October 8, 2015

Well, I had promised myself that I would try, at least, to update this a bit more often.  It seems I have failed in that.  But, I really, really will try to do so.  I did go to Canada this summer, and had a most wonderful time in Toronto.  I also visited my family in Winnipeg and Fort Frances.  So, don’t have time to continue here now, but I am going to do some serious updating soon.  Have also made some great advances with my genealogy.  So will try to comment on that also.

April 7, 2015

Well, have been doing renovations on the house.  I am still sane…I think.  A few years ago when our neighbour took her annual extended vacation, a water pipe broke in her yard right next to the property line, which our house abuts.  After a few weeks, we noticed water seeping in at the bottom of the wall in the hall and living room.  Houses here are made of brick and concrete, and it didn’t take long for the water too basically do a lot of damage.  We had the wall repaired in 2013, and now was time to fix the mess made of the tile floors.  Thankfully new tiles can be laid over the old ones.  We are doing the entire house.  Almost done!!!  Will post pics later.  So later is now (May 10).  Before you put new tiles on top of old tiles you need to clean them with muriatic acid.  The old living:

living3The new living:

new_livingThe old kitchen:

oldfloorThe new kitchen:

new_kitchen2We also did the guest bathroom.  Where the table is there was a small shower.  Not really practical:


Used porcelain tiles in this room (a bit expensive but nice).  Added a bit of deco to the wall with some silver tiles:bathwallbathsink



March 26, 2015

I experienced a very welcome act of kindness last week.  I had to go to the post office to mail my tax return to Ottawa.  Of course you have to take a number…and I had 321.  They were at 289!!  So, I sat in one of the chairs provided for this purpose beside a lady about my age.  I noticed she had number 300.  I asked here how long she had been waiting and she replied “mas di un hora”…more than one hour.  She then asked me if I wanted to go up with her when they called her number.  She noticed I had 321 and that I was mailing something to Canada, as the envelope was in plain view.  I graciously accepted her offer, and when we got to one of the three windows out of 8 where someone was actually working, she insisted I go first.  I went ahead and got out of there in a very short time…whoever you were…Thank YOU!!

March 1, 2015

Its 6:30 am and I am up.  I live in a gated community (barrio privado).  One of, if not the most exclusive in Mendoza.  Lots of large mansion-style houses here.  Mine is not one of them.  A new one was built a block and a half away from here just recently, a large large large place.  Very modern design.  Last night was obviously their open house party.  Started about 11 pm (as usual here).  The music was still blaring until just a few minutes ago.  Of course, I was wide awake…so I am up.  I must say that people here can be so damn rude.  This type of thing happens on a regular basis.  Parties with disco lights and loud DJ music till all hours of the morning.  Right next door to us the daughter of the owner had 3 parties in one month.  Several people, including us called the guardia and they had trouble even getting into the place to tell them enough was enough.  Rude rich people.  Pisses me off.

 December 5, 2014

And its hot hot hot again.  The weather has been so strange.  Last week it was in the mid 30’s then on Saturday it was 21 degrees…Sunday only hit 16.  Yesterday it was 41 degrees Celsius…that’s 105 Fahrenheit.  Supposed to hit 37 today.   So…summer is here…early!!

June 20, 2014

Well tomorrow is the first day of winter…here.  Yipeee!!  Not that I like winter or cold weather, but it means the days will start to get longer as the sun starts to move south.  This country is definitely in the wrong time zone.  At this time of year it doesn’t get daylight till 8:30 in the morning.  I don’t like that at all.  I checked online, and they have changed time zones 5 or 6 times in the last 100 years or so. Of course its all about politicians.  Chile, which is just over the mountains a few hours drive away is an hour behind us.  At least it is now.  It is the same time as Toronto, and they have daylight savings time, so in our summer they are the same time as us.  They tried DST here a few years ago, but the western half of the country said NO.  It was in the summer, and it didn’t get daylight till almost 8 am and dark till after 10 pm.  It was awful.  But, I think the western part of the country should move back one hour.  Permanently.  Daylight at 8:30 am is ridiculous.  When we went on DST back when, and one half of the country changed back, they just about went crazy, saying “one country, two time zones…imagine!!!”.  They should try living in Canada…with what, 6 time zones?  They don’t believe me when I tell them that…

