Friday, 31 December 2010


My old friend Jim Suddard (Suddsy) spent an evening with us last night. He played his guitar and sang for 4 hours straight as we got the 6-pack group together for a sing-a-long of mostly Beatles songs. Suddsy is a friend of mine from the 60's. In fact he was best man at my wedding as I was for his wedding 40 years ago. He moved to Hawkesbury and we lost contact until just last summer. It was nice to get together again and sing along with those old golden tunes. Click here for more pics.
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Thursday, 30 December 2010


There was only a couple inches of snow on the ground and the temp was +2 C but that was enough for the boys to get out the saucers. I must admit it did get out of hand from there as the boys went on to have a snowball fight and crawl through the muddy ravine out front. They came in the house covered in dirt from top to bottom - what happens when Papa is babysitting.  Click here for more flying saucer pics.

Monday, 27 December 2010

It Has Been 40 Years. . . .

It has been that long since my father-in-law used a metal lathe as a tool and die maker at GM. Today at age 90 he's showing my friend Leigh Parker how its done. It just goes to show he's still got it.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Morning

We make a point of being there before the kids come down the stairs to see the presents under the tree. Certainly it is a magical moment and you can only see the magic in the eyes of a child on Christmas morning. Santa had come, ate the cookies and gone and now it was time to see what Santa had left for them.
First the stockings, then breakfast, and try to have the kids take turns opening their presents. After that we had a lovely turkey dinner, complete with homemade pies ... mmmm it was good. To work that off, I took the boys out on the new skating rink for some skating and hockey practice. Forty five minutes later two rosy cheaked boys were ready to come in and warm up.
Another Christmas has come and gone, and I am so happy for the kids. Click here to see more pics of the Christmas morning.
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It amazing what they put in a 'toy piano' these days. It appears to have the guts of a full electronic keyboard.  I look at this stuff and just shake my head.

Friday, 24 December 2010

What Santa Saw

The stockings were hung. ... this is what the wee ones will see when they come down at 8 am. Stockings first, then breakfast, then the main body of gifts.  That will take until about 2 pm. Dinner about 3:30.  It is a joyous nice long day. Peace to you all.

Amber Visits Xmas Eve

Amber spent Christmas Eve with us and of course we celebrated Christmas and her birthday all at the same time .... bummer to have a birthday so close to Christmas. So after an afternoon at our place we go over to Frank's parents to celebrate Christmas Eve with all the dinner trimmings of a traditional Italian Christmas feast. The kids will get to open some presents after dinner. Of course Santa comes during the night when they are asleep so we will be celebrating tomorrow morning as well. Click here to see more pictures of Amber at our place.

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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Coffee So Rich That ...

Coffee So Rich

My good friend Mark took Philip and myself out for lunch today at a new restaurant in Bowmanville. The food was delicious. I must bring Wenda there. 
This was after I put on my newly acquired skates and tested the waters (hard water) at the local arena. It has been 35 years since I have skated and these skates are a lot different from the "tube skates" that I bought in 1969. While, I am proud that my pride is somewhat in tack, I did look like a fish outa water flailing my arms for balance. I guess I will try it a few more times so I can skate with the grandkids at Tracy's house. Frank has put in a 100 foot by 40 foot rink beside the house. One tanker load of water (8000 gallons) later and it is looking pretty good with over 2 inches of ice formed. Tomorrow, he is putting another tanker load of water on it. The hardest thing now is keeping the kids off it until it is thick enough to skate on.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Craft Time

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Quinten's Holiday Season Craft

Quinten was upset that his family might not be there for his Christmas Concert. Well today was the concert and his dad, aunt, and 4 grandparents were there to see him sing in the concert. Afterwards, daddy helped him to make his craft.
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Saturday, 18 December 2010

Old Scugog Road

Each year the residents of a well healed neighborhood in Clarington, put on a fantastic light show. Here is just one of the homes. Word has it that some of them hire pro designers to draft up a display.  They are all certainly well done and with good taste.

