Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Nutmeg

One day a few months ago, I stumbled upon Thomas Dolby's blog. I was probably rooting around on TED.com for something. Turns out he's the music director for the conference. I discovered that he has restored an old lifeboat and made it into his recording studio. He writes about the Nutmeg from time to time on his blog. He has it pulled up on land near his home so it doesn't sit in the water. Have a look at it here. It reminds me of a elongated version of Rhianna's now not so Lucky 7. Regardless, I am adding him to the blog roll 'cos he's doing a cool thing with an old boat and he does post about it from time to time.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Say hello to the SV Sunline

They are new to the blogging and boating thing. I've added them to my blog roll. Go say hello and add them to yours.


http://sailingsunline.com/

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wet exhaust conversion

As the Saorsa was a working day tug, it has no facilities or comfort spaces for extended travel. In the weeks since we got it, Greig has moved the hot tub from of the bow deck of the Express and on to the stern of the tug. The hot tub now sits just forward of the rudder stock leaving room for the not-yet-installed tow post..

The next problem at hand is that if one is cruising down the river and actually wanting to enjoy that back deck and say, sit in said hot tub, one gets bathed in the exhaust. A conversion from a dry exhaust to a wet exhaust and removing the stack seemed his first major task. Once the stack is removed he can bump up the deck level and  convert the poorly used spaces into more liveable space.

By in large he is trying to do all of this conversion himself to keep the cost down. He consulted someone to put in the mixer for it but he was quoted $900 per side (in stainless).



In the video above, he has got one side done. Just before I left on a business trip he got the port side completed. Today, we helped him remove the cowling from around the exhausts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A dose of reality and the TV show that almost was.

Back in September of 2006, we filmed a TV pilot with life on the Bowie and our little social experiment as the background for the plot. Greig had a friend named Kate from acting school, who was getting into producing at at the time and doing so for Paperny Films. We felt there was much craziness that happened that none of us could have ever dreamed up left to our own devices. She pitched it to the powers that be and one day in September she showed up with a crew and we did a day of it. Some 14 hours of video was shot and couple of months later she presented us with a DVD. At one time I had lots of copies and even stored on my computer. Then the big computer died and alas no more backups were about.


I've been gently prodding her from from time to time to post it on YouTube so that I can link it to my blog. But her producing career has taken off and she has been busy doing so many things, like her own production company, Kate Green Productions.


Surprise! I am so excited to be finally able to say, here is the LINK!


Yeah, this is what we did. Thanks so much Kate!















Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Saorsa & a Sunset

For over the past year, Greig has been in communication with a fellow that I can only describe as his brother from another mother. They look nothing alike and clearly were separated at conception. However the similarities are downright crazy! Darryl, like Greig, likes boats. A lot. Darryl like Greig seems to collect them. Darryl, like Greig is working more than he actually has time to devote to said boats. So for the past while they have bandied about trades here and trades there and finally something stuck. Greig traded three non-running boats and the bayliner for a running tug.

Yes. RUNNING!

Yesterday afternoon was a provincial holiday here in BC and our only day off. We had hoped to take my RIB out for a blast and a few loading and unloading lessons for me about it all but thieves intervened in our fun and took the new toy from in front of my house at about 6:30am yesterday morning. My neighbour across the street is an early riser and witnessed them and called the police who went in hot pursuit. In the opposite direction.

Alas, the plates Jim saw on the truck didn't match and so the truck or the plates was also stolen. Sigh. We never even got to USE it and had it for less than three days.

I guess they tried taking my suburban too as he had seen them shoving what looked to be a screwdriver in the driver side door. That suburban was a replacement to another suburban that we had stolen last October. It received a new engine recently and we're still working on sorting out the bugs from that.

Not to let the bastards get us down entirely, we opted to take Saorsa out for a drive as I hadn't been on it yet and more time on it gave Greig more opportunity to get to know it better.

The Saorsa was built by Fulton Shipyards in the US circa WW2 I believe. It used to be called the Butte and rumour had it was that it pulled the supply barge to Alcatraz. I have since discovered that it was probably was McNeil Island Penitentiary, which had an Alcatraz connection in that it once housed the Birdman of Alcatraz. (Source: http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=5238). Saorsa comes from the Old Irish sairse: which means freedom or salvation, redemption. Clearly someone had a sense of humour.

It is a very solid tug and it plows through the waves with ease and is very stable. It has a V12 Cummins and a Northern lights genset on it that is in need of servicing. Of course it is another project but in all fairness in the last year he has gotten rid of seven projects and has downsized significantly. Yea!

