Archive for May, 2006

Is Tim Horton's coffee better than homemade coffee

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

20 years ago two friends of mine decided they would open a franchise.  At that time, Tim Hortons was somewhat a new phenomenon.  The little coffee shops with a big idea!

Now, I’ve never been one to drink coffee.  Last night I had a cup which was poured for me.  I was gracious and drank it — black!!  I came home and was fully aware of the passing of the evening.  I was able to sleep fairly well but was wide awake when I awoke!

That was “homemade” coffee!  Imagine Tim Horton’s coffee.  I sniff the odor when I sit with friends.  I know the black syrup is a little thicker at Tim’s!

As a non-drinker I am not a fair judge.  Residential reverse osomosis may give purer water than the commercial water at Tim Horton’s.  The relative strength and purity of the coffee beans can be debated.  Even the social atmosphere plays a role in the perception of “good/better/best” coffee.

But my question is — Why become a drinker in the first place???

On writing

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

There was a time when I first started writing that I always wanted to have an outline.  Give me three points with supporting subpoints.  All I needed to do was fill in the flesh of the story.

My work also supported this approach.  I call this good administration or management.  There is definitely a place for administrators — I’ve earned a good portion of my income over the years being an administrator!

In the last few years a new approach has crept up on me.

I no longer stay up all night trying to solve problems.  I’ll hit the sack at night and expect that the answers will come overnight.  The first few times I tried this I was scared stiff.  My mathematical brain wanted to research and figure everything out first.  Then a new and unexpected approach popped up.  I tried it again — the unexpected arrived once more!  Soon I was applying this to situations that I couldn’t easily figure out. 

Now I have a regular practice that I call non-administrative administration.  Some call this entrepreneurial leadership.  Whatever the term, I’m beginning to relax in it.

The same applies to writing stories.  My father has asked me how I think of all these blog entries – something new everyday.  Well, some are just reminiscences of the day.  But every once in a while I just put down a title and start writing.  I’ve no idea where I’m going.  But when I arrive at the end I know I’ve reached the destination.

Like to see what I might come up with?  Place a title in the comments section and I’ll write a blog entry — let’s see what emerges!!

Running

Monday, May 29th, 2006

The rain has been falling today.

With the rain, I have developed a ritual.

A few weeks back we re-graded around some of our basement windows.  This was to keep water from seeping into the basement. 

Then we had a marvelous rain.  One of our downspouts was pouring water towards the windows.  So, I fixed that — or should I say, it fixed me (see a previous posting!). 

Now, when it rains I wander outside to see what is happening.  Not much!  The rain has been unusual for a town on bald prairie.  Usually the wind blows and water sprays all over.  But the last while it has fallen quite nicely, thank you!!  In fact the soil around the windows isn’t even wet, protected by the roof overhang.

Tonight I ventured out — just when the water from the sky was in drizzle form.  A few steps and the drops became larger.  As I rounded the house, I confirmed that the rain was not touching the windows.  As I turned back , I decided a faster pace was required.

Now, my knees are none too good — perhaps a casualty of younger years!  I like to think I was a bit of an athlete — that’s probably as stretch!  The bump and grind has taken its toll.

Nevertheless, here I am hobbling at breakneck speed, rounding the corner and heading up the driveway.  With the wind whistling in my ears, I realize that a ten year old could pass me without breaking a sweat!  Oh well, I’m still a great runner — in my fantasies.  And imagine what I will have to boast of when I hit heaven running.

The Irises are blooming in our yard!

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

We awoke today to a sprinkling of rain. 

  • The drops were shimmering. 
    • The colors were striking. 
      • The irises were in full bloom.

People

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Today I started off with a fairly empty calendar.  By the time the day will be done I will have worked with friends on a bike rally, confirmed a combined church service, met with a single mother and her family for supper, had coffee with a friend, met a friend travelling through town, contacted others through email and phone. 

Calendars are there to help arrange life.  But some times live arranges itself!

Enhanced Living!

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

That’s the term we use.  For senior housing that requires more than just having four walls to live in.

You need food services, linens, some light house keeping and a community!

This style of housing is missing in Kindersley.  Over the past few years two attempts have come forward to get something going.  Now we are on our third.   In some ways, either we hit a home run or we’re out.

I ventured into Saskatoon with three other men – Dave, Garry and Jake.  Our delegation was examining a complex and talking to a developer.  The discussion was cordial, in fact bordered on positive.

Check back in the next few weeks to see how things are going.

Meanwhile – if you are coming back from Saskatoon to Kindersley, the highway out of town has a few detours.  We made an extra detour!  Watch for signs (or lack thereof!!).

Hanging from the eavestrough!

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

Last night’s storm dropped 1/2 inch of rain in about 15 minutes.

I’m sitting in my bedroom hearing gushes of rain.  Coming from the eavestroughing.

Out the window I see the water pouring right down onto the cement foundation.  Right where we don’t want H2O to accumulate (seepage in the basement and all that entails!!).

So, out I head to the downspout.  I see the problem.  Up by the roof.

Haul out the step ladder.  Place it by the downspout.  Climb up.  The ground gives way.  I grab the eavestrough.  Hang for a second while pushing the ladder back.  Happens again.  Push back again.

The third time wasn’t lucky.  I relax as I fall.  The grass is like a carpet.  I hardly notice. 

Back up once more.  This time the rain is pretty well done.  I fix the downspout.  Head into the house.  The clothes go into the wash.  I shower.  The bed feels great.

Another day, another adventure.

Black is the night!

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

But it’s not night yet!

We looked out the window and the black clouds are rolling in.  In Saskatchewan, with warm weather, the upsurge of heat and the humidity combine for sever thunderstorms.  With them come thunder and lightening.

Not the best thing for computers.  So off goes this computer. 

See you tomorrow!

Stretching an hour

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

We were just going for an hour or so.

As we headed out around 4:00 we discussed whether we should stay for supper if invited.  Then, after having hamburgers we settled into chairs on the outdoor deck.  Soon we were watching kids play.  A water fight was in progress.  The 8:30 hour approached and we began to make noises that we were leaving.  At 9:00 we made it to the door.  I knew we were in trouble when a stool came out and the talk kept on.  At 9:35 we were in the car heading out their farm lane!

No need to talk church, or plan strategies or even mark down another “visit”.  These were friends from 30 years ago whose home we had not visited in probably the last 25.  Their daugther was in our youth group, and she now has youth of her own.  Their son farms just down the road.  They now attend a different church in town so an opportunity like this is truly that — an opportunity to renew, refresh and remember.

Thanks Art, Sylvia, Cheryl, Robin, Brenda and the “kids”.  Loved the visit!!

Land-scaping

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

For some people their e-scape has been land-scape.

My father loved the soil.  A friend I talked to yesterday relished having three hours to just play in the dirt.  Countless books have been written on rearranging loam and planting flowers, shrubs and trees.

How many of those books have I read?  All the way through?

Let me think . . .

OK, so I’m not a garden fan but I do enjoy the esthetics of a yard well kept. 

This spring we are moving to Phase 2 in our property renovation plan.  The strategy is to build up the grade around the house so no water seeps into the basement.  We also hope to get rid of dandelions, plant some flowers and generally make our neighbours happy!

By 8:00 this morning I was out taking up sod, shovelling in dirt and raising the grade around the house.  Don’t let anyone know, but there actually is pleasure in seeing a job come together! 

I guess there is a place for escape in landscape!