iambendick.com ® A Small Blog About Ben Dick

Garage sales and mobile progress. Here we go!

So with another weekend through. I get to report my findings with garage sales. It's hard to think we're almost half way through July. The sailing season is pretty much halfway through. Sigh.

Here goes:

a new reel

My old reel was a little weathered. It had some issues with the tension setting and it could mysteriously reel backwards. Whenever I caught a fish (and I was distracted) the fish would yank a couple feet of line before I'd jam my fingers in the spinner.

a life-jacket

For obvious reasons, I am going to need one of these things. My dad is going to be handing down his smaller boat. I thought it would be best to pick one of those "needed by law thingies."

A weathered raincoat

This coat has seen cleaner days, but I thought it would be a nice thing for a rainy day. I really like being in the rain some days. Mel is a sucker for rubber boots, so I thought the two of us could sing in the rain like a bunch of yahoos.

Moosehead playing cards

These were a gem when I saw them. A complete set to boot. I'm impartial to card games, but I had to pick up the collectible. Indeed, I have some hoarder genes.

Solid wood, glass-top coffee-table

I was interested in this beauty when I first laid eyes on it. I leave a budget of $40 a week on sailing. When I offered the woman my remaining $22.26, I was shocked she bit. The entertainment room is much classier with it. The glass an smooth curves are really easy on the eyes (and propped up feet).

Finally in my early Saturday morning insanity, I had the idea of a garage sale app. With my luck, I headed to the app store seeing if someone beat me to the punch. Turns out, someone did. And they did a pretty good job of it. If you have an iPhone (or iOS device for that matter), check out the app Yard Sale Mapper.

Yard Sale Mapper

It has an accompanying web interface that allows you to add the sales you find (from the paper, Kijiji or whatever). Other people who use the app can see your added sales. You can plan your sailing trip and achieve some efficiency.

My plan is to add Saturday's yard sales in the previous Friday. If you want to add to my progress, or use my logging, go ahead at: http://yardsaletreasuremap.com/

It saves some paper and keeps me organized. It's the thing us gadget geeks live for!

Happy garage sailing!


May long weekend, wait isn’t it June?

Yeah. I've been behind on this thing.  I'm not so confidant I'll ever catch up on posting for ya'll.


In the meantime, check out this little video I edited over the May long weekend.  The awesome energetic and all around classy Tranzmitors provide the soundtrack with "Are you going to take me."

I'd post about the Tranzmitors show in Sudbury, but that's about where I got lazy.  Check them out here:  http://www.myspace.com/thetranzmitors



Sudbury and the townhouse, Statues and more!

For this installment, let me take you to Sudbury and back to the Townhouse.  I know that there was that food-bank show at Highland, but I feel Sudbury was more important to me (and planned well in advance).

For archiving purposes, here is the Townhouse's facebook event:  http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=157759850932972

Townhouse - the best dive in town!

For starters, Mel and I picked up our paycheck from the bakery (which was a little late), and we hit the road.  I'm not one to enjoy winter driving (especially in the dark), but that was the best we had to work with.  The roads were clean and bare tho.  The car had a full tank and were ready to take on the trek.

Since we were pressed for time, we only had enough for a quick bite to eat in Sudbury, sadly no shopping or sightseeing this time.  I usually like to get a little time to stretch and settle my brain a bit.  My anxiety can be a bit of a burden with these things.  Mel and I took a while to chill before the show in the car.  We both read on our phones.  I managed to discover a funny blog http://sleeptalkinman.blogspot.com/ and scribbled down a quote on the car window.

Sleep Talking Man Quote

To start things off, Somewhat Cynical opened the show.  I felt they had a sound like Leftover Crack.  They were quite fast paced and played aggressive music.  I dug em and recorded a track on my phone.

Secondly, a super band formed with half of the Sedatives and the Creeps hit the stage.  Man I was blown away by them.  I really appreciated the energy and drive they put out.  Such a burden of love for their music.  We bought their 7".  Luckily, it included and download for the digital copy.  I can't really understand why music still has to be tangible.  It might be people need to feel they require something to hold onto when they give their hard earned money.  Tis' a bit of a quandary if you ask me.

the Crusades (blew me away)

Finally, the Statues hit the stage.  I've been a big fan of theirs for years.  As they grew, I think I just grew to love them more and more.  I was a huge fan of Screeching Weasel, but I think the torch has been passed to the Statues as my favorite band.

