to work and then did an abrupt turn-about. He changed
his trousers. Good man.
kitchen crew today! Noel and Joe certainly took good care of us and every
condiment we own hit the table today. It turned out that we only needed
salad dressing which they supplied in great amounts. Our salads were
outstanding with 2 types of olives, celery, red onion, red pepper over lettuce.
We were impressed.
that we were served breaded roasted chicken and hand-cut fries. The
portions were very large and we got real gravy with that, too. The
portions were so large that Stan could not finish his fries! But, I
noticed that he ate his desert. According to Jim, the chocolate cake was
prices have returned to $8.00 again which makes us happy because we then can
turn over a tenner so they have larger tips.
turnout today brought us in at 16 � not too shabby for this late in July given
it is a holiday month.
great news � our temps go down to 13 tonight. In my neighbourhood, that
means it should drop down to 20-ish. Who knew, 26 years ago, that King
Edward and St. Patrick would produce so much heat-inducing traffic.
our lunch was very animated. Yes, we were 16 attendees but when it came to the
conversations, it was more like 19 to the dozen.
posting season! And the Foreign Affairs ghetto is getting larger. It
now has surpassed my street and is moving up towards Rideau. For-rent
signs abound while the moving trucks have been and gone. After six
postings and many TD�s, I don�t miss all that travelling around the world a
bit. It has been a great adventure � some of them great; some of them a
nightmare. As usual, I don�t miss the work � I miss the people I�ve
met and worked with over the years. You become good friends with your
fellow vagabonds and keep in touch well past your retirement.
Alas - last year my contractor worked so diligently getting rid of all the
weeds. So much so, that they grew back with great vigor. And the
skunks are really happy � they have a ton of food and shelter in down-town
Ottawa. If only they could pay rent!
Stan and Noel collaborated on the menu for the next 3 months.
Hot Beef Meal
Hot Beef Sandwiches
Noel's Mexican Shepard Pie
Hot Chicken Sandwiches
great news so we know that we will be able to meet and nosh until Oct.
There were a few questions about who was running what and the general consensus
was that it really isn�t our concern as getting fed and enjoying each
other�s company takes first-place.
busy bunch we are. Roly is having work done in his back yard; Barrie just
had a new A/C unit installed; Brian and Lou are bottling their �home-made�
beer; Chuckie keeps attacking objects while taking a tumble or two, as do I:
vacations are being planned by all; camera short-comings are being discussed,
and Gary is looking forward to getting in some more flying once the wind cuts
down. My variance preliminary meeting takes place tomorrow and the
contractor comes over to discuss the additional size of the reno. And
subject of flipping property came up and the general consensus was that it
isn�t a good time. When I look around the �hood, private houses are
going for an improvement of some sort, such as in refinishing the exterior.
Others are adding on to their houses so they can accommodate in-laws, etc., or a
much-needed space. If I was to invest in a new career, it would have to do
with people going into retirement and their needs. Especially DFAIT as we
carry around so many physical things from our postings to fill those large-ish
SQs. But � who needs a new career? (Unless your name is M. Duffy.)
I would estimate that the majority of us worked for at least 40 years � enough
already. And, we paid greatly into our pension fund. So, here�s my
take � go to the gym or golf, keep up friendships, enjoy life to the fullest
and live to be 100+. Get your pension�s money�s worth!
Barrie ate two deserts today.
everyone � we are now moving into the dog-days of summer! Doesn�t that
take you back to your childhood of flip-flops, tans and those cool sunglasses?
And the wonderful tinkle of the ice-cream truck winding down the road towards
you. Ahww, those treats and just kicking back as a kid. And now you
can do it all over again but even better � no September. This is the
best gig in town.
we were Les enfants terrible @ dix. For those of you that know French,
I should probably leave town, now. And really fast. And to think of
all of those years I was turned down for French language training � I stopped
asking after 20 years of doing so.
everyone was late today but I didn�t have the sign-in book so they�re off
the hook. However! There was an exception today. Lou showed up
at 11:45 instead of his usual skittering-in time of 11:59. The usual
consensus was he didn�t stop off at Princess Auto; there were several others
but cannot be shared in this forum.
we saw another change to our Wednesdays. Maggie, our Scottish cook, is
quitting the cooking biz and we wish her very well. She stepped in for us
at a crucial time and we truly appreciate it. Stan started us on our
collective way to show her our thanks. Lou led the �For She�s a Jolly
good fellow� and we did the honour shout. Well done, All!
cookie is Noel. Most of you will remember him from before � he is the
older white-haired man that used to be a waiter. We await, with bated
breath, how the breaded chicken breasts will be. I also hear that there
will be fries with that.
to remember! So, ears up, you lot. Get those smartphones out and go
to your calendars. This year�s Xmas lunch will be on Dec.10th
there�s the yearly luncheon that Ron Pearce so works at diligently.
I�ve requested the date and he will get back to me on that.
Lunches are the 3rd Friday of the month and this time, there will be
19 of us attending. I�m not sure if the list is closed but it�s always
worth a try to get another chair at the table! I remember Kit Carson
telling me of one of his fond memories of having a meal at his neighbours.
All the kids ate their lunches and when it came time for dessert, they just
turned the dishes over. I like that � less dishes to wash!
Dan Kenny produced this heavy steel monster crimper out of his sleek biker�s
back-pack. It had to be manufactured in the 20�s it was so heavy.
However, not so, it would appear. Stan had a lot of fun trying to figure
out where it had been made. (It was actually a dip bag lead seal crimper from Consulate
of Canada in San Juan, Puerto Rico SGF)
Thomas is going to check into a new phone provider for free long distance calls
anywhere/anywhere in the world. It turns out to be some company based in
Nigeria. Onejack? I can�t remember � there was too much noise
going on. And guess from whom.
met with the OGC people again and I saw the plans. I begged for even more
space and they agreed to go for it when they argue with the City variance ogres.
The disappointment is that it can take as much as two months from start to
finish. However, it seems I will be clutter-free by the end of autumn.
Yes, it will just be spread out a whole lot more. As for the financing, my
bank manager is totally amazing. He�s like a walking calculator but to
the 3rd degree.
there we were � all 14 of us.
was a terrible day, it was a great day and it was a day just like yesterday.
Again, we arrived, we yakked, we ate and enjoyed the conversation and the
food. Chuck�s good pal stopped by to say hello and it is always nice to
see him. He has such nice manners.
� the count is in. Some, more like a few, demanded that the number be
called as a baker�s dozen plus one. I disagree and given that I�m
writing this blog, I shall call it what I want. Hmmph, so there, and
I�ll give you one guess as to who was the loudest one � as he always is.
Obviously, he forgot his hearing aid again.
were the outstanding Freaking Fourteen today � and that is just to reflect the
weather and not the company. What a strange day we had � it was so dark
around 3 that I had to consider turning on the lights. But, just to tee
off Enbridge, I decided not to. Up your nose with a rubber hose, Mr.
today were many � weeping tiles, sump pumps, and everything else in between.
Many things were said all over each other and sundry. And they say that
women talk each others� ears off.
and Rolie each ate double desserts. However, to do them justice whether
they deserve it or not, a third brownie came their way. They both declined
but Jim picked up the ball � good man.
as for me, the big meeting is coming up on Thursday to get the mortgage rolling.
Then, on Friday, I shall meet with the architects to see the plans they are
projecting. Stan stuck in some good advice about getting an elevated
toilet. Thank you, Stan!
with ink in my pen, and determination on what I need, here�s to the rest of
the week. The size of the extension has expanded � it is now 18 by 24
versus 20 by 20. As the project manager (all of what, aged 24?) says, it
is all one cost , yes $1000) so we will ask for it all at one time. Cough,
cough � yes and see if you can increase that, as well. The size, that
is. Size counts.
of you were MIA but not when it comes to recounting memories.
Remember-what�s-his-name is a very popular guy! We are getting to be
such a funny bunch.
� I just remembered that I forgot to bring in �Of no fixed Address�!
My sincere apologies to the next person in line.
Drive changes. It�s still a mess � what would you expect with Harper
living in #24. Gary is probably starting a campaign to evict me from the
NCR based on that but I will ask that nice moose to have a talk with him.
� what I wanted to say, re 125 Sussex, is that there isn�t a sidewalk
anymore � it is now a two-lanned bike-way. Yep- no sidewalk. If I
might be so bold, I�d suggest you use the �back-way�. It�s
actually called Union Road.
Please note that the July 2nd Old Farts
�do� is delayed by a week as the staff will be working 12-hour shifts on
Canada Day and they will appreciate not working so much on July 2nd.
Enjoy Canada Day � it is also Memorial
Day for Newfoundland. This ceremony was held last year at 9am in
Confederation Square. If you go, you will see kilts flying, bag-pipes
expertly being used, and a celebration ceremony of those that laid down their
lives for the Empire. The ceremony, last year, ended at 10am so you
will have to hop it!
See you the week after on the 9th.
Meanwhile, Happy Canada Day!
