Sunday, August 29, 2010

Things have been moving swiftly here at Chez Tortue - the floor is done and the roof is well underway. It's a rainy day Sunday here, so no roofing activity today. In fact, I'm moving extra-slowly and really don't feel up to the daunting task of a large catchup post about floors and roof. That would take too many brain cells.

Instead, I saw these and thought they would be neat to share... being the B.A. fan I am.

Bryan Adams played Vancouver on August 21st, with special guests... The Beach Boys.

Worth a laugh - I studied both poets in English 354.

I earned a C+ on my first Shakespeare essay, a B+ on this presentation of Bryan Adams' "18 Til I Die"

Friday, August 20, 2010

Roof arrives!

Yesterday afternoon the shingles arrived for my new roof. I had an opportunity to photograph the mechanical process by which the roofing is put into place. It sure beats hiking the packages up the ladder!

I'll let the pictures tell the story...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"You'd better hurtle, Turtle!"

Those were the words that flashed through my mind tonight. John, my rep at Shaw Renovation and Construction dropped by with his sample board for me to pick my roof colour. I was pleased to see the colour to match the existing roof. Grey, I did not want.

Calgary is in a state of craze roofing wise and I've heard that many people are waiting until the Fall to get their claims settled and their roofs repaired. I asked John when the work might commence - indicating I suspected... October??

"Oh, no. August. We're doing two to three roofs a day.", he replied.

I just about fell over.

Tonight's blog title flashed through my mind because I have to have everything in the Blue Room out of the way and the tarp down from the trough line before they start.

Guess I'm sorting and packing sooner and faster than I'd anticipated!

The Blue Room overhead.

From the yard.

The contents of the shed to be sorted and purged... and to make room for furniture.

The shed, now empty!

Beginning to move from the living room to the shed

A few pieces of furniture to go!

Looking from the front door across the pony wall toward the office.

The office is moving into the kitchen until probably September sometime.

Until I'd done it, I didn't realize that my entire book collection fits into one bookshelf. And here I thought I was well read!

My record collection crammed into two stacked bookshelves to the right of the fridge as a temporary measure

My friend Dave B. has agreed to allow me to use his son for muscle tomorrow. We're going to move a bulk of the remaining furniture to the shed.

Wish me luck, not to mention God's speed in clearing the patio in time for my anxious roofers!

Speaking of God... thank you. It would appear that sometimes what seems disaster is truly a blessing.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Who you don't meet...

I did a 50th Anniversary party for a couple tonight who were referred to me by Pam at 5 Star Events. Pam and I have worked together for a few years having a mutual connection with Mike Drummond - the fellow I visited in Naniamo earlier this year. As I was loading out, a gentleman approached me on his way out the door, remarking that I looked awfully familiar. I told him who I was and immediately recognized him as well.

Harold Cliff was my principal at H.D. Cartwright school back in the early 80s. It was a very quick hello and catch up, but I did feel I should remind him that my Mom taught him years before that. We shook hands, laughed and carried on.

Before leaving the parking lot, I ran into a girl who had been at the hall helping Pam earlier in the morning. She introduced herself as Jen Cliff. She's Harold's daughter. We yammered on for a bit about "2 degrees of separation" and all that. Turns out she heads up the social committee at her office and said she'd be in touch around Christmas.

I think I blogged a long while back about the time I used to complain to my parents when they'd always meet someone at the mall and I never did.

"Just wait until you're our age..."

And you know what? They were right.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Only two stories tonight

One is health related. The other, technology.

A couple weeks ago I helped a friend, Adam, move to Red Deer. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but while loading furniture, I'd lost my footing on the walkway from his front door, stumbled and ended up on the ground. My end of whatever piece of furniture it was landed square on the outside of my right leg, south of the knee. It turned a bit red, but no harm done, I thought. For the last couple days I've had some significant swelling in that area, and there is a significant lump at the site of impact. The swelling goes down overnight, but the lump remains and the inflammation returns about mid-day. I went to the walk-in clinic at Market Mall tonight preceding my 8:15 appointment at the Apple Store (see the next story) I figured I have a hematoma, except that in my experience, a hematoma generally turns blue like a bruise. According to the doc, this isn't always the case. He figures it may also remain - as in permanently. To be sure, he's ordered an ultrasound. I am to call for an appointment Monday.

If I haven't said it enough, I'm truly impressed with Apple and Everything Mac (as the slogan goes). Even when (rarely) there's a mess up, all it proves is how fabulous the customer service is. Recently a software upgrade for iPhone was released. I tried updating as usual by plugging my phone into my Mac and using iTunes to initiate the upgrade. It did everything it was supposed to: it backed up my current configuration, installed the new software... but hung up reinstalling the backup - all my settings, contacts, playlists etc. All the phone did was proceed through 25% of the reinstallation, then restart and loop. I called the Apple customer service line. Their recommendation was to make an appointment at the Apple Store, which they did for me and confirmed my time. Annie was my service rep for the trouble ticket. She started by re-trying what I had already attempted, cautioning me that we'd likely have to wipe the phone clean and start from scratch. This is, in fact, what we ended up doing. They have an all-powerful service tech version of reinstall that isn't available to the average iTunes user. It cleaned up my phone troubles within about ten minutes and I walked away sporting a Version 4.0.1 iPhone. The best part? For zero dollars. During the trouble-shoot Annie and I yammered on about this, that and the other. Can't remember how we got on the topic of accounting, but it turned into an opportunity for me to refer my accountant Julia to Annie. I think I've raved about Julia in blog posts past, but if not, let me say, she's amazing.

