Friday, September 22, 2017

It's A Go!

The guys will be here sometime tonight and they are bringing the shingles with them. I rented an equipment lift to get the shingles up to the roof. It was delivered and set up a little while ago and I was given lessons in it's use. Much easier than carrying them up the ladder a bundle at a timed

The weather looks good with no rain scheduled until Sunday night but we will have a brand new roof by then!

The Gods are smiling on our little project!

Thursday, September 21, 2017


For the first time is several years, I am sick! Sore throat, headache, sore eyes and just feeling weak and "Blah".

I better smarten up quick or I will be of very limited help on the roofing job.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New Roof On The Weekend!!??

Brooks and the roofer have scheduled the new roof for Saturday and Sunday. I checked four weather sites and three of them are calling for rain while one of them (and the local news) is calling for clear.

This just sucks! If they come up and can't work I still have to pay for gas and some compensation for all the travel time. If we cancel and it turns out nice then that will suck just as much! Maybe more!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


We spent a couple of days "Down Island". Norma's brother lives in Victoria and suffered a stroke a few months ago. He is now in a new nursing home and was having a small birthday party. Norma and I headed down, picking up our youngest granddaughter, Sierrah, along the way. We bought a couple of cakes, one regular and one ice cream, got to the residence and found Willea's room. It is a nice place if you have to be in such a place. His totally separate wing or "house" as they call it has twelve residents, each with their own room and a dining room. There are two male nurses dedicated to the wing and more support staff available when needed.

A bunch of Willea's friends as well as Norma's cousins, Al and Colleen from Nanaimo showed up for a piece of cake and some catching up. The leftover cake was taken by the nurses to the next wing to be shared. Happy 73rd, Willea!

We then went with Sierrah to the "Green Cuisine" vegan restaurant she works in on weekends for lunch. It was my first venture into a vegan sanctuary and was about as I expected. I had nut loaf, a couple of salads, kale, veggies and some other stuff I can't spell. It is "buffet style" where you take whatever you want, they weigh it and you pay by the weight. All three plates weighed $33, a good deal. Sierrah wanted to treat but Norma and I successfully wrestled the bill from the struggling part time working student!

We left Sierrah to meet up with her friends downtown and fled Victoria to face the "Calwood Crawl", the horrible, snail paced traffic mass leaving Victoria each day. An hour or two later we arrived at Brooks' home in Shawnigan Lake where we had a fun evening of pizza and couple of scotch.

We left early as they were getting ready for work and after I raided Brooks' burn pile, stopped at the Pioneer House for a delicious breakfast and got home before noon, exhausted!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New Roof Scheduled

When Brooks and his roofer friend CJ were up to build the new porch CJ reported that we needed a new roof. This is not the first time we had been told this as Mike, Norma' s grass cutter is a former roofer and told us the same thing when he went up there to install the roof vents. It is not an emergency but both said we would be lucky to get another year out of it.

Deciding to replace it when we had some control rather than in an emergency, we let Brooks and CJ schedule the job. CJ is bringing his worker up with him and Brooks and I will be here to help out where required. CJ is sure he can do it in two days which is good because he has a regular job to get back to.

CJ is driving up from Shawnigan Lake on Saturday to measure everything. He will order the material at his reduced rate and will arrange for rooftop delivery. They will be up on the weekend of Sept 23 to do the job. We are anxiously watching weather reports as there is rain forecast off and on for the next couple of weeks. So far it looks "OK" with light showers showing for the Saturday morning. We will hope for the best and hopefully the guys will have a "Plan B"

Saturday, September 9, 2017

All's Well In Cuba!

Our son Brooks just got a phone call from our mutual friends Roly and Christy in Cuba! The Internet is not working but the phones are back up. They are fine. The eye passed close to them but offshore and the effects of the storm were much less than they had been told to expect. There was little damage in their area near Cardenas (near Veradero).

It was just a quick international call to report in, I am sure there will be more details from them in the next few days but it is a great relief to hear they are well!

