Sunday, December 27, 2020

Salmon Dinner!

Well, I tackled Norma's Baked Sockeye creation and must admit it came out very close to hers. I bought a large Sockeye fillet at Crabby Bob's down on the dock and cut it in half. Rather than make the stuffing from scratch like Norma always prided herself in doing, I took a friend's advice and bought the Butterball Frozen stuffing to which I added a finely chopped onion, a chopped celery stalk, some vegetable stock and a quarter pound of butter.

I cooked it in the convection oven in the motorhome but it took about twice as long as I expected, probably because It was wrapped in two layers of aluminum foil and it had been in the fridge. Anyway, aside from having to reheat the vegetables in the microwave, everything was perfect!

My fellow widower friend Brian came over to share the meal and brought a bottle of the Signature wine from Dr. Bonnie Henry's Keromeos BC Winery which tied everything nicely together. A perfect dinner that Norma would have (perhaps begrudgingly) congratulated me on!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

I Have A Craving

 I Have A Craving!

For Norma's stuffed Sockeye Salmon. Only one problem. Well, two. The second of which is I have never made one. My job was to go and buy the ingredients and then to eat most of it. Unfortunately I didn't pay close enough attention while she made the stuffing and like virtually everything she made, there is no recipe.
So I Googled recipes for vegan stuffing and found a couple of versions that look like they will taste good. I will head down to Crabby Bob's on the docks tomorrow and try to buy either a small whole sockeye or maybe even better, a couple of fillets that have been boned.. I will put stuffing between the fillets, wrap them tight in aluminum foil and bake them. I may even use the "half time convection oven" in the motorhome as the baked salmon we did in New Orleans turned out perfect and I recorded the time and temperature on the blog. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 14, 2020

New Washer and Dryer

Well, not entirely accurate as I don't have a new washer and dryer yet but I will have soon. When we sold our house in Terrace in 1989 we left our 15 year old washer and dryer there and bought new ones here in Campbell River. The laundry room here is short of wall space. One wall is the doors to the furnace room and the third bathroom. Another wall is all window and linen cupboard. The third wall is sink and freezer, leaving the shortest wall for the washer and dryer. Norma decided she wanted a stacked unit to save room so that is what we got, a stacked unit. It was a Kenmore brand from Sears and it lasted 31 years so it owed us nothing.

This morning I decided the washer was full enough of my clothes to do a wash so I put in some soap and started it. Soon I heard a loud "Squealing" and I went to investigate. I opened the door and saw the agitator was not working and then I heard water pouring onto the floor at the back. The washer was done for! The dryer had been making strange noises for a couple of years although it still did it's job but it was not long for this world. And Kelly (in her capacity as part time housekeeper) has been after me for two or three years to replace it. 

My demands are very small, one load every week or two plus bedding whenever I remember to do it. I don't need a heavy duty unit. So down I went to Home Depot to see what they had. They are pushing Samsung which I did not want, too many bad reviews so I looked at the GE's and a Maytag. They are all "on sale" but the Maytag has a manufactures $100 discount as well. All in all it will only cost me a couple of hundred more than the more expensive of the GE's and I think it is a better unit. I will run it past Kelly tomorrow as she uses it more than me and see what she thinks but I imagine they are going to get my $18 or $19 hundred bucks after taxes, delivery, hookup and removal of the old one, 

Laundry 15¢ Handmade Washboard – Columbus Washboard Co.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Early Beale Street, Memphis Tennessee


Back in the late 30s and early 40s Memphis' Beale Street was one of the centres for Blues in the United States. If you were a blues Man without a regular gig and were broke you could go to the back door of the Elks Club and talk to Rufus Thomas "Walking The Dog" who was also stage manager at the Elks. If he knew you and you were good he would let you go on, play a few songs and he would pay you $1.

You then went to the Minute Cafe to buy a large bowl of chili for $0.15, a large roll for a nickel and a "bottomless" coffee or lemonade for another nickel and this meal would last you all day. So as BB King said in a documentary I just watched you could get by for 4 or 5 days on that dollar! You had to get the odd regular gig to pay the rent but that dollar from Rufus Thomas saved the careers of many struggling Blues Men including BB King's.
Norma and I spent an afternoon and evening on Beale Street a few years ago wondering from venue to venue and listening to a lot of really good blues music. She asked someone on the street where she could get a good hamburger and he referred her to a building down the street which turned out to be the oldest standing house of ill repute in Tennessee. 
The main floor was the old bar which still had the old mahogany bar that went the entire length of the building. We were the only ones in there at the time so she ordered a burger which in fact turned out to be one of the best greasy burgers she has ever had. They only sold burgers but he made this non meat eater a grilled cheese sandwich. 
The current owner came down the stairs and we all chatted for a while and then he offered to take us upstairs for a tour. The working part of the establishment was a long hall with maybe eight tiny bedrooms. At the end of the hall was another small bar where the gentlemen would sit and wait until a bedroom became available. That building actually appeared in a movie back in the 90s the name of which I can't remember.
And that is the rest of the story.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Decisions, Decisions!