Quinten Skating

Quinten. Skating

Just as Aiden is giving it all with his hockey, Quinten is giving his best effort in his skating program. Today, Santa was on skates and played a bit of hockey with the kids too. Quinten chugged along and mixed it up in the crowd as he got his stick going on the puck several times.  He had a great time of it.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Its Hockey Season !

We love to watch Aiden play hockey. He is such a dynamo on the ice. He seems to like playing defence where he gets a good look at the play. When he gets a chance though, he will charge right through the pack and take a shot on net. He has the speed of a sprinter and the agility of a tiger. But what I like best is his 'smart play'. Click here to see him charging on the net.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Shopping in New York state

While cruising through the mall in Buffalo, NY, Wenda was liking this picture in a store entrance. I liked the lighting effect so I pulled out my trusty droid and shot her practically in the arms of the young man of the picture.
We had a great time away for 3 days.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


We took a wrong turn while lookong for a gas station in Niagara Falls NY.  Many boarded up old houses, and then we saw this one. I guess it tends to put the fear of the Lord in the local vandals.


Rooms in Niagara Falls are usually quite dear ... that is certainly the case in the summer. We are staying in a hotel just 200 meters away from the falls and the savings are truly remarkable. For two nights accomodation we get a $40 dollar voucher for the restaurant, a large room with sofa desk with office chair and the usual amenities all for $129.
Judging by the empty parking lot, I'd say that not many from Canada have discovered this deal, and one could have the run of the place. To qualify for a decent amount of duty free goods to bring back, we Canadians need to be out of country for 48 hours, so taking a getaway package like this in December is the best time of year to do it. Not only is the hotel heavily discounted, but the shopping deals are the best this time of year.
Gas for the car is equivalent to $.82 a litre.

Monday, 6 December 2010


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Big Fish Tank

Ever been to a Bass Pro shop? It is a different kind of world let me tell you.  Oodles and oodles of stuff for fishing and hunting. I took a picture of the fish in a huge tank 8 foot high of solid glass with real live interesting fish inside.  If you are a fishing person, this is Nervana.

Somebody Has a New Hat

Lexy got a new hat today and you would think she had received a new outfit from Dior. She said, "My new hat has a pretty bow on it. I like pretty bows."  Lexy is a girly girl all right - loves to go shopping and get all dressed up.  On the way home from the North end of Toronto it was all too much and within one minute of the car starting, she was fast asleep ...  and Wenda followed about 5 minutes later.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


Its like having a Christmas with friends. With 10 of our friends at our table, and a home cooked turkey dinner it was quite the night out. I had donated a portrait to the fundraiser auction to raise funds for the local church. Good food, good friends and a good time was had by all.

Friday, 3 December 2010

The Doghouse

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Bearly Alive

After the money is gone, and the Ten Tenors have finished singing, its time to hang-out with the wild things until the bus can take us home.

Talking Tree

We were at a large casino North of Toronto today. In one area they have a very high-tech presentation about the native culture. Seven large tree trunks surround the room and a part of each of them is carved out with a video projection (from inside) made onto a transparent mask. The tree appears to be alive and telling the story. The tree should have told me to quit after the first $20.
We watched the "Ten Tenors" sing. They were fantastic and well worth the trip to the casino.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Invasion of The Giant Snowman

After school the grandkids made a snowman in the front yard.
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Tuesday, 30 November 2010


It has been a very long day. We picked up our friends at 7:10 and proceeded by school bus to an old factory in Kitchener. There we unpacked these special shoe boxes that have come in from all over the country, inspected them, added some content then labelled girl/boy and age range, taped it shut and sent it on its way. I figure there were over 200 volunteers working this shift and during the course of the day, we processed 11,000 packages for children in the third world. This week, they are sending 50,000 of these boxes to children in Haiti. It is our second year of volunteering for the charity ... retirement is grand!