On to Florida!

Gritting Our Teeth For Irma!

We have friends in Cuba, friends in Florida and friends in South Carolina. All are in the path of Irma and are keeping us on our toes watching the hurricane's progress.

Roly and Christy live near Varadero, Cuba in a single story house. We are concerned for them but Roly is a very resourceful guy and I am sure they will be OK. The hurricane is rght over them as we speak. We have not heard from them since the day before yesterday.

Cherie and Chris (Technomadia Blog) have left their live aboard boat to it's fate in Marathon, FL (on the Keys) and drove a borrowed truck up to north Florida where they picked up their bus and are safely heading west out of Irma's path.

Our deceased friends Paul and Dodi lived in Lakeland, FL where their family and grandchildren still live. We got to know them all during the couple of months we have spent parked at our friends full hookup in their yard. We hope everyone is OK! If any of you are reading this, let us know.

In South Carolina we have our friends Dee and Beach who live just outside Charleston and are planning on riding out whatever is left of the storm by the time it hits them. Their RV is standing by in case they have to find higher ground. Also in Charleston are Sean and Louise (Our Odyssey Blog) who are trapped in Charleston Harbour in their 60 foot trawler "Vector". They are carefully watching Irma's path and will either stay put or head up the Cooper River depending on forecasts.

So, we have a vested interest in this storm and are glued to the TV watching it's progress. It does not look good!

[Image of probabilities of 34-kt winds]

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Early Morning Solar Musings

So I was laying in bed yesterday morning watching the sun come up and thinking how nice it was to have solar panels charging the motorhome batteries. And then I thought, "Wait a minute, it is plugged into the 30 amp outlet on the workshop. Does that mean the solar charging is bypassed by the 110 volt converter? Am I getting any benefit at all from the solar while I am plugged into shore power?".

I didn't know. So I went onto the Facebook RV Solar page and asked the experts and as usual, the answer is "It depends". It depends on how good a solar controller I have - mine is a lower end Pulse Width Modulated model and if it is programmable - no it is not. The consensus from the experts was that I was getting very little (if any) charging from the panels while I was plugged in. Well, that's not why I invested several hundred dollars into the 325 watt system of three panels, four batteries and a controller.

I was advised to turn off the breaker powering the converter. This would turn the charging duties over to the solar converter while still leaving the rig plugged in and the wall outlets powered. The best of both worlds.

I opened up the breaker panel and there it was, breaker #2 clearly labeled, "Converter". I turned it off and watched my battery voltage drop from 13.7 volts to 13.6 as the solar accepted the load. A few minutes it was at 13.8! It was working even in the overcast condition we then had. Now I just have to monitor the voltage to make sure it keeps up.

Thursday morning EDIT: This morning under a bright sky it was equalizing at 14.8 volts! I am a happy camper!!

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

45 Years Ago Today

It was 45 years ago today (in 1972) that the New Democratic Party, led by Dave Barrett, first swept into power in BC. "The Socialists Are At The Gates" was the cry from the right. Dave responded by cracking a joke and wearing a button saying, "I wear red shorts".

That was the day I decided I would never be left standing on the sidelines of BC politics again. We worked in some capacity on every election since then for the NDP, Federal and Provincial. My favorite gig was Official Agent, handling the campaign finances, Norma's thing was Campaign Manager. We have only gotten out of it since we retired because we are out of the country so much. It was quite a ride and I do miss it. We have many friends from those days, Dave and Shirley Barrett among them.

Definition Of An "Asshat"

Trump appears in Houston to supposedly reassure hurricane victims but really is using the occasion to sell his stupid $40 hats that are conveniently available from the Trump/Pence website. He had many other choices, like maybe a Red Cross hat? Like my Blogging friend Margaret of Margaret and Helen's Blog says, "I would pay $45 just to shove it up his ass". And don't get me started on Melania's FM pumps she wore in the storm! You wanted a businessman for President? Well, suck it up. That's exactly what you got. These people are completely out of touch.

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