Cider Started

Got some more cider started. This is the second time and we’ll see if I learned anything from the first time around.

We didn’t get a crop of apples in 2019, so this is two years since the last attempt. The first batch was drinkable, but not sweet enough and still had a bit of a yeasty flavor. Based on talking to Dave at work and the fellow at Grapes to Glass, I need to be more patient. This time, I’m leaving the cider in the carboy for six months at least. I also added more sugar at the start.

Kids are booked

Tammy fought her way through the AHS booking system this morning and got the kids vaccination appointments for May 22nd. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all.


Happy Mother’s Day 2021

Just like last year, it’s a snowy Mother’s Day in Calgary.

April showers bring May… something something. I can’t remember how it goes.

But that’s okay. We have had a nice morning so far.

Here’s a detailed look at the colouring book.

Tammy made some buttermilk biscuits and we’re having soup and biscuits for lunch. Maybe something more exciting for supper.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.


Tammy selected Thai food for dinner. We ordered from Pho 99, which is in the location that used to be a Ricky’s Grill. Not sure when that closed.

Updated Again

At my quasi-serious suggestion, we watched Throw Momma from the Train, the 1987 movie with Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal. Not the perfect Mother’s Day movie, but it was good. ๐Ÿคฃ

Restricted on the Eve of the Season

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney went on TV just now to announce new restrictions in Alberta. They include limits on outdoor gatherings to 5 people immediately and as of Monday outdoor sports are restricted to families only.

Considering our province is a laughingstock as far as the pandemic is concerned right now, it’s certainly not before time. Part of me is worried that Tammy and I were exposed when we had our vaccinations Friday.

The kicker is that the cycling club was supposed to have our first ride of the year tomorrow night. Everyone commenting in the team chat is very supportive of the move and that we have cancelled the upcoming rides. I would rather have had the restrictions sooner.

I don’t know. Anyways, cycling’s a sport you can enjoy on your own. I’ll wave to the cyclists out there, but won’t get close.


I went out for a solo ride Wednesday night. The weather was beautiful.

Time to go get shot

Tammy and I are heading out the door now. Going to the Telus Convention Centre downtown to get our AstraZeneca vaccinations.

Updated May 1st

Well. That didn’t go quite as expected. We got our shots, but not until we’d waited in line for two hours and twenty minutes. For weeks, we’ve been hearing about “the uptake on the vaccines is slow” and “I just walked into the clinic and there was no line”. Of course, a lot of that was before they opened the eligibility to Gen X.

Tammy and I had our appointments for 6:00, and we hopped on the C-Train just as this alert blared on everybody’s phone in Alberta:

Setting the tone for the evening

Unfazed, we rode downtown.

Proudly wearing our Esri Canada masks and sleeveless vests. Ready for shots!

But when we got downtown to the immunization clinic, there was a huge crowd. A line was heading down the block and around the corner. I asked, and it was the line for those who had appointments. We got into line around the corner. It took 15 minutes for the line to get to the sign that said “โฌ†๏ธ to appointment line”.

The line goes ever on and on… thank goodness the weather was nice.

When we got to the point where we were let inside after a half hour in line, we thought “oh good, we’re almost there.” ๐Ÿคฃ

Nope. That started almost an hour an a half of the line snaking through multiple buildings, across the +15 sky bridge that you can see in the above photo, through the museum and finally to the place where they checked you and you got into the final line.

But once we were in the final line with red dots on the floor in the main exhibition hall, it wasn’t much longer. A check of our AB Health Cards, our driver’s licenses and then we were getting vaccinated. Anna was the lady who did my shot and I didn’t even feel the needle. No bleeding. It was 8:05, after getting in line at 5:25. Tammy and I then waited for 15 minutes before getting our complimentary C-Train tickets and hand sanitizer and then we were off.

I noticed a boost to my 5G signal right away.

Unexpectedly, the one thing we didn’t have to wait for was the train home. One was along two minutes after we got to the platform.

We got home and had the leftovers from the meal that the kids cooked. Didn’t even bother to heat it up, we were so hungry. And yes, there was bubble tea waiting from Miranda. ๐Ÿง‹

Now a week or so until some immunity builds. Hopefully shot #2 won’t take quite so long, but we can say it was an experience!

Updated May 3

The “weekend after” has passed. Unlike when we get our flu shots, Tammy passed this with flying colors. Her arm was a bit sore and she felt a bit foggy on Saturday, but that was it for side effects for her. I wasn’t quite so lucky, but I’m not complaining. My shoulder is a bit stiff, but never enough that I would complain. I was tired on Saturday afternoon until the evening, and laid down for most of it. If you know me, that’s a pretty good indication that I wasn’t feeling well. A mild headache, some muscle pain and mild abdominal discomfort were the only other issues. I was right as rain by Sunday and even managed a mild indoor bike ride to get the body moving.

