Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Adventures in motoring

On Boxing Day I drove up to Red Deer to pick up C., Terri's sister. On the return trip, the van seemed to behave strangely. It appeared to run just fine, but shuddered a bit, I pulled over to check a few of the basics, but back on the road it seemed the whole rear end was shaking. I figured it was transmission or linkage-related, but couldn't get it in until yesterday, at which point the shaking was much worse, and the transmission refused to switch from first to second without a great deal of complaining.

They did a diagnostic at National Transmission, and yes, the transmission was confused as to what gear to be in, but it was because the engine was misfiring... on ALL cylindars!

When I heard over the phone,

"All your cylindars have dropped",

I had visions of an engine rebuild... remember, I'm a sound guy, not a mechanic, and what I heard SOUNDED bad! I just about ordered another beer! (I was sitting in at the Beagle next door!)

He said, "Well, at least it's not expensive transmission work, but you could need a new ignition kit."

National wasn't set up to do such a repair, but made a couple calls for me and got me booked in at another garage... for January 2nd. Hmm... not great, after all, we have work on Wednesday night! BUT... at least it was relatively minor. I've done ignition kits in almost every vehicle I've owned... anything over 160K probably DESERVES an ignition kit.

I called my regular mechanic, Brian, who I knew was away in Mexico for the season, but was pretty sure his shop guy was kicking around. Sure enough, he answered the phone. OK, now for the million dollar question:

"Are you guys super busy, or can you take an ignition kit job?"

"Naw, we're actually pretty slow after I get this last truck done..."

"I'll be by in 20 minutes!"

I didn't have time to line up a ride home, but I really didn't care. These guys are good, and aren't $100+ per hour for shop time.

I was told they could get to my van in a couple hours, and it would be about an hour for the job. So, I walked home... from 16th. Avenue (the Transcanada Highway) and Edmonton Trail... a healthy hour, anyway. Of course, I stopped for a Tims along the way... two blocks shy of Starbucks, but really...

I was out for dinner with my friends Nique and Sharon from Elementary school days - Sharon was in town for Christmas from Vancouver - when my phone rang, about 8PM. My truck was ready, and all it was was a completely decintigrated rotor. I needed, indeed, an igniton kit, distributor cap and rotor.

Good news.

I did, however, get the voicemail when I called just now, so it could be a while before I get my van back... but it's fixed!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Celebrating 22 Years

Today is my company's 22nd. birthday. It was on this day back in 1986 that we did our first event for actual dollars!

To celebrate, my friends Mark and Jennifer and I went to Zoolights tonight. It was chilly at -27C., but a pause for hot chocolate and periodically at the various fire pits, we kept relatively warm.

Mark and Jennifer clutching hot chocolate!

Me and Mark under the tunnel of lights to the Dorothy Harvey Gardens

With a quick pause by home for a shower and a change of clothes, I'm off to my friend Rick's Eggnog Open House.
Rick and I have been friends since 1986 as well, so it's a wonderful day full of celebrations! I was by this afternoon to drop off some light for the garage mirror ball to find everything in order by 5:30 - a record in the history of the Eggnog Open House.

Here Rick sets up a shot of the two ladies largely responsible for bringing the house to order for the event.

Rick has this pump organ on display in his dining room... and it works!

Gotta run - more about Eggnog and such soon!


Monday, December 15, 2008

"Turn it into something you love." - TG, December 2008

Last week I said something to a friend of mine that didn't really soak in until yesterday... for me.

My friend Lori and I were having coffee as we do on occasion - sampling the seasonal specials at Starbucks. I don't often go in for the fancy, expensive, foo-foo drinks but decided to give it a shot.

As we sat over our steaming chocolate-coffee-something-or-others, our conversation was of well being, fitness and healthy eating... go figure!

As of late, I've been extremely pleased with my success at the yoga studio. I've finally found something that is not only doable, but enjoyable as well. I believe it to be in large part due to the non-competitive nature of yoga. It's also been a vehicle for me to discover that doing "a little a lot" accomplishes far more than doing "a lot, a little". In very simple terms, I love it.

Lori's been going to the gym, and was concerned that it wasn't all that easy for her to keep it up - thus, she wasn't all that happy with her progress. I asked her if she loved it. I cannot remember her exact words, but the essence of her response was 'no'. It seemed it was something she HAD to do to lose weight and feel good. She didn't say anything about enjoying the process, and that's what prompted me to say,

"Turn it into something you love."

I explained WHY I love yoga, and that because I've been able to set it up to be exactly what I want, I keep at it with enthusiasm.

