New Wash-N-Go Miranda

Yes, folks, it’s the latest in Miranda’s constant quest for a hairstyle she’s happy with. This time, she roped me in as an accomplice.

Miranda with Super Short Hair

Tammy and I have different reactions to it. I think it looks good on her, while Tammy is not so enthusiastic. 😁

The discussion about this had been going on for a few days. Tammy acquiesced and so I got a text yesterday (Friday) afternoon from Miranda asking if I would cut her hair that evening. After dinner when the dishes were washed up I set Miranda up where I usually cut Ian’s hair and started to do the work. I took my time, going bit by bit, trying different looks along the way. I started with shaving up under the back and sides, then slowly shortened the top and shaved the sides up further. I think that some of the intermediate cuts actually were pretty good, but Miranda was adamant that she wanted to have a buzz cut.

First step. You can’t even see the razoring

What is underneath

Shortened right up

Looking pretty good

For my reference in the future, we ended up with:

  • 5 on top
  • 2 around the sides and back
  • 3 transitioning between them


Finger in the Dyke

This morning, we finally fixed the humidifier on our furnace. It had been inoperative for the better part of a year since I broke it.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and on that day long ago, I was intending to remove the tray in the humidifier in order to clean it. It had a substantial amount of hard water buildup in it. Unfortunately, when I was putting it back together, I overtightened the float valve and cracked it. I tried for days to come up with a solution that would fix it, but was unsuccessful. I could not figure out if I could buy a replacement part, and the entire humidifier unit cost over $100. So I did what any self-respecting homeowner would do: I turned off the water valve and left it alone.

That is, until I was in there the other morning. I went down to get a loaf of bread from the freezer, and of course, the humidifier was there, mocking me. I popped it open, noted that it was bone dry, and for giggles turned on the valve. A little bit of water flowed into the tray, but then I turned the valve back off.

Then I went down to the freezer again the next day and found water all over the floor. I guess I hadn’t closed the valve tightly enough. I did a better job on closing the valve, and resolved to fix the humidifier this weekend.

I went to Home Depot and forked out the money for the whole replacement, but intended to only replace the floater valve. I managed to do that pretty quickly. I was careful not to over tighten it this time, and I turned the water back on. We also replaced the drum and sponge inside while we were waiting and checking that the repair was good.

Then Tammy noticed water coming down the furnace duct from behind the humidifier. I wrote it off as a splash of water out the back when I replaced the drum, but Tammy insisted that it was coming from where the water line was tucked through the aluminum of the duct. When I looked a bit closer and tried to shift the line to look for cracks, it broke.

So, the replacement unit had a replacement hose and all the fittings, which was good. I removed the brass nut at the end where the hose connects to the water line, and then when I tried to pull the hose out of the valve, it broke there, too! I think this hose was past its best-by date. I would not be surprised to know it was originally installed when the house was built, and that was 21 years ago. That then led to removing the valve from the water line. Which resulted in a stream of water from the hole in the water line. Thus leading to Tammy having her finger on the hole like the little Dutch boy for the next ten minutes or more as I prepared to replace that valve as well.

Eventually, the valve was replace (no leaks). Then I fitted the hose and attached it properly to the valve (no leaks). Then I fitted the other end of the hose to the floater valve, after running the line without any pinches or kinks. Then we turned the water back on, and all seems to be fine without any leaks anywhere.

Tammy with our refitted humidifier

The one thing that has me scratching my head, though, is when we were done, I noticed some schmutz on the corner of my Apple Watch screen. I wiped it with a finger, then used a cloth, and then realized it wasn’t coming off.

Cosmetic damage

I have no idea what I did. It’s not cracked, and I don’t recall this rubbing or anything. Considering what this watch and its predecessor had been through, I can’t imagine what I did. As someone who takes care of his toys, I am pretty bummed right now.

NaNoWriMo Excitement

It’s nine days into the month, and would you believe that we are all going strong? You can track Tammy’s, Miranda’s and my word counts on our NaNoWriMo page, but Ian is doing the Young Writers’ Program, and we can’t make a word widget for him.

But he’s been the most exciting one of us! He was reluctant to do it, but I got him set up with the older iPad and the keyboard cover and his Google docs and he started typing away. He started running out of gas after day 2: his original idea of writing about his predictions for an upcoming iPhone SE2 ran its course. He talked to me about it and I suggested to him that he needed to have something happen. Have himself in the story, and have our cat Squeaker be a character like Snowy in the Tintin comics who sarcastically commented on things. The next thing you know, Ian’s excitedly writing each night and tonight he really went all out. His target word count each day is 150 words.

Well, tonight he wrote 386.

Ian’s word count by day so far. Grey bars are 150 words.

I’m very proud of him. It’s great to see him having fun with this. That’s what it’s supposed to be about.

Dental Work Update

Miranda had her retainers fitted today. If you remember last week she had a digital scan done of her teeth which would produce a pair of molds from a 3D printer. Well the wonders of technology keep coming. I was expecting her to get the old fashioned kind of retainer with the metal strip across the teeth, but no. Now they use these for the final stages of teeth shaping:

And here are her”teeth” 😁:

She goes back in February to make sure everything is continuing to develop according to plan.

Busy Day

What a busy Saturday it was today. It started right after breakfast, vacuuming the lint from behind the dryer and in the dryer vent. I know, woo. But it got more exciting after that. Miranda read that today the Calgary Transit was free from 7 am to 7 pm so that Calgarians could come down to the new Calgary Public Library Main Branch, which is having its grand opening. So she asked if we could do that, and it was a great idea. We hopped on the C-Train and visited the library.

