Monday, December 18, 2006

More Toilet Repair Tips

Can you believer that my Do it Yourself Toilet Repair post is the most popular post on my blog?

My thanks to all of you who have passed on questions and comments. I decided that it was time to add a bit more info.

Sluggish flushing of the toilet is usually caused by an obstruction in the toilet line. The easy and cheap fix for this is to use a plunger. Get one that has a collar on the end which makes a tight seal. The cheap plungers tend to get more water all over the room than down the drain.

Plunge through several bowls worth of water and then try flushing.

Another tool is one of the new gas cylinders which blast a charge through the drain. Just make sure you have a tight seal or you will have a face full of sewage.

The best option is to use a " Snake". This is a long steel cable with a crank on one end and a spring "grabber" on the other end. It travels through the line and grabs whatever is causing the blockage. This method helps get out a lot of mysterious item's that are stuck on the line. During my Building Maintenance phase of life, I pulled out toys, combs and various hair accessories, etc.

One word of warning when using a snake. Place a cloth under where the snake rubs against the toilet bowl. The cranking action will cause some friction and can leave marks on the toilet

You can also snake out your main line by unscrewing the access cover. It is usually hidden under your sink. Look along the bottom of the wall at the lowest point in your home and you should find it. You can unscrew the top and feed a motorized snake down the line. You can rent a motorized snake at a tool rental store. This is a simple but potentially messy project. Have plenty of rags handy. You could call a professional router service. Watch him the first time and then do it yourself if the problem ever comes up again.


Now here is some Winter Toilet Advice. Check your "stack". This is the mysterious pipe that is usually sticking out of your roof with no cap or hood on it. This pipe regulates the air pressure in your drains and makes sure that no sewer gas gets in the house. Sometimes it gets plugged with debris or ice/snow. If your drains and toilets are running slow, this may be the cause. And if you are getting a mysterious sewer smell, this may be why. During winter you can usually check your stack by simply looking to see if it is covered with snow. If you are putting up rooftop decorations for the holidays, you can look to see if it is plugged, but be careful!!!



More response from you guys! And thank you for emailing me and responding.

Hissing toilet problems can easily be fixed with vinegar! Thanks for the feed back "GR".
We worked on a problem toilet that was hissing and seemed to stop when the float was pulled up. I advised GR to use either an anti scale formula or just plain cheap white vinegar. He reported back that it took a little while but the vinegar did the trick.

This got me thinking. It would probably be more effective if you just soaked a rag in vinegar and laid it on top of the tower. This would allow the acid in the vinegar to seep into the valve and dissolve the mineral buildup. You guys my want to try this and let me know how it goes.

Oh yes. And if you are in a place with acidic water ( like I am) you should try the technique with an enzyme formula. I doubt that minerals are your problem.

Let me know if you have any problems and I will dig out the answers.

Thanks again for the responses and feel free to ask me anything.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tickle Me Elmo ?

OK I can't believe I'm writing this, but Tickle Me Elmo seems to be hot hot hot this season. I am even seeing news items on it on the financial stations! That means that there are going to be a lot of frustrated parents come Christmas. Time to put on the football padding and get ready to fight the hordes in the shops. Or.....

How about going online and trying eBay? The trick is to start early. You know it is going to be frantic in a month.

Another thing you could do is start early with an alternative. How about an Elmo Halloween Costume? ( I can't believe I'm writing this) I did quick look at Amazon and found that they have quite the selection.

The good thing about a costume like these is that the kids can wear them over and over again. It doesn't have to be a one night thrill.

Walmart is another thing that has me staring at myself in the mirror. Has the day come that I am actually recommending Walmart? Either they are growing up, or I am losing major Yuppieness! Well, here is the thing.......Walmart has great selection at a great price..................and they deliver for 97 cents. Yup, you heard it here.... 97 cent Shipping on Top Toys at

So forget those football pads and just click on that link, and voila! Your shopping is done. Oh I love technology.

