Thursday, October 30, 2008

One genny, two genny, three genny more.

Last fall the Big Cheese had removed all the hydro service at the marina we're in presently, as he'd had so many tenants in arrears in moorage and hydro that he pulled it out. It eventually lead for most of them to leave and so thus, room for us. All summer he kept promising that it is going back in and the "six weeks" is now becoming six months.

For years he'd been between a bit of a rock and a hard place for the city had deemed the property and old barns historical and thus have been really restrictive on development. It had one time been a big boat building yard and they wouldn't let him renovate the barns. One of the barns burned down a couple of years ago and now only one remains, such as it is and so he has been waiting on approvals from various and sundry municipal and provincial officials to proceed with future development.

All summer I've used this big coffin of a cooler for a fridge. It is a pain as the lid is broken and it doesn't stay open properly and the fridge runs on electricity. I would LOVE a three-way unit (batt/electric/propane), and it is on the round-tuit list to look into the RV places and see if I can get one. My folks had to replace the fridge in their RV and found buying a used/reconditioned unit came with a better warranty than with new. That darn cooler has proven to become quite tedious for the constant need to keep ice in it and perishables perish quickly.

We made do for the summer for a little bit as we have a 4 kw gas generator that I can run lights and my computer. However you can't have too many heaters on the system as it just doesn't have the jam and it blows its breaker. The
Malacite, which the Big Cheese recently sold to one of his captains, pulled into the marina for the next month or so. The Malacite, got a thorough going over as it had been damaged in this storm back in July. It was out for most of the summer getting a major makeover. Captain Mort bought it a month or so ago. It has a 18kw marine genset and with all the renovations to the vessel, Greig urged Mort that he should keep the Malacite heated or all that new wood work would soon go to crap - especially with the onset of a rainy winter. However, Mort didn't know that there was no shore power at Sather so Greig agreed to keep an eye on it and heated if we could tie into the genset on the Malacite and contribute for diesel. We're feeling frustrated that the Big Cheese keeps blowing us off where Hydro is concerned (but we aren't the only ones) as if he isn't or wasn't really going to get a new mast put in then it would be really nice if he'd just say so. We even offered to put the service in our own name just so he wasn't liable for the bottom line. I guess maybe because he owns the property that is a no-no.

Just additonal frustration on top of EVERYTHING else as we've been trying to clean up post-Bowie debacle and all the parasitical behavior therein. That said, there are things I can make do and live without, electricity being far more expendable than water and that was fine. FOR THE SUMMER. The saving grace is that at least I have water and a propane hot water tank and my stove is propane too. If those were all electric I'd have gone off the deep end. Camping has only so much cachet, for only so long in this miserable wet coast climate.

We've been looking at purchasing a genset to keep the three boats here heated. I told Greig to tell Big Cheese that I'd rather pay him moorage than have to go the the extra wasted expense of a genset just because he can't be bothered to put in a new mast. So Greig paid him this months in advance and he brought another back up genset down from the office for us to use.

We are already hauling down three kinds of fuel - propane for my stove and hot water tank; gas for that genset and kerosene for a big heater we're using in place of the wood stove. I am not using the wood stove for we just don't have a place to store wood nor do we have the same kind of access to firewood that we did on Mitchell. Besides, with all the firewood that we split over the past five years, we're both a bit grateful for the break. I do miss the fire though for it sucks up the humidity in the air like nothing else and I have noticed far more condensation on my boat that I've not had in the previous two winters on the Partnership. Everything in my cupboards has some condensation as well as the windows. I guess kerosene is a damp heat like propane. Still in all, none of it is all that efficient and I hate having to depend on those different fossil fuels. Though the kerosene heater is not like the hippie killers of old, it still sends out a puff when you light it and extinguish it and it, well, stinks! Belize is calling to me...

Greig spent yesterday setting up a bypass that we can run the boat off both the two gensets when we need to. I am not entirely clear on where the third one is going and how that will all pan out but I know he has a plan and it specifically entails getting the two-person hot tub on the Float house going We never used it really for we had the big one on the Bowie and I felt maintaining two was just silly. But Greig fell down a hatch last week and has been missing soaking especially now and so his priorities have shifted somewhat.

