Sunday, October 25, 2009

Repainting the front door - part 2

It was warm enough late yesterday afternoon to do another (and hopefully) final coat of paint on the front doors, but the light wasn't good enough to see how it turned out. I took this photo this morning and as you can see, the door on the left is good, but the door on the right needs another coat of paint on the mouldings and inside panel. :( It is a bit too cool right now to paint, so will maybe try later on today. Also, 14C is forecast for Thursday, so that might be an option too... (cross your fingers!)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The end of the Elms - part 2

Saturday morning came with the forecast milder temperatures, but without the forecast rain. That was good because it meant that Steve could come by and finish cutting up the remaining elm tree that was on our front lawn.

Steve was kind enough to cut the stumps down so they would be below the level of the soil, once I filled in the hole with dirt - you can see they are flat here, which is different from in the above photo. Steve mentioned that he had heard that putting some Septobac on the stumps would help accelerate the decomposition of the stumps. I had some of that, so I put a pouch on each of the stumps. The other powder over the twigs, leaves, and the rest of the hole, is bone meal - I spread it out to add nutrients to the soil.

This photo is after dumping a trailer load of dirt on top of the stumps. I had a number of egg cartons that I put in the hole, since they are biodegradable.

This is the final photo. I put 5 trailer loads of dirt into the hole, as well as bone meal and some egg cartons. There is still a bit of hollow there, but I used up the rest of the dirt pile that I had, so that's the best that I could do.

Since it was so mild, I also put another coat of paint on the front door. As it was getting dark, I couldn't see how it turned out, so I will have to wait until tomorrow to see the results. Crossing my fingers and hoping for the best...

Friday, October 23, 2009

A dusting of snow

Thursday morning dawned with a light dusting of snow. Of course, the ground is too warm so the snow didn't survive at all except where there was separation from the ground - like on the green rain barrell in this photo.

I made my first roast ever, and it turned out quite nice too.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The end of the elms

Wednesday: These are the two elms that died from Dutch Elm Disease. It's time for them to come down so one of our neighbours down the road, who would like the wood for their wood stove, offered to cut them down for us in exchange for the wood. That's a good deal for us, as the quotes we got from the urban forestry people ranged from $300-600 dollars. So this is the 'before' photo.

We have a little forest on the other side of our property, and there are several dead trees in there too. I marked them with orange surveyors tape, and hopefully we can get those cut down too.

The first tree had a slight lean towards the garage, so we tied a trowel to the end of a rope and threw it up into the crotch of the tree (at bottom right of the photo). We pulled on the rope, as the last cut was being made in the tree trunk, to make sure the tree would fall away from the driveway. Unfortunately, the handle of the trowel broke as we were pulling on the rope. Fortunately the tree fell away from the garage, so no problems. This photo shows Steve cutting off the little branches prior to cutting the branches up into logs. Steve cut the tree into logs and we loaded it into the truck.

It was getting dark, so this was the last photo that turned out. I was surprised to see the long leader branches up and off to the right in this photo. Since this is the direction of the prevailing wind, I wonder if the wind made the branches form this way?? Most of this second tree was leaning towards the right, over the lawn, but we wanted the tree to fall beside the driveway. So we tied the rope around a high branch and pulled on it as it was being cut. Again, the rope came loose. This time we were able to stop cutting the tree and refasten the rope, and then everything went as planned.

As it was dark -- and raining -- after this, we stopped and had supper. Yummy beef stew!!

Thursday: I took this photo a short while ago. As you can see, it is very foggy and rainy. What you can't see is that it is chilly. We have nice weather forecast for Saturday, between 12 and 17C (depending on which forecast you listen to), so that will probably be the day that I can finish painting the front door and the tree can finish getting cut up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pension Protest on Parliament Hill

There was a pension protest on Parliament Hill on Wednesday (Oct 21st) at noon. It was chilly, but not too windy or raining - which was nice. The emcee said there were 4,000 people on the Hill, but this CBC news article (Liberals vow to change bankruptcy laws) said that there were 2,000.

Not surprisingly, Steven Harper, the leader of the Conservative Party didn't show up. But all the other leaders did. This is Gilles Duceppe, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois. I've never been a BQ fan, but I have to give kudos to Duceppe because he actually is a very good speaker.

This is Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party.

One of the many truisms we saw on signs.

Some of the fun signs that use Nortel in a creative sense... I love the use of the Conservative party logo at the top of the red and blue signs saying 'Constipated'... hahah

Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

I don't remember the name of the lady at the microphone (in red). The Conservatives say they don't want to change the 1933 Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) or the Company Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to give employees preferred status because it would 'increase the cost of credit'. Not surprisingly, the only Parliamentary report was one done in 1992 that said changing the BIA and CCAA to give employees preferred status would increase the cost of credit 'a lot'. The source for this amazing bit of research were corporate bankers. Wow, talk about unbiased views! Hah! Anyway, back to the lady in red - she is an accountant and studied the effect what these changes would be to the cost of credit. That's easy to do since the laws in the USA and the UK give employees preferred status. The net result would be an increase in the cost of credit of 5 basis points, that's 0.05%. So instead of paying 4% for borrowing money, companies would pay 4.05%. That doesn't seem like a sound argument to me, as bad business decisions would cost a company a lot more than 0.05% of borrowed money.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Repainting the front door

For some reason, the primer on the aluminum moulding on the front door failed, which meant the paint attached to it started peeling off. It looked awful and had to be fixed of course. The first step was to complete peeling off the loose bit. (Note, the red colour shown in this photo is the best rendition of the actual colour of the door.) Fortunately we had some mild weather so I could do the painting.

