Friday, August 30, 2013

Inverter Install

My 1575 Watt Cobra inverter arrived by UPS this morning. I had everything I needed except the #4 power cable. I took the top off the dinette seat where it will be installed and measured the distance to the battery. I needed four, maybe five feet of positive and negative cable. I headed downtown to Lordco Auto Supplies where I knew they had the cable and I could get my "Retired Telus" discount.

On the way I passed Madman McKay's, a local electronics store that does custom car stereo systems. I know they use #4 cable for their big amplifiers so I thought I would stop and ask. I told him I needed five feet each of red and black or whatever. He said they had bulk cable and it was $3 per foot, or $30 total. He noticed my frown and said, "Let's see what's in the scrap bin". He went back into the shop and returned with a 16 foot length of blue #4 cable and asked if that would work. I said it sure would as I could mark the negative with black tape. I asked how much and he said, "$10 into the coffee fund, no receipt". He even gave me two ring tips for free. I was a happy guy!

I came home and drilled a couple of holes in the floor, crawled underneath and passed the 12 volt cables up to Norma who pulled the slack up for me. I connected them to the batteries and inverter and turned it on. The lights on the inverter came on so I used a temporary extension cord to plug the fridge, front TV and satellite in. The cooling fan came on for a few seconds and everything worked. It is not fused but I ordered a 200 amp circuit breaker from eBay that I will add when it gets here.

I left them running on the inverter for a couple of hours and all is well. Tomorrow I have to climb back underneath to run 115 volts to the front overhead where the fridge and front TV is as well as to the bedroom where the rear TV and satellite are. I also have to run the remote inverter switch wire to the bedroom and install it near the bed. I am looking forward to testing it this winter.

Life is Good!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

50 Years Ago Today

The Dreamer had a Dream. He dreamed that one day little black children could walk hand in hand with little white children into their school. He dreamed that people would be judged on the content of their character and not on the colour of their skin. The Dreamer had a Dream.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Born: January 15, 1929
Died: April 4, 1968
Fifty years ago Wednesday, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of the most memorable speeches in American history. 
The following is the full text of the speech, as transcribed on The Huffington Post.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Monday, August 26, 2013

New Inverter

I just ordered a new Cobra 1575 watt inverter with remote from Costco's website. It was $159. We run the "extra" fridge above the driver's seat when we travel and up till now we were running it off a 760 watt inverter fastened to the wall behind the passenger seat. Sometimes (most of the time) it was difficult to connect because of the voltage drop in the 12 volt cabling to the inverter. I paralleled two runs of #6 cable the ten feet or so to the batteries but the initial draw of the fridge would send the inverter into alarm mode when the fridge's compressor cut in on initial startup. I would have to turn the inverter on, give it a few seconds and then plug in the fridge. If it alarmed, I would start the truck and the generator to pump as much voltage as possible into the inverter. Sometimes this would not even work and we would have to wait until we were on the road for a few minutes and the batteries were at full charge before trying it again. Sometimes it took multiple tries and was a little frustrating.

This new inverter will be about three feet from the battery powered by #4 cable and the fridge will be powered by an AC extension cord run under the rig and up behind the fridge. This will minimize any voltage drop and should be the answer to our problems. I will leave the old inverter where it is and use it to power the front TV and satellite gear as well as the computer and miscellaneous chargers. I might be able to eventually eliminate both the old inverter and the 175 watt inverter in the bedroom (for the rear TV and satellite) but only after finding out how loud the new one runs. I will experiment with it this winter.

There are two possible locations for the new inverter. Under the dinette seat closest to the door and behind a wall vent under the fridge. Under the fridge is easier to access but is quite crowded. There is tons of room under the seat but the cushions and plywood have to be removed to get at it. I will have to think on it some more. It may come down to which location is easiest to run cables to.

Now I wait for delivery.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Norma's Pride and Joys

Some of the gems in her garden. After many hours of loving care.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

You Can't Name Your Baby THAT!

A judge in Nashville, TN has ordered that a baby's name be changed from Messiah to Martin, saying "There is only one Messiah". Her decision is being appealed because the judge is ultra-religious and has a statue of Jesus and Mary on her desk as well as the Ten Commandments hanging on her wall. And  the First Amendment thing.

Here are some other baby names that have been ordered changed by courts around the world.

New Zealand - Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii, Stallion, Fish And Chips, Keenan Got Lucky, Sex Fruit.
Denmark - Anus, Pluto, Monkey
Sweden -Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb111163. When this name was refused by the courts the parents tried "A" as a second choice, which was also refused.
China - @
Dominican Republic - Dear Pineapple, Dummy
Germany - Matti. The court ruled that the sex of the child must be apparent from the first name?? Good thing you're not German, Rae, Clair, Pat, Robin

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It Finally Happened!

It took 70 years but it finally happened.

Hu's On First!

And just in case you forgot:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Old Movies

Yesterday I downloaded and watched. "To Kill A Mockingbird", the 1961 adaptation of the 1960 book by Harper Lee. It chronicles the adventures of a small town lawyer (Gregory peck) and his two children when faced with defending a black man against a charge of rape in the racially prejudiced society of the day.

It is a simple story that brings out complicated prejudices and interactions between people and their lives in a small southern town, the story of a noble, principled man standing up for what is right. It is a story of loss of innocence.

