Saturday, 17 June 2017

Learning about myself

I have a lifetime of learning about myself. Growing up in the church it was always about self analysis and figuring out where you were tricking yourself into thinking you were right with God. There was always some way you could improve.

Having moved to Canada I find there is a lot of motivational stuff to get caught up in here. Seeing it from a distance I used to find it very annoying because it felt like cheese (nonsense people tell themselves to make themselves feel better), but I find now I'm getting caught up in it. I can't figure out if it's because of the life stage I'm in that cheese gets my emotions going. Anything to do with my little daughter tugs at my tear ducts, an opportunity to earn money makes me want to jump right in and do a little cheese makes me feel so much better. Perhaps it's not my luge stage, but the fact I'm now surrounded by motivational adverts, people, podcasts, the the Americas really are the nations of "I can" and that culture of self motivation is all encompassing. I'm investing in the stock exchange believing I can make millions, cycling to work believing I'm an athlete.

I'm trying very hard to prevent myself from making bad decisions as a result of these delusions.  It is fun to push yourself and discover you can achieve more, I'm finding its equally important to pace yourself and change slowly so you don't scare your family that you've gone crazy.

Hopefully I've managed to do that and I'm not going off the rails yet.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Geese eating cars

Just one of the things I've enjoyed about staying in Canada is that there are Geese all around all summer.  We arrived in spring last year and lived near a small lake at Unionville. Each geese parents had several goslings following them. The father on the lookout for any humans straying too close and the mother herding the little ones.
Some people do find it a little difficult because Geese can be a bit aggressive, but I've found you just give them a wide berth and it's lovely to see them everywhere in public.

So at the office I heard the story that there are two geese that have been coming every year to nest on the grounds of our office.  Apparently they've had little goslings every year right in the parking lot of our office block.  This year we got an email that said they were going to try deter the Geese from coming back.  They put out some decoy geese to discourage them from hanging around. There were jokes about the decoy geese flying about the office and hilarity about the suddenness of the email.

The geese left for the day, but then returned. We got another email. They had laid an egg near the cars and we needed to move them. It was quite amazing watching how fearless the geese can be!  Cars were trying to drive down the parking lot to find a spot to park in the morning and the male goose wouldn't let them pass.  The car literally had to back up and drive around him to carry on.  They eventually cordoned off the area so that everyone had to drive around the back.  This was much better for all involved, the geese were obviously getting quite stressed about the cars driving by and the cars clearly didn't want to drive over the geese.

I had taken my bicycle that day and the egg was very near the bicycle rack! I was a bit worried about being able to cycle home, but thought it was worth a shot to try get my bike out early before they were really on the rampage. That gave me the opportunity to film someone else's car being moved. The guy had to climb in on the passenger's side because if he tried the driver's side the geese would have "chased him off" like they "chased off"this car.

At the end of the video I had to laugh, the male goose is clearly very proud of how he managed to chase off that monster creature!
The end of the story unfortunately results in that the geese were relocated despite having a egg.  However it was done by professionals so I trust that everything worked out well for the geese.  However I noticed when I first arrived that there seemed to be geese everywhere, you see an open patch of grass and there are geese on it.  Even when there is no grass sometimes there are geese, quite a few times I've seen one hanging out in the Wallmart parking lot.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Changing your tyres yourself

Phew!  I just finished changing all four tyres in one go.  What a workout, I'm also quite dirty from the process.

So, for those who don't know, in Canada, you should change to winter tyres in the winter, it gives you better grip in freezing conditions (there is no difference on black ice, you need spikes to grip on that!).  Winter Tyres are softer so they operate better in the lower temperature ranges.  Someone said to me that the optimum temperature was 7 degrees celcius.  Then you need to change back to your summer tires (or all seasons) in spring. Having previously gone to the trouble of buying winter tyres and having someone fit them for me, I wanted to save the cash and put the all seasons back on myself.

My first problem was that I have a car with run flats and no spare tyre.  That means the car doesn't come equipped with a jack.  I sorted this out with a colleague by borrowing his jack and I was all ready! Well, I thought I was.  The other thing you need to change tyres is a crow bar!
I decided I wasn't going to let a little thing like a crow bar stop me from changing my tyres tonight! I started asking the neighbours.  The first neighbour was very kind, but was in the same boat as me (except he wasn't bothered about changing his tyres himself).
The second neighbour thought I was plain crazy and couldn't find his crowbar or even his spare tyre anywhere.  He gave me a number for a guy who would come to where the car was parked and change them for $100.
The third neighbour was again very kind and had a Jetta, so I knew where the spare was and that they would have a crowbar.  Thank you so much kind neighbour! (at least I had met this one before, maybe that made they a little more amenable)

Once that drama was complete I finally managed to change the first tyre and noticed a plastic cap in the centre of the steel part that the wheel fits on.  I tried fitting the wheel on and it went on no problem.  I put the bolts in and they went in no problem.  I let the car off the jack and it all looked good.  Then I thought let me google this, I remembered the salesman that sold me the winter tyres talking about plastic spacers and maybe this was them.
A quick google search later and I realised that I definitely had to take them off! The guy ended up driving the car with the spacers on all the way to the garage and he said the car was wobbly and shaky.  The mechanic reckoned that he could easily have died.

I took the tyre off again and took the plastic spacer off, then changed the rest of the tyres and took the car for a spin.  All felt good.

If there are any updates tomorrow I'll let you all know, or maybe I won't because I won't be in any condition to post!