The second step was to sand the bare alunimum, in preparation for the primer. The bright sun in this photo gives the paint an orange tint.

The third step was to mask off the area around the door so I could spray the primer on the bare aluminum. Unfortunately the primer was white (couldn't find gray), which will mean more coats of paint will be required to cover it.

This is what the doors looked like after I finished applying the primer (white), and removed the newspaper masking.

Fortunately it was very mild, as mentioned above, so I could paint the door without problems. First I applied several coats on the trim section that had the white primer. This is after two coats of paint.

This photo is after four coats of paint on the bottom part of the door, with the last of those coats being over the complete door. Unfortunately, another coat of paint is needed (you can see some lightness around the moulding), this is because red paint pigment is quite translucent.

It was getting chilly and dark, so I had to stop. An overnight low of -1C was forecast for Tuesday night, and it will be too chilly on Wednesday to paint. We have milder weather forecast for this weekend, so may have to wait until then.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nightly frosts

Frost on the roof
We are now getting frost almost every night, but have nice temperatures during the day. This photo shows a triangle of white - frost - on the roof where it is in the shade. Once the sun hits it, the frost melts and evaporates.

Pano - Oct 18, 2009
There was one lone Canada Goose on the lake. I guess he missed the bus that his/her buddies took.. :(

When I was walking Tawny this morning, we saw some wild turkeys. Tawny didn't see them but she smelled them and was pretty excited!

Monday, October 12, 2009

An unfortunate spelling error

On Friday, we found a large number of these business cards attached to our mailbox, with magnets glued on the back. My first response was to laugh, because of the unfortunate spelling error. All I saw when I looked at the mailbox was a cloud of 'BLOOWING'!!!!

Winter is coming... I encountered a brief bit of hail - only for about a minute - when I was walking the dogs yesterday afternoon. And last night we had our first frost of the fall.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fading light fixture finishes

A while ago I noticed that the finish on the top of our post light fixture was fading to a horrible orange colour. I have no idea why the finish colour (a dark brown-black colour like an aged bronze) came off, exposing the primer underneath. Because so much of the colour came off, it was really obvious, and obnoxious, and it looked like I would have to do something.

The trigger for doing something was the failure of the light sensor. The post light has a sensor on it, so it turns on at dusk and off at dawn. About a week ago, I noticed that the light was not shutting off in the daylight. I purchased a new sensor (the gray unit in the front center of the photo), and installed it. It turned out that the round threaded part of the sensor was about 1/16" bigger than the old one, so I had to get the drill and slightly enlarge the hole so I could install it.

When I purchased the replacement light sensor, I went down the paint aisle to see if I could find a spray paint that would be a good match for the original light fixture finish. I couldn't find anything that was like the antique bronze but I found this spray that was called a 'stone' finish. It had sort of a light brown undertown, with flecks of black and dark brown in it. I think it looks pretty good, although not a perfect match for the original finish.

We had rain forecast when I took the fixture off so I could paint it, and also replace the light sensor, so I covered the bulb receptacle with a plastic bag. We had rain for 3 days, so this is what our post light looked like for that duration.

This is the post light after it was reassembled. You can see that the top is browner than the rest of the fixture, but fortunately it's still a fairly good match.

The other light that was losing its finish was the outside light by the garage door. This is the photo after I had taped up all the newspaper to prevent the overspray from getting on the house, the door, etc.

Here you can see the result after I applied a light coat of the stone spray paint to the top of the fixture.

And this photo was taken several hours later, so I could let the paint dry and then take the newspaper down. As you can see, this fixture looks pretty good and the colour of the top looks closer to the rest of the fixture than the post light. I attribute this to the fact that the post light had more of the orange coloured primer showing through.

As I was writing this post I thought I should check that the post light was working after my repair. So I looked out the window, and couldn't see the light. So I went outside -- hmm, no light!! I was thinking, darn - I'll have to take the post light off again and see if there is a loose connection or something. And then it dawned on me that I had not turned the breaker back on after I fixed the light. So I went down to the breaker box and flipped the breaker back on, and voila - we have light! That's great that I don't have to 'fix' the light. :)

More fall colours

These are some mums that Freda planted a couple of months ago. They have really done well in the garden - maybe it's because of the stone loon that's watching out for them! :)

I love seeing the brilliant colours of the maples against the blue sky.

This is the view driving down our road. It is prettier in the morning because the sun is lighting up the leaves in front of you, instead of backlighting them as you see in this photo (taken in the afternoon).

Monday, October 05, 2009

Fall colours

I've been somewhat remiss in not posting a photo of the beautiful fall colours we have had.

So here it is. In my defense, it has been quite cool and rainy, which means overcast which means the brilliant gold, oranges, and reds of the leaves don't really 'pop', so I had to wait for a day that was a bit brighter. It's been raining a lot lately, which meant you had to wait a while, hope this photo justifies the wait.

I haven't done a panorama photo for a while, so here is one. The guy was here cutting the grass on the hill, as you can see. This photo is comprised of six other photos which made for a pretty decent panorama. You can see a dark rain cloud across the lake, just to the left of the centre in the background. That rain arrived about 45 minutes after I took these photos, and about 3 minutes after we got in from taking the dogs for a long walk - good timing!