Sleeping with dogs

I had put a deposit down on a king size mattress after adopting Twix.  Currently, I have a double which was fine with me and two dogs.  Squeezing in a third dog was a bit tight.  Hera starts with us at night and leaves and sleeps on the couch for the rest of the night.  She likes to spread out and there just isn’t enough room.

Anyway, I went into Sleep Country in January and found a good mattress for $1500 including GST.  I put down 10% to hold it at that price.  I had looked at online mattresses from various companies with prices ranging from $1100 to $1350, so really, not a lot of price difference.  Then, on Saturday, I saw a new ad with memory foam mattresses, king size, for $850 plus GST.  That’s a little more than half of what I was going to pay to Sleep Country so I figured I might as well cancel my purchase and get one of these ones online.

I went back to the store that I put the deposit down in – closed for renovations, figures.  I drove to the nearest store and explained the situation.  The sales guy showed me some comparable mattresses.  The one he recommended was $1800 for a king, so a grand more than the one I could get online.  Well, Sleep Country offers pricing matching + 5% off so I ended up getting it for just ove $800 plus GST.  With the $150 deposit from the other one applied to this new mattress, I owe just under $700 and have kept the original delivery date of the middle of March. I will get a little over a week to test it out before I head on my trip.  I am hoping that the dogs will like it, I am sure they will and also hoping that Hera will stay with us for the night too.

So, now to find some king size sheet sets, hopefully on sale and before next Fall, a new king size duvet.  At first glance, when you go to a king size duvet, the prices sometimes nearly double from a queen.  Oh well – what can ya do.  Looking forward to some nice nights of sleep.

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

Love four day weekends…

Today is Family Day in many of the Provinces in Canada – for some odd reason, BC’s was last Monday, guess they want to be different.  The only Province that doesn’t have something is Quebec, they are always different…  So, I am off today and to make an extra long weekend, I am off tomorrow as well.  Weekend is half over, I always wonder why weekends seem to go by so much faster than weekdays.

Saturday was a dog park day.  Blondie, Hera, Twix and I went out early, 7:30am or so and played ChuckIt for an hour and a half or so.  The park had turned from nice packed snow to rough snow-ice.  They didn’t seem to mind, I think they will play ChuckIt under any circumstances.  When we got home, I got a message from Twix’s former family, we had scheduled meeting up with them so we headed to Southland Dog Park (Sue Higgins Park) and walked around there for another hour and a half.  Twix was happy to see them and the visit went well.  She didn’t try to leave with them, so that made me happy, I think she’s enjoying her new life with me and her two dog sisters.  When we got home, they were rather tired.  We slept for a couple of hours in the afternoon, weekend naps are the best and are even better when you’re napping with your dogs.

Sunday, we started the day at Edworthy Park.  It isn’t ideal for playing ChuckIt, too much varied terrain, a great place to hike though.  I hiked about 4.5km in total which means the dogs likely did double or triple that.  I then made a solo road trip and visited my former hood, Forest Lawn in SE Calgary.  I dropped into the only Giant Tiger left in the city.  I used to live across from GT when I was in St. Catharines so I would be there numerous times a week.  I have not been there since I lived in the SE, over 3 years ago now.  They’ve renovated, and a few new buildings have cropped up since I lived there.  I stopped by Crossroads Market on the way home.  It has turned into more of a farmers market now.  A bit over-priced, I think.  Oh well…  Another nap in the afternoon made for a good Sunday afternoon.  Watched two excellent Morgan Freeman movies as well – The Shawshank Redemption and The Bucket List – two of my all time favourites.

Today, we will head back to Edworthy Park for another hike, at first light so 7:15ish.  It’s a 20 minute drive there so it should be light enough once we arrive.  I may be going for breakfast, not as yet confirmed and if so, that will be right after our hike as I have two baseball meetings starting at 10am.  I don’t know who schedules meetings for a holiday, other than Babe Ruth, but I guess that’s how it is.

Nothing else really planned.  I am sure we will end up somewhere tomorrow for a walk or ChuckIt.  I am going to apply, in person, for my passport.  Gotta get going on that since I am leaving in just over a month.It’s been a good weekend.  Back to work Wednesday for a shortened work-week.  Tax season is upon us, so I am hoping it will slow down a bit in IT.  We shall see.

It’s been a good weekend.  Back to work Wednesday for a shortened work-week.  Tax season is upon us, so I am hoping it will slow down a bit in IT.  We shall see.

Posted in Baseball, Blondie, Hera & Twix, Personal, Work | Leave a comment

Dog Food

When I first got Zeus, back in 2006, I put him on an Iams diet.  The vet I had at the time in St. Catharines said it wasn’t a bad food, one of the better ones in the “cheaper” variety.  Zeus stayed on that diet until he passed away, Blondie was also on Iams.  For a 20 lb bag, it was around $22 so not especially expensive.

