Tuesday, 31 January 2017

"Have I told you lately that I love you" - Rod Stewart

"There's a love that's divine
And it's yours and it's mine
Like the sun
And at the end of the day
We should give thanks and pray
To the one, to the one" 
- Van Morrison

Have I told You Lately by Rod Stewart on iTunes

Saturday, 28 January 2017

No more printer cartridges!

Filling ink and initializing the Epson ET 4550 and hoping not to buy ink for the next few years

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Dreams and Road Trips

I'd drive 10 hours to Chicago if I can get Barack Obama's book autographed, 
otherwise no road trips planned to America for the next 4 years!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Frying White Seabass

 Here in North America, fish is one of those things we buy, cook and eat only if we can get it fresh, 
else we eat something else.
In Africa, Asia and The Middle East we lived close to the ocean so we could always get fresh fish!
White seabass is found in the waters of the West Coast of North America.

Got some really fresh fish today.
Checking if fish is fresh is an art - not everyone is capable of doing this well.
Lift the gill cover and see if the gills look fresh. 
Check to make sure the fish is firm, not soft. 
Fresh fish does not have a fishy smell.
Knowing how to recognize fresh fish comes with many years of experience. 

Don't they look fresh?

Kashmiri Chilli powder, turmeric and salt

Mix well

I prefer to cut the fish myself ...

Make slits to enable proper marinating

Marinate with the chilli, turmeric, salt mixture

Deep fry in hot oil

More fried fish and other fish recipes here

Stir-frying Vegetables

There are so many different ways to cook tasty vegetables. 
And there's so many different vegetables that can be cooked the same way, like these below!

Wash vegetables well, then cut - (never the other way round, ask me why ...)

Heat a pan, add oil, add a tablespoonful of black mustard seeds and when they begin to pop, 
add a chopped onion and a broken dried red chilli, 
when slightly brown, add the vegetable you want to cook (3 examples below), 
add a teaspoonful of turmeric powder, cumin powder and a little salt. 
Stir-fry till done! 

Black Mustard seeds
(I just learnt today via SaskMustard that Canadian mustard represents 2/3rd of world exports)


Potato and Carrot

Potato and beans

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Shyamala's Toblerone Shortbread Cookies

Our friend Shyamala bakes the best Toblerone shortbread cookies North of the 43rd parallel.
It's her recipe and unless you know her, you won't get to eat them!


Grateful to GOD for good friends like her!

What's your favourite James Bond movie and song?

It's movie night!
What's your favourite James Bond movie and song?

Here's the entire list of James Bond movies via IMDb in order of release.

Friday, 13 January 2017

How to protect the engine and get the best out of any car

The best way to get the most out of your car, is to give the car the best you have!
(The best fuel, lubricants and additives)

I have this uncanny ability of sensing when something isn't right about the performance of our cars, which btw, even the car dealers diagnostics computers cannot do! Their diagnostic tools scan for error codes, I can tell when there is a problem before the error codes appear.

Felt the Audi A3 had a hesitation, as though a filter was blocked or a spark plug was misfiring, so did some troubleshooting and some general maintenance in preparation for a long road trip, 
(GOD willing)!

This pdf shows maintenance intervals for the different models of Audi

Replaced spark plugs (how I replaced plugs 4 years ago), ignition coils, Haldex clutch oil (found in the A3 and TT models), DSG transmission oil and a leaking fuel injector on cylinder 2. 
This faulty injector was causing a misfire resulting in the hesitation. 
Also had the intake valves cleaned of carbon deposits. 
Going forward, I won't be filling petrol at ESSO or any other gas station except Shell, because Shell is the only company that has 100% pure gas. No ethanol 
(Corn and wheat are not for my engines) 

The new ignition coils look different from the earlier ones

Here is something the average car dealer or automotive store may not tell you about in North America, for whatever reason 

Liqui Moly (Made in Germany) has been in the business of oils, additives and lubricants for 60 years and their company is named after liquefied Molybdenum Disulfide MoS2

A can of  Liqui Moly anti-friction engine treatment has already brought me a significant difference in mileage and the engine is so smooth now!

If you have trouble getting the world's best automotive lubricants or additives, ask me! 
You won't find these in most automotive stores around here, for whatever reason  

Check out the Liqui Moly injection cleaner video below.
It's really sad that stuff like these which btw are the only lubricants, additives and cleaners that DO what they say, are difficult to get in North America.

Maybe the best things in life are not for everyone

The car is all set for a long road trip! 
(GOD willing) 

Replaced the Haldex clutch oil and DSG transmission oil for a smoother ride in the Audi A3

The Haldex traction system is found in the Audi A3 quattro and in the Audi TT models.
How do you know when to replace these oils?
If you are like me, you can actually feel it
A hesitation in low gears at low speeds means time to replace the Haldex oil
You can also check the owners manual. Service info is also available here 

How the Haldex system works (no sound, just video)

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

It is interactions such as this that make the day worthwhile

Every week I visit a food bank.
As I finished delivering the last box of bread and walked towards the car to leave, 
a stranger approached me.
He was tall and dressed warm, and wore sunglasses and winter gloves.
I smiled and said "Hi"
He looked at me and asked, "brother, can you help fit a watch please?"
"Sure", I replied, (not knowing exactly what he was meaning)
Then he took off one glove, reached into his pocket and pulled out a watch, and said
"Can you help put it on for me please?"
I held his hand, put the watch on, turned over his hand, secured the safety strap and asked, 
"Is it too tight, does this fit okay?"

"It is fine", he replied and thanked me. 

I tapped him on the side of his arm and said, "take care my friend"
As I got into the car, the stranger walked away into the cold winter day!

(Photo from the dash camera)

Life lessons I learnt from the stranger.

  • When someone asks for help, just help them with what they ask for
  • Don't judge, suspect or avoid someone who asks for help 
  • Don't ask why they need help. They'll tell you if necessary
  • Everyone has a story behind what we all see
  • Everyone needs someone, you maybe that one!

"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, 
for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it" 
- Hebrews 13:2

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Pigeons in the Parking lot

Pigeons also need a place to park when it's -23 degrees C

A few hundred of them have taken up about 8 parking spots!