 Which one should Santa bring me? The Rolex Daytona at the top sells for $40,000 USA (and up) while the Pagani "Daytona Homage" below sells for $65 USA on Aliexpress' Black Friday Sale. It is made in China with a Japanese Seiko Quartz movement, Santa has decided but he is keeping us in suspense!

 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona White Dial Stainless Steel Oyster Men's Watch 116500WSO - 546x546

Img56728 0

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

My New Highway

 Things are progressing out front of my house. They paved the highway a week ago and have almost finished the sidewalk on my side.

The new seawall is complete and back-filled with rock and they will soon pour the sidewalk on that side of the street.

They have installed rock stairs down to the beach just a hundred feet or so to the south so we keep our beach access.

Still to be done is the burying of the power, telephone and cable and the removal of the poles. That will not be completed until later next year. Things are getting quieter around here. They will re-pave my driveway after the utilities are buried. That will be at no cost to me as they had to tear it up to bury the storm drain and utilities.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Thursday, November 5, 2020

My Continuing Eye Drama

And on it goes. I went to see my new glaucoma specialist who is now my primary doctor after the last one finally told me what my main problem is. My appointment was on Tuesday morning so I corralled my driver and  we headed to Comox. The doctor was not there but a locum was taking her patients. She examined both eyes and gave me a brief description of what she saw but was short on details.

I told her that I had a technical, scientific background and was not uncomfortable with technical language, At that point she sat back and said, "Then lets talk"! What a breath of fresh air! She explained what my specific problem is and what the prognosis is. It is a physical problem with the opening in the eye that leads to the optic nerve. It is not "curable" in that any damage already done will remain, their hope is that they can discover the treatment necessary to stop any further damage. These treatments may include more or different drugs or further surgery. That determination has not been made yet. She told me the right eye did not require cataract surgery for the foreseeable future.

She said my problem with "high contrast" vision and bight colours in my left eye was due to the fact that the cataract had cut down on the amount of light or "data" reaching the optic nerve. When the cataract was removed it was like raising the shade and my optic nerve was overwhelmed with data which it could not handle. My brain has to re-learn how to handle this influx of data and will begin to return to normal. 

She tested my eyes with the eye chart and we talked about my glasses. I have not had new ones for several years and she said I needed new ones as the prescription for the left eye was way off because of the cataract surgery. That is why I can read better if I close my left eye.

I told her on the concern I have about renewing my driver's license and she assured me that was not a problem. She said,"I know you think your vision is really bad but from my perspective, it is nowhere near bad enough to prevent your driving". Well, I have to say that is a big relief! She made me an appointment in March so I am good till then.

My next stop was to get new glasses, My prescription was way off due to the surgery and the years that had passed since I got the glasses. She did all her procedures and then showed me the difference between my old glasses and what it will be with my new glasses. Wow! What a difference, like night and day! I knew I had waited too long but did not want to spend money on glasses when I was awaiting cataract surgery, a process that too a long time.

Anyway, that is my story. I feel a lot more confident about my eyesight now than I have for many months. My new glasses will be ready in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

Free Eye Glasses Cliparts, Download Free Clip Art, Free Clip Art on Clipart  Library

Sunday, November 1, 2020

A Step Too Far!

This is going way too far!
My RVing friends, an American couple living in a very "Red" State had someone fire a shotgun twice at their anti-Trump lawn sign! It happened late at night on their quiet country road, no one was injured and the house does not appear to have been hit.
Here is the local TV News story on the incident:
 Nebraska: Life as a Democrat in the 'reddest' corner of America

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Polls Seem Clear

 I am liking the US political polls as Election Day nears. The boorish president of my neighbouring country is about to be shown the door.

You can make polls say whatever you want them to say and that was the case in 2016 but word on the street is that polling methodology has changed to compensate for all the mistakes that were made last time and the end results will be much closer to the polls this time. I sincerely hope so, I am so done with my self confessed pussy grabbing neighbour!

This is what the polls show:

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight:

Biden's chance of winning the Presidency: 90% (348 Electoral Votes)

Democrat's chance of winning the Senate: 78%

Democrat's chance of retaining the House: 98%

Canada's 338Canada which so accurately predicted our recent British Columbia's Provincial Election has this to say about the US campaign:

Biden's chance of winning the Presidency: 87.4% (349 Electoral Votes) 

But I also know that the only poll that counts is the one on November 3. The encouraging results shown above will only happen if YOU vote. Hopefully you voted early but if not, if you are going to vote on the 3rd then make a plan! Huge efforts will be made to keep you from voting as Trump only has a chance if he can intimidate you and keep you from voting. We will see Voter Suppression like we have never seen it! They did it in 2016 and have been working to perfect it. Do not allow them to succeed!

Plan on spending all day if need be. Go early so the door won't be slammed in your face. Take your mask, water, a sandwich, a chair and a friend! Stand in line, keep your six foot distancing and wait it out. Be prepared for rain, snow or wind. Just don't let your voice be silenced.

