Monday, August 27, 2007

I guess it is time to man up

I am always getting money making ideas and seldom do I ever go further than writing them down. However, I acted on one this week.

I got it in my head that roofers are roofers and not very good salesman. Let me explain. Roofers hire teams of workers called "crews" to help them with their summer contracts. It is very costly and time consuming to lay them off when there is no work and risk losing them for when there is work to a company that can provide steady work, a general rule, roofers leave alot of money on the table when quoting home owners on a new roof for fear of losing the job and not having work for their crew.

As I have yet to find the magic food that will give me a 6-pack, my role will be behind the scenes.

I put an ad on Kijiji that I was a "roof artist" and that I could not only quote you on a new roof but also throw in a roof ventilation evaluation by a ventilation professional (me) for free. Well I got a bite the very next day.

I didn't exactly know what to do. I don't normally go this far with my ideas. Its now becoming a reality and Im going to have to man up to the challenge as nervous as I am with it. So I went by the job site this afternoon and assessed the job. I think I have enough guidelines from a friend that I can adequately calculate what will be involved as far as materials, labour, and my cut of the project.

Although I'm new at this, I am not exactly doing consumers an injustice. I am simply advocating for the roofing industry. On top of that my expertise in roof ventilation will noticeably extend the life of the shingles. As it is now, less than 10% of the roofs that are done currently are properly ventilated. I also plan submitting the job to one of the few roofers that I know does a very good job.

Now if I get the job I guess I will have to go in search of a roofing company that can do it when I commit to do it and at a price that is less than my quote so there is some cream left atop for my cream deprived family.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The prodigal daughter

No complaining about earthquakes and bohemian university lifestyles. You are in Canada now. Welcome home sis.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Konrads first hunt

Jenn was very tired today and wanted to take a nap while Anders was napping. Konrad and I took opportunity to go do some of the risky activities that would be too hard for mom and Anders. We love to be with them but sometimes the men of the house just need to do our thing. In a couple years perhaps Anders will be man enough to join us.

We went hunting.

We started out to our destination but it was "taking sooooo long to walk there" (Konrads words). Perhaps it was taking too long because he would stop to try and catch every toad and cricket that hopped along our path. We also found many mulberry bushes on the way and stopped to fill our bellies and then kept on eating in true Jakob fashion. I also taught Konrad about how Queen Anns Lace has roots that taste like carrots. After eating some we both agreed that it might taste more like carrots if it was washed but at that moment it tasted alot more like dirt.

As we neared our destination, about 600 meters past the 4th no trespassing sign (enter the risky part of the excursion) we came upon a feather from the wing of a hawk or an owl. It was large and had a nice black ripple design on the brown. Konrad was quick to spot a dead baby mouse. It probably died of a broken heart when its mother was eaten by the hawk. He is already shaping up to be a brilliant tracker.

As we crept through the bush, wispering at times so as to not be noticed, and not speaking at all the rest of the time, we actually had a very prosperous hunt. We were able to bring home 23 of them. Wow 23! That should keep us going for the rest of the year.

Here is a picture of our spoils

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Breaker vs Breaker

The other morning I went to the garage only to find I couldn't get in. After trying different buttons and remotes I tried the man door to the garage. It was locked. Now I was frustrated. On top of that it was morning. I don't seem to think straight in the morning.

I remembered I had a sledge hammer in the car and I promptly went at the door handle. This woke Jennifer up and she came out to see what was happening (shes so brave). Soon I had knocked the handle off the door and entered the garage.

With goal no longer thwarted, I went to turn on the light switch only to find that it didn't work. Had it been earlier in the morning I might have gone after it too with the hammer, but thankfully, I was beginning to wake up from the exercise and was able to deduce that the circuit breaker had flipped. Thats why the garage opener wasn't working. Ha! on the bright side, I now have a door for the outhouse I'm building.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Pet Peeve

Look, I like washing dishes as much as the next guy........well that's not exactly true but I don't mind washing them.............okay thats not true either, but it is sufficient to say that I do them from time to time without too much complaining. However, when I get to the muffin tins "insanity licks at the edge of my brain" (If D coined that phrase he is a literary comic and genius). As much as I like eating Jenns wonderful banana chocolate chip muffins with orange glazing, I dread having to wash the tins. The tedious work of circle scraping each hole with the sponge and even then I cant get to the corners. Whats worse? I am certain that it is always my go at the dishes when the muffin tins are dirty. It drives me up the wall and it is hard to reach the sink to finish the dishes when I'm up there. Does anyone have a trick?