25th � a torpid day
of you know, I called in late today so there wouldn�t be so much ribbing from
the �locals� at one of our tables closest to the bar. As it turns out,
I was finished my appointment and on the bus before anticipated. And just
to prove how cantankerous they are, these guys then proceeded to give me a hard
time. Really � what a bunch!
we were a wonderful bunch, today. Those grey droopy clouds weren�t
stopping the Elite Eleven. Not only did we skulk, sneak and skive our way
in, we did it with our usual aplomb � all hats off at the door el pronto and
with appetites properly tuned up. Today we had cheeseburgers and fries
coming at us so we had to be at the ready. And, we did our group proud!
tradition is in the midst of being born � an honorary plate of Family Fries
shows up at the table, we all try them (before the vinegar is added!!) and then
we pass judgement on their taste. This has happened twice now and twice
the fries have been lauded on high. Strange how they always land up in
front of Mr. No-Fries-with-that. An eternal mystery, I�m sure.
started off the technical side of things today by saying that his phone is
stating that he has _____mgs of email while he knows that all of his folders are
empty. We all threw conjectures on the table and I was told outright that
I have no idea of what I�m talking about. !!! Fancy that after
being on the email server team for three years! However, I didn�t
mention this and it turns out that Stan has this error message on his eye-phone
and this is a known MAC error for their past two operating systems. Of
course I wouldn�t know this as I�m not ever going over to the dark side.
Android, maybe, a good chance of that, but I sure wish that some more high-tech
jobs would hit the Canadian market instead of down South. All that being
said, I still love my 9290 BB.
speaking of my beloved 9290, it was on the endangered species yesterday as I
went out for a walk when all the clouds in the sky descended just as I was
finishing my 5-ish Km daily walk. I fished it out of my phone holder and
hastily got it into my gortex�d jacket pocket before the phone holder flooded.
I also rescued my $20 bill before it floated away. Man! I will say
that I am in love with my new jacket � the hood has a wonderfully designed
bill which protects your eyeglasses from the rain so I was able to glimpse the
$20 making a desperate run for freedom.
eleven of us and there had to be fourteen conversations going! I made the
mistake of checking to see if my son had received my text re a job offer and
only two seconds later, the conversation had changed from Video 8 to radios.
Then run-away chickens took over for a few moments and then it was the
arrangements for July 2.
folks � here it is. There will not be a gathering of Old Farts on
July 2 as Maggie is doing a 12-hour shift on July 01. After asking
around the table, only two of us will be able to attend out of a possible
30-something members. Now, if you wish to go on that day, drinks will be
available but no food. And no Old Farts unless you make arrangements
Back to the chickens � the general conclusion around the table was that foxes
had probably dined and then frolicked with the errant chickens. Bonnie
then spoke about a recent purchase of cottage land (yeah � no more bad
neighbour and his dogs!) and she and Dr. Rant compared notes about how close
their cottages were. She also mentioned a very strong odour (no not Dave!)
and we were contemplating this problem. One of the Ladies� Auxilliary
over-heard us and she mentioned that you should put out dog-hair in the affected
area because foxes like to bury their cache. Bingo!
it came up that the best �container� for the dog-hair is to put them into
pantyhose. Foxes, apparently, are scared of dogs. It also came to
light, jokingly, that Stan loves his pantyhose and even has a favorite brand �
King�s, I believe it is..
that lickety-split moment, the door opens and there is Janice. We are all
falling over ourselves explaining how her name had just come up only a second
casually left his new camera on the table while visiting the gents, and the
boyos took full advantage of it. Snap, snap and there we were.
However, no wild mooning shots - we really are getting tame in our quieter
Day is almost upon us � we will be reaching that pinnacle of summer-to-be.
I sincerely hope it will be a mild one with a lot less rain than yesterday.
Ottawa now seems to have a monsoon season as well as a construction one.
Aren�t we lucky! However, I was speaking with Angel yesterday and she
passed on the shocking news that some citizens of Manitoba are having to run
their water 24/7 because their pipes are still frozen. How awful.
back to Dave�s camera, he mentioned that while they were in Beijing, a
Canadian tourist left his/her camera in the Embassy. Being such
accommodating souls, they all posed for a group photo and did a mutual mooning
shot for this tourist.
bounce - Shirley
dub, two feet in the tub. What comes next?
That�s just a general throw-out for a response. It will be interesting to see what the response will be.
George and Frank
yes, we did surpass the Dirty Dozen. Jim sat in his usual chair looking
quite pleased at being back. He and Faith fought off mossies and a variety
of big Flies. Hey, maybe we should start a new industry � Black Flies
you never want to encounter!
We had a wonderful newcomer � Kawsar � please forgive me if I�ve spelt your name wrong! It is so nice to see another woman join us. (Kawsar is John Kruitof's wife, the author of many interesting histories
fish and chips. Stan made a mention of the fries not being gluten free and
indeed, they were not. They had a coating which made them crisp but to me,
tasteless. Yes, we are becoming quite gourmand, and that�s not a bad
thing. Also, for dessert, there was pineapple-upside down cake.
Everyone loved it! Wow � Donnie must be turning in his grave � no
smoked-meat sandwiches with forgotten mustard. God love him!
Blessings on you, my old friend.
we are moving into the a/c season, we are starting to hyper-focus on our a/c
units. Mine is still reasonably new < 10 years but I am watching it
like a hawk. If you live this close to King Edward and St. Patrick, so
would you. When the weather office says 22, its closer to 40 at this
junction. And I know this from my past experience at the Weather Office,
Environment Canada. Hey, it�s much cooler out at the airport (with all
the landing craft) than it is in a land-locked, car-n-semi, intersection.
It is fantastic when the wind comes up � ah, a breath of a breeze.
live in a land of mah-jongh players? We are approximately 5 players
looking for more � the rules aren�t as important as we can all learn the
international rules. I played in Delhi with the Dip community and am
eagerly looking for a group to join or even start, if we have enough.
prices, gas prices. I�m not going to go there.
prices are going up. There are still some excellent products but lately
I�ve run into a few bad ones. I got home with a wonderful camembert �
opened it up, and only to find it brown inside. Hmmmm.
recently had an Open Doors event and after snacking on a decadent Klondike
caramel cone, I decided to act like a real part of the Dirty Dozen. I
slinked (slunked?) in and was suddenly caught by a member of the welcoming
party. I got papered and skittered away in a hurry. The building is
absolutely stunning and I just loved it. Please go to the �Conference
Room� and check out the fire-place. O-M-G. What incredible
at this building, one of the big announcements was to sit in the mayor�s
chair, which is located on the 2nd-floor of this building. It
is referred to as a �normal� school, as it was called in the 1800�s.
It then turned into a teachers� college after that and now is filled to the
brim with City of Ottawa workers. Gosh, I wonder who fills the offices
over at the new City Hall? Meow. Go check it out.
the weeds are having a fantastic year � the ba----tards.
I eagerly rushed off to the Loblaws on McArthur yesterday to get some plantlings
and didn�t find what I wanted. However, I picked up some pineapple mint
and two other incredible plants. When I was paying, I inadvertently
(don�t you love that word for mistakenly) asked for money back. Now you
can imagine when I opened up my wallet this am and found I didn�t have it, nor
the receipt. C_ap! Major Cr_p. So, I called the Loblaws and
eventually spoke with the �cash� manager. Guess what � she says it
happens all the time and they have an incredible amount of extra cash from this
source. The good news � I had my $40 back within minutes of showing up
after my call. And, without a receipt. As many of you know, you have
to sign the receipt once you get your money. I just identified myself, the
time of transaction and obviously, sounded just like myself. What! I
heard that � just shut it!!
16th � Yikes!
order to sound like the perfect broken record, I need to repeat what I�ve said
(or echoed you) in the past � where has all the time gone!!
On the other hand, hey, we are starting to look at getting some return on all
those years we paid into our superannuation. If any of you remember Ralph
Guitard, he told me that he now has been retired for longer than he worked.
Good on him!!
And there we were again � another dirty dozen skulked into the Legion! This time, our posse � God love �em � were three but I think I saw a few being shoved out of the way so our posse could get through the door. Obviously, one of them wasn�t Jim because we all know he sleeps there the night before so he and Faith must be checking out other parts of the world.
Show-n-tell: Barrie was presented with a gramps� gift (from Roly and Bev) of a onesies for his 8-day old grandson.
names of companies that are folding came up at the table. Sears,
Grand-n-Toy, are just two of them I remember. The Rideau Centre is
changing rapidly and to what avail? I was totally lost the other day and
this very nice gentleman approached me and asked if I needed help.
Obviously, yes. We spoke for a bit and he is obviously plugged into what
is happening there. The changes are mind-boggling � if memory serves me
correctly, the food court is moving up to where the movie theatre was. The
escalators are being re-rigged to take on this new floor. Geez � I sure
hope they think about the added weight of the down-ward escalators after all
that fast food!
Watson showed up today and we got caught up on the neighbourhood news.
Fires, and more fires. Some of them were logical and the others were just
absent-mindedness. Scary stuff. And it is so easy for it to happen.