I just look forward to not having to listen to a bunch of generators going and only having to haul down ONE kind of fuel down icy ramps - propane for my floatie.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A three minute fairy tale.

I read Swiss Miss daily. It is a pretty popular design blog and there is usually something clever to me there. She posted this link by the poet Rives from TED, another site that I love.

Most of the emoticons are a bit of a mystery to me and so I thought this is a pretty clever love story that had to be shared.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just a little bit so my butt doesn't hurt tomorrow

These familiar babies have been hiding in the back of my closet now for some 20 years. Yup. 20+ actually as I think Mum bought these during my last year of skating in 1985. Small town Canada has ice rinks out the Wazoo so most kids are pretty much born with these babies on their feet. Mum put me in skating to keep me out of trouble and teach me how to fail. Yes. That may seem like some twisted logic but she felt that we learn far more from our failures than our successes in this world and one must not be discouraged by failure.

My size nine Wifas with the then spectacular MK Phantom Blades cost my parents a pretty penny back in 1985. I think the boots must have been $350 and the blades almost that, then. I'll have to look and see what it would cost me to replace them today. I skated for 14 years and by the time I was 19, I'd had enough of skating. I felt there was so much more to do, like, say tennis, and that I should play it instead. I think that I've had these on my feet about three times since, the last time about six years ago when Greig and I first started dating. I still have a second pair back home with different blades that were for doing patch or figures (tracing figure 8s on ice). Do they even do figures in skating anymore? I was on of the strange girls that actually liked my patch sessions as I found them meditative and therapeutic. And after all these years, I've yet to take any real tennis lessons. Sigh...

I've a collegue who works in the Payroll Department at the College who's been trying to get me onto her Precision team for I've commitment issues. Last year they made it to Westerns. Probably not that big of a deal really when there may only be a handful teams in Western Canada (BC to the Manitoba border). It sounds impressive don't you think, being a part of a team that went that far holds some cashet for me.

Lorna on the Serenity (aka Peter) had me thinking I should try roller skates and do that Roller gurl thing with those Terminal City chicks but I've actually never roller skated in my life. Small towns don't have nearly the amount of sidewalks that cities do if any at all. Plus I as much as I'd enjoy bashing those bitches about, I've had enough of injuries and really, don't like hurting that much anymore.

So the skates are IN the closet and
are waiting and it was always such great exercise for my butt and legs that regardless of Precision or bitch-bashing, skating is still skating and I better remember how. Tonight, I went to the tail end of the public skating session at the Moody Park Arena.

Arena's have that smell, like boats do; mildew and diesel. Guess that is why the boat smell didn't bother me - it was a familiar kind of comfort. All that residual Zamboni exhaust, the smell of the ice, sweaty skates and hockey bags.I can't smell pine cleaner without thinking of mildewy, guy-stinky- sweaty, uriney- hockey lockers. Nope, it is not a smell that makes me think, "Ooh so clean and sanitized!"

No sheet of ice that I have skated on is the same. They all feel different. Some sheets are faster than others. I always felt I skated fastest on the Nelson Rink. Some stick to your blades where others make you feel like you can skate faster. There was a technique in tying my skates so they wouldn't come undone too. I always skated bare foot and had a perpetual callus around the ankles where the top of the leather met my calves. I guess I never thought that after twenty years the foam tongue would eventually break down and turn gooey. It left blue bits on my ankles!

Still, I think I am motivated to deek out at lunch time from work and hit the rink for a nooner workout. Gosh, maybe there is hope I can get that skater's backside back again.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Vanity complete

No, I am Joe the plumber. Of course it took far too long finish this project but now I am close to having a functioning vanity. It sure LOOKS purdy.

Instead of coming out from the wall, the drain and water comes up from the floor. I found the right double joint fittings and then realized I had to make another trip to the hardware for the right kind of ABS pipe to fit the actual drain from the sink. It all came together and then...

It leaked...from the sink drain...

