Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Replacing Inverter Part Two

I gathered my tools, took the dinette seat out and tackled the replacement. I pulled the fuse to avoid sparks and removed the old inverter. Easy job. I took it into the workshop and hooked it up to a car battery I keep charged in there, plugged in a load and it did not work. Suspicions confirmed.

I then unpacked the new unit and connected it to the battery in the workshop. I connected a load, turned it on and away it went, delivering 40 watts to my RV dehumidifier.

I had to solder different terminals to the two #4 AWG cables from the battery and that was no easy job, having to lean way over the edge of the dinette. Anyway, I got it done, connected everything together, installed the remote switch, turned it on and tested everything. The TV's and receivers switched on and stayed on. I forgot to test the fridge on the inverter but I will do that soon as I have no reason to believe it will not work.

I extracted myself and my tools from the cramped work space, checked for bruised ribs (found two) and put everything away.

Done! Total time spent? About three hours. I guess I am slowing down.

Out with the old:

In with the new:

Add the remote beside the entry:

Replacing Inverter Part One

I went out yesterday to hook up the StarChoice (Shaw Direct) in the motorhome. I have a dish mounted on the workshop and hook up the two TV's in the motorhome for the odd time we have company staying out there.

I hooked it up and turned the receivers and TV's on. Or at least tried to. They were plugged into the inverter and there was no power coming out! I cycled it on and off and disconnected the 12 volt side for a few minutes, hoping it would reset. No luck! It is toast.

I checked to see when I had bought the inverter and discovered it was in 2013, five years ago. It was way out of warranty but still should not have gone in only five years.

I decided to replace the 1500 watt Modified Sine Wave unit with a 1000 watt Pure Sine Wave, more expensive but kinder to electronics and 1000 watts is more than I need. There is a possibility that was what killed my Toshiba laptop. I checked around town and found two, a heavy duty one at Walmart for $400 and a Motomaster Eliminator (house brand) at Canadian Tire for $235. After checking the specs I decided on the cheaper one.

Today I will install it. Maybe photos. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Test post from tablet.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing on a select few dates. These include the day JFK was killed and the day MLK was executed. 9-11 was one of those days!

I was driving north through central Oregon on my way home after a solo RV trip. Norma had yet to retire so I had headed out on my own for a couple of weeks. I was driving along with the radio on very low to the point where I could hardly hear it. The music had stopped some time before and there was just a steady drone of voices I could not make out. After a while I turned it up and thought it was a discussion of a movie or something, not a subject I was interested in. I hit the "scan" button but every station I landed on had the same thing on!

I turned it up louder and that was when I began to understand what was going on. The first plane had hit and there was mass confusion. Almost right away the second plane hit! I was in the desert and the first thing I noticed was there was hardly any traffic. Soon a police car raced past me with lights and siren doing well over 100 mph. Then a fighter aircraft screamed past overhead at low altitude following the Interstate. I realized that the Country was being attacked and here I was driving down the highway in a foreign plated motorhome that could contain who knows what! It was time to get off the road.

I pulled into Bend, OR and found the nearest RV park. I walked into the office to find the two people glued to the TV. They told me to park anywhere and to come in and register and pay in the morning. I parked, hooked up the cable and watched CNN non stop for the next two days. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Catching Up!

We have been home for a while but after having set up my new computer I discovered it has no SD card reader! After a frantic search I discovered I had no SD memory card reader and could not post my photos! I ordered a new reader from eBay but that will take ages so I kept up my search and finally found one!

Here are some of Karen and Ruairi's wedding shots. Karen is the youngest daughter of our niece, Robin from Lacombe, Alberta. The couple met while they were both working in Hanoi, North Vietnam, she as a teacher and he as a scuba diving instructor. It was a great wedding on Karen's brother's farm. They rented a huge tent for the dinner/party and a blowup Irish Pub for the bar. Thirty-five people came from Ireland, all ready to party! Those Irish women know how to dance!

The couple will be returning to Dublin where Ruairi will be working as an engineer and Karen as a contributor for an environmental magazine. They also want to return to Vietnam to live at some point. They are a truly International Couple!

The Party Tent

Blow-Up Irish Pub! With a real Irishman (Karen's boss) walking by!

Ruairi and his Best Man

Karen and her proud dad, Bruce

And they are married in an interesting Celtic ceremony of Handfasting! Hence the term "Tying the knot".

