Well ... the day is finally here. That fateful day in February that we all dread. No ... I'm not talking about Valentine's Day. I'm talking about the second Monday in February - National Clean Out Your Computer Day ! Yup, that day is finally here. And I bet you didn't even know it existed. LOL. While I'm sure the outside of your computer can use a little dusting I'm talking about cleaning up the crud on the inside. On Monday, February 13th, you can participate in National Clean Out Your Computer Day by cleaning up your desktop, organizing files and folders, deleting junk files, deleting old and duplicate files as well as programs you no longer use.
As you can see from the photo above I'm an iMac user. Vintage 2007. The first production of the aluminum iMac made by Apple. I love my iMac and I'm proud to say that almost after 10 years, it's still humming along - knock on wood. Unfortunately, it is getting a little long in the tooth as it's too old to support Apple's latest operating system macOS Sierra. Nonetheless, my iMac has done me proud and lasted me a long time. Mainly because (a) Apple makes a quality product and (b) I take care of it. Here's some of the things I do and you can too on National Clean Out Your Computer Day.
That's it! Congrats! You have successfully cleaned up your computer. Try to keep it up the during the year so that next year won't be quite so tedious. Now, you can get ready for that other important day in February. What was it again? Good luck!
I got quite the surprise yesterday morning. Here I was, having a pleasant visit with my 86 year old mother. Just sitting on the couch, chilling, chatting and relaxing. Then all of a sudden ... BAM! I got this piercing pain in my lower left abdomen. It felt like a bad cramp. A REALLY BAD cramp. I winced in pain, trying not to show too much as I didn't want to get my mom all concerned. She has enough issues of hers alone to deal with. I got up and walked around a bit to try to "walk it off" and hope that it would pass. It felt a little better so I went to the basement to get her boxes that she used for her Christmas decorations and bring them upstairs for her. It was only two trips but BAM!, the pain came back with a vengeance. By now my mom knew someone was wrong and I told her that I just had a pain in my side and that it would probably go away. I told her that I was going home and we said our goodbyes and I started on the short walk home.
I live about a block and a half from my mom, so it was a short walk in the winter cold and the pain would not subside. As soon as I got in the door I went to my computer and Googled "pain in lower left abdomen". The first few results came back with "kidney stone". I thought "what the fuck? Where the hell did I get a kidney stone?" I got up and started pacing hoping to walk it off. But, it didn't help. I started to think I might have to make a trip to the local ER and I certainly didn't want to wait at least 3 hours in the waiting room there. As an FYI, we might have universal health care, but the waiting times in our local hospitals are ridiculous.
And then I had what I thought was a great idea. If it really is a kidney stone perhaps I could flush it out. I drank a half litre of water and the pain felt a little better. After my second half litre it all but disappeared. I thought it was a miracle. And then it occurred to me that if I am really flushing it out, it's gonna have to find it's way out. I've heard passing a kidney stone could be very painful, the prospect of that started to concern me. Then, I had to pee. Lot's of pee but no stone. I continued to drink water and about 10 minutes later I had to pee again. I started to pee and, if you'll excuse me, amidst the stream, a black object came out and fell to the bottom of the toilet. I hadn't felt anything so at first I thought that if was some fluff that fell off of my clothing. But, then I thought, fluff would float. This went directly to the bottom of the toilet. I had to find out for sure. So I held my breath (don't know why) and reached in the toilet and retrieved the little black object. Sure enough, it was hard as a rock. Ureka! I passed my first ever kidney stone and the pain had pretty much gone away. I washed up and went up stairs and proudly showed it to Josh. He was grossed out for some reason.
But I was pretty proud of myself that I was able to get rid of this and not make a trip to the hospital. Lord knows what they would have done to me there. I'm keeping this puppy. Maybe I can turn it into a necklace or something. Any thoughts?
