In the morning I will be picking up a 2015 Ford Escape. There is excitement in driving a much newer car than I have had, but admittedly, there is also some sadness.
I’ve never been someone who gets a new car every two or three years. I like to get as many years as I can out of a car after the payments are finished. This is not the first time I’m getting a new car and won’t be the last either, but this time it seems a little different.
I have had my Saturn for over ten years. There have been many repairs in those years, some frustrating moments and more than a few times I’ve screamed at the car. There have also been many wonderful memories. Some great drives up to North Ontario; two months in Timmins in January where I had no trouble getting around even though it was January and February and the snow was deep; drives to some of Ontario’s Provincial parks. I have even slept in the car. The seats in the Saturn recline right back and it is surprisingly comfortable.
It’s an old car. The Saturn is sixteen years old. It has a radio and a CD player only. There is no syncing with a cell phone and it doesn’t have a USB port. It is and old car. I will miss it. A few years ago, my favourite football team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats moved into a brand-new stadium. New concessions; new washrooms; new and much roomier seats. It’s a great new stadium and I love going there to watch football games. I also miss the old stadium. I miss Ivor Wynne Stadium. It was old. It was run down and crumbling. It had cold and ugly washrooms. It had concessions where you might legitimately question whether the food was safe to eat. It was also a wonderful place to watch a football game. Ivor Wynne Stadium had character. It had the spirits of the players and games that have passed through. For all it’s crumbling structure, I still miss the old place just as I will miss my Saturn.
I do have some solace however. The Saturn will see some more life. The Saturn will make one more long trip up to Sault Ste. Marie. It will find some retirement as it will be used to teach my nephew how to drive a manual transmission. The Saturn will see some trips from the Sault to Goulais River. The Saturn can be where my nephew learns how to change oil and maybe learn how to do car repairs.
It has been a very good car to me. I will miss the Saturn. Tonight, I drove it one final time. I then raised a glass and toasted my old friend. To you ‘02 Saturn.


For the past several weeks I have been taking tutorials on how to use Adobe Dreamweaver from  At first the program is very daunting but once I began to see the power in it’s ability to edit html, I got hooked on learning more and more.  Currently I’m taking the tutorials on bootstrap to create a responsive website.

Hopefully in the not too distant future I will be able to switch from Adobe Muse to Dreamweaver for the site.  Although Muse is an easy program to use it does create some code that even a novice can find quite cluttered.



It’s been cold here. The cold and dry air has been a bit harsh on my breathing but the weather is a bit better now. The restaurant opening is done and now I have a few hours off in the day so I can get a few drawings done.

So far it looks like I will have Thursday off and the weather is supposed to be good. It might be a photography morning. 

New Year and the Website

Lately I haven’t been doing much with the website.  Although I do have a few sketches to put on, I simply haven’t been able to find the time or the energy to actually do it.  I do plan on rectifying that in the near future.

As we change the calendar, for the first few weeks I will be busier than usual when I head up to Timmins in Northern Ontario to help in the opening of a restaurant.  After that is complete, I plan to spend a bit of time each day doing something with the website, even if it’s a simple blog entry.

Until my next post, thanks for reading.

It’s Autumn

You can feel it in the air.  The temperature is going down, the sun is out a little less every day and the even the clouds look a little different.

On the plus side there is the quite beautiful colour changing of the leaves and the fact that football is in heavy rotation this time of year.  The CFL is in the stretch run and the NFL has begun so for a football lover like me, it’s heavenly.  The down side however is that soon it will be freezing outside and instead of mowing the lawn it will be shoveling the white (expletive deleted).

This December I will be up in Timmins for a month or two helping to open a restaurant.  During my stay I will have some opportunities to get some winter photography and painting in the North of Ontario.  I can’t let an opportunity like that slip by.

Until my next post, thanks for reading.

It’s been a while 

​It’s been a month since my last entry into Open Pallet.  I would like to say it’s because I’ve been busy painting, or busy drawing or busy writing.  Unfortunately, I can’t.  I’ve been busy enjoying the summer. 

This has been a spectacular summer for those of us who enjoy the outdoors.  Anyone who loves sunny days for the beach or walks in the park, this is a dream summer.  Those who enjoy a nice green lawn however, this is not a great summer.

It’s August 12, 2016 and I’m looking out the window at what has been a seldom seen sight this season.  It’s raining.  Good heavens the grass needs the water.  Between yesterday and today the browns of the lawns might turn a more appreciable green soon.

In about 5 weeks I’ll be enjoying a trip up to North Ontario where I intend to do some painting and photography.  When I went last year at approximately the same time of year I expected to see plenty of fall colours.  We had an unusually hot late summer and the result was everything was still green.  Maybe this year I’ll capture some colours.  Regardless, I will enjoy the trip immensely. 


It’s early morning at the waterfront in Toronto. Breathing in the air along the pier, I catch a familiar aroma that brings back memories from when I was very small. The odour in question is the smell of boats.  The smell coupled with the sight of sailboats and motorboats jogs the memories of summer days’ decades ago when I was still so very young.

Each summer the family would go for a vacation at a family cottage on Lake Dalrymple.  The cottage was owned by my Aunt and every summer we, along with a large number of aunts, uncles and cousins would enjoy a couple of weeks in an old house on the lake. Continue reading “Memories”


As if to underscore that I know some computer stuff but need to do research when I have a problem, for the past few days I have been unable to log into my web hosting to do anything.  I haven’t even been able to put a blog post on from the home network.

After resetting a few things to default I am now finally able to access the site again.  I have to admit there is a certain wonderful feeling in accomplishing this.  I’m not a computer geek by any stretch but a victory without calling in some help puts a big smile on my face.


For some time I have wanted to get a Cd player.    The one I used to have died on me a few years ago and although I can play Cd’s through the computer, it’s not as convenient as popping a disk in to a dedicated unit.  The computer in question is a laptop that has to be connected  to the stereo.  If your wondering what has stopped me from getting one,  it’s the price.  The lowest price for a new five disk unit is at least a couple of hundred dollars.
Value village came in quite handy today.  I picked up a Cd player for twenty five dollars, and it works.
I’m now able to listen to music again as I paint, which is what I’m doing now.  We’ll admittedly not at this exact moment because I’m writing this,  but you get the point, right?


Have you ever had a night that you wake up after a couple of hours of sleep and then you can’t stop thinking about, we’ll anything? That’s me right now.
I managed to fall asleep really fast tonight but at three in the morning my brain decided it was the right time to click back on and started letting anything from the NBA final to the colour of the bedroom walls in.  The worst part is I’ll probably drift off into a coma in a couple of hours only to have a horrible time trying to wake up when the alarm sounds.
I hate insomnia.