Jack’s Walk

Shovel Face ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s melting! Rapidly melting! It’s +6°c today (-6°c yesterday), and we’re saying bye, bye to all the snow again. That would be the snow that I’ve shovelled twice and will no doubt shovel a third time because it’s going to be warm and rainy for a couple of days with snow expected again by Sunday night and then more melting next week. Sheesh! Snow… Shovel… Melt… Mud. Snow, shovel, melt, mud. I’m trapped in the back aching, snow moving, muddy, messy, messed-up Canadian version of the Groundhog Day of Climate Change. Since it’s still January, it will, of course, get cold again after that and I can only hope it will stay that way.

There. I’ve said it. I want January to be cold. It’s supposed to be cold. The lakes should be covered in ice, the ground should be frozen solid, Jack should have more hair than this and I should be bitching about how fucking cold it is, not about this crap.*


*Sorry, Australia. I know this crap is so much better than what you’re dealing with, but Father Weather won’t let me share. Be safe.


Crappy New Gear etcetera, aka: Good News, Everyone!

The New Year has arrived, with a new, fresh and unsullied threat of a third world war. For me, personally, that would be more than enough to jump with joy /s, however, there is more.

Closer to home we hadn’t any decent snowfall this winter, only rain. Which does not seep very well into the frozen ground. Even the mountains have no more than a few cms of snow, and to get the skiing business running, they keep depleting groundwaters to make artificial snow. So in all probability extreme droughts are going to continue for the third year in a row. But global warming definitively does not exist, because right now there is about two mm of snow outside that fell overnight. Yay!

Even closer to home, I was pain-free for a whole week, so I felt confident I can manage the transfer from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The update went reasonably well, after only four tries I have managed to install the system without needing to buy a new license (or doing anything illegal), and mere two days were needed to install all the software I use and get it running. Some older programs and HOMAM III needed some persuasion, but I managed it alright. The PC runs better than ever before (clean system installation does that) and everything is ship-shape. Now the only thing that remains is to backup and clean all my data when I am at it. True joy. Except that both my pointer fingers flared up from typing, the right one with extra helping from all the mouse-clicking before I got my old drawing tablet running so I can use left hand too (I have an ergonomic mouse, so I cannot use it left-handed). And it was not that difficult work to do, to begin with :-(.

So the new year is off to a very “good” start, even the good comes with some bad.

On a cheerier note, I heard that it helps to keep new year resolutions when you write them down publicly, so here are mine with commentary:

1) Exercise at least 2 minutes, daily, no other specifics (last year I tried an hour two times a week, that got thrown out of the window with subsequent 6-week illnesses – 2 minutes daily should be more manageable and possible in some form even when ill, less exhausting and still at least somewhat useful).

2) Absolutely no using phone or PC after 21:30, I shall be reading books instead before bedtime (I think I was staring into my phone more than is healthy, even without facebook or twitter, especially these last two months when I could not do much else).

3) No YouTube or movies or internet or games on PC or phone from after breakfast till 19:00 on workdays, only perhaps audiobooks to listen to at work (I do not need to watch as many vids as I did, neither do I need to obsess over what new idiotic thing the conservatives the world over have done right this minute).

4) Most relevant to you all – at least one blog post a week, however short and inconsequential.

5) Start painting and drawing again (to have something to blog about).

So, happy New Year to you all. The farce is definitively with us.

An update About my Continuing Absence (and more) – Charly

Hi guys, as I mentioned already in several posts, I had some pain trouble with my hands for over half a year by now. In the summer I visited an orthopedist and he told me, based on an X-ray, that there is no inflammation and that warmth and rest should suffice. With maybe some anti-inflammation medication as a precaution.

Well, I took the advice and medication he prescribed. Problems receded to nearly, but not completely, vanishing. Then they returned. Then they nearly, but not completely, vanished again. So after I finally left my job at the end of October, I took a whole month of rest. Like, doing absolutely nothing except keeping myself alive and clean. I also only turned PC on twice a week to read e-mails, because clicking mouse and writing on the keyboard were both extremely aggravating. However, it was still not enough so I visited my GP, who in turn requested a re-evaluation of my old X-rays from a radiologist and performed blood screening.

The good news is that I do not have autoimmune rheumatic arthritis, neither do I have Lyme disease or carpal tunnel syndrome. The bad news is that I did indeed have inflamed first joint on my right hand the whole time. There does not seem to be any large-scale damage to the joints (and hopefully no permanent damage), but now I am probably more prone to both tendonitis and arthritis than I was previously and I might even already have tendinosis (permanent damage to the tendons). I was always prone to straining my hands with work and having to take abnormally long rests afterward, but never so long and persistent like this. I am getting old in addition to my always poor health, I guess.

I was prescribed new anti-inflammatory medication by my GP and it seems to have helped quite a lot. I had a few days since then when my hands felt completely normal. But still, a few hours on PC render me useless for two days as my pointer fingers get sore again. I will probably have to take a few longer courses of anti-inflammatory drugs with even more rest and some careful exercise before (if) I am back to normal again. I will have to visit my doc again in the new year. As it is now, I am not medically disabled whilst not being able to work, which sucks on a completely different level.

