Schrödinger’s Mother’s Day Post

Schrödinger’s Cat

As of right now, yesterday’s Mother’s Day was both good and bad. We won’t know for sure which it was until the vet calls us today.

Saturday night, Squeak was behaving as though she was not comfortable, and also showed signs of incontinence. That immediately set off the alarm bells: while she has always been trouble when it comes to using the cat box, she had never shown a lack of control before. And she is almost 20 and a half years old. Tammy was very upset and we set up a cardboard barrier at the bottom of the main stairs to keep Squeak on the main floor of our house for the night and however long is necessary. Tammy slept on the couch to keep Squeak company and didn’t get much sleep. In the morning, I held off wishing Tammy a happy Mother’s Day until we’d determined that the cat was doing alright.

We gave Tammy some cards and some prezzies, but the plans for the day had changed, with Tammy taking the cat to the vet and I took Miranda and Ian down to Bow Cycle: Miranda had her Sunday ride, and Ian and I meandered our way back home. When I went to pick her up, I picked up fish and chips for a late lunch (Tammy’s choice) and the cat was ready as well. The test results weren’t complete and that’s why we are in limbo: is Squeak alright or are we going to get bad news?

Squeak exploring the deck

We enjoyed our lunch and played some Minecraft and played some music trivia (can you name that song and artist). Ian made dinner: I helped him make waffles from scratch.

Ian’s waffles

Will Mother’s Day 2019 be remembered as a great day with really nice weather and time spent together? Or…

Updated 4:30 pm

Tammy just heard from the vet, and Squeak is fine!

The tests came back clear. It was probably a urinary tract infection so she’s going to get some antibiotics. Tammy’s on her way to pick them up right now.

Had to change gears…and vehicles

So it’s been 4 years since I purchased my Mazda 6. It has been a great car and I have considered it “luxury” for my standards with all the extras.

I probably would still have it if it wasn’t for the gas prices jumping up insanely and continuing to climb ($1.61 at present). My car was not bad on gas but having to drive the kids to school and Zach to work started hitting me in the wallet. I started looking for more fuel efficient vehicles. Hybrids and Electric cars were out due to $$$. That left smaller cars. It is crazy how much some vehicles cost for barely anything (mostly paying for the name) I was looking very closely not only at the fuel efficiency but safety standards. Wow the recalls and complaints on some vehicles!!

So I finally settled on a Chevrolet Sonic RS Turbo Hatchback 2018. Got it on the 6th. Same amenities as my Mazda except it has a push button start, computer screen and back up camera (also has cloth seats instead of leather). I miss not having a lock gas cap. The backup camera is going to get some getting used to. I find not having a key is the funniest. I keep reaching to turn the car off but no key! Riiiiight push the button…..

Hello from Regina

Here I am in the rectangular province again! This time I am working with the Regina Police Service, who are migrating their crime analysis section from Intergraph to Esri. Day one of the workshop was today, with David H. and Courtnay here with me from Esri. It went pretty well, if a little different from normal. Normally I’m brought in when there is a lot of existing complexity to resolve, whereas this is a situation where there is a lot of complexity to solve, but it’s all planned instead of existing.

Or something like that.

I just got back to the hotel room from dinner. It’s 9:45. Dinner was at 6:30. It was a long, very interesting conversation, but now I’ve got to work to prepare for tomorrow’s session. Here is a picture I took leaving the restaurant. The crescent moon was setting past the flame that was outside Golf’s Steakhouse.

Moonset over Victoria Avenue

Cider is Bottled

It’s been an interesting experience, but now the waiting starts. This morning, Tammy and I bottled the cider.

First bottled cider

It ended up making a fair amount. We had to press some Wild Rose beer bottles into service when it became clear that we had a bit more than we had counted on.

My biggest concerns at this point:

  • Will the end product taste good? Right now, the little sips are… an acquired taste.
  • Will the carbonation work? I’m trusting that there is still live yeast in the mix, and it will convert the sugar in the sugar tablets into bubbles.

Overall costs:

  • Carboy, sanitizer, yeast, siphon tube, gravimeter: $59.39
  • Bottling siphon tip, clarifying agent and tablets: $15.76
  • Capper and 140 bottle caps: $49.77

Major time sinks:

  • Cutting up the apples
  • Juicing

The rest of it has just been short periods of time, racking the cider. We would have been done sooner if I’d bought the clarifying agent sooner, but it’s not a race.