Here are the photos of our afternoon cruise.


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Bowiechick friendly


Yep. A craigslist score that just happens to be bowiechick friendly.

It is small enough for me to attempt launching and operating by myself. Plus it has a trailer and...wait for it...NAV LITES THAT WORK! Gosh, I am feeling so grown up now.

It is a SeaDoo. I scrubbed it down on Saturday and in the seat in the bow had a special smell which I think belonged to a dead rat. (Old droppings therein notwithstanding.) Dead rats smell somewhat like a rotting fish only slightly different.

All other small tenders we have had had always had a f--- around in trying to start them. I could never pull on the cord for that Johnson outboard we had on the Wee Skiffy.  Not that it was something that bothered me that I couldn't as there were other burly guys that had trouble too.

Key starts rock.

**UPDATE: Aug 2: 8:52am: Didn't even get a chance to use it as it just got ripped off the truck in front of my house. They would have taken my suburban too but my neighbour seemingly chased them off. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sometimes you stumble upon the darndest things on YouTube

I was just stumbling around on YouTube and randomly discovered this video from December 1996 and seven years prior to Greig's purchase of it in January 2003. It is of the Bowie and it broke away from its moorage and slammed up against the Pitt River Bridge. I didn't know about the incident but there are two raw videos on YouTube about it from bcnewsvideo.

Coincidentally too is it features the previous owner that we only knew as "Sally." We never knew her last name and only that she had a heck of a time finding moorage for it further toward the mouth of the river. I don't know how long after this incident that it moved carelessly to a shallow spot on the river and rolled over on the low tide.




I had to chuckle of course at the videographer question to Sally and her son, "You must have an intersting life!"

Also it so happens in the spirit of randomness, that Greig so happened to meet said son on a dinner cruise a few weeks back.

And here is the second bit of footage:



Well, I considered this blog-worthy, even though there is no dramatic rescue. Cleary in the second video that there were several other boats that broke away from rotten pilings.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"A dead fishery, contaminated land, a bag full of bills and a court date." - Kindra Arnesen

Holt Webb writes a blog called Vanishing America and he has done a six-part interview with Kindra Arnesen, local Louisiana activist, whom I have profiled here previously in a couple of  videos.

Please go over to his YouTube channel and watch these six videos which are about 32 minutes in length.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

More BP BS from the gulf.

Here is another video of Kindra Arneson speaking at a town hall meeting of the spill in the Gulf.



And more for a reality check:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This breaks my heart

BP's spill in the Gulf is absolutely breaking my heart and I am livid about the colossal mismanagement over something that was completely preventable. This will affect this planet's oceans forever.  I had I stumbled upon some video posted on Facebook and they claimed the "video was banned by BP." But the video is a very lossy version of one created by 60 Minutes Australia and I have since discovered the original US 60 Minutes video in three parts on Youtube. It isn't banned. At least not yet.


The video is by Australian 60 Minutes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcvzkrPL9C4


Part two is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC-tYZ7tbYM&feature=related


However 60 Minutes has a very good in depth presentation also on Youtube that exists in three parts. Here is part one of three.  (Footage from Aus 60 certainly utilizes the footage from this report.) 



As the gentleman above retells his experience it reminded me of my Marine Emergency course from last winter. Evacuation protocols supposedly practiced weekly were not adhered to and many took off in lifeboats without him or even the rig's captain and many others!

In the AUS video, they interview and introduce Kindra Arnesen of Venice, Louisiana.  She is being called the "Erin Brokovich" of the BP Spill. A Google search for  Kindra netted this video of her speaking out at the Gulf Emergency Summit (June 19, 2010).




I applaud Kindra for having the chops to stand up and make a noise. I am sure she would absolutely love for things to go back to a "normal" that will never be, ever again. It takes great courage to do what she is doing. She isn't just fighting for herself and her fellow Americans. She is fighting for me, you and all the rest of us here on planet Earth. 


I also applaud Mike Ellis, a captain working for BP & The Coast Guard has been working on Sea Turtle rescues, talks about BPs practices of rounding up and burning oil soaked wildlife. 





MSNBC's Rachael Maddox tells of a similar platform explosion from in the Gulf that occurred back in 1979 but this seems to have fallen out of memory. In this link she'll illustrate how history aways seems to repeat itself. That one took nine months to seal up and was in 200 feet of water.