I was so focussed on making my shrimp sauce the other night that I forgot to
turn off the pasta-pot burner. My son was bringing in the dishes and
noticed the pot starting to smoke. Phew!
my defense, I have started using an induction cooktop plate. I am amazed
by how fast water will boil � so much faster than my electric kettle and
super-faster than my stove-top element. The temperature control is so fast
and so accurate. And for those of us that lived in Asia �so cheap, lah,
only $59.99 � you need one, lah!� It will be interesting to find
out how fast it takes to boil a litre of water but I don�t have time � too
much to do outside now. Gotta train those dandelions! Hut, hut, kill
that squirrel. Okay, okay, just push that squirrel off my property.
Man, animal rights �..
told me about another walking club just up the way and I�ll have to check it
out � they hike around Rockcliffe Park and his wife is a member. I was
trying to find something like this about 8 years ago and nothing existed that
was common knowledge. Now � just check out meet-up Ottawa and see what
comes up. I am a member of the Rideau Canal Walkers and they are a really
Lime Lunch will be this Friday at the Sweet Basil on Bank and Huron. Check
it out but please get back to Barrie pdq as I just took place #10.
� we are rapidly approaching the gardening weekend. Okay � I �fess
up and already bought some planters from Metro but considering their price, they
just under-cut Loblaws by half-price. Incidentally, both these stores are
week we will be having ribs and chips.
Okay � now for the numbers. Four of us did the count and gladly reported we hit 17! Our faithful posse of five keeps supporting our Dirty Dozen. Good one!
Here it is! We skulked, we darkened doors. Then we found ourselves in the wrong place. Then, we had to re-skulk. Those damn GPS systems! Then, once we all had re-skulked, collectively, we took pics on our smartphones. Why? Can�t remember.
Phew! Onward!! �Where, again? What parking lot?� �Oh, say, I believe we met somewhere � did you ever work for ���., what was his name again?� � Yeah � you remember him � he always �����������., remember?�
Today was meatloaf with mash and veg. It was very good and the servings were generous. Dessert was banana bread and it was gobbled down with much gusto. At least Barrie and Rolly did �over-justice� to what was put in front of them The vote was taken � next week we will have smoked meat and fries or hamburgers. We voted for both.
Well, Angel came and just left yesterday. She enjoyed herself immensely and her sense of timing was great. She got to come to Old Farts as well as a Lime Lunch. As you recall, last week we had twenty-two attendees! Some of those got to sit at the children�s table but what the heck. When it came to the Lime Lunch, it would seem that not all showed up as we had two tables booked. The joke was � it�s a good thing we booked because there isn�t another soul around. Then, a bunch of young lads (mid-40�s) came in and then we found out they were all from Foreign Affairs! It is such a small world.
By the way, if you are ever back in that neck of the woods, the Hintonburger (literally, next door) does some of the best/best burgers in Ottawa along with bad seating, bad karma, no atmosphere but a ton of customers! Another word about the �d�cor� � even the old winos get take-out as their card-board shacks look better. However, the word is getting out about the real beef and real cheese, though! I would not, however, recommend the bacon. It is tough as old boots � the exact same as what I had in my $10 ice-burg small salad at Friday�s Lime lunch.
Hey All, I now know which light switches control the lighting over our tables! Dave, the Rant God, told me that he got some dirty looks from the bar steward for requesting more lighting one time. Well! They are right beside the entrance to the bartender�s berth. Thank God for that � it is so depressing when you are trying to catch up on everyone�s news or show-n-tell, and you feel like you are in some old rummy bar. Of course, I, like you, would only know about this from watching bad TV and movies.
Old Man Winter is being such a bore. Give it up! Even Angel groaned when she heard about Monday�s/Tuesday�s Ottawa forecast. For the first time in many years, I haven�t started my herbs, which I normally start germinating in Feb! Even worse, I haven�t been doing any Union work apart from training it to and from Toronto. Other acquaintances are saying that they just can�t get started on things. I ran into another old colleague. She is in a cast from badly breaking her knee just around Xmas after a fall on ice. Then I ran into a member of the DFAIT working-wounded � she was doing spring cleaning at home.
Thank God for extra-strong coffee. I�ve started in on my kitchen cupboard project. I am lining every one of them with easy-clean ribbed heavy-duty plastic liner. Once all of that is done, it will be time to start the exterior cleaning and polishing. Dave and Jim gave me tips on that a while back with Dave saying to remove the cabinet pulls so as to get a better-looking result.
The ever-youthful Mr. Kenny has been making sounds about doing a show-n-tell. He has made a promise that most of us would not recognize what he will bring in. Just try us, Danny Boy, dare ya! ))
Today�s show-n-tell comprised of samples from the Home Show that Jim and Dave went to last Thursday. Those were pretty snazzy doors and then a blurb on a very powerful generator. Someone contributed a special cream in a tube that came with a lot of comments. Two different technical comments in particular that partially agreed so ��.
Onwards � we heard about Ron and Mary�s great trip to Puerta Vallarta. They had nothing bad to say whatsoever and they also took the local buses � which sounds fascintating. The restaurants sounded divine and the most expensive restaurant cost them about $40 for the most expensive dish on the menu. (Heck � at the last Lime Lunch, one pub entr�e cost that!) I shall certainly be checking this place out for next winter.
Yikes � pert near 4pm � how fast our days fly by. Today, I was happily surprised to see some old union colleagues come by for a meeting. They invited me to brief them as I am still very involved as both a sitting President and a Vice-President. We exchanged info on our calendars � these calendars are totally crazy. How come volunteers are so very busy while so many people are looking for work on such a scale? Does the word �free� seem to work here?
gang, we are past the Ides of March, past St. Patrick�s Day and now we are
slated to get more snow. Did we miss Spring, Summer and Autumn? However, I�m
not going to complain much as Angel and I got in a few good walks today.
And, now, what you have all been waiting for! The numbers at the Old Farts� lunch came up to a double deuce � as Stan said to Angel �Welcome to being one of the Dirty Dozen!� As for skulking and slinking, I shall pass on my excellent skills to her these next few days.
We were more women than usual and that was great! I missed a lot on show-n-tell as I was watching for my son�s appearance. Even though he is past 23, as a parent, I still worry about him when he doesn�t show up on time. It turned out his hair was still wet and he was waiting for it to dry. ??? Geez, I remember when we used to fly out of the door with dripping wet hair when it was minus 20. And we dare to think that this generation X (or is it Zed, now?) is stupid?
I find it amazing that so many of us are still alive and almost healthy. I remember quite well my first year in Ottawa and the party scene. My number one survival skill was to add as much starch as possible to my jeans so that they would help me remain up-right while working the old torn-tape relay line after only an hour�s sleep!
What a busy crowd we were today! We had to add another table to our usual three. The sitters immediately announced it to be the �children�s table�. Hey � you have to arrive on time! Anyway, we are going to blame it all on Kevin as he was the last one to slink and skulk in. He darkened the door at nearly 12:15. Okay, okay, may-be it was 12:13.
Our lunch today (food-wise) was one of the better ones we�ve had so far. Somehow, we seem to be missing some of our condiments � or I should say, Lou�s condiments. My son, Lewis, was very smart today and added the extra-virgin olive oil to his pork. Good lad � his cholesterol levels will remain extremely low. I am hoping that he will get my �Medusa gene� � and that has nothing to do with my current hair style Extra-virgin olive oil is a mono oil and it will lower your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol. Also, so does peanut butter. Eating healthy doesn�t mean having to try to get through those rice cakes lickety-split before that your taste-buds wake up and take over your brain�s command centre and say � �You really are kidding me, right? This is so not happening!� I will not continue with what your brain says to your poor little tummie.
To get back to Show-n-Tell, lots of things hit the table again. Including my RFID Tracker. No one paid attention to it, as Stan mentioned, so I get to bore you to death at leisure. These are available at Bentleys� in the Rideau Centre and you get 4 of these �envelopes� for about $5. The basic design is to protect your credit card and pers info on the cards of choice by creating a �deflective cage� around the selected card. I showed this to my military neighbour and he decided on the spot that he would put tinfoil around his special cards.
To further bore you to death, I also mentioned to the group that I did break down and purchased the Salton induction �heat-plate� at Costco. A most impressive purchase! The instruction booklet does tell you what types of cookware to use and one of them is your mother�s heavy cast-iron pots! Pyrex! Stainless steel! Yep! Now, if you have fancy-pants copper-bottomed cookware, don�t go for it. Or don�t get this type of heat-plate for your student child that might only have access to cheap aluminum stuff. Your cookware must re-act to the magnetic field and wow � you are away with the races. I put on a pot of cold water, 2 cups to be exact, and turned on the plate. I started my timer on my watch and after fiddling with a few controls and then figuring it out, found out that that water went from cold to a full boil in under two minutes. That�s faster than your electric kettle and much kinder to those of use that like to cook our pasta properly. That being said, most of us still use our microwaves to re-heat our coffee but I am loving this induction-method of cooking! Especially if all you are doing is a one-pot meal during Ontario�s �high-cost� energy usage.