Sigh. Perhaps it was the cheap plastic/nylon drain assembly? I have put a drain in a sink before and that came together easy peasy...what gives?

I picked up a metal one from Canadian Tire and it went in quick as you please.

No leaks. Yea me!

Friday, October 17, 2008


One of the first people I met having a website for the Bowie and also via the blog is my friend Rene from the Netherlands. He is a YMS (yard minesweeper) buff and for sometime had a web site dedicated to them for several years. (Until one day he forgot to renew the URL and it got scooped up by a granny porn site.) He just sent me a link to the Calisto, a YMS that charters out of Thailand. While the Bowie was a PCS (Patrol Craft Sweeper) class and there were only 57 built, the YMS or BYMS (British Yard Minesweeper) had some 500+ about. Over the years, I have stumbled across several YMS, but never any PCS. It seems the Bowie is the last of them and would LOVE to know if there are any others out there but chances are there aren't.

The Calisto is bleeding gorgeous! Oh and now with this dreary winter upon me and gazing through the site for it AND its location has me drooling...slurp. Alas all the white interiors is EXACTLY what I would have done to the Bowie had we ever really been able to do anything right about it. Of course, painting all that woodwork white is viewed as a crime to most of the sodding men out there but dark interiors are so depressing - especially in below deck spaces. If ever there was a prime example of WHY you should paint it white, well, the Calisto does it grand justice. Drool.

And it only charters for $84K a week. Sweet.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My cat is a Conehead

I should have realized something was amiss before I left for Savannah. So, when I came home I realized poor Tobi was really ill.

He usually insists upon sleeping up by my head at night. So much so that I tend to leave a spot for him though he usually likes to stick his butt in my face when I'm sleeping. But on my first night back he stayed downstairs and didn't come up. He usually tries to body slam me regularly and he just wasn't his usual kitten-y self. I mean he is a bruiser at 15lbs but the usual Tobi-ness just wasn't there.

I noticed a scab on his side and that it was quite a bit swollen there and tender. He wasn't eating, not using his litter box as well as trying to constantly go in and out.

A nasty abscess was removed and he spent two nights at the "spa". Its is a vast improvement over the Tobi of two days ago. Now, I just don't know how I'll keep him inside. We're already arguing that point.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Crab cakes, shrimp and buttah

I just got home from a conference in Savannah, Georgia. As luck would have it, our room at the Hyatt looked right over onto the Savannah River. Did you know it is the fourth busiest port in the US of A. I don't know who claims spots 1 to three but four seems a bit of an anti climatic posi to be in.

The first thing I saw when we looked out the sliding doors onto the river below was this big charter yacht,
Magic. I never planned a life with boats...they just sorta happened and keep showin' up. Savannah is a beautiful city and I could live there quite easily there is this thing called "immigration." The weather was warm and lovely. So I don't shovel much snow up here on the coast but the climate here has grown quite tedious.

I need more heat. I am tired of trying to keep warm.
Of course, I am a sucker for architecture and gardens as it was more of what I was "into" in life "B-G" (life before Greig). I could spend many, many hours walking up the side streets and looking at the gardens and buildings and gorging myself on crab cakes and shrimp.

Ya, that would suck wouldn't it?

Here are more pics!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Just how livid am i?

So completely lived in fact that I just may go into an apoplectic rage.

For sometime I've not heard from our friend and former roommate Evil Mark. Out of the blue I got an email (Happy dance, he IS still alive) inquiring about the sale of the Bowie and things we not going well for him. He is unable to prove to the satisfaction of ICBC (Iky-Bicky aka, Insurance Corp. of British Columbia) and WCB (aka Worker's Compensation or now known as Work Safe BC) that he really truly did work for Dave. Some of you recall my post of the accident back in August 2007 that seriously rattled all of us down at Mitchell Island.

To bad Dave's dead and can't validate that salient fact either. But there are a bunch of us WHO CAN. Apparently pulling both their bodies from the wreckage of going off a bridge isn't evidence enough?

BAH! "Working to make a difference" my ass WCB.