June 2010


We have had a beautiful start to the summer, so thought I would share some of my favourite pictures so far.  

Happiness is biking with your beagle.

Happiness is biking with your beagle.

The joy of sliding.

Bleeding Heart

Bleeding HeartTulip After the Rain

 

White Flower

Love watching Seed sprot and Grow

 Thank you for the beautiful pictures my sweet Bride. 

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This morning as I was typing, responding to emails, entering orders, querying database data, I had a question. What is the most common letter in the english alphabet? Looking at my keyboard the keys that are the most worn makes me think! A, I, E, O but I figured that might just be me so I turned to Google for some direction. In the past I have commented on how much I like Wikipedia  here is a link to their answer. I’m assuming it is more the US english language then Canada but would guess Canada would be close, so here is what they had to say.

From Wikipedia

Interesting little bit of knowledge isn’t it? Not sure where in life you would use it but wanted to share some of the stuff that pops into my head while I work.

One last thing they also have an interesting chart on “Relative frequencies of letters in other languages”

My little boy turned 6 on Friday and to celebrate we took a family staycation in Toronto. We as a couple tend to be planners, we tend to maybe over plan for the simplest things but this trip was the most under planned we have been on. Maybe it was because the weather had us undecided on the best place to go and also what to do. Before I provide you with the coles notes of this trip have a look at the important part.

6 yrs Ago

6 yrs Ago

6 years

Being in SK he was off school on Thursday and Friday so as to avoid some crowds we planned to do a trip starting on the Thursdau and returning Saturday afternoon. We took a gamble on the weather, we originally planned to do Canada’s Wonderland, Science Center than the Toronto Zoo, we had also planned a dinner at Medieval Times (New name is Evil Times, our boy though this was so funny to call it this at first we thought he didn’t read the name correctly, but quickly realised he knew the correct name but liked calling it evil times). So Wednesday we found a hotel in downtown TO using priceline. Got a really good deal on the Sheraton Downtown Center, really nice hotel. So Canada’s Wonderland is something we have done once a year for the last 3 years, our son loves rides and since he is 47-7/8″ tall he is able to get on a lot of rides that might be over his ideal age but that doesn’t phase him at all. This year they have changed the theming of the park to Snoopy and the Peanuts character which is neat for kids my age but for our son    

The Fly

The Fly

that has grown up in a fairly Snoopy free age, the theming and characters are not that exciting. This year we did Thunder Run, The Fly and a bunch of the normal favorites from last time like the Ghoster Coaster, carousel, Taxi Jam but he didn’t want to do Blue Line his favorite from last time. We have brought a picnic the last two years to save some money and also to make sure our picky boy eats some food. During are lunch it poured down rain and unlike WDW they stop the rides for the rain. So after talking it over we decided to upgrade our day pass to seasons passes since we enjoyed our day and didn’t get to finish it. We felt that we would get better value then paying full price if we returned later this summer. Off to find the hotel, for those of you not familiar we Toronto the downtown area is where you find the CN tower, Rogers Center (Blue jays), Air Canada Center (Maple Leafs), and museums. We found the hotel and had a nice swim and enjoyed a little relaxing before we headed out for super. In the morning we asked our little man what he wanted to do, go to the zoo or back to Wonderland he decided that he wanted to go to Wonderland, that was what he wanted to do on his B-bay. So we called down got my hot rod Kia valeted to the front of the building and hit Wonderland on the GPS, which plotted a course that took us through the city. Because we live in the country, when we have driven into the city is always major highways we take but this is the first time that we have every been through this part of the city in 17 years, which was cool and I always wondered where China town was and now I know. We go there early about 1/2 an hour before gate opening with season passes in hand, after a waiting we walked in and headed for couple of the rides he liked for the day before, except that today he spied the Vortex and wanted to ride it. It was a beautiful day in the park the crowds where bigger but not huge and the wait was a little longer but still not super bad. We also took some time to go on two water rides, a couple of ou son’s all-time favorite rides were Splash Mountain and Kali River at WDW so we where hoping to give him something like that here but the Timber Falls was more just a wet drop, and their river ride was good but not as wet as Kali. Still we had fun which is why we came, we also did a Sponge Bob 3D ride that was neat with motion seats, would have been better with it was something other than Sponge Bob. We had a nice day in the park but after a full day of fun it was time to head to dinner at evil times.   

The Blue Knight

  

Evil times was fun, the food was great our son ate surprising well, the meal was: 

  • Dragons blood Soup (tomato bisque)
  • Half a chicken
  • Dragon Rib
  • Herb Potato
  • Apple pastry

He ate all of it but the rib and potato so we were very pleased. The only down size was the very obvious attempt to nickle and dime you to death but that is I guess how they make their money. Back to the hotel to see who would be the first to fall asleep, can you guess who the winner was? 