It's been a while since my last post. One of my many New Year's resolutions is to post more regularly. So here's my first post of 2017! In my last post I wrote about Jessica's and Derek's move to Whitehorse, Yukon. Well ... in just a few days it will have been one month since they left so I thought I might give you a little update.
First off, I'm happy to say that they arrived safely. Their flight was a little late taking off from Toronto because the plane had a flat tire. Yikes! Glad they found that! But other than that, things went reasonably well. When they arrived in Whitehorse I think it was a balmy -28 degrees celsius ... that's -18 degrees farenheit for you non-metric readers. Suffice to say it was frickin' cold. Derek's cousin, Neil, met them at the airport. Thanks Neil! They shared a nice meal together and they spent their first night in an AirBnB that they had booked. Ironically, Neil and his girlfriend, Courtenay happened to be friends with the owner.
And if getting situated wasn't enough, Jessica started her new job a couple of days after arriving with the Government of Yukon as a Speech Language Pathologist. It's had the usual challenges of starting a new job and getting to know everyone, complicated a little by starting it in an entirely new city while trying to get settled in a new place. But, other than that, the job is going well and she is liking it quite a bit.
The daylight ... or lack of it, has taken some getting used to as well. Sunrise is around 10am right now and sunset is around 4pm. Slowly but surely the days are getting longer and the kids can't wait. Granted I think it's reversed in the summer time, so they'll have to get used to all the day light come June.
They've been getting in some social time. Neil and Courtenay have been great introducing them to their friends. They go to trivia night most Wednesday's and have been able to get out to the movies a few times as well. But I guess the theatre is something to be desired. It's the old-fashioned kind from my era with no stadium seating. Eek! I hated those theatres. I always seemed to have the biggest guy in the theatre sitting smack dab in front of me blocking my view of the movie. But it has popcorn ... which always puts a smile on Jessica's face.
As you can imagine, we are in touch everyday. We have discovered the wonders of SnapChat (still trying to get the hang of it) as well as Facetime. Never really had the need to use Facetime until now ... and I'm lovin' it. It's so nice to see them and talk to them at the same time. Gives a parent that assurdness that everything is all right. The grandmother's love it too. They miss them dearly and they love to come over and have a little chat with them. It's particularly funny when they are watching a SnapChat video that Jessica sends and the grannies start talking back to it. And if we are not doing that, there is always texting and. of course, a phone call. How archaic!
But so far ... so good. For the first time on their own I think they are doing a great job and making a great transition to their new home. When Derek's car arrives, they plan on taking in more of the sites of Whitehorse and the surrounding area and take in the many winter activities that are available to them. I'm very proud of them and what they've done in such a short time. Love you guys! Stay warm. LOL!
January 17, 1991 ... one of the best days of my life! Our first child came into the world to greet us. We named her Jessica.
Fast forward ...
December 11, 2016 ... one of the saddest days of my life! My little princess is all growed up and leaving the nest for the first time. She's moving to Whitehorse, Yukon. Now I don't know how familiar you may be with Canadian geography, but Whitehorse is about as far north and west of our hometown of Niagara Falls as you can get. It's right up there next to Alaska. People have joked with me - "whatever did you do to piss your daughter off that much that she's moving that far away from you"? I just laugh it off cuz I know nothing can be further from the truth. I love my daughter (and son) more than life itself and I know that my daughter loves me. I know that she's looking to start a life on her own. To find her own way. To make her own way. And ... to have an adventure while doing it. I am so very proud of her to do this.
As any young graduate knows ... jobs are tough to come by. Jessica holds a Masters degree and is a Speech Language Pathologist. But even with all her credentials finding full time work is tough. She's had as many as three jobs at one time to make her way. She's been fortunate to find some meaningful work locally filling in for maternity leaves at Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital (which she absolutely loves) but alas those were coming to an end. So rather than sit idly by and "wait" for something to happen she persisted to make her own "luck" and found a job working as a Speech Pathologist for the Yukon government in Whitehorse ... and I couldn't be prouder.
