2014

  • Happy New Year! (2014)

  • YNAB on a 75% off sale for $15.00 on Steam!

    I've been using YNAB for a few months, and absolutely love it.  Where other financial software is focused on what you've spent, YNAB is all about taking control of your money and planning what you are going to spend, now and into the future.

    The other amazing thing about YNAB is that they license the software to the household; so, everyone in the house (parents, children, etc...) can each have a copy of the software running on their own computer.  They also have free online courses, a great selection of howto's, and a forum full of helpful information and people.

    So $15 USD for financial/budgeting software for the entire family on Steam is really amazing!

  • Making ferments in bigger containers is so much easier

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    I found a 4L Costco pickle jar I was saving (with no purpose in mind) and thought I would try using it to make a batch of sauerkraut.  I found working with this large jar to be much easier then working with multiple 1L wide-mouth mason jars; I could get my hand into it to press down the kraut instead of relying on "tappers".

    The other new idea I tried was half-filling a zip-lock bag with water a as weight.  Wasn't quite as heavy as it needed to be, but it definitely helped to keep the kraut submerged in the brine at all times.

    Definitely a successful experiment!

  • My quest for a custom suit in Winnipeg

    I found that being a bigger man in Winnipeg left me with only a few options when looking for a suit off-the-rack.  I really didn't like their tendency to arrange two piece suits with the jacket 2 sizes larger then the pants, and buying one piece at a time really made the price jump.

    Ultimately, I started researching local tailors in Winnipeg last December, and had shortlisted down to Giovanni Custom Tailor Shop within a couple weeks.  Some of the tailors I had called were quite expensive, and I found Giovanni to be quite reasonable; barely 1/3 more than the limited off-the-rack choices.  I also found the interview in his Winnipeg Free Press Article to be very good.

    Today, I visited Giovanni's shop, and really had a great vibe from him as a person and really valued his opinions as a tailor; quite professional and personable.  The hard part was picking out the material to use; simply too many awesome choices.  Below I have the initial two I was contemplating on the left, then the ultimate pick on the right.

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    Once Giovanni knows the fabric is in stock and has it ordered, we'll be able to start the process with taking my measurements.  Exciting!

  • Lessons learned about natural deodorant

    When the recipeI was following mentioned that essential oils was optional, I mostly ignored that figuring "why wouldn't I want to add a scent?"  While the recipe mentioned Tea Tree oil as a good option for men, the first extract I grabbed from the cupboard was peppermint, and went with it.

    Lesson #1: Peppermint is not a good choice for a deodorant.  I never clued into past experiences where peppermint caused a nice heating effect when used as an aches-rub, and never expected that I might be inviting a heat rash which took only 2 days to bloom.

    Lesson #2: Sometimes essential oils just need to be eliminated. Trying Tea Tree oil as the recipe had originally suggested next definitely helped reduce the heat rash, but irritation persisted.  At this point I wasn't sure if the recipe proportions would need to be played with, or an ingredient eliminated.  Thankfully, i found my answer in Divine Ms D's blog where she shared the fact that she had to eliminate essential oils for the same issue I was facing.

    While I am finally finding the irritation to be finally subsiding, I may try the recipe she follows (if I'm not happy with the ultimate results) as the proportions are different from mine.

    Thank you Divine Ms D for sharing on your Paleo Sistah blog!

    Follow-up post

  • Received my first order of grass-fed & free range meats!

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    It really does put a smile on one's face to look upon a freezer of lovely grass-fed meats!

    It took a bit of research (made easier by eatwild.com and manitobagrassfedbeef.ca) to compare and figure out where I was going to order from; and in the end I decided to place our first order with McDonald Farm for the following reasons:

    1. Their price is very competitive
    2. They deliver free to Winnipeg once every month
    3. They have many different animal meats/organs to choose from, as well as eggs (seasonal)
    4. I enjoyed reading their FAQcovering many topics, like how they raised healthy animals, treated their sick animals, ensured delivery of grass-fed meats that was free of chemicals and antibiotics, etc...
    5. Accept Paypal as a credit card option

    I saved up a bit so that my first order could be large enough to start me off in a good position to not need meat for a while.  The  hope being that I can place smaller (more cost friendly) orders each month to keep my meat supply up.  In this first order there's:

    • a quarter of beef (ground, steaks, roasts, ribs, stew meat, soup bones, etc...),
    • beef organ meats (tried ordering liver, but short supply steered us towards tongue and kidneys),
    • a couple smoked hams, and
    • a few free-range chickens

    I promised myself that I would not dive into these meats until I had used up my existing supply of store bought beef and last seasons elk; so I can't make any comments yet on the quality or taste... but that is going to be coming very soon!