Hearts and positive prayers to everyone going through this Hell on Earth.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bui's model

Bui built his dad a steel model of the Pacific Express in metal shop. Needless to say the old man was very touched. Bui even included the hot tub!

MY Ocean Victory in English Bay



I was working on my friend Maureen's boat the Island Jewel last weekend and we cruised by this lovely anchored out in English Bay. I don't know who owns this but it is said this is the biggest Fedship and was launched in October 2008. It measures 75.75-meter (248’6”).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

www.mvbowie.com is no more

Today, I shut down the website for the MV Bowie. It was time. I didn't want to keep paying out to maintain this and any email accounts I had set up were getting so much spam it was ridiculous as well as redundant. 
May as well before Obama shuts the whole internet down anyway. ;).




Wednesday, June 02, 2010

If it Was My Home- Visualizing the BP Oil Disaster

Click on the link to get some perspective of the scope of this disaster. If it were Vancouver and the lower mainland it would cover all that, the Fraser Valley, Southern Gulf and south end of Vancouver Island.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

How about an Alibi for your Wahoo?

The marina owner/boss had a Little Brother in the marina who had, wait for it... a grotty old boat. At 50ish, Little Brother is no dummy when it comes to boats and I know he knows his stuff. I like Little Brother as a person, just not his bad habits. At one time he really had his life together and is so often the case, suffered a major injury and his life fell apart. Since the trauma, Little Brother, also was not very inclined to pay moorage, or his hydro and often "borrowed" things from Big Brother and neighbours to pay for his habits. It's a script for life one sees time and time again: life has you landing a big pile of doo-doo and sometimes you can recover from it; or you just fall apart. Bridges it seems are made for burning.

Little Brother also had friends with bad habits who were also inclined to borrow things. As we restricted their access to the property, the rate of stuff going walk-about declined. Then, Old Softie, aka Greig, would acquiesce to some request. It is his nature to be inclined to believe in people when they are far from being entitled to that faith. Then there would be a new spate of borrowing again and {begins singing} It's like the song that never ends...it just goes on and on...

Big Brother just couldn't muster the cojones to throw Little Brother out. It's that family thing. Oh sure, he could yell at him and steam at the ears but when it came to actually following through, he always ended up backing down from his threats. Big Brother had assistance recently when the city and port authority decided to crack down on his property to get it cleaned up. Little Brother was no longer living on his boat, but in a motor home on Big Brother's property and well, it isn't zoned for such things.

Seeing an opportunity to maybe help the Boss/Big Brother get rid of Little Brother and all the noise that all brought, Little Brother decided to let Greig buy his boats (only two!) in exchange for Greig's dumping pick up truck. Little Brother has a hard time keeping a job and if it keeps him somewhat self-employed, and busy, all the better, thought Greig. I was thrilled at finally go from having five insured vehicles to three (yes, three is still too many). So, in typical fashion, Greig's recent sale of two boats has resulted in an additional net gain of two more. {Heavy sigh}.


With twin 671s, I guess this too was a charter vessel at one time and the superstructure has really deteriorated in the few years it has been at Sather too. I am sure it was a beauty once and ago.


The Alibi Wahoo is an authentic rum runner. Little Brother showed us it's authentic provenance in a book he had borrowed from the public library. (Yes, he forgot to return the book too.) It sure was pretty! He figured the Alibi and the Ma Cherie were the only two authentic rum runners left on the West Coast - for this book's author says so. The Ma Cherie is a beautiful boat and in the first year Greig and I were dating it was for sale for the princely sum of $110k and I looked into trying to purchase it. But that was before the Bowie came into our life and days after viewing that, Greig took off to Mexico to work on the movie Master and Commander. The Ma Cherie was no wreck and now lives in the marina next door. Yes, I am sure had that deal gone through, my attitude about boats and live aboards would be quite different. (I have real photos of it somewhere...)

Right, but this is about the Alibi Wahoo.

It's Twin 671s Detroits do turn over so it isn't seized and they are quite salvageable. It's wheelhouse, upper structure is a mess. Built sometime in the 1920s it was surely a gem.

Oh wait...I did say two boats. Yes, the second I saw running when we first got to Sather a few years ago but it has been neglected too. Yes, it went past, fast, so I can attest to what it once was also. However, it's name has always offended me and really, I think it is best that it just...went...below.


 Charming little thing isn't it?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Three live aboard tales from New York

Apartment Therapy had this post on three stories of house boating in New York City.

