From personal

Mark is 15

Mark turns 15 today.  For his birthday Jordon got him a stove and fuel canister.  Since he is a teen and therefore occasionally clumsy, we also gave him a Jet Boil stand for his canister and stove.  It makes the base wider and less likely to hurt himself.

Ultralight Backpacking Canister Camp Stove with Piezo Ignition 3.9oz

and a one person mess kit.  If he is going to have a stove, he will want to cook up something.  We tossed in a pot scrubber so he can do his own dishes.  Mark instantly realized what that mean for him and was more than a little sad.

One Person Mess Kit

Those (along with a lighter) were his early gifts as we went to Prince Albert National Park on Sunday for a day of hiking (we hiked the Narrows and Waskesiu River trails before Oliver ran out of gas) and photography.

This morning we got up early and Jordon and I got him an Altec Lansing Soundblade Bluetooth Speaker

Altec Lansing Soundblade Bluetooth SpeakerOliver gave him a set of frisbee golf discs.    They are the same that the boys gave me for Mother’s Day.

Frisbee Disc Golf Set

Since Oliver didn’t have any discs, Jordon bought three Frisbees for a $1 each for him.  This way he can join us when we play.

We also gave him a hacky sack.  Every teen needs a hacky sack to kick around, even if they aren’t really good at it.

Happy Birthday Mark!

Recipes and more recipes

I decided to consolidate some of my web presence today and I imported all 1500 recipes from The Cooking Blog into my own weblog here.   The recipes can be found here and they are searchable and sorted by tag. 

Running the two sites made sense at the time but since then, it has just added a different thing onto my plate.  This way no matter what I do to The Cooking Blog, the recipes will be archived on my site.

Mother’s Day

I woke up early and went with Jordon to Saskatoon City Hospital while he got treatment and some tests on his foot.  It gets better for a while and then it gets way worse.  Today was a way worse kind of day.  The good news is that they did the test on his leg that he has been dreading and the results were amazing.  The leg is messed up but the long term prognosis is getting better.

After that ordeal was over, I had a nice brunch with  Mark and Oliver who then along with Jordon took me for a walk with our cameras along to Wanuskewin Heritage Park.  We got out there and it was closed for a special function (doh!).  We had been out on Sunday’s before but didn’t realize they also close on Sundays in the winter.

So we decided to go out to Pike Lake and check it out and The Gift of Green Nature Trail.  We walked the promenade but the trail wasn’t open yet and was still barricaded.  We will return to hike it for Oliver’s birthday (it was his idea and was excited about it).

The boys gave me a three disc frisbee golf set that I can use at the frisbee golf course in Diefenbaker Park.  I will try them out next weekend.  Jordon and Sean are tossing the discs once in a while (Jordon is terrible at it) so I may join them.

Frisbee Disc SetThey also got me a grip for my Olympus OM-D E-M10, some lightweight gloves for when we go to Grey Owl’s cabin, and some new headphones from Panasonic.   I must thank Hilary for introducing all of us to the joy of higher quality headphones (and reviews in The Wire Cutter in some tweets a couple of years ago.  My ears thank her.

Jordon had some photos of Mark, Oliver and Marley framed for me.  They look great.  Well the photos of Mark and Oliver look great, the one he picked of Marley was of me after I had to run after her after she bolted.  I look mad, Mark looks indifferent, and Marley looks defiant.    

I hope you are having a wonderful Mother’s Day as well.  

Things humans do that dogs hate

Among other things, dogs hate being bored.

ou know that feeling of being stuck hanging around someone who is totally boring? Think back: remember having to be with your parents while they ran grown-up errands? None of which revolved around a toy store or park, of course. Remember that feeling of barely being able to contain yourself, of wanting to squirm and groan and complain. You couldn’t take part in the adult conversation, which was boring anyway, and you were told to sit still and hush. But oh boy did you ever want to just moooove! Just run around the block or something to break the monotony. That’s how your dog feels when you’re busy being that boring grown-up. Dogs abhor it when we’re boring. And it’s hard not to be! We get home from work and we want to unwind, to get a few chores done, to make dinner and sack out on the couch and relax. But that’s about the most annoying thing we could do to our dogs who have been waiting around all day for us to finally play with them.