Dr. Dee brought in a much-loved Sony shortwave radio. It was an old Sony � unfortunately, I don�t remember the model number. Perhaps Stan can put in a note on it. Dave was saying that it had an �air-wave channel� and the boys were having a ton of fun over it. I used to own a much smaller version of it � much more limited, but it was a vital part of your packing kit when you went out on TD for three months.
Actually, this short-wave was even more vital than that. When I lived in Italy back from �83-�86, it was the only contact I had for English radio. One night, one of my Italian boyfriends was over and we were trying to listen to a BBC broadcast. Finally, he tied a string of sorts to the radio and then leaned out of the bathroom window while I hung onto his ankles so he wouldn�t take a nosedive 4 stories down onto the cobblestones in the courtyard. We got the Beeb and it was marvellous. Another time, this same boyfriend was over and we had rigged up a series of wires to optimize the reception. That night, we listened � live � to the bombing of Quaddhafi�s home. Rivetting.
But! This wonderful little short-wave also got me into trouble when I was on TD in Iraq. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and I thank God for that. I was telling Stan that when I was in Bghdd and what happened when I called down to the front desk to ask for some technical help. I couldn�t seem to pick up the Beeb and the tech guy came in just as my dinner was being served in my room. I explained to him the problem and then he wouldn�t leave. It took me nearly an hour to get him out of my room and I can be fierce. (Shut-up, Kevin!) The next day, at the Embassy, I found out that you can be arrested by the state police, slung in jail where you will basically rot, just for bringing in a typewriter. Thank you, department, for not telling me that in advance. Diplomatic immunity? I remember having to help one of the local Immigration officers by turning my ppt the right-way up � duh. I was so glad to leave that place � the Embassy kept booking me out on every next-day flight so I wouldn�t have to take their aids test. I am not kidding on this one. I left Baghdad, after more and more airport hassle, and then Ken Beach stepped in and straightened stuff out. Remember our colleague? God love him. Then, I boarded Swiss Air and woke up mid-flight after a night-mare. I also woke up the two male Swiss Air flight attendants that were sleeping both a row ahead and behind me. They were there with warm blankets and hot milk within minutes. I love Swiss Air.
Okay, I cannot think of any other way to bore you to death so you are safe, now. I�m sorry it took me until this time to post this but, my group contact in Outlook became corrupted and I had to build it again. This might mean that some of you may get this twice so please bear with me. You guys are wonderful and most of you don�t show up often enough. And, I do know why as you contact me and let me know what is happening. That, I appreciate so much. We are still a great family!!
Barrie has arranged this month�s Lime Lunch for this Friday. Please contact him directly for details in case you can attend.
Hey! The light levels are coming up, the snow is shrinking due to the Arctic conditions of extremely cold and dry air. Hey, man, this is a Labrador spring in full force!! Get those gardening tools and seeds out now or else!
oh, it appears the word is getting out that the new cooks are pretty good �
and we get seconds plus dessert!! So, pass on the word that sandwiches are
soggy and the soup is cold! More for us, that way ))
Yes, today saw the Dirty Dozen there in full force, with a posse back-up of five. That�s not too shabby for the middle of the month. Yes, we are nearly half-way through this month already!
white stuff is coming down. Okay � this is getting to be more than
enough! Although, I will say that it certainly makes for a good excuse to
have a long nap on the couch while you keep the TV company for the afternoon.
I forget, Maggie is going to make up roast pork, mashed potatoes and peas for
next week. She wanted to add cauliflower and broccoli but I talked her out
of it � don�t hate me! The chili had a lot of takers today, along with
the garlic bread. Some even had seconds! For the first time ever, I
heard Lou say he ate too much. That being said, Lou�s Extra Hot sauce
bottle certainly got a work-out. We now have Cross-n-Blackwell vinegar and
salad greens for our tables. I forgot to bring in the chili flakes today.
ladies have started cleaning out the fryer. There were un-godly noises
coming out of the kitchen � I�m sure they are doing a super job.
sported his new hand-knitted vest this afternoon. As usual, Wendy did a
fantastic job. The most amazing thing is both of us have the same type of
wool. I made my son a toque with it when he was around three � he wore
it until he was nine � he really stretched it, that�s for sure.
will have another surprise coming out of the kitchen next week for our tables!
Bonnie brought her Celtic accordion to mark the up-coming occasion of St. Patrick�s Day. I�m glad the lighting has been improved. Last week it was very dark and I grumbled about it.
and Roly were discussing their time they spent this year in Florida. They
had lots of good things to say which doesn�t surprise me. I wonder how
much money goes south of the border on a yearly basis. Floridians do love
us a lot!
eyes are starting to cross � and I just had soup and a sandwich. Wow �
time to keep the TV company.
Today, I felt a minor twinge of terror at the thought of TAX TIME again. Sigh, the gathering together of the receipts, the purchase (or not) of an up-date of your on-line tax return or to remember to see your CPA in order to file, sigh. Back in the days when I used to smoke, I had my very special ritual of getting a brand-new pack of smokes, a new lighter and a pot of coffee. Then I�d crack open the paper copy (this was �87), study all the notes on how to file, and begin. Pretty much after that 3rd cup of coffee and � a pack of cigs, the air would be blue with all my cussing as those rotten so-n-so�s were stealing more of my hard-earned money!!
But, onto better topics.
Yes � you guessed it � the Dirty Dozen rode in again!! And not even a do-nut in sight as an enticement! We lolled at our Old Farts� table-clothed tables like we were totally used to it, partook of our usual beverages of choice and dug into our shepherds� pie with gusto. Lou was true to his promise and brought in chili sauce, HP sauce and Heinz ketchup. Thank you, Lou! Maggie told me that she has locked these condiments safely in her part of the cup-boards. Next week, I will bring in the chili flakes and malt vinegar.
Next week, we will be treated to chili with garlic bread. Both of the ladies are still very nervous about what to serve us. I keep trying to calm them down and told them we just want honest home-made food. Nothing special, something simple, and now, more importantly, something freezable as we cannot guarantee our numbers. Maggie wants to make us a roast beef or chicken parmesan but what if we suddenly shrink to a mere six or grow to a few Dirty Dozen? She has frozen the soup from last week and can do the same with the chili � in case there are any left-overs. BTW, for the first time in our history, seconds are being offered for free and we had a few takers. Also, if you get a take-out of the days� special, the price drops to a mere $5.00.
And, we might even get Shake-n-Bake chicken! Remember that ad with the little kid despondently throwing rocks into the fishing hole, bemoaning the fact that they hadn�t had Shake-n-Bake in months � poor little tyke. And then his pure delight in having it served just that very night. Wow � the power of TV advertising and what it does to our brains. Gee, I wonder how they did ads back in the days of cavemen. �Look, Ma, there�s a drawing of a mastodon. Get another husband - we haven�t had meat in months! � Seriously, though, I was listening to a report on how cruel life was at that time even if you sprained an ankle as a lone hunter. However, that then moves us away from bison tartar and onto Shake-n-Bake!! Man � progress just rocks.
Today, the sun shone, the windows sparkled, people smiled and the buses were dishing out their usual poor service. I left home at 10:30 and finally got to Old Farts at 11:10. I can walk this distance in about 20 minutes but people were feeling chatty at the bus-stop so I am not complaining plus it was warm and that sun felt so wonderful!
I went to TO for a conference last Friday but found out previously that one can no longer order their meals in advance on Via even if you are a Preference customer. This has changed from back in October 2013, for those interested. The only way you can order something in advance has to do with allergies and food intolerances. So � I ordered gluten-free and no peppers. What I got was totally disgusting, had peppers, but the fruit was nice. So, I ate like our Saviour and had bread and wine for supper.
With this warmer weather, seed-starting arose. I feel remiss in not starting my herbs indoors but my floor spaces have been covered with papers that need to be filed or shredded. We got talking about chili peppers and how one can be hot out of six or so and the others tasting flat. Bill spoke about his heirloom tomatoes and the space required when he plants them. I have been planting a certain bean plant on my entrance-way because of the size of the leaves in order to get the shade benefits. Since then, I�ve found out that it grows beans that have enough riacin to kill an elephant if not a whole herd. YIKES! I hope that my passion flower vines will thrive if I can get them to start from seed. I sure hope so because my bad neighbour across the street hates them.
We were joined by a new person today. None of us knew this man but he politely asked if he could join us. He joined in on the conversation re types of maple syrup, the average output of maple syrup from the different types of maples, etc. He then added to our input by asking if we wanted to hear the joke of the day. Certainly! (warning: I�ve taken some literal freedom.)
A blonde was speeding down the highway when she was pulled over by a cop. The cop, also a blonde, asked to see her license. The speeder went through her hand-bag several times and couldn�t find it. The blonde cop says, �surely, you must see it � it�s square and it has your picture on it.� �Oh,� says the speeder, �I�ve found it!� She hands over her open compact and the cop looks at it. �Okay,� he says, �you�re good to go.�
Yayyy!!! It�s March and soon it will be St. Patrick�s Day � I love this holy and blessed get-crazy day!
Another Wednesday and another breath of relief that our
Legion #462 can accommodate us for lunch. We all scraggled in � only to
be surprised that our tables now have plastic table clothes and clean S&P
shakers! Many expressed the �fear� we might be going up-scale.
