Saturday, December 9

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. I flew back into town Sunday evening after the bonspiel in Toronto. I have now informed one of the local leagues that I'm available for curling as a spare. I'll also continue practicing, as I've been away from regular curling for 12 seasons until this year, and there's plenty of rust! Winter arrived Monday night after a day of rain, so it was a slushy mess on the driveway on Tuesday. Wendy and I spent a few hours working on that and finally got it cleared away. Wendy is painting this week in the living room and office. This weekend, we inherited the animals from Travis & Joanna, as they're off with Gemma and Andrew for a weekend in Minneapolis. Lucky them! I've continued to work on the kitchenette, and we're slowly making headway. The markets enjoyed solid economic data and, except for the Nasdaq, have progressed into the green for the month. I had another great week and am back on quota. Sports this week has been pretty much full-time curling with the Olympic Trials on for both men and women. Kevin Koe has advanced to the final tomorrow where he'll play Mike McEwen. On the women's side, it'll be Chelsea Carey against Rachel Homan. Lots of great curling all week long. Jayhawks lost to an unranked team, and are bound to tumble from their lofty #2 ranking. The #1 ranked Blue Devils also lost, so there will be a substantial reshuffle. Oilers are showing a bit of progress, but are still playing substantially below expectations. Pens are pretty much in the same category, just unable to make much headway in the standings.

Eric got confirmation of his certification as a Clinical Fellow, congratulations! Otherwise, it was a pretty quiet week, nothing much going on except getting ready for Christmas. Well, Erica did set up a fund-raising site so everyone would have an opportunity to support her upcoming surgeries. Here's the link.

Kristian put up good bowling scores again this week, and may have raised his average again. Good work, buddy! Erin scored a used computer from work, just needed to replace the hard drive, so Kristian now has a computer for his room as well as the laptop. Christmas has come early!

Trav & Joanna put in lots of time and effort getting product out the door this week. Then, they took off for the weekend excursion this morning. They're just relaxing in Minneapolis, but I'm sure they'll have fun. Gemma and Andrew are off with them, while we try to take care of things back here. We got notification that they'd arrived safely in Minnie—we wish them a good and safe trip!

And that's about it for this week. 

Saturday, December 2

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior, but I have ended the week on the shore of Lake Ontario. To make a long story short, I accepted an invitation to curl in a bonspiel in Toronto and I have enjoyed it a great deal. A team from Dallas/Fort Worth was one player short, and Viggo mentioned it, and I bit! So, I've been practicing for the last month, and am starting to get comfortable playing again. We played three games here in two days, and that was a bit much, but I also saw progress in my play, so it's encouraging. I intend to keep playing back in Thunder Bay, and also when we travel out to Regina later in the winter. Viggo has another crew wanting to come to Thunder Bay at some point for a spiel, so I'll be working to try to set that up. Otherwise it was a busy week, as the appointments for investigative work on my DVTs have continued with blood work and a lung scan. I've never had a lung scan before. First they had me breathe in some radioactive gases, and then they took a series of shots with an Xray machine working in a circular path around me for about 20 minutes. After that, I was injected with some radioactive fluid, and then had another 20 minutes of Xrays. Finally, I headed to another Xray room, and had some regular Xrays taken. Apparently this allows them to see the extent of air penetration of my lungs, and also of blood circulation. It should also help them determine whether I've had any damage from a pulmonary embolism. The search continues! I got a bit more work done on the kitchenette, the taping is complete, but further mud remains to be applied. After I took off for Toronto on Thursday, Wendy started to work on the living room wall. I thought that wall was already finished, but apparently there were some imperfections, so it's being fixed! The markets ran well to end November, and I've almost got back to quota. December didn't start well, but it's only one day. The week began with an exciting Grey Cup game in snowy Ottawa; I was delighted to watch Toronto win it. NHL play finds the Pens playing better, the Oilers playing better, and the Leafs near the top of the league. KU Jayhawks continued their winning ways, and have been raised to #2 nationally.