The last morning we woke and got our Tim Horton breakfast and packed and headed out for are last day. We checked out of the Sheraton. We decided to go to Mountain Equipment Co-op my favorite store, then over to the Ontario Science Center for the Harry Potter exhibit and to spend some time wandering around the other areas and also the kids Spark section. We all enjoyed the Harry Potter exhibit even our little guy that has yet to read the books found it interesting, but it left both of us wanting to read the books again. The rest of the OSC, while it was not our favorite part of the trip, but the little man loved the Spark section so he had fun. We left the OSC and returned home to get Chase, open B-day gifts and have cake. 

It was a nice trip. I enjoyed spending some time away with my family, enjoyed having this special time for his birthday and wishing it was longer. But I think that even though his b-day is a weekend next year maybe we will pull him out of school for 1-2 days and do another little staycation to celebrate.

After getting my plants in the garden it is now time to think about getting the tea brewer going again. Same process as last year but with a couple of changes. First I found a suitable tea bag at the dollor store. I found one of those bug nets you put over your head and it makes a good tea bag. Second I have some compost left over from my turning this year that I will use.  

Here is a repost of the compost tea from last year. 

Would you like a nice cup of tea? No, but your garden will thank you with its bounty.  I first heard of compost tea when looking through a Lee Valley catalog and their compost tumbler collects compost tea as part of the process. Being curious about that I of course went to my trusty http://en.wikipedia.org and checked what they say about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compost_tea. Of course as usual my thirst for knowledge sent me Google searching and of I ended up getting tons of sites, options, recipes, people selling stuff. After reading I decided why not try it, minimal expense which I love, and an opportunity to experiment. 

 What you will need What do you need to make compost tea? 5 gal pail, aquarium pump & hose, descent compost either home grown or purchased, molasses, and a tea bag material or not, I will explain later. You can add, also optional, an additive of fish extract or kelp extract to change your brew slightly.

  
Air pump is added to bucket and running   

The process is pretty simple, fill your pail with water, if you are on city water let the water sit to reduce the chlorine. Plug your pump in and place your hoses in the water, some people use air stones but my pump isn’t big enough to power two stones so I add a nut to each hose to add weight to keep it on the bottom.   

PB Container of CompostAdd your compost.  Now this is a question? Do you want a tea bag or do you want the compost lose? Another question is also how are you going to use the tea? Are you going to flood the roots, or spray the leaves? If you are going to spray you are best to make a tea bag. If you are going to flood then to me what’s the point in wasting time just dump the compost in and stir. To make a tea bag use something that will allow good water penetration and allow the compost goodness to come out. Some tea bag materials are; burlap I used this it works not bad, panty hose (make sure you ask before you take your wife’s/girlfriend’s or mother’s and if you are a woman then use away), cheese cloth. You get the idea. Get out the extremely accurate measuring instruments for this part (I use a 500ml large PB jar full) add compost to the water or the tea bag into the water and let steep.    
Compost added to water  This is when I add the extract if you are using it of fish or kelp. 

 1-1/2oz of Molasses  

After the first 12 hours add the molasses. The steeping time is all over the map with what people do. What works for me is 24 to 48 hrs ,I find longer then that it doesn’t appear to work as well. But I think environmental conditions play into steeping time also. Also give it a stir every now and again just to make sure nothing is settling on the bottom of the pail. 

  

 

So after your tea is steep and ready you Ready to useneed to remove the tea bag if used, and air pump hose. Decide on how you are going to spread it. If flooding I like to use a watering can, if you are going to spray then of course a sprayer that isn’t used for herbicide or pesticide and you will want to use a strainer of cheese cloth so you don’t clog the tip. So empty your solution into the appropriate container I use an old watering can that has no sprinkler on it, go fertilize your garden, flowers, grass and trees. Remember if you are spraying on leaves don’t spray plants that have edible leaves like lettuce or basil etc. There is a lot of talk about the benefits of compost tea as foliage spray, I haven’t tried this yet, but I plan to and will post of my experience later.   

I use a funnel to pour the tea into my watering can
I use a funnel to pour the tea into my watering can

  

Okay how often to use compost tea? Most web sites don’t have a common time. I look at it as being every 2 weeks during growing season. Next year I’m going to try an experiment and see how plants with no tea perform then plants with tea so check back next year if you can control yourself.

I have read most of Jon Krakauer’s books, I enjoy his writing style very much. Most recently I finished “Where Men Win Glory” it, like most of his work, makes me question and wonder about things. This book made me do the same thing, from being very impressed by Pat Tillman’s moral compass, to questioning the role government plays in what we believe as truth. Being a Canadian our government of course is different and our choice of action in the war is different, but it makes you wonder if our political spin and molding of public opinion happens as much in Canada as Krakauer portrays it happening in his book? My assumption is yes.  I’m sure our government has tried to mold our views and change our focus of attention, to portray them in a better light. It is of course an elected job so they need the correct view of what they have done to ensure their continued employment. In some ways makes you wonder how democratic our society actually is?

Give it a read or listen sometime I think you will enjoy it.