Also, our cutlery was very nicely wrapped. No complaints from me on this
Today, we had home-made soup and a variety of
sandwiches. With the exception of one attendee, we all chowed down
something fierce. I ate so much, I can hardly move my eyelashes. The
subject of seconds of soup and sandwiches arose and we had a few takers.
Just before we paid for our lunch, out came trays of cookies! Stan and
Dave took some photos � they will be posted shortly, if not already.
(First, Maggie our new cook. And a former Branch 462 Bar Steward from the days
of Donald Butt!)
(First, Maggie our new cook. And a former Branch 462 Bar Steward from the days of Donald Butt!)
Maggie, our Scottish lass, came over several times to
make sure we were well taken care of. Dave Smith says that he is in dire
need of an English-Scottish dictionary so if anyone has one, you know who to
Now on to something a bit
closer to nature. The CBC had an article on how this cold weather is
affecting the honeybees. Usually around this time of the year, the bees
exit the nest for a bit of a check on their surroundings. Not so this year
as the grouchy old evil snowman has been a real curmudgeon. I was speaking
with Angel today and she said it is brutally cold there. It�s also
affecting the birds there (Winnipeg) as there is so much ice still around this
late in the winter.
Someone at lunch reported that
it is the coldest winter in over 40 years. And my heating bill reflects
it! That being said, the sidewalks are drying up and soon it will be walking
weather again. Yayyy!
Ottawa will be hosting the
mayors this weekend. Rob Ford will attend � this will be his first-ever
appearance. I told Gary it is probably because he heard that I will be
going to Toronto this weekend.
Numbers, numbers! We were
17 today � that�s pretty good. The dirty dozen keep riding in - with a
posse this time.
Stan is back from his trip,
Chuck is feeling much better and all the rest of us are looking very relieved
that our weekly lunch is alive and well once more. Joan and Maggie were
looking more relaxed than last week and we have a lot of confidence in them.
The ladies ask us what we want for lunch and the table voted for shepherd�s
pie for next week. Maggie has promised that she will look into getting
some fish and chips for us sometime soon. I mentioned that we should have
some Cross and Blackwell malt vinegar in the fridge but not so. Not to
worry as I have a few back-up bottles at home. Lou has promised that he
will bring in some hot sauce so we will be �normal� shortly.
Bonnie was asked after by
Maggie and we explained that we cannot account for anyone showing up. Dave
Hamilton�s name came up by our table and how we managed to chase down his
email address, thanks to Gary Langille. When it comes to communicating,
we�re not too shabby at it.
Stan � I haven�t forgotten
re my homework. But, I need a nap � that soup today was incredible.
Travel: I went to
Montreal last Sunday on Via � the train was jam-packed. My seat-mate
hauled out a Lenovo notebook, noticed my curiosity and handed it to me. I
was shocked by how light it was. After a few words about train travel, she
was deep into her work � and this was a SUNDAY. When she surfaced, circa
2 hours later, we discussed how everyone seems to be switching over to Via
because of the ease of travel. However, the demise is starting to happen
� one can no longer order your meal ahead of time unless you have special
dietary needs. This happened back in October. What a pity.
Speaking of communicating, it
was mentioned, albeit very briefly, that Blackberry is rebounding. Good,
we need jobs here after so many companies have been dropping workers. I
thank God that I am retired � and so I should be after working for 38 years
for the feds.
Bill Neelin (trust Bill) has
put in a special request for Jig�s Dinner. Now we really need another
kind of dictionary! Poor Maggie. I am very familiar with it as I grew up
in Labrador with both parents steeped in the rich heritage of Newfoundland.
It�s basically a boiled dinner with salt beef being both the meat and the
flavouring of the dish. Then it is layered with turnip, carrot, potato,
and topped with cabbage. My favourite way to have this is like having
bubble-n-squeak � all minced and squished up and fried, then topped with
gravy. After that dish, man, you�ll sleep for a week!
Canada Goose coats � they are
everywhere this year! Those hoods are to die for as you can really get
your head way, way back. The coyote fur stands up to those winds we are
having this winter and there is wiring all around the front and sides of the
hood. Warning, though, carry an anti-static sheet with you � sticky-up
hair if you don�t wear a hat! And, before I forget, do NOT remove any
labels from one of these coats � this will void the 10-year warranty of the
Next week will be very
interesting at our watering hole. Stay tuned, or better yet, show up!!
(Shepards Pie was mentioned.)
(Shepards Pie was mentioned.)
Wow � back to our old and familiar haunt! Fifteen of us showed up to claim our tables and to partake of the new cooks� first meal under the new kitchen management. Fyi, Joan, the dark-haired lady, is the head cook and Maggie, with her strong Scottish b-r-r-r, is helping her.
We all congratulated them on their incredible efficiency in getting the food out so quickly. It was sort of your basic beef stew and I liked the addition of turnip. Both ladies were very nervous and we did our best to reassure them that we are an easy bunch to please. They are very eager to know what type of food we want and we said: just comfort food like meatloaf, shepherd�s pie, even soup and sandwiches. The gang also put forth the price as just the same as usual, $9.00 with the usual tip. We told them that we have no control over the number of attendees so it would be a good idea to have something else just as a back-up.
I did mention to Joan about my food allergy and she wants to hear from us if we have any special concerns. I did ask if she had any adversities to types of food to prepare and here it is: liver. Okay, Lou, you can stop cheering now
Two of our greatest regulars, Stan and Chuck, were M.I.A. today. (Stan likes liver but it gives Chuck gout.)
However, we had
three additions that were great to see: our Donny Cole and Marti B.Y. and his
wife, Luce. And, some of our boys have been busy in the romance department! Don
showed off a picture of his new girlfriend � he says she�s 39 but may-be 40,
is more like it. Art changed his marital status during his trip to Hawaii. He
and Jennifer got married on Feb.14th.
Spring is in the air and today even rain has been called for. Whether we get it or not, is up to Loki. All I know is that my plants are starting to perk up with the light levels coming up. Time to start thinking about spring bulbs and dandelions! And, the bamboo that Gary and Maureen have been so kind to share with us. Unfortunately, the kids next door have really been determined to still tramp across my lawn right where it grows. Okay, time to get the shotgun out.
The Olympics are starting to get rather serious. We saw the Russians moved out of the Hockey finals today. I�m sure that there are many tears being spilt today with many litres of vodka being consumed with sadness. This am I listened to a radio broadcaster predict a �walk-over� by Canada over Latvia. What an idiot! How to tick off the opposition � they also listen to Canadian radio stations, too. I know that it would tick me off enough to really put the boots to Canada�s hockey team. And, so, they did. Thank God, our boys pulled out the rabbit from the hat. Has anyone put out a contract on that damned radio announcer, yet?
I took the train down to Montreal on Sunday. It was packed!! The woman seated beside me said that they are filling up more and more. She would know as she travels at least once a week to Montreal on Via. I agreed and said it�s because people are starting to realize that it is so much less hassle. That, and because Ron Belanger has started this trend. )) I am heading to Toronto soon on the Canadian One for another union conference and shall return the same way. The Union is picking up the tab and by travelling by train, first-class, I will save them around $200 ( in total) versus economy airfare. And I get 4-star meals included! Also, I don�t have to take off my shoes for a airport security check. And � always, you develop a hole in the toe of the sock just at that moment!
Okay � what else happened today. Again, we had the happy inclusion of Bonnie! She�s always a wonderful addition and we swap our down-East experiences in comparison of Ottawa and Newfoundland-n-Labrador living.
Dave Smith and B.Y. turned out to be heroes to another one of our long-retired members. How many of you remember Rod Villeneuve? He recently purchased a 60� TV along with the Blu-ray and a PVR. I am not familiar with the company he got it from but it sounded like a nightmare as the company didn�t send anyone over to help with the set-up. Perhaps Dave can give you more info, if you wish. He and B.Y. went over to Rod�s for lunch, learned of his problem, fixed it and is happy that Rod not only has excellent connectivity but is in incredible physical condition! He still chops his own wood, plays bridge, and is very, very active. I remember from last year that his bridge event happens on a Wednesday � that is why he doesn�t join us. Our loss, then, as he is a very vibrant 80+ year-old!
For you property lovers, they have finally announced that the old Rockcliffe base is now ready for development on the news, this am. I didn�t catch the name of the developer but that is one really large prime site. That area has been stagnant for a very long time while Manor Park has been really taking off. Also, there was an interesting tag on this item as to why Ottawa is home to so many condo developments. Apparently, the City of Ottawa has decided that we now have enough �suburban sprawl� and hence, we are moving into developing a more concentrated urban living area. Man, what a place to live! Near enough to walk to downtown and far enough away that you aren�t bothered by the traffic. Does anyone know the name of the developer? If so, please post on my ofarts.ca Facebook page, just below.
The Lime Lunch for Friday has 15 takers to date. Not too shabby. We shall eat and eat well in great company!
Gotta bounce, Shirley
What an incredible day it was, today. I got to the Legion a few minutes late and was astounded to see not an Old Fart in sight! Not even Jim in his usual chair! You know, the one he sleeps in on Tuesday nights so none of us low-lifes can sit in it.