  • First impressions of grass-fed beef

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    Today, I tried the beef smokies that came with the 1/4 beef order.  All I can say is wow!  They were absolutely delicious, seasoned perfectly, and zero grease-in-the-pan type of lean.  I wish I had alot more of them; definitely something to add more of on the next order.

    Also tried the hamburger patties which were incredibly tender; I swear this must speak to the dry-aging process that they use.  Their taste was also very mild when compared to your average burger patties, which was a nice surprise.

    From the steaks, I have tried only some of the chuck and rib-eye.  I overcooked the rib-eye (the first I tried to cook) so it was not as tender as it should have been, but was an excellent and delicious cut.  The chuck was cooked perfectly and it was hard to imagine it as a lower "ranking" cut of steak; it definitely went well cubed on-top of my salad at lunch.

    Still alot more to try from the order, but the initial verdict is very positive.  Definitely grass-fed for life!

  • Whole-house water filter installed

    I had decided before Christmas that I wanted to install a water filter that would help reduce/eliminate the heavy chlorine that would often be in my water.  The thought process started with a simple shower-head chlorine filter; but it wasn't too hard to think of other water to filter... so the whole-house filter was the cheaper and biggest bang option.

    The entire project cost was under $215 (not counting my dads consumables like flux, solder, etc...):

    • Princess Auto - Filter housing, chlorine/sediment filter, mounting bracket, pipe cleaner, and shut-off valves ~$172
    • Canadian Tire - copper pipe, caps, elbows, and Tee ~$23
    • Home Depot - 1" to 1/2" reducers (between filter and pipe) and wood to mount the filter on ~$18
    The Before:
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    The After (1 of 2):
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    The After (2 of 2):
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    I certainly won't miss the chlorine smell, and I'm really looking forward too chemical free water for showers/baths, cooking, boiling water for tea, etc...

    Special thanks to my dad for supplying the majority of the know-how, tools, training, and labour!

  • First custom suit fitting

    I went to get my suit measurements taken on January 30th after Giovanni confirmed that the fabric we ordered was delivered from Montreal. Two weeks later I receive a voice message that enough of the suit was assembled for the first (rough) fitting; wow, awesome progress!

    These aren't the best quality photo's I've posted, but still wanted to share the incredible progress being made.

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  • Officially re-kindled an old hobby

    My Maxx Collectibles order arrived today, and I figure that means I've recommitted to an old hobby (on hold of course until after the wedding and honeymoon).

    I used to really enjoy assembling, painting, and playing with my Warhammer Fantasy Undead army; but it took the nudging of an old friend and work colleague to re-kindle and solidify these memories, which lead to picking up the Warhammer 40K Necron army shown below.

    I also added some Dollarama shopping for paints and glue, hit Canadian Tire for the primer and putty (green stuff), Walmart for a cheap plastic table I can mess up all I want during painting and assembly, and Fabricland for a self-healing cutting mat.

    What a great way to spend some birthday money!

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  • Getting ready to make natural cleaning products for home and body

    My first order from Bulk Apothecary arrived today!  The intention of this order was to set the stage for making household cleaning products, shampoo, soap, body sprays, lotions, lip balms, etc... and containers to hold them in.

    This order consisted of:

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    • Beeswax
    • Black Fine Mist Sprayers and Cobalt Blue Bullet Bottles
    • Borax
    • Castor Oil
    • Cocoa Butter
    • Glycerin
    • Golden Jojoba Oil
    • Kaolin Clay (white)
    • Lime Essential Oil
    • Lip Balm Jars (white, 0.25 oz)
    • Rose Soap Stamp
    • Shea Butter
    • Silicone Rectangle Soap Molds
    • Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
    • Sweet Almond Oil
    • Witch Hazel

    Unfortunately, I had some lessons to learn with this order:

    1. The Bulk Apothecary rep I called questimated that this order may have as many as seven packages.  This deterred me from using Mike's Parcel Pickup who charges $5 USD per package.  As the shipment only came in three boxes, Mike's fees would have been much better.  Oh well, I guess the rep guestimated high, which would be the preferred choice to guestimating low.
    2. UPS offering to broker packages from the US is stupid expensive... like add $50 to $70 dollars on top of your government taxes.  I wished I had known about this and declined their offer to broker the package for me; choosing to self-clear it myself.
  • Needed more supplies for soaps

    After reviewing the initial recipe I wanted to follow and running it through a soap calculator, I realized that the little 15ml bottles of essentials oils that I had around the house just were not going to cut it if my plan was going to involve making almost 20 lbs of soap!  I needed many ounces of Essential Oils, not milliliters.

