Archive for September, 2010

50+12 The Flintstones turn 50 today – So I grew up in the stone age!

When I was growing up the Flintstones was a show that I watched all the time.

Hearing today that Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty and the rest of the gang have turned 50, just 12 days after I did the same trick, caught me a bit off guard.

As a kid I enjoyed watching them on TV but it was not until I was older and watching reruns that I realized that The Flintstones were really a cartoon for adults, most of the one liners in the show would only be understood by older people.

A few fun facts about the Flintstones…..

Happy Birthday Fred Flintstone, 50 years is quite the accomplishment, I know!

Let’s have a drink to celebrate, I will have mine on the Rocks!

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50+11 Turned Around – The Writer is now the Subject

A few days ago I was contacted by a huge Foodie Website  called friends Eat that has it all, recipes, reviews, coupons and more.

They also do interviews of famous chefs and popular food bloggers.

Imagine my surprise when they asked me to be the subject of one of their interviews!

This morning my interview was published and I must admit that It was a strange feeling being on the other side of keyboard so to speak.

I have conducted a few Interviews for my Oshawa Ogre’s Views, News & BBQ’s blog including some Profiles, Event and Product reviews but now the shoe is on the other foot.

I have to admit this is a bit strange to me to be getting this much attention.

Screenshot of my interview

50+10 Fall, Seagull and Raccoons oh my

Fall is here, and today I took a nice drive to Peterborough to see one of my long time customers while dropping of an order of printing plates.

The above photo I took on the side of Hwy 35/115 about half way between Bowmanville and Peterbourough.

Though today was an overcast rainy day, but still very comfortable.

My timing was bit off on Sunday coming back from Kitchener to have a quick visit with my parents after being at the Milton Fair as while driving along a Raccoon crossed the road in-front of me and hid in the sewer with a friend of his, they both stared at me as I took their picture but a combination of low light and using my zoom this pictures below did not turn out that well, but I will let you have a look see anyways

50+9 Using equipment that is older than I am and like me… still useful

The cutter I used today at Herman's Print Shop

Today I needed to trim down some photo paper that I sell on eBay. So I went over to my friend Herman’s Print Shop that he owns in Orono.

Herman has been a collector of Old Tyme Printing equipment and though he does have some new equipment like his Digital printer and computers for artwork he also has a lot of old machinery that he uses everyday, like his Multilith Printing Press, Heidelberg Letterpress machine and his Brown Carver Paper cutter that dates back to the late 1800’s and is still used today.

BBQ and writing are hobbies of mine and I enjoy both a lot, however I still have to work for a living. Let me give you a little bit of my work history.

After I left school my first full time job was building Teak furniture for a factory in Downsview, Ontario circa 1977, which was a job that my father was able to get me from the company that manufactured the Teak furniture that is still in my parents home today (at a later point I will take a picture or two and add them here later)

But there was a problem….

I really enjoyed woodworking as a hobby ever since that near fatal day I was cutting a 2×4 with a hacksaw when I was 8 years old in my dad’s garage with his dump truck running, which made me pass out from carbon-dioxide but I hated doing it because I had to in a factory that was the same thing over and over and over again, so I quit after only a few months.

Then I went into the Graphic Arts Trade

1300 Bloor St. E. Mississauga being built in 1975

Having moved from Milton to Mississauga in 1975  and still going to school in what was a new area that I did not now, I would explore a lot, down behind the apartment building we were living in while the Condominium my parents bought was being built, there was a small plaza called Applewood Plaza and in the back corner was Marconi Pizza and beside that was a very small Printing shop called Applewood Printers.

Some days after school (at age 15) I would go to Marconi’s for a slice of Pizza and then talk to the owner of the Print Shop (it was a one man shop) I do not remember his name now but he showed me how his Printing machines worked and I was fascinated by the equipment.