The third, thought published back in December of 2008, from the New York Times, made me chuckle and wonder that they must have been reading Waterlogged for some time and adapting our ideas. The Urban Pirate Life sounded awfully familiar to me.  We were not off-grid like these folks and at least managed to stay warmer on the Bowie and the old wood ship I think was easier to heat than this steel one. 


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Boat sale #3: the MV Hari Mai

It is with happiness I proclaim the Hari Mai is now officially sold! Though I really loved this boat - and though we only owned it for a few years it really is synonymous with Rod, aka Harry Man, from whom we purchased it from. Rod took care of it lovingly for about ten years I think.  When he married a few years ago and he and his wife were expecting he was very anxious to have it sold for little Ester was only a few months away.  I think it will always be my favorite of the smaller ones we've had. It had a Grey marine gas engine that ran like a sewing machine and really quite economical on the fuel.  I  prefered its slower cruising than the bone jarring speed/noise of a faster boat.

I have fond memories of you forever Hari Mai!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Expressing himself

We did get some progress done on the Express last year. With Denis Sr. help, the half of the salon got framed. It wallowed until January when Greig got a shot in the arm to get it "livable."


Livable. It's word fraught with so much meaning. His livable has never been my livable so upon the sale of the float house, the panic attack that flooded over me was a sure indication that it wasn't the way for me. However, around Christmastime,  Greig was motivated by a high school friend who was bringing over a construction crew from Victoria and needed beds for his crew for the end of January. He didn't think he'd find affordable accommodations for his five -six guys because of the Olympics. So Greig hauled his backside trying to get it up to at least camping state.

His concept drawing.

1. He put up sheeting on the existing studs.
2. Got a crew in to spray foam the ceiling and upper walls
3. Installed a couple of the salvaged Bowie portholes I had cleaned up.
4. Found a free 10 person hot tub, installed a new spa pack to the tune of about $1600 when the dust settled. It still needs a proper lid as the other has finally had the biscuit. In the meantime, I recycled a huge vinyl banner from work and he is using that until he feels it is OK to shell out the 200-400 bucks for a proper cover.
5. Made a bathroom: installed a shower/bathtub, toilet, vanity and black tank.
6. Got some basic kitchen facility in place with cooktop burner in place.
7. Set up a band stand with an organ, the computer, Bui's drums and his guitar....rock on.

 The Pacific Express with the Celtwin and the Bayliner out front.

The guys moved in and set to work on their big window installation job and Greig managed to salvage a few windows from the job site and now has some installed along the port side, as well as a big slider on the back deck. The crew has dispersed to sleeping areas on the Bayliner, sailboat, Hari Mai and the water taxi and for the most part these guys seem to be coping with the camping like conditions just fine if not being, well, guys away from home and not so tidy.

Some of the salvaged windows he got installed.

Soon they will be done this job and Greig will have the Express to himself save his new room mate. Gizmo is a ginger persian who has been an indoor cat and was owned by a young girl over in West Vancouver (very tony digs) who' Mother felt she wasn't taking the best care of him. I suppose I thought Persians would be fussy things and the wee thing had a moment but he is a very good natured little fellow.

Gizmo is 15-18 months old and still quite kitten-like.

I think from having these guys about Greig is finally cured of the communal living. No doubt if there was a female down there they would have all behaved themselves a bit better. Pretty much all of them are fairly heavy drinkers and two have had to be fished out drunk from the cold winter river. Sean has had to send a few back to the Island (Vancouver Island) for getting out of hand. And maybe that is just guys, away from home, exhausted from 10-12 hr working days and trying to relax enough to get up and do it all again the next day. I guess it hasn't been any fun. Well at least they can BBQ.


In the last few weeks though we have had a spate of windstorms and kept a few of them up late and bouncing around in the chuck a bit. The Express certainly is a whole lot lighter than the Bowie whose movements were much more subtle. All in all not listening to the tarps or boat rigging flopping in the wind makes for a better night's sleep.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Suquamish

The Suquamish is a boat that has been at Sather for sometime. If you have been following this blog for any amount of time, you will recall it is the one that tipped over a year ago. I wrote about the incident here. I don't know much about this boat: only that Glen claimed it was the oldest wooden passenger ferry on the west coast - something I have never been able to validate in my loose research on the thing.

