Photography and fun contests

 

 I’m not advertising a photo contest and I’m not advertising money for your award-winner picture. But if you ever get the opportunity to show off your photography skills, take advantage of some and all photo contests, like the ones MacLean’s or Nature Canada.ca have on every year.

You can learn a lot about yourself and your camera, plus show off your passionate photography skills.

PHOTO CONTEST in Cottage Country

Many moons back, a beautiful small lakefront town of Gravenhurst had a photo contest. When signing up for the contest, they said, “Here is your roll of film. You can photograph anything and everything, as long as it has something to do with the town and surroundings.”

There are beautiful lakes, not one lake, but many, tourists coming and going, old boats, a turn of the century steamer, etc. There was no shortage of photos to be taken here!

The famous Steam Ship RMS Segwun [the last of its kind] was moored at the dock. The fog was heavy on the lake that morning and I couldn’t get a good picture of the ship without getting my feet wet, so I took whatever photos I could and said to myself, there’s got to be more pictures to be taken other than this beautiful 100 + year old passenger steamer.     Right

Right Place at the Right Time

There was a photographer in the group that begged, borrowed or STOLE a boat and came in from the lake-side towards the pier. You could hardly see the Segwun from the fog, and as luck would have it, the fog cleared enough around the back side of the ship, with a ray of sun coming through the fog, and snap, goes his camera.

The person was ready for that split second shot.

On the awards night, all the entries were displayed and my Wife and I knew that he was the award winner. This person went the extra mile; he didn’t waste a frame and he was at the right place at the right time. And he didn’t even get his feet wet!

I got to know the good, the bad and the ugly parts of my camera and also noticed all the beauty that surrounded us.

After that contest, I knew every back alley, side road, number of street lamps, number of park benches in the town of  Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada, and, of course,  all the coffee shops.

It was a really fun and tiring 16 hour day……. Try it sometime. Google Photo Contests for the ones around your area or online. Get recognized for your talent, train your eyes to LOOK and SEE,  you don’t have to go far to notice all the beauty around you. In today’s world, there are many places to sell and share your award-winning photos. A good place to start sharing is on social media photography groups.

Now dig your camera out of the closet, blow the dust off and let’s get cracking, I mean SNAPPING.

A photographers’ saying is:

A person will go to Japan to see all the beauty that they have to offer, and the Japanese will come here to see all the beauty we have to offer.

All you have to do is stand for a moment, look and see all the beauty that surrounds you. …  And that’s without moving a step.

 “Actually, it’s MY famous saying”                                                                   Sixpaque.ca

[Note] In case you’re wondering…

I came in third in that contest.

Thanks for Asking!

 

 

Exciting Night at the Horse Races, But What Changed

 

We’re not Gamblers.. Really, we’re not, WERE NOT!

Bingo or the Horse Races, what to do, what to do.

Well, that’s  a no-brainer.

So we decided to have an exciting evening out at the horse races. Have a little dinner at “Jockey’s only Eatery”, Check out all the horses in the Lounge, (I mean outside the lounge) that’s  overlooking the racetrack. …

Life is Good..

After not being at the races for a long, long time, the excitement was still there, but I have to confess, the betting, well the betting was still, a disappointing system.

“The by guess or by golly rule”.

I never knew how to read the program then and I remember

….O Yah ..  I still don’t.

But some things have changed at the horse races.

It’s still a good entertaining night out, but I noticed the horse racing industry has changed through the years. I remember the last time I placed a bet, the rows in front of the ticket agents were at least 20 deep, people all trying to place their bets and that’s 10 tellers. The racing industry was a vibrant place to go on a Thursday or Saturday night. There was always a good payout, well, “ONLY” what I heard!

I remember always rubbing shoulders with somebody, everybody. It was wall-to-wall people. And that’s how busy and exciting it was back then.

On the news not long ago, our previous Provincial Government said the horse racing industry should start sustaining itself. We are NOT helping subsidize this industry anymore! That was a total surprise; I thought they were doing well.

