Another busy weekend of umpiring…

I am dropping off the dogs earlier than normal tomorrow, around noon and then heading to Calgary for the weekend. I am camping Friday and Saturday nights. Tomorrow evening, I am going to the Calgary Dino’s Alumni baseball game at Foothills stadium. There are, or should be, a few former Babe Ruth players playing, should be a good evening.

I have been enjoying camping in my trailer. The bed is very comfortable, which is great and with no heat turned on, it gets nice and cold which makes me sleep really well.

I umpire a triple-header on Saturday, 10/1/4, 2 plate games and one on the bases and then a double-header on Sunday. I am umpiring both tier 1 and tier 2 this weekend, so it will be a nice mix. I have not umpired any tier 1 baseball yet this Fall, so I am sure the quality should be pretty good.

There are still 4 weeks left for Fall Ball, presuming the weather stays nice. It is supposed to be in the mid-20’s on Saturday, so that will be awesome.

The weekend will be here before we know it, enjoy yours.

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An un-needed election and no change…

Monday was election day in Canada. An un-needed election, I will add. The idiot who runs our country called one, trying to get a majority in government, which would have been bad. Right now, he at least has to get one of the opposition parties to agree with his lunacy before he can get something passed.

Anyway, I voted early, so I didn’t need to go and fight with lines of people, if there were lines of people. I was watch election results on Monday evening however, in between watching the first half of the Monday Night Football game between Detroit and Green Bay and then, the Astros and Angels. Anyhow, it ended up pretty much the way I expected it to, the Liberals won again with a minority government, in fact, very little change to what it was on Sunday.

So, the PM wasted over 600 million dollars on an election that no one wanted. As you might have guessed, I am NOT a Liberal, I have been a Conservative, well, ever since my brain developed, I suppose. I don’t particularly care for the Conservative leader, but, I was more than willing to give him a shot against the proven idiot in Trudeau.

We will know, in the next weeks and months if O’Toole survives as leader. The Conservatives have been, perhaps a little too quick, in getting rid of leaders who don’t win elections. I have read, and hope, that the Liberals toss aside Trudeau as well, but, I doubt that will happen. He seems to have some sort of mental hold on them, unsure how, it isn’t anything he’s done as PM, that’s for sure.

So, status quo for now, anyway. I do suppose that the Liberals winning is leagues above the NDP winning. Had that happened, I think the dogs and I would be relocating to Montana, which might not be a bad idea at all.

Yesterday was a day of pretty well nothing. I did some work around the house and watched baseball last night. I do need to clean my truck as the dogs rode in a few times and it’s a mess. I am back to camping and umpiring this weekend and am staying an additional night, both Friday and Saturday. I am going to watch the Calgary Dino’s Alumni baseball game on Friday evening, so I am camping that night as well. Should be a fun weekend with 5 games to umpire as well. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous which is awesome for this time of year.

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A busy, busy weekend

This was a pretty busy weekend. I dropped the dogs off a bit earlier then normal on Friday. I helped with some technical issues (with a projector) and also helped move a new couch into their living room. The dogs are always happy going to boarding, they love the two people who look after them when I am in Calgary.

I went to bed around 9pm on Friday night, early, but I knew I was getting an early start. To ensure that I don’t sleep in (like that ever happens anyway), I asked Alexa to wake me at 5am. Not needed, not needed at all. I woke up shortly after 1am and could not for the life of me get back to sleep. I got up and out of bed at 2:20 or so. I wanted to leave the house around 5:30, so that meant I had 3 hours to kill.

The truck was already loaded and ready to go, so I didn’t have to take care of that at all. I decided that watching a Modern Family mini-marathon was a good idea.

I headed out on time and picked up by trailer right at 8am. I was early getting to the park to umpire, but arriving early is always better than arriving late. I was scheduled to umpire a double-header, 10am and 1pm. Both were pretty decent games. I picked up a 3rd game for 7pm as well.

I headed to Balzac (yes, that’s the name of the town I was camping in) and set the trailer up. I had some time to kill before I had to leave for the park so I stopped at Boston Pizza for dinner. The 7pm game was well played and was done in an hour and 45 minutes. I got back to my trailer around 930 and since I had been up for about 20 hours at that point, I slept like a dead rock until after 5am on Sunday, which, for me, is quite late.