Now, here is the disclaimer. Part of me has a hard time recommending being part of a craze which is hyped up by marketing companies. But another part understands that sometimes a parent has to leave the moral high ground and make life a little easier for a while. Sometimes it is better to put aside the perfectionist guilt and just go with the flow.

Good luck to all the parents in the upcoming season!


Monday, October 02, 2006

Zune vs iPod Sales

Hey! I go away for a week and the world seems to be speeding up.

Walmart has just announced that it is taking Pre-orders for The new Microsoft Zune I told you about. Check the deal through this link Zune Pre-Order at!

But don't count that aggressive team at Apple out! I just got notified of some great deals for their iPods!
Apple Store, Canada

And now here is a great tip.....SEARCH FOR THE REFURBISHED PRODUCTS!

Save $90 on a refurbished iPod 30 GB with video. Now only $209!

Apple is legendary for its commitment to quality. With a refurbished product you still get that great quality ( not like some of those refurbished products from low range manufacturers). So why not get the best for less. ( I hope I made all my Apple fanatic friends happy with that comment).

And lastly, please let me add this link. Just click on it if you are interested in some weird stuff. I admit, I love this site to browse around in. 234x40 Logo Banner

In my next post I will tell you why all this techy posting is going on. Meanwhile, I hope that you can take advantage of some of the deals I have sniffed out for you.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Microsoft Zune & Internet Explorer 7 ( rc1)

Can it really be time to start loving Microsoft again? Two new products do make you stop and think.

The first one is Microsoft Zune . It looks impressive. Of course it is a "me too" product, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Microsoft can produce a winner by sitting back a while and poaching all the great ideas from competitors. They have used Apple this way before and it has worked. Yes Apple has all the great innovations and ergonomics, but Microsft has a lot of muscle.

The second apparant winner is Internet Explorer 7 ( IE7RC1). I know that Internet Explorer is hardly a new product, but this is so different that you could almost put it in that class. I just upgraded to the IE7 and love it ( I'm using it right now). I have been a die-hard Firefox user, but I realize that many of you prefer the integration of all the Microsoft products.

I would STRONGLY encourage you to upgrade to the Internet Explorer 7, even though is it still a release candidate. So far the stability had been great, and system resource use has been very lean. I love the new tool bar ( gone are the bulky space wasting bars). It is also soooo easy to subscribe to RSS feeds. You just click on the little button. about subscribing to this blog?? And of course..........IT HAS TABS! Ohhh tabs lovely tabs.....

Gone are the frustrations of having a bunch of open windows consolidate into one little "mystery" button. Now you can work with a clear organized row of tabs.

IE7....try it, and I think you will love it.

As for Microsoft looks great. It is versatile and has great packages. And it has a bunch of little things that make an FM tuner. And best of all, it is an organic product that can be upgraded as improvements come along. It may give the iPod a good run for it's money. And of course competition tends to be good for the consumer.

I'm not too sure about the name though. I'm sure there is a strong reason for it, but I can forsee a lot of fodder for ridicule and confusion. Are people going to be hunting for an "MS Zoon", or a "Microsoft Tune", or even a "Zoom"? And are there going to be some " MS Looney Zune" jokes going around? Oh well, if that is all Microsoft has to worry about, then they may indeed have a winner.

'till next time

Monday, September 11, 2006

Freezer Labels

Well it is back to reality time. Time to get lunches organized. Time to stock up on all sorts of things. Time to get the oven working after the heat of summer. And time to stock up the freezer.

We use plastic containers to freeze lunches in individual portions. So when I make a large meal, the leftovers get divided up and frozen. This has many advantages:
  1. It means that we are not stuck with eating the same leftovers for several nauseating days!
  2. It make it easy to just grab something when heading out of the door in the morning.
  3. The meals act as if they have their own built in ice-pack, and are ready for a quick microwave blast by lunch time.
However, after building up a good variety of meals in the freezer, we found that things were getting confusing. Too much time was spent holding a plastic container up and trying to figure out what was inside. A few weeks ago Mary had a bit of a surprise when the "rice" she brought to work, turned out to be shredded cheese for nachos!