There was a big crowd

We split up, with Miranda and Tammy circulating and Ian and I exploring on our own. There are four floors and lots of stairs.

Looking down into the main atrium

I don’t think we’ll get there that often, but it was really nice. My favorite spot was the reading room on the fourth floor. They also had a bunch of typewriters set up where people were encouraged to write poetry.

Ian and I finished our tour first, and he and I left to go and see the Telus Sky and Brookfield Place buildings. Ian’s a real sucker for those tall buildings. He loves looking up at them, but claims it makes him dizzy.

Holding on for dear life looking up at Brookfield

We took the train out to Dalhousie, where we had lunch at DQ, and Ian and I got haircuts at the barber there.

Ian getting shorn

Then we finished our train tour heading home, and we all did our writing, and then I got on my bike and rode 30 kilometers on the rollers. We had a light dinner, because then it was time to put our costumes on and go to Mark and Darlene’s house for Halloween at Hogwarts. Mark is the President of the Bow Cyclists Club, and he extended an invitation to this party to the BCC Ambassadors. I ended up being the only one who showed up. Tammy, Miranda and Ian and I mingled with a mix of Darlene’s relatives and co-workers. I met lots of people and we all had fun, even if some of us mingled better than others.

The party was very amazingly themed with Harry Potter. There were decorations everywhere, and all of the food was themed as well. More than half of the people who came to the party were dressed as Harry Potter characters or Hogwarts students. Mark was a pretty convincing Hagrid, and I spent much of the evening in the company of Severus Snape.

Check out the floating candles

Now it’s ten o’clock and we’re home and everybody’s full of sugar. (And alcohol, in Tammy’s case 🥴)

What a day!

No More Braces

Today was a big day for Miranda. She no longer has to wear braces. She will have to wear a retainer which she will get next week. They scraped the glue off her teeth, took more photos of her jaws (no more cross bite), and another radial X-ray.
Technology certainly makes things easier when it works. Her previous retainer was created from a mold of clay-like material that she had to stick in her mouth. Now they use 3D imaging. From that they can print out a model from their 3D printer and build the retainer on top of that! I’ll have Simon post the video. when he gets home.

NaNoWriMo #11

Last night we kicked off our eleventh edition of participating in National Novel Writing Month! And when I say “we”, I mean everybody. I was pounding away at my IBM Selectric III, Tammy was pecking at her MacBook Air, Miranda was typing next to me on the Mac Mini in the dining room, and Ian was at his desk with the iPad 4 and the Bluetooth keyboard cover.

That is awesome on so many levels, but selfishly it meant that I didn’t have to wait until the kids were off to bed before starting my writing. In fact, I was finished my 1,885 words before the kids’ bedtime.

This is a momentous Nano for me: I will be writing the second part of the last book in a trilogy that then is itself a set of prequels to the novel that I have been trying to write since I was 18. I am pretty darn excited about that.

Hello? Halloweenies?

Where is everybody?

It’s now 8:45, and I’ve turned off the pumpkins. The count from years past and now 2018, too:

  • 2013 – 61
  • 2014 – 78
  • 2015 – 57
  • 2016 – 50
  • 2017 – 52
  • 2018 – 25 😵

Twenty five??? I was handing out handfuls of candies to the kids and still have a large amount of candy left. I had the pumpkins brightly lit in the front window. The weather was clear and about nine degrees, which is superb compared to the snow we had last month.

Can’t miss them

Ah well. The kids went out trick or treating this evening. Rather, Ian went trick or treating, and Miranda took him around. She felt too old to do it herself, but walked Ian around our street. Tammy was teaching again tonight. She wore her Musketeer outfit. I wore my samurai outfit to answer the door. Miranda was dressed like the singer from Panic! At the Disco, in one of their music videos. Ian was a BC Ferries Captain.

They were back pretty quickly. Ian’s bag wasn’t as big as in past years, and when it was full they came straight back home.

Candy, candy, candy

Happy Halloween! Anybody want some candy? 🍬

11 years, Apple, iPhone, XR.

So, Apple, the phone company has been making iPhones for 11 years! Ever since the first iPhone came in June 2007, it was a joke to some people because of the all screen design since that screens back then were very terrible. But now, Apple the company, has made 98% customer satisfaction with the recent phones that came out last year. The iPhone X and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. But now, today, at the Apple store, I took pictures of the brand new 6.1 inch Retina display the “iPhone XR”

So yah, here are the pictures:

This is the front of the phone on the lock screen

This is the back of the phone


This is the front of the phone on the home screen

Of course, there will be more pictures on the way.

If you want more information, this is the website:


Here are some more photos of the iPhone XR.

Now from your question Baba, how is the iPhone XR different from the other phones, well, I also took some photos of a 2 year old iPhone 7(2016), and you can tell the difference from those photos.

Here are more pictures of the iPhone XR:

This is the side of the phone.



This is another picture of the front of the Phone


This is the iPhone 7:

The front

The side

And the back

The iPhone XR or the Ten R is 150 mm tall, it is 75 mm wide and the iPhone 7 is 138 mm tall and 67 mm wide. So the iPhone XR is bigger than the iPhone 7. Both of the phones are made of aluminum except the iPhone XR has a wireless charging glass back and the iPhone 7 doesn’t. The iPhone XR has 6.1 inches of screen and the iPhone 7 has 4.7 and 5.5 inches of screen

This is a better token picture of the iPhone 7    -This is the iPhone XR tech specs    -This is the iPhone 7 tech specs             -This is the iPhone XR explained