Well, what�s a gal to do? I just ordered my usual in hopes of having some company a bit later. Sure enough, a few scraggled in, much to my relief. But just before that happened, Marin came over and said that he could take us to a place � very nice for ladies � with soup and sandwiches. It was embarrassing as I was trying to tell him that this isn�t my decision where the group wishes to go, if at all.
Dan Kenny made a cute remark just before he left about how he couldn�t see where there would be a problem as we had a kitchen and a woman sitting at the table, doing nothing. Needless to say, my boot helped him up the steps to the exit. We both had a great laugh over it � we were on our first posting together in London all those many, many years ago.
All in all, we were 8 that showed but only four of us tried out the new place (DA Moose). The guys really liked the food and the price was incredible. Soup, a chili dog and fries for only $6! Still, it isn�t our Legion even though everyone at the Moose was wonderfully friendly and accommodating. I didn�t eat as I had a huge breakfast of corned beef and vegetables around 9:30 � I don�t like an average breakfast.
As the four of us were being led over to the Moose by Miran, Ron Cooke and I were at the back. I mentioned to him that I felt very pressured to carry my business over to this new establishment. We both agreed we would keep our eyes open.
But back to the intense pressure � yes, everyone wants to increase their number of patrons but I was starting to wonder when the Circ du Soleil was going to show up and perform for us for free. Granted, the Moose most certainly has the space, also a semi-private area where we could have our tables joined, the bathrooms were sparkling clean, lots of free parking, and a very extensive menu. Here it is, and the cost is the same at $9.00:
Smoked Meat Platter
Hot Chicken or Hot Beef
Sweet-n-Sour Meat Balls or BBQ Meat balls w/eggrolls (2)
Hamburger Steak with fried (???)
Fish and Chips
Spaghetti & Meat Balls
Okay, now I have done my duty. My apologies to all that I missed the meeting last night but this damn flu won�t leave! Perhaps Dave, our Rant God, could use this address list to debrief all of us � I am very much looking forward to it.
So � if things don�t work out for our beloved Legion, may-be the Moose is just what we would like. It�s a private club and not a restaurant. There is a lot of free parking and it is located just behind the Shoppers Drug Mart beside the Legion. But, get this - it is a huge North American chain that has the logo � if you break down, call us � we will come and get you. That�s amazing, but I don�t know if its true.
Please check out this link if you wish more info:
There is an annual fee of $45 for gents, $25 for ladies. Na-na-na-boo-boo.
- I am a bit late in doing up the report of todays� lunch. I�ve been
busy in getting ready for income tax filing and applying for CPP. You
know, after retiring, you don�t realize just how much this administration
relies on you going on-line to get your info. Naturally, I can do that but
would rather talk to a warm body that gets paid on a daily basis.
back to ofart.ca business � today was a great success! At one point, we
hit 25 attendees as we all scrunched together in eager anticipation of
Cookie�s smoked meat and fries. I say, at one point, because I got there
late due to that damn # 12 not running on time again. Even in my Canada
Goose, I was starting to hop and bop to keep my feet warm. Hells� Bells,
it was a cold one in the capital. And to make matters even worse, Moe the
Finger stole my hallowed seat!
as usual, Dave (Dr. Dee, the Rant God) had us all organized wonderfully.
The cards went around, the money was divided up equally between the two �
Cookie and Gerry. Lou made a great speech thanking both guys. We
sang �For he�s a jolly good fellow� with great gusto and yet, sadness.
Just before the boys were about to wipe their eyes and blow their noses, (in
that order, thank God) we were ordered up on-stage for the photo op. Thank
God � phew, that is out of the way.
is to happen next? We have verbal assurances that they will find us a cook
for our regular Wednesdays. Will this happen? We really don�t know
but Gilles, the bartender, is keeping an ear in for us. After all, it
certainly affects his take as he�s walking/driving home with anywhere between
$20-30 in tips on a very liquid ofarts.ca day. And the last time I did my
taxes, those money-gouging sob�s want you to declare your tips! How�s
that for falling arches and hardly anyone to talk to?
did a wonderful catch-up on each other�s news and had a great time scarfing
back the food and liquid of choice. The company, as usual, is great and
the what-ever-happened-to-so-and-so is endless as we miss our old colleagues.
I think Terry Webb may have said it best, but not the least, when he stated �
�we were quite the bunch/strange
weirdoes/employees/techs/communicators/freaks�. Now, he may have said
�we were quite the bunch of reprobates� as well, but I shall exercise
diplomatic freedom of speech in this case, with all due respect to all the
attendees. Lord almighty � I am getting soft in the head after saying
something like that!
our ofarts.ca business, this Friday, I shall call the steward of the bar and he
will let me know if we have a cook for Feb5th. Stay tuned on that, I�ll
send out a broadcast message to you all. Let�s hope that we do, but I do
recall Paula stating that we are a priority for them.
and I have been joining up with GoodLife Fitness gym as Carp members are getting
a year�s membership at nearly half price. It beats out the RA Fitness
gym�s price by nearly $350.00 less for a membership per annum. I
have also heard through the grapevine that you can now claim off your membership
against your income tax. I did try to confirm this but was stuck in phone
la-la land for 20 minutes. And 20 minutes in a retiree�s day is quite a
lot with a big to-do list. I was about to confirm my union trip to Toronto
on Feb.22nd for the Presidents� meeting while doing a Wiki search
for the meaning of �retirement in 2014 and CPP entitlements�. Okay �
I got some answers and if it helps, here some of them are:
If you wish to retire at 60 (or so), all that is required is the SIN of your
child(ren). That�s it. You can apply on-line at
servicescanada.gc.ca or go to a Services Canada outlet in your area. The
big one is to apply for your OAS and here�s where it gets complicated for
those of us that have lived overseas for 6 months plus. First of all, you
do not have to provide all of this info if/if you have been employed by the Govt
of Cda (EXTOTT, EAITC, DFAIT, etc.,) and maintained a primary residence in
Canada. If you haven�t, then all you have to do is photo-copy your old
passports with entrance and exit visas to your foreign postings, append them to
your application for OAS, at 65, and you should be good to go. I�ve kept
all my special and dip ppts all of these years and now know why I�ve always
been so brilliant. J
was really nice to catch up on Terry Webb�s country news that that,
especially, of Doug Budd. Terry expressed the opinion that he would never
live in the out-lying city areas and loves where he is living. Super!
As most of you know, I live in the down-town area and wouldn�t swap it for the
world. I am fiercely independent and even hate to take a bus somewhere!
I actually had a friend suggest that I take a taxi somewhere and WHAT!
That�s a 4-letter word! Taxi, that is.
speaking of 4-letter words � we are all muttering them after this prolonged
cold �snap�. Cold hell, is more like it. Doug Budd was
mentioning that he is originally from Manitoba and could never imagine himself
going back there to live after they are going through such a tough one this
year. I agreed with him that I would be totally mad to go back to Labrador
� my home is here, now, and so are all my friends. And, is, my son.
Then we launched into a discussion on the German Air Force enjoying their
low-level pilot training so much because of all the free flying space,
especially once you are out of Goose Bay�s flight area.
of my son, we now officially have named a star in our galaxy and it has our
official name. Lewis, my son, got it on the Internet out of the Uk.
Pretty damned cool.
is kicking in the work-house towel come April 2014. Good call. We
were discussing if we should be calling him on the slump or sluff that he�s
been in for a bit � what, 5 years now? He is now putting out a contract
on us � in a bad way, natch. Ah, I don�t know � it might have
something to do with Terry�s ponytail. And Terry�s on-going boycott of
else � or yes! Ron Belanger is heading out to Miramichi soon and has
been bemoaning the fact that CN is going to give up on a 80-k track of rails
that is in a crucial area of N.B. To my great surprise, it was disclosed
that the CN Rail tracks are belongs to no other than Bill Gates! I think
it is time to protest to this wonderful man � if not, it will mean we will no
longer have the greatest train ride across Canada. From East to West, and
from West to East. I am still going to support the rails and am going to
Montreal for my 60th birthday lunch � I can�t believe it.
Sixty!?? Hell � I just turned 29 last year�man what a party, what a
hangover! But, you all still look as you looked those many years ago.
By any chance, were you at the same party?
We are still in the deep-freezer here but we still had a great turn-out of 15 of the good guys and gals. The Dirty Dozen with back-up rides again!
Bonnie brought her antique �button-box� and treated us to some great songs. This time, she had special requests and did so. It was marvellous!
Dave brought in his 17� laptop but I didn�t get to see any of the photos as I was too busy trying to restrain myself from grabbing the Windows 95 resource book and doing a flying run out of the Legion with it.
I will say that Windows 95 did bring back memories of preparing the clients for the world-wide up-grade to XP. The joke amongst the users was that we (Signet) was down-grading our network to 95 when the rest of the world was already on 98. It was decided by whomever that this would prepare the users for the different interface in a gentler way for our new O/S. I�m not sure how the users felt about XP but we had so much o/t that sleep became the new million-dollar job due to all the questions flooding our phones. Our server was a lemon as it kept crashing and we also experienced a theft of expensive chips. What a month that was but once everything settled down, we techies all were in love with XP.