I for one will be up late watching the results come in!




Thursday, October 29, 2020

Finally - The Word On My Eyes!

I had an appointment yesterday with the doctor who did the cataract surgery on my left eye. I talked to his office and told them I wanted a sit down meeting and I wanted three things out of it: 1) What is wrong with my eye(s)?, 2) What has to be done to fix it?, and 3) Why hasn't it been done yet?

Yesterday I showed up wearing my mask and was asked at the desk if I had any objection for a training doctor to sit in. No, I did not mind, in fact I welcomed it as I thought it might encourage my normally silent doctor to speak up. They had me read (or try to read) the eye chart with my left eye and then gave me the dilating drops in both eyes to let the doctor examine me with his microscope.

I went into his office and was introduced to the training doctor, a young woman and the exam began.  He finally stepped back from the equipment and asked the training doctor to have a look. He then started to talk to HER about my problems. I interrupted with a couple of semi-intelligent sounding questions and that seemed to break the ice. Making it sound more like an instruction lesson to her he described my problem.

1) Common wisdom in eye surgery is in the case of a patient with glaucoma, if cataracts exist they should be removed to diminish the possibility of future complications. This is what he had done with my left eye but the right eye was nowhere near bad enough to need surgery yet.

2) He had referred me to a glaucoma specialist (She had already done laser surgery to both eyes and I have a follow-up meeting with her on Monday).  He said that in 25 - 50 years researchers are going to look back at how glaucoma is being treated today and call doctors a bunch of cavemen.

So I asked the obvious question: "So am I to understand that my main problem is glaucoma and not cataracts?" He looked at me like I was some kind of an idiot and said, "Yes, that is correct and that is why I have referred you to a glaucoma specialist". I told him this is what I was beginning to suspect but that he had never told me. "Well", he said, "You know now and I am passing you off to the glaucoma specialist. You will not be seeing me again unless the specialist wants me involved". That was it, he is done with me and happily, I am also done with him. I suspect he is a good doctor, he just suffers from a severe lack of communicating skills. I think it was only because the training doctor was there that I found out what I did.

I asked him what I can expect from the new specialist and he said she will examine my eyes to see how effective the surgery she already did is working. She used her laser to open up the "drain holes" in both eyes to reduce the pressure that was present in both eyes. He said if it hadn't reduced the pressure she had the option of inserting a valve in the back of my eye(s) to keep the pressure at the "perfect" 10mm HG (milometers of mercury). My eyes tested at 15 mm HG which Google tells me is still normal. This pressure in my eyes has always been in the acceptable range which is why it took time to discover my glaucoma.

So that is all I know for now. I will learn more from the specialist on Monday. And oh yes, he suggested I get new glasses made. I knew I needed them I was just delaying it until my eyes were somewhat stabilized. I will ask the specialist what she thinks and then get that process started.

EDIT: I told him of my concerns over my drivers license and he told me not to worry, I am well within the limits for driving.

Does Eye Color Affect Vision? | Eye Doctor Latham NY | Clifton Park

Monday, October 26, 2020

Back To The US Election!

 Well, my local British Columbia Provincial Election is over, the Good Guys won so now we divert our attention back to the elephant in the room, the US Election! Recent polls are holding surprisingly steady and are showing the following projections:

Biden's chance of winning the Presidency is 86%

The Democrats chance of winning The Senate is 73%
The Democrats chance of retaining The House is 96%

This is called the Perfect Trifecta and is the goal but it will not happen if you do not vote! Vote early if possible but if you have to vote on November 3 then plan your day, plan your transportation and plan on spending a long time there, maybe all day. Take a friend, water, a sandwich and maybe a camp chair. Efforts are going to be made to keep you from voting. Polling places may be moved at the last second, roads and transportation may be disrupted, there may be goons put in place to attempt to intimidate you. Don't let them stop you! You have the hard won Right to Vote so don't give it up! Don't let the bastards win!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

And The Good News

Yesterday was Election Day in British Columbia! The previous Government was tied with 41 New Democrats and 41 "Liberals" (a right wing coalition of Liberals and Conservatives). There were also three Greens who agreed to vote with the New Democrats for consideration of some of their issues. It was an uneasy alliance where the New Democrats lived in fear of one or two of their members getting sick or injured and unable to attend the votes. This uneasy situation came to a head when the Greens refused to back the NDP on a major Labour issue which would have made it easier for workers to form a Union. My friend and Premier John Horgan called an election about six months before he had to in order to get the majority he needed to govern.

John Horgan was extremely popular and polls showed right from the start that the NDP was going to do well and they did. The results last night showed the polls were correct. The evening ended with NDP - 55. Liberal - 29 and Green - 3. It is a comfortable NDP Majority. These results are not final as the 500,000 mail-in ballots will not be counted for two weeks. These mail-in ballots are expected to break in favour of the NDP so our numbers may actually increase.

