Sunday, September 18, 2016

Highs and Lows of Summer's Last Weekend

The highlight of this imminently-autumnal weekend is always Pete's Geekquinox dinner, this time re-using the Star Trek theme in honor of the 50th anniversary of the franchise. I had ordered some appropriate nerdwear back in August, but by Friday afternoon it had not shown up, leaving me extremely disheartened.  On the plus side though, my BluRay of Captain America: Civil War had arrived, and Glory and I enjoyed watching it Friday night after supper.

On Saturday morning, I whipped up some scrambled eggs, sausages, and toast with lime curd before we took Glory in to St. Albert where her Irish Dance school was conducting a bottle drive. It went pretty well too, and in about 4 hours they had pretty much filled a 30 foot trailer with refundable empties. That should go a long ways toward financing some team dresses!

While she was dong that, Audrey and made out way out to Leduc (but not before stopping at Warp Comics to grab a Star Trek pin so I could improvise something remotely thematic) so we could help my mum empty out her motorhome.

With Tara and Jerry relocating to Texas, Mum will be moving into the other upstairs bedroom and setting up a small sitting room in Tara's old office so she can look after the place for the three weeks of every month they will be stateside. It's a big change from driving a humungous RV out to Osoyoos for their milder winter, but I know Tara is grateful that the house will not be so empty.

We got her place around noon, and was gratified to discover that there may be a genetic explanation for my affinity for smart-ass t-shirts:

True to form, Mum had already moved out most of the stuff she could, holding some back for an end of season campfire event they are having at her campground in Leduc next weekend. There wasn't a lot for us to do except a little technical support on her iPad and moving one awkward metal rocking chair that her dog Willow has pretty much claimed as her own.

After getting that situated, we made our way back up to Ellerslie Road and Geekquinox. It was a wonderful time, as always, filled with great food and better people, and official lexicographer Earl has done a marvelous job documenting it at The Earliad.

Not everyone dressed up, but those who did looked fantastic, evocative of one of the most positive futures ever depicted in science-fiction, and even my slapped-together effort didn't look too far out of place.

There was even a neat moment where esthetics met practicality, as Pete used the dry ice he had procured to make dramatic, steaming beverages to cool down a pot of beef broth in a hurry so he could more easily remove the fat.

There was much catching up, revelries galore, and even a couple of games of Star Trek Trivial Pursuit (in a suave shuttlecraft Galileo carrying case). The main course (a chuck roast that had spent 30 hours in a sous vide bath before getting smoked in Pete's Big Green Egg for another three!)was served up just before midnight, and people began breaking orbit a couple of hours after that. The diehards playing a small game of SpaceTeam at three in the morning signalled the end of festivities. After brunching together the next morning, we were back on our way to Castle Downs..

The grocery shopping still needed to be done, and I was on tap for preparing Sunday dinner, so part of me hoped to find a lasagna or something else that required minimal effort. Seeing rib roasts on sale and knowing my daughter was hankering for Yorkshire puddings put paid to that, however!

After dinner, Glory volunteered to go up on our roof to try and sort out the squeaky turbine vent that had been niggling at us the past couple of weeks. I showed her some pictures to give her an idea what needed doing up there, and she scampered to the top in great form.

Unfortunately though, the squeak persisted, and I ended up joining her on the roof. My reluctance was due less to any sort of fear of heights than an acute awareness of my mass-based proclivity for gravitational attraction. There was also an element of not wanting to place an undue burden of 1/8 ton on an aging roof, but in the end, there was nothing else for it.

Getting onto the roof and scrambling to the pinnacle to join Glory was surprisingly easy, and once ups there, we used our vantage point to take a good look at our neighbourhood and the setting sun, and took a selfie or two before getting down to brass tacks.

With one of us lifting the whirlybird itself and the other spraying some lubricant roughly in the direction of the spindle, we were able to make short work of the squeak in a very reasonable amount of time. Glory then scuttled over to the over turbine to repeat the process as a preventative measure while I crab-walked my way down the other side of the roof in order to remove about three dozen pine cones, and to note that the far side eavestroughs now had seedlings sprouting up from them.

The two of us then reconvened to remove perhaps a decade's accumulation of pine needles and other detritus, shoveling them into pails which I then levered over to Audrey at the end of a gardening hoe.

I managed to thrash the sweat pants I was wearing while scooching around on the shingles, and am not sure if the sap from the pine cones will ever come out of the work gloves I was wearing, but in the end it felt like a very productive evening, with a bit of fun in it too.

Come to think of it, our rooftop adventure was indicative of the weekend as a whole: a change in perspective, a bit of work and some fun as well.

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