After Zeus passed away, I looked at other brands of food.  I don’t know exactly why, it might have had something to do with his declining health in the last 6 months of his life.  I thought that perhaps if I bought a higher end food, it might help my dogs live a longer, healthier life.  I might be totally off-base too, who knows.

I did some research online, there are dozens or tens of dozens of different brands of food for your dog.  There are also advocates for feeding raw to your dog – I didn’t want to get into that.  It might be around the same cost, but it seems like a LOT of extra work and I am not sure I could handle watching the dogs chomping on raw food.

So, after speaking with my vet here in Calgary and speaking with the person at Global Pet Foods, I decided to try Pet Kind for Blondie and Hera.  I transitioned them over to it over a couple of weeks right after I adopted Hera.  They’ve now been eating it for nearly 2 years – it will be 2 years in July anyway.  I transitioned Twix to it as well and has not caused any issues with her and her sensitive stomach.

Anyway, long story short (I never tell a short story), I was in Global Pet Foods yesterday and picked up 3 x 25 lb bags of Pet Kind.  It comes to $250 with tax and I quickly calculated that I spend $3000 or so per year for dog food.  I don’t spend anywhere near that much for food for myself.  Don’t get me wrong, they are worth it, no doubt, but I had never calculated it before – sort of wish I hadn’t calculated it yesterday.  It is just a lot of money.

Pet Kind is made in BC and all sourced in Canada – I like both of those aspects.  I have not seen many (if any) recalls on this brand which is good.  It is an all stages food so you can start your puppy off on it and use it for their whole life.  There are also 4 different flavours so you can mix and match.  I don’t know how much of a difference that makes, but if I were a dog, I wouldn’t want the same flavour food for my whole life.  The dogs seem to like it, they gobble it up.  I have only ever seen it at Global Pet Foods, have not seen it anywhere else.  At Global, the deal is buy 12 bags and get the 13th free, so I get a free bag every 4 months or so – better than a kick in the butt and essentially makes it tax free, I will take that bonus.  They also have occasional sales, 10% off, sometimes more – another good deal.

Right at the moment, I have insomnia and am getting up in what most would call the middle of the night.  I feed the dogs around 3am and then again when we get back from the dog park, around 5pm.  It’s not a bad life, if you can swing it – I am referring to the dogs life, of course…

Posted in Blondie, Hera & Twix, Personal, Zeus | Leave a comment

Long weekend…

This coming weekend is a long weekend with Monday being Family Day in Alberta and most of Canada.  I am also taking Tuesday off to make a 4 day weekend out of it.  Typically, I would take Friday off, but someone else in my group beat me to it and booked Friday off before I did.  Doesn’t really matter, it is still a 4 day weekend.

On Tuesday, I plan on applying for my passport in person.  I’d prefer to do it that way than via mail.  The paperwork is ready, today I am getting a much needed haircut and going to have my passport photo taken.  I am not traveling for 5 weeks so that’s plenty of time to get the passport.  I am getting the 10 year option, it is $160 as opposed to a 5 year option which is $120.  I guess they are pushing for the 10 years…  I didn’t really think I would need one after moving to Alberta and may not use it after my upcoming trip, but it’s good to have one in case.

Who knows anyway, I have volunteered to assist with one of Babe Ruth Calgary’s travel clubs if the need is there and they travel to the US for a tournament or two.  It is a lower commitment than coaching one of the summer clubs, there are 3 tournaments and a practice every week.  It will be a good option, I am thinking.  We will see if there is a need.

Plans are falling into place for my stay in Ontario.  Presuming dates don’t change, I will get into Toronto on a Friday, spend the day in the city and head to Niagara on Friday evening.  It will be nice seeing people in Niagara on Saturday and Sunday and then I will head back to Toronto for Monday morning and work in the National office for 3 or 4 days then fly out to Mauritius.  All of this is subject to change – the dates haven’t been firmed up and I guess there’s a chance it will be postponed or canceled.  I’d like to get flights arranged sooner rather than later, but that’s not the way it works.

Well, today is the half way point of the week.  Enjoy the rest of yours.

Posted in Baseball, Personal, Zeus | Leave a comment

Happy birthday Twix

Today is Twix’s birthday.  Well, the day that her former owners celebrated as her birthday.  She is originally from San Diego, California and although her medical history from there is fairly complete, it doesn’t show a specific birthday, just February of 2013.  So, today, Twix is 4 years old.

She’s been part of the family for a day shy of a month and is fitting in very well.  She gets along with both dogs and loves to wrestle with Hera outside, Blondie even gets involved from time to time and she and Twix terrorize Hera.  Hera plays along well and rolls around in the snow.  They have a great time.  I need to bring my phone out one of the these days and video this as it is quite cute – two smaller dogs dominating poor Hera – even though Hera outweighs Blondie by 25 pounds and Twix by 40.  They have fun anyway.