When we went, I did notice that the attendance was down, and certainly not the way I remember it.. Maybe a few less customers,

NO…  a lot less customers!

So what happened?

In the years that we went, it seemed to have always sustained itself “at least at face value”. Everyone was betting large, and there looked to be no shortage of people. So what went wrong?

Like most industries, whoever has the power and control to make changes, do, while the rest of us have to either follow along and adapt to the changes, or? Fall behind. I guess the term, Collateral Damage would apply.

It’s somewhat unfair that being away from the horse racing, we remember the before and after years. But one thing has changed, Our government incorporated ‘One Arm Bandits’ in the same building as the horse races, and I know that’s been in place a long time, so it’s not like I just came out of the WOODS, but I think it has  affected the horse racing industry as a whole. Now don’t misunderstand, our government brings in good tax revenue to help sustain our way of life and that’s a good thing.

But I am sure- the slots took lots of patrons away from the racing end and somewhat, lured them into ….

“The other room!”.

So yes, I hope the horse racing industry recovers from other peoples (government) decision making because I think you get better entertainment and a bigger bang for your buck betting on the ponies.

The latest article I read is that our government will continue to help out the horse racing industry, because, maybe, they’re feeling a little guilty. …”NOT”  Well they should, the horse racing was a big industry and they changed the whole dynamics.

At the horse races, the excitement is still there and  after being absent for a few years, I still think my chances of winning are better than in the “other room”   (only my opinion),

Fresh air is gooood, no big line up at the tellers, it’s free to get in, you can bring your kids for a night of entertainment, (get them hooked on gambling) good food, and maybe at the end of the racing evening, you might still have jingle left over to buy a cold beverage/beer.  I still think the chances of winning are better at the horse races. A lot better.

$2.00 bet x 10 races= cheap entertainment.

“What’s not to like!”

Heck.;  This is only my observation and only my opinion.

 

 

Cuba is Waiting for me.

This Guest blogger, Mike, will be posting about his adventures in Cuba, and that is where this lucky fella is sitting as we speak.

I am leaving the snowing, cold Canadian weather for the warmer climate in a couple days and have been having some interesting thoughts and discussions .about the destination. You see, I am off to Cuba and although I have been there once before, Mel has never had the pleasure.

Cuba

It is a very popular Canadian destination for Canadians at this time of the year and if you have never been there, I recommend a few things to ponder,  It is a communist country, so behave yourself. That isn’t a very big problem for most of us. Early in the planning stages, beware that you have to obtain travel insurance to get into the country. That is a must in Cuba.

That should be a no-brainer for anyone traveling outside of Canada anyways. They have two types of currency in Cuba….peso and convertible peso which is what visitors to the country do business in It is easy to convert to their money at the airport or your resort. If need be, a local banking ( make sure you take your passport) institution. Do not engage in conversations about politics or the government.

You never can be sure who is listening and you don’t want to be brought in and questioned about it. They will not bother you if you do not bother them. Other than that subject, the people are very polite and friendly and will go out of their way to make sure your stay is memorable.

As we know their economy has lacked trading partners since the 60s, certain goods are lacking in their lives live. Staples that we take for granted are very much appreciated when you visit. They can be purchased in Canada cheaply enough but may be lacking for any amount of money on this island. A little research on the internet goes a long way on this subject.

The average wage in Cuba amounts to around 30 pesos a month so anything you bring down with you will be greatly accepted I am sure. I have heard that the people are provided by the government with the necessities such as health care and education and in all honesty, on the last visit, I never saw one homeless person.
I have often commented, since my last trip to Cuba, if you could see in black and white instead of technicolor, you would imagine yourself living back in the 50s, for those of us who are old enough to remember.

Perhaps a safer time to walk around and leave your doors unlocked while you went out for a few hours. A time when people respected one another.

