Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I Finally Fixed my Hatch

The trunk/hatch on my car has been out of order for awhile now. I can't remember the exact date, but it's been a few months. Ever since we were at Brenda's place in Whitby for dinner. When we were leaving I tried to get into the trunk of my car, but it wouldn't open. I'm not sure what was wrong, but it didn't seem like the latch was releasing.

Every now and then I would take a look at it trying to figure out what was wrong. I thought I would try and take off the moulded felt covering over the inside of the hatch to see if I could find the problem. Unfortunately I never discovered how to do that.

I considered taking it to a mechanic, but I assumed it would cost a lot of money. Those guys aren't cheap as I'm sure you know. That would be a last resort.

Initially I wasn't in a big hurry to fix it. Though it was inconvenient it wasn't really necessary for me to access the back. For me, the only time I would really need to use the trunk would be in the summer if I needed to transport my bike (or anyone else's for that matter).

Now that the end of April was upon us I figured I'd better take a serious look at it again. After work on Easter Monday I returned home and started poking away at things. I lowered both back seats so I'd have more room to fit in the back and looked for any way to access the inside of the back of the hatch door.

Like I mentioned, the moulded covering on the inside of the hatch was too tight to pull off. I saw a couple of plastic tabs that I could pull off on both sides of the bottom of the edge of the hatch. But they were just the anchors for child seats.

There was a small (1.5"x1.5") plastic square piece in the middle of the hatch door. I yanked at it a couple of times, but it didn't come off. I went back outside the car and yanked on the hatch a few times and squeezed the release latch again (for the umpteenth time) with no success.

Again I went back inside and pulled at the plastic square piece. This time much harder until it finally came off. Now I actually had access to the inner workings of the door, so I stuck my finger in and felt around.

After fiddling around for a little while I found one piece that moved back and forth. I clicked it a few times and then went back outside to try the release latch. No luck. I went back in and pushed it the other way. No luck, again. So I used my key fob to lock and unlock the doors and tried the latch again - Success!!!!

I locked the trunk and tried again. It wouldn't open. So I fiddled around with the piece inside (this time with the hatch open so I wouldn't have to crawl in and out of the car again and again). I figured out that if you pushed the piece towards the driver's side it locked the latch and if you pushed it towards the passenger side you unlocked it.

I opened and closed the hatch a few more times and it seems to consistently work. I'm certainly happy about that. Boy... what a hassle.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Walk at Tommy Thompson Park

Emily and Gabe asked me along with them on a hike at Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Spit. It was a pretty nice day out. Though it was still a bit cool the skies were blue, so that was good.

The park has undergone a lot of changes since I last was there a few years ago. It's been developed quite a bit for the better. As well as the main road for cycling and service vehicles, there are separate paths just for walkers. There are also a number of small ponds that I hadn't seen before where water birds and other birds can rest/nest. Unfortunately we didn't get to stay for very long as Gabe had to head out to Mississauga to look at a used bike he was interested in buying.

The trip to Mississauga was fruitful. Gabe ended up buying the bike for $75. The fellow selling it said it was his sister's. But she hardly rode it so they were just getting rid of it. Even though it's old it's in good condition.

Next we headed to Ajimi for dinner at Yonge and Davisville. Keith joined us for all-you-can-eat sushi. After that we called Daphne and headed up to Twister for Karaoke. It was fun.

I stayed until just after 10:00 p.m. then headed out to join Donald Chow and his friends to play hockey at Pleasantview Arena off Victoria Park south of Finch.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dinner with the Foodies

We went to dinner at Owl of Minerva on Yonge south of Finch last Thursday. The Foodies were celebrating Fiona's birthday (which was actually on the weekend).

There was quite a good turn out - Emily and Gabe arrived first to secure a table. I came next after work. Janice and Heidi were next followed by Edna, Roger and Pasty. Then came Fiona (I believe) with Casey showing up shortly after. Keith was last. He had to come from work out in Etobicoke. Most of the gang lives along Yonge in between Sheppard and Finch.

I'm not too adventurous when it comes to Korean food. I know some of it can be rather spicy. Normally I just order the bibimbap and only add just a bit of the hot sauce. I did try a bit more kimchi than usual this time. Probably too much for my own good. I learned my lesson.

After dinner we decided on dessert. There was a place up the street, but it was packed. We then thought about going to Maxims on Finch in between Bayview and Leslie. But, being a Thursday night we found it closed at 10:30 which would have only given us half an hour there. So we decided on Demitres up on 7 and East Beaver Creek. They have one near me too, but everyone agreed it would be difficult to find parking around there.

When we got up to Demitres we found it was packed too. Seems like everyone was out because unofficially it was the weekend (because the next day was a stat holiday it being Good Friday). With no other options we decided to wait. And wait. And wait.

We had to wait longer than normal because our group was large and we all wanted to sit together. We finally got a table near 11:00 p.m. only to find that they officially closed at 11:30 (which would have given us the same amount of time to eat as if we had gone to Maxims).

Thankfully they didn't kick everyone out at 11:30. They recognized there were a lot of patrons still enjoying their desserts and did the right thing.

Most of our gang had waffles or crepes with ice cream and assorted toppings. I decided on a fruit filled crepe with white chocolate sauce sans ice cream. It was pretty tasty. I got to sample some of the others desserts too. The portions they couldn't finish anyway. Yum.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Friday Night Hockey group

Our Friday Night Hockey came to an end for the season recently. We've been playing for many, many years. Currently we're at Goulding Arena in the Yonge and Steeles area. We've been there for over 10 years if I'm not mistaken.