It was a happy evening for me, one which would have been so much better to have been shared with Norma who had such a great insight into each and every riding. She would have been a very happy woman!

First The Bad News

Stupid, stupid, stupid! I normally run the motorhome generator under load for 90 minutes every month. Most times I add the truck engine to this exercise period every couple of months but only for a half hour or so. I am pretty sure I missed September and was late for October so Yesterday was the day.

The generator took a while to start but ran good. I plugged in my 1500 watt space heater as a load. I started the truck with no problem as it is on a built-in trickle charger. This was at 2 PM so I would shut everything off at 3:30 PM.

Well, I got watching BC Election coverage and I FORGOT! I woke up at 8 AM and suddenly remembered! I rushed out and sure enough, everything was running. 18 hours of unnecessary wear, tear and added hours on the generator plus a little more than half a tank of gas! 

I don't think any serious damage was done except to my wallew but next time I will have to write myself some bid notes and leave them in strategic spots around the house, the last one being on my pillow!

Now I have to borrow a five gallon gas can and refill the tank. That is going to cost me a bit!   

Thursday, October 22, 2020

My Day So Far...


Today was my semi-annual doctor's appointment. It was at 9:40 am and promptly at 8:00 am one of the highway workers knocked on the door and said if I wanted out in the next few hours, I would have to get my car out right now as they were going to be pouring curbs and dividers. I drove down and parked in a spot they made for me a couple of hundred feet down the road and walked back to have breakfast. 
My appointment was uneventful. My recent lab results were right where we want them so he renewed my prescriptions for six months and offered me a flu shot. I told him I had never had one but if he thought I should, I was willing. He gave me the shot and then made a second attempt to freeze off a non-cancerous but troublesome mole on my side. I wanted it cut out but he preferred the freezing process. Sure, we will try it again.
When I got home they were still working on my curb so I parked where I was before and walked home. I will have to move the car later as it is quite close to the traveled portion of the road and there will be no flagger to keep their eye on it. Have I mentioned that I am tired of all this construction? It has been every day since May of 2019.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Helmut Giesbrecht 1943 - 2020

 I just heard tonight that our old friend and political ally Helmut Giesbrecht, former high school math teacher, Terrace, BC Mayor and Skeena, BC NDP MLA passed away on Friday after a long illness. He was one of the good guys and will be missed!

Here is a typical Helmut story! When Helmut was running for mayor of Terrace, BC I wandered into his campaign / Teachers Union office and asked if there was anything I could do. Knowing I was Jim Fulton's (the NDP Member of Parliament) campaign finance guy he quickly handed me a list of about 100 names and phone numbers (most of them teachers), gave me an office and told me to get busy on the phone and get $100 from each of them! I came close!

Helmut was one of the beneficiaries of Norma's "Skeena Machine"! When Norma wanted someone elected, they got elected!  

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Catching Up

Friday Night! Doing nothing, watching "How The Universe Works" explain dark matter and black holes. I should have been an astronomer. I got a robocall from some company wanting to do a political survey but I couldn't be bothered and hung up.

I am tired. I whipper snipped and mowed both lawns and chased a deer around the yard for a while. I should just let the deer in as there are no flowers left for them to dine on. Norma always said they rip the bulbs out of the ground if there are no flowers so I guess I still worry about that.

My periodic houseguest Kelly is around for a few days but is staying at a relatives house for a couple of nights. She has an appointment of some kind on Wednesday so we should plan on dinner out at some point. She provides me with the opportunity to get out of the house once in a while and I really appreciate that. She has been a really good friend! She wants to spend a few hours cleaning out Norma's flower beds. We keep talking about cleaning them out permanently and allowing the lawn to spread out to the fences all around the yard. It would sure be a lot less work. I don't mind doing the lawns but I just have no idea what I am doing around Norma's flower beds. Thank goodness Kelly spent all that time working with her and learned enough to look after them.

It is Brooks' 50th birthday today! I can't believe I have a 50 year old son. He was planning to celebrate it with a scuba diving trip to Egypt but COVID put an end to that. So they are tearing up the living room carpet and laying laminate floor instead. I have to get down there for a visit soon but seem to have a badly timed doctor's appointment (nothing serious) keeping me around.

If this damn COVID thing ever ends I will fly down to Mexico and visit my friends Chris and Juan. I have been putting that off for a long time.

Well, back to my "How The Universe Works" marathon. Now they are explaining how stars are dying at a much faster rate than they are being born and that eventually it will be lights out. Nothing for us to worry about though, it won't be for a few billion years.

NOTE: My Facebook friends were quick to point out that I got the day of the week wrong. It was my pill dispenser that told me it was Friday so I am either a day ahead or six days behind! LOL! Nothing in there that will kill me. Right away at least!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Latest Eye Surgery

I had the left eye surgery yesterday morning to clean off the film that had grown over the new lens. The two minute laser surgery went smoothly. Results as far as my eyesight? Maybe "marginally better". I still have the high contrast vision and cannot see anywhere near clearly.
I will talk to them tomorrow and tell them I want a lengthy, clear explanation of what is or went wrong and tell them I want a second opinion on both eyes, even if I have to travel to get it. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

And On It Goes!