Glen, then owner, worked to clean up the mess and after the swamping got the engine on it going within a matter of days and spent the rest of the summer organizing all the piles of crap and materials on board. The problem with Glen was that he had been squatting at the marina for a good while - at least a year and a half before we arrived. He was half on the Sather water lease and half on the neighbour's next door. Since Glen was persona non grata, Greig had it on express orders from the Big Boss to not let him on the property or give him power at all lest  enabling him to remaining there. On the day we sold the float house, he came to Greig, literally hat in hand, asking if Greig would take it over. It had a slow leak in the stuffing box and just keeping on top of it was getting too much for Glen. So Greig was in possession of another big-assed wooden boat for the princely sum of a $1. Without much say in the matter anyway, all I could do was shake my head in resignation over it all, knowing full well Greig would pull another horseshoe out of his backside over it at some point.. 

The spring has had Greig in a wee flurry of boat showings and negotiations some of which looked really positive and have ultimately fallen through. Greig asked me to post the Suquamish on craigslist and within the month sold it. Adrien had had a vessel once before and was keen to get back into something to live aboard.





The work Adrien is doing is not to dissimilar to Greig's recent renovations to the Express- something I've not yet written about yet. Suquamish had very similar lines though not quite as beam-y or as long. It's straight eight Gardner still runs though I have no idea if real operation of the vessel is upon Adrien's agenda or not though he did stick a funnel on the roof the other day, in situ. Part of Adrien's payment to Greig was a very fithy '89 Mercedes four door which Greig in turn, gave to me. I didn't expect that for I felt I had no entitlement to anything where the Suquamish was involved. But I wasn't about to look gift Mercedes in the mouth, even it it is 21 years old. I've since cleaned up and is my regular driver when I don't bike or walk, until the Suburban is repaired. At least that WAS the plan until the other day.

I think Adrien's making some good progress.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A winter hiatus

It is much harder to write this since I am not living down at the marina. I have attempted a few posts which I often don't end up publishing for a multitude of reasons. As well, Greig and I are no longer a couple (it has been a few months), yet we do still share some responsibilities and assets that are not going anywhere soon. I grew very tired about arguing about everything - we have an inordinate amount of power struggles that are irreconcilable. It is much nicer being friends as we, OK, I, don't do the "shacked up" thing very well.

The one thing we agree on is how much we love each other: quite dearly and deeply. The other substantive issue is we can't agree on is "how" to live. I have always figured that if real estate was at all realistic and attainable that would be a huge hurdle for us. Fact is anything "attainable," maybe a one bedroom condo, is totally not attractive to either of us at all and would cramp our mutual need for creative expression. Certainly it is never going to happen in this town. A one bedroom is totally unrealistic factoring Bui and Dosha into it all too. But they are getting older and Bui is going to be going into Grade 12 next year. However, 600K for a two bedroom shack isn't appealing and ultimately wouldn't work either. Our collective inability to do so has been a contentious issue all along.  Lousy credit doesn't help either and well, the banks will set you up for huge falls which is what exactly what happened to me. Much to Greig's chagrin his children have had the choice and have preferred all along to live with their mother while he had always held out hope they would at some point "choose" him at some point. They haven't yet and I doubt they ever will. I think this is often the plight of many single Dads everywhere.

I made concessions for many years for him that made me miserable and it ultimately undermined everything.  He is committed to providing something for his kids that is theirs, whether they really want it or not and big fat boats are the most interesting and manageable thing at his fingertips. But the meaning of a home and a "house" are very different things in my book.

He is forever inundated with a lot of negative energy from so many fronts, and I freely admit I am included in that at times. He wages political warfare on so many fronts - and as much as it seems it is self inflicted, the crazy crap that comes out of the blue at him is very bizarre too. He's a magnet for that shit,  heck, probably enables it to a large degree. I can't help but wonder if God just isn't preparing him for something bigger sometimes.

We have been attempting to downsize the fleet and it's a slow process. But he has another girlfriend who is even less interested in that kind of life than I ever was. At least now he has a cat, to keep him a bit of company and hopefully has a bit of salt where mousing is concerned. Gizmo, is rather diminutive compared to the girth-some Tobias. Gizmo is a ginger persian and is starting to settle into the lifestyle and has come out of hiding now and is beginning to resign himself to boat life. The first 24 hours he was completely FREAKED. "Giz," I told him, "I understand!'" He is only about 15 months old yet so I think these two adopted fellows will be great company for each other as they get to know each other better.

Yes, my rent is tall order on my own and exceeds the percentage based on my salary that I should be paying. But managing that is less stressful and panic ridden than the challenges of living down at a rundown river marina and all the other factors that go into a semi-peaceful existence. I sleep much better these days. Did I mention how much I LOVE living alone. Oh ya baby!