My Spitfire Base CB Radio with Chrome Lolly-pop Mike aka Red Cardinal Base

Another hobby I had at that time was CB Radio which my father gave me since I knew nobody in the area, his thinking was I would meet some people that way (and he was right, I even met my wife on the CB radio but that was a few years later, a story for another day)

The owner of Applewood Printers and his store front

A fad back in the mid 70’s was for CB’ers to have calling cards that were called QSL cards which were really for Short-wave Radio hobbyists but CB’ers also had them. I  designed myself a QSL card my handle on the CB was the “Little Wizard” on the Red Cardinal Base so I needed to have it printed, So I went into see my friend at Applewood Printers, he said that I could have the cards printed for free if I did the work, and he would help me by explaining how to do it.

I was hooked!

The Graphic Arts Trade is what I wanted to do for my career, so after I left the furniture making behind I went to work for Deco Adhesives in 1977 as a pressman on their 3rd largest Label making Printing Press at the minimum $3.00 per hour rate, but I must have been well liked as every year for three years I got myself a raise! so I left Deco in 1980 while making $3.75 per hour.

I also worked as a Pizza Delivery person for the for mentioned Marconi’s Pizza (and later also for Giovannis Pizza) nights and week-ends while working for Deco since I needed to pay for my 1976 VW Rabbit which I bought after getting my license.

The reason I left Deco was that my father could see that I was very serious about the Printing trade and he had seen that there was a Printing business for sale in Markham, Ontario about an hours drive North East of my home in Mississauga so we bought it (Equipment only and the rental unit, no customers) and thus Acute Print was born and I was businessman at the age of 20.

Five years I ran the business but had to give it up as I was to busy to run the business by myself and not making enough money to hire help.

And having  just got married and having a baby, I needed a steady pay cheque.

in 1993 I was the manager of the markham Paper Shoppe (that is me in the sweater)

I joined the Paper Shoppe right at that point and I was then selling Paper and Graphic Arts supplies to Printers like the one that I was just trying to run. I worked my way up over the next 14 years through that company including Starting and running a store location from scratch in Rexdale and being the manger of stores in Markham and Scarborough to eventually be the Ontario Sales Manager in charge of staff at 10 stores and 25 employees across Ontario.

I had also started for the head office Unisource a new division from scratch called Paper On Wheels in which I sold paper from a cube van which was basically a store on wheels.

But then in their wisdom Unisource decided to close down the division because at that time a new big box store had opened up and was taking away a lot of our core business, you may of heard of them Business Depot (now known as Staples) and Unisourse was supplying Business Depot with product and the Paper Shoppes were conflicting with that business.

Working for Acuity as their Bindery Manager in 2000

So I took a package and went back into Printing working for Acuity as their Bindery Manager for a couple of years and after a couple of other jobs working in sales and Bindery for other commercial Print Shops I decided that was enough of working for others and opened my own business Oshawa Laser Supply which I have been doing ever since.

Oshawa Laser supplies Paper to Commercial Printers and I also sell Photo Paper, and do sales and service of Computers, Laser Printers and Artwork design and Printing.

For the Printing I use my friend Herman to print the jobs for me.

I started Oshawa Laser Supply as a part time business in 1999 but a few years later made it my full time business.

50+8 Ok now what the hell was I thinking

Today I decided to take my grandson and drive one and a half hours west to my home town of Milton again but this time to go to the 2010 Milton Fall Fair. I have not been to the Milton Fair grounds in at least 10 years I would say.

I went to this school for Grades 6,7 & 8 in the mid 70's

Above is a picture my grandson took of me on the steps of the school that I had not set foot on since 1975 and all is still as I remember of it.

and below is a class picture from Grade 8.

Green shirt top row = me.....Grade 8 Martin Street Middle School, Milton Ontario Canada

Mr. Logan was a very cool teacher back in the day, but not many would think so with the fashions he wore.

That is enough of a History lesson for today. Now on to my stupidity…..

My grandson had a blast at the fair and he wanted to go on some rides on the midway and he has never had the guts to ride on a Ferris Wheel  before and I thought ok I will go on that with you, it is a slow ride that just goes in a circle and I also thought I could film some nice shots of the fairgrounds from up there. so on we get….