After trying all sorts of things, I found that the best solution was " low-tack" masking tape. This is the green or blue colored masking tape the painters use. It has just enough adhesive to make a tight seal, but does not leave any glue residue when pulled off. ( There were quite a few unpleasant mutterings when we tried other types of labels and had to deal with the goo)

Now everything is clear and easy. I keep a roll of the tape in a drawer by the fridge with a fine point felt marker. When the plastic containers are divided up, I write out a description on the roll, and rip it off.

I have now extended this labeling technique to the refrigerator as well. It has shortened the amount of time spent having to rummage around. And it has eliminated those nasty "science experiment" surprises, when a container gets shoved around for a few weeks!

Try this technique out, and you will be amazed at just how easy simple .......and cheap it is!

'till next time,


Thursday, August 31, 2006

Back to School, Back to Work? Make Thinking Easier

Here is a tip I meant to pass on to a friend who was telling me about her child's difficulty in school.

Try some of the techniques described in Tony Buzan's book:

This book introduces a number of learning methods that schools never seem to teach......... As a matter of fact, I'm not sure if schools really DO teach students to LEARN. I know that most of my experience in school was just getting various subjects tossed at me in a variety of manners, depending on the personality of the teacher.

I remember my first attempt at studying. I was in a contest to see who could get the highest grade and I had a fearsome opponent! I decided that I had to "study". So I brought all my books home and holed up in my bedroom.......and became overwhelmed at the massive amount of information in front of me. ( I came in second)

The techniques that Tony Buzan teaches could have transformed my entire scholastic career. Unfortunately I only learned them in the final year of university. Oh well.

Now the good news is that once I learned the techniques, I had great skills to help me in the rest of my life. Public speaking became easy. Studying became fun. Thinking opened up my mind in whole new ways.

So whether you have a child heading off to school, or are heading off yourself, or are just a student of life, the skills that Tony Buzan introduces can help smooth the way.

Hope this tip helps,


Thursday, August 24, 2006

More Money, More Time, More Energy, More Life

I'm about to tell you the simplest and most effective solution to getting more of everything you want.

I know everything you are thinking. I thought that way as well...and to be honest, I battle with all those little voices you are hearing on a regular basis. And if you have read my "personal secret" post in my other blog Ethical Income Opportunities you will know that I have had a lot of things shaved off of my life. And that getting more is quite hard for me.

However; I have found someone who has developed a program that is one of the best I have ever come across. And it is free. No, really! It is actually free. Forget all this " buy now and try it out for 6 weeks" kind of stuff. He gives you a life changing program that others would sell for thousands of dollars, for free.

I can see you are like me and wondering what the catch is. Well, there are two catches. The first one is that he is counting on the fact that you will be so amazed by the results in your life, that you will want to purchase a couple other programs. And the second catch is that his name is Mark Joyner . He doesn't really need the money. He has retired a few times already, simply by following his own advice. This is one of those personal mission products. ( I'm going to give you a bit of a warning later on so please read to the end)

Mark took his military training and his successful business practices and developed a course called "Simpleology: the simple science of getting what you want "

What I like about this course is that it is PRACTICAL!

This is NOT a course that just gives you pages and pages of recycled garbage.

This is a course that:

  • chops every lesson into easy chunks that can easily be fit into your day.
  • video lessons as well as pdf lessons
  • worksheets to make following the lessons easy and convenient
  • daily and weekly inspirational reminders
  • an ebook and convenient separate files for extra worksheets
  • a place to meet with other students online

So what do you want out of life?
Is it worth 15 minutes a day to make it happen?
Think hard about this.

Believe it or not, most people would rather be miserable than devote 15 minutes a day to change......and I think you know why.....change is scary. Another man I respect, Ken Roberts, has said that the key to success is to act in spite of your fear. Mark's System works, but only if you apply it.