It was a cold night, temps just above zero. I didn’t want to bother to start the furnace in the trailer, but the space heater I brought did a fantastic job of heating it up nicely. I went for breakfast with a friend (Denny’s, where else?) and umpired 2 games, both of which were ended by the mercy rule.

I headed back to drop the trailer off. I upgraded my site to a pull-through spot, so parking was far easier. I stopped at Costco on the way home, put almost 100 liters of gas in the truck and stopped on the way home to retrieve my dogs. They were very happy to see me, and I was to see them – seeing 3 waggle butts will make anyone happy.

So, the weekend zoomed by, that’s for sure. It was great weather, a little cool in the mornings but great for late-ish September. I get to do it all over again next weekend and I am looking forward to it.

If you’re Canadian, remember to vote today if you already haven’t done it like I have. I will stay up tonight to see the results, although by the time the polls close here, the decision has already been made. I hope that we rid ourselves of the governing Liberals and the absolutely corrupt Prime Minister. We’ll see. If you’re not Canadian, please, wish us luck.

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A clean bill of health (for the dogs)

The dogs and I made the trek to Calgary yesterday for their annual check-ups at the vet. It took me a long time to find a vet that I really liked, so, when we moved down to Crowsnest Pass, I decided that we’d continue going to Glamorgan Animal Clinic. I am glad we did.

We left shortly before 10am and stopped at Costco in Okotoks on the way. I wanted to get slightly cheaper gas (it was $1.27 a liter, I think) and return something – I used restraint though and didn’t actually buy anything, a miracle for me.

We stopped at Shouldice Park as well, the off-leash park that we used to go to daily when we lived in Calgary. The dogs had a good run around, well, Hera didn’t run around, I wouldn’t let her, she was on-leash. I avoided the river area, as I didn’t want them to get wet right before the vet appointment.

We arrived at the clinic a bit early and the vet tech suggested I bring all three dogs in at the same time – I think she wanted to punish our vet for something. Not that the dogs are bad, not at all, but all three of them at once? Anyway, so all of us went in.

Blondie is in perfect shape for a Lab and he’s very impressed that, for an older Lab, she is in such good shape. Her teeth are good as well, so that’s awesome. Twix is being put on an anti-inflammatory to help with her back legs, he thinks she might be getting some arthritis back there, although she allowed him to fully check out her legs without any issues. Hera is healing very nicely from her surgery which was just 3 weeks ago. He’s very happy there. She needs follow-up x-rays 2 months after her surgery, which would be the end of October. I will take her to Peak in Pincher Creek for the x-rays.

So, all in all, the dogs are doing well. They do get plenty of exercise where we are, it’s so nice being able to go out into the “wilderness” for walks.

I will be dropping them off tonight for the weekend as I am heading back to Calgary tomorrow to umpire 2 double-headers. The weather forecast is much more promising this weekend, no rain is forecast, so I am looking forward to actually getting 4 games in. I will be camping again just past Cross Iron Mills mall off of Highway 2, north of Calgary. It’s a nice campground and has great facilities. I have already packed the stuff that I forgot the last time, so I should be set for a good night of camping. I will miss the Bills game on Sunday, but that’s ok. I hope they start their winning ways, especially against the Dolphins. I will get back to football in mid-October, after Fall Ball has wound down.

The weekend is here (almost), so, enjoy.

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Yearly check-ups, the dogs, not me…

Today are Blondie, Hera and Twix’s annual vet check-ups. We still go to a vet in Calgary, so it’s a bit of a trek that I am used to doing, that’s for sure. It took me a long time to find a vet that I liked so when I moved to Crowsnest Pass, I decided that we would continue going to Calgary for regular vet check-ups and what not. I now have a back-up vet in Pincher Creek as well, in case we have an emergency or something, and they have been great for Hera’s follow-ups after her surgery as well, it’s a 30 minute drive as opposed to 2.5 hours.

I have considered using them as our regular vet as well, but, really, it’s only once a year, typically. I think we’ll stick with going to Calgary. He really helped us out by allowing me to pay over time for Hera’s surgery, a lot of vets wouldn’t. He does seem to care more about the animals in his care than he does about the almighty dollar, it’s a nice change for sure.