Perhaps We’re Not Coping Well

I think this dip in the weather has taken the wind out of our sails. The days since the snowstorm have been only a couple of degrees above freezing. And today it’s -2 and trying to snow.

Work has been full-tilt, with the NEB and Strathcona County this week among other things and I guess it’s not surprising that I’ve now caught a cold. I hope I feel better before I have to fly to Regina tomorrow afternoon.



Here’s the view out the living room window this morning, May 5th.

About an inch of snow

Duet Display

Something new at work today: I have a third display thanks to my iPad Pro.

Duet Display

Yesterday I was having trouble juggling lots of open documents. I was aware of there being different products that allow you to add a display to your computer by using an iPad. Luna Display and Duet Display are two leading solutions. Luna Display has a hardware dongle to make the connection, while Duet uses the regular sync cable. I looked into Luna Display first, but it’s a $79 (USD) solution, while Duet Display is a $14 app.

For $14, I was willing to give it a shot. So far, so good. I had to install an app on my Mac and on the iPad, connect them and it was done.

Of course, a 9.7″ display is pretty bleeping small, but I’ve got my calendar full-screen on there.

Happy Easter!

It’s Easter, and it’s also one of the nicest days we’ve had this spring. It started with an Easter egg hunt, with the kids competing to win a special prize. It was very close: Ian found 63 eggs and Miranda found 68. So she won the Cookies and Cream bunny.

Lots of Easter Bunny loot

We watched the Chocolate Chicken episode of Max and Ruby, followed by It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown! at breakfast. Then it was off for a long walk. We walked up to the library because Miranda had some books in.

Crossing the goose pond on the bridge

We even took the time to walk up the hill behind the library to see the big work of art close up. Still don’t know what it is. The leading theory is they are supposed to be big Cheetos.

Ian and the Cheetos

The turkey is now in the oven, and the stuffing is made. More pictures as dinner approaches.


Well, it turns out that we didn’t take any pictures of the spread. The turkey was delicious and the stuffing worked out really good too. Yams, sprouts and asparagus rounded out the meal. Nom nom nom.

We did take pictures of the cake!


It was a checkerboard cake, which you couldn’t see until the cake was sliced.

Checkerboard inside

Hello from Edmonton

Tonight is the night between days one and two of a workshop with ATCO. This morning was a super early one to get to the bus station downtown for 6:00 am. Mary and I were on the bus to make it to ATCO for a 10:30 start. It was an interesting day, with more than a little chaos in the workshop. For most of it, I was not leading which is unusual. JP was here from Toronto. He is part of the Utilities team and today was focusing on the solution for ATCO. Tomorrow is the solution architecture part of the workshop and I will be in the spotlight.

This evening, our team met at the Marc restaurant for dinner. Afterwards, Mary, JP and I went for a walk down to the Alberta legislature.

Me, JP and Mary

The Leg. JP in the foreground.

I will be on the bus back to Calgary tomorrow evening.


Today my car finally sold. I put it on Kijiji back in February. The initial response was slow, but by March I had had a few interested parties ask about it. It wasn’t until late March that I actually had someone come and look at it. He was impressed with it, but ended up going with another car. However, he told his friend who ended up buying it. He was hot to buy something by the weekend, so we met halfway at Southcentre Mall today. We had a quick drive around and a few questions. He wanted a dealer inspection done and offered to pay $5000-5500 which was lower than what I was hoping for ($6500). After a few texts and calls and a talk with Knibbe (in lieu of an inspection) he offered a firm $5500 cash, which I eventually took. He and his friend came and got it after 4. We filled out and signed the Bills of Sale and away they went. Not soon after I was down at Plates deregistering my car and returning the plate as well as depositing the $$. I have to wait until Monday to cancel the insurance.
I loved my car and I was sorry to see it go, but it was starting to become randomly unreliable plus we don’t really need 2 cars. I would’ve liked more money for it, but I got market value (and it was more than a trade-in). In the future we’ll probably need a second car once the kids learn to drive. Maybe by then there will be more electric options (and rebates) available.