Today is also Valentine’s Day.. Big deal…  LOL.  No significant other for me, that’s ok.  Here’s a shoutout to the other singles out there and if you do have a significant other, well, Happy Valentine’s Day.

It is already mid-February.  Time is zooming by.  I will be leaving for my trip in just over a month.  I am hoping to have flights booked by next week.  I may be visiting Saskatchewan again in mid-March, just before I head to Ontario and Mauritius.  Lots of travelling for sure.

Well, time for coffee and get my day going, even though it is only 4:30 in the morning.  Hopefully my insomnia will end in the near future – have a good one.

Posted in Blondie, Hera & Twix, Personal, Work | Leave a comment

Start of another week…

The start of a new week.  Some people hate or dread Monday’s, I don’t.  I typically look back and think how did the weekend go by far too quickly, but that’s about it.  I enjoy my job, I know a lot of people who don’t, for whatever reasons so I guess that’s why they may not like Mondays.  Well, perhaps if you don’t like your job, change it, or change your attitude.  I didn’t like my last job and I left it.  Very, very glad I did.

Today is Family Day in BC, I guess they just have to be different.  The rest of the country has family day next Monday. That will slow things down a bit at work, not a lot though.  It is the start of busy season at work as well – tax time.  The staff start to get a little testy this time of year since they are so dang busy.  Well, IT has been busy since the beginning of September, so, you won’t get much sympathy from me.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, not that I care about that – bullshit holiday invented and carried on to cause people to spend money in the middle of the winter.  Tomorrow is also Twix’s birthday, she will be 4 years old and it will be just about a month since she joined us.  She is fitting in quite well, I think she really likes having two dog sisters to play with and a Dad who works from home and has lots of time to give three dogs attention. She’s clingy with me, typically laying beside me on whatever part of the couch I am sitting on.  She isn’t spending the day in the office any more, she tends to go back to bed and sleeps the day away – tough life, and a good gig if you can get it.  So, happy birthday Twix.

Next weekend the four of us are going to meet with Twix’s former owners at a dog park.  I am sure she will love seeing her former family.  They’ve been following posts on Facebook and as any of my friends know, I tend to post a fair amount there.  Hopefully she isn’t confused and thinks they are taking her home again.

With next Monday being Family Day (in the rest of the country that has it), I am taking a 4 day weekend.  I was unable to get Friday off since one of the guys who backs me up is already off, so I chose Tuesday instead.  Next week will be a great, short week – three day weeks fly by very quickly.

This week, I need to get passport photos done and then apply for my password.  A 5 year passport is $120 and a ten year one is $160.  Do you think they are pushing the 10 year deal?  I may never need it again after my trip in March but I guess it will be good to have.  Lots of time for it to arrive before I head on my trip so that’s good.  I have no idea where I go to apply, should I apply in person, otherwise I can apply via mail.  I think I wil find the passport office though.

Well, time for coffee and to start my day.  Enjoy your week.

Posted in Blondie, Hera & Twix, Personal, Twix, Work | Leave a comment

The Sportsman Show

The Sportsman Show yesterday was pretty good, lots of exhibitors, lots of different stuff from all aspects of the outdoors.  A huge number of boats for sale – no interest in that myself, there isn’t a lot of water around and I am not a huge fisherman anyway.  Water skiing on the Bow River, that would be interesting.  Way out of the average persons’ price range anyway.  Some of the Seadoo’s were cool, those would be a lot of fun.

There were some trailers, only a few different models and the prices were nowhere near as good as at the RV Show of a few weeks ago.  There was an Airstream trailer, one of the smallest ones they make, would sleep just two, no washroom, nothing special – $55000.  A completely ridiculous price if you ask me.

I purchased one thing, a slice of dry pizza.  LOL

I headed home shortly after 2PM, took the train to Crowfoot station where I had parked my vehicle.  On the way home, nearly there (within a kilometer for sure), going up a hill, it started to sputter.  Sure enough, I ran out of gas.  I knew I was low, I didn’t know I was that low.  In all of the years that I have driven, that has never happened to me before.  Luckily, I have AMA Plus so I called for roadside gas.  It took them a while, there apparently were a lot of calls and few drivers working.  They put in about 10L of gas for me, no charge.  A passerby helped me push my SUV out of the way of traffic.  Wow, is it a heavy vehicle, we were barely able to move it.  Oh well, a lesson learned for sure.  Pay attention to the low gas light…  At least now I know exactly how far I can go.

So, half of the weekend is over.  Weekends go by far too quickly.  Tomorrow is back to work day.  At least I enjoy my job and next weekend is a long weekend with Family Day being Monday and I have extended it through Tuesday as I have lieu time to use.  It will be a nice relaxing weekend.