On my last visit with a buddy, because of the beautiful warm evenings, we found ourselves exploring the Main Street and back ally’s at 2 in the morning feeling completely safe. I remember walking past a factory with a nightlight on and doors wide open and nobody around. That, my friends, is something to experience. There are many more adventures I could talk about but will save for another time………Cuba is calling me once again….later

Guest Blogger,  Mike Wettlaufer

 

 

 

 

 

Singing the Canadian National Anthem is not illegal

 Given any age, we all can look back at all the major changes in our lifetime,  even a 20-year-old can say that the changes, they have seen in their short lifetime is mind-boggling, for time is moving so quickly!

But not all changes are good.

Listening to the CBC Radio program, “This is That”, they had an interesting topic about our Canadian Anthem.

This jet-setter from Manitoba proposed that we should sing our Canadian Anthem on domestic flights across our land, and that’s before leaving the ground. … Let’s all have a sing-along! .. I shouldn’t be so sarcastic. Eh

But I’m not sure how serious I should take this CBC Radio program(This is That) but, this fella’s concern did bring up a good point no less.

Our proud Canadian Anthem is being sung less and less at any and all functions. Every year they seem to find more reasons not sing it. But as a concerned citizen, some of our traditions, laws, and values have been challenged and changed.

O-Canada, our country’s national anthem, is entrenched in our identity as much as maple syrup, Tim Horton’s and poutine.

I myself welcome new change. Bring it on!  But we should not try to change our identity and every thought that makes us Canadian and different from all other nations in the World.

First thing in the morning before class, the public schools chose to sing O Canada, and the Lord’s Prayer was always said in a Catholic School. We always sang O Canada at all our national hockey games.

Is that so wrong, that the school system and our government had to and wanted to change to suit the “times”? It’s bad enough that across Canada the school boards seem to implement our anthem differently from one board to the other depending on where you live.

As of writing this post, our government has proposed and passed into changing a few words to the anthem. I guess that’s a good thing, Gender Equality is an important issue and it’s not like, the lyrics to the anthem haven’t been changed before to suite the times.

But our laws and traditions are being compromised daily, yearly and like singing our Anthem or flying our flag should NOT be mandatory, but we should want to and be proud to do so. And then you occasionally find some people that think this way, (a former school trustee, denounced the motion as Unnecessary and Insulting.

You can’t force them to sing:” O Canada.

Sorry to say, he is entitled to his opinion, but I have to wonder, these are the type of people that have  INFLUENCE over our kids learning.

We need change but try not to change too many Canadian Values that make us who we are and why most of us think, this is the greatest country in the world.

So the concerned Manitoba fella, he has my vote, singing more of

O-Canada instead of less. (Well at least know the words). That should be a priority for all Canadians. Always flying our national flag in a respectful manner, that would be really good.  Being patriotic and showing it, is a good thing. Be a “Proud Canadian”.

Sing “o Canada” before or during every Airline Flights?

WELL, the JURY  is still out on that one.

Now, let’s RALLY around our Olympic Athletes in South Korea

“Go Canada Go”

Quotes

“It’s a moving memory for me. Our anthem, it builds up associations over the years — it’s uplifting, makes you proud to be Canadian, gives you a feeling of community and togetherness,” carmen.chai@globalnews.ca

O Canada can send patriotic shivers down your spine. There’s something to be said for the few occasions where everybody stands up together and sings out loud with a roaring tune, affirming our belonging and shared a love of our nation, by ”Christopher Moore”, a Canadian historian who’s won two Governor General awards for his writing, told Global News.

 

Building War Ships in the Great Lakes

Short read on a warship stuck in ice.

Having read this story of this newly built Frigate “USS Little Rock”, it never even made it out to open seas, stuck in the St. Lawrence Seaway ice. That was an intriguing story to read on its own.

But where it was built surprised me the most.

Surprise

The frigate was built by a shipbuilding company in Wisconsin USA, which by the way is in the top of the great lakes….  That I found interesting.