As a parent, the comforting part is that she's not doing this alone. Her boyfriend Derek is going with her. Derek is blazing his own trail too. He's finding his way and I know he will have great success in Whitehorse. Besides, they make a great team together, and together the "buddies" will be there for each other, making a life together and taking great care of each other.
It will be an enlightening experience for both of them being their first time on their own. But as I said, they make a great team. They compliment each other. I know Jess will be there to encourage Derek and pick up his spirits on those days when things might not be going so well. And I know Derek will be there for Jess when she is having one of her "moments". They're adventurous and free spirited and I think Whitehorse might just be the place for them to start a life together. It's a beautiful city that has a lot of outdoor adventure to offer. I know the two if them will take great advanatge of that as they muddle their way through the challenges of day-to-day life.
The other comforting thing is that, with today's technologies, they will never be that far away. Texting, Skyping and Facetiming will be a regular occurence for sure. Probably daily at the start ... right Mama bear? Jess has told me to get a SnapChat account so I'll guess I'll have to look into that. And I'm sure there will be time to visit them next summer. And who knows, maybe even sooner.
And finally to Jess and Derek, if you're reading this ... please know how proud we are of you both. As you start this chapter of your life together there are a few "rules" to follow. Never go to bed angry with each other. Always say "I Love You". Righty tighty, lefty loosey. Lots of hugs go a long way. Be there for each other at every moment ... good, bad and ugly. Keep the toilet seat down. And, most of all, laughter really is the best medicine. If all else fails, hold each other, and laugh. I've seen the two of you often enough togther to know that won't be difficult to do.
We love you and wish nothing but the best for the both of you. Enjoy your adventure together, seize every moment of every day and make each and every one of those moments count.
And hey, if time permits, start your own website/blog to record your Yukon adventure for everyone to enjoy. You can do it for free using Weebly! If I can do it, you can too! Love you guys!
This is a first for me. Sitting here at the pool at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas writing a blog post.
Sophia and I were finally able to get away to celebrate our 30 years together. We chose one of our favourite destinations to celebrate the occasion. We're pretty fortunate. This is our fifth visit in the last six years. If it's not obvious, we love Vegas. There is always so much to do here. We're not huge gamblers ... although Sophia has had some good luck at the slots. Me ... not so much. We take in some of the sites, see some shows, eat way too much food and have a few beverages. This year we went to one of my favourite spots, the Hoover Dam. That thing is awesome. I can never get over how the dam was built in such a short period of time and in the period ie. post Great Depression, that it was built. It truly is a wonderful marvel. This year we finally did the dam tour. Kinda funny to write that. It is even more spectacular on the inside than the out. If you're ever in Vegas you gotta see the Hoover Dam.
Last night we took in the Mat Franco magic show at the Linq Hotel. He was awesome. Mat won America's Got Talent a few years ago. I think it was season 9. Man was he ever fantastic. We've seen Cris Angel, Penn and Teller and David Copperfield during previous visits. They were all great ... with Cris Angel being my favourite. But Mat Franco absolutely blew my doors off. No giant illusions like making an elephant disappear or sawing someone in half. Mostly cards and "simple" props. But his slight of hand with cards, balls, bottles of wine ... you name it, is a site to be seen. I highly recommend his show. It is must see for sure. He is hugely entertaining, humorous and definitely gets his audience involved in every aspect of his show. And you don't have to sell the farm to see him. The theatre is relatively small and there isn't a bad seat in the house and the tickets are modestly priced. Even by Vegas standards.
Speaking of of buying tickets. If you're ever travelling to Vegas wait to purchase any show tickets until you get there. And once you are there buy your tickets at a Tix4Tonight outlet. They have several locations along The Strip and Old Downtown on Fremont. They sell tickets for same day performances at heavily discounted prices. We're seeing Mat Franco, Terry Fator and going up the Eiffel Tower for a little under $250. That's about $55 per ticket per show which we think is a fantastic bargain.