Monday, 29 November 2010


Saturday, 27 November 2010

First Game of Season

It was Aiden's first hockey game of the season. They were skunked 6 nuthin by the Orono team. This being the first game, our kids are not used to playing full ice together so I expect to see the team do better as the season progresses. Aiden played left wing and had about 4 breakaways and shots on net. Their goally was huge and played well.
Aiden is so much faster than last year - his skating and playing has really improved. Both Wenda and I really enjoyed the game and we are looking forward to the next one in a week. Click here to see more pics of Aiden playing.
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Friday, 26 November 2010

Christmas Elves at Work

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Cuddle Time

Sometimes I go with Wenda to pick up the kids from nursery school. Lexy likes to interact shall we say at that time ... cuddles, horsey ride, back-flips anything that a 3 year old can think of. She is never short of things to talk about.

I've Published Another Book

My first couple books were engagement books and this one is another from my photography business. It is a wedding album for Susan and Patrick, whose wedding I photographed this fall. You can click on the pages to turn them electronically to the next page. It can be a bit slow for a page to appear but it will eventually. My good friend Philip Palmer was my assistant throughout the wedding and I appreciate his assistance.
You can click on the full screen icon near the bottom but it does not make it much bigger.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Blue Jello Tongue

My goodness but Quinten seems to be suffering from the dreaded "Blue Tongue Disease" as well. After eating blue jello, both kids were sporting these new fangled tongues. It has been a long day today, and tomorrow, is the Newcastle Santa Parade - I am on the committee so I will be busy working safety and moving with the parade. Is retirement supposed to be this hectic?

Dreaded Blue Tongue

We went out to Boston Pizza with the grandkids after attending Aiden's Registration mass.

Thursday, 18 November 2010


Oh my God, look what started drillin behind my back yard. We've had this vacant lot behind us all along, and now the times they are a changing. These guys are doing core samples. They drill down about 3 feet then they put a metal rod with a 2 foot hollow tube threaded on the bottom. The pile driver mechanism punches the tube down a couple feet further. The rod is then extracted, and the tube is removed and split in half for the Geologist to assess. 
Oddly enough, he takes samples of the clay from the bottom of the core sample, holds it to his nose, then places it in a zip-lock bag. This process is repeated dozens of times all over the property.
It seems someone is buying the property with the aim of constructing some new buildings in the downtown core. Core samples of the soil are needed to determine what kind and size of foundation is needed to support the new structures. The 5 million dollar Shoppers Drug Mart at the heart and core of our town is just about all bricked, windows are in, and they are working on the inside.  Our sweet little sleepy village is caught in those times that are a changing.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Beginning Skater

The mighty 'Q' is off doing his best on the ice this weekend. He is still at the stage of short little steps, but he is still very competitive. Week on week we some signs of progress. Last week he could not move backwards and it was frustrating. This week, he wiggled that but enough to move about 10 feet backward. After 50 minutes on the ice, he is just soaked ... the little guy has had quite a workout.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

New Barcode

You may not have seen this new type of barcode yet but it will be quite common soon. It is thousands of times more powerful than the barcode we are used to.  You can use your smartphone to buy all kinds of products that have this barcode - just point your smartphone camera at it and the purchase is done.  

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Floor Hockey Kids

Aiden's hockey team had an hour on the ice, then went for another 2 and a half hours indoors. That is a long day for Papa but I enjoy watching him have fun with his teammates. The coaches are great and the parents are very supportive. So it has been a short respite between soccer and hockey. 

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Quinten n Me Hangin Out

The grandkids grow up so fast, and their features change so fast when they are young so I try every once in a while to document the changes. Yesterday, I picked the little guy up at Nursery School and we just hung out together until the rest of the tribe arrived. Just 2 guys hangin out, then later we played a bit of street hockey and soccer together. 

Monday, 1 November 2010

Ho Ho Ho

After working on Santa's sleigh for the annual nighttime parade, I was lucky enough to get to greet the old gent himself - He was very appreciative and figures the sleigh will work just fine this Christmas.