Well, the decisions is yours. Everybody has their own timing. Just remember this post ( add it to your RSS feed) for when you feel the time is right for you. And if you are curious about this life changing free course, just click on this link to Mark's Introduction.

Thanks for reading this....hope it helps,


P.S. Here is the warning. Mark Joyner has been so successful, that a lot of people like to use his name to sell their own products ( many of which are pure air). It is a bit like someone attending a thousand seat luncheon with Bill Gates as the speaker, and then claiming that they " had lunch with Bill last week".
Simpleology is a fantastic free course. It will give you the skills and life habits to make your dreams come true. I can vouch for it. And yes the advanced courses will catapult you into the life you desire; but by the time you finish the first course, you will already know that.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Miracle Gizmo of the Year!

OK I'll admit it. I'm a trade show junkie. And every year I'm on the hunt for some "miracle product". This year it came to me without every getting near the fair. I've fallen in love with this product.....and now the hard part begins......convincing Mary that there is actually space on the counter for it.

Soda Club USA

Soda Club USA

What a great idea! I drink a lot of water, and have been getting tired of flat boring drinks. I don't like regular pop because of all the sugar, and to be honest I find that, in some drinks, I like a lot less flavor. Especially if I am drinking a lot.

And yes, I know that I can just add a squeeze of lemon, etc.; but there is nothing like a bit of fizz.

Mary does a little mixing. She takes a can of club soda and mixes it with a regular flavored drink. The problem is that two cans are now open and going flat by the minute. Even if she uses bottles, the fizz is gone in a hurry. And to be honest I've noticed that she is slowing down on this technique and that the bottom of the fridge is still loaded with unused club soda.

The great thing with this gizmo is that you can adjust everything! Flavor, carbonation, sugar or Splenda......

Well, you heard it hear first....the campaign is on.

Wish me luck!


Friday, August 11, 2006

Do it yourself toilet repair

TOILET WARS!!!!!!!! OK, every couple I know has this little game going on. NO NO not Toilet Wars; but rather, some ongoing war over something trivial. For some it is underwear on the floor, or maybe an annoying sucking of the teeth...and on and on. I think you get what I mean. If you have experienced it, you know right away.

With us, it is the toilet. Mary hates our toilet. I can't figure it out, but I suspect it is just the first battle toward a complete bathroom renovation. Now, I have no deep feeling toward our toilet, but I have been pricing out bathroom renovations......and we are talking serious vacation money coming out of circulation! So as I sit down for my daily meditation, I ponder the relative value of a sleek porcelin beauty under me, or a trip to wine country. I think you can guess the outcome so far.

So Imagine my horror when our big beige beauty started hissing away the other week! Luckily, Mary was out of town and I was given an opportunity to get a quick toilet fix into place. Last year the old flusheroo just about did itself in by developing a leaking valve. I was sent around to the hardware stores to price out a replacement......not a toilet valve replacement, but ( yes you guessed it) a complete toilet replacement. I won that battle by discovering that you could buy all sorts of spare parts for toilet valves at plumbing supply stores ( yes they do sell to the public) for just a few dollars. I popped in a new flapper and it was happy times at the ol' WC.

But this time things looked serious. The toilet valve in the tower looked like it was gone. Now you can get a new tower for about $10, which is very cheap. The expensive part is installing the thing. I knew that I could do the job, but also knew that it would be messy, and that there was a chance of chipping the tank, which would be a death sentance for my old buddy. Mary was due back soon, and I knew just what would happen if she caught me midstream in repairs.

Then a flash of intuition hit me. Why not try some " Jig-a-Loo" ? This stuff has become my new best friend this summer. I have been trying it on all sorts of things. I'm not sure if it is just silicone lubricant in disguise, but it sure makes things move easier. Well to make this long story short. I tried it as a toilet repair kit in a can. I sprayed the top of the tower while I depressed the float bar a few times. And yes it worked! The toilet stopped hissing and has never hissed since. I guess that the Jig-a-Loo worked its way into the toilet valve, or perhaps it just lubricated the hinge. What ever it did, it worked. The ol' flusheroo has been saved. I'm ready to fight another day. And we are planning our next vacation to wine country.