    I can sense that Bulk Apothecary is going to be a favourite site into the future.  I ran around Winnipeg hoping to find a good price on the Rosemary and Thyme that I wanted to add to my soap... and $15-$20 for a 0.5 oz was not what I wanted to pay.  Bulk Apothecary has the same size bottle for $3-$4, or 16 oz bottles (thirty times the oil) in the $40 range... hmmm, $15-$20 for a 0.5 oz or $40-$50 for 16 oz... an easy decision!

    This time, knowing that there should only be one box, I had the package delivered to Mike's Parcel Pickup.  While it cost $30 in gas, that was far cheaper than paying UPS $50-$70, and much quicker than waiting and running around to do the self-clearing.

    While I was placing an order anyway, I added some other oils that I want to try in the next soap recipe batches for their aromatherapy qualities, soap exfoliants (seeds), soap colouring sample kit (oxides), oils I didn't have to complete my own "thieves oil" blend, caps meant to get for my bottles from the last order, and some books on this new hobby.

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  • Some businesses just don't care about their customers, add Pinewood Lodge to your avoid list

    These pictures are of the ice at the transition between the sloped yard and the deck where I slipped and fell on my back while unloading the car into the chalet. They represent the before and after I asked for grit/salt to be laid down to prevent further incidents. I'm pretty sure the initial lady behind the counter was staff, but I ensured I made a second appearance and met who I believed to be one of the owners, and all I can say is that she came across very unapologetic and unconcerned. I guess the fact that I was standing in front of her instead of laying on an ambulance stretcher precluded courtesy and concern. Little did she know how much time I spent in the steam shower and jaccuzi to get enough comfort to be present. The chalet is amazing, but apparently the people... not so much unfortunately. Don't they know their liabilities? Maybe that's my purpose here... education...

    There are definitely some chiro/massage appointments in my future to help healing and lessen my aches and pains. I'll be sure to keep my receipts I think.

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  • Finally Fermenting on a larger scale!

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    Yes, that's a 4L pickle jar sitting beside my new 20L fermenting crock pot! The instructions say to not fill it more than 80% so, (going by my previous experience of 1 cabbage making 1L) my next trip to the grocery store will include about 15 cabbage heads! The greater plan is that I will always have a months supply of sauerkraut on hand, which will mean I am finally going to have enough underway to let it sit for a full four weeks. Two weeks is the longest my sauerkraut has "aged" before moving it to the fridge, so it will be nice to finally experience the three week, four week, and maybe longer flavours!

    I ordered the crock from Harvest Essentials.  Originally I was going to order one from TSM (The Sausage Makers), but it wasn't available until June.  Looking around for the same pot lead us to Harvest Essentials who had a better price (but unfortunately the same June ETA).  Looking at all of their 20L crocks revealed the one I eventually ordered... on sale from $299.99 to $205.99 (after an additional $10 coupon).

    I was a little leery at first from ordering @ Harvest Essentials since they do not have user account handling setup on their site.  I like a site with an ordering account where I can see my history and track my orders.  Instead they use a yahoo storefront to order from, which after using it does the trick.  I asked questions about shipping and breakage which they answered very quickly, so I feel I received really good customer service.  I was also pleasantly surprised at how well packed and protected the crock was during shipping; top marks!

  • Ditching DIY Deodorant for DIY Antiperspirant

    After my previous post on Lessons learned about natural deodorant, I was still struggling with minor irritation even after eliminating the essential oils and reducing the baking soda.  Wanting to solve my issue, I decided to perform another search, but decided to search for DIY antiperspirant instead of deodorant (I had traditionally used antiperspirants all my life).

    I quickly found a posting of 3 antiperspirant recipes by Bri at Natural News, and boy am I glad I did.  Glancing at the recipes, I decided that I liked the ingredient list of recipe #3, which I have copied below.  The recipe is actually from a HeyFranHey video/blog, and I really enjoyed the information she shared on why she chose each ingredient, as well as which ingredients to adjust to personalize if for the protection you need.  While Fran mentions 2 tablespoons of baking Soda in her video, Bri listed only 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) in her recipe, which is what I used.