So doing a little research I learned this company has been building Warships for a long, long time. Again, surprise, given I remembered this story from years ago. All major shipbuilding in the great lakes would be disbanded, shut down, gone. And only by memory, it had something to do with homeland security. The only way, in our out of our lakes is through the St. Lawrence River to the open seas, and that by way, has a series of manmade locks to go through.

Building a warship and have it landlocked or (lake locked) in the great lakes would not be acceptable during any world confutations/disorder where they needed this armament.

History of shipbuilding in the lakes

Digging a little further on shipbuilding in the great lakes, it goes right back to the beginning of our 2 great nations. Canoes, wood structured steamers, taking freight and passengers up and down the lakes, Ore tankers where built here, fishing trawlers were built here. During the war of 1812, to the conflict of 2 great wars. ALL have a history of boat and shipbuilding in the lakes. But that part did not come as a surprise, during the two Great Wars, every shipyard contributed. If you were an iron factory and you were set up to make a propeller, that’s what you made.

A Small Town of Orillia Ont. made warships, and that was in small, lakefront, workshop (Hunter Boats) now gone but in its place is a beautiful boardwalk where the buildings once stood

Collingwood made Warships “Corvettes” and after the war effort, they made and serviced many lake freighters and ships.  All major Canadian shipbuilding is gone in the lakes and very few shipbuilding yards are left in all Canada as a whole, so it’s no wonder that I remember that story of no shipbuilding in the lakes. Just a rumor or maybe the story was, just meant, only on the Canadian side.  No building of ships in the great lakes ever. And this is why.

http://shipbuildinghistory.com/canada.htm

Little History of WW2

Watching this article on the History Channel on how German U BOATS during WW2 would create havoc all along the eastern shores of the Americas, from Newfoundland, Canada, down to the Carolinas in the United States. The story also mentions that these German U Boats made their way up and down the St. Lawrence River, undetected, and in case you don’t know your Geography, that goes into our fresh water Great Lakes.

Divided by an imaginary line Canada on one side and the United States on the other, there are no International Waters.

If in fact their mission was to totally disrupt our shipping coming in and out of the lakes and I’m sure, those sailors could have done some very serious disruption. (I guess there only intent was to just drop off a few spies, listen to our brass band music) apparently, they were close enough.

If their mentality would be like the Warfare of today, in the sense of suicide missions and it didn’t really matter of getting back out to sea was a priority, and they just wanted to create as much damage and disruption as possible scenario, the outcome “could have different”

So, there is where I’m getting this crazy story from, and this is the first I have ever heard of a warship being built in these lakes. I’m sure it was never top secret, but I don’t think they did a lot of advertising of the fact.

I’m just going to have to get out more, smell the roses, or, at least find out more on shipbuilding on the Great Lakes.

Locked in ICE

USS Little Rock, locked in by Ice and can’t get out to open sea, still makes me think of my original thought. I mostly thought of foreign invaders, and it never even crossed my mind something as simple as ICE. Now having said that, if the Navy needed or wanted to get that ship out to sea, and in this day and age, it would not be impossible to make it happen, ice or no ice, a minor inconvenience at best.

On a lighter Note

On a lighter note, the American sailors on that ship could not have found a better place to be laid up for a month is in Montreal unless it was Quebec City, Canada, good cities to just, hang out.

“Don’t worry boys and girls, the Canadian ice will melt soooon.

So looking at the whole scenario of warships being built in the great lakes, I would think it would make a lot of economic sense to keep the money at home. Undisturbed sea lanes for sea trials, keep all our secrets at home and a thousand other good reasons that I haven’t even thought of. But I’m not quite convinced and still surprised no less of building WarShips in the great lakes.

I wonder if those ships are armed, ….  Just Asking.

Note, did you know-

After, the Second World War… Canada had the second largest Navy in the world.

Who would think?

 

 

 

 

 

Reacting to death is a funny thing

Stand up and SAY something Nice, you will be sorry if you didn’t.

How do you react to someone passing on, Dying, are you cool, are you a handler, a person that can handle any given situation, even death to somebody close.