Life is bliss.

'till next time


PS. I'd love to read your questions or suggestions. Feel free to email me by clicking the link under my profile. And I'd be honored if you included me in your RSS feeds.

P.P.S. Thanks for your responses to this post. One common comment was that those pucks that go into the tank seem to wreck the flapper. This is why a new toilet will start to leak in a few months. Yes there are flappers that say they are "resistant" and there are pucks that say that they are "safe", but I have quit using them. Instead, I pour a little enzyme cleaner in the tank every now and then. It keeps the scum and gunk from forming, and cleans the interior water flow areas. The cleaner I use is Pink Solution . Thanks again for your feedback!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Senior Abuse?

I've got to get this out of my system. What kind of garbage are we dumping down the throats of our seniors and sick? Have you looked at the nutritional label on these meal supplement drinks that are universally recommended to our weakest loved ones? I just did and was shocked.

Here is the background story, and a solution I have found.

My spouse's father is battling cancer. Like many sick and elderly people he was losing weight and appetite. The doctors, and friends all recommended getting some Ensure to supplement his diet. And I will admit that I too thought it was a good idea. But then I started doing some looking around and found quite a few information sources who showed how cancer cells love sugar and that one powerful cancer fighting technique was to cut out the sugar. So out of curiosity I looked at the label on a can of Ensure and found that it is mostly sugar! I'm sure this can be said of many other brands, but Ensure is the one everybody around seems to buy.

I then tried to find out what other nutrient values it had, and am sorry to report that there wasn't much there. ( Please check this out for yourself) I felt that my recommendations were basically poisoning my Father-in-law. I had to find a better product. After more research I discovered that a greens formulation would give him outstanding nutrition in a condensed and easy to manage form. After all, a glass of greens may look a bit ugly, but it is easier than trying to munch down a tableful of food, or juice a basket of groceries.

But then I found out that green formulations are like most other get what you pay for.
I found one company who is quite fanatical about their quality. They make the Greens Plus product. However, it is a bit pricey, so I recommended it, but kept on looking. And I found an outstanding product sold by another name I trust; proHealth. I've told a bit of their story in another post. Their price is better, and you get the bonus of knowing you contribute to a great cause.

Here is a link to the product:
Ultimate Greens by proHealth

Update: After a bit of a struggle because of the old " the doctor told me to take the Ensure" mentality, he tried it and found he actually like the flavor. Appetite and energy have improved as much as can be expected at this stage of health. As I have said... It is not how much time we have in this life; It is how much enjoyment we can squeeze out of it. This gives him the energy to wring out a few more drops.

I hope this story can help some of you out there. Sorry for being so long winded.


Monday, July 31, 2006

A New Audio Feature

this is an audio post - click to play
You can either click on the arrow to hear me, or you can "right click" and save the MP3 recording. This post is just an introduction; but once you learn how to save the posts, you can pop them into your MP3 players to listen while on the go. I'll try to find some interesting content for future audo posts.


New Ways to Keep in Touch

"Life is One Big Learning Curve".......That is my favorite saying. There is always something new and exciting out there to learn. And the old things are constantly changing.

RSS Feeds are evolving and becoming easier ( I hope). Only a few months ago I was totally confused. There were always a bunch of little boxes littered around my favorte websites and blogs "atom" "xml" "yahoo" name it! I didn't want choice, I just wanted to click on something and have it update itself on my computer. And now it seems to have happened.

One Little Orange Square seems to have replaced them all ( look over at my side bar and up at the address bar's right corner) . Finally, once choice and one click and it is done.

Now I'm trying this new audio feature....we'll see if it is a simple as they make out.