I knew the history and the basic story line of the movie but had never actually seen it before yesterday. It is filmed in black and white which makes it all that more powerful. If you are like me, get hold of a copy and watch it, you will be glad you did.

I am off to find some other oldies, like "12 Angry Men".

Friday, August 16, 2013

Not Much Happening Here

Chris reminded me that I had not posted recently. There is a reason for that - there is not much going on.

Out youngest granddaughter Sierrah and her friend Rosie came up on Sunday. Our daughter in law LindaLee and her friend Katherine drove them up. LindaLee and Katherine stayed the night and Sierrah and Rosie stayed until yesterday when I drove them back to Victoria. It was a seven hour, no stop trip for me, a long drive.

Sierrah and Rosie are not hard to keep entertained. I took them to the video rental store and Norma took them downtown once, otherwise they amused themselves in the TV room and outside. What great, intelligent kids! Their moms are doing a great job.

We had unexpected but welcome company on Wednesday afternoon when Norm and Liz, friends from Terrace and Victoria dropped in. We go back a long way. Liz used to be married to Jim Fulton, Member of Parliament for the Terrace area who Norma worked for up there. Jim passed away some time ago. Norm is from Prince Rupert and was Jim's Executive Assistant in Ottawa. They now live in Victoria where Norm is a lawyer for the Province of BC while Liz is contemplating retirement, also from the Provincial Government. They were up here playing golf and had a hotel room just down the road. We gave them heck for staying in a hotel when we have an extra bedroom (and motorhome) when we stay at their place when we have to go to Victoria. Anyway, we had a nice visit and Norma found some slabs of salmon in the freezer. It is always nice catching up with old friends!

Other than that, we have just been taking it easy, nothing noteworthy. We bought a new facet set for the motorhome kitchen to replace the old one that leaks onto the counter-top. I slid underneath to see how easy it would be to replace it but it is very cramped under there! I might have to remove the sink or maybe even call in a plumber. The cabinet underneath is so small, I cannot get my arms above my face to work. Add the poor lighting situation and it creates a nightmare. I hate hiring people to do jobs that I normally find easy to do but this might be an exception.

The deer attacks on the flower gardens have been held at bay by the new fence. Three of them, mom and two tiny babies, came up the driveway a couple of days ago and nosed the fence. They are all looking a lot skinnier than they used to be so I hope Norma feels bad about that.

The weather has been pretty good, at least until the past few days when we have had rain showers. I am starting to plot a new route through part of Mexico. I will share it when I get a little more information. In the meantime, Life Is Good.

Norma....... Can we come in??

Rosie, Sierrah and Katherine Hula Hooping.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Funeral

We went to a funeral in nearby Courtney yesterday. Norma's cousin Charley died a few days ago. He was 90 and just a few short months ago had beaten both his sons in a round of golf (I'm not sure if it was 9 or 18 holes, but still...). He was in good health until suddenly he wasn't and passed very quickly. This is the way I want to go!

It was not a sad affair, more of a family, friends and neighbors get together. All those people you tell, "We have to get together more often", but somehow don't. There was no religion except for a short, half-hearted attempt by the funeral director that met with few bowed heads. We Canadians are not much for religion. Charley's son gave the eulogy, telling many stories of his dad's life - his service as a signalman in the Canadian navy during the second world war, his career as an engineer on the coastal tugboats, his love of their waterfront home and his close connection with his only grandchild. We all chuckled when his son reminded us of Charley's propensity to "Make a short story long".

Norma got me dressed up, at least as much as I ever get dressed up, in my white Mexican guayabera shirt and my only pair of black slacks. I fit right in with that crowd where the only ties were worn by the funeral staff.

There was coffee, juice and sandwiches served after but we sneaked out after talking to everyone and headed to George's, a favorite hamburger and fish and chips stand a few blocks away where we clogged up our arteries a little more.

We got home around five and were happy to discover the deer had not taken advantage of our absence and broken through the fence. Norma's flowers survived the six or so hours without her playing security guard.

Our granddaughter Sierrah is coming up on Sunday and is bringing a friend. LindaLee is driving them up and I will return them to Victoria when they get tired of us. How do you keep 14 year old girls entertained? Hopefully the deer fence will also serve to keep them in and any stray boys out.

Friday, August 2, 2013


When we bought the house in 1989 there were four tall evergreens in a row about six feet on our side of the northern property line. They were a bother to care for as well as taking up a lot of our property so after the condo was built next door and they put up their fence, we cut the trees down.. Three of the stumps rotted in the ground but one started growing ivy on it which eventually grew into a four foot by five foot ivy ball.

Today Norma had Beau, her lawn guy get rid of it. Beau used his chain saw to try to cut the stump and then all three of us pulled, pushed and yanked on it until it came out pulling the remains of the rotten stump with it and leaving Norma with a nice hole to plant her new hydrangea bush.

The ivy ball weighed over two hundred pounds and it was quite a struggle to drag it across the lawn and load it into Beau's truck. He says his mother has a huge lawn and he is going to transplant the ivy into a corner of her yard. It is pretty good ivy as far as ivy goes. It does not wander, it just grows onto itself and stays in one place. I had actually grown quite fond of it but Norma wanted the space it took up for other purposes.

That's my work for the day!
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