We have, like most folks, seen our share of friends, neighbors, and family pass on to the other side. Never gets easier, and certainly, it’s not something you get used to. In some cases, the guilt sets in should have said something, done something different.

I will never have that time back again to say what you should have said

Many years back, a complete family, good friends of ours, died in a house fire. I do remember at the funeral and during the service, I had to go outside and get ..Composed, maybe shed a few tears. I should have gone up front., in front of all those people and said a few words, but chose not to.

Outside these 2 young fellas were joking and laughing. I said to the one young man, this a very bad time to be making funnies.

As I get older I have been to too many of these services and none are getting any easier, but I have noticed that everybody acts differently.

I myself act differently towards death, in different situations, young, old, sick, seems to make a difference in how I or my body handles their passing. I’m a little more tolerant in my years with the joke telling, and I have to think that I’m not so judgmental any more about people, that look that they show no feeling or any emotions and you have to believe that everybody is hurting inside, for you just wouldn’t hang out at these places.

Putting on a brave face is just a brave face, certainly telling jokes at a funeral was out, but even now I look at that differently.

I have had many very close family members pass on and I miss them all dearly, and sometimes like most people, I would have done things differently given a Second Chance and most times it just doesn’t work that way.

Everybody handles Funerals, Celebration of life differently but, if the opportunity arises, that you can stand up, say a few words of kindness about that person you miss already. Try, no matter how difficult you think it may be.  Say some words, talk about fun times, good times, people that are at the service will totally understand if you think you’re going to make  mistakes, They will look at you and say to themselves how brave you are and in the same breath, I should go up and say something, anything but chose ….  “Not-too”

At some point in your life, it will cross your mind that you could have but didn’t.

So … “THERE was your Second Chance.”

You can pay no better tribute to a person that you loved, respected or “you miss already.”

If you think there’s a message in this post, there is, for somebody.

“And NO; … There nothing funny about DEATH”.

 

Dedicated to my Daughter Shelley that passed away far too soon.

2 Brothers, Mother, and Father

 

 

Day after NAFTA

             The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTAwill be wrapping up soon, and for all intents and purposes, looks like it’s going nowhere and that’s only what I see and what I read.

Canada and United States have always been joined at the hip, brothers, trading partners. We always helped each other out through thick and thin. Our economies have intertwined as far back as, FOREVER. In our early existence, we bought more than we ever sold to the US. Americans and Canadians would cross the borders like we were going to the other side of the street, an inconvenience at best to go through customs.

The commerce that goes back and forth to our Nations are beneficial for both countries, and I don’t think it’s like President Trump has proclaimed, “a one-sided deal.” In Canada favor. “Like Canada is going to put a Big Dint in the US economy.” Riiiiight.

The Napa deal is about a trade agreement between 3 Countries and it will have major consequences for all concerned if the deal falls through. There is nothing worse than a brother turning against brother, they, of all people, should still remember those days in history (1861-1865)

(President Trump) must realize that by trying to bankrupt Canada or Mexico, it will in the end, majorly affect their economy as well; they will not go unscathed, the mental attitude and friendship from there neighbors they will lose.  We are too close of trading partners and friends to withstand the sudden shock of his one-sided “decision” making.

“Have you ever applied for a job, and you know that the position has already been filled? The company is just going through the motions of trying to find the right person when behind the scenes the decision has already been made? It’s a dirty deception. But, that’s the way I see  NAPTA”

President Donald Trump is years behind the times in his thinking and I think he’s sending out a dangerous message to Canada and the World as a whole. There is more than one option today of survival and, certainly its different from other years gone by. Our commerce can be traded, sold to other countries. We Canadians and  Mexico will still survive.

“Not everything is wrapped around money, real friends you cannot buy”. … Choose wisely.

And I do think, we have been dependent on our neighbors to the south probably far too long. Canada has all the know-how, resources, people to sustain us as a great country, a NATION!