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

The Sportsman Show, a trailer and coaching

I am heading to the Sportsman Show this weekend at the Coral Center downtown.  Should be good, I last went a few years ago.  Lots of different stuff to look at for sure.  I am going with a true sportsman so it should be fun.  Will get me out of the house for a few hours anyway and will likely keep me out of trouble for a few hours.

I have decided against purchasing a trailer after all.  The financing options were not to my liking.  I was hoping to keep the monthly payments down to $25o or so per month.  Well, in order to do that, the term was going to be dragged on too long and I would have ended up spending WAY too much money on it.  A shorter term would have kept the overall cost down, but I am not spending over $600 per month on something I might use 5 months of the year.  Too bad, but what can ya do.

So, plans for the summer have slightly changed.  I will likely umpire a bit more than I was planning and I think I will spend some more time outside with the dogs.  I plan on building a fire pit in the backyard so that will be cool.  I missed that living in Ranchlands.  Hopefully, I can coerce a friend or two to help me with the fire pit, nothing fancy.  I do have the landlord’s permission to put one in, so that is half the battle.

I have volunteered to help out with one of the travel teams this summer.  Currently, there is no coach in place.  I am not really interested in being the head coach unless there is a specific need, but I wouldn’t mind helping out.  It has a low commitment, one practice a week and 3 tournaments where I would not have to spend anything out of pocket.  At least one of the tournaments are in the US but I will soon have my passport again so that won’t be an issue.  The only cost I would have would be the dogs in boarding.  No idea if this will go ahead – I’ve offered, I will likely hear in the next few weeks, I would guess.

Well, that’s it for now.  This week flew by, as most recent weeks have.  Enjoy your weekend.

Posted in Baseball, Blondie, Hera & Twix, Personal | Leave a comment

Enough of the cold…

It is just after 4am and it is -30C outside right now.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t tend to mind winter, but come on, -30 is a bit insane.  Add a windchill to that and it is more insane.  Well, it is nearing the middle of February, winter will be over soon(ish) enough.

Blondie and Twix are unimpressed with the temperatures.  Twix goes out, does her business and comes back to the door wanting to go in as quickly as she can.  This morning, Blondie showed a rare aversion to the cold – she was doing the paw hop.  Hera on the other hand lays in the snow and rolls around – she seems to love it.

I will be getting away from the cold in a few weeks.  I am heading to Mauritius for a 3 week business trip.  It will be the end of summer down there so temps should be hotter than what I typically like, around the 30C range.  Compared to right now, that is 60C hotter than what we have today, sort of nuts.

I will be in Toronto for a few days prior to heading to Mauritius.  I also plan on visiting Niagara for a weekend visit.  It will be good to see everyone.  It will be a whirlwind trip though.  I will then work a few days out of the National office which will be cool.

Dates have not yet been confirmed, but it is looking like it will be the end of March.  If all goes as currently planned, I will head to Toronto on March 24, Niagara on the 25th and 26th and then Toronto for the 27th through 29th and fly out on the 30th.  I will be back around April 23 or so.  Blondie, Hera and Twix will be at Tree Tops Pet Resort for the time that I am away.  Blondie and Hera love it there, Twix has never been so I think I will do an overnight in the next month.  It might help her to know she’s there for a bit and then I pick them up – who knows…  With me being gone for nearly a month, they might think it is their new home.

I need to get my passport, I let it expire when I moved to Alberta since I am so far from the border and typically don’t travel.  The 10 year passport is $160, so not too bad.  It will be an experience anyway, I’ve never left North America and really didn’t think I ever would.  Who knows, perhaps this will awaken a desire to travel.  My budget likely won’t allow it though.

I am sure to post a lot of pictures and a log of my adventure.  Enjoy it, I am sure I will.

Posted in Blondie, Hera & Twix, Personal, Work | Leave a comment

Weekend is here…

This week at home has zoomed by.  I was off on Monday of course so it was a short week but all day yesterday, I was sure it was only Wednesday.  Not a bad week, at all.

My back has been acting up though, so we have not been making regular trips to the dog park.  Good thing I have a large backyard, the dogs have partially been able to play off some of their energy.  The back feels better today so we will return to the park tonight, I am sure they will be happy.

So, nothing really going on this weekend, I am going to Babe Ruth evaluations tomorrow to have new players size for uniforms.  A few dog park trips are in order and on Sunday, the Super Bowl of course.  Go Patriots !!!

Should hear back on trailer financing today or Monday – they have been rather backed up with all the sales they had.  No rush, I am not camping this weekend, WAY too cold.

Enjoy your weekend.

Posted in Baseball, Blondie, Hera & Twix, Personal, Work | Leave a comment