Well we gotta get ready to see Terry Fator and have a beverage or two. Ciao.
9 years ago this month I purchased my first Apple iMac. It was the first aluminum body iMac that Apple made. I waited many, many years to buy my first iMac. And boy oh boy it was worth the wait. She was a beaut. And I was ecstatic.
I still own and use that iMac today. I love it. I love just looking at it. It is by far the best computer that I've ever owned. And I will only buy an Apple product to replace it. It has never let me down but it is getting a little long in the tooth. Now that it is officially too old to run Apple's latest Mac OS Sierra, I'm thinking about replacing it.
I'm a desktop guy. I like working on a desktop. So I was waiting with utter anticipation for Apple's recent announcement of their new line of Mac's. I figured my timing to replace my iMac couldn't be better. I figured Apple was going to release a very updated iMac and I was going to be one happy little camper.
Instead, I was met with utter disappointment at Apple's announcement. They updated their laptops, but the desktop was left in the dust. Or so it seems. The new line of Macbook Pro's do look pretty sweet, but Apple "what about my iMac?"
I hope this isn't a signal that Apple will be ignoring, or worse, abandoning my work horse. I know I'm not the only iMac lover. So Apple, don't forget about us desktop guys and gals. We love our desktops. We love our iMac's. Don't abandon us please. And, forgive me for saying this, but take a cue from Microsoft (cough, cough, choke, choke). Their new Surface Studio looks pretty sweet. I really like the way it can be pivoted from a desktop to a drawing surface. A 30" display would be pretty sweet too.
If you're reading this Apple ...
BRING US A NEW, INNOVATIVE, iMAC ... AND SOON ... PLEASE !!!
Today, October 4, 2016, Sophia and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary.
It actually brings a tear to my eye, the good ones, when I write that. On a cold, rainy day in 1986, we made a life long commitment to each other. A promise that so far has been 30 years in the making. And, I am very proud to say, going strong.
I'd like to say things have been fantastic for all those 30 years. But, we've had our ups and downs. Times when you think you've had enough and it just can't go on any longer. We both have our warts to bear. I'm definitely "wartier" than her. I've given her many reasons to pull her hair out and scream from the roof tops. I'm from Dutch heritage. And if anyone knows anything about the Dutch, we are very stubborn and think we are always right. As the expression goes "Wooden shoes. Wooden head. Wooden listen." Needless to say, she has been very patient and understanding with me. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
It's actually been a much longer road for us. Believe it or not, we originally met in grade 3 - around 1970. Sophia and her family had recently moved from California to Niagara Falls. Don't ask why. I'm still trying to figure that one out. We went through grade school, elementary school and high school together. Never giving the other a second glance. It wasn't until the summer of 1982 when I woke up and finally noticed her. Some friends and I had gone to a park to play some ball. Coincidently, Sophia and some of her friends had gathered at the same park. We all knew each other from school and I remember saying to myself "Wow. That Sophia Miglioranza really grew up". I later found out that she was dating someone. So I left that stone unturned. But, as fate would have it, I met her again at a bar called "The Library" in the other Niagara Falls (New York) a short while later. We got to chatting and low and behold, she was no longer dating anyone. I made my move ... not that I had any. But I did suck up the courage to ask her out on a date. And darn it all, didn't she she accept. So there it was. Our life together began on our first date in October 1982.
And here we are, 34 years from that first date, 30 years married and I couldn't be prouder of what we've accomplished together. A honeymoon in Cancun (before it was a spring break destination). One apartment and two houses along the way. Two fantastic children of whom we could not be prouder. Several family trips to Florida, Disney World, Universal Orlando and California. And now we are preparing for our fifth trip to Las Vegas to celebrate what we've accomplished together. But our biggest accomplishment (aside from our kids) is, by far, that after 30 years of marriage we are still together. And, I dare say, Love each other as much, if not more, than when we made a promise to each other all those years ago. I can't imagine being with anyone else.