I've been organizing it for the past three or four years. The contract with the City of Toronto isn't too much trouble. I just have to fill out some forms and fax in the roster to them and set up payment.

The most work is organizing the goalies. It seems like we ran into all sorts of problems this year. One of our new goalies, Rob, left after playing with us for one season so I had to look for another one to fill in. I searched the internet and found, Petr, who was looking for a group to play with. He rounded out our roster along with Godfrey and Dave.

With around 6-8 weeks left in the season, Petr, ended up breaking four ribs and sustaining a concussion in a car accident while coming back from skiing at Blue Mountain. So, needless to say, he was done for the rest of the time.

Then Dave had his knee problems. He's had them for a number of years. So he wasn't able to make it out near the end of the season either. Thankfully Frankie's brother, Donald, and Andrew's trainer's daughter, Caitlin, were able to fill in for them in emergency situations.

A few players went AWOL through the year too. We lost Doug Lem before the season even started. He died mysteriously at home one day. It was very sad and tragic. Paul lasted only half a year. His knees were giving him problems. Jim broke a rib while playing during one of the games. So he missed a number of weeks as well. One other new fellow John disappeared part way through too.

All in all I know everyone enjoyed playing. I know I did. It's a great way to end the week by blowing off some steam and getting exercise at the same time.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Curling with the Monday Sports Night group

I went curling a few weeks ago at the Richmond Hill Curling Club. It was my second time. Our Monday Sports Night group organized it.

This time we received more detailed instruction which was helpful. We were told the function of the skip is to direct the person who will be throwing the stone. He also guides the sweepers in telling them when to sweep or when not to.

We were told the three things to remember when throwing the stone. The skip will tell you where they want you to throw it. He'll tell you which way he wants you to spin the stone by sticking his arm out in that direction. For instance, if he sticks his right arm out you have to turn the front of the stone to 2:00 and turn it to the middle upon release. The stone will curl left then. And we have to try to determine the weight of the toss. Too hard and you’ll throw it through the house, too soft and you won’t make it pass the hog line (resulting in the stone being removed).

Sweeping helps speed up a thrown rock. If it doesn’t have enough weight the sweepers can sweep hard to make the stone go further. The skip will direct the sweepers on whether or not to sweep depending on where he wants the rock to go.

Anyway, we had a fun game. It was pretty close we actually ended up tied 3-3 after four ends. We had a one stone toss to determine the winner. The team with the person who throws the rock closest to the button (the dot in the middle of the rings) would win. Unfortunately Philip from the other team beat us after his wife, Michelle, who threw for our team ended up short of the rings.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Book Review - The Death of Bees

The Death of Bees is a wonderfully written novel about the struggles of two seemingly polar opposites, Glaswegian sisters Marnie, 15, and (Helen) Nelly, 12. When their parents die they face overwhelming odds in trying to eke out any semblance of ordinary life in extraordinary circumstances.

It is told through the eyes of the main characters Marnie, Nelly and Lennie all of whom face personal demons of their own. The trials they endure temper their relationships and they learn the true meaning of tenderness, compassion and sacrifice. I highly recommend it.

This debut novel by author Lisa O’Donnell won the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wow... surprise...

Here's a Facebook post from after I posted the story of the aforementioned car rollover in Barrie. In an amazing coincidence the girl I went to check up on is the niece of a friend and former co-worker of mine at Trader. What are the chances of that?

Reay Jespersen - Old coworker/friend Jeff Louie, it's my honour to introduce you to Devan Brophy, my (step-)niece whose car rolled yesterday and who you were awesome enough to stop and check on. Small world. 
Not sure if there's any easy way for you guys to talk, but suffice to say, Devan: Very happy you're ok. Jeff: You're a better man than most for stopping to help someone in need when most people didn't.
Like  · Share · 25 March at 13:54 ·

Devan Brophy, Steve LeBlanc, Marcy Zee and 15 others like this.

Devan Brophy - Haha thank you. I have messaged him to say thanks for stopping. I can't believe he found my purse outside of the car. . I couldn't figure out why it was full of snow. Like HOW did my purse fly out??? It was in the seat beside me

25 March at 14:14 · Like

Reay Jespersen - Crazy. SO glad you're ok.

25 March at 14:20 · Like · 1

Trudy Lamport - Thank you to Jeff for stopping. We are so very lucky Devan is ok. Everyone who stopped we are so very thankful for them !!!

25 March at 15:01 · Unlike · 1

Jeff Louie - Hi Devan. I'm glad you're all right. When the other gentleman asked if you were okay, you said you were, but you might be a bit dizzy from being flipped around. I saw all your stuff including your purse/bag and sunglasses on the side. I was thinking I should help you pick them up, but I thought the police might not want anything from the accident scene to be moved around. I hope you managed to find everything before it got too dark. I think I saw a police car coming up to the scene around 10-15 minutes later.

25 March at 17:41 · Like

Marcy Zee - You're a hero Jeff Louie

25 March at 18:56 · Unlike · 1

Michael Heyoka Ratt - You rock Jeff Louie.

25 March at 19:18 · Unlike · 1

Jeff Louie - Thanks guys that's nice of you to say. I'm just glad Devan is okay.

25 March at 23:19 · Like · 1

Jeremy Weise - Its Jeff Louie, the nicest guy in the world, of course he would stop!!!

26 March at 09:26 · Unlike · 1

Travis Gibbons - Nice one, Louie!

26 March at 09:33 · Unlike · 1

Elisa Krovblit - Wow, small world. And glad she's ok!

26 March at 10:23 · Unlike · 1