 When you get bored hearing about my eyes, let me know!

As you know, I had cataract surgery on my left eye but had vision complications following it because a film had grown over the new lens. The process to repair this is called a Nd:YAG laser posterior capsulotomy'
In the meantime I was referred to a glaucoma surgeon who did glaucoma surgery on both eyes about two weeks ago. She wants me back for a post-op exam on November 2. My cataract surgeon called today to say they had a cancellation on this coming Thursday and did I want to take it. I called the glaucoma doctor to get her OK (because of the post-op that still had to be done and she said I was good to go, the new laser surgery would not interfere with her at all. So at 9:00 AM on Thursday I get zapped again in my left eye!
Hopefully this will be the end of the dealings with my left eye and they can then do the cataract surgery on my right eye. My rush is that my drivers license expires in April of 2021 and I don't want to go in there with any vision problems!
My friend Brian is going to drive me down to Comox Hospital early Thursday morning. I am going to owe him a meal and a tank of gas!

Monday, September 21, 2020

A Cheque In The Mail!

A good day! I received an Income Tax refund cheque for Norma in the amount of $670! Bonus! I didn't think she had paid any taxes in 2019 so I didn't see how my notary figured she would get a refund but after a complicated process of pro-rated income splitting with me, she did! I ran down and deposited it before they could change their mind! My notary earned his pay! He did not finagle a refund for me but he did substantially reduce the amount I thought I owed by shifting as much of my income to Norma as he could.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Random Acts Of Kindness

 We have all experienced them. Complete strangers taking the time to help us when we needed it. A Blog post by a fellow RV'er reminded me of some of the many times a stranger has come to our rescue.

We always remember these random acts of kindness! We were once in Guadalajara, Mexico. The RV park was a ways out of town and we ventured downtown in the Honda. In the city centre there was a huge underground parking lot with many exits. We knew the street we were on would lead us back to the RV park and checked out the exit from the parking lot that we needed to use to get back onto it. Well, when it came time to leave an attendant directed us to another exit and before we knew it we were hopelessly lost in the second largest city in Mexico! I was driving slowly in very heavy traffic while we both desperately looked for street signs and tried to find ourselves on the map when a young man with a child in an SUV pulled alongside and asked if we were lost. We told him we were and he asked where we wanted to go. We gave him the name of the RV park and the highway it was on, he thought for a couple of seconds, turned on his flashers and said, "You are going the wrong way, follow me"!

He pulled in front of us and led us through heavy traffic from one side of Guadalajara to the other, a trip that took at least thirty minutes. He finally pulled over at the highway that the RV park was on. I got out, thanked him very much and told him I now knew where I was. I reached for some money to give him but he refused saying his mother lives nearby and it was time they visited her. We shook hands and he was on his way. 

This was not the first time this has happened to us in Mexico. Another time a city bus driver in Villahermosa went about six blocks off his route to lead us and the motorhome to a highway entrance after we simply could not understand his rapid instructions in Spanish and he was concerned we were heading for some very narrow, busy streets. He took us to where we needed to be and left before we could thank him or tip him. His bus was full of university students and they were all snapping photos and yelling at us, "I speak English", "We love Canada", "Come ride with us". They were the highlight of our day and we of theirs!  Random, unexpected acts of kindness!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

My Latest Eye Surgery

The eye procedure went OK. There was no pain but it was very uncomfortable. They numbed both eyes and attached a large glass/plastic lens to the eyeball with grease and then fired 40 laser blasts into each eye. The purpose was to create bubbles in the fluid that, when they went out through the drain gland, would stretch it open. That is the theory anyway. I go back in about 8 weeks to see if it worked and if I can stop the glaucoma drops (2 per eye per day. She says she can do the process again if required. I will do it again but will not look forward to it.

I am feeling good today. It knocked the heck out of me yesterday and I slept most of the afternoon/evening. I am back to 99% today!

I have to add that I have never experienced a headache like that. They warned me and suggested I bring some Tylenol's but I forgot. The throbber lasted several hours and was the main reason I went to sleep.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

A Long Weekend - What To Do

My first thought was to drive down to Shawnigan to visit my son but I have eye surgery Tuesday morning and want to be rested up so this is probably not that great an idea. Hockey is over, for me anyway as I am a Canucks fan rather than a hockey fan and they are now out of it.
I have been putting off cleaning out and organizing the workshop for months - no, scratch that - years - and this is a good time. It requires dry weather so I can stack "stuff" outside while I organize inside. Right now I can't even find the workbench let alone work on it and the floor area is taken mostly up by the pads for the outdoor furniture that would better be stored under the porch. My two table saws have been shoved right up against the wall and are unusable there. I have a few hours work ahead of me. And the house needs vacuuming. It is 1:30 and there is a Blue Jays game at 4:00 so maybe vacuum today and do the workshop tomorrow! A man with a plan!

