Monday, April 25, 2022

More Information On Shelter Point Distillery

I just Googled for information about the distillery and discovered an interesting option they offer. You (or you and a small group of friends) can actually purchase an entire cask of whisky! The cost is +/- $10,000 and you buy it before it is completely finished the aging process and the cask remains at the distillery where conditions are monitored and controlled. During this final two or three years of aging you can arrange your own tastings to check the improving quality of the whisky yourself, waiting for the moment of peak taste. You then bottle it into a minimum of 250 bottles (depending I suppose on how aggressive your tasting has been) and divide the spoils. Custom labels can be arranged. That works out to +/- $40 per bottle, an unbelievably low price for a single malt whisky!

 Here is the report I read in Victoria's Oak Bay News:

"Shelter Point cask purchases: A reward that’s worth the wait

The price of acquiring a cask at Shelter Point may seem daunting at first – averaging about $10,000, including taxes and bottling. But the investment actually offers a variety of benefits. While the cask ages (for an additional two to three years), those who have invested in it can organize tastings of the spirit directly from their own barrel in Shelter Point’s barrel room. Customized bottling is another unique opportunity, but best of all, is the end price per bottle (minimum of 250 bottles per cask), which is significantly below retail pricing.

So like all good investments, the reward is worth the wait."

One of those casks on the back wall could be yours!


Saturday, April 23, 2022

A Single Malt Tasting!

We have our own Shelter Point Distillery here just outside of Campbell River. It has been running since 2011 and specializes in Single Malt Whisky, boasting several varieties with all using BC grown grains and utilizing glacier fed artesian well water and sea air to add a distinctive taste.

Yesterday my friend Brian and I decided to drive the ten kilometetres down the road and visit their tasting room. It is a beautiful location on the grounds of the old University Of British Columbia Experimental Farm, only a few metres from the ocean. We were greeted by a young woman at the reception desk and invited to walk around the sales area and to pick out anything special we would like to sample. The deal is, we can sample any three products for twenty dollars and if we purchase anything, the twenty dollar fee is refunded. A good deal as I was planning on buying a bottle anyway.

A very charming, knowledgeable young woman then came to fetch us and took us to the tasting room. She had pre-selected three of their single malts but told us we could exchange any or all of them for other varieties. Not having ever tasted their products, we went with her choices. She gave us advice on how to best taste whisky which is very similar to tasting fine wines. Smell it, drawing as much into your nose as you can, followed by a small taste which you swirl around in your mouth to get the full flavour and finally sipping the balance of the small tasting cup. They were all good but very different with one, a more traditional tasting single malt standing out for both Brian and I and we each bought a bottle to take home. It was $89.99 which in the world of single malts, is very reasonable. They did not offer their award winning ten year old $114 variety for tasting this time but assured us it was available and the next time I go there I will taste that one. They also produce gin, vodka and liqueur.

On the way back we picked up sushi to go and continued home to join our friend Kelly who is using my guest room while she is up here helping her daughter with wedding plans. It was a very enjoyable day!

Single Malt Whisky


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Pondering The Future Of The Motorhome

 The motorhome has been off the road for over five years except for a five week trip to BC's Okanagan in late 2019. It has picked up some moss. I have been running the generator every month and have had an electric heater in it to keep it from freezing. It is in as good a shape as could be expected.

However, if I am to put it on the road (or prepare it for sale) I have to do some stuff. It needs an engine and transmission service to start with. The four six volt golf cart batteries probably need replacing and the tires probably need replacing. The generator needs servicing. I am thinking a minimum $5,000 cost for all this even with Brooks' neighbour backyard mechanic (highly qualified) doing the engine and transmission for half the Ford dealer shop rate.

That's a lot and it could easily go up another thousand once the mechanic gets into it. But this all has to be done whether I sell it or keep it. Right now I would not feel good sending it out on a test drive.

What's it worth? Well, this is where it gets interesting. It's a 2005 31 Foot Tioga M-31K-Ford SL (kitchen slide) Class C. NADA in the US values it at $33,900 US "average retail" which equals $42,700 Canadian. Way more than I expected but explainable by the higher than average used vehicle prices overall. People are buying used vehicles because new ones are very hard to get right now. Supply chain problems and electronic chip shortages. And I may be biased but I consider mine to be "better than average".