So the next bad news is that I definitively cannot carry my weight around the blog re: writing, for non-definable time. I will try to post some pictures again at least. Only not this year, because now that I can use PC at least short times somewhat, I have to do all my backlogged bookkeeping and transfer from Windows 7 to Windows 10, which I expect to take a week at least. And then, of course, I need to read up on all that I have missed here since November because whilst I can watch YouTube on my phone, reading on it I found to be extremely uncomfortable so I had to reduce my reading input too.

To counterbalance it with a hope of good news, even now most medium to heavy work is not nearly as much of a problem as writing on PC is – in fact I repaired old furniture and cleaned the attic with no adverse effects –  so once I feel healthy enough I still hope to be able to start making knives and wood carvings the next year. And draw/paint pictures.

So Happy Holidays and Grumpy New Year or somesuch. See ya.

Jack’s Walk

Tired pup ©voyager, all rights reserved

Rather than show you another photo of Jack swimming in the river, I thought I’d share Jack’s sleepy, after swimming face. I’m a bit excited about this picture because I can see that Bubbs is beginning to grow some hair. There, under his chin, you can see his neck ruff starting to fill in and also across his back just past his collar I can see it starting to get thicker. Don’t let that bare spot by his name tag fool you. That’s only from the clumping of being wet. It isn’t much extra hair yet because his collar still fits. Once it gets growing well, his collar will need to be loosened once or twice. There’s an inch or two’s difference between his summer fit and winter fit. Colder weather will be arriving tonight and I’m hopeful that a few weeks of chill will turn my boy into a hairy beast again. One thing I don’t like when Jack is in full fur is that he looks older. Without his thick ruff, he seems more puppy-like, even with the grey hair.

Poor Bubbs, he seems so serious when he’s tired.  Actually, he looks a bit fretful in almost every photo taken of him, which is odd because Jack isn’t a worrier. He very much lives in the moment with a calm personality and his no-fuss attitude is actually quite good at helping me find a calm, zen mind. Maybe he just doesn’t like to have his picture taken.

Swan Swam over the Lake: An Autumn Walk

Then local pond had some pokestops added, making it a much more attractive destination for an afternoon  walk (don’t judge). the fact that the woods are currently 90% mud further increased the attractiveness of the pond and its plastered walks. And it was nice taking the camera to something “new”. Sadly most of the sun was already gone because even sunshine apparently discriminates against working women.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

That fountain goes off once an hour. occasionally it shoots a bird out of the sky (or at least thoroughly confuses it).

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved


Swans are known to mate for life. Unfortunately, this swan’s partner didn’t know that and took off about three weeks ago.

Part two will follow tomorrow, when we find out if the swan swam over the lake (swim, swan, swim!).

Holidays: Sagrada Familia: I’m Sorry, I Broke It

Here’s the last pics from our night out. After that, Instead of walking back the short way to the train station we got off, the family voted to walk to the Plaza Catalunya and we got a bit lost on the way. We managed to catch the last train home which was kind of strange because you’d think that trains from the capital to the bigger cities around it would run through the night, especially on a Saturday, but shortly after midnight the train service ceases for the night. On that train I had one of the more frightening experiences. A young dude was standing in the aisle and suddenly took out a dagger style knife. I didn’t say a word, especially not to the tired kids and extra especially not to the dude so I wouldn’t catch his attention. He started “stabbing” the side of the train and I started to make plans in case of emergency, like putting my camera rucksack in front of my body and shifting my position to cover the kids.

Thankfully he then used his knife to cut off the top of a plastic bottle, took out some cheap wodka and lemonade and got even more drunk than he was before.

OK, back to the Sagrada Familia. I have no clue what happened here. I guess the light and the structure and the 2D nature of photography are playing a trick, because it definitely didn’t look like this, or I would have noticed.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Looking quite chill. A day of visitors and works done.

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Maybe a bit tipsy.

©Giliell, all rights reserved. The angle of the cranes is worrying me.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Ok, looks like I didn’t accidentally walk of out a Mexican restaurant in Barcelona and ended up in Pisa.

©Giliell, all rights reserved.

©Giliell, all rights reserved. Go home, you’re drunk.



Tummy Thursday: I’m Bored

And boredom leads to cake.

For the Pokémon Go Community Day last Saturday I made a black forest style cake. See if you can guess the theme of the decoration:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

And then I decided to try Petit Fours for the first time, practising the flavours for Halloween (but not the design):

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Thin sponge with strawberry jam and pumpkin pie lemon curd (though it could use some additional lemon juice and a tad less cloves). Home made fondant glaze and teeny tiny fondant horn and ears.



Holidays: Sagrada Familia 6

These are the last pictures by daylight. Remember that we went there in  the evening especially so we could come back later to see it in the dark? Definitely worth it!

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved



Legal Fundraiser closed

Thank you all for participating in our efforts to help out our colleagues and friends. Voyager is the winner of the auction, let me know what you want me to create for you, my friend.

To all of you who have already donated: I hope to get your stuff mailed at the weekend, since our sorry excuse for a post office is only open during the morning…