Friday, September 4, 2020

The Easy Way!

So do I do this the smart, safe, hard way or the dumb, dangerous, easy way?
The motorhome has been parked for almost a year. I have full hookups but the sewer connection is about 25 feet away and my hose does not reach. The motorhome has been used as a spare bedroom a couple of times over the year. The safe way to empty the holding tank is to disconnect the power and water and back the rig off the leveling boards ten or fifteen feet, run the hose and dump. Then I have to move forward, re-level and reconnect the water and power. This is also the hard way.
The dumb, dangerous, easy way is to shove a five gallon bucket under the sewer drain, pull the lever and hope for the best. Well you don't even have to ask. I did it the dumb, dangerous, easy way! There was about four gallons of crap in the tank (the gray water drains onto the driveway) so it didn't even fill the bucket! I carried it to the dump, flushed the tank with a few gallons of bleachy water and went in to wash my hands and watch the Blue Jays. Job Done!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

My Eyes

How are my eyes doing? Well that is a long story. The cataract operation left debris in my eyeball that has to be repaired by being zapped with a laser. There is also a film that has grown over the new lens (not unusual following a lens replacement) that also has to be removed by laser. He also noticed that my glaucoma has worsened despite my faithfully using drops for many years so he referred me to a glaucoma specialist whom I teleconferenced with this morning and whom I am meeting at the Comox hospital on September 8th when she is doing a different laser procedure to open the fluid drain duct in my eye. All of this is on my left eye, the right is yet to come but I am not letting them touch it until I and everyone else is happy with the left eye!

What I am having is a Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), which she described as: "Your eyeball is like a sink, full of fluid which enters by a tap and leaves via a drain. It the tap and drain get out of sync then the eye can overfill and pressure builds up. The drops you have been taking are designed to slow the tap but what I am going to be doing with my laser is opening the drain and if the first process does not open it enough I will do it again. You may or may not continue to require the drops after". She is only doing the left eye even though I have glaucoma in both eyes. It is a "wait and see what happens before we guess about what will happen next. She reminded me that everything is at no cost to me, it is all covered by Canada's medical system.

So now you know as much as I know.

Vector Illustration Of Laser Eye Surgery Uses Laser Clipart (#1340207) -  PikPng

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Stuck In Canada!

My friend Les from San Miguel de Allende Mexico is arriving tomorrow to do four days of hiking in Strathcona Park. I washed the bedding and got the motorhome ready for him to stay in so he will be no trouble at all! He came to Canada for a short visit early this year and got trapped here by the COVID-19 virus. He is going to abandon his new car in Canada and fly home soon.

Tonight I am watching the Canucks play Las Vegas in game 3!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Well That Was Interesting!

I just received an email from Canada's INTERAC E-Transfer telling me there was a $20 deposit awaiting me from a $49.8 million class action lawsuit against the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) industry for price fixing. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered signing onto this lawsuit but it was many years ago. Is this email legit or is it a scam? I Googled it and found several references saying people had accepted it and it is legit! I clicked through everything and there it was in my bank! It was not a scam and I am $20 richer! :)

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Never A Dull Moment

Things are busy around the homestead! They have been working on a highway improvement for over a year and it will go on for maybe another year. I am reminded of it every morning at 6:30 or 7:00 when the equipment gets started up and moved into position. The house shakes so badly it is impossible to keep pictures hanging straight and the dust is ridiculous! Norma would be crapping herself but luckily my standards are not so high!

Part of the project was to re-run all utilities, water, sewer, power, cable, telephone and a new storm sewer. I put a lot of water into the storm sewer from the two year round streams coming down the bank behind the house. These streams used to go into a pipe, under the highway and into the ocean. That is no longer considered politically correct so hence the new storm sewer which will probably collect runoff from all the properties and THEN dump it into the ocean.

The other day they were going to connect my bank drain pipe to the storm sewer when I got a knock on the door. A worker in a white hardhat asked me to walk down to the highway with him. He told me they had trouble locating my pipe and finally found it but it is buried under my neighbours property by a few inches and not mine! Well, if it is it is not my problem as I didn't do it and they have assured everyone many times that the project will not cost any homeowner anything. They talked to the City Manager and the Legal Department and concluded they couldn't connect me to the storm drain as long as I was trespassing on the neighbour's property. I told them to just leave me draining into the ocean, I was happy with that. Well, they finally decided they were going to give me a whole new pipe buried under my 100 foot driveway and connect to the pipe where it actually is on my property. Again he told me there would be no cost, don't worry. They found the old drain pipe under the top corner of my driveway and started digging. They removed all of the 40 or 50 year old pavement off the 100 by 16 foot driveway. dug a trench, placed and connected the new pipe. It works! The nice, clean, fresh stream water no longer goes into the ocean.