    4 Tablespoons Cocoa Butter
    4 Tablespoons Shea Butter
    1/2 Cup Arrowroot Powder
    3 Teaspoons Baking Soda
    10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
    (I use our homemade Thieves Oil blend)

    After using this recipe for over a week, I am well past my normal reaction period of 2-3 days... and happy to report that my irritation is a thing of the past! Thank You Fran for pointing out in your video that Baking Soda is a common irritant for folks with sensitive skin, and Bri for suggesting to use less than Fran's original recipe!

  • First assembled 40K Necron models

    Still need to prime and paint them, but getting these first models assembled was a bit of a milestone... I discovered that I may just need bifocals.  I had to whip out my old soldering gear that had a magnifying glass on a stand so that I could see the up-close detail well enough to shave/trim the model parts.  It wasn't ideal and took alot longer than normal... but I got'er done!  I guess I'll need to visit the pharmacy/costco for some cheap magnifiers and call them safety glasses ;)

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    Once primed and painted, these five models will be used for my first 40K skirmish using the Kill Team rules (200 point battles). I figure it'll be a good to start small as I'm new to the 40K ruleset anyway. I also have more models to put together for some variation, but this is a great beginning.

  • First BIG batch of seaurkraut

    I picked up a dozen cabbages yesterday and washed out the new 20L crock in preparation for large scale fermenting.  Since I had so many cabbages to go through, I decided to make use of the Kitchenaid with the shredding attachment.  It powered through the cabbage like a champ and threw a bonus my way by slightly bruising the cabbage; making it easier to work in the sea salt.  I wondered why the instructions mentioned to only fill the crock 80%, and figured out why as I was putting the weights in... you need the space to work them in.  So the real max capacity of the crock (with weights) is closer to 16L.

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    The idea now is to not disturb the crock for at least two weeks.  The water in the crock channel has the unit nicely sealed, so I don't fear anything going amiss behind the lid.  The greater plan is to only take out a few litres at a time, letting some of the sauerkraut get to 4 weeks if I can stretch it out that long.  I'd like to try let the cabbage fully acidify if I can to see and taste it at it's peak.

  • The 40K Necron Army Grows

    After learning that I couldn't use an HQ model (Illuminor Szeras) in a Kill Team, I needed to make a few more models to choose from; good thing I had previously purchased some variety with the intentions to field larger point armies.

    So I've spent the last few days finishing the assembly of two more Canoptek Wraiths (3), two more Immortals (5), and a complete set of Deathmarks (5).

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    I figure this will round out my initial model build; changing my sights to priming and painting for now.  Hopefully I will have some painted pic's soon; then it'll finally be time to experience playing with Necrons and learning some strategies!

  • Assembled another 40K Necron Unit

    Decided to assemble another Necron Immortal unit with different weaponry. Delays in priming/painting continue.

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  • Natural deodorant with only ONE ingredient

    In my previous article on DIY Antiperspirant, I linked to a video/blog on the heyfranhey site that had inspired the new antiperspirant recipe I've been enjoying.  However, her final words in the video talked about how her grandmother simply used a fresh lemon wedge.

    Deciding that this "too good to be true" statement was worth exploring, I had to give it a try.  And to my amazement, I found that it actually works!  Simple, effective, and as easy to make as slicing a lemon!

  • What colour is your bacon?

    Received my latest grass-fed meat order yesterday from McDonald Farm, and was excited by a few things:

    1. Their nitrate free bacon is absolutely fantastic!  I wasn't expecting its non-red colour, which really reinforced the naturalness of it.  I also suspect (after tasting it) that it has been lightly smoked; truly pleasing flavour.
      • Frying eggs in these bacon drippings was awesome!  I've tried doing that before with typical store bought bacon, but found it tasted way too greasy. Not the case with bacon made from pigs raised to forage for their food.
      • I recall reading a recipe to make bacon-aisse (DIY mayo with bacon grease in it) and thinking how horribly greasy tasting that would be... but now I may have to rethink my position on that recipe, having the right bacon in hand!
    2. I had previously asked Wayne about the availability of beef tallow (for soap making) and was surprised to find some fat included in my order!  I'll have to search for the steps to render the fat down into tallow, but am eager to compare the soap results between beef and pork tallow.
    3. I always include beef liver each order, and have had the good fortune of receiving other organ meat samples.  Previously, I've received beef tongue and kidney, but today I found some packages of ox tail and heart!  Being a lover of various bird hearts over the years, I'm really looking forward to seeing what a massive beef heart tastes like!
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  • DIY Dishwasher Detergent and Rinse

    My Paleo path has naturally inspired and influenced many choices over the last few months. The most recent bringing some pretty simple replacements for dishwasher detergent and rinse.

