BONKERS OVER PICKUPS!!

I love CARS!!!  Having owned Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Corvette, Acura, and Porsche…I had the good fortune of driving spectacular cars and SUVs.  For me, 0-60 and taking turns without braking was my Nirvana.  Cars were just that for me, I needed nothing else from them.

Don’t get me wrong, I love fast cars!  However, they need constant pampering.  I fret about rock chips, bugs, tar, parking lot dings and scratches.  In Canada, I would only drive them in the summer for about 4 months.  Otherwise, they sit in my garage, hibernating from October to June, under a silky car cover with a trickle charger.  No machines ever lived a better life than my cars!

Over time, I found a need to ‘refresh’ one of my cars.  This was when I decided to discover for myself what the hub-bub was about for pickup trucks.  Following my new mantra of doing counter intuitive things, and after much deliberation, I purchased a 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Offroad.

I fell in love with my Tacoma on the test drive!  The high sitting position, the visibility, and the utilitarian usage had me smitten.  I don’t worry about people dinging the truck in a parking lot; other people worry about my truck dinging them.  Totally awesome!

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The truck is the Superhero of my motor world!  It allowed me to carry mulch to create weed free tree beds in my yard.  I was able to load up tree branches after a storm to the city dump.  It can tow pretty much anything that is in my world.  I feel so…invincible and omnipotent!  (Sinister laughter)

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Then I discovered the Tacoma can take me wherever my eyes went…mud, hills, rock, ditches, moguls, grass, trees, and water.  I decided to take on McLean Creek outside of Calgary!  An off road destination built to test Off Road vehicles.

Just outside Bragg Creek, there is a General Store that carries food, camping necessities, and private shower and toilet facilities.  Across and up the road from the store, is Mclean Pond which is stocked with trout for fishing.  There is a well kept Reservations Only Campsite before you reach the Off Road Facility.

The entrance welcomes you with an ALL MUD PIT!  There is a hill after you enter that looks like a 30 degree incline, but feels like 45 degrees when you are climbing up and down the hill.  The Tacoma climbed it in 2WD easily.

McLean Creek Off Road Trails runs for miles.  Getting through the mud, mogul, water, and bumps will reward you with these views.  Priceless!  As long as you are not susceptible to motion sickness as it is a jostling and bouncy journey.

I don’t know how I ever did without a pickup truck, but there is no way I could live without my Tacoma now!

If you are a city slicker like me, think about a truck!  It will rock your world!

DANDELIONS DRIVE ME BONKERS!!!

Just look at THEM!

Sitting there taunting me.  Ugly barbed leaves radiating from a central stem of Medusa-like yellow flowers and bulbs.  They laugh at me as their yellow flowers morph into fluffy parachutes, and float away.  Only to land elsewhere in my yard, and re-clone themselves, grow, and propagate the process…again and again.

Dandelions are unstoppable!  They are the definition of vegetation perfection!  They don’t need water.  No fertilizer.  No seeding.  Survives in all temperatures.  Thrives in any soil conditions.  They exert their biological will upon everyone’s lawn!

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In my kingdom, the price for being a Dandelion is DEATH…by Herbicide!  All I have ever known is their death.  I did not care for the environmental casualties of my horticultural war with this weed.  I knew that the chemicals would run off with irrigation and precipitation, and into our drinking water.  But that is the only way I knew how to deal with Dandelions.  See one.  Spray it.

After much reading, I decided to prevent their proliferation.  By limiting Dandelions, I apply less herbicide, and thus, minimizing environmental impact.  My new strategy: 1)Grow the lawn longer making it hard for the Dandelion fluff to land and grow, and 2)Reduce soil exposure by covering up the Tree and Flower Beds.

Instead of using expensive Weed Fabric, which doesn’t decompose to improve soil conditions, I use everyday Cardboard.  Cardboard decomposes to enrich the soil, and it’s free.  Just ask your local Grocery Store.

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Cut up, and overlap the Cardboard to cover up the soil.  Remember to leave an opening around trees, shrubs, and flowers to allow for water to reach their roots.  Wet the Cardboard throughly, and then place 3 inches of Mulch on top.  Water the Mulch, and tamp down with a rake.  It’s that easy!

This will choke out weeds and grasses in your Garden Beds.  It cost you nothing except your time, and sweat.  But you get that back, as you don’t have to dig up the weeds and grasses continually.  This method is good for the environment as you used degradable waste material, and use less herbicide while achieving a beautiful yard!  Give it a try!

 

 

Make sure you wear your sunscreen as you enjoy your lawn!

BONKERZZZZZZZ… AT FIRST CABINS (TSUKIJI, TOKYO)

Words to live by when you are ‘young’:  Travel and see the World!!!!

I did not follow my own sage advice.   But I am going to go BONKERS to catch up!

When you have a large ‘Travel Bucket List’ like me, it is daunting to decide what to cross off first.  So easy to travel to destinations that are close; and locales that I am accustomed to living as a blessed Canadian.  But not this time.  Not for this cowboy!

Lady Luck would find me an online Air Canada flight deal in February from Calgary to Tokyo for $700 Cdn all in…YESSSSS!   First piece of the travel puzzle in place.  Next piece of the puzzle is the accommodations.   Hmmm…which hotel now?  Let me see…Bam!   Memory flash!  I remember seeing a piece on Capsule Hotels ages ago on TV.

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Capsule Hotels houses patrons in a modern architectural interpretation of bunk beds.  Bulkheads from floor to ceiling with two holes/capsule excavated allowing one person to crawl onto a mattress above, and one person below.  Each Capsule has basic electric amenities like TV, Wifi, lighting, temperature controls, and an upward rolling screen to seal the capsule for privacy.

However, after much contemplation, I declined the Capsule Hotel.  Too claustrophobic.  Too tight.  And how do they clean out those hard-to-reach Capsules?

So I chose to stay at FIRST CABINS, TSUKIJI!

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It’s a newer concept for solo travellers or budget travellers in Japan.  Bookings are about $35 Cdn per night.  It’s fantastic for those who don’t plan to use a hotel except to crash.  Who wants to spend time in a typical $250/night hotel, when you are in Tokyo?   Too much to do…and eat…in Tokyo!  Spend your money in Tokyo, and not on your accommodations!

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Compared to Capsules, there is so much more space…and it’s clean!  There is TV, 120 V outlets, USB outlets, and AC.  The hotel also provides you every night with disposable toothbrush, toothpaste, disposable slippers, pajamas, soap, shampoo, conditioner, dryer, disposable shavers but…no FLOSS!  Oral Hygiene is what separates us from the ANIMALS!

The showers and toilers are enclosed and private.  All facilities from Cabin to Bathroom facilities are very clean considering their communal usage.  Better than any hostel, and possibly some hotels.

You do have to pack up every morning, and check back in every evening.  They store your bags for the day.  So pack light.

So go ahead and try a First Cabin in Tokyo when you have a hankering for Japan, and enjoy the most memorable and novel experience unlike any hotel or hostel!

 

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