30 years is a long time. And I wonder how did we do it. And I think it comes down to one word ... COMMITMENT. It just seems so easy today to walk away when things get a little difficult in a marriage. Being together all those years. Raising two children. Worrying about careers and finances. Dealing with family issues. It can get tough and it can wear on you. But 30 years ago we made a promise to each other. And it's that promise that we have kept. Sophia is the real deal and we have learned to accept each other warts and all. I love her dearly and am very happy that she has been part of my life for all these years and I look so forward to whatever it is that the future holds for us ... together.
Happy Anniversary Mama!
I Love You!
After last years dismal season for my team, the Dallas Cowboys, I was really looking forward to this season. A healthy Dez Bryant. A healthy Sean Lee. And, most importantly, a healthy Tony Romo.
When Kellen Moore went down with a broken leg in pre-season I wasn't worried. Fact is, although I always liked Kellen Moore as a quarterback for Boise State, but I was less than impressed with his performance last season. Especially after watching him in person in Buffalo. He steered the Cowboys to a great opening drive and after that he just fizzled away. So when Moore went down, I felt bad ... for a moment. But I thought ... we still have Tony. My enthusiasm grew even more after watching Dak Prescott in the pre-season. He has played great for a rookie. With Romo as starter and Prescott at backup I thought we were in good shape for an 11 - 5 or 12 - 4 season.
Funny how things can change so quickly. Deja fucking vu!
Against the Seahawks Romo goes down on a partial, kind of funky, awkward slide and gets a slight hit on the back. Didn't appear to be a biggie. But I cringed when he immediately grabbed at his back and didn't get up. I shouted at the TV "Not again! Get up Tony! Get the fuck up!" Well, after hearing my words of encouragement, Tony made it back to the sidelines. Your welcome Cowboys fans. He was moving around a bit. Didn't seem badly damaged. Heard later that he asked to go back in. Jason Garrett played it cautious and kept him out. Good thing too. As it turns out Romo has a compression fracture and is expect to be out at least six weeks and, by all reports, likely until mid-season. Ouch! My bet is that we won't see him until after their bye week in week 7. Double ouch! During that stretch they have two games against NFC East opponents. Triple ouch!
As well as Dak Prescott, and Jameill Showers, have played, they are still rookies. For that reason I think the Cowboys need to get themselves a suitable veteran quarterback. Someone capable to back-up Prescott or, if necessary, step in and take over the reigns. I thought Brandon Weeden could have been that guy last year. Boy was I ever wrong. But as teams continue to trim their rosters maybe, just maybe, they will be able to pick up someone.
Some time ago, a quarterback named Drew Bledsoe went down for the New England Patriots. Some sixth round pick, lanky, slow, no name, second season QB stepped in to take his place. This guy was so slow, I bet my mother could have out run him. Well, we all know how that one worked out.
Will Dak Prescott be the next Tom Brady? I think he'll have at least six games to show us what he's got. He seems to have the tools. He can certainly do something Tony can't. Dak can run! Cowboys nation is behind you Dak. All we can ask is that you play to your potential and keep us in the hunt. Officially, Jason Garrett hasn't ruled out Romo for week 1. But I think that's just gamesmanship. I guess we'll know for sure in about 10 days or so.
And Tony, if you're reading this, as you undoubtably are, please get better quickly and ... learn to slide dude. That was awful!
And let's just hope that everyone else on the team stays healthy. The QB is just one player, albeit an important one, but the Cowboys have lots of talent that should be able to allow them to weather this storm.
One final hope. The Cowboys play in the NFC East. Thannnnkkk youuuuu.
How 'Bout Them Cowboys!
Niagara Falls has a new attraction. At the bottom of Clifton Hill, across from the American Falls, beside Hornblower Niagara Cruises ... you will find a Zipline!