Me an' my lumpy leg are off to dreamland.

Turtle out.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Four stories

I haven't blogged seriously in ages, and in true Turtle fashion I'm going to go to the extreme and inundate you with several bits:

STORY #!: MY ROOF: Three new Turtles!

A few weeks back we experienced a rather nasty little hail storm. I've been thinking that Chez Tortue might be due for a new roof, and perhaps the timing was simply perfect. I crawled up on to the roof shortly after the heavens opened up to discover a well worn, but not completely worn out roof. The vent covers, however, were a different story. All three seemed to be bashed to oblivion. I called my insurance broker to inquire as to whether it would even be worth putting in a claim since the roof is 22 years old - 2 years past its expected life span.

"The worst they can say is no.", was what my broker had to say. "They may give you partial coverage."

As for the impact on my rates? I would lose my 'no claim' status resulting in an increase in premiums of roughly $100/year for four years. That doesn't even come close to the cost of a roof!

I put in the claim, the adjuster came out, took some measurements and surveyed the roof.

"OK, you get a new roof. We're also putting in for new troughs and downspouts. I noticed you have rolled roofing on all your sheds. We don't really do rolled roofing so we'll waive your deductible. Is that acceptable?"

Um... let me think about that for a second...

OK. It would appear that I've scored in the roof department. I accepted the adjustor's damage report and noted that he's included the replacement of three "turtles" - these being the style of vent covers.

I couldn't be more thrilled.


I get three new Turtles.

How fitting, for Chez Tortue... my... shell.

The best face of the roof - still a wee bit worn, methinks...

The worst wear is in the only valley

One of the three beat-up Turtle vent covers. Yay- new Turtles!!

STORY #2 - The Great Escape

Last weekend, all of our work was out of town. On Saturday I did a wedding in Priddis, a small Hamlet south of Calgary. On Sunday I did a wedding at Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff. Both parties went rather well. The staff in Banff treated me exceptionally well - the manager bought me a beer and the serving staff insisted that I leave cards for referral to their clients. I was pleased.

It was long-weekend craziness in Banff - not a parking spot to be had in the town, so I spent the bulk of my free time on Sunday scouting out a place to sit, relax and play some guitar.

STORY #3 - In preparation of my new hardwood floors

A few weeks back I did the music for a friend's wedding. Matt is a fellow I know through some mutual friends. He had a Ballroom/Swing theme for his reception dance, and it was amazing. In lieu of payment, Matt has agreed to head up refinishing my hardwood floors at the end of August. I'm thrilled. It means a lot of prep work, however. I literally have to move out lock-stock and barrel for the better part of two weeks. The prep began today as I tarped off the patio - having borrowed a sizable tarp from my Aunt M. - with whom I share scotch once a month.

If it all works out, the contents of the sheds will move to the newly-constructed "Blue Room" at Chez Tortue. The contents of the upper floor will then be stored securely in the sheds. I will likely set up office arrangements in the kitchen since it's the only room on the upper floor that does not have hardwood - other than the bathroom. Depending on the level of odour, I may make sleeping arrangements in the tent trailer out back.

The tarp partially up. The breeze today was both a blessing and a curse. It actually helped by lifting the tarp conveniently so I could get it positioned properly. At other times, it would prematurely move the tarp before I had it secured.

From the roof of the house, the new "Blue Room" at Chez Tortue.

I thought I'd taken a ground-level photo of the completed Blue Room, alas no. Maybe later.

All in all, very exciting- the prospect of refinished hardwood AND eventually new baseboards!

STORY #4 - Networking

Matt and I share a love for vintage radios. He showed me a couple pieces he's collected and was really excited to hear that I know someone who works on tube-based audio. Tonight I took the "guts" of his cabinet hi-fi to Dave D.'s for service. It was a great evening to catch up with Dave and to play around in his home-shop.

I spent the evening looking over Dave's shoulder and learning all about using a tube tester.

He has seemingly countless shoeboxes and cartons full of "new" old stock tubes. One we used was new in the package dating back to 1950-something.

Tubes would read "GOOD", "QUESTIONABLE" or "REPLACE"

For one special tube, we had to break out an old Military tester.

The most expensive of the bunch illuminated green on the end... sat at the front of the unit...

...and provided a seemingly 'before-its-time' trendy 'on' status.

Reading output voltage across one of the pins of a tube; note too, the can of Tuborg. We've dubbed this "Tube-borg" - great Danish beer for testing tubes.

Test speaker - every shop should have one of these!

On to repairing the phonograph...

For kicks, Dave showed me this sizeable tube: arranged in pairs, these can deliver 480 watts of output power. For the layman, that's loud.

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.