Eric had some exciting news. He is now, officially, a clinical member. It says so right on the AAMFT site! He is so pleased to be done. We are pleased to congratulate him on this accomplishment! Erica got her new compression “fancy pants” and recalled what it was like when she got her first ones. When the therapist took her measurements a few weeks back, he commented that there were some big changes. Here's some pics to make the comparison. The bulge out just before the knee is now a curve inward. And there's a knee gap!
From left to right, top to bottom:
April 2017 when she got her first pair of compression,
July 2017, right before surgery,
July 2018, 10 days after surgery,
November 2017, new compression.
Haaken continues to enjoy school and living on the coast. They are still working on jumping through the hoops for student loans—was it always this difficult?! Liam is doing well at school and is making the most of his grade 12 year.

Erin and Kristian are doing well in Regina. Kristian had a big game of 216 in bowling today, and raised his average to 137! Wowsers! Well done, buddy! He has also been emailing me more about his book. It's been a fun experience for me. We've decided that we're now email pals!

We enjoyed celebration Trav's birthday last weekend, but then it was back to work. Travis and Joanna continue to be very busy with Puckshots and Stickerz work. Joanna has determined to stop doing her contract work as a phlebotomist for now. Perhaps she'll pick that up later. She's enjoying her work at Fox on the Run, and we all benefit with some good eats from there as well.

And that's about enough for this week.  

Saturday, November 25

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather has been nice, and the yard and driveway have cleared off again. Wendy has continued to work on the clearing and cleaning. She's almost done the office now, and she's continuing to dispose of stuff as she digs it out. I continue to apply mud to the kitchenette, but there's a lot of work to do there yet, but bit by bit, we're making progress. Wendy has completed research on insurance for the house and vehicles, so that's behind us for another year. We did change companies, so I was glad of that. The markets were thin this week as the US Thanksgiving interrupted trading, and many traders took extended time off. However, I was able to have a good week, and am back on quota for this quarter at least. I've kept working at getting back into curling. I've been added to the sublist at one club, and invited to join several teams, but I don't know if I'm ready for that yet. At present, I'm just trying to get ready for a spiel next weekend in Toronto. This weekend is Grey Cup weekend, and the Riders are not playing. They lost a tight game to Toronto last Sunday, so it'll be Toronto vs Calgary in the Final tomorrow. I'll be cheering for Toronto, but expecting Calgary to win. My hockey season is not going satisfactorily—the Oilers are playing much below expectations, the Penguins are playing below expectations. Of the teams I follow, only the Leafs are performing well. Maybe I should start cheering for the Jets; they're playing well! The Jayhawks rolled off two easy wins this week in college basketball. 

Not much news from Prince Albert this week. Eric/A are continuing with work. Haaken and Liam are continuing with school. They're making plans to enjoy the holidays together in Victoria next month. They made some progress with the renovations. Eric finished priming, so now they can apply the final coats of paint. Progress is slow, but there is progress! Eric has finished the required hours for clinical status—yay! Congratulations! He submitted his paperwork the next day to AAMFT, only to realize that everything south of the border was closed for four days over Thanksgiving.

Every great condo has a tree, and a dog!
Erin and Kristian are continuing to get ready for the holidays by dressing up their condo. This week, they decorated the tree—looks good, doesn't it? Kristian did not make it to bowling today; that will not help his results! He's enjoying reading and researching around a new book: Ryan and Jimmy And the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together. It sounds very interesting. 
Kristian's new book

Travis and Joanna put in long days these weeks as their busy season continues for hockey pictures. They try to get as much done and out the door in time for Christmas presents. This weekend, we'll be celebrating Trav's birthday. Happy Birthday, son! 