I was reminded of my own words yesterday when I was feeling kinda down about things in general.

The day started with contemplating whether or not to attend church. even though I was curious to see what had transpired since last week, I felt really agitated. I was feeling a wreck, so I decided that I've spent enough energy on it. I'll share the story in time, but for now I need to take a step back.

So, to make a conscious effort to change modes, I went about doing things that I love. I went for a Nellie's breakfast in Marda Loop with a friend and followed it up with a trip to the pottery studio.

I woke up early this morning thinking some more about my oh-so-profound words,

"Turn it into something you love."

It's on my agenda this week to apply the theory to some other area. It works with yoga because I can do it on my own terms. Perhaps it's time to tackle the paperwork in the office, or apply it to... sales. *shudder*

OK, maybe I should start with something I LIKE and see how it goes.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 08, 2008

When does descretion become censorship? - Part one of ???

It's a question that's been rolling around in my mind for the last twenty hours or so.

Yesterday I went to church.

I grew up in this church, and up until very recently I've been for the most part, content.

Although I'm not what you might consider a 'regular' church goer, I've found a great deal of sociablility and family love here; the people are great. One of my closest friends whose belief is in science (if he can prove it, he'll believe it) said something to the effect, "...what I like about your church is that it's not really... 'churchy'. There's a great sense of community here."

What makes it less 'churchy', I suppose, is a relatively easy-going sense about the people. Typically they haven't been hung up on church dogma and a rigid sense of right and wrong. There has always been a humanness about each and every person I've known.

I have to laugh when I think about the fact that some folks from other churches do something of a double take when they hear that we host pub nights twice a year. Of course, it's more about the singing of old English pub tunes and less about the consumption of pub beverages... depending on who you talk to, of course. Their sound guy has been known to be bribed with a bottle of home made wine in exchange for some stage lighting and a handful of microphones. ;)

What happened on Sunday, with respect to the events of the last six weeks or so, has me seriously questioning the actions of a few that may have a vital impact on the many.

At the end of the service, the congrigation was presented with an announcement from the Wardens informing the parish of the Rector's resignation. There was a bit of a hush and a sigh in the half-filled church. No problem, people resign all the time, right?

The next announcement to come was that the parish secretary had also submitted her resignation.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

As the story steeps...

It's a real doozie - not something to be taken lightly, nor blogged on a whim. I'm seriously prepping for this post, the events of which continue to unfold, morph and change, but the underlying issue remains the same.

Involved are integrety, intent, spirituality and human relations. I know this sounds a might cryptic, but stay with me - I'll be asking for your opinion.

More later on this same station.

Turtle out.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Blog Post Brewing

Recent events have my blood boiling. I'd best not write now, but will be posting very soon about the true meaning of Christmas.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Life is pretty darn good.

Yup. Lots going on here - back to pottery, made a really cool piece today, but I won't disclose its particulars until it's complete. One beautiful and universal truth about pottery is that you should never attach yourself emotionally to any of your pieces since at any time they could either become something else, or bust... which I guess, in a way, is something else!

Yoga's proving to be beneficial. Last Thursday, the chiropractor asked what I'd been up to.

"Welcome to our place of healing"

was quickly followed by

"You need some Active Release, but your adjustments are very minor today."

He wasn't at all surprised when I told him what I'd been up to yoga-wise.

"Keep up the yoga!"

Yes sir. No problem. You see, I found the 'high' - that sense of euphoria that people who do sports feel when they're on their game. Yoga does it for me - a high, even on a bad day. If you want in on my sort-of-yoga-log, sometimes simply comments on the yoga world in general, go to The Ashtanga Turtle.

Did I tell you I bought a guitar? No?

I bought a guitar. It's even USB ready, and you can tune it electronically on line. Cool, eh?

Work moves along swiftly - not a lot to tell, it's pretty status quo, but doing what it's supposed to. All I can say about what stands out are the guys who work for me - they're amazing... always stepping up to the plate when the bell rings.

I've had a devil of a time getting my house in order... my real house - the place where I hang my hat. I'll try to post pictures soon, but we recently installed a new tub with shower surround and new overhead rain shower head. Some parts are still on back order, so it's not quite ready, and the bathroom is due for a fresh coat of paint, but moving forward nicely.

Sir William is right at home, taking to sleeping on the bed these days too. I think he's warming up to me and his new surroundings rather nicely.

Still miss Tiki though... she ran away back in July... *sigh*

More later,

Turtle out.

About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.