F 1 D 0 -- 02 03 13 at 15 00

Things that say Go Away.

Ah, I am supposed to be living in 
the north. And I'm sure it is.

And it is supposed to be cold here.

And it just is Not. It has been
spring time here, with occasional
bouts of snow.

You see, I took things that I could
when moving this way, including some
frozen food. I have been storing it
on the front porch.

Oops, that's not completely true.

I've borrowed the next door neighbour's
freezer, in the basement. 

But in the porch are the roasts that just
would not fit inside.

So I've been roasting stuff with enthusiasm
until the porch is clear.

Today is the first day of this OPSEU strike.
That means that if you need a birth certificate
or something like that from an Ontario 
Registration office, you are out of luck.

Except if it is a driver's licence, as that
is handled by a separate company now.

Today I've been doing odd things that need
some work. Putting away VHS tapes and laundry.

That is hardly fodder for my journal, is it?

I called mom today. That was a good thing.
My folks have been unhappy since three of
our family have passed away. I'm not close
to them, but still, this reminds me that I
to am growing up. I don't wanna grow up.

I've just measured myself.
68 inches is 170cm.
200 lbs is 90kg.

I'm hoping to travel with Ann this May,
so I've completed the passport application.
It wants my height and weight, and this
is often expressed in centimeters and kilograms.
I gave them the imperial measurement too.

Cookies! I decided to bake cookies tonight.

Not just any cookies, but I wanted
to learn the spirit of cookies.

I've got the spirit of breadmachine bread!

2c flour
1c wetstuff, like eggs and oil
1c dry treats, like nuts
1 ts salt
sugar or syrup for the yeast

Push Start.
Watch the dough.
It should be a bit soft at the first
kneading, and it should be like bread
dough after the the second one.

So Cookies.

I figured I'd try

2c flour
1c butter
1c sugar
1c dry treats
1 egg

That is how I started thinking, anyway. 
I replaced .5 c flour with oats, thinking
why not, we have lots of that.

Also, I replaced 1c sugar with 1c ICING sugar,
as we have TONS of that.

Oh, I replaced 1c butter with .25c butter,
remainder as oil, as I didn't have a lot 
of butter in stock.

As for the dry treats, that was sunflower
seeds. About a cup. But that seemed like
not enough. The recipe I used as a template
called for 2.5c of walnuts. 1.25c as small
bits, another 1.25c as larger pieces.

So I added another bunch of nuts lying
around. Almond slices, pepita (pumpkin
seeds).

I threw all of the directly into
the bread machine. Why not? Stop
laughing.

It was just a mash of crumbs! It
was stirring, but the butter part
just sat on top of the dough
bar, just going round and round,
not mixing.

I added a second egg.

Oh, the book I stole this from only
called for One Egg Yolk. 

Anyway, it took a while, but it
mixed it all up just fine. The extra
egg made it wet, and it worked.
The kitchen smelled like butter.

I should have stopped the machine
at this point.

But no, I'm not that kind of guy.

I wanted to add some lemon peel, or
at least the bright yellow outside
of the peel, or zest. Well, I did.

I stopped the machine, and re-started
the dough cycle.

Oops. When it was finished processing,
the result was very dark. It had separated
into a brown dough in the middle, and a
moat of oil around the edge of it. 

I poured this into lasagne pans because
this looked very wet and messy, and I
wanted something deep. 

At first I was going to press it flat,
and bake it as bars which I would cut.

Then I got chicken about that.

I rolled it into golf balls. What a mess.

So I dipped my hand into the bin of
oats for each golf ball, increasing
each one by about .25c of oats this way.

They looked Very Big for golf balls.
It made 24. 

I got chicken again, and pressed them
downward into a cookieish shape. 

They browned. On the bottom. Mostly
because I didn't rearrange the racks
in the oven, and it was too close to
the lower element.

I set timers. I had the stove timer
ding at 6 minutes, a portable timer
happen at 10 minutes.

I decided to just watch, and watch.
Nothing!  I didn't want them to get
hard on me, so I turned the stove off
at 15 minutes, and removed them at 20.

This was fine.

The result was actually pleasing.

It was not particularily sweet, in spite
of all the sugar. It had a gentle lemon
smell, and a gentle almond taste. You 
can see all of the oats, but they don't
taste oatmeal-like at all. The sunflowers
are pronounced. It is rich crunching into
them, and there are a lot of the little
guys there.

So try it, if you like. Let me know if
the result is better than mine.
  