Always a new adventure out there, eh?


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Clean Sticky Wooden Chairs

This is the season to really notice the stickiness on wooden furniture. A typical experience is to settle in to the chair and after a few minutes notice you have adhered to it. The remaining time is spent trying not to touch the back. Here is a tip my mother just tried.

My mom has a great pine table and chairs, and has tried just about everything. Recently she heard about a simple solution......paint thinner. Sure enough, cheap old paint thinner on a rag got rid of all the stickiness.

"Paint thinner" can be called different things depending where you live and what you buy. I think it is also called Varsol ( tm) or "mineral spirits".

If you have old furniture or traditionally made items, or genuine " french polished" furniture you should use caution. Some old items have been coated in shellac. I have had great success in removing the shellac and then applying danish oil. You don't get the shine, but a beautiful luster instead, which brings out the beauty of the wood and tends to fit in with other antique pieces.
To remove the shellac you need to use alcohol ( methyl hydrate) . It is a fun and easy process, but make sure the area is well ventilated and there is NO flame or spark source anywhere near. Alcohol is very flammable and also invisible when ignited. Talk to your hardware or paint dealer to get all the rags, instructions, etc. Another option with shellaced items is to clean and resurface them.....again not a hard process, but it does take a bit of elbow grease.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Make All Your Problems Vanish Instantly

OK. Here is something too weird. And yet, it works.

Have you ever struggled with something to the point of exhaustion? Have you ever had stupid little thoughts running around in your head? Have you ever had nagging pain? Have you ever had nagging anything? Yes, most of us have.

And the more we try to put these things out of our minds, the stronger they seem to become!

Now. Here is the weirder part. I've found a guy who teaches how to get rid of just about anything that bothers you.

I say " just about" because I've come to realize something about myself......I kinda like being bugged by some things. Oh sure. I'll go on and on about how I hate them......But to be honest, I'm kind of attached to them.

But then there are THE OTHERS! There are some things which just plain make my life miserable. I've spent thousands of dollars going to doctors, massage therapists, physiotherapists, and some "pists" that only the West Coast could grow! There was a point when I just gave up. I thought that I was stuck with my problems. And that I was just wasting my money, time and energy. Then I came across this guy.

In ten minutes I got rid of more "stuff" and felt better, than the last ten years of pisting around! He teaches that most of the problems in our lives is because of a bit of short circuiting in our electrical/Chi channels. And that a short systematic tapping can fix the problem.

The idea is to get whatever problem that bugs you raging away. Then you do an accupressure sequence to correct the flow of energy. And by the end of the tapping, your problem disappears!

OK.....This is beyond weird. But I tried it and it worked! I even found myself looking around for the bad feeling I was trying to get rid of. I realized that I was kind of attached to the thing. That made me pause and think for a bit.

Since then I have tried it on a number of things. I noticed that it didn't work in a few cases. Some were when I was trying it on things I really didn't want to give up. Another was when I had an abscessed tooth. Perhaps it may have worked, but the codeine worked faster!

One of the great things about this technique is that you can learn it for free. Just click on the link I will post below, and then hunt around for the ebook download. Yes there are DVD's you can buy if you want an easy way to learn, or if you want to try advanced things; but the ebook is all I needed to get started. It is very self empowering.

EFT web site

Here's to a peaceful and happy and pain free future!


Friday, June 02, 2006

Vitamin Store and Community Support Online

There are some companies which stand out. Pro Health is one of those. I have been watching, ordering, and participating in their unique website for some years now. It is a company which was founded on passion and the spirit is still very much alive.

I have found I can count on the quality and value of their product line. They also have some of the most leading edge products, so it is the first place I look after I read a new study.

Pro health also supports a great forum. There is a huge community of users, who are not afraid to tell it like it is. I'm not sure if the management realized they built in a critical review panel when they put up the bulletin boards, but that is what they got! No snake oil product would last long here.