Today, Stan flagged down a fellow that was in full Legion kit (funeral) and asked a lot of pertinent questions. Yes, Kathy and these guys who are seconded in from the Command Centre out in Kanata are aware of us. Heck, any Legion is probably aware of us given our regular Wednesday lunch�s dilemma. Not to mention our collective search for a replacement Legion! For those of us that have been actively searching out other Legions, I think we have come to the conclusion that ours, with its free parking and a dedicated cook, is the best of all. Plus, we have been going there for 18 years solid. Also, a lot of us �civvies� took up membership to support the Legion�s cause. All of these points were well taken and we finally got our 5 or 6 cents onto one of the radar screen of one of the new Board of Management members. This gent agreed that Kathy is a real hard-ass and then he introduced us to the head of the Ladies Auxiliary, Paula Brazeau (Please note � I only overheard her info in a very noisy environment.) It appears that her brother is a chef and then I missed a lot because of LATE arrivals. Yes, that means you Kevin, and Grant!
So, the upshot is: we will have a new Cookie for Feb.5th but I�d like to urge everyone to come out for next Wednesday to give our Mirian a great send-off. He�s quite rightfully proud of having served us such good food for such a decent price over all of these years. I don�t know how long he�s been there but it has to be over four years since I�ve been going there. We wondered about his future and now we know that he won�t be working at the Knights of Columbus as they offered him minimum wage while the dishwasher is getting $22. ????? Who knew a dishwasher could make so much loading one and unloading one? Remember what we used to make per hour how many years ago?
To keep with the update on the Legion, I received a lsnail-mail etter just minutes ago. It is dated Jan.21st and signed by hard-ass herself. I�m not going to add the whole letter as some of it doesn�t apply to us, like service pins and what-not. I am writing this verbatim and therefore, am not responsible for either content, punctuation, grammatical errors, or proper upper/lower cases. Here goes:
Comrades as you have probably already heard a Board of Management has been brought into your branch because of Financial Irregularities. We were appointed on Dec 9, 2013 to help resolve the situation and to run your branch. The Executive have been removed from office but they were asked to stay on and assume their chairs to assist the Board of Management.
This is your branch and if you are interested in finding out what has been taking place we hope that you will come to the General Meeting on Tuesday February 4, 2014 and express your concerns.
Service pins �.. blah blah blah.
Since we were appointed some chairs have stepped down and we need your help, we can�t do it alone. First and foremost we need a recording Secretary, so if you or someone you know could help out in this capacity please let me know. We also need a Membership Chair, Sergeant-at-Arms, and Chairman for meetings, Treasurer, Public Relations, and Training and Organization Development Chair and a Housing Officer. The Board of Management will help train or guide anyone that is willing to come forward and help.
We are hoping to be able to make some improvements to the building and if you have time or skills that you can offer you can contact the undersigned at 613-828-2314 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We need your support � this is your branch, it needs you the members to put it back on its feet."
I guess I�ll have to send an email to hard-ass weasel to find out when this meeting starts. Anyone want to join me at the meeting?
So, all, any volunteers for the Chairs? I already am Chairing two union committees, behind on a third, but am still interested in seeing that our Legion starts steering right. That being said, our very own Dr.Dee � the Rant God, has studied their by-laws till the cows come home, errrr - or weasels, so to speak. I believe we should volunteer Dave (our very own Rant God) to be the Membership Chair for meetings.
And, hey, I might be interested in Public Relations. How wrong for that role could I be after seeing hard-ass in action?
As for Treasurer, unfortunately, our favorite Donnie has passed on where they have a different currency.
I vote that Membership Officer should go to Chuckie as he has been darkening their door since the late 50�s.
As for the Housing Officer, let�s see, that would be Jim Rogers as he�s done so many major moves in the past decade.
That leaves us with Chairs for Training and Organization Development and Sergeant-at-Arms. Hmmmm � I wonder if they allow for a person to be a double-chair as I could also go for the training and organization dev.
Hey � I like that part where they are asking for volunteers for improvements to the building. May-be we could paint the ladies� washroom something different from violent violet. Also, of course, the gents� that emits quite the smell by the entrance-way. My talents are very limited when it comes to improvements but I�ll gladly volunteer to don a leather apron and do whatever is asked of me. Hey, my Tim Allen screwdriver is just stumbling all over itself for some exercise as well as my B&D drill. I say we do this!
Jim and Bill-Lee were discussing a new option now available from the Ottawa Public Library. Instead of paying out money on ancestry.com, just go on-line with the library and follow the links to see your ancestral history. Many of the churches are now sharing their archives on-line � some of them even hand-written. Jim was adding that some of the entries might only be a line or two while others were quite expansive. I think the table was in agreement with the more liquid (Whiskey) they imbibed, the longer the entry for that particular family
Recently Gary and I have been flaming each other over our listening pleasures. I gather a few of you guys though we were being serious. Damn straight! NOT. Gary loves to take the other path so as to get a discussion going and we just have a great deal of fun doing so. Naturally, he is always wrong as he picks on the CBC for having such gentle programs as what to do when your baby kittens scratches you - to claw or de-claw? Of course, this makes me fall off the couch in laughter as I am thinking up how to make him fall off the couch with laughter! We have a lot of fun with this. For instance, while Bob A. was in town, Gary joined us for a pub lunch and I don't think any of us stopped laughing for hours on end. One thing I'd like to share with you is that when I was at my tailor's, she had on Lowell Greene's radio station. I made a comment about it and she said she had it on for comedy. Hey - I don't make this up - this is for real! We were grinning at each other while suddenly the change-room curtain whipped open and this guy stepped out and sternly said "that's my brother-in-law you're talking about!" Busted!! After she and I stopped laughing, he complained that she had to take in his shirt another cm. I tried to make him feel better, and God knows he needed to. To have a better day, a week, a year, whatever - so I told him that he had ordered the same material I had for my union dress shirt.
� we hit another first for 2014! The Dirty Dozen are back! Wa-hoo!
still, the drama continues. Unfortunately. We had thought that our regular
meeting place was secured but it now turns out that Marin (Cookie) has been
denied the use of the refrigerator and freezer compartments. We traded
ideas, thoughts, a few random insults, one or two really useful suggestions.
Naturally, my ideas were the best, of course.
was a red-letter day for the Fockner Family! Stan�s daughter now has her
Turkish letter of residency and has lost no time in adding in on her new
business venture. She sent Pop a link to her newly-acquired cruise ship
which he only just received during lunch. We got to see it on Pop�s
Eye-phone � very nice. She is now starting to go ahead with her plans to
re-vamp the cabin and berth configuration so feel more N. American and Euro
standards. Smart woman! (She surely takes after Mary. Stan, I just
had to put that in ;)
� out of that horrid deep-freeze! However, please be careful as there is
still a ton of ice around. If you are in my neck of the woods, you�ll
encounter a lovely part with bare sidewalk and then come across a half-block of
4�-thick ice covered with snow. Now if one is to take a CBC broadcast
seriously (Shut up, Gary), have your smartphone with you and if you fall, take a
photo of the area. This will allow you to start the procedure to sue the
City of Ottawa. Finally, some movement � I am a serious walker and hate
it when they don�t maintain the sidewalks. Note to self � letter to
season is rampant right now. I�ve had the flu shot, like millions of
other Ontarians, but it has hit me hard. I�ve been sneezing like crazy
- the same with coughing. I now have another broken blood vein in the same
eye in less than a week. My opthamologist told me that the force of the
cough or the sneeze can cause this. Gosh � I remember the days when my
sneezing was gentle and coughing was minimum. E alora,
What�s in these flu shots? My immune system is pretty strong so perhaps
it is making it hyper-strong and therefore my resistance is now in hyper-drive?
This sounds like a case for Moe the Finger to �suss out! Hop it.
I had the pleasure of lunching with Bob A. and Gary L. It started out that
we would meet at Alfie�s on Waller Street. Many of you will remember
this basement restaurant nearly 40 years ago that was very popular because they
served you food that was in the old English style � no utensils, a huge plate
and in-your-face servers � it was a lot of fun! That being said, it
seems to have changed hands many times over and is now called the Lunenburg.
I got there a few minutes early and tried to get in. Locked. Hmmm.
I tried the other door. Same. Hmmmm. I did a panorama and
spied a gate � not locked. Hmm. Checked it out but the ice was too
slick to be a public access area as well as a ton of ciggie butts. Hmmmm.
I backed out and got back on the side-walk. Sent an email to Bob in hopes
he would be monitoring his smartphone. Meanwhile, left to my own devices
and lacking a cross-word puzzle, I had a chance to notice all the on-going
changes to the block that used to be Waller/Rideau. If you don�t live
downtown, the only building you will recognize is Dworkins.
� why am I rambling here? Well � smartphones, of course. Bob-ski
showed up within the next 10 minutes which gave me ample time to count up all
these huge trucks that cut through Ottawa to carry on out to connect to their
routes. Now, as a person that lives downtown and also a tax-payer, I think
of them as pirihannas of this area � they take up a lot of road-space,
regularly bust down the stop signs and continually destroy the road surface.