Speaking of Hera’s surgery, she is doing quite well. She’s walking more or less normally and is doing basically what she was before her surgery. It is now 3 weeks since the surgery, the fur where it was shaved is still growing back, but I think the vet will be happy with her progress. She’s finished with 2 of 4 of the meds she was on and will be done with them all within a week or so.

We’ll make a stop today at Costco in Okotoks, I will buy some bags of dog food and fill up with gas, might get a few other things as well. We’ll then go for a walk around Shouldice Park where it’s off-leash, Hera needs to be leashed, for 2 reasons – she is still supposed to take it easy and she’s sometimes a little too aggressive with little dogs. It’ll be fun anyway, it’s the park we always used to go to before we moved away from Calgary.

On another front, to do with the dogs, Twix is no longer allowed to go to doggie day care. The reasoning I was given is that they are concerned with her, they think there is something wrong with her back-end, she goes all out at day care and is tired at the end of the day and is sore. The vet has checked her out and hasn’t found anything wrong, other than a touch of arthritis. So, after 3 years, if Twix isn’t welcome back, well, none of my dogs will be back. It’s too bad, but, it is what it is. I will ask the vet to carefully check her out again today, it would be nice to know if Twix is in pain, but I don’t think she is, no whining at all, she’s just slowing down – hell, we all are. Twix will be 9 in February, that is a senior dog. The doggie day care people said they didn’t want to be held responsible if she hurt herself. Well, that makes no sense since I signed a waiver of liability when we first started out, so, something else is up, although I don’t know what. Oh well, their loss, not ours. I guess the dogs won’t get socialization with other dogs for the time being.

Wish us luck today at the vet. I will give an update on Hera tomorrow. Have a great day.

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Trip to Ontario, booked.

Air Canada still has amazingly cheap flights available in Canada. I have booked a trip back to Ontario at the end of October, it is $222 return. Now, that doesn’t include any baggage or anything and it costs extra to choose your seat or to change the flight, but wow, that’s cheap.

I plan on heading to St. Catharines for 4 days and then I will be back in Toronto for 4 days. I booked a rental car to get to St. Catharines, it was the same price as booking Niagara Air Bus, which I find a bit odd, seems like Niagara Air Bus is way over-priced, so are car rentals, but it is what it is.

I am hoping for decent weather, don’t really care how cold it is but I would prefer no rain. We’ll see. I can’t complain about the weather on my last trip, it was just about perfect.

This will be a lower-key trip, not driving all over the place, for sure. Should be a good time.

I am sure the end of October will be here before I know it.

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Mother Nature is a wet bitch…

My day yesterday started early. I woke up at 3am, didn’t get out of bed until 340am. A little early for my tastes.

Made coffee. Loaded up my umpiring gear and clothes into the trailer. Even though I had plenty of time, I left the house later than I wanted to. I was off at about 640am.

I decided to take highway 3 East to highway 2 and great North to Calgary. It’s a slightly longer route, but it’s mostly flat and straight, as opposed to highway 22 which twists and turns like crazy. The truck was doing well pulling the trailer, obviously my mileage went down, but it wasn’t horrible.

I got to Nanton and stopped to get water so I’d be able to make coffee while camping. At this point, I realized that yes, I packed my spare coffee maker, but had forgotten filters… At this point I also saw the notification that the parks had been closed, so that meant that the 10am and 1pm games I was scheduled for had been cancelled. Well, at least I didn’t need to rush to Calgary.

I decided instead that I’d do some errands. I went to Cross Iron Mills mall, the watch that I purchased before my trip to Ontario had stopped working, I suspected a battery and indeed it was, they replaced the battery for free, it has a one year battery warranty. Nice.

I didn’t spend any other money at the mall, other than at Tim Hortons. I was being good.

I headed over to the RV park that I had booked for the evening, it’s very close to Cross Iron Mills. Even though it was only 1 in the afternoon, I was able to pull in, nice.

I discovered that in addition to forgetting the coffee filters, I also forgot a hose to connect the trailer to the water supply. Oh well, no water, but they have bathroom facilities. I got the trailer setup, very easy. Had a quick nap and was woken by the phone, was offered a game at 4pm. I decided to take it.