I could go on and on about how impressed I am with the company and its founder, but really, the only way to understand is to go there and roam around the site. Look at the catalogue of products, and then check out the different support groups. I'm not a touchy-feely guy, but if you need a cyberhug, or a prayer, or just someone to give you a good critical analysis of any health info you have, there is a community to provide it.

And another great thing about the site is that they give to charity. Hurricane Katrina victims got free products, which is admirable. But even more admirable is that they give funds on a continual basis.

Truly an organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness in every way.

Click here to find out for yourself:

234x60 ImmuneSupport Banner

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Free Photo Organizer From Google

I have 5 different photo software programs on my computer. This is mostly a result of a search to find something that makes it quick and easy to download, view and adjust my pictures. Now that I have Google's Photo Software (Picasa) the others are mostly just wasting space on my hard drive.

Everything is easy about this program. I don't have to struggle to clear my camera memory. I can easily find all the pictures on my computer. Things are organized in a logical manner, etc etc.

Try it and I'm sure it will become your most regularly used program. Yes there are more sophisticated ones out there, but for me it has enough editing features to cover about 80% of what I do with photos.....And it's FREE!

I have put a button in my sidebar "Google's photo software. It's what should have come with your camera." Just click on that button and you can check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Okanagan Valley, Wine, Motorcycles, and B&B's

Just got back from a quick trip to the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada. The weather was the typical spring gamble. We had it all, and had to adjust our intinerary and expectations accordingly.

I've been watching the Okanagan change for the last twenty years and see that the ideal time to invest is almost gone. But the time to enjoy it as a consumer is just perfect. For the savvy "mature" traveler, the shoulder seasons are the best choice. It is not too hot or crowded. You can get a good selection of places to stay for a good price, and the wineries tend to be a bit more generous in their pourings!!!!!!

This year, the biggest change was in the appearance of Motorcyclists. Oh yes, we are talking midlife crisis run amok. Hogs and grey beards galore. What a sight. OK...I'll admit I've never been bitten by the cycle-bug. It only took me a couple rides on a motorcycle to realize I preferred an air-conditioned sedan. My loss your gain guys (& Gals). Now don't get the wrong impression. I don't dislike mature cyclists. Au contraire!!! I think they add a nice dimension to the scene. They are all well dressed, polite, and barring the odd heart attack or bee in the eye, very safe to share the road with. They ride cruising cycles, not those weird rockets. And are nice to just watch, while sipping a glass of no poop to step in.

Oh to the tip of the weekend. Actually this is something we learned some time ago. Check out the B&B's. I used to travel quite a lot, and must say that the B&B experience beats just about any hotel experience. If you select your place properly, you will get a fantastic room, a breakfast which will carry you for most of the day, inside information on everything local, and a chance to meet people from all over the world.

Our most recent stay was in the Wine Trail Guest House in Naramata BC. They have a two bedroom suite, with full kitchen and private entrance; our own patio & grill; and a parade of local wildlife throughout the day. We opted out of the breakfast, because we knew how great the kitchen was, and I am on such a strict diet right now, the breakfast would just be a needless temptation. They have a listing on the BBcanada site .

If you are looking for the full deal, check out Paradise Cove B&B in Naramata. I think they have a website on or their website . You will see the pics there, but we can attest to the hospitality!

Here comes summer!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


This is a great last minute recipe:


Heat a frying pan with enough butter to coat.
Heat Oven Broiler

6 Eggs
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese( I prefer Romano)
1/4 cup shredded or thin cut northern European cheese (
Ementhal, Gruyere, Jarlsburg....whatever is going
hard and needs to be used for cooking
1/8 Tsp cayenne powder
2 cups assorted veggies
1/4 cup diced ham (optional)

Take enough veggies ( leftover or fresh broccoli, spinach leaves, asparagus, whatever is in the fridge and needs to be eaten and you think will go good with eggs) and cover the bottom of the pan ( usually about two cups fresh).