Karen and mom (Robin) at the campout we had in Dumheller after the wedding

Mary and Mic Hand, parents of the groom. All the way from Dublin!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Resting In Kamloops

We decided to skip our planned visit to the Okanagan and to take a more direct route home. We had a few reasons with the heavy smoke in the air being the foremost. We are also socialized out and exhausted from the Six Day Irish Wedding. We will come back to the Okanagan to visit all the folks we wanted to see.

We drove from Revelstoke to Kamloops and checked into the Kamloops RV Park which it turns out is situated only a few feet from both the Trans Canada Highway and the railway tracks. It is as noisy as most truck stops but they can somehow justify their $47 per night rates. They do however have great showers with endless hot water which we both took full advantage of.

We have been incredibly either lucky or skillful at setting up our satellite dish but this time we had problems. After finding the settings and checking the Dishpointer site We started the usually quick process of locking in on the bird. Well we tried for two hours with only a flash or two of signal. I knew there was a tree but was convinced this was not interfering. Eventually our neighbour came out to help. He had sold the system in Alberta and had a pretty good eye. He figured the tree actually was in the way and made a suggestion that led to this

Redneck Tripod Solution:

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Nurse Norma Is Fired!

Nurse Norma is fired! She ripped the bandage off my worse knee and it hurt like heck! Applications for a new nurse are being accepted... Now she wants to take the bandage off my toe to inspect the damage...

Revelstoke, BC

We are in Revelstoke parked in a huge, informal parking area by the river. We wanted to get an RV park with a pool but my knees are not presentable enough to share in a pool! 
The highway was really slow going yesterday with tons of paving and one way traffic. The normally two hour trip took almost four hours. Doesn't matter, we have lots of time!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Unexpected Stopover!

We left the Kananaskis Casino about 10:00 expecting to drive through to Revelstoke or maybe even Kamloops but such was not to be! We stopped at the Husky station in Golden to dump and clumsy me fell over the damn trailer hitch and ended up with two heavily bleeding knees and the end torn off one big toe! (No photos) :)

Not too painful but lots of blood thanks to the blood thinners! I finished dumping, hosed off all the blood and pulled into their huge truck parking area where Norma applied lots of alcohol, antibiotic cream and bandages. I will survive but we are staying parked here for the night. Ah, the pleasures of getting old(er)!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Still Here At Kananaskis!

Yesterday we decided to stay one extra day to rest up. We did that as well as go to the casino for a late buffet breakfast and to make a small donation to the slots. This morning was cooler and since Norma had not slept well we decided to camp out in the free parking area one more day. No rush! We have no reason to move except to buy milk as ours somehow got left out and went sour. Our friendly RV neighbors saved me a trip to town by giving us a cup or so for Norma's coffee. All is well!

We watched the Blue Jays game at 10:00 and then the BC Lions game at 1:30 PM. We put a couple of potatoes in the microwave and will find something to go with them. We will not starve and tomorrow will find us moving on down the road! Life is Good!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Smoke Sun At Kananaskis, Alberta

Kananaskis Smoke Sun!
8:00 AM here in the Stoney Nakoda Casino parking lot. We are exhausted enough from the Six Day Wedding to just stay parked here for the day. We may wander over for a buffet breakfast but other than that, it will be a day to read and catch up on CNN. Right now there is not enough sunlight getting through the smoke to charge the batteries! The smoke situation is not going to improve as we move west but we are getting reports that it is clear on the Island.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

An Irish Pub!

Yes, we have an Irish Pub here at the wedding! What is an Irish Wedding without a blow-up Irish Pub? Yes, that is a real Irishman in font!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Falling Laptop!

Disaster averted! As we were doing the roller coaster twister drive of highway 3 or 3B this morning the laptop fell from it's perch on top of the front fridge and landed on my head/shoulder/arm, bounced off and hit the floor. Hard. I figured there was no reason to panic, stop and test it. If it is broken, it is broken. Alas! When we parked I turned it on and it fired right up! And as a bonus, my Rogers Internet works in Crowsnest, Alberta, a wide spot in the road with a Tim Hortons and a Shell station with some truck parking! I needed the Internet to find the coordinates for the dish so now we can watch the Blue Jays! 
That old Toshiba is no match for my skull! Life Is Good!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Day Three Of The Epic Journey

Day 1 - Campbell River to Abbotsford, BC Walmart

Day 2 - Abbotsford to Princeton BC truck stop.