    Following a recipe for household cleaners at the David Suzuki site, I really only needed two ingredients for the detergent, and vinegar for the rinse.  I had picked up some Borax previously, but didn't have any Washing Soda.  A quick online search revealed it was pretty easy to make at home; thanks to a post @ Nature's Nurture Blog.

    The detergent recipe was pretty simple; equal portions of Borax and Washing Soda that we mixed in a old plastic container.  And Washing Soda was nothing more than Baking Soda that had been baked @ 400F for 30 minutes in one of my Pyrex dishes.

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    That was easy!

  • First look at grass-fed pork chops

    After the nitrate-free bacon success, I was eager to pull out another cut of grass-fed pork... and pork chops just seemed like the next natural place to go.  I wasn't expecting one inch piggie-steaks, but boy did they look good... and taste good!  If only I had stopped to take a picture of them cooked before devouring them...

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  • Grass-fed Pork Andouille Sausage

    These sausages are delicious, but boy are they hot!  Spicy enough that i don't think I would ever eat more than one or two at any meal since the heat really builds up the more you eat them; at least for me anyway.

    I do enjoy variety when planning my meals, so having a great spicy option is a welcome addition.

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  • Four week sauerkraut is incredibly good

    Trusting that the new fermenting crock was designed to keep its contents protected, the only task I gave myself over the past four weeks was to ensure that the water level in the trough stayed up to keep its air seal intact.

    I knew as soon as I opened the lid that I was in for a treat!  The aroma of the soured cabbage was wonderful; and was never achieved with the previous one to to week batches.  The crock certainly lived up to my expectations!  Previously, I had thought that the directions only wanted me to fill the crock 80 percent to allow the weights to be added in easily.  I know realize that the sauerkraut expands quite a bit during the fermenting process; so much so that the weights almost reached the bottom of the trough!

    Originally I was thinking of using the 4L pickle jars to store the sauerkraut in my fridge, but my assumption that my plastic wide-mouth lids would fit them turned out to be incorrect; and I recalled that using the metal lids is pretty much a no-no where fermenting is involved. So, I jammed fifteen 1L jars (with plastic lids) full of sauerkraut, and placed the remainder (with all the excess juice) in a 4L jar that I lined the lid with Siran Wrap.

    Final verdict... I will never again eat my sauerkraut earlier than four weeks.  The taste is night and day.  Sour, tangy, delicious, and I imagine just teeming with the beneficial flora I need!

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  • Grass-fed Beef Short-ribs are delicious

    b2c616030520b13b337e759413f0a6c2.JPG For the first attempt cooking these ribs, I kept it simple by letting the slow cooker have its way with them. Going forward, I do plan to find some nice Paleo-friendly sauce options to go with them to bring back the missing finger-licking fun!

  • Water main construction starts on my street today

    The big machinery the city contractors had placed on my street over the last week have animated this morning.  Construction has begun to replace some aging water delivery lines, and they have kept the water service going by connecting a temporary delivery line to the outside tap.

    I already miss my chlorine filter...

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  • Grass-fed Bacon is calling you

    0f6c6d2c74d58a40c81fe553999bf9e6.JPG  I am just loving grass-fed bacon, and frying eggs in this bacon's drippings is awesome! I know I've said this before, but for everyone out there that is still buying their bacon from the grocery store... Wake up, and smell the bacon!

  • Time to make more soap

    I have been enjoying the initial soap recipe, so I think it will be a staple for a while.  This time though, I decided to add some new "flavours" and colour coded them (as if the scent wouldn't have been enough).

    • Green - Peppermint and Rosemary
    • Yellow - Lemon and Lemon Grass (had to add some Lime as I ran out of Lemon Grass)
    • Pink - Lavender
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  • Breakfast of Kings

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  • Started a new hobby

    The planter in the front of the house had been a home for cedars and weeds the last couple years.  Took some time to weed it out a couple weeks ago, but had to wait for the rain to stop to plant the perennials that a good friend donated to get things started.