Do I want to sell it? Sometimes "yes" but most of the time "no". I so enjoyed working on the lighting project this week and when I was in it, I just wanted to "GO"! I still don't know if I want to travel alone and that is the big question. If I sold it I know I would regret it immediately. I was talking to my friend the other day, actually my granddaughters' other grandmother about this and her question was, "Do you need the money?" Great question! No, I don't really "need/want" the money. I have been getting along without it and can continue to do so. So for now, the question is answered, I do not want to sell it. When will I start to use it? Well, that's a question for another day.

2005 FLEETWOOD TIOGA 31W - Good Sam RV Rentals

Friday, April 15, 2022

Big Buddy Heater Conversion.

Now that I have started working on the motorhome, I can't stop!  I have now decided to add a "Big Buddy" propane heater to the rig. The electronic board in the furnace is once again toast and yes it is the upgraded "Dinosaur" board from Oregon. It lasted about two years, twice as long as any of the others. I will buy the Big Buddy at Lowes in Nanaimo and the brand name ten foot hose from Amazon. About $250 total after taxes here in Canada, about half the cost of getting yet another Dinosaur board installed. I will run it off a 20 pound bottle and the ten foot hose until I can get it plumbed in. It will be more reliable. quieter and much cheaper to run.

While I was out doing the LED lights I remembered to check the water level in the six volt golf cart batteries. All four were down about a quarter of a litre each. Not good but I think I got to them in time!

In related news, I need a new laptop! I dropped this one onto my hardwood floor and now it shuts down unexpectedly. It shut down twice in the time it took me to write this. Each time I have to take the battery off, wait a bit, prepace the battery and restart it. I will buy another refurbished Dell.

Mr. Heater F274865 MH18B Big Buddy Portable Heater Massachusetts And Canada Version 4,000-18,000 BTU

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Motorhome LED Lighting Upgrade


I started converting the nine 12 volt incandescent ceiling light fixtures in the RV to LED. I completed four of them the first day and had to quit. My neck hurt, my arms hurt and my eyes hurt. The 77 year old human body is not designed for working above your head and glasses are certainly not designed for it as the close focus part of the glasses is at the bottom. not the top.
Norma always complained about the dim lighting in the motorhome and would compensate by turning all the ceiling lights on, putting a strain on the battery when we were boondocking. She would be very pleased with this LED modification and even if she turned them all on, it would not burn much electricity.
Day 2: Motorhome LED Conversion "Sort Of" done.
All nine ceiling lights have been changed out but I found one more under the cupboard and above the counter. The most difficult to work on as it is too low to stand and too high to sit. If I could lay on the counter I could do it easily but I am too big. I will watch TV for a bit and think about it later. As Scarlett O'Hara famously said: "I'll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day."
Anyway, they look good and give off a much nicer light. BTW, they were $86 for two boxes of five from Amazon.

There is a double incandescent fixture over the couch left to do and a 12 volt florescent tube fixture over the sink that used to be the brightest light in the place but is now the dimmest so I will have to replace that as well but the slide has to be out when I do it and I can't do that in it's parking spot beside the hedge.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

My Amazon Adventure!

 No, not THAT Amazon, the one.

I have taken to ordering some things from Amazon. Things I can either not get locally or cannot get locally at a reasonable price. I know, I'm a horrible person.

Well, I put in an order of four items a few days ago and was told they would arrive Monday (yesterday). They have always been very accurate with their shipping dates and things have always been here on time. At about 3:00PM I checked the website and saw that my order was, "On the truck and will be delivered by 10:00 PM." I checked again at 9:00 and saw, "Delivered. Handed to resident"! Well, it wasn't handed to me and I would have seen the truck in the driveway, and I hadn't. I checked the porch and even the workshop porch. No parcel.

I found the Customer Service number and called, it was answered quickly and by a human! Score one point! I explained my dilemma and the woman was sympathetic. I told her I lived alone and was the only "resident". She asked what I wanted, a re-shipment or a refund. I wanted a re-shipment and she started the paperwork but discovered one item could not be re-shipped. OK, I will take a refund on that. By now it was about 11:00 PM. All taken care of.

At about 1:00 PM today (Tuesday), my neighbour called to say a parcel had been left on her porch and she had only now discovered it! The driver left it at the wrong address and certainly did not, "Hand it to the resident"! 

I called Customer Service back and explained. We tried to cancel the re-shipment and may have been successful. One item may get through and if it does she says I will either have to pay for it or return it. Returning it is a pain so I will just pay for it and keep it until I need it.

So, all's well that ends well but I had to spend about an hour on the phone over two days. Am I discouraged? Na, I will give them another chance.

Amazon Canada Expands Prime FREE Same-Day Delivery to Calgary