Day 3 - Princeton to Trail, BC Walmart.

Today was a brutal drive! I do not remember so many steep uphills and downhills! I had the Ford V-10 in "Haul / Tow" mode and it was working hard. It was brutally hot outside so the air conditioning was sucking power out of the engine and making things much worse. Even with the tow / haul function working I was still on the brakes too much on the downhill runs and they were hot! It was not a pleasant day and we went through about $160 worth of gas today!

We got to Trail at about 4:00, gassed up and found Walmart, It is still very hot and we are running the generator and air conditioning while we relax and make dinner. This trip is taking much longer than planned and we still have 800+ kilometers to go on winding, steep roads. We will have a better plan to get home!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Slow Trip To Alberta

We are on the mainland heading to our grand-niece's wedding on the 11th in Lacombe, Alberta. We are taking our time on the slow road, Highway 3 (Hope - Princeton Highway) which sort of follows the US border. We left Saturday, caught the 1:30 ferry and drove to Abbotsford where we discovered Norma's new phone was not working!

No Telus stores open on Sunday of a long weekend but we found a Source store (Radio Shack) where an obliging salesman had a look at it. He determined it needed a reboot which he did. It came back to life and he refused any payment. Nice guy and they don't even sell Telus.

Anyway, that took until noon so we were late getting away and tackling the mountainous Hope Princeton Highway. We pulled into Princeton at about 4:00 and are staying in a Chevron Truck Stop. My Rogers Interned gets no signal here but there is an A&W next door with free WIFI that reaches our rig. I repaid them for it's use by walking over and buying dinner to go.

Tomorrow we will drive as far as Trail, BC. It is nice being back on the road in the motorhome!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Birthday Visit

It was Norma's birthday on July 27th and on Monday Brooks picked Jayde up at the ferry dock and the two of them drove up for a visit. On Tuesday morning Sierrah arrived from Victoria with her other grandmother, Carolynn. It was so nice to see our two adult granddaughters together, something that doesn't happen very often. Everyone had a good time with lots of gabbing, food and fun!

Sierrah, Brooks, Jayde, Norma, Croft
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Sierrah and Jayde taking photos in the garden
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Sierrah and her two grandma's
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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Tim Hortons

Yesterday I walked the 3.4 KM return trip on the seawalk to Tim Hortons with no (very little) trouble. Made it there easy, sat and had a coffee and muffin, and headed back. I passed a bench and sat for a minute enjoying the view, continued on and about 200 feet from my house experienced the beginnings of a leg cramp. Hmmm, what's that all about?

Friday, July 6, 2018

My Exercise Regimine

Aside from one day it was raining too hard, I have been walking the 1.3 KM return trip to the mailbox every mail day (5 days a week) Since June 15. I have to admit the first day was more of a struggle than I like to admit as I had trouble walking a straight line and actually sat down on a park bench half way back home.

Now, I am blasting through it with no problem, am walking straight with a good pace and feel no need to rest part way. It is a revelation!

I am now wondering how I can increase my distance. There is a seaside park a bit further along so today I just might continue right past the mailbox and try for the park. Google maps says it is a 15 minute walk each way for a 2.4 KM return trip. Man, I am getting healthy, I wonder how much I weigh?

Oops, they are calling for rain this afternoon. It may or may not show up. If it is not raining I will head out with my phone so I can call for a ride back if needed. What's a little rain?

Edit: I corrected the mileage. A little problem with Google Maps.

Image result for singing in the rain

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Supporting The Evil Empire

It is with heavy hearts that we are watching the inhumanity that is going on in the USA lately. Concentration camps for children being set up at the southern US border, school children being slaughtered in their schools, idiots with "MAGA" hats on running around with guns. The First Lady sporting a Nazi Stormtrooper slogan on her jacket.

No one is safe from the tyranny. Today it is brown skinned people, Muslim or Hispanic, tomorrow it could be another color or race. Norwegians may be on some future list in the mind of a madman. Or English people. It is unpredictable and there seems to be no effective opposition to the current President.