    • Sedum
    • Echanasea (Cone Flower)
    • Speedwell
    • Primrose
    • Ice Plants
    • Hosta
    • Hen's and Chicks
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  • First attempt at Bone-Broth soup

    Of course I'm using the soup bones that I got as part of my grass-fed meats, and the recipe I found was really quite simple.  The only ingredients missing were bay leaf and garlic, but everything turned out beautifully.  Here are some pictures of the before and after of the homemade soup/broth.

    I found it interesting how the marrow completely dissolved into the soup leaving the bones hollow.  On the advise of the recipe author, I am saving the bones in case some friends would like to give their dogs a treat.

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  • Completed assembly of a Necron Overlord with Command Barge

    d617d62ca48921cba5f8534ea6773120.JPG Continued working through the building phase of another model for my Necron Army.  This time I have a Necron Overlord on top of his Command Barge.
  • Soup is always better on Day 2

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    While at Costco today, I picked up a jar of their garlic and added it into the soup while it warmed it up for supper tonight.

    Added some salt and pepper to my bowl, and loving how easy this soup was to make, and how good it tastes.

  • Changed my Chlorine filter today

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    I've been back on the updated city water line for a few weeks now, and noticing some decrease in our water pressure.  I knew that there would be some sediment in the lines post construction, and figured my filter was done for.  I never tasted or saw any sediment in my water, so the filter had done it's job perfectly thus far.

    The water didn't look too bad as I started emptying out the filter chamber, but eventually I could see there was quite a bit of sediment closer to the bottom that didn't make it out with the initial dumping.  I'm so glad this goop was on the "right" side of the filter.

    Thank You filter, and keep up the good work!

  • Grass-fed Cow Tongue tastes better than it looks

    Tongue initially doesn't have the outward appeal that would guide one to pick it up and decide to try cook/eat it; but it is actually quite delicious.  I don't recall the recipe, but memory tells me the pot contained:

    • A cow tongue that had been soaked, drained, and scrubbed
    • Some chopped Carrot and Celery (maybe onion)
    • Enough water to cover it all
    • Rosemary and Sage

    You can see everything combined in the first couple pictures.  The third picture is after it had cooked in the slow cooker on low for about 10 hours.  The fourth picture is how the tongue meat looked cooked and cut on the plate.  And the fifth is of the peeled off "skin" bits that remained.

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  • Necon Lord Assembly Complete

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    These finecast models aren't my favorite to work with, but trimming/shaping this model ended up being easier to do (without mistakes) than it first appeared to be.  It's hard to tell by the photo, but the "shoulder pads" of the model contained quite a bit of extra resin that was left by the design of the mold that needed to be carved out.  I'm happy with the end result, but I didn't expect to spend as much time as I did on a model with so few pieces.

  • Necon OverLord Assembly Complete

    This model was a much more challenging finecast model to clean, but I must admit that I am very pleased with the end result of this model.  There is quite a bit of detail in its design, which makes equally as impressive.

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  • Time for a Career Change?

    I've decided to enroll back in school and take a Holistic Nutritionist course with the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.  I've been dabbling for over a decade in the nutrition realm which progressed from eat for your blood type, to food combining, to Paleo / whole foods.  I've finally clued into the fact that I am pretty passionate about it, and plan for a career change soon after I've graduated.

    I'll take the course part-time through their Distance Education option, as they do not yet have a school in Winnipeg.  I fully intend to take both Advanced Certification options, which ultimately leads to the Diploma.

    Healthy Living is going to be much more than "just a hobby" in the near future!

  • Time for a Career Change? v2.0

    Two weeks later, and I've decided to switch where I pursue my education; enrolling in the Wholistic Nutrition course through Living Energy.  I decided to take Radka's course for many reasons, but the top reasons are:

    • When I called to talk about the course, she took her time to talk to me.  Our conversation was very easy-flowing (like two friends), and I truly felt like she will continue to be a mentor long after the course.
    • Her own practice (beyond the school) involves the whole person... body, mind, and soul; and that is what I see in my future.
    • Her's is a "suggested" three year program with the first year focusing on Anatomy, Physiology, and Chemistry... the basics.  Many of the other courses I was looking at were trying to wedge these topics into their two year program, which made me wonder what they were "leaving out" to meet that timeline.
    • I also didn't like how some of the other courses out there seem to be slanted towards vegetarianism; a bias my experiences don't share.

    Most of my textbooks will be arriving from amazon the week of Sept. 8th, and the initial course modules should be in my possession one to two weeks after that.  Exciting!

  • YNAB says... Debt is not an option.