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, November 18

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather had remained mild, but showery, so it has not been pleasant to be outside. On Thursday and Friday we got some snow, but with temperatures climbing above zero, it's turned to a slushy mess. We scraped off the driveway on Friday, but we didn't get enough sun to dry it away today. More snow is predicted, but we hope things dry up and freeze first! Wendy has continued with house-clearing—she's moving out stuff that has been stored for many years, and eliminating some of it. She has also increased my reno project downstairs, so I've purchased and applied more gyproc, and I am back to the taping and mudding. We also bought some LED pot-light replacements for the family room. They installed easily, but were too bright, so we got a dimmer switch installed and now they look great. We got my electrical work inspected, and the guy was very complimentary of my work—thanks Uncle Rob! So, that issue is behind us once again. We're shopping for house and vehicle insurance, and hoping to change companies after what they put us through. Both the electrician and the inspector told us the re-inspection was bogus and a waste of time and money—our time and money! The markets have remained volatile, and I had some big days in both directions, leaving me about flat for the week, and still in the red for the month. C'mon man! The Riders scored an impressive win over Ottawa on Sunday to advance to the East Final against Toronto tomorrow. Go Riders, Go! Hockey continues to produce some interesting storylines and some very entertaining games. Oilers are starting to score more, but are still inconsistent, and lost ground this week. Leafs are playing solidly. Pens still struggling to score, but playing mostly winning hockey all the same. It's Grand Slam curling, again, with the National event this week. My guy, Kevin Koe, has qualified as usual, so I've been enjoying watching the action. I got out for curling a couple of times myself, and have decided to accept an invitation to curl in Toronto the first weekend of December! Special thank you to my children for the early Christmas gift to fund that trip! The Jayhawks continue to develop well in the early going of the college basketball season. I'm having trouble with my site that affords me the opportunity to watch them, but was able to make it work again this week—Rock Chalk! 

The Baileys only had to cook one meal this week. Nice! However, not quite as nice as having a live in Mom though! Liam was home last weekend and had some doctors' appointments on Monday. The doctors now think he has Colitis and maybe not Celiacs disease, after all. He is on medication for Colitis while still avoiding gluten for now, but his test results are showing improvement so that’s good. Eric is down to two hours of supervision left, which he should complete this coming week. It has been a long road and they are looking forward to the day when he has his Clinical status. They got the dining room and bedroom primed and picked up the paint for the bedroom. So, soon, they hope to have both rooms done. 
Liam percussing at the Cheesecake Cafe!


Merry Christmas!
Tree's Up!
Erin and Kristian are continuing with work and school, and with preparations for Christmas. Kristian got a set of novels in the school book fair and just can't put them down, even for bowling! (It's great to see his love of reading blossom!) Erin scored a new Android box for her TV, so she's arranging to get that set up with her desired apps, and anticipating more hours of comfortable winter time napping! 

Bowling? What bowling?

Trav & Joanna are working through their busy time, printing lots of product, and getting it out the door. Gemma has made application to a University of British Columbia pre-med program in Kelowna, so we're cheering for her on that one, although mom may not be ready for her little girl to leave home! (Where 'may' means 'is definitely'!) 

And that's about it for this week. 

Saturday, November 11

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. The weather has been cool, even cold, and showery, and today we're getting some snow. The forecasters predict the next week of above zero temperatures, so we'll see whether the snow can survive that! I busied myself with electrical repairs early in the week, and completed the marrette replacement program on Tuesday. Now, we wait for the inspector to check it over again. I've also begun the mudding and taping in the kitchenette; slowly, but surely, we're making progress on the renovations. I've continued to practice curling, and also played two games this week. The leg is accepting the extra activity well. Wendy has been catching up with some painting, and also doing some general clean up and clean out of several rooms. We've also been going through the rooms and upgrading the bulbs from CFL to LED. It's now brighter; we old folks need it bright! The markets have been terrible this week. Investors have become frustrated over Trump's inability to get anything done in the US congress. It was further exacerbated by the tax plans that have come out showing ballooning deficits and no tax breaks for the middle class, sigh! As a result, it was a losing week for me as well—c'mon man! Sports stories continue to attract some of our interest. The Riders play the Eastern Conference Semi-final tomorrow—Go Riders! I've taken time for several hockey games this week: Leafs are doing well, Pens and Oilers are not quite measuring up to my expectations. NCAA basketball has started, and I got to watch the Jayhawks run off an easy win last evening. It's interesting to see the new personnel each season and to contemplate how Coach Self will develop them as the season progresses. Baseball had a sad story this week as historical Blue Jay favourite, Roy Halladay, died in a plane accident. Curling has begun the Olympic Qualification round, so I've been keeping up with that.