It's been a miserable winter weather wise and there has been lots going on I've not had the time or motivation to blog about. I am perusing more of my own interests now and have a new blog based on my interests in cooking, gardening, antiquing and sewing. I guess you could say it is kind of a green blog as I endeavor on the principle of  "use what you have."

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Boaty bitching in the news.

The sunny weather of the Olympics is over and we have had our winter now these last few weeks since and last night the lower mainland got nailed again with windstorms. Now back to business, as usual.

Four vessels have washed up on beaches in English Bay and of course on the CBC's website there have been two articles this morning on the issue.

1. Vancouver Sailor Blames City for Kits Beach Wreckage

2. Windstorm blasts BC south coast.

All in all fascinating and maddening all at the same time to read the comments here which range from simple mis-information to complete elitism and fascism. People are just so NICE!

I'm kidding. Really, that is the Real Vancouver. All that "niceness" during the Olympics? It was a one time event. Now eff off and hand over your wallet, ya deadbeat.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sunny Olympic days

I made it out on a charter during the Olympics. Thankfully it was a glorious day. Here are some Olympic themed pics for you.

This is what GOLD sounds like

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beautiful time-lapse video of Vancouver

My mum told me about this video as I guess it was featured on the evening news. It is very beautiful and well done. There are lots of boats and this gives you a good idea of what we see out on charters most evenings though this is clearly shot in winter. Enjoy.


Monday, January 25, 2010

I've been sayin' it for years.

Well this seems like such old news to most of us who live here, today's Vancouver Sun announced a new study that rates Vancouver "severely unaffordable" housing as one of the worst in the world.

No kidding?
"Vancouver not only has the least affordable housing of 28 markets measured in Canada, but of 272 metropolitan markets ranked in Ireland, the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, the U.S. and Canada, according to statistics compiled by the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy."

Oh and there's a developer who has come up with this great idea in providing micro-housing units for renters: 270 sq. feet. And no, they don't float. It sure looks like a bachelor suite to me.

Gee...$300 less than the average bachelor suite (suites advertised on Craiglist average 800-1500). I should note minimum wage here is $8/hour and the BC Federation of Labour is kicking off a campaign to have it raised to $10.

Seems to me Tumbleweed homes are still a more attractive option 'cos at least you can own one of 'em!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Adreneline much?

About two hours ago I was up in the mall picking up a prescription and thinking I should hit the library or go to the bookstore nearby. I opted for the bookstore even though I had no intention of actually buying a book.

As I approached the book store, I heard the shriek of a woman and as I was turning back toward the scream, my first thought was that someone dropped a jar of pickles on the tile or some such thing. I saw a fellow veering back from the cashier clutching a handful of bills to his abdomen and turning to run out of the store. Without thinking I just bolted after him. Silly really, as I was in heels but the bastard and I locked eyeballs and so I took chase after him over the tile floors. I chased him for about 400 feet over the mall and down a hallway to a stairwell and then I lost him for I didn't know if he gone up or down. And the realization that I was in heels and I didn't have a snowballs chance made me realize the futility of it.

As I turned to give up an employee or maybe the owner of the shop the store was right behind me. He said that this fellow had ripped them off before. They declined my offer for my services as a witness and so I took my leave. Adreneline pumping, I felt no need to remain in the mall and left.

It's giving me pause to think however how quickly I choose to bolt after this fellow. He wasn't what I would consider a "big" guy and I probably had a good 20 pounds on him, as I would never be accused of being small or petite by any stretch of the imagination. (I am 5'7" and large athletic frame).  He could have been armed but I certainly didn't ever feel afraid.  I suppose if this happened in the US, the chance of him packing heat would have been far greater. I mean no disrespect to my US friends here, but geez, it's Canada and when we think of the "right to bear arms" it usually means bare arms, 'cos it is summer and we can turf the parkas! He was clearly confident that I'd not catch him anyway. Brunette, 5'10 -11", 160 lbs, light olive complexion perhaps of European mix, khaki pants, baseball hat, blue fleece jacket. He was actually kind of a nice looking guy really.  But I am no cop. I am no runner either - my bladder gets me every time!

But it isn't the first time for your's truly to stand up to some rotter who thinks they can be a bully and that I am just "some female,"  who won't get in their face. Invariably, I do, much Greig's chagrin. He's referred to me as his Velvet Hammer on several occasions.

At any rate, while I ponder all the ponderables of this situ, may I recommend this very nice Australian red? Ah, that's it. Must be the uppity Aussie in me blood, or the German.