Stove Tuesday

So having missed Shrove Tuesday we had a ‘stove Tuesday’ instead and pancakes on this day. We used a recipe off of the BBC website; I have determined that BBC must stand for Brilliant Baking & Cooking, as the pancakes turned out very well. Whilst in the Independent I picked up some maple syrup. standing in the aisle pondering whether the $12 glass bottle of organic syrup was really going to taste $9 better than the no name brand, and if the branded but non organic stuff was going to be better than the no name by $3, as perhaps it’s full of tasty chemicals… I paused to wonder what a Canadian might make of my conundrum. I asked a lad who was unloading a pallet of frozen food at the end of aisle. He informed me that he had been brought up on the cheap stuff, but the organic stuff was better, and that he could taste the difference. I decided what he said was possibly valid, but I didn’t really want to spend $12 on a glass bottle smaller and more expensive than the bottle of Port I bought in LCBO a number of weeks back. So I got the branded mid range stuff for $5. We both had a go at flipping them, Hannah’s was a better one, her’s landed not only in the pan, but also flat, mine folded up upon touch down.

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Hannah got some posh tea from a posh tea shop (I mean where else would one get tea like that?), she has been really enjoying it, here’s a picture of a cup of tea: (in case you were wondering what a cup of posh tea looks like, the  posh cup came from a posh… no wait, Benix)

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Hannah is sat right now, on the sofa with Tigger:

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Now of the sad news. Are you sitting? Big Aloe Vera is not well. I don’t know why, but it’s dying. I wonder if it has used up it juices living and is now shriveling up. This picture was taken on the 19th:

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And these today the 20th:

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Luckily my other reported little plant appears to be thriving thus far.


French River

Last week while in Mississauga Mike K. a colleague gave me a lens from a projector TV after I told him about my taking pictures through my microscope. I was demonstrating to Hannah how the lens works; I held the lens up and placed a sheet of paper an inch or so in front of it, and voila. Outside.. but upside down…

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Also, I gave Tigger a good grooming, he is beginning to appear to enjoy it! until he gets too static..

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Then he usually retreats to safe location.

Monday, Family Day, we went to French River with our snow shoes. We set off at about 9.30am, passing by Tim Horton’s for a coffee, upon arrival we found the car park to be well packed snow and the wash rooms to be in constant use by travelers using the 69.

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We walked, minus our snow shoes, to the Welcome Center, which is closed this time of year. As we passed under the back of the building we came across this icicle, it must be eight or more feet long.

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We continued onto the snow mobile bridge, the sun shining, the temperature low, the wind chill was bitter on the bridge but in the shelter of the trees it had been ok.

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Reaching the far side, we quipped about how we’d never walked further than the sign because of the long grass, the bugs and the heat. The snow machine trail is signed as “Parry Sound, 194km” back the way we’d come. Having only managed about 60ft we heard the sound of two stroke engines, around the corner came a group of five snow mobiles, we stepped right of the groomed trail into the deep snow and they passed by with head nods and waves. We walked on down the trail, then passed off the groomed trail on to a snow machine trail through the bush, not been groomed the snow was much softer, to the point that Hannah put her foot right through the slightly compacted surface.

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We strolled back to the car, meeting another three mobiles on the bridge.

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The last picture of the above 5 is of the groomed trail, they use a tracked vehicle called a groomer!

We then went on our snow shoe expedition to the Recollet falls. We walked mainly on the snow shoe’d path made by many snow shoes before us, but occasionally we wandered off it to experience the fresh snow and see how deep the snow is, we found that the snow is about two feet deep if you’re not wearing snow shoes! For those who have never snowshoe’d, this is Hannah demonstrating:

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We made it to within 200ft of the falls, there was a very steep slope (10ft high and graded between us and our destination) Hannah had been leading, so she went first, after only a couple of steps she was at the bottom, much faster than she’d expected and now in the seated position laughing so hard that standing up was simply not possible. I then got a couple of pictures, wishing I had been videoing it.

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The falls are only large in volume of water:

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It had taken us an hour and a half to reach this point, then only thirty minutes to get back!

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Snow here

Well, today we had to dig our car out because Hannah hadn’t driven it for a day or two last week. It occurred to me that I should be getting pictures of this new snow fall and also the icicles:

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Last week I finally ate my chocolate insects that Hannah gave me for Christmas  they were crunchy, didn’t taste of insect, only chocolate.

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We went skating for the first time last weekend on Lake Ramsey

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I was away last week, I came back and my Aloe Vera plant was not so good:

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I don’t know why.. so I have watered it and will see how it does.

Aloe update

I think that Tigger is to blame, I am going to blame him anyways. The big Aloe Vera plant got broken off at grade (Structural definition:  The level at which the ground surface meets the foundation of a building.). It doesn’t have any root at all, I have pushed it deeper into the soil to compensate for the lack of root, I think that it has been like this for a number of weeks, I am watering it regularly and it appears to be fine. Which is funny, as I didn’t think that plants live without at least one root..