Are we going to spend our hard earned money in the USA next winter? Not likely. We have to make a statement that what is going on down there is simply unacceptable and cannot be supported. We enjoyed our winters down there and have made friends with many individual Americans. It is not these individual Americans we have a problem with but is the leadership of their country. I know the $20K or so that we spend down there every year is just a drop in their bucket but we have to make a statement, no matter how small.

I don't know what the solution is. Many friends and our son say we should just fly somewhere in Mexico or Central America and rent a house for a few months. That has it's appeal but is not the way we like to travel, we like being able to move around and we like having all our "stuff" with us. Another possibility is to just hold our noses and drive directly through the USA, boondocking as we go spending money only on gas. We could be in Mexico in four or five days. The return home in April would be the same and would limit our exposure to the Death Star that is today's USA. Of course by then they may have concentration camps on their northern border.

The discussion will continue.

In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, stand in line at a facility in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP)

Friday, June 29, 2018

We Cancelled!

We had reservations at the Cluxewe Resort near Port McNeil, BC for next week. We had been looking forward to it and had plans to meet up with our friends Ken and Kris from Port Hardy. It was going to be a fun week relaxing on the water and a trip to their son in law's restaurant in Port Hardy.

However the weather has been looking worse and worse for next week and the final check this morning showed pretty constant rain with only a couple of days of no rain but cloud. It was also going to be on the cool side. Bottom line, we would be spending most of our time inside watching TV, if we could even hook up to the satellite from the well treed site.

So we bit the bullet and cancelled. We will lose our $32 deposit but that is just the way it goes. It was not going to be as much fun as we were hoping for. We will save the $200 in gas and the $150 we owed the park for the rest of the week. We will do it when the weather is better.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Here I was, lazing in bed this morning at about 7:45 when I heard Norma outside yelling,"Goddammit, get out of here!". Hoping she wasn't talking to me, I peeked out the window to see her disappear around the side of the house. "What is it?" asked I, having an inkling of what the answer would be. "Deer in the yard" was the answer.

I quickly got dressed and went out to help with the wrangling. She had chased the two of them into the southwest corner of the lot where they could do no damage but also where it was steep, muddy and very hard for me to get to. Nothing to eat there but bush and grass, no flowers. We opened the gate and made our plans. I threw rocks behind them to get them moving towards the far side of the house and Norma followed to keep them moving while I positioned myself to keep them from circling the house again, a game they delight in. It worked! They went out the gate and down the driveway.

It does not appear they have done any harm to Norma's precious flowers or freshly planted tomatoes. We don't think they had been in the yard long but we have no idea where they got in! I will have to try to get up the bank and inspect the fence line. It is not an easy task!


While I was back there checking out what I could see of the fence from the walkway, I heard an eagle squawk! It sounded close and when I looked up, there it was in the tree above me right behind the house! It was  a beautiful yearling, not yet with the white head feathers marking an adult. I went in to grab my camera and it was still there when I returned! Luckily I got a shot from the back because when I walked around the house to try from the front, she/he flew away.


We found the breech! It was in the rolling gate which is made up of a steel pipe frame with horizontal rows of tightly stretched stainless steel wire spaced one foot apart at the top and six inches apart at the bottom. The deer got his nose between two wires and just pushed his way through, stretching and displacing the wire. His brother/sister then followed. It must have hurt!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

"I Really Don't Care, Do U"

This is one of the children the government seized from her parents and now cannot or will not produce. This is not the Man Of The Year cover he wanted. Or maybe it is.

This is the jacket Melania chose to wear when she left to visit one of the border concentration camps for a photo op..

Or maybe it is the slogan itself

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Monday, June 18, 2018

My Mailbox Walk

Here is the walk to the mailbox and back.

Down the driveway

Across the crosswalk 
And down the path past the eagle carving

A bit of the beach. There are often eagles in those trees!

Hydration for dogs provided, I had my own water. 

The Husky station where Rae worked the winter she was here. 

The boat ramp and fish cleaning station. Honour system payment. 

Time for some water. It is around 80 degrees! 

The old Shell station where Brooks once worked (and was robbed).  Now a restaurant.

The Fogg Dukker Coffee Shop on the beach. Should I stop for an espresso? No, too hot. 

Finally, the mail box! 0.6 KM  No crosswalk from the walking path over to the mailboxes. Time for some political action!

I will walk back on this side of the road. Not too busy and this is marked as a bike lane. 

