Wednesday, July 28, 2010

As exciting as watching paint dry

Watching paint dry doesn't sound very exciting... in fact its the quintessential opposite of excitement!  And I got to experience it this last week - big time!

My wife hinted (strongly!) that the deck need staining (and when I responded too slowly and unenthusiastically she told me "OK, I'm going to start scrapping, Go get some stain!") Scrapping and staining the deck took several days and in the process, I noticed that the trim needed touch up (to be generous) and that there were several areas of the house where the paint was peeling (to be honest I had noticed and been dragging my heels from starting the arduous chore for several months.)

One thing led to another and the list of must-do jobs was spiraling out of control.  At the same time my available time was growing shorter (we had a trip planned and then work.)   In desperation, I called up my sons, "Could you come home for a few days and give me a hand."

Guilt prevailed.

The outside of the house is high enough, and the job extensive enough that scaffolding is necessary to do the job properly.  I rented enough to give us the necessary height, but it meant constantly moving the scaffolding as we finished a section - about 8 feet - and moved on to the next.  My original plan had been to scrape everything, then paint a primer coat and finally apply a top coat.  The flaw of course was that this involved moving the scaffolding around the house three times and the plan was abandoned.

Instead we scrapped a section, primed it, painted the top coat, and THEN moved the scaffolding to the next section - this meant waiting between coats for the paint to dry.  It was hot out so it took very little time between coats - this of coarse was a mixed blessing, as the heat radiated from the walls like a blast furnace, blinding us and leaving us drenched in  sweat, BUT, it meant that the coats DID dry quickly.

So.... several days of watching paint dry!  It looks good and hopefully it will last for a couple of years.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Eyebrow web cam

I haven't been quite as regular with my posts for the last few weeks as I was when I first started - I apologize, but it is summer and the rain has finally stopped, which means that I've been finding things that need to be done outside or just that I've been enjoying being outside.

However this, I MUST share with the world.  Thanks to one of my neighbors with a delightful sense of humor who set up a video feed of Eyebrow's main street and posted the video on Facebook.

Why, you might very well ask?  Well, why not?  I HAVE mentioned before that in a small town, you often find ways to make your own fun - my neighbor had fun making them, we had fun watching and commenting on them - what better reason could there be?

Below are the video links.  Watch these at your own risk, ONLY if you can handle this level of excitement!

Traffic in Eyebrow
More Live action

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Backyard Bear

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went on a trip to Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan; which is a little over 700 km North of Eyebrow.  The trip was a visit to my brother-in-law's cottage as well as for a job interview (more on that in another post).  While we were visiting, we were told that a bear had been spotted the day before.  The Conservation Officers had been contacted and a live trap had been set up near the cottage.

Later in the afternoon as we were out on the back deck, enjoying the sunshine and the gorgeous view of the lake, what should show up but the bear.  We and the dogs (theirs and ours) were quickly moved into the house - just in case - and we watched out the patio doors.

Bears aren't exactly a common sight around Eyebrow, so I was anxious to get some pictures (much like my rush to stand under the lightning struck tree (in my last post) - or so my wife and sister-in-law would tell you if you asked - or even if you didn't.  However the bear was being inquisitive rather than aggressive so I stepped out onto the deck to get a better shot.  It was, after all, only a young (probably two years old) black bear, not a (much larger) brown bear, grisly or Kodiak.  (Black bears can still be dangerous if cornered or protecting young, so I wouldn't go running up to one, but this one was no threat and I didn't get that close.)

I'm glad I did - it was good footage.

The bear continued its stroll around the house, found the live trap and was safely locked within fifteen minutes later.  This was one of three bears that we saw at relatively close range in the two days days we were there.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A little too much excitement...

The house just got shaken with the loudest thunder crack that I've ever heard! We looked around - low and behold, the big poplar tree just outside the house got hit! It stripped off a 30 foot long ribbon of bark from top to bottom and sort of exploded it away from the tree. There were chunks of bark 50 yards away!

I had thought that I was living a fairly good life, but..... was this a warning of some-kind???  At least it wasn't a punishment - yet!

I know that because, fortunately, the bark was the only damage.  The tree neither split, started on fire, nor came down - a good thing as, had it fallen, it likely would have crushed my car, the house, or both!  

By the way - yes, that picture was taken by me, standing under the tree shooting upwards to show the bark stripped off, not twenty minutes after it had been struck.  And yes, I realized almost immediately just how incredibly stupid it was for me to be standing there and got the h*** out from under it.

Had I been the target, it was the perfect opportunity to strike while I was being an idiot!

You NEVER, EVER, stand under a tree during a lightning storm!  Remember that kids!  It's not like I don't know that, so for me to get all excited and go rushing out, under the tree with a camera while the lightning was still cracking.... just plain stupid!!