The white hat then told me that they were filling in the trench but were holding off on resurfacing the driveway for two weeks to a month until the power, cable and telephone lines were buried. No problem with me as long as it eventually gets done. He said if it rains and becomes muddy and unusable to let them know and they will spread a load of crush on it. Then he asked me exactly where my property line was and I told him, "Down at the highway, I own the driveway". He gave me a shocked look and said his drawings showed the driveway as belonging to the city. Well, my drawings and property survey show it belonging to me and I have the drawings from when we purchased the house in 1989. He told me he had to make another call and never came back so I trust it is resolved because I want the driveway paved and restored to the condition it was in when they started messing with it and I want them to honour their promise that it would cost me nothing.

Thursday, August 20, 2020


My 20 year old Granddaughter, Sierrah came up for a short two day visit from Victoria with her other Grandmother, Caroline. It was a fun couple of days catching up, I have not seen Sierrah for about a year and she leads an active life so there is always lots to catch up on. I was going to take us all out for dinner but all the restaurants we wanted to go to were COVID closed and doing take out only. Instead we stopped at the grocery store to buy supplies and Sierrah made veggie burgers for us. I always let her do the shopping when she is here as she is a Vegan and this requires ingredient lists to be very carefully studied.
Dinner was delicious and Caroline and I cleaned up while Sierrah retired to the porch to return a couple of calls before rejoining us. Sierrah eventually took her dog and her phone out to the motorhome, leaving Caroline the guest room. Caroline and I have always gotten along well and found lots to talk about and before we knew it, it was almost 1:00 AM! Well, that was it for the night.
I was up first to make a late breakfast and not too long after 3:00 they headed home, remembering the dog! One lucky thing that happened was the women discovered Norma's Janome sewing machine in the guest room and asked what I was going to do with it. I "sort of" knew it was there but certainly had no plans for it. Norma bought it back in 2004 and had never used it (the receipt was in it). It was brand new! Well, it turns out Sierrah sews! It was a productive visit for her because she scored Grandma's "new" sewing machine! No more having to use someone else's.
It was a great visit, it has been a long time since I had family around for that long even though it was only a couple of days.
We were so busy, I forgot to take pictures!
Sewing Machine Clipart,watercolor | Custom-Designed Illustrations ...

Friday, August 14, 2020

Big Finance Day!

In Canada starting at age 71 we must start drawing down the money we have squirreled away in Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP). These funds must be converted to Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF) and depending on your age, you are required to withdraw a minimum amount every year. At my age (75) I had to take out approximately 6% (still substantially less than the fund earned last year) which becomes taxable income. This year because of COVID we were allowed to take a reduced amount which I took advantage of and my investment company allowed me to delay my withdrawal from my agreed upon date of April to August which I also chose to do. A wise decision it turns out because my fund has now recovered everything it lost during the initial COVID financial pandemic meltdown. For once I did the right thing. My RRIF payment was deposited in my Credit Union this morning!

I also delayed the payment of my Income Tax and my Property Taxes, both delays were allowed penalty free again due to the COVID-19 situation. Today I paid both and discovered I still had +/- $1500 left over! Oh what to do with it? Save it for airfare to visit my friends in Mexico when the pandemic is over! YES! Monterrey and Merida are in my future!

ᐈ Cartoon rich person stock vectors, Royalty Free rich man ...

Thursday, August 13, 2020

"Anonymous" Commertors

Anonymous comments will be deleted. If you have no Google account then all you have to do is add your real name to the bottom of your comment and you will be welcomed here. The person who has been making off topic comments recently is simply hiding his face and yelling at me two things I don't take kindly to. You don't have to agree with my politics nor I with yours, we can have an intelligent conversation even without agreeing but it's my Blog, not yours and I want to know who I am talking to. Hiding in the weeds and calling me a Communist only brings a chuckle to my lips and don't think for an instant that you are dictating or even influencing the content of my Blog. Take the bag off your head, introduce yourself and lets see if we can have a discussion.

George's Drive In

George's Food Bar
There is a tiny hole in the wall Chinese take out "order at the window" restaurant in Courtenay, BC called George's. Norma and I stopped there every time we passed it. Norma was an extremely light eater and never emptied her plate except when it came to George's! She LOVED their hamburgers, would eat every bit and then lick her fingers clean. They were that good! I am not a burger guy but his fish and chips were equally as good! A little on the greasy side maybe but crisp and delicious! We stopped every time.
Two or three years ago George died and his son tried to take over the business. Things did not go well for him and he was not open very often, I think he had another job. In fact his openings were very unpredictable and he was never open when we drove by.
Well, today I was at my eye doctors and passed by George's on the way home and IT WAS OPEN! The son was there and it looked like his mother was helping out as well. Sadly though, he was out of fish so I had to leave! I do not yet know if the son's fish and chips are as good as his dad's.

GEORGE'S FOOD BAR, Courtenay - Updated 2020 Restaurant Reviews ...

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

My Cataract!

Today was the day for my conference with the surgeon! I showed up a half hour early but was sent back to my car to wait until precisely 1:20. No problem, every business has their own way to deal with COVID.  I went back in at precisely 1:20 and was sent into a technician's office where she did my eyeball pressure test for glaucoma and pronounced me to have perfect eye pressure. More on this later!

