I have loved stories that involve people and have done so for years, it is partly the reason for this blog. A case in point, has to do with a blog I wrote on the living in a condominium. My wife Googled “condos” the other day, when she was looking for some info on the provinces up coming condo by law review. and there was my blog close to the top of the page. Which prompted her to ask why I write the blog in the first place. She seldom reads it, which is her privilege. A day or so after that I had to make a trip to my General Motors dealer, Southgate Chev, where I met up with my service advisor, who looked after the issue at hand, and then said, he had been reading my blog, and liked it. And that is why I suppose that I take a bit of pride in what I write.

So, what took me to Southgate in the first place? Tires, winter tires to be exact. I live in Calgary Alberta, at an altitude of 3400 feet at the 51 parallel of latitude. 200 miles north of the Montana border. Like in Montana, we get winter and snow, and while they may be called all season tires, that would be accurate if I drove in say southern California or Texas. But in Canada we need what is called a “Winter Tire” built with softer rubber, and a finer tread for ice and some gripping for the snow. OK, so far.

I have a set of winter tires mounted on aluminum wheels, that I change over  when it is fall and winter is imminent. I drive a Buick Verano, and to get these tires into the car for the dealer to change them over is like expecting to put 20 pounds of potatoes in a 10 pound sack! Enter the dealer. I was speaking to them about my options just after having a mobile change over service do the change, and I now had to store my old summer tires and wheels.

The folks at Southgate, explained that they have a service where they change your tires over and then store them for you over the winter, in a secured environment, until you wish to go back in the spring to your summer wheels. OK, it looks like this, $75.00 to remove and store the tires over the winter, followed by $75.00 to reverse the procedure in the spring. And I get to free up my garage! In this case where I had already changed them over, I needed to get the summer hoops to the dealer, who was able to send me one of his trucks to fetch them to the shop for me. These guys bend over backwards to give the best service in Calgary. It was already costing me $200.00 a year to have the guy come out and change my wheels, and I still had to go to the dealer to recalibrate the Tire Pressure Monitor System.

If you are looking for some of the best service for your GM car or truck, it is a great place to go. The also service other makes as well, but the specialty is GM.


I have used hearing aids for a little over a year now. At first I wore them pretty well all the time, but for the past few months I only wear them when in a crowded room. These are quite small, and sit atop and behind each ear. Each aid has it’s own battery, a very small one, and they locally cost about $1.00 a battery or $2.00 for both ears. They fall into the category of a taxable deduction at the end of the year, but I hate paying that for 1 outing, when I know the battery will be dead in just a few days when the aid just sits, even when it is disconnected. I have found a mail order place that sells the ones I use for a flat $19.50 for 40 batteries, plus one charge of $3.00 for shipping. That is half price, for a battery that lasts as long as the high priced ones. They all last less than a week anyway. For information go to Listen Up Canada. and check out their products, and that is where the batteries can be found. All you need is a credit card, and the kind of battery you use. Check it out at: listen up

About 20 minutes ago I had a small deer walk across our lawn, and go next door and feast on the salad bar of what is left of our neighbours garden. We live towards the west end of the city, and while we are surrounded by houses and traffic, we get a good deal of wild life in our community. I consider it to be a real bonus to have the deer and the hares around.

A quick item for my Canadian readers who are now withdrawing money from their RRIF. The government dictates the amount of money you must take out annually from your retirement account. You can take more, and pay the extra tax, but you cannot take less than the prescribed amount. Because people on pension were living longer, it was feared that some folks could outlive the pension payments. The government has revised the minimum amount that must be removed from your account, and has passed it into law. You can now leave money in the fund that would have been deducted, thereby earning income inside the RRIF. If you do not need the money, you may wish to leave it earning income. Your call. If your RRIF Manager has not called you, be sure you call him to see where you sit and what your savings will be.


This is an item from the Jerusalem Post a Jewish newspaper that I get daily, It often has news from the Mid East that never shows up in our papers. Take a look: Intifada


Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud. - Maya Angelou


This is a clever bit of work, and funny too. Take a look at how the Internet came to be, at least according to the old scriptures.

In ancient Israel , it came to pass that a trader by the name of
Abraham Com did take unto himself a healthy young wife by the name of Dorothy (Dot for short). Dot Com was a comely woman, large of breast, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.
And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why dost thou travel so far
from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?"
And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags
short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear?"
And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in
between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. The sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah’s Pony Stable (UPS)."
Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with
the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.
To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were 
saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a = language to transmit ideas and pictures – Hebrew to The People (HTTP).
And the young men did take to Dot Com’s trading as doth the greedy
horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS. And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the = land. Indeed he did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates’ drumheads and drumsticks.
And Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others." And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel , or eBay as it came to be known. He said, "We need a name that reflects what we are."
And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators. "YAHOO," said Abraham. And because it was Dot’s idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.
Abraham’s cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot’s drums to locate things around the countryside.
It soon became known as God’s Own Official Guide to Locating Everything (GOOGLE).
That is how it all began. And that’s the truth. I would not make up
this stuff.

Have a great day, and be nice to each other!

Ross Smile

About techmech

Older type, enjoys computer, cruising, photography, fishing, travel, good food and movies

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