My friends the Statues

When we first entered the Townhouse, Rob (the lead singer) recognized me.  We had a quick chat and he put me on the guest list.  I was absolutely blown away.  It was an honor and a privilege to be treated with his generosity.  We were going to try and support the show and pay anyway.  We thought it was best to let Rob treat us.

Rob from the Statues

This time around, the Statues were much more sober.  The last show I saw them was at the same venue but they were hosting their homecoming from their European tour.  I can't blame them for drinking as much as they did.  I was still happy to be there.

It was funny to hear the band heckle the crowd.  They were egging on the guitar player to the crusades.  The bouncers didn't like the banter and ended up kicking out the Crusades dude.  I know its bad news to do.  In my past experience, kicking out the talent isn't a good idea for bar employees.

I managed to record Electric Fences by the Statues.  Here is my upload of it:

In closing, let me share in my tech highlight of the week.  A co-worker just bought an iPad and let me use it.  Here is a snap of me putting it to less than good use.  Toodles!

iambendick.com invades the iPad


Weekend Report: A brief visit with my bachelor days…

So this past weekend was a little different. Yeah it was only a single day off, but it had a bit of a twist to it. You see, mel was off in Timmins to visit her family. This left me with the apartment to myself and a couple days to make use of my time. Mostly for the duration, I was celebrating the toilet seat being up and ate enough meat and mushrooms to make me happy.

Lately, as it is cold season, we have taken in a new nightly tradition. To start, it's as ghastly as Buckleys, but as cold medicine goes, it's a total preventative measure. After some smokey nights at Highland, or feeling a bit ill, I'll drop a couple of Oil of Oregano under my tongue, take some water, swish it around and swallow. I can't say that there is any hard evidence for the stuff, but it's kept me cold free this year. Since I've been burning the candle at both ends, I'd say its been a God-send.

Wikipedia has this to say about the stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano#Medicinal

You can pick it up at most health food stores. My parents have a friend that hooks us up. I know it sounds sketchy, but the $14 a bottle price is well worth the health.

My cold medicine

As I was outside Saturday (waiting to go to the moose with Denver and family), I snapped this shot of our front yard. The upstairs folks put up their Christmas lights and I thought it would be festive to post it. This year, we are keeping the gift buying to a minimum. Not that we are going to be scrooges, but I can't say that Snuggie I bought my grandma is getting the use I thought it would.

Holiday lights on a festive tree

Dinner Saturday night was shared with Denver, Katie and of course Devin. That kid is easy to satisfy. Being at the moose on a supper Saturday wasn't something that upset him. He was happy to be around people, eating food, and amply opportunity to stand. Denver decided to have the all you can eat wings. I can't stomach enough wings to fill the $14.99 price tag. It was entertaining to watch him eat so much chicken.

I managed to have some beers and watch most of the hockey games at a friend Pat's adterwards. He is the drummer in my previous post (weezer pixies mix). I'm not a big hockey fan, but I was glad to see the Leafs lose. I'm also not a Habs fan, but for the sake of the Martel's I rooted for Montreal.

After Pat and I had enough of hockey and his home drinks, we headed to Cecils. Oh Cecils! My arch enemy. The place you go to, say you hate it, and then come back in a month's time. It's the same place, somewhat same people, just another stage in my life. I was there a lot in my past, granted I wanted to be there. There is just a time in your life when it loses it's glimmer. Sadly that place has long lost it's shine. The most fun I had was mingling at the smoking area. Our seats at the dance floor felt a little crowded. Getting in at 11:30 and expecting a booth is something an on-looker can't have all the time. I'm no bar fly I'll tell ya.

The Skinny Band (birthday show)

Sunday was the day of rest for me. As I had enough of brown bottled bitterness, I thought it would be ideal to bring back the empties. So I gathered the troops, filled the trunk and cashed out. It's been far too long since I've brought any back. I can recall raking leaves long after I returned empties.

The trunk of beers Pabst

I had the idea of chili going through my head as I slept in. It's always nice to give in to your urges. I made huge pot and sent out some invites. Sadly my invites were far too late. A lot of people don't want to make plans on the fly and most people just chill on Sundays. I did make a yummy pot and had tones of leftovers. My secret ingredient to chili: unsalted cashews.

The stuff that farts are made of!

As a closing gift, here is a test run on my new tripod on. It's this case used with an iPhone. More info on it here: http://joby.com/gorillamobile/iphone4/ I took a series of photos while I washed the dishes and made this time lapse movie. The Doers from Vancouver played the soundtrack. Twas fun!


Weekend Report: The Leisure Farms Pumpkin Patch!