I reminded her that I was here to see the surgeon and she assured me that I would be seeing him. She then embarrassed me again by having me read the eye chart. I could see there was an eye chart but that is about all. I could read three of the four largest letters. She then sent me in to see the big shot himself!

He started off as usual, reading charts and reports and then pulling the microscope over. He studied my eye for quite some time changing lenses or attachments and then went to his desk to write notes. "Not this time" I thought, knowing his next move has always been to send me out the door. I started talking and he immediately shushed me and asked, "May I say a couple of things first?" Well yes, please do!

He told me that some cataract patients develop a membrane in their eye post surgery and I had this membrane. Laser surgery is required to get rid of it. Relief! I had something to hang my hat on! PLUS, he said... Your puff of air tests for glaucoma have always looked good and everyone presumed it was under control with the eye drops I have been taking for years. However after my complaints he has taken another look at it and it is worse than they thought. He has referred me to a glaucoma specialist and when I pressed he told me it might require stronger drugs or even surgery. He will make me an appointment.

So there you have it, I had more than one problem. Now we know the whole story and now to get the problems dealt with!

An illustrated cross-section diagram of a human eye.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

My Ongoing Cataract Story

My left eye is no better. It has been over two weeks and it is exactly the same as it was pre-op. I have an appointment with my surgeon tomorrow and hope to get some answers. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Eye Surgery Ten Days Later

Well, the short story is my eyesight has not improved! My left eye vision is exactly as it was before the surgery. When I look through my left eye in looks (and this is the best way I can describe it) like I am watching a TV with the contrast turned up way too high. Things in my vision are either too bright or too dark and I can barely read the biggest line on an eye chart.

The surgery was done last Tuesday, July 28 and I went for my first post surgery exam the next day. A technician gave the the puff of air test and I passed that. I tried to tell her there was no improvement to my vision but she assured me it was way too early to tell and gave me an appointment at the surgeon's office in Courtenay for August 4. I drove down there and saw another technician who gave me another puff of air test, which I passed. I explained my problem and she had me read her eye chart which I failed miserably. I did not see the surgeon as he was not in the office that day. She told me it could take up to a month before I notice ant change but I have little confidence in this.

I will call the surgeon's office on Monday and schedule an appointment with him and find out what is going on. I am starting to think I had more than one problem to start with and he addressed one problem (cataract) but not the second. I want to start getting some answers and not just get shuffled from one technician to another.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Eye Surgery!

They did my left eye cataract surgery at around noon yesterday. My eye was a little sore, felt gritty and my vision was very cloudy and very sensitive to the sun, even shade. I was a little concerned because I had read that I should see improvements within 24 hours.

It is much better today! I used artificial tears last night and the grittiness went away and my eyesight has improved over last night. It is slowly but surly getting better so as long as that keeps up, I am happy. They gave me the "puff of wind" test this morning and I passed. The tech said everything was normal and that sensitivity to sunlight was normal and I shouldn't worry about it, everyone is different so quit setting time limits. My left eye vision is still very cloudy but seems to be slowly clearing up. I have an appointment with my surgeon in six days and will attempt to curb my anxiety until then! :)

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Eye Surgery Coming Up!

Close to "crunch time". My eye surgery is Tuesday morning. I am already on my regimen of pre-op eyedrops. My friend Kelly will be here tomorrow afternoon to drive me to Comox and back and to make sure everything goes smoothly. I can't say how much I appreciate her coming up!

They are doing the left eye and then 6 - 8 weeks later, the right.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

George & Suzi's Motorhome Is For Sale!

Suzi is selling their motorhome! It is time for her to continue moving on with her life which gives someone the chance to pick up hers and George's motorhome. Anyone who has followed their travels knows they kept up with maintenance and repairs of this unit and most if not all of this work is detailed in their Blog.

Here is the link to the details  If you or someone you know is in the market for a well cared for motorhome, this is a very good deal. Here are the details copied from Suzi's Blog. There are also many photos on the link.

Located in New Hamburg, Ontario.

1999 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 36 feet, for sale. $25,000 negotiable. Certified. Ford 6.8L V10, mileage 150,000 miles or 241,400 km, 1 slide, 6 seat belts, 2 solar panels of 230 watts, 2 A/C’s, microwave, 3 burner stove, oven, fridge replaced in 2013, dual pane windows resealed October 2017, Onan 5.5 KW generator, queen walk around bed, TV in bedroom, split bath, bench dinette, sofa bed, Allure ISO core luxury vinyl plank flooring in 2017, soft touch padded vinyl ceiling, 2 roof vents, 1 Fantastic fan, screen door, self contained, skylight,4 window awnings, awning replaced 2016, 2 pass thru storage compartments, back up camera, Koni shocks, leveling jacks, front tires 2015, rear tires 2016, aluminum roof, aluminum side walls. Includes Brake Buddy and tow system. Contact me at