Friday, September 28, 2018

"New" Laptop

You may recall my five year old Toshiba laptop took a tumble off the overhead bunk in the motorhome a few weeks ago. Well, it finally ground to a halt and would no longer start up. I considered taking it in for repairs but I have done that before and it has always been more expensive than I expected and something else has usually gone bad soon after.

Sooo... I was browsing the web this morning and found a reconditioned Dell laptop with Windows 10 at for only $169 with free shipping and thought I would give it a try. I am not a "gamer" and only use it for surfing, email and finances so blazing speed is not a requirement. I still have my little Lenovo for the bedroom but I wanted something larger for my recliner downstairs and for use as a main computer in the motorhome. This should do it!

Image result for e5430 dell

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Moon Rise Down Our Driveway

I have to keep reminding myself what a beautiful area we live in.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Eye Doc

Today was my day to drive down to Courtenay (about 40 miles) to my eye guy, I go twice a year and I have noticed my vision getting worse, specially in the left eye. I have also been "conscious" of my left eye. No discomfort. just a feeling of heaviness, stickiness and grittiness at times. Two technicians tested, inspected and photographed both eyes before sending me for a Fields Test. I hate this test where you watch for flashing lights and press a button every time you see one. I actually felt I did pretty good this time compared to last time when I saw virtually none with my left eye, I thought I might be going blind.

Anyway, after visiting with these three women I was sent in to see the actual doctor. An interesting guy, a mountain climber with a photo of himself summiting one of the big ones. K2 I think, a serious mountain that is a bit shorter than Everest but they say is a harder climb.  He is generally not a great communicator, using more grunts, "humms" and nods than words but I was concerned enough to nail him down this time. I asked what was going on with my left eye and he stared at it through his microscope for a while and told me it might be an allergic reaction to the Combigan eye drops he put me on a year or so back. As he was writing a prescription for a substitute I mentioned that someone in his Campbell River office where I go for my glasses told me I was showing early signs of Macular Degeneration but he said he did not see it. I asked if I had cataracts and he said, "Yes but not bad enough to think of operating yet". Why don't they just tell you this stuff up front instead of waiting for you to ask?

So back to the pharmacy in Campbell River to fill the prescription, a happy surprise as it only cost me $29 (after my insurance) for three months supply, about $20 cheaper than the drug it replaced.

Oh yes, on the drive home a farm in Black Creek had a "Fresh Eggs" sign out. I pulled in and their stand was on the honor system. The eggs were $6 a dozen and I only had a five and some twenties. I put in the five and promised myself I would stop in again with a dollar. I could have bought three dozen and paid $20 but then they would have owed me $2. I would have tried to get change from the cash box but it was locked. So much for the honor system!

So by the end of all this excitement it was time to watch the Blue Jays lose their game.

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:


 I went out, turned on the front TV and receiver and the load was 40 watts. Added the rear TV and receiver and the load increased to 70 watts. I took a deep breath and plugged the fridge in. It clicked on and the load went up to 170 watts and held there. I did not notice any initial surge as the fridge started so it must have happened pretty quickly.

My one complaint is the noise. The unit has two fans and they seem to run all the time there is a load. The old unit had fans but they hardly ever turned on. If I did hear them I knew there was a high load. This one is noisy to the point of bothersome. I might try to find some sound deadening board and enclose the inside of the compartment with it. There are two vents in the walls for air circulation that I cannot block off. One is visible in the photo of the remote switch.

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 an RV trip. 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!