Friday, May 27, 2016

Big Rock Rescue

Take a Break For A Rescue!
The gutter guys were half way through their work when two people became stranded climbing the Big Rock on the beach. The guys took their big ladder down to the rock and rescued the young couple who rewarded them by bringing back a six pack of designer beer!

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Yesterday evening we actually went out for the first time since we got home three weeks ago. John Horgan, leader of the BC New Democratic Party and the next premier of the Province was here and the local NDP was holding a $100 per plate reception / fundraiser with him at the Campbell River Museum. It is a tax deductible political donation that we would have made anyway so we decided to go and catch up with some old friends. It was a small gathering of 60 or so activists and Norma and I got our share of time with John as he and Norma are old friends from her time working in Victoria.

The BC election is not until May 9, 2017 but the campaign has already started with the main parties, the Liberals and the NDP staking out their positions on important issues like energy and pipelines. We are hopeful / confident that we will prevail next May.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


What a difference an estimate makes! Our son called a friend who owes him a favor and between them they figured they could do the job for $1000. However, that included Brooks driving up with his friend and spending the night here as it would be an 8 - 10 hour job. Brooks would not charge us labor but he would be giving up two days work at his own company. A costly sacrifice for him. Plus, we would have to pay his expenses driving up plus feed them and supplying the beer.

We called the three local companies that do gutters and soffits for estimates. One came yesterday and gave us an estimate for the soffits only. That came in at $1950, more than I expected and I still needed gutters. I did not feel great about this guy either, he just seemed "wired" or something.

The second guy came today and gave a much more reasonable estimate of $1650 for everything, gutters and soffits. This guy was much easier to talk to and sounded like he knew what he was talking about. He explained why we did not need new soffits on the ends (peak) of the roof as they were installed against the trusses and offered no venting. Plus, it was the most labor intensive part of the job because of all the ladder work. In his opinion, it was unnecessary at this point in time.

The third guy (actually from Courtenay) was supposed to be here yesterday but did not show up or call.

We have decided to go with the $1650 guy and he will do it next week as it is a small (one day) job for his crew. We are happy with this and he says it will greatly increase the ventilation in the attic, maybe stopping some of the small ceiling stains that seem to form every winter.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Gutters and Soffits

We had 3" gutters installed on the house when we bought it in 1989. They replaced rotting wood gutters and worked reasonably well. They clog easily from the pine needles that are always finding our roof. One at the front was installed with an insufficient slope and was always clogged. Now, after the house has settled even more, this gutter actually slopes the wrong way, spilling water off the wrong end. We decided to replace them with new 5" soffits and new downspouts.

The soffits are probably as old as the last major reno of the house, several decades ago. They are 1/4 inch plywood and are rotting. You could push your finger through them in many places and they are not vented and tend to trap moisture. Time to spend some money! Brooks was up last night and said he would come up and do the prep work, removing the old soffits or cutting large holes in them between every truss to allow for air circulation. The new soffits will be aluminum with ventilation holes.

I have a local company coming to give us an estimate on Wednesday. I will get prices for both standard gutters and LeafGuard gutters. Thank goodness for the "Rainy Day" Fund.

We Lost Beau!

We lost our lawn guy! Beau showed up for work a couple of weeks ago and proudly announced that he had a "real" job, working in the kitchen of The Dolphins Resort. He said not to worry, that it was the 4:00 to Midnight shift and that he would still be able to do our yard work. Well last week he did not show up and called later to say he was just too tired and re-scheduled for later in the week. Again he cancelled and admitted that he just could not do both jobs. He was giving up his lawn business! Beau has been working with Norma for twelve years and he was almost like a son. We will really miss him and his energetic work attitude! The Dolphins Resort is lucky to be getting him and I hope they quickly move him up from his entry level job!

We have been trying to find a replacement and have a guy here today doing a trial run. He charges $35 per hour, a lot more than Beau but seems convinced he can do the whole job in an hour. If that is indeed the case he might work out but there is no doubt Beau will be missed!