If by chance this Napta deal goes down the toilet, (And I’m sure it will) there will be a lot of unknown factors that will follow afterward. The US decision makers will set Canadians back a few years in the restructuring process, but survival without NAPTA is NOT impossible.

Noticing Trump this last year, he seems to want to penalize all nations for not doing their fair share, and that’s understandable.

Example

NATO- members are not paying their share.

Environment- not everybody is doing their share.

NAFTA- Maybe President Trump is trying to teach Canadians a lesson like a bunch of school kids.

In the grand scheme of things, we are two different Nations/Countries. Our laws are different. Our way of life has changed differently.

SO TO SUM THIS ARTICLE UP.

NAFTA

It is most likely that NAFTA will be disbanded and maybe another will be written, probably in Trump’s favor. I hope not, but if it does and after our 150 years of our confederation, #it’s time for us to be not so dependent on other nations and be more dependent on ourselves.

All these years, we were influenced by the United States, greatly influenced by the Monarchy, schooling, and beliefs by the Catholic Church, and all of US-made books and materials.  We have been molded to think and act like other nations and maybe #its time In the long run, President Trump indirectly might be doing this Country a favor.

We are an independent Country and we should not be so greatly influenced by others for our own well being and growth. Our system is all wrong and needs a complete overhaul /updating and I’m not talking about NAFTA deal.  We have every resource known to man in Canada. We have the intelligence, manpower, and if all of our “brains” come back from living abroad, Canada could be an unstoppable force in the next century.

I like change, so I say, bring it on!

I do not have to cross the border into the United States

I do not have to buy another CHEVY,  and THAT will Hurt

I do not have to buy, .. “I AM Canadian”  beer again when it’s owned by the US, brewed in the US, PROFITS go to the US.

But, I will miss my Chevy … Bring on a … Toyota

 

 

Is your car Safe for the road?

Did you circle check your car for the work commute?     Is your car even safe to drive?

The Major corridor shut down for another 10 hours and they figure another 5 million dollars in lost revenue, the traffic is backed up for 20 miles. People are phoning in,” I’ll be late again.”  Lost time, money, gas from all those polluting, idling cars. Another major accident on the” Highway to Hell” in Ontario.

Then you hear the real bad news of fatalities. That’s the worst thing you want to here. All those people and their families! My heart goes out to these people. The anguish these folks are going through. Nobody gives it a second thought, but all accidents happen in the blink of an eye.

This article is sad on its own, but with all the measuring and calculating that the officers do, they have to answer the WHY question. Someone will get blamed, but whom?   Road conditions, human factor mechanical problems, that always plays into the equation.

The vehicle that started this set of catastrophic events, maybe, just couldn’t see through his windshield, (out of washer fluid), or wiper blades, ” I never saw this fellas’  brake lights.

Could it be that that simple?

In Canada, we have the best-maintained highways in the world, but we can’t control the weather conditions. But as a car owner, we can control the safety and roadworthy conditions of our vehicles and that’s where it all STARTS.

It would be impossible to prove, after the carnage of a 10 car pileup, that it was due to lights. Or, my wiper blades should have been changed.  ha … next time. They’re still good for another day.”

I have never heard that an accident was blamed on poor wiper blades, out of washer fluid. but its possible something so simple? How would you prove that “accident” was caused by ignorance, or something so stupid?

Could it be THAT SIMPLE

Poor tires, washer fluid, wiper blades, defroster not working, dirty glass, tail lights dirty and a list of other badly maintained sections of a vehicle, and it list goes on. …. All Preventable.

But you can’t fix stupid.  I had a friend that explained himself this way,”I’m naturally a lazy person” so his lights would be the last thing he would look at. Reason being,  …. “I’ll have to fix them If I knew they were out! “ … You can’t fix stupid.

The car manufacturers produce 165,000 new cars a day.  Only a fraction of these cars ends up at a boneyard. So it’s scary to see all these extra cars on the road daily with uncaring people in them for drivers.