So for this weekend report, I know it's late, we headed down the Sturgeon Stretch to Leisure Farms. It's about a half hour drive (or so), but you see some of the really nice back roads Sturgeon has. It has me thinking of snatching up one of those houses in Sturgeon for cheap!

Leisure Farms (just an hour away)

Mel was on the clock.  She has been working a second job doing Respite work for a family we worked with.  They have an Autistic child and Mel gives a helping hand as they need it.  The family and workers were waiting for my arrival once I made the trek and finished my opening shift at the bakery.

The gang and the pumpkin patch

For some of the events, we rode on a short (but fun) tractor ride.  The second time around (two weeks later, with Mel's family) getting on the ride was much more of a pain.  I guess the farm is really busy this time of year with the harvest and thanksgiving n' all.

Bringin' in the heavy load

Sunflower patch

Once we hit our destination on the tractor, we were greeted with a campfire with marshmallows and hot dogs.  I didn't indulge in any of those, but I did have a coke.  A lot of the kids were roasting and carrying on.  It's nice to be around a campfire.  I find it really soothing.  One of those things that I really miss once the snow is here again.

grillin' material

Grillin' the dogs!

When we were back to the main farm.  The gang headed over to the pumpkin patch and had a small photo shoot.  The kids climbed on the pumpkins and tormented the free range chickens.  The parents called it a day and we split off.  Mel had her day of work completed as we packed all the kids into the two vans back to North Bay.

Just some pumpkins, ya know doin their thing...

Someday I'll be a nugget!

Once we had the kids out of our hair, Mel and I decided to explore the corn maze.  I had seen some pictures online over the previous Autumns and I expressed my interest in the maze.  I know there is a myth I recalled, in escaping a maze is all you have to do is take only right (or left) turns and you're out.  This proved true when Mel and I experimented with it.  We left that trial near the end of our exploration.  I pulled out my iPhone and looked in Google Maps for an aerial view (and an easy escape).  Turns out the area we were in didn't have the clarity in resolution I was looking for.

Entrance to the Maze

Deep in the Corn Maze

Once we had all that exploring out of our system, we took a small drive over to Denver's for a quick visit.  We're trying our best to visit Devin and say hello.  From the look of that guy, he is starting to play strange with people who aren't in his day to day life.  I know he was a little cranky and hungry, but it breaks my heart to see that kid upset in my arms.  I'm that cool uncle Ben after all.

Now he plays shy (even with me)

After some negotiating with Denver (he was dead set on us staying the night) we took the stretch home and passed out.  Mel and I were extremely tired and in dire need of  some R&R.  Sunday was more of a write off.  We slept in and had a movie day via NetFlix.  The only noteworthy event was going to Dairy Queen for some ice cream.  They days are getting shorter (and colder) so this was one of those final huzzah's in fall with a cold treat.

Oh the Sunday gratification

Swing life away

Finally, I'll leave you with a video of some pigs I captured on video at the farm.  I was playing with the HD import setting with Qik which turned out for the good.  I guess I will be using it over my YouTube account.  For now the quality is better, so I'll have some loyalty.  For now.



Weekend Report. This Time With Waterfalls!

So lets start this thing off with a breakfast stop at our favorite, the Magic Kettle.  That place has  the best breakfast.  I can't say I've been there and was let down.  The special (on Sunday) was eggs Benni-dict.  You can see why I chose it.  That hollandaise sauce really is to die for.

Eggs Bennie

Next we headed to Duchesney falls for an afternoon walk.  The leaves were just starting to turn, so the scenery there is really beautiful.  The weather was cooperating with us as well.

No Swimming. Well duh!

I'm always a sucker for the bridge at Duchesney.  Its really a picturesque scene.  I havn't really had the opportunity to use the camera since the update on my iPhone 4.  This was a really good opportunity.  The light was right, I was in a good mood.  With the HDR update, I would say, hands down that this phone takes the best pictures that any phone or camera that I've owned.

Take a look at the results.  The light capture almost rivals that of a professional 35 mm cam.

The stairs to the bridge

The Duchesney Bridge

Duchesney Falls

Interesting Looking Roots

Log Fungus

Forrest Power-line

I can't say that much else of my weekend was all that exciting.  No other pictures.  I had a few too many drinks with Paul at his place Friday and spent a chunk of the next afternoon in bed.  It's been a while since I've slept in that late.  I don't know if it was the beer or the late night walk home,  I'm sure it was the beer.  I just like to make excuses.

Pretty showing of leaves.