The Husky station again.$1.46 per litre. See how much I saved by walking? 

Liquor Store and vacation rentals. $300 per night, three nights minimum! Don't worry, we won't make you stay there! 

Back home! Up the driveway and it will be 1.2 KM!

Friday, June 15, 2018

It's Only A Kilometer... Right?

I am not the model of physical fitness. I am not proud to admit that and when the doctor asks me if I get exercise I answer somewhat evasively that we get lots of walking in in Mexico. Which we do, or at least did. We have not been there in three years and do not get the same exercise in the USA or at home. We are far enough from everything important that we tend to drive instead of walk.

We keep meaning to fix this. We talk about it all the time. We just don't actually do it. I have to go in for a cardio stress test in a month or so and I want to be able to walk at least a few steps without collapsing. OK, it's not THAT bad but still...

The community mailbox is located down the highway a bit and there is a beautiful taxpayer funded walkway all along the waterfront to it. Right across the highway from the mailbox is the Fogg Dukkers Coffee Shop on the beach. What a perfect reward for walking to the mail instead of driving! I drove past there and measured the distance. It is a half a kilometre each way. One kilometre in total. It's not going to kill me. EDIT: Google Maps is kind to me and says it is 0.6 KM each way. That makes it 1.2 KM total!

We walked down there yesterday and rewarded ourselves with an Americano espresso, sitting in some chairs beside a beach fire in a big tire rim that appears to be burning all the time. It was very nice.

Today Norma was busy doing whatever around the house so I walked down myself, cell phone handy in my pocket in case I decided I wanted a ride back. No problem, it was much faster and more effortless than yesterday. In fact I skipped the reward of an espresso.

I am on my way to fitness!

Image result for fogg dukkers coffee

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Windows 1803 Update

Called the "April Update", this update seems to be causing problems everywhere! My Acer desktop tried downloading and installing it at least three times and failed every time. My final solution was to reinstall Windows 10 and that seems to work although the computer failed to restart properly a few times after that.

My Lenovo netbook with the tiny 32 GB hard drive was next. It told me it had no room on the drive so I directed the download to the SD card that serves as storage. It attempted the process using this card but failed four times. I finally stuck an empty 16 GB memory stick in it and tried again last night. It downloaded but got stuck on the install process and just sat there for a couple of hours with the spinning wheel and a notice telling me it could take a while and to not turn off the power. Progress showed as 0%. Well, sit there it did! I checked it before I went to bed and it had progressed up to 2% so something was happening! When I got up this morning it had completed!

Now I have to try to update my old Toshiba laptop that started out as a Windows 7 or maybe 8.1 machine and has updated to Windows 10. But first, I need a coffee!

EDIT! The Toshiba updated with no problem and now seems even a little faster.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Robert Francis Kennedy. 1925 - 1968

I remember when it happened. He was killed late on a Wednesday night and I did not hear about it until the next morning as I was driving to work and had to pull over to absorb the news. It was a shock to me following so closely after the twin tragedies of President Kennedy's assignation and Martin Luther King's execution. I was not prepared for it, I thought the USA was on the road to recovery, that everything bad that could happen had already happened and then suddenly it was not OK any more, something else inconceivably bad had happened. And then only two years later the students were murdered by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University. Recovery would not come quickly.

Conspiracy theories fly and not without good reason. At least thirteen shots were recorded on tape, more than the eight bullets held by Sirhan Sirhan's gun and there are many photos showing Sirhan standing in front of Kennedy while the killing shot was to the back of Kennedy's head. "They" do not want us to know the truth of what actually happened so probably we never will, at least not in our lifetimes.

"Is everybody OK?"

Rfk assassination.jpg

"Kennedy's approach to national problems did not fit neatly into the idealogical categories of his time...His was a muscular liberalism, committed to an activist federal government but deeply suspicious of concentrated power and certain that fundamental change would best be achieved at the community level, insistent on responsibilities as well as rights, and convinced that the dynamism of capitalism could be the impetus for broadening national growth."
Edwin O. Guthman and C. Richard Allen, 1993

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Windows 10 Mini Crisis

My desktop computer started acting up recently. It wanted to update but refused to install the update when I restarted. I restarted it many times but nothing happened, it just kept asking for a restart. I Googled the problem and got a bunch of suggestions for an "easy" fix, none of which worked.