Tammy wanted me to say something about the gas… The side effects of AZ include nausea and vomiting, but apparently that’s inflicted on the people around you. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’จ


Another Bike Ready to Depart

Since Ian got a new bike last November, his old bike has been living on borrowed time. The red Norco we gave to Michelle’s son, Ryan. The Kona Makena we donated through Bow Cycle but with COVID, Bow isn’t running the bike charity.

I got in touch with Michelle, and her daughter Emily is getting too big for her old bike. Michelle’s interested so she will come over this weekend sometime to pick it up. Ian washed the bike this week, and I replaced the tires with the original white ones that came with it, lubed the chain, etc. It’s still in great shape and I’m sure Emily will love it.

All cleaned up and ready to go

Happy Birthday #5 Murphy

Today is Mr. Murphy’s 5th birthday. To mark the occasion I baked an orange chocolate chip cheesecake made with quark. (I had to make the quark because it’s not easily found over here.) The cheesecake has an interesting texture – I hope it firms up in the fridge.

Miranda made him a nippy bag with ‘neko’ (cat) in Japanese characters sewn onto it. He also got more foam balls to play with!

Happy Birthday Murphy cats. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿงก

My Week In “Solitary Confinement”

So as you all know, my school was shut down because of various Covid cases. Only two days after we started online learning, a student in my class was diagnosed with Covid-19, and I was in close-contact. The result of this was that for my own, and my family’s safety, I was, and still am essentially locked in my room. I wasn’t really expecting how it was going to go, but after just one day, it was pretty boring. Nothing to do, but to sit in my comfy chair and do homework and watch movies when I was not in school. I couldn’t leave my room and venture the house, I couldn’t give Murphy pats, I couldn’t workout in the Bonus Room like normal.

The most annoying factor about staying in my room was that I had not a lot of space to workout like in the Bonus Room like I mentioned earlier. Of course, I had to workout, either I wanted to or not, so I had to adapt to this small, crammed environment. And because of the fact I have been staying in my room for the past week, my muscles are a lot weaker.

Another thing that wasn’t bad, but then again not good, was when we were watching a movie on Friday like normal, we used an extension called Teleparty, which allows a group of people to watch a movie synchronized in real time, allowing you and others to watch a movie while online. We watched Kung-Fu Panda and it obviously wasn’t the same experience as normal, but we gotta do what we gotta do.

So, once you get to this part, you would have assumed that my experience was total crap, well, it wasn’t all bad. Actually, some moments through my journey have been good, too.

Since I had a lot of time to myself, I was able to practice Cubing with a Rubik’s cube. I have, already solved it many times, even in under a minute, but some of my most recent solves (with a modified algorithm) have been unprecedented in my expectations. I solved the Rubik’s cube with a website called Ruwix SpeedCube Timer. I solved over 20 times over the course of the past week, and I got some very lucky solves.

Best yet!

As You know I occasionally make videos, I shot a video of me solving a cube in 1:01.

I also have been playing Minecraft with Josh, and playing a mobile flight simulator called X-Plane. Thos three moments have been the segments that I have enjoyed the most.

So, in conclusion, I have had a rough week in my room all the time, But some of it was also fun. As of posting this, I got my Covid testing yesterday. I hope I get negative, which will mean I will be able to leave my room and return to a normal lifestyle.

The End.

Yep, Oncoming Train

At lunchtime today, I was anxious. Something had to go wrong. There was a light at the end of the tunnel.

Last night, the Alberta government announced they would lower the age limit to 40 years old for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Tammy was going to get us registered tomorrow morning. Hell or high water, we were going to get jabbed. It seemed too good to be true. I was expecting to have to wait for months yet. The other shoe had to drop.

And then it did. There is a COVID case in Ian’s class and Ian was identified as a close contact. Immediate isolation and quarantine for 14 days. Tammy’s still going to arrange for injections, but it won’t be for another two weeks. Ian’s isolated in his room. Miranda, Tammy and I are trying to laugh in the face of existential dread.

Oh, and Tammy made a lovely berry-rhubarb crumble this afternoon.


Tammy called in this morning (Tuesday, April 20) and we have appointments for vaccinations in Ranchlands on Saturday, May 1st.

Ten days.

Ian has a COVID test on Friday morning.

Three days, plus however many to get the result.

Updated Again

Tammy’s briefed me on the runaround for getting the vaccinations set up. We now have appointments down at the Telus Convention Centre on Friday the 30th.

Welcome to Spring in Calgary

I present to you two pictures, taken roughly 24 hours apart.

Hannah, Richard, Rob and Paul

The first was a brief stop on a ride to Bragg Creek yesterday. It got up to about 18 degrees.

Our deck and BBQ

The second was taken this morning. It started snowing around six and it hasn’t let up. It’s not accumulating much now as before, but everything is white.


On a more somber note, Hannah ended up in the hospital yesterday afternoon.

Paul, me, Hannah and Richard

Right after we finished the ride together and I was driving home with my bike on the car, Hannah was riding home and was hit by a car that ran a stop sign. It was literally a couple blocks from the shop. She was okay, considering, but her bike is dead.

A reminder to always be careful.

Here’s a bit of video from the ride. I’m out in front.