You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2009.

Queenstown, New Zealand, January 2005 Well, I’ve updated the banner with a pic that brings back a lot of memories. The entire pic is on the left.

Ah New Zealand ….. how I miss you.

The first year was of the Taste of Wellington was definitely the best year. We’ve only done two out of three so far because we were cycling or visiting someone last year. Anyhow, here are the pics from this year’s. You’ll notice loads more people, and I don’t think they’re all local.

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And this time I can stumble home. And it’s free. Okay, it’s sponsored by a union … that’s some smart marketing on their part.

Check him out at the Perth Fair on Labour Day weekend.

rock-for-ps-poster-new

What sometimes seemed to take so long seems to have flown by so quickly. Who would have thought that a year ago we were actually following through on our pub talk to  do an addition. It started with a plan to see the beautiful backyard, but involved moving much of that beauty to make room for diggers and construction equipment.

We were sometimes frustrated with how quickly quotes were adding up, but in the end very happy with the contractor that we hired. Working together we left the skilled stuff to the crew and took on a lot of the demolition and finishing work. But the marriage saver was definitely hiring Graham Galeote to assemble and install the Ikea kitchen. No way could we have done that project together, not after living without a kitchen for almost two months. At least we had a coffee maker, fridge and microwave. Dishes were the only hassle, and not having access to all the kitchen tools you’d like. And I really  missed my homemade muffins.

So, without further ado … here’s my first cut. I realized after I started uploading the video that I’ll probably do a second cut to include the drawings and the permit. They were half the battle (I mean process).

And don’t forget to see it all from Timbit’s perspective.

Finally, the kitchen is complete (sans beer engine) and I’ve managed take and post some pics:

There’s one more posted on Timbit’s blog

It helped give us incentive to finish off the last few details of the renovation and celebrate with friends. Oh yeah, and it was a reason to have some real ale drawn through a beer engine …

What is real ale?
Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is the term for unfiltered and unpasteurized beer which is conditioned (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. Cask ale may also be referred to as real ale, a term coined by the Campaign for Real Ale.
What is a firkin?
A firkin is an old English measure of volume. 1 firkin = 9 imperial gallons = 1/4 barrel = 40.91481 litres. A pin = 1/2 firkin.  We had 3 pins ready for drinking.
What is a beer engine?
A “beer engine” or hand pump is used to siphon the beer upstairs from the cellar (or basement in our case). It is an airtight piston chamber. Pulling down on the handle raises the piston which drags up a half pint of beer. When a cask is first tapped into the beer engine, or after the lines have been washed through, the pump needs to be pulled several times to clear the lines of air or water.
How do I “pull the perfect pint”?
Our beer engine is a” half pull”. Experienced bar staff will serve a pint with two long, smooth, slow pulls of the pump handle, plus a short third just to make sure the glass is full.
Why isn’t the beer cold?
Real ale needs to be served at the right temperature. Too cold and it loses many of its complex flavours. Served too warm, it can develop some you don’t want and quickly loses condition in the glass.
What do I do if no beer comes out?
Find Rob, the cellar man. He’ll hook up the next  pin.

And now … the memories:

Nosyneighbour caught some action the other day. Workers were cleaning out the old India Food Store on Wellington at  Carleton. I mentioned that it could be a sales office for the condos that were approved for the spot.

And guess what? I was right! He stuck his nose in there this morning and got confirmation. A sales office should be open by mid-October.

How sad, the Istanbouli will really be gone soon enough, unless they can’t sell any???

David Wilcox, Perth Fair, 2009

David Wilcox, Perth Fair, 2009

It started out with a search for a David Wilcox concert. It’s one of our late summer traditions, visiting a small country fair that just happens to have the Canadian Wilcox playing. Last year it was Delta. This year it was Perth. It was also close to our anniversary date (which both of us had completely forgotten) so we aimed to make it a weekend in Perth. We’d bring up the road bikes and doing some cycling around Lanark county. Read the rest of this entry »

The third annual Taste of Wellington West is back, this time in the fall. Look for more info  walking around the ‘hood.

Mark your calendar: September 26, 2009.

In Take your money and run I recounted the tale of trying to buy the backsplash for the kitchen. I said that I’d update the post this Thursday. Well, I’m a day early.

After a frustrating weekend with no call, and yet another bad experience in person, we finally got a cheerful message left at both work and home to let us know our tile was in. It’s probably the same message they leave everyone. There was no “sorry we didn’t get back to you as promised” it just said that we could pick up our tile anytime. Well, 9 p.m. would be convenient for me, but they close at 5:30 on Wednesdays. Hmmmm, guess they really didn’t mean any time.

Today after work, we raced home, changed and then drove to the store. It took us a while to figure out where to park, bad location for a tile store. No pick up area it seemed. We went inside and I decided to keep my mouth shut until the appropriate moment. “We’re here to pick up our tile,” I said, handing over the paperwork. You’d think they would have been talking about cranky bitch who keeps wanting us to call her all the time. But maybe the guy was just playing it cool. He brings up our order and says what the balance owing is. Nosyneighbour says that we should have a credit. Guy responds that yup we do and points to the screen. Nosyneighbour may not be a math whizz, but he knows that a $72 credit should mean more than a $$25 difference from the original amount. So he questions it. First guy insists that it’s there, pointing to a line on the spreadsheet that says “credit”. Second guy plays around with the spreadsheet and gets the right amount. Then he says, “No big deal, right?”

Okay, so let me tell you how I felt. It seemed to me that it could have been that they wanted to show us that the credit was there but not actually give it to us. Maybe it was just an innocent mistake, but you know I’d already stopped trusting them. Three different stories on why the tile took so long to come in, phone calls never returned …

So then I say I’d like to inspect the tile before we pay. First guy asks us where we’re parked, and then walks us around the side, across the street to a garage in the back of an apartment block. This, it seems is where they store their tiles for pick up. We inspect the glass tiles, and some of them are scratched. Hmmm, I say, how long will it take to get more? Then he says they’re not really scratched, and is clearly getting frustrated. “Well,” he grunts. “I can take you back to the store and give you your deposit back!” I replied that maybe we should be looking for solutions. It’s only a couple of tiles. Surely he has some samples he could give us. Nope, grunts the guy again. They’re all small.

Amazing …. the garage has loads of orders, with all the glass tiles sitting unprotected getting scratched. He says that’s how they get delivered. Hmmmm, let’s see, just because they get delivered that way doesn’t mean you should store them that way. Anyhow, moving right along … we finally find a sample tile that doesn’t have scratches. Now it’s just the grout. Pointing to the closest bag of grout, he mutters that it must be ours. Didn’t think I ordered mushroom. So he double checks our order with the office. Seems its a different one, one that he can’t find in the back garage.

He mutters that he has to go get it  from the other location, and walks to the back of the building. I was thinking he was going to the back of the store. But, no, I was wrong. He was getting into his car to DRIVE to yet another back garage somewhere? In the meantime, we went back in and paid our order then returned to the street.

I opted to walk back home to let the cat out. Nosyneighbour waited another 10 minutes and then drove home, at long last with all of our stuff. Seems the grunting mutterer offered a terse apology for the hassel.

So, I’m not going to name them because we did get our stuff, but I will update you on the countdown to their bankruptcy. I can’t imagine how they’ll stay in business. So if you’re buying tiles and it’s a big order, be careful about who you give your money to. They may take your money and run.

a

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