Saute until most of the moisture is evaporated.
Add diced Ham if you are using it.

Mix together the eggs, cream, cayenne and grated Romano.

Pour Egg mix into pan in such a way that the veggie mix is still evenly distributed.

Sprinkle the top with the White European cheese

Place the frying pan about 10" under the broiler. If you are too close the top with burn before the eggs are cooked.

Remove when done to the desired texture ( soft eggs are NOT raw eggs, but everyone likes theirs different)

Serve with a bit of fresh green salad or veggie sticks.

This is a great last minute recipe. And as you can see, it is versatile. Play with the ingredients and proportions.


Recipes to Lose Weight and Be Healthy

Several bulletin boards I belong to have people asking for recipes. I wondered why, since all you have to do I type " recipe" into Google and get a plethora of sites. Then I realized that sometimes Google can be too much of a good thing, and that if you aren't specific, you can easily get swamped.

So the first step in recipe hunting is to have a very specific idea of what you are looking for. I have found that Low Carb Recipes work best for my body. There was a time when I explored all sorts of ways of morphing old recipes into Low Carb ones, but now am back to taking the fresh ingredients and cooking them in ways which bring out their best flavors. I understand that this is a natural progression for most chefs ( and foodies). We love to get creative every now and then, but always return to the basics. One of the best sites on the internet for low carb support is . If Low Carbing is your way of life then this should be a cornerstone of your internet experience.

But what about all the other Special Dietary Needs out there. And what about the mix of needs in one household? How can a busy housekeeper keep their sanity and create satisfying meals? It's true there are plenty of recipes out there. And plenty of packaged convenience junk! But how does the family cook make sense of it all?

My answer would be to do what I have done. Get back to basics. There are techniques which can be learned which will make life a lot easier. And food choices which are healthy, fast, flavourful, and inexpensive.

This is one of my passions , so expect to hear more detailed suggestions from me soon. For now, let me share what I made for dinner last night and posted to another forum. Mary only had 10 minutes to eat between getting home heading off to a meeting. She needed something easy to eat and satisfying, but not full of Carbs, which would put her to sleep half way through the three hours she had ahead of her. My answer was a Frittata with Broccoli and Jarlsburg, and Bacon slivers. This is a no brainer meal, but I will post a recipe in a separate post.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Car Squeaks & Whistles Fixed

OK, I know I have ears like a Bat. And no I don't mean big Prince Charles versions. I can hear every little high pitched noise around. I am getting ready for a road trip and realized that I had better fix a few things on the car before I go.

I've been noticing some little squeeks and an increase in road noise lately. With gas prices so high I have avoided doing anything about the noise by simply not driving as much. But I know that after an hour of steady driving there will be some heated discussions going on.

I'll be muttering away and Mary will be saying helpful things like,"Well why didn't you fix that before we left?". I think you can complete the picture. After six hours of this we will be more than ready for the free cocktails at the hotel.

Solution: Silicone Spray

This was recommended by the Service Technician at my dealership and confirmed by the salesman at the auto supply store. I bought a can of spray for $5 and did the job right there in the parking lot in about 5 minutes.

First I used the nozzle extension to spray along all the window channels in the rubber sealing in the doors. Then I used a cloth and wiped all the remaining rubber sealing around the doors, trunk and sun roof. It was such a fast and easy job.

The ride home was amazing. It was like I was driving a NEW CAR again. I couldn't believe how much noise I had been putting up with.

$5 and 5 Minutes

I hope this helps you get that new car feel back.


P.S. Thanks for putting up with this post. I'm still getting used to all the tools on this site.

Oh yes, and stay tuned for my next with steel wool!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Find Simple Cheap Easy ways to Fix Your Life and Everything in it

This is a first post to get this blog going. I have to thank Scott for a great motivating session that gave me a sleepless night and focused my passions into action. Who is Scott? Well all will be revealed soon.......I have to head off to a seminar. But don't worry, I am packed with info that is ready to hit the internet.