Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Surgery Date Getting Closer!

Surgery Date Getting Closer!
I talked to my eye surgeon's office this morning and was told that the Comox Hospital is now allowing cataract surgeries to proceed. This is good news because I can tell my left eye vision is getting progressively worse. I have to wait for a phone call and then buy some eye drops which I take for a week or two. Then I go in for the surgery. I need a driver who is willing to wait for the hour or two before I am released and my friend Brian has volunteered for the duty.
I am required to wear a mask for the surgery and strangely enough they are not provided. I do not own a mask but Brian has a friend who makes them and is making inquiries for me.
Now to be patient and wait for the call.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Motorhome Work Day

Today was the day to get the motorhome de-winterized and ready for summer. I actually did part of it a couple of days ago by running the generator under load for an hour and a half. This has to be done once a month to ensure it works when you need it. It fired right up and ran the rooftop air conditioner.

Today I de-winterized the fresh water system. When I put it to bed for the winter last year I drained the tank, water heater and all the lines. Today I closed all the drain valves and filled the fresh water tank with fresh water with a cup or so of bleach added. I then turned on the pump and opened each of the hot and cold taps in turn until bleach smelling water came through. Then I turned on the water heater, gave it a few minutes and made sure hot water came out all the taps. It did. Everything works!

I then tried the furnace. I knew it would not work and it did not. It quit two or three years ago and I didn't do anything about it. These propane furnaces that come with RV's are wonders of inefficiency. They are loud, use way too much propane and worse, use way too much battery power to run the fan. I hardly ever use the furnace, it just is not worth all the noise, expense and bother. When I am parked and have electricity I use the electric heater and if I am boondocking I simply start up the truck and run the truck heater for a few minutes once in a while. I am a fair weather RVer anyway so it is hardly ever an issue.

I have had this furnace repaired a couple of times in the past, the last time it needed a new circuit board and a new high limit switch. Total cost? $650 (Canadian). Yes, ouch! And it maybe only got used between 10 and 20 hours since it was repaired last. I am not going down that rabbit hole again. I am going to buy a "Mr. Heater" freestanding propane heater and run it off either a 20 pound propane bottle or connect it to the RV propane system. These heaters are only $150 and run virtually silent, using no power at all. Many RVers have them. They are 100% efficient and produce little to no CO2 for which I have a sensor / alarm. They are switchable between 4000 and 9000 BTU and are perfectly safe. I may never use it but I will have it if I need it. The next owner can deal with the furnace it they want to beat themselves up.

Mr Heater 9000 BTU Buddy Portable Heater

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Well, So Much For That!

Well, so much for ambition! I woke up with a long "To Do" List,of 1) mow the lawn, 2) de-winterize the motorhome, 3) wash the bedding, 4) prepare to take my taxes in to be done. 5) phone in my prescription renewals.

When I got out of bed I looked out the window and it was RAINING! Well so much for the first two items! We went from such a beautiful day yesterday that I was able to eat all three meals out on my porch to RAIN!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Deer Gone

I went to check on the deer at around 7:30 and it was gone from it's resting spot. I walked around the house and there she was munching on the flowers. I walked towards her and off she went with NO LIMP!, I cornered her behind the motorhome, opened the gate and then got her moving towards the gate and out she went. I didn't actually see her leave but I cannot find her in the yard. I suspect she may have been bruised by a car or the fence and slept it off over the afternoon. She looks very healthy now.

I am now the laughing stock of the herd! "Listen up guys, this is good. So I put on this fake, exaggerated limp and the old fool served me salad and ice water and gave me a place to sleep!".

Deer In The Yard

There is a deer in my yard. A two year old and she has a very bad limp. She either injured herself getting over or through the fence, got swatted by a bear, clawed by a cougar (we have both) or (most likely) clipped by a car. She was eating grass and is now bedded down under a tree. I will leave her alone until tomorrow. There is lots to eat and the stream to drink from. I trust she will just rest and leave the flower buds alone. Maybe she will be gone by morning either back through the fence or through the gate that is open a foot or two. Norma would not approve.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Big Seven Five!