I might be inclined to invent a better muffin tin but it would just end up in a book of inventions and money-making ideas that sits on my office shelf waiting to have items scratched off the list as someone else telepathically steals my ideas year by year and takes them to the bank. Like my spray on salad dressing. We've all seen it in the stores now and its still as brilliant an idea as when I developed it 7 years ago. Ask Tom Booth. He will vouch for that.

Alas I will suck it up as always and continue cleaning the muffin tins but this time with the added advantage of venting to my blog and its sea of readers.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Rainbow at the end of the Pot

At the end of the work day, I found myself only 20 minutes from Val des Bois. With some encouragement from Jenn to put up an outhouse coupled with my constant yearning to spend time working and enjoying the land, I decided to go up for the evening.

After probing the ground for a soft area to dig a potty pit I finally settled on a honey hole that seemed to be screaming out “poo here!” So, there I broke ground to our soon-to-be magazine reading hut. It took me a half hour just to chop through the roots and get below the organic layers. I hit boulders at every turn. Fortunately, I was able work 5 of them out leaving only one large one to disfigure my perfect pit. There I stood, blisters forming and popping, mosquito covered, dirty, smelly, and soaked with sweat. If someone would have seen me they would have thought they were in rural Louisiana and might well have tripped over my metal detector looking for the pig roast.

Hole dug. It is approximately 3’ x 3’ x3’ minus the space taken by the boulder I couldn’t move. This week end I will dry in the building in my driveway at home and then take it apart and tow it up to the lake in the trailer.

Given my aforementioned circumstances I thought it wise to take a dip. That took care of the bugs, the dirt and the sweat. The water was beautiful and I was all alone. It was wonderful.

Next I resolved to find the secret to catching those elusive trout in the lake. I have been gathering trout catching tips for weeks from anyone I feel solicit worthy. I tried different lures at different depths but the fish were too busy eating the flies from the top of the lake and splashing all around me to be concerned with biting my line………..wait a minute………(an idea came to me) maybe they will eat flies from on top of the water! Nope, they ate all the other ones but mine. I even caught a grasshopper and tried him but that didn’t’ work either. Finally, I gave up fishing trout and wanted to see if there was any substance to the rumours of Pickerel in the lake. So I…….well……I wont give away my secret but when I felt the bite I set the hook. I was in for a fight. The thing looked and felt like a Salmon. It was a huge rainbow trout. 5 lbs at least. The neighbour helped me filet it and the meat is a very rosy colour.

I know how Jenn loves good fish so I have it on ice in a styrofoam pizza container right now as I am in Montreal for the night and tomorrow. I will buy fresh ice in the morning. See how much I love you Jenny? At least that much and certainly much more.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Canadian Shield Nomads

We decided to venture into the ignious. A lake at every turn. Oh how it was diffucult to drive in the car so long without stopping to fish all of those juicy lakes. I'm sure the kids thought it long too.
I suppose we did stop to fish a few, but not enough.

Thursday was a grueling 10 hour drive to what Konrad calls Manituna island (Manitoulin island). I guess Jenn's parents just call it home. They bought a "fixer upper" sight unseen, and now they are waist deep in fixer upping. Ken is very handy and seems to have made some headway already. He has already done in one month what I have done around our house in well... since we moved to Ottawa some 8 years ago. Of course thats not a whole lot of fixer upping anyway. That evening we went down to the beach at Kagawong and threw rocks. Anders almost drown. Again. My clothes got wet saving him. Again. Although he has learned to make gargly fishy noises under water, he still hasnt' learned to breath like one.

On our way off the island we stopped at Whitefish river (native reserve) for some whitefish and chips at a chip truck. It was nice. Then everyone fell asleep for a good part of our 7 hour journey into the ignious. We passed some beautiful lakes north of Sudbury (the moon). When we reached Shining tree I had to stop. Within 5 minutes I had caught 2 delicious bass, each as big as a football. Since Jenn wanted to keep them to eat I bashed their heads in with a rock so they wouldn't suffer very long. They were unrecognizable to anyone or anything that might have otherwise recognized them. They were yummy but I still felt a little bad. I don't normally keep my fish.

I won't blog anymore about our weekend. I'm sure Jenn will do that. However, I will say that the Jakob family knows how to eat, firework and be merry.

I was a little desous that we missed the Wrides farewell at the church picnic. Very dissappointed that I missed helping load the truck up. It wasn't much consolation but at precisely 8:04, and 13 kilometers east of Cobden Ontario I passed a large white F450 with the word "Independant" lettered on the box. The truck was no doubt full of neatly packed belongings, and a family we've grown to love, making their way into the great Canadian shield. Hope you brought your fishing rods, its a long drive and there are alot of juicy lakes on the way.