Yes ... a Zipline. For about $50.00 ($59.00 during primetime) you can take a whopping 45 second journey on the Wildplay MistRider Zipline down into the Niagara Gorge. The Zipline starts at the top of the tower near the base of Clifton Hill and ends at the old power plant near the base of the Horseshoe Falls. While certainly an interesting attraction I must admit that I am not a fan of the Zipline. Why you may ask?
Don't get me wrong. I think the Zipline is a great idea ... it's just in the wrong place. It should have been built a few kilometers down river at the Niagara Whirlpool where the Aero Car is as well as the Parks Commission's other newest attraction ... a high ropes course. The high ropes course, also being operated by Wildplay (I think), does look pretty cool and will be opening in a few weeks. It's been built in an appropriate place too. But just imagine ziplining over the whirlpool from the top of the gorge to the bottom, with the option to take a beautiful hike back to the top of the gorge or take an elevator for those who choose or are unable to do so. Yes ... they'd have to build an elevator. An expensive proposition. But I think that location would have made for a much better and more thrilling experience.
Sorry Niagara Parks Commission. You really missed the mark with a proposed gondola ride that, thank goodness, got cancelled under pressure from those that love our park land. And you missed the mark with the Zipline. You have put commercialization ahead of preservation and, in the process, have ruined the breathtaking views of one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
I have very few words to describe the Game Of Thrones finale except ... WOW!
It was definitely a finale for the ladies of Westeros and Essos as well. I was absolutely blown away by the start of the episode. To say it started with a bang is an understatement! (pun intended) From Cersei, to Sansa to Arya to Daenerys and Yara to Ellaria Sand and, one of my favorites, Olenna Tyrell. What a wicked tongue on that woman. Diana Rigg plays her to the 9's! Too bad for Margery. I thought she had been playing the game very well. And then, BOOM! She and many, many others, including that snake High Sparrow, were gone.
Got to give it to Cersei though. Just when you thought it was over for her, she comes back with a bang. (Another well intended pun by the way). Unfortunately, although she was successful at keeping Tommen away from the fireworks (I crack myself up), alas, poor Tommen took a leap of faith and met his bitter end. Lucky for his mother though eh? Now she's the freakin' Queen. Look out for all who step in her way. And finally, that damn annoying Grand Meister Pycelle is finally gone. Good riddance!
Arya gave Walter Frey, and family, their due ... ala Sweeney Todd style. Loved it! Although, Arya is taking an interesting turn in her character. Is she a ruthless mercenary or is she still a lady of the Stark? Hope next season will tell. But I really hope she hooks up with The Hound again. They would make a formidable duo.
I think Sansa and Jon are on the same wavelength. I think they will make a formidable duo in time to come as long as they stick together. But I think that little prick (there I go again) Little Finger will find a way to some how divide them.
And finally, we have Daenerys. She left her man behind. As she should have. She has her ships courtesy of Yara and the Houses of Sand and Tyrell sailing towards Westerns with her dragons presumably to claim her throne. But will she? We have to wait 10 months to find out!
Although this finale covered a whole lot of ground, I would have like to have seen two things: First, how is Jorah making out on his quest to cure himself of grayscale? And two, what the hell happened to Robert Baratheon's bastard son, and heir to the Iron Throne, Gendry? Last time we saw him I think was in Season 3, being rescued by Davos and rowing a boat away from the Iron Islands and presumably to Kings Landing.
And, finally, like so many of pointed out, does Varys have some kind of teleporting machine or something? One moment he's in Mereen, then Dorne, then on a fucking boat sailing to Westeros. What gives? One of the flaws of the show, I think anyways, is the concept of time. Are things in Westeros and the North and Mereen happening in real time? Or are they really happening days, weeks, or perhaps months apart. I'm not really sure. If anyone can help me, I'd sure appreciate it! Otherwise, the best damn show on TV.
Too bad there are only two seasons left with about 13 hours of episodes. Be prepared for a 7 episode Season 7 and a 6 episode season 8. Makes me sad.