Monday, September 28, 2015

Blood Moon Eclipse

Bad Moon On The Rise

I almost forgot about the celestial phenomenon Sunday night and was watching TV, recovering from John Hogan's retirement party when John's son Tim knocked on the door to ask if he could park here as the parking along the sea-walk was all taken up by viewers. I grabbed my camera and monopod because it was easier to get than my heavy tripod and headed down to the beach. I realized too late that I should have taken the tripod but by then it was too late. I did manage to get some shots of the Blood Moon rising. It was already in eclipse by the time it rose above the heavy haze over the Sunshine Coast

First Glimpse above the haze:

Blood Moon:

Eclipse Ending:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Gate Mod

I made a modification to the sliding gate that the deer infiltrated the other day. I added some wire fencing to the top to make it about 5+ feet high from the inside and 7 feet from the outside (it sits on top of a short retaining wall). Not that high but they can't get a run at it so it should be good. The neighbor normally parks a car on the other side as well. No more deer through there! The old telephone guys will notice the aluminum bracket that allows the gate to slide is part of an equipment bay guard rail.

This guy was not too happy that I interrupted his lunch!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Well, it had to happen. There is a hidden sliding gate between us and the front of the next door rental house that is only used when they fill their oil tank. They have  a wood burning heater they use most of the time so the oil hardly ever gets filled and the way the motorhome is parked you have to walk most of the way around it to check the gate. Something I never do.

Yesterday morning Norma got out of bed and let out a yell as she went running for the front door. I looked out to see a mom deer and one of her fawns munching on the flower garden. It takes two of us to corral them out the gate, if there is only one they just keep walking around the house in a frustrating game of merry-go-round. One of us has to go one way and the other the other way forcing them out the gate.

As soon as we got them moving they headed straight for the motorhome and out the little gate in front of it. Sure enough, the gate was wide open! I guess the neighbors had oil delivered and the delivery guys neglected to shut the gate behind themselves.

No real harm done, the flowers have pretty much had their day for this year. We had actually discussed leaving the gate open for a week before we left to let the deer do some trimming but that is over a month away. Anyway, after surveying the damage they did chewing one of the tastier plants right down to the roots Norma decided that plan is off the table now.

Mexico is calling me!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sunny Day!

Finally! No clouds in the sky and a forecast for a couple of good days. Time to get things done

I collected all the bird feeders and took them into the workshop to be filled. Well, here is the first problem, a rat has been visiting and the big bag of bird seed has a hole chewed into the side and there is seed all over the floor. I scooped up most of it and used it to fill the feeders and sealed up the rest in old coffee cans. That should keep the bugger out. I then found the rat traps, loaded them with nice fresh peanut butter and put two in the workshop, one in Norma's garden shed and one in the new garden shed out back. I also found some rat poison we bought in the US last year, cut a couple of pieces off and put them on the floor of the workshop. Overkill? Sure, but I want to get them!

The neighbor in the rental next door has two big cats which normally control the rat population but also keep the birds away from the feeder. Brooks and LindaLee were up last week with Juneau, their Husky who left enough scent around that the cats are staying clear. This has brought the birds back to the feeders but also opened up the territory for the rats. You can't win!

Next on my to-do list was to replace the bulbs in the motion sensor driveway lights. That was a quick job and now I am almost done with my list. The only thing remaining is to take down the torn and tattered flag on the peak of the house. To do this I have to get the extension ladder out from behind Norma's shed but she had Beau, her lawn guy. clean up the yard and pile everything in front of the ladder. It will take an hour to organize that pile. That sounds like a tomorrow job.

I also have to start negotiating a departure date with Norma so I can make a dental appointment in Algodones, Mexico where I have to spend a few days getting implants. I also have to visit my financial guy here to free up some money to pay for the implants. They charge US dollars so it is going to cost more than I planned on, maybe as much as $11,000 CAN but I hope not much more than that.

Then I have to buy car insurance for Mexico (US dollars) and Travel Health Insurance (CAN dollars) for six months. The peso value against the Canadian dollar has risen a little so the cost of living in Mexico is not as good a deal as it was last time we were there but we will manage. The price of gas in Mexico is in flux right now. For the first time ever it is different in price in different parts of the country. Border regions and the Baja are cheaper than the interior with these areas selling cheaper to compete with US prices. Mexico Mike reports regular gas selling for 13.57 pesos or $1,09 CAN per liter. That is compatible to what we are paying in Canada right now. Converted to US gallons and US dollars that comes to $3.35 US per gallon. Mexico used to have the cheapest gas in North America but no more.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Time Out

We have been taking it easy! Things are winding down around here as we start thinking about getting ready for the winter. Norma's garden is starting to put itself to sleep as the nights get cooler and the days shorter. She fought it for a while but has now resigned herself to focusing on a few flowers and her tomato plants which are producing tomatoes far faster than we can eat them.

We got a call last night from our old NDP organizer friend, Gerry Scott who said he was coming up here to deal with the local election campaign. He asked if we could put him up for a few days to save the Party some hotel money and of course we can. We have known Gerry since the late 70's and have a lot of catching up to do. Gerry was the organizer responsible for the NDP victory in Alberta. He thinks he will be here tomorrow but as always in politics, things can change at the last minute!