At one time, a lot of hookers (both male and female) used to line up along King
Edward to ply their trade but, I must say, this has been incredibly cleaned up
� at least, until 4pm.
� Bob and I were discussing where we should move our venue when I found out
that Gary L. had been invited. What great news! Unfortunately, men
being men don�t seem to set times. Hmmm � the meeting place is closed,
Gary doesn�t have a cell with him, we are on a busy street that is loud and
filled with big trucks. What to do?
brought in a pen that has a camera in it. Amazing! He told me that
it has 2 gigs of memory. And, then we were off to the races! All
started talking at once about our first computer systems and even harped back to
came up and I harped back to a security briefing back at my last mission.
I had worn a normal watch into a secure environment one day at a mission during
a staff security briefing and watched a freak-out from the MCO. You can
imagine his face when I handed over my watch to my team-lead for him to show it
had a very capable USB connector. And I had access to any/any area in the
mission while wearing this watch. These MCO�s. And I left the
watch at that mission. Idiot-boxes.
I noticed a very small Sony camera on the table but because of the on-going
drama, I didn�t hear about it. Action: Dr. Dee.
of 1981 � they had been passed around last week and the Rant God has obviously
scanned them in. The question hit the table why these were all taken
around the same time and Moe the Finger came up with a logical reason �
the life of the film in storage. Plus, as an ex-CM, we all knew that
EL�s never worked 7.5 hours in a day at all )). Challenge - Snowball
� okay. Back to yesterday � there we were faced with a serious dilemma
� how could we get a message to Gary L? Both Bob and I are fully
equipped with smartphones but we had no idea how to get in touch with Gary to
let him know we had to go elsewhere? Okay � we were stumped because we
had no paper nor Scotch-tape or spray-paint to leave him a message that we were
going off to a better place. A place that had heat, food and liquid
beverages of choice. So, being an Alpha Female, I pondered. One has
to take care of your tribe. Bob wasn�t wearing gloves and already my
hands were cold. Okay � the light-bulb came on! I told Bob that he
should pretend to be my pimp and when the trucks pulled over, he could whack the
perverts with his cane. Hey � that would be a great upper-body work-out
for him! And it would keep him warm until Gary would show. Even
better, I�d get a super upper body workout doing the Russian Dead-lift
throwing these losers back into their trucks. Okay! We were
about to launch into our new activity with great enthusiasm when our old pal
showed up. Super! However, before I enter this into Stan�s
entries, I will tell you that you must never do a Russian dead-lift unless your
form is perfect. Please � although It is the ultimate � it is
dangerous so trust me on this advice.
no offers from the truckers at that particular time, who should pop around the
corner but our pal. Gary and the rest becomes history. Alora, we found a
pub, had lunch and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with our what-ever-happened to
who. We spent an extremely wonderful time and Bob has almost committed to
coming back in the next few years in his SUV. What a great time seeing to
connect with-out friends!
just to add an aside, are you guys aware that a lot of us have now known each
other for a MINIUMUM of 37 years!. Some of us for more than 40 years of
friendship, what a history. Wow � and how much more we shall look
forward to build together, my friends.
Happy New Year everyone!
Wow � what a day! Another
chill-you-to-the-bone day filled with ice snakes and useless applications of
salt, given how cold it was.
However, that did not deter 23
attendees today. We had to keep adding tables to accommodate everyone. Hey, 23
� that�s nearly two sets of a Dirty Dozen.
We also broke a record for having the
most number of women ever at a regular Wednesday lunch. We numbered five!
Our tables were abuzz with the
disappointing news that our Cookie is looking for another job due to the fact
that the kitchen rent is being steeply increased. Apparently, the Legion is
losing money and they are conducting an audit to ascertain the source. The
situation kept changing as our lunch progressed. We were throwing around new
places where we would meet in the future. Someone (the Rant God) floated the
location of a Catholic church. I was quite alarmed at that as I don�t want to
be responsible for those walls collapsing if I was to go to the new location �
sinner that I am.
Towards the end of our lunch, we got
the happy news that Cookie will arrange his business schedule to ensure that he
will come in to prepare our Wednesday lunches. Yayyyy! And that church is still
However, Art the Fart did come up
with a logical statement � we shall now have to attend in the self-same
numbers. Naturally, I disagree with him. We shall continue on as we have before
� our financial transactions on a weekly basis help them out wonderfully as
our lunches and tipping are a boon.
Windows and electricity came up
briefly while we were pondering life without Cookie. Stan mentioned that he and
Mary had had a window changed over this frigid time and was very happy to say
that it took only four minutes. Much to the disappointment of the ice snakes!
Just around the Xmas time, my
internet, phone and TV went down on an intermittent basis. Thankfully, my
neighbour arrived back from his vacation close to the New Year so I could
piggy-back on his network. I managed to get in touch with the supervisor of the
construction site next door � this is where my hd cable goes across. He acted
like they had been there all the while � not! � and that they had just
nicked the cable. Fortunately, the original Rogers� installer came over,
measured my connection � it was at minus 10db and then left a very important
phone number. I managed to get through to Joe � an extremely busy fellow who
promised a tech would be over the very next morning. And so he did. He located
all the important damaged bits � my signal had deteriorated to minus 27db by
this time. Also, he told me that the contractors had gouged my cable about a
metre long. In short, I now have a 50-foot cable running from my house to the
Rogers� box. It has also been tie-wrapped to the fencing. The contractor has
also promised Rogers that they will bury my cable come spring. Good! That means
that I should have about 20 feet left over to hang the contractor.
I was quite surprised at a certain
phone call last night � I grabbed the phone to quickly answer it as my mother
is in the hospital. It turned out to be some idiot telling me that my operating
software needed a certain patch. Remember that old scam? I am now in training to
be a saint as I didn�t even swear while telling this idiot-box to not ever
call my number again. Just before hanging up, I heard this plaintive voice
asking me �Why�. Then it was even harder not to giggle when I said � �We
know you are a scam!� Anyone else getting these calls again?
Brrrrring � another call came in.
This time it was a Rogers� call centre in Toronto. Cable changes in my
interest, no less. And, here all this time, I was figuring I was just a hot
chick with all these calls coming in. Hmmmmm. Ok � call me a fool but I played
along and while the guy was checking to see how he could save me money, I found
out that he was originally from Mumbai but had applied for his Immigration Visa
in New Delhi. We chatted about the Canadian compound Immigration entrance,
Shantipath, Khan Market, etc., while he kept looking at what freebies could be
offered. Has anyone tried to get the Hollywood Channel? It was being offered for
free so what the heck? Check. I decided to push to envelope and saying that I
wanted to go back to paper billing but at no added cost. Especially, after Stan
had gotten back to free paper billing. When I complained to Stan about
(probably) being too �young�, he told me I didn�t have certain male
appendages and therefore it wouldn�t happen. Well! That put salad on my plate.
Nah-nah-nah-boo-boo! Done! And no male appendages required. So now I have more
channels at 15% less a month. Next � to tackle Rogers re my phone bill!
Chuckie is looking good � and that
makes us all very happy.
Lou brought in some priceless
pictures which a few of us got to look at. They will be scanned in and then sent
to our faithful Stan so they will then be posted to ofarts.ca. Well done to the
scanners and the �poster-guy�.
Bob Alexander joined us today from
our sister chapter in Victoria and appeared to be having a great time! With such
a large crowd, all of us tried to spread ourselves thin in order to wish
everyone a Happy New Year and catch up. We had a fabulous time!!
Please come out and join us � you
won�t regret it as you reminisce with colleagues that attend. Most all of us
secretly admit that our new friends think we are being snobbish when we mention
some of the cities we have live/worked in. Not so us, where you will remember
the lines being down because the copper had been stolen, pushing out the traffic
in Poland as they had sliced the lines, the bomb curtains in London, the safe
rooms in Nairobi, all that stuff we lived through, strived through and overcame.
I found out the definition of a new
expression to my vocabulary. Peeler Club. ?? Potatoes and carrots came to mind.
Lou looked equally on with an inquisitive eyebrows. It turns out that this is
stands for a �stripper� club. Both Lou and I took turns in talking about our
experiences in the stripper/peeler bar in the old Grand Hotel. It seems that
this is a de-riguer experience. Who knew? And all good families do this, he
assures me. I remember mine as this �. It was an evening shift and we all
wanted to go out for lunch in the middle of our shift. Jim Koradi spear-headed
this initiative and BY seconded it. Away we went down to the Grand. I was
clueless at this point and Jim introduced me to Boil-makers. Thank you but no.
Then the music started and out came this gal � complete with stretch marks and
cesarian stitches. She did her dance while I drooled at this guy�s pizza
across from us. I would have stolen it from him as it was that kind of pizza we
used to get � the kind with cheese before it became an extra, extra crunchy
bacon, and a big high-risen well-baked crust. However, there in the middle of
it, was his head, face-down, totally passed out.
� OFARTS Canada 2014 Old Foreign Affairs Retired Technicians, Canada