As soon as we start moving I think this was a bad mistake on my part., if you look at 50+7 post from yesterday I talked about how I can no longer climb a ladder due to my accident a few years back. Well when the seat on the Ferris Wheel started rocking I was petrified, I even asked my grandson that is 9 not to lean back or forward as when he did it felt like the seat was going to toss me out on to the ground below. Most of you no doubt think I am a coward  but this really did freak me out.

However I decide to just concentrate on taking pictures and videos and I got through the 5 or so minutes of the ride and I did get some nice pics and vids

But once my feet were once again planted firmly on Terra-fir-ma (the ground) I was ever so relieved.

For more of the Milton Fair I will be posting a blog post at Oshawa Ogre’s Views, News & BBQ’s in the next few days, as I have to sort through a lot of pics, and vids and write an extensive review.

50+7 Sorry… but I can not climb that ladder


My home since 1992

The non-perfect Storm

A couple of days ago we had a pretty intense storm drive through Oshawa with high winds and a whole lotta rain in a short time. I happened to be still awake at 3am and when I looked out the window my street had turned into a fast running creek.

The next morning we has some small puddles of water on my stairs going to the top floor, we had this happen before and the cause was our chimney that the bricks and mortar had some issues resulting in water getting in from that point. We had a roofing company come in and repaired the chimney. We had the roof re-shingled after a storm tore off a bunch of shingles about 6 years ago as well.

Because the rain this time was coming at the house sideways I had a feeling that our windows may be the culprit. Our house is a war time house that was built in the 1940’s which we bought in May of 1992 in a Power of Sale, The house needed a lot of TLC but it was our first house that we purchased after renting since getting married in 1981.

A. Smith's Roofing of Oshawa inspecting our roof

We had the company that fixed our chimney (A. Smith’s Roofing out of Oshawa 905-571-5042) come back today to have a look and the chimney and roof looks ok, but it is their opinion that the flat part of the roof should be redone as under the shingles there is only 1 run of tar paper and they believe the entire flat portion of the roof should have it., they quoted $400 for the work. Which we will decide on our plan of action in the coming days, Since my son works for a Roofing Supply Company he may be able to arrange a better deal.

This is how my ladder was before I fell

In the mean time I need to re-chalk the windows and I am fine with the main floor but there is no way in hell that I will be going up a ladder to do the 2nd floor.

Slip Sliding Away…

About 5 years ago, I needed to fix one of my gutters that had separated at a seam and I put up my ladder as you can see in this re-enactment.

Keep in mind that this was in winter and we had had some thawing going on at the time.

Side of the house scraped by the ladder

I climbed about 7 rungs and all of a sudden the feet of the ladder slid out from under me due to the slush and ice that was on the ground. As you can see in this close up of the side of the house the ladder scraped the siding on the way down. But that was not the full extent of the damage.

I of course did a face-plant to the concrete below and I was in terrible pain, somehow I was able to pull myself off the ground and I knew that I had separated my left shoulder and hurt my ribs on the right side. Into the house I went and an Ambulance was called. Doctors told me that I would of been better off breaking my arm since the recovery from this would be long, it took 5 doctors and nurses to straddle me and pop my shoulder back into place, luckily they knocked me out before doing that.

The Ribs were only bruised but I had my arm in a sling for a few weeks and many sessions of therapy followed. I was lucky enough that I did not need to go under the knife.

Ever since that day I have not been able to climb a ladders so now if there is a job to be done with height, I either call in professionals or one my sons give me a hand.

Today is one of those days as my son will be coming over to do the chalking around the windows for me and I will hold the ladder but not stepping foot on to it.

50+6 Cyanide Scare in Whitby

Driving to Canadian Tire to recycle some motor oil I approached the corner of Hopkins and Consumers in Whitby which is the next town to the west of me in Oshawa.

Fire Trucks Police and the Hasmat Team had the intersection taped off due to what I found out later was a chemical spill in a factory there and they suspected there may of been Cyanide in the spill.

The area was blocked off for hours while emergency services figured out how to deal with the spill and many people were not able to leave the area due to driveways of businesses being blocked.

If interested you can look at the news story of the incident here.

Just another day in the life of a 50 year old man.