Liam is home for the long weekend. The Baileys are moving around the furniture to take advantage of the opening provided by the installation of the washer/dryer in the new laundry room. So, the living room is actually starting to take its final shape, although there's a lot of demolition and construction still in the plans for that area. 

Erin and Kristian are facing winter in Regina. Kristian got his school photos back—handsome dude, isn't he? He had bowling today, and maintained his average over 100. 
Grade 6 Scholar!

Trav & Joanna continue to be busy with photos, sometimes even busier than they expected as an extra team may decide it's time for pictures. Joanna is also busy with her two other full-time jobs! Gemma has been accepted to Lakehead University. She has also applied to other schools out-of-province, so we're waiting to see what comes of that. 

And that's about it for this week. 

Saturday, November 4

News Update

Another week has passed on the shore of Lake Superior in my hometown. We've had a good week, managing to get renovations going again here. We've completed the hanging of the drywall, and now I need to get to taping, mudding and finishing it so Wendy can paint. But, that plan has been interrupted by the electrical issues. This house was built in the 1970's, and was wired with aluminum wire. That was later determined to be a potential problem, so, Eric/A were required to get it fixed. That fix amounted to the electrician's application of penetrox on each connection, before fastening the wire-nut (marrette). That was ten years ago, it was inspected and approved. But, our insurance company has decided that it must be reinspected. So, we applied for that, paid $300+ for the privilege, and were further dismayed to have the inspector tell us the job was unsatisfactory! His story is that the marrettes used were not the approved ones, even though the installation was inspected and approved! The electrician's story is that the code has changed! Our story is we can't get insurance without a certificate! Yikes! After some discussion, the electrician has agreed to supply us with the marrettes, the inspector has approved the marrettes, and all that remains is for yours truly to open all the boxes and replace the non-approved ones! Sigh! According to the invoice of the earlier work, it took the electrician 11 hours to do the job, so I'll be at this awhile. I have now completed all the switch boxes, and began work on the receptacles today. Good economic data this week both sides of the border should have buoyed the markets, but the TSX demurred! However, I was blessed with quota, so I won't complain. The World Series was very entertaining, even strange, baseball, and it went the full seven games. In the final analysis, the Astros won two games in Los Angeles, so you have to give them credit for the victory. Hockey continues to entertain as well, my highlight was a game between the Pens and the Oilers—very exciting, even though my team lost! There was another enjoyable game between the Pens and Canucks tonight. The Riders completed the regular season this evening with a meaningless loss to Edmonton. Now they move on to the conference semi-final next weekend against Ottawa. Go Riders, Go! I managed to get out for curling practice a couple of times, and even played a bit this evening. I am delighted with how it's going!

Eric is getting excited to be near the end of his qualifying hours for Clinical counsellor status. If everything goes according to plan, he should be done by end of November! His current count is 9 hours of supervision left! Liam was diagnosed with Whooping cough this week. He thought it was a made up sickness. Now he is on medication for that. Poor kid! He just wants to be healthy. Haaken started some new classes this week. His school is designed to do fewer, more concentrated classes at a time. He is enjoying his time there. On the renovation front, the washing machine was reinstalled, minus the Teflon tape. They did a test run, it worked and there is no leaking! They also picked up some primer last weekend so they can finish their painting duties.

