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.