June 10, 2014

Well, the spam problem seems to be fixed. Finally.  Took a while to find something that actually works.  The current temperature is 15 degrees.  Not too bad I guess for a week or so from the first day of winter.  But, will be glad when it warms up again.  I really don’t like cold weather.  Not sure if I could survive a winter in Canada again.

My name is Bob, and I am a bake-aholic.  Really!!!  Started baking bread a few months ago, and it is so much better than store bought.  And a lot less expensive too.  My cousin in Canada found the recipe my grandmother used for the rye bread she baked at least twice a week way back when.  And it is delicious.  Toasted or warm out of the oven with butter and you just drool.  I have also found recipes on the web that are adaptable to almost anything.  Found a recipe for oregano cheese buns…the oregano didn’t really come through, (maybe I should have just added more than called for) but I added dehydrated onion and ground parmesan cheese instead of cheddar which I can’t get here and its just great.  Have substituted a grated reginato/mozzarella mix and that sort of works, although cheddar would be good.  Don’t understand why you can’t get cheddar here.  Of course I wonder about a lot of thing that they do here. Oh well…anyway the buns are wonderful for sandwiches.  And easy to make.

April 28, 2014

The current temperature is 13 degrees.  I checked the historical data on weatherunderground and for the last two months we have been 6 to 10 degrees below what it was a year ago for the last two months.  The normal temp for April is about 24 degrees.  Global warming?   I don’t think so. Look at the terrible winter they had in Canada this year.  One of the coldest on record.  Explanation?

April 14, 2014

Well, it was 4 degrees this morning.  Far too early for this kind of weather.  I think the weather bitch aka Mother Nature has gone mad.  This last winter in Canada was very very cold and far too long.  Its still colder than it should be there.  Everything changer here in an instant when it started raining on February 12.  The temperatures crashed, and we had more than a year’s worth of rain in just a few weeks.  Something is very wrong.

March 1, 2014

Its still raining.  This is really getting on my nerves. It was nice yesterday with a high of about 25 and I actually got a chance to cut the grass.  Cloudy and pouring rain when I got up this morning.

February 21, 2014

Well, it started raining on Wednesday, February 12, and it just refuses to give up.  I don’t understand it.  We are supposed to have about 320 days of sunshine here, but I don’t know if that is going to happen.  From the 12th to the 14th we had 90 mm of rain.  Normal rainfall for one year averages about 200mm.  Almost half a year’s rain. Of course the temperatures have crashed from ++30 degrees to a cool low 20 something.

February 6, 2014

I am a butter tart lover.  My big problem is making pastry.  Just never seem to be able to get it right, and can’t get pre-made tart shells here.  Can get a round, but they are not very good…especially for my purpose.  So, I just made up a batch of pastry, it is cooling in the fridge, and will attempt to role it out.  This should be easy, no?

January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!!!  The heat wave has returned after a couple of days of cooler weather…well a bit cooler…30 and less.  Back to the high 30’s again.  Gets a bit tiring.  Yes, I know its very very cold in the north, but there are such extremes.  Hard to adapt sometimes.

December 28, 2013 – afternoon

I just watched The Round Up (La Rafle in French).  The story of how the Vichy French Government collaborated with the Germans to round up French Jews and send them off to their deaths.  Excellent movie.  Sometimes when I watch movies or documentaries from that period, I almost feel ashamed to be part of the “human” race.  It seems to me than someone said “never again”.  Yet similar things are happening right this minute in Syria as Assad murders his own citizens for his glory.  Shame.