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I took some more pictures of Sudbury:

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And one of Hannah and Tigger:

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I have been flying lots still, in the bedroom and also now in and out of the living room, between the rooms. I think I only crash/uncontrolled landing maybe once a flight on average, unless I try new stuff. I am now able to fly the helicopter towards myself with a little confidence. The new chassis that I fitted is still in one piece, though the body is split already… I am not going to replace it again.

Dreadful weather

The weather has been “warm” i..e it has climbed above zero centigrade, much to our disappointment. The snow has melted a lot, there was even grass visible on Troy and Katie’s garden, only where Troy had shoveled though, car parks and sidewalks are now full of puddles, It feels ‘English’ here. How ever that is rapidly on the change this evening, it is snowing now, and it’s settling well. I believe from the looks of the weather reports that it’s going to fall to a high of -6C by Tuesday night.

We have not been up to very much in this past week, just working and living. I noticed that two of the tiny Aloe plants did not survive the trans-plant into the new pots. But the larger of the small 3 does appear to be doing well.

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Hannah got a kit for making moccasins, she has been busy making them..

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Tigger amused us this week, which is not out of the ordinary, but I managed to get it on video!

In other news, I flew my small helicopter outside today, it copes VERY well with the light wind, I am most impressed with its performance.

Helicopter accident

This one is less sad but more permanent then the Aloe Vera plant.

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Blinds smashed

So I got very close to the wall, then the blinds came into contact with the rotors. The rotor won this one.

Nitrogen (N)

Nitrogen, N, has a relative atomic mass of 14.0067, this is actually a ratio of the average mass of a single atom of the particular element to 1/12th the mass of an average carbon atom. From this we can deduce that a single carbon atom must be 168.0804. Nitrogen was discovered in Scotland by Daniel Rutherford back in 1772. Random? Yes.

Thats all by the by, I bought some Nitrogen plant food for house plants to see if I can boost the growth of my Aloe Vera. I have just this moment read a scientific study on the affects of nitrogen on Aloe growth. It’s negligible over good quality soil…! I doubt my soil is decent, so maybe this will make a small difference

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Also me pretending to sleep with Tigger. Also I think that Tigger has a thing for “nice bags” he is always interested when we come in with bags and will climb in them, sniff them, chew them, just loves bags.

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Cat pictures

Today I thought that I would try to get some pictures of Tigger doing what he normally does, eating and chilling out on the floor, as I write this he is lying across Hannah’s lap, with his head on my knee and one of his crossed paws with claws in my jeans. Also I got a picture of the cat grass and Aloe Vera plant for prosperity sake.

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I am off now to take my helicopter apart to see if the motor brushes are ok.

It’s almost an hour later now:

I have checked the motor brushes, they’re both present and correct. Also got a couple more pictures of Tigger.

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The brushes are made of carbon, you can see one in the center of the picture, it’s the dark grey part which is running on the slip rings (the cylindrical part) the brushes are pressed into the copper, spring loaded arms. These don’t look bad in my opinion.



Yay, we have some fairly proper snow now in Sudbury and we’re forecast a little more for the coming days. However on Sunday coming, it’s going in the plus figures, so it’ll all be gone, but to wet and soggy.

Though I’d update you on my Aloe Vera, it’s growing well again, but not making as much growth as before, this could be down to the changing seasons or possibly the many small off shoots coming up as new plants. I think there are about 5 plants in the pot now.

The helicopter is suffering with very reducing flight time, I thought this was the battery but thought I would contact LiteHawk (the makers) and ask them, they have given a very particle answer, I need to check the brushes on the motor, they’re only small and can wear prematurely due to over heating of the motor, I should be able to see if they’re still in existence or not when I get it apart tonight.

Aloe Vera and Helicopters news

Last Tuesday I had to move my Aloe Vera plant off the heater, as the heater is under the window and the window have been open to cool the flat, so the plant was very cold, probably close to freezing. I felt this might be retarding it’s growth/intellect, so it now resides on top of a cabinet on the far side of the room in the 23 or 24 degree heat of our apartment.
On that heat subject we spoke to our land lord and asked if he could turn the heating down, he explained that the heating is provided by a boiler which supplies all the apartments, ours though is one of the first in the loop… So I suggested that we might insulate our heaters so that the heat is kept in the pipes and passed on to the next apartment.
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The helicopter might not have battery issues, not sure if I said but I thought I had wrecked the battery by letting it get too low on charge (Li-po battery’s are very susceptible to over or under charge) but flying it today it didn’t display all the right symptoms for that, so I am now wondering if it might be the control bored inside of it. I shall email the makers and see what they suggest.