I dug a little deeper and decided to reinstall Windows 10 but leaving all my personal files and settings intact. If this does not work I will do a totally new install from scratch and then reload all my programs. I hate doing this so I have my fingers crossed.

So far, so good. I am using it right now and it updated and working fine! Hope for the best!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Seabreeze

Another reason to visit Campbell River!

I have been wanting to visit the Seabreeze Food Truck for weeks now but every time I suggested it Norma was too busy, too dirty. too tired or some combination of all three. This afternoon it was her who suggested it!

It is situated down on "The Spit" and has actually been there for a few years. They specialize in hamburgers and fish and chips. Norma had a burger and even though the halibut burger looked tempting, I went for my standby, halibut fish and chips.

Was it as good as Dick's? Well it was a bit different that Dicks where the fish is battered while this was coated in a crisp "breading". It was very good, at least as good as Dick's and maybe even better! The fact that the Seabreeze has outside seating which Dick's no longer has and that it has a sea view may just push it over the top! Norma's bacon (hold the cheese) burger was, according to her, very good. The woman told her she would not be able to eat all of it and she was right, She brought 3/5 of it home. I at all my fish (two large halibut slices) but brought home half my fries and the coleslaw.

A very good "linner"! $16 for the burger and $18 for the two piece fish and chips. We split a bottle of water.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Alberta Oil Shortage

Who says we need Alberta oil to keep RVing?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Linguine With Red Clam Sauce

One of my most memorable meals was Linguine with Red Clam Sauce. It was many, many years ago, decades actually and I have no memory of where it was. My memory includes a gangster era dark, wood paneled restaurant with small candle lit tables with red checkered tablecloth. The red wine flowed and the jazz singer crooned!

I thought we had found an ideal spot in Vegas last year. The Bootlegger is a Vegas favorite that was favorably reviewed by CNN's Anthony Bourdain.  It had the requisite sultry jazz singer but the restaurant turned out to be over-lit and the tables were outfitted with white tablecloths. The paneling on the walls was not the dark shade I wanted. The food and service was "pretty good" but not good enough to replace my old memories of that long ago great meal. The Vegas meal included a glass of wine each and a coffee and liqueur after. The bill was $128 Canadian!

Tonight I found a recipe for this Red Clam Sauce and discovered I had all the required ingredients on hand. The recipe feeds six and there was only me as Norma hates garlic and I refused to leave it out. There will be plenty of leftovers.

It turned out to be delicious. Not too garlicky, not too tomatoy, just about perfect. I even had french bread to go with it. The total cost was well under ten dollars, a much better deal. No sultry jazz singer but I guess we must make the occasional sacrifice!

Thanks Mastercard!

I received notification this morning that a charge of $175 had been made against my Mastercard. This is a backup card that has not been used in some time so I called mastercard. They asked if I had been using an online gambling site with my credit card. I told them no, I certainly had not! They said their computer had noticed the unusual transaction and had refused it. Good deal!

The amount never appeared on my account and they have now cancelled the card and will send a replacement. They are looking after me.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Lots Of Nothin'

We have been doing a lot of nothing or at least not very much, lately. The weather is so much better, short pants and t-shirt temperatures. Norma and her friend Kelly have been busy in the flower gardens and the new lawn cutting service has the horsetails on the back bank under control. Flowers are starting to peek up from the dirt.

I have been struggling with a bad back and was pretty much flat on my back for a couple of days but I am feeling much better now, maybe 80% back to normal. If it had not improved by today I was going to go to the chiropractor.

I have been fighting with one of our Garmin GPS units that was due for a map update. It informed me that the 4 GB micro SD card I had in it was too small and had to be formatted before the new maps could be loaded. I told it to go ahead and format it but it said it could not (?). I went down to London Drugs and bought a new card but the Garmin could not find the card (!) I then tried to format the original card using the computer but again, it refused, I guess the card is shot, the computer seems unable to determine the size of the 4 GB card. I eventually found an old 32 GB micro SD card I bought on eBay some time ago, formatted it in the computer and put it in the Garmin. The new maps downloaded and installed! Success! We now have two updated GPS units.