Ann and I went on an adventure in the
afternoon. I'd been indoors all day, and
the sun was beckoning to me.

She was tired, so I just left her and went
for a walk to Mike's Mart, a place where you
can get milk, bread and cigarettes 24 hours
a day. I didn't find anything interesting to
buy, but used the banking machine to check
my balances and see how things were.

When I got back, Ann was fully rested and
ready for wherever I wanted to go, provided
we could be back before 7pm. She has Tai Chi,
and wanted to get there early too.

I didn't really know where I wanted to
go, but did want sunshine and knew that
it would only be a while before sunset.

It is so warm here. For winter, anyway.
I just dashed out in my shorts to get
a picture of the big hole in front of 
the house, where men in orange are looking
for a water main. They're having trouble
finding it.

I'm glad these guys aren't working in a
blood testing lab. Ugh. 

I digress.

So we went to the lake, and turned right.
I figured we would go see downtown Fort
William, and walk along the shops. But
for some reason, that wasn't fully appealing.
Most of the stores there don't say "come
in".  Their demeanor is more like "Go Away."

So before we got too far, we turned onto 
the Harbour Expressway. It isn't really an
expressway yet. It is a 4-lane road with a
left turn lane in the middle. But it is the
route they want trucks to use if they're
just passing through town.

If you go to the lake that way, you end
up at the port. I've wanted to see the port,
but there are scary signs warning people not
to tresspass, that if they do, they'll be 
searched. And if they find something in the
search, "the vehicle is subject to confiscation"
or something. All in all, it is yet another
place that says "Go Away."

So we made a right turn, just prior to this
place. Ann was observant, and noted that the
street did *not* have a dead end sign, as one
would expect so close to the lake. This was odd,
and we decided to explore it to the end.

Well, that took some time.

I found a train yard. There was a sign on the
crossing which said it was not a railway crossing
but a private crossing, and people should use
caution. Something like that. It was close
to go away, but more like "Don't Trip, as 
we are not insured."

It must have had sixty blue train cars. All
new or new-ish.  I took pictures. They are 
lovely, and I cannot determine who these
are for. Or WERE for. I'm thinking they were
manufactured in 1995 for someone, and they
decided not to pay, so they just sit outside
in elegance, waiting for someone to decide 
that they need a bunch of pristine passenger
cars.

They each have stickers saying they 
were inspected by government people.
The yellow ones were for food inspection.
That confused me, but the whole thing
is confusing.

This is a good place for new trains, mind
you. This is where the Bombardier plant lives.
But not where we were. It is a private, open
train yard near the lake port.  Very odd.

Maybe the trains are awaiting shipment somewhere.

After a lot of pictures, I returned
to the truck, where we continued along
the lake edge. Lots of trees. It is a long
way. Eventually, we got to Atlantic Avenue.

We both recognized the name. This is a
street in Thunder Bay's East End. 

It is on the wrong side of the tracks, 
in all senses of the word.

I rather liked it. It has a community
of homes, many quite old. Lots of churches.
Most of the streets have Irish names, with
the exception of Atlantic and Pacific.

Christie street has a big bridge which
takes you into Fort William. We came in
the back way, from the lake.

The original Magnus Theatre is in a big
building there, now mostly unusued. We 
saw some strange places without windows. 
I remember a big supermarket, with four 
times the floor space than it has wares.  
A supermarket in the old days, convenience
store now.

We checked out the whole little town. We
wanted to see each building. I was interested
in how the sun reflected, and Ann looks
at places to see if she'd enjoy living
there, or working there, or both. She's
on the prowl for different studio.

This place is interesting because it
is separated from the rest of town
by the train. Years ago there would 
have been a few level crossings, but
these have all been fenced off, so
now you have to cross a long bridge
to get here, by car. Or take a "subway"
walk, as a pedestrian. 

Or do as we did, and follow the Lake.

We passed a church, and it had a
sign "ON SALE TODAY. PIEROGIES."

I decided that we should have something
to remember the visit to the East End.

I was spotted as I walked to the church,
and the grounds keeper said, "You're just
in time. I was gonna take the signs down
for the night. We sell the rest of the week
in Victoriaville. Come on in."

I would have liked a longer chance to
see inside the building, but it was an
old church. 

This place, like so many of the other
buildings, has had lots and lots of
additions. This one had a public hall,
where people do lunch and parties. The
women's bathroom door actually opens into
the KITCHEN. The kitchen has the women's
bathroom, as well as the food storage
area, including mountains of packaged
home-made pierogies. 

Three dollars a dozen. 

That's all I know.