I was umpiring on the plate for a tier 2 game. It was generally not a will played game. It was a long game as well, almost 3 hours by the time it was finished. Oh well, got my first game in anyway.

Games today were lost, bad field conditions, again. I could have picked up a 4pm game again but decided against it, hell, another round trip to Optimist Park would be another 100km nearly. Maybe it’s closer to 80, bit still. So I’m in the trailer, listening to rain and watching a rather boring Bills game.

Other than the rain, forgotten items and lack of umpiring, it wasn’t a bad weekend. I think…

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Umpiring and Camping…

Fall Ball starts today, well, weather permitting. They were calling for showers overnight, I am unsure how much it rained in Calgary. We got a little bit down here, but, we are 2 hours south-west of Calgary, so, who knows? The park needs some work, water tends to pool around home plate and that alone washes out a number of games. The City of Calgary seems either unwilling or unable to fix this relatively minor issue.

I umpire at both 10am and 1pm. If the park is closed this morning, it will be closed until at least after the 1pm game, if it re-opens at all. I won’t know if the park is closed until I will be half way (or so) to Calgary. So, I might get there and the games may be cancelled. I am hoping this doesn’t happen. I am really looking forward to baseball again.

I am taking my trailer with me today. I will be camping just north of Calgary, near Cross Iron Mills mall. This will be my first camping trip with my new (to me) trailer, so I am looking forward to that as well, even if there is rain. I am staying for 2 nights, coming back Monday morning. The dogs are safely with friends who are looking after them. I will be leaving the trailer in a storage area in the south of the city. It’s far cheaper to leave the trailer there than to tow it back and forth.

So, here’s to hoping that the weather isn’t quite as bad as the forecast says. Weather changes quickly in Alberta, so I am hoping that’s the case.

Enjoy your weekend.

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Hera gets her stitches out…

Hera gets her stitches out today. The recovery from her surgery is going well, I guess I’ll get confirmation on that this afternoon. I put her cone on her last night before I went to bed, she hates it. I promised that it was the last night that she needed to wear it. I don’t think she cared. She looks so sad wearing it, it was likely unnecessary, but I wanted to be safe.

I got some bad news on my proposed business yesterday, a minor snag shall we say… The business is no longer for sale, makes it tough to buy. So, I’m going to be looking elsewhere for work. I think I’m going to get my class 1 or 2 license and go from there.

I am planning on visiting Ontario once more while flights are still cheap. I’m planning on a late October trip. I still need to iron out some details, but it should be a great time. I’m not going to drive all over hells half acre this time around, I’ll be spending time in Toronto and St. Catharines. I’ll see a few people I wasn’t able to see on my last trip.

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Summer is holding on…

We are having a nice dose of late summer weather here in SW Alberta. The weekend was gorgeous, temps were in the low 20’s all weekend, almost unheard of for this time of year. This week is supposed to be very nice as well, I think it’s supposed to be 23 or 24 (that’s Celsius, not Fahrenheit). The warm weather continues all week, cooling off to 19C for a high on Sunday – I can take that, in fact, I can take that all year round.

I wanted to head to the lake with the dogs yesterday, but Hera is not supposed to get her leg wet while she has her stitches in. So, no lake trip, just a slow walk. She gets her stitches out on Wednesday afternoon. I won’t be bringing Blondie and Twix this time around though, it is supposed to be 26/27C on Wednesday, so, far too warm to leave them in the car for sure.

I need to go and change the ownership of the trailer over to my name today or tomorrow. I am bringing it up to Calgary with me on Saturday so I can stay in it on Saturday night. I have rented a spot to park it in South-East Calgary, $50 a month. I will use it until I am done umpiring Fall Ball and then bring it back home and store it at a friends property for the winter. I am looking forward to Fall Ball, it should be a good time.

I am making some headway on my new career path, should find out more today. I met with both Community Futures and my real estate guy last week. Hopefully something does materialize along these lines, would be great. If not, I have a few backup plans.

Well, after the holiday yesterday (Labour Day), it’s the start of a new week. Have a good one.

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