Well, I have been around for 75 years today! Sometimes it feels like it and sometimes it does not! Right now it doesn't. My friends Brian and Kelly came over at noon with a bunch of fish & chips and a small cake! It was really nice talking to something that was not a wall and we had a great time. It is 9:30 and I think I just may treat myself to a small bit of single malt. I deserve it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Today's Job Jar

1) Fix Fence
The deer have been getting in through the back corner of the fence for the past couple of weeks. It has not been a priority because there were no flowers to eat. A couple of days ago Kelly came for a visit and told me the deer were eating the bulbs.
The bank at the back is a 60 degree slope of wet grass and mud. Very hard to climb, specially with my bad knees and balance but... it had to be done. I could not see the damage from the yard so I had no idea of what I needed to repair it. I climbed up to discover the deer had been jumping up on the fence and weighing it down with their bellies over time. They had it down to 3 - 4 feet. I climbed down and got an eight foot steel post, a sledge hammer, some wire fencing twists and climbed back up.
It is impossible to hammer in an 8 foot post from the ground but you can usually plunge a foot or so into the soft soil by hand. except on this one piece of hard ground. My "plunge" only got it in an inch or two and I could not hammer a foot and a half above my head. The ground was slightly higher on the other side of the fence so I pushed it down even more and climbed over. I may have got it into the ground maybe a foot before my head started spinning. It was the best I could do! I got back on the right side, raised the wire fence as best I could and tied it off. It is a long way from perfect but it might hold until I can talk Brooks and LindaLee Matthews Randle into coming up for a working visit. In the meantime I am wiped out. I am too old for this shit!

Friday, April 10, 2020

The "S" Word

OMG! 68.5 outside! Dare we think the "S" word?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Shopping Night

I had my list but I was putting off going to the grocery store, No reason, I just had enough of everything for a few more days.

Then Brooks called to tell me that the Government cheques arrived today and every laid off worker had three or four thousand dollars in their pocket and would be grocery shopping! I checked Google Maps and saw that my local big grocery store (Save-On Foods) was only about 25% busy. It was not going to get any better than that so I headed down with only 50 minutes until the store closed.

Well, there were only about ten other customers in the store and they had everything I needed out on the shelves! They even had toilet paper and it was on sale! Many of the items I bought were on sale. There were signs saying the number of some items "may" be limited but the only thing that actually was limited were eggs (one dozen).  I was quickly through the till with everyone giving everyone else a lot of room. It was one of my largest grocery shops in the last year at $195 but I am stocked up on everything I will need for a while including cleaning supplies.

Cartoon Caucasian Man Grocery Shopping for Superbowl Sunday World ...

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Rainy Day Fund vs The DOW

I have a Rainy Day Fund. It is not huge but it is hopefully enough to weather any small storm that comes my way. It is composed mainly of the money I inherited from my parents and my long term cash savings from back when I worked for a living although I have dipped into it a few times for a motorhome purchase and the cost of some home repairs/improvements. This money is handled by a local investment adviser, Alitis Investment Counsel who have looked after my money since long before I retired. Norma called it, "The Black Hole" but it has proven to be anything but.

But right now if this Rainy Day Fund was a lifeboat, it has developed a small leak! I have been watching the DOW (the benchmark Trump wants to be rated by) in what appears to be it's death throes but have waited until the end of March to see how I was doing.

Well I (at least Alitis) has outperformed the DOW in a rather spectacular manner. The DOW is down 23% since January 1 while I am down only 7.3% over the same time period. Not optimal, I would have been better off to keep my money under the mattress but I have done far better than many investors. Thank you Alitis, your policy of diversification is working! I am a happy customer!

Vector cartoon of man trying to row leaky boat in ocean