December 28, 2013

Well its hotter than hell.  The heat wave continues and today is supposed to reach 38 degrees.  There is no end in sight.  Not much humidity, so that’s a good thing.  LOL.  But it does just suck the life out of you.  Of course it could be -38.  Don’t think I could take that anymore.

December 16, 2013

Nine days before Christmas and its 35 degrees.  We have had two major rain storms in the last week, and it normally hardly ever rains here.  Not that we don’t need rain, it helps to wash down the buildings, and gets rid of dust and sand that blows in with the zondas.  Kind of hard to get in the mood for Christmas in this heat.  I recently wondered what it would be like to once again walk down Yonge Street in Toronto with a nice soft snow falling, shoppers running here and there…the lights and music of the season.  They don’t really get into it here…a few raggly lights in the downtown area and thats about it.  Oh well.  Well, I wouldn’t mind just a few weeks of winter there.  Its been a long time since I was there in winter.  The last time was December, 2005. Didn’t hang around for Christmas.

November 25, 2013

Well, after several days of hot weather with temps in the mid 30’s, we had a storm from hell last night.  A lot of rain and cool temperatures today.  There were branches and assorted junk all over the streets when I went out to do some grocery shopping.  Of course I had just cleaned…again…and things were looking good.  But we did need the rain.  But, it seems the weather is always extreme…too hot, too cold too much wind, too much rain.

November 17, 2013

Well, I haven’t updated this for a while.  Decided I should get my act together and add a few things.  Seems like I never have time for a lot of things lately.  And sitting on the computer only seems to be a good idea when its cold and rainy.  And that is difficult to come by here.  With more than 300 days of sunshine per year we don’t get a lot of cold rainy days.  Yes, it does get cool in the winter and June to August are the coldest months.  But even then it can be nice enough to be outside at times.  We don’t get a lot of rain.  We are in the desert.

I went to Canada this last August.  I hadn’t been back since 2010 and the wedding of my nephew in Winnipeg was a good excuse to go.  Also, my sister from California was going, and I hadn’t seen her since 2005.  Thats a long time.  Anyway, I arrived in Toronto on August 5, and stayed with my friends Pearse and Taras in their lovely home.  Toronto really is an exciting, vibrant city, and there are times I really miss it.  Of course it does have long cold winters, and the older I get the harder it is to withstand the cold.  And being forced to stay inside for such a long time would be difficult to say the least.  The shopping was terrific, and I had a few great dinners out with my friend Arlie.  He was my shopping guide…I needed to buy some clothes for the wedding and he certainly knows where to go for bargains and great fashion.  I got to see most of the people I know, and Pearse had a Sunday brunch for a bunch of old friends.  I only stayed in the city for nine days, and wish I had stayed longer.

Then it was off to Winnipeg, and the big wedding.  I met my sister from California at the airport, as she was arriving at about the same time as I was.  I rented a car and off we went to our sister’s house there.  The wedding was held at a golf course by the river, and that was quite nice.  There were no song singing episodes, and the whole thing was over in about 15 minutes.  The bridal party left to the theme song of “Married with Children”.  The reception took place at the golf course in the evening, and all in all it was a pretty good party.  My sister left after one week to return to CA and I stayed another week.  I wish I had had a little more time as I would have like to drive to Fort Frances, and also to see some of my old neighbours in Winnipeg.  I had some shopping to do and so that sort of cut down on my free time to go to the Fort.  But, I did get to see most of my family from there as they came to the wedding.

I arrived back in Mendoza on the 29th of August, via Santiago Chile.  The weather was warm and lovely, and I thought, mistakenly, that we were going into an early spring.  It was not to be…after about two weeks, a zonda blew in and the temperatures took a dive, and it has been up and down since then.  Have had temps of 37 one day, then 22 the next.  And at least 4 zondas.  Oh well, today is about 33 degrees, and humidity is only 8 per cent.  Dry heat.



















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