Today I only spotted 5 cars with lights out, 1 transit bus, 1 small commuter bus with seniors in them, 1 big truck, and cars. It’s not hard to spot a vehicle with lights out unless you’re blind. Could all these poorly maintained cars/trucks have anything to do with all the major accidents? Can it all be blamed on stupid, lazy, ignorant people?  (Am I being too harsh on the words?)  MAYBE, But what a waste of human life over possible a set of wiper blades!

There was a Police Officer following me the other day when there was an epidemic of lights out.  He passed all these cars as I did and he did not turn around and check these cars out for infractions. He wasn’t going on a call, he had no reason to pull me over, and didn’t. For all that time that he followed me, he didn’t stop anybody.

He was just too busy going someplace, I guess. Or maybe it’s just not their job anymore, but it is on a public highway. Eh!  These are not “ACCIDENTS! “ They are criminal acts.

Where do we start looking for the cause of these accidents, does it start with poorly maintained vehicles? ….

I think YES.

Truck drivers/ commercial vehicle have to do a circle check every 24 hours, (pre-trip inspection) they look for major or minor infractions. The minor they report to their superiors and the major they park the vehicle.

Cars and light trucks do not have a mandatory circle check but should have. But you are in Luck because I have made up a pre-inspection sheet for cars.

And it won’t take you long and it might save your or somebody else’s life by doing so.

“Just my opinion”.

My Rescued Dog #Sixpaque

      I wrapped my scarf twice around my face and neck, as I stumbled through the snow to reach my car and drive to our shop.  This morning, the temperature felt to be at least -30 degrees, and I hoped the guys had my (under the desk) space heater turned on. 

At our shop, I made the same round I always do. First, check the grounds to make sure the plow jockey had done his job in clearing away most of the snow, and then say hello to the 3 dogs in the shop next to ours.  Usually, I was greeted by their barking, but this morning, I didn’t hear a thing.

Those poor dogs, 1 German Sheppard, 1 Doberman, and 1 Sheppard/Pitbull cross, were huddled together in a dog house with no straw or protection except their own dirt.  Their chains were so short, they couldn’t even get away from the doghouse to urinate.

I took all 3 dogs to our shop where they slowly came back to life, with some water, food, and a lot of rubbing and attention.  Now, what do we do?

After a few phone calls, I found out that the owner was in the hospital and his helper, who was supposed to take care of the dogs, was in jail. After long conversations by phone, the owner thanked me and asked if I could find homes for them, as it was unlikely he would ever get out of the hospital.

And that is exactly what we did. The Sheppard went to a friend of ours who owned a wrecking yard, and who had lost one of his own dogs due to old age. The Doberman went to another shop just  4 doors down from us, and the smallest and youngest dog we decided to keep.

That turned out to be the best thing we ever did. His name was Six-Paque, brindle in coloring, and had the sweetest disposition imaginable.

When springtime came around, Six and I were walking around the complex where our shop was located, and a young man came up the driveway towards us. He stopped when he saw my dog, but the strange thing was, that Six stopped too and just stared at this man. The young man called Six by name, and our dog slowly walked up to him. They both recognized each other but didn’t know what to do. It was one of those moments when I thought my heart would stop beating, for I immediately realized that this was the helper that had been in jail.  We talked for a few minutes, in which time I made it clear that Six was going to stay with us.  As jail boy had no permanent residence, he reluctantly agreed that he would not take the dog.

The minute he started walking away from me, I called Six, and he ran towards me as fast as his short legs could carry him. Licking my hand, he watched as jail boy left, and it seemed like a big weight was lifted off him.  His big brown eyes looked like they were thanking me for love and gratitude. 

Well, he obviously didn’t want his old life back. That was plain to see!

Over the years that we had him, he was never tied down. He had free run of our home inside and out and listened better to us than our kids did. He gave us pleasure in so many ways, it is hard to put in words, and after 15 years (when he passed) we still tear up when we talk about him.