I am getting ready to Game 2 of the second round Winnipeg Jets hockey game tonight. They did really great against the new Las Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night so I am hoping they can persevere again tonight. Anyhow, that is my evening planned!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Expenses, Last Winter vs This Winter

Around this time of year I usually do a cost breakdown of our winter's travels. We did not travel this winter so I thought it might be valuable to explore the difference in costs staying home vs traveling.

It is a big difference.

First, one of our biggest costs last winter was my dental work in Mexico ($6,500) and I will take that out of the equation.

So the bottom line is, after taking out the dental expenses, we saved around $16.250 by staying home! The dates I used were November 1 to April 30.(6 months).

The big expenses we had last winter that we did not have this year were:

Medical insurance       $4,300
Motorhome Fuel          $2,000
Motorhome insurance  $700
Dining out                    $1.600 last year and only $220 this year
Groceries                      $4,700 last year and $3,400 this year
RV Park Fees               $3,500
Ferries                          $700
Hotels                           $300

RV, dolly, vehicle repairs  were $4,500 I excluded this in my calculations  It was an unusually expensive year in this category.

RV park fees were kept low because we got long term rates in Mesa, AZ.

There were lots of other minor expenses but these are the biggies. "Groceries" in the US includes booze. In Canada it is separate and I hardly buy any in Canada (still have left-overs from the US).

We have pretty much been hermits this winter and hardly went out for dinner at all.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Surprise Visit!

We had a couple of surprise visits from our niece Robin a few days ago! She lives in Alberta and was out here in BC to visit her uncle on her dad's side (me) and her aunt on her mother's side in Comox. It was great to see her as Robin and I have always had a close relationship.

We spent a few hours catching up on our lives and family and on Thursday night the whole group met down the beach at the Driftwood Cafe for dinner. It was a beautiful evening and a fun time was had!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Today Was The Day!
Cardioversion - done
A Fib - gone
Heartbeat - normal
The process started at 7:30 AM and took only a few minutes. I am home and feeling great. I can't drive for 24 hours as I am legally impaired but other than that, I am done! 

I had a really good nurse who stayed with me right through the procedure. He answered all my questions. Does this always work? He said stats say no but he personally has never been involved in one that failed. He said Doctor Dhansay is very good. The nurse stuck the electrodes on early as perfect contact is important. He wrote himself a reminder to remove them while I was still "out" as it hurts to remove them. He said I might have two burns (front and back) from the electrodes but there were none so the contact must have been good.

He told me if the first shock does not work they will probably give me one more at a higher voltage. Some doctors will keep going for several shocks but my doctor normally stops after two. They only had to give me one before my heart fell into "normal" rhythm. That was it. The nurse told me that when they shocked me I bounced on the bed and my heart fell into normal rhythm but I was not breathing which is not optimal. The anesthesiologist tipped my head back to open my airway and I quickly started breathing on my own. Everyone except me knew what they were doing! Thankfully!
 I had to lay there with the monitors attached for one hour and then for one more hour under observation. Another cardio technician gave me an ECG and then they let me go. The specialist wants to see me in about two weeks.
He gave me a coffee soon after I woke up and refilled it when I asked. In hindsight I thought that a little strange but maybe they wanted the stimulation.

Anyway, I feel great!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Changed Title of Blog

I changed the title of the Blog by removing the term "Mexico". It has been three years since we have been down there so it seemed appropriate to do this. It makes no difference to readers, the Internet address remains the same, only the title you see when you get here has changed.

Like Trump is so fond of saying, "We'll see how it goes".

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Made Norma's Day!

Made Norma's Day!
Norma was at the local Husky / Mohawk station yesterday paying at the till when another customer came in to pay. The gentleman, about her age (mid 70's), looked at her and asked, "Would you go out for dinner with me tonight?" She said, "No, but thank you SO much for asking!" The clerk told her he was a regular customer and had recently moved here from Newfoundland.
She is quite pleased with herself! "Well, I still must look pretty good"!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Making Plans

We are going a little stir crazy here. The weather has been cold and wet for months and we are hardly ever out of the house. Our friends Ken and Kris have booked space in the Cluxewe Resort and RV Park on north Vancouver Island near Port McNeil for later on in the summer and we have decided to join them. We called and booked a waterfront site for a week starting July 2.

During my work life I have spent a lot of time on north Vancouver Island and actually lived in Pt. McNeil's Dalewood Inn for several months back in the early 70's. It will be fun to go back to see it!