Here he is helping Brooks with the deer fence.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Norma's Roses

They're Starting!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Washing Up

It is warm, low 20's, here in Campbell River. The sun is out and the smoke from the Alberta fires is blowing the other way towards Saskatchewan and Florida so I had no excuse - I had to wash the motorhome!

I started with the back and moved to the drivers side. Norma followed with her bug and tar remover and fine tuning everything. It took a couple of hours but I am done and Norma is on the final side. It looks pretty good and we can move it into it's summer resting place.

When it is parked I will investigate the leaky water pump. I had a good look yesterday and discovered that the body of the pump is leaking just a little. I had Norma turn on the pump and run some water while I watched. A few drops formed all around the body of the pump where the two halves join together. There are three screws holding it together and I will try to tighten them up before I take the drastic step of ordering a new pump. The best deal on ebay for a Shur-Flo 3.0 GPM 4008 for $58 US plus $10 shipping. The best price on is $100 CA plus $6 shipping plus taxes so I will go with eBay.

I probably should order one anyway as it is always good to have a spare.

While we were working the delivery truck pulled up with my new GPS so I will be setting that up tonight but that is something I enjoy.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Higher Tech

I have been looking for an excuse to buy a new GPS for some time and while browsing the Internet yesterday I found a factory reconditioned Garmin Nuvi 2597LMT at GPS City in Calgary. After taxes and shipping it came to $175 CAN, exactly the same as if I ordered it from the USA and paid the exchange on the money. I read up on the bells and whistles like voice command, real life directions and a really nice video lane control that shows you two different ways which lane you should be in my mind was made up. I had to have it. It will be here in a few days.

Now that I have a stable address for six months, I ordered some stuff from eBay. A coil of RG6 cable and compression ends to do some work on TV cable both in the house and the motorhome and a replacement head for my Philips Shaver that I dropped and broke the other night as well as a few other trinkets.

I still have to deal with the two Starchoice receivers that have been misbehaving. I guess I should deal with them next...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Woman Card

Trump's recent slur about Hillary "Playing the Woman Card" has turned around on him as the Clinton campaign turned it into a successful fund raiser. Initial polls today give Hillary a double digit lead (54 - 41) over Trump and I expect that gap to widen.

I am a Bernie guy. I have the shirt and everything. I am not writing Bernie off as I think the superdelegates will start moving over to him before the convention is over. If Bernie becomes the candidate he will beat Trump by even wider margins. In either case, the next President will be a Democrat. You can take that to the bank!

To be fair, I did search the Internet for Trumps card but could not find the Asshole Card anywhere. Because that is all he has going for him.

Monday, May 2, 2016


One of my jobs in unloading the motorhome was the booze cabinet. Norma wanted to do the food and clothes herself so that was just about all that was left.

I packed it all in and found I was correct in what I told Canada Customs, the supply consisted of partly full bottles. They were about to join the rest of the partly full bottles in the booze cabinet in the house when I discovered they would not fit. What the heck? I pulled everything out and there they were, all the partly filled bottles from previous years! Lots of them! Something had to be done!

I started with the rum as that seemed to compile the most quantity. There were several part bottles of white, gold, spiced, black and dark varieties. Nothing to do but to start combining which I did by ignoring brand names and just going by colour. I ended up with five bottles of rum, all full or close to it. My blended Scotch followed reduced to one and a half 40 ounce bottles plus the only single malt I have, the one Brooks gave me for my birthday.

The feature attraction ended up being my tequila collection! After combining five part bottles of identical product into three I taste tested several other dregs of similar Respado (aged) varieties before I combined them all into one bottle, creating my own blend which turned out to be very good. I am almost ashamed to admit it but even after all the combining, I still ended up with seven bottles of tequila, most full. This is a result of many years travelling around Mexico. I rarely drink tequila at home but I think I will have to start.

I then lined everything up in the liquor cabinet and carried ten or fifteen empty bottles out to the garbage. I think I have my liquor supply for the next few years!

I'm really not a lush!