    This blog post came to me from YNAB through their twitter channel, and I simply had to share it!  A must read to make sure that your thinking is in line with your goals.

  • Construction to replace my street breaks ground yesterday

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    There was alot of noise outside our house yesterday as the backhoe jackhammers were busy tearing into the street that they are working hard to replace... and we are extremely grateful for the repairs coming our way!

  • Ikea Giving Apple a Hard Time

    Experience the power of a bookbook!

  • First shipment of course books has arrived!

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    Received my first shipment of books for my Wholistic Nutrition course today!  I've taken some liberties with the "recommended" reading books, and even added my own... like the Power Up Your Brain book in this pile.  I'll really only need the Anatomy & Physiology book (along with my wife's full blown A&P university text for reference) for the first module(s) of the course, but I wanted to (a) be pro-active, and (b) some of the titles sounded way to interesting to hold off purchasing until I was into the future modules.

    I know my initial set of A, P, & C course modules is in the mail, and anticipate having it in my hands next week.

  • Second shipment of course books has arrived!

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    Seven more course books have joined my education library today! The two that fall under the "I've taken some liberties with the recommended readings" category are Grain Brain and The Better Brain books; written by the same author that co-authored Power Up Your Brain.

    I was really surprised by the size of the two encyclopedias though; for some reason I thought they were going to be smaller, and I am glad they are not!  Excellent reference material for sure.

    I already started reading Grain Brain, and plan to read Ageless Body, Timeless Mind shortly afterward.  I guess that may depend on when I start my A, P, & C modules...

  • Street construction update

    The first photo is a picture from just outside my door, and the second is a shot from down the street.  What isn't shown in the photos though is that they have already started digging out the old pavement at the other end of my block.  I was so excited to see that and look forward to the smooth new road that is in store.  I'm also very glad to see that the sidewalk was included in the replacement plans, and that there is only one short tire rut in my lawn so far.

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    Thank You Winnipeg!

  • Third shipment of course books has arrived

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    With special thanks to some great friends who accepted this shipment from Amazon/UPS while my street is under construction, another seven course books have joined my education library today! The two that fall under the "I've taken some liberties with the recommended readings" category are The Grain Brain Cookbook and Death By Food Pyramid books.

    I've even put the Grain Brain book to the side so I could switch to reading Death By Food Pyramid, and am enjoying the read (and knowledge inside) immensely.

  • Fourth shipment of course books has arrived

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    Two more course books have arrived in the mail and joined my education library today! The one that falls under the "I've taken some liberties with the recommended readings" category is Food and Behavior; which I suspect will offer similar knowledge to Grain Brain.

    Zinc and Other Micro-Nutrients is the oldest book in my course collection so far, being published back in 1978.

  • Pretended to be a plumber today... and pulled it off!

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    Last night, the kitchen hot water tap started misbehaving and wouldn't turn off completely without really wrenching it.  By morning, wrenching it didn't work, and I resorted to using the shut-off under the sink.  After about three used of the shut-off to control the water, it stopped functioning... leaving me to control the shut-off on the hot water tank.  Almost immediately, I noticed the hot-water valve on the tank would leak a bit in certain positions, and decided using the shut-offs I installed around the whole-house chlorine filter would be my best bet.

    The plumbing representative at Home Depot was excellent.  He put a copper pipe cutter in my hand (to remove the bad shut-off), a new shut-off that would basically crimp onto the copper pipe, and gave me a walk through on how to install it and what parts to not use (connecting it to the existing flex-hose).  I then grabbed some teflon tape and picked out my new taps... which were made by the same company as our old ones and almost identical in style (I guess I really liked it).

  • Street construction - no road or sidewalk

    f838a5d84ca397b3e084ef646c5447e8.JPG Noticed that they completed removed the sidewalk and road (right down to the dirt) all the way down my street today.  I was really hoping we wouldn't have patches, and glad to see that will be the case.
  • Final shipment of course books has arrived

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    My final five course books have arrived in the mail and joined my education library today!

    Many of the twenty-five books I now have aren't needed until the second of third year, but as some were already out of print, it was better to get them while the getting was good!

  • The day after the construction tremors

    78c6eb0f7407d29df0f3def78784dfeb.JPG I missed taking a picture while the steam rollers were pounding the first layers of gravel the last couple days.  But seeing more fresh gravel laid down today makes me think they'll likely be back for more.
  • Street Construction - Everything is prepped for pavement

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    The construction site has been cleared in preparation for the incoming pavement... any day now...