So now everyone knows how we came to have the name Six-Paque for our website, our company, and our Blog.  We will never forget the unconditional love that beautiful dog gave us and made out lives so much better for being with us.

 

 

Are you an Estate Auction Junky

How many different types of auctions are there, you ask? MANY.

Well, there are Dutch auctions, English auctions, online auctions, Weekly auctions, live auctions, Estate auctions, storage auctions, aaaah… and there’s more!  #####

There are good auctions and bad auctions.

Open or English auctions are the most common. That’s where the auctioneer starts the bidding at a fictitious number, and anybody interested puts up their hand, and yells, ” yup”, or they just blurp out another number to their liking.  As long as the number isn’t too insulting, the auctioneer will go with that number. Any bid is better than no bids, and that’s how they entice the peoples’ interested. It may start at $5, the next bidder $10 dollars until it stops at the highest number.

The man with the most gold does win.

Tip # 1    Auctioneers are ordinary people and after saying that, I mean there are good ones and bad ones.

Some of these auction houses will honestly tell you if there is a defect in the item your bidding on and will price it accordingly. Some will not ….so “BUYER BEWARE” and check your auction houses wisely.

There are many auctions sites that are run by very knowledgeable staff and auctioneers. They mostly sell high-end items, maybe a few cheapies, but that’s all part of an estate. For the most part, good items. Some auction will refuse lower end items. So bring lots of … green stamps, mullah, Money to them.

Tip # 2     Always help the auctioneer out by starting the bidding, most will remember you and will return the favor. Auctioneers like to keep items moving and by getting a bid in early, is better than later.

The general rule is,  they will go through at least a 100 items an hour. Some auctions have their items tagged/numbered so you can get an idea when you’re watched furniture is coming up. … But most do not tag the item.

Tip # 3    Always, if you are the lucky buyer and think you scored big, remember that you have to add the Taxes on and of course, the auction house fees (15-20 %.).  We all forget that part of the heat of the moment. In our part of the country, it’s another 25% on top of the bargain price of your item.

During the weekly auctions, there seem to be 2 groups of people that go. Weekends they cater to family and working-class people (with real jobs). You will see some of the older group; they may be out for the odd deal or just to stay active but that’s a good thing. Not all retired people go to the sunny south or even wants to.

There are buyers/dealers that take the buy-and-selling thing quite seriously and this is their motto,

“Buy low, sell high, “that’s a good thought.”

The fun for us is the chase, buying something Unique, going home, do a little research. We like to think that we have trained our eyes to look and find different things of interest, out of the norm, artifacts that you haven’t come across before, things you cant even find it on E-bay. That could be a really good thing. Eh

After refining our research, and your lucky enough to find some information that maybe, just maybe it come over on the “Mayflower”, or with “COLUMBUS”  “ That’s a bonus!”

The Web is a wondrous thing.  It can consume your time or you can use it to your advantage.  It’s all there for the taking.

So, we don’t just buy to have things, we buy to sell. There is a name for people like us and we are called “Mercenaries” Colorful Label. It means we try not to get attached to anything.

Tip # 4     Buy only things you can carry and move. Do not expect anyone to help you.

Example, to move that big safe you bought because it was cheap,

No-Can-Doo,   CANT FIND ANYBODY TO HELP.

Most of these auction houses and I don’t know why do not have people to help the patrons load their treasures. Some things just boggle the mind.

Tip # 5   Buyer Beware.    Have Fun, look the items over well, especially the ones that you’re interested in.  You don’t need any surprises when you get it home. Bid and buy what you can afford. Set yourself a limit to what you want to spend, try not to go over that set amount. We all get caught up in the moment and sometimes pay faaar too much.

AND THEN THERE’S THIS SAYING

This Famous Storage Auctioneer from London Ont.  rule was,

“should have, Could Have, BUT DIDN’T”   … Eh!

Have fun at the auctions and let’s make some “MONEY”.

Did I say we have many Antiques and Collectibles FOR SALE?