Tech Corner



Mar 3

AppointmentAs the graphic says, the past couple weeks have seemingly been nothing but appointments for me.

Doctors appointments, dermatologist appointment, car appointments...appointment, appointment, appointment.

My visit to the doctor was supposed to bring good news. I had previously gone off my meds as the side effects were freaking me out and driving me crazy. I had hoped through exercise and healthier living that I'd be back on the path to wellness. Well turns out my latest echo test showed that my heart function had regressed to back where it was when I was almost hospitalized over a year ago when my lungs started filling up with blood. So despite dropping 50 pounds and feeling better than I have in years it was all for nothing. So my cardiologist again brought up going on a pacemaker - the idea of which scares the hell out of me. Your life literally at the whim of some corporate device. And it wouldn't cure me, I'd still be in Afib and still need to take blood thinners the rest of my life. So I struck a deal with my doctor that I'd go back on the meds at a low dose. My issues seemed to start happening after he had kept increasing dosages. So I went back on them and almost instantly I got ringing in the ears again. Stopped taking them and right now praying to the Gods that it's not permanent and goes away again. One last thing I'm going to try is see if he'll write me a prescription for Nadalol which is another beta blocker, unfortunately not cardio selective however - but supposedly it has less instances of causing hearing issues than Bisoprolol.

So I've been extremely stressed out lately. I'm basically running out of options at this point.

As the weather has sucked so bad for so long during the past month Chris and I have been doing a bunch of puzzling. Years ago I always thought jigsaw puzzles were something old people did - and now I find myself doing them. Chris got me a 3D Game of Thrones puzzle for Christmas so at some point in the new year I had at it. I hadn't done a 3D puzzle before and it was definitely challenging. The idea was I'd work on it a bit at a time and take most of winter to finish it. But of course, being that it was a challenge I just couldn't leave it alone and obsessed over finishing it.

Game of Thrones 3D Puzzle

Winter Is Here

Since I finished that one Chris and I have finished another two (regular) puzzles and are now working on our third. So yes, we are officially old now.

Work is supposedly progressing on the website overhaul. Last communication I had with the web design company was that they should have something for me this week to test out. So again, hopefully things will be updated soon. Oh, speaking of the website, you may have noticed the one camera feed from the Livecam is down. Sadly my ridiculously expensive network camera died a week ago or so. And all the replacement options for it don't support a drop ceiling mount. So despite not being supported by the manufacturer anymore, I ended up having to order another one of the same model off Amazon. But sadly it won't be here for roughly a month. So until then you'll have to make do with checking out the bunny tracks in the snow in our back yard.

Finally we got word a few days ago that our application for the Government solar rebate was approved. And I think it was on the same day that I read that should we have a likely change in the Provincial government next election that they were going to kill the rebate program. So my instincts were right to get everything going when I did.

Stay warm!

Feb 9

2019You may have noticed a lack of posts lately...

My website host recently removed support for FrontPage Extensions (without telling me). So when I last updated the website, any page that I had updated that had the year linkbar in it suddenly broke. So as you can see here, there no longer is the menu bar with the various years showing as I had to remove it.

Last year I looked at somewhat updating the site to a slightly newer platform - Microsoft Expressions - and had started working on it and then my hard drive crashed and I lost everything. I thought about hiring a web designer to just do it for me but my laziness got in the way. Fast forward until now and I once again started working on a new site design. I got about 75% of the way in terms of the look I wanted, which wasn't a huge change, just a bit more refined. But I couldn't figure out how to handle everything collapsing properly when resized to look ok on smartphones or tablets. With enough time I probably could have figured it out, but now that the site was somewhat broken I decided to just bite the bullet and hire a professional.

So I found a local developer and will be working with them to get everything updated. It took me awhile to find someone because when I mentioned the platform I wanted to use I'm sure they thought I was some web luddite. It was painfully obvious how much technology had passed me by since I started the site. Most everyone was like 'why don't you use Wordpress'? As Wordpress is the current darling of bloggers. It basically gives you drag and drop web publishing. All you have to do is write your post, drag a few pictures into it and Bob's your Uncle. That said, and despite offering a number of templates, for me, all Wordpress sites look the same. And I wanted mine to retain it's look. I also wanted to still do this somewhat old school and be involved in the coding and understanding how everything worked.

So hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to unveil the new improved look.

Ice Sculpture

Banff Snow Days

Last month the Blanices (Blaine and Janice) and Mori (Matthew and Dori) came with us to Snow Days in Banff which is a winter festival that happens every year in January. We decided to be all fancy and stay at the Banff Springs hotel and I have to say I was quite impressed with it. Chris & I had stayed there once before but had were in the main building and our room was laughably small. This time however we stayed in the 'newer' Gatehouse wing and had a really nice suite. We hung out in the pool, I went for my walks, and just had a great time. We also went to Lake Louise where they had their ice carving contest and in downtown Banff they had snow carvings. All in all a really nice getaway with friends.

Last post I mentioned we were thinking of going Solar. Well it's official now and the contract is signed. Likely in April or May we'll have a bunch of panels on our roof generating electricity. So I'm excited for that. As for finishing the yard, we put down a deposit with a company that builds fancy metal pergolas to hold our place in their schedule this year. We also got in touch with a landscaper who does smaller jobs and once the snow is gone we'll get together to discuss what needs to be finished. Hopefully come summer time it will all be done and we'll be able to spend our days lounging outside in total comfort.

Jan 12

2019Happy New Year!

As usual we rang in the New Year at the neighbors but this year was a little subdued. I wasn't feeling great and Chris called it just after midnight as neither was she. Which was probably good as I had started to listen to Tool and that never ends well. The neighbors were also disappointed at the turn out as they said each year it seems less and less people pop in. So we might just pub it this year instead.

Prior to that we went to Kananaskis for a big get together with Chris' family. We stayed at the lodge there which is where her Mom and Step-dad got married 17? years ago which was pretty cool. Wow, can't believe it's been that long. We had a great time despite half the family being sick with some kind of stomach bug. One day I went for a long walk through the mountains and it was just me in the wilderness stomping through the snow with amazing views all around. Another day we all went for a massage at the spa and while it might not have been the best I've ever had it was definitely up there. And one night we hung outside by a fire and listened to carolers and drank really yummy mulled wine concoctions. So unlike the last big get together, this time we actually took advantage of a lot of the activities they had going on.

There was also a professional photographer who took a bunch of family photos. While she was really good, especially in regards to keeping the kids attention and getting good energy from the, my favourite photo of the trip is a selfie that Chris took of us. Awwww. Aren't we cute? A big thanks to Jim & Karen for putting on such a great gathering.

Cute Couple

Fun in Kananaskis

Of course not all is sunshine and rainbows. A few weeks ago we found out my bestie Jamie has cancer. I can't imagine what he and his family are going through. When I first heard my initial reaction was to remember my Dad and think 'here we go again'. But according to the experts it's 'only' stage one and there's a high survivability rate. You don't want to make it about you, but you're reminded of your own mortality. You plan for the future and make various plans for some distant day, but it all could come quickly crashing down in an instant. But he's strong and he'll get through this. He also started a blog detailing what he is going through. I think it's great he's doing that, I'm sure it's not only helpful for him to express himself but also for others not only to find out how he's doing but to also better understand what a horrible disease it is.

On to other things...

Currently trying to figure out finances for the year and make plans for our various trips and never ending renovations as well. We're actually meeting with a Landscaper tomorrow to discuss what we want done to finish off the yard. Hopefully things go well and I get a good vibe from them. We want the yard finally finished this year. I can't wait to be able to go out and enjoy the summer in a nice shaded structure, with a cool drink in hand, listening to some tunes and relax myself into oblivion.

As previously mentioned, I'm also toying with maybe going Solar this year. We have a meeting with an installer in a couple weeks. Financially it's probably not the smartest decision with the payback period likely a decade, but I'm not doing it just to save money. Obviously that's part of it - I look to the future when I'm retired and on a fixed income and it'd be nice to half our electricity bills dramatically reduced - but there's also the environmental aspect as well. Plus my next vehicle is likely to be electric and it'd be nice to have the sun effectively powering it. I'll have a better idea how everything will shake out by the end of the month.