Yeah, I didn't recognize him!
Don't know this guy, either!
Kristian had a busy week with Trick 'r Treating early in the week and bowling this weekend. On Hallowe'en, he enjoyed both going out for treats, and being able to hand out treats at home, so he was multi-tasking that night. His first game of bowling did not go well, but games 2 & 3 were good and pushed his average back over 100. Maybe warmups are a good strategy, hey, buddy?! Otherwise, they're hunkering down and enjoying their refurbished home out of the winter weather in Regina.
Brrrrr!

Trav & Joanna are busy with hockey photography this time of year. We were glad to find time to have them all over for supper on Friday evening. It was also great to catch up with Gemma and Andrew. He is about a head taller than the last time we saw him in June before we headed west. Gemma is in the process of filling out applications for university—how did that come about so soon!

And that's about enough for this week. 

Saturday, October 28

News Update

Another week has passed and we have returned to the shore of Lake Superior and our hometown. We drove over to Winnipeg on Sunday afternoon, and spent the evening and night with Dean, Kelly and family. We're discussing the chance to make a trip to Mexico with True North Helping Hands next summer, so we were glad to get a chance to discuss that with them. The weather was beautiful for our drive down to TBay on Monday, but has turned cool, rainy and even snowy over the rest of the week here. We've been taking it easy all week, but, yesterday, we started back into the renovations here. We got a bit of a surprise as we had the electrical inspector in to check our aluminum wiring, and he informed us that the electrician hired to fix this ten years ago didn't do a proper job, so we'll be looking into that next week, sigh! The markets continued to push forward this month, and I had another great week. TSX posted another all-time high on Friday. I've been suffering with a cold all week, and we both felt a little run down, so the relaxation was welcome. I had an appointment with my oncologist on Tuesday; it went as per usual. My PSA remains elevated, but we feel it is simply a chronic inflammation. We were finally able to check the progress on our Keto way of eating effects. I have now lost 43 pounds, while Wendy has lost 30 since May. I'm at the target weight chosen by my doctor, so we'll see what she advises when I see her next month. The World Series is underway, but my Dodgers lost one at home, so it was great to see them take one in Houston, tonight. The CFL has one week remaining; the Riders beat Montreal decisively last evening, but still don't know who their playoff partner will be. The early season continues in the NHL; Oilers, Pens and Leafs all continue to play pretty well, although all of them lost tonight! The Masters event is on in Slam Curling, and my guy, Koe, made the playoffs, but he lost the semi-final to Gushue this evening.

The Baileys report that renovation work has mysteriously slowed to a crawl this week. They’re not sure why! The washer and dryer did get moved into the laundry room, but the washer needs a bit of adjustment. They discovered that to run the dryer, they also need to run the bathroom fan, otherwise the moisture builds up in the area. Liam returned to school after a week at home and various medical appointments. He is suffering from the resulting backlog of school work, but is otherwise okay. Haaken reports he is doing great. Eric and Erica are spending part of the weekend in Saskatoon, picking up renovation supplies and attending to various meetings and appointments. Eric also needs to write a sermon as he is on for preaching this Sunday (and he says he’s already used both his good ones).
Washer-Dryer in place

Erin and Kristian hosted us Saturday and Sunday, and then sent us on our way east. Thanks! Kristian had a Hallowe'en fun day instead of regular league bowling, today. Although most players were in costume, they were at least able to have fun, and get in their three games with some novelty play. Kristian's team won a prize for the bingo bowling game.
How can you bowl in that outfit?!

Trav and Joanna welcomed us home on Monday evening. They've had a busy week with appliance moving as their newly purchased washer/dryer were delivered. They got them assembled, hooked up and working in short order. We look forward to catching up with Gemma and Andrew soon as well.
New Washer/Dryer

And that's about enough for this week.