    Looks like some of my neighbours will also require some sidewalk repair, but that's minor.

  • Street Construction - We now have curbs

    6746f32d3b4614407f8761d2c08ab485.JPG They laid down curbs on my street today which is a really great sign that the final product is on it's way.

  • Street Construction - I see sidewalks!

    638758b2476f3b6da1e5e59c3ed8e130.JPG Now that the sidewalks are on place, that only leaves laying down the pavement as the last major deliverable. The end is near!
  • Street Construction - We've crossed the finish line

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    A nice smooth road has been a long time in coming for my street... so glad to see it!

    ...and my finger apparently.

  • After 12 months of Paleo

    Thanks to twelve months of eating Paleo and 100+ pounds lost...

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  • Watched my first play at MTC tonight

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    Went to see the MTC (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre) production of The Heart of Robin Hood tonight with my sister-in-law.  While I'm generally not a fan of musical-type plays, I did rather enjoy this production in its entirety.

    Only thing that didn't quite click with me was the reasoning behind choosing a hill-billy band to play with the theme of Robin Hood, but it was quite entertaining nonetheless.

  • Attended Howie Mandel's live comedy show!

    Howie Mandel Tonight was Howie Mandel's comedy show at the Club Regent Event Centre. The show started with an annoying video that kept looping over-and-over for what must have been 15 minutes. It was part of the show and meant to get people annoyed and then relieved that the show was starting. The opening act was good, but Howie was fantastic. He had such energy on stage that you knew he loved his career. I could tell that many of his jokes were inspired by the moment (adlib), and my sister-in-law pointed out that all of his shows aren’t scripted...which made it all the more impressive of a show. Excellent job Howie! We were rolling in our seats and had a great time.
  • Attended the Divine Clarity open house tonight

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    Inspired by Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth video series, I've been finding myself drawn more and more to investigating various forms of spiritualism.  I guess you could say that I'm on a journey to "find my bliss", as Joe would say (among other notable quotes).

    Tonight's open house for Divine Clarity was the perfect opportunity to see what synergies there may be for me.

    What I found myself connecting with were the (core) spiritual and Shamanic based workshops, as well as the class to make my own drum!  I'd been looking to buy a drum, and found that it was cheaper to make my own in Darcy's (Kristel's husband) class than it was to buy one... paying for the knowledge, experience, and walking away with a drum for less!

     

  • Discovered the Preferred Perch Today

    I discovered The Preferred Perch today.  While the majority of their store is centered around bird feeders, supplies, and outdoor ornaments... they do have a wonderful selection of crystals, stones, salt lamps, bath salts, candles, etc...

    Also found an excellent Encyclopedia of crystals and stones that was purchased, as well as some awesome bath salts!

  • You know you've lost weight when...

    52e909390760e53eb6f18bb6db2fe119.JPG You find your old high school graduation suit in your closet, and it actually fits again?!?! Thank You Paleo!
  • Watched the final Hobbit movie tonight

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    The movie playing this evening was the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in 3D.  I haven't been to many 3D movies, and can say that I did enjoy the extra dimension overall.  I had hoped to see more movie about Smaug, so was rather disappointed with how quickly into the movie he exited.  Dragon's aside, I did enjoy the story and was very entertained by the final chapter.

  • What are you thankful for this Christmas Eve?

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    • I'm thankful that the shower head broke off in my hand this morning instead of tomorrow when the stores are closed
    • I'm thankful that Home Depot was open when I got off work and had a shower head I liked
    • I'm thankful that I can continue to shower happily with my easy to replace new shower head
  • Trying new recipes on Christmas Eve? Madness!

    I found what turned out to be a fantastic roast turkey recipe online; such a juicy bird having cooked it breast down instead of the traditional back down.  The turkey was also one of the ones we had ordered from McDonald Farm, and boy was it delicious!

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  • Installed a Compustar remote start & alarm in my car

    5ec42c6f59e935957d6082186186065e.jpg After almost two years of owning my Ford Fusion, and having a credit with my local dealer (Birchwood Ford), I finally bit the bullet and decided to go with an aftermarket system I was familiar with.  My thought originally was to wait and install the Ford Access product, but it wasn't looking like they were going to release it for my 2013 model.  My dealer's assurance to warranty the install helped to clinch the deal, which netted a sweet $0 purchase after applying the credit I had... making it a Merry Christmas to me! I'm going to enjoy my PRO 2-WAY 901!

     

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