If your dog is making trouble — getting into boxes or closets, eating shoes or chewing on table legs — she’s basically showing you just how incredibly bored she is. Luckily, there is a quick and easy solution to this: training games. Teaching your dog a new trick, working on old tricks, playing a game of “find it” with a favorite toy, or going out and using a walk as a chance to work on urban agility, are all ways to stimulate both your dog’s mind and body. An hour of training is worth a couple hours playing a repetitive game of fetch in terms of wearing a dog out. While of course exercise and walks are important, adding in some brain work will make your dog happy-tired. Even just 15-30 minutes of trick training a day will make a big difference.

Camping thoughts

This week Jordon posted about getting a couple of guidebooks to Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains.  We are heading to Banff for a day this summer in part to scout out a campground that we plan to spend a week in next year.  From there we will be taking a series of long day hikes into the mountains (and some local tea houses).

We have a lot of gear for our backcountry hike to Grey Owl’s Cabin but we don’t really have a lot of stuff to more traditionally camp with.   Today while I was in Wal-Mart, I saw some cook sets for the family that were reasonably priced but then I realized that we have travel mugs and some stainless steel beer mugs already.  So I bought a travel container and seven lightweight melamine plates for $5.  I then went to Dollarama and bought four melamine bowls for $2.  So rather than spending $49, I spent 7 and got exactly what I would have had to pay $50 for.  I’ll call that a win.

They won’t get used this year but they will be used a lot next year.  It feels good to have them checked off the to-do list.

While we were out today, we bought Jordon a pair of hiking boots.  That wasn’t that hard.  He just wanted 3/4 cut hikers which gave us a fair amount of options.

Olympus OM-D E-M10

Last night Jordon stopped by my work and told me he picked up my Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera from Don’s Photo in Saskatoon.  This is what it looks like.

Silver Olympus OM-D E-M10

It’s an upgrade over the Olympus PEN E-PL2 that Jordon gave me for Christmas in 2013.  I love that camera but this one is faster, has better image quality, a viewfinder, wifi, and is better in low light.  I am super excited to try this out and master it.

I already have a collection of lenses from my E-PL2 so I am set there.  Now I just need to master the new camera. 



After Maggi died, we know that we would get a new dog.  After looking around at some rescue dogs (and having some weird conversations with some of them), we found a black lab at the Saskatoon SPCA.  Jordon looked at the profile and filled out an online application.

Elway, Maggi, and Hutch had all come from the SPCA so they approved our application in no time.  We went out to the SPCA on Wednesday and asked for a black lab named Civic.

Out came this dog which looks to us to be a black lab/terrier mix.  After meeting him for a minute, Jordon decided to adopt him when they told us that he was spaded.  Ummm, we thought it was a male dog.  It wasn’t.  Even some of the SPCA staff thought it was a he (which is what the online profile said).  Again, it wasn’t a big deal so we took him, err, her home.

She isn’t that socialized yet and is still a puppy.  She leads with her teeth which means that we all have bite marks all over us.  This morning she woke Jordon up by chewing on his face.  That has gotten old quickly.

She has bonded with all of us except for Oliver who is a little scared by a high energy puppy who likes to pounce.  Oh right, Hutch hates Marley.  Marley loves to romp, pounce, and play.  Hutch likes to grump a lot.  They will need some time.

It’s been an adjustment for me.  I am used to mature dogs.  Marley is a puppy with endless energy and hasn’t learned any obedience yet.  It’s been fun but her and I have a lot to learn.

Happy Birthday Jordon!

It’s Jordon’s 41st birthday today.  To celebrate I got Mark and Oliver up early and we gave him his gift which was a Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Lens for his Pentax camera.

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Lens

He will use it to shoot Mark’s football this fall with and maybe some wildlife.  I hope he likes it.  Of course Mark is super excited as it means that he gets Jordon’s older Sigma 70-210 lens.  He sees it as a win-win.

Mark gave him a new Starbucks Travel Mug

Starbucks Travel Mug

Oliver gave him Saskatoon’s Electric Transit: the Story of Saskatoon’s Streetcars and Trolley Buses by Easten Wayman

Saskatoon's Electric Transit by Easten Wayman

It’s a used book from Westgate Books.

They also ordered Jordon a 65 litre backpack for our trip to Grey Owl’s cabin.  It’s big enough that we can pack Oliver in it and have room to spare.

North 49 - 55 litre backpack

It is Jordon’s day off today.  I took it off to hang out with him.  After the boys were off to school, we went for coffee at City Perk and then grabbed lunch at the Spring Roll on 33rd.  This afternoon we are  off for a long walk as Jordon tried out his new lens and then to Broadcast House where Jordon does his 5:15 roundtable with David Kirton and Cynthia Block.