Tuesday, November 27, 2007


So the plan was that I was going to get up early, fire up the Aqua Hot, (diesel furnace) let it warm up while we had breakfast & then we were going to do the final packing for our departure tomorrow morning. I didn’t get up all that early but it wasn’t late either, went out and flipped the thermostat up and listened. I only have experience with one Aqua Hot but if they are all like this one its no problem to tell if they are running. This one ROARS when it is running. This morning it kind of mumbled. Not good.

Sure enough it went through its start cycle a few times and then showed a start fault. I buggered around with it until I got cold but no joy. Did I mention – it was -30 or worse here this morning – I didn’t actually look at a thermometer until noon and it was only -22 then. After breakfast and more buggering around I finally gave up on the Aqua Hot and plugged in the block heater. I also dragged out my 75,000 BTU construction heater and stuffed it up against the rear bumper. Then I went to town and bought some Melt and dumped that in the tank. And I hooked up the boost charger & plugged in the battery blankets and put a magnetic heater on the pan. The first rule of cold weather diesels is “always park the noisy end closest to the electric panel”.

I managed to wait until about 12:30 and then gave it a shot of go juice in the little SS hole. And the big 8-92 lit up first turn so that was the first good thing that had happened. Then I thought I might as well try the Kubota cuz it had been getting all the waste heat off the construction heater. And like all good Kubotas it lit up right away too. So I let both the engines run for about an hour and then tried the Aqua Hot again. Sure enough that time it started roaring too.

Then we waited for about an hour so the worst of the chill was off and started the last minute packing. There was quite a pile of "stuff" by the back door waiting to go to the bus. We're going to stop for a while at an orphanage in Navajoa - maybe give them a hand with construction. We asked them what they needed and they said bedding & towels. What a bit of good luck - we just happen to have a bunch of bedding and towels that are surplus so we had all that packed into about 6 garbage bags which made the pile look even bigger than it really was. It took about 3 hours but we got everything stowed away in various nooks and crannys. Its really amazing how much room there is in the bus. The front bay is FULL but most of that is the stuff for the orphanage so we will get rid of that as soon as we get into Mexico.

Yesterday Marilyn took G II for his shots & checkup. As far as we can tell all that he needs to do to get into the US is look alive. He's pretty good at that but we went ahead and got his shots and a certificate saying that he has his shots. My guess is that no one will pay him 2 seconds of attention at either of the borders but time will tell. The shots really hit him hard - he was pretty dopey yesterday and - most unusual of all - not hungry. Today he sort of has his appetite back but he's still pretty dopey. We can't skin him and make him into a rug and import the rug to the US. It appears we can skin him in the US, tan his hide and export him as a rug but bringing him in is completely verboten.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

pretty busy last 2 weeks

I've been everywhere from Winnipeg to Red Deer - I am SO ready to leave here. We rolled out our NH3 training in Winnipeg 2 weeks ago this coming Monday, then went to Saskatoon the same week. A couple of days at home and then back out to Red Deer. The only good thing about the Red Deer trip was that I got to listen to Sask. beat B.C. while I was driving. It took me 5 hours to get to Saskatoon (should be 2.75 or 3 hours max) because the weather was so bad. And why is it that some moron always wants to start a parade when the highways get bad? I don't mind that someone gets out there and is scared stupid and wants to drive slow. What I mind is the idiot behind that person who hasn't got the balls to pass or the brains to stay back so someone else can pass.

I got back home late Wed and spent the end of the week cleaning up a farm business assessment file that needs to be done before we leave. And I got the bus out of the shop. That was a major project. We have close to 2 feet of snow in the yard. Denton came & plowed out in front of the shop but I still wasn't sure that I could get out. I seriously considered hanging the tire chains on the tires but fortunately talked myself out of that plan. It was pretty cold too so it took a little ingenuity to get the big diesel running but everything went off without a problem. I needed to take the bus to town to fill the propane & weld up a crack on the hitch. All that is done now & the bus is parked so that it is aimed at the highway. Only 4 more sleeps until we pull out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Of pigs & polar caps

So how are they related? Well, if you believe hisownself the ex-President, the polar caps are about to make like the last of the icecubes in the bottom of your drink glass. And that's supposedly all our fault so we need to do everything in our power to reduce our dastardly emissions into the pristine atmosphere. Doing everything in our power gets translated into subsidizing the hell out of impossible technologies, like making fuel out of grain. That in turn drives the price of grain to unheard of heights which devastates the North American livestock industry. But its all for the greater good because we are preventing the loss of the icecaps, which is obviously our fault.

I had a vigorous back and forth email exchange with Kevin Hursh over the past 2 days concerning the future of the so-called bio-fuel industry. I initiated the exchange when I dismissed bio-fuel as a pipe dream to which Kevin responded that it wasn't really a pipe dream given that it consumed 3 billion bushels of US corn last year although he was prepared to concede that the industry was "government subsidized". To which I responded that it was more a case of "government maintained" than subsidized and time will tell just how sustainable that situation is. By which time it may be too late for the North American livestock industry.

Then tonight comes an email from my good friend Bryan St. George which included a reference to this website which is devoted to debunking the nonsense of global warming. Bryan's note included an excerpt from an essay by John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel wherein he attacks the pseudo-science of manmade global warming. Personally I don't really mind a bit of global warming - I'm hoping to experience some personal warming starting in about 3 weeks. Only 12 more sleeps until we start out on the great adventure.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What constitutes news?

I think Brian Mulroney will go down as one of Canada's better prime ministers - perhaps one of our best prime ministers. If he had done nothing more than NAFTA he should be honoured forever as one of the most effective governments of modern times. However, the current media circus around Schreiber's so-called revelations has cast a pall over the Harper government's relationship to Mulroney.

So what does Harper do? What we would expect based on previous Liberal history is obfuscation, avoidance, stonewalling. But that's not Steven's style. No - he announces an inquiry and he does it immediately. I like his style.

I said to Marilyn the morning after the Sask party victory that it is a sad commentary on our political process when it constitutes news that a politician does what he says he is going to do. At Wall's first press conference he announced that he is going to immediately introduce legislation to fix election dates in Sask. Now this should come as no surprise to any sentient being living in Saskatchewan. I wouldn't say it was a major campaign plank but it clearly was a commitment during the election. So the fact that he went ahead and did it shouldn't be news. It should be news if he didn't do it but our expectations from politicians have sunk so low that it now is news when a pol does what he says he is going to do.

Harper does what he says he is going to do too. He's going to reform the Senate, he's going to lower taxes, he's going to stay the course in Afghanistan, he's going to clean up government. So when there is an appearance of impropriety involving an old friend of his what does he do? He does the right thing. That shouldn't be news but at the sad low that our system has descended to it is news when a politician does the right thing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Good bloody riddance

It looks like the people of Saskatchewan have spoken and spoken for sensible, forward thinking, logical, legitimate leadership. It was long overdue.

In his victory speech Brad characterized the results as a triumph of Hope over Fear - what a perfect summation of the Saskatchewan psyche. We live in a perpetual depression mentality in Saskatchewan. Where else do you have to be ashamed of being successful? Where else would a farmer buy the same colour and model of pickup so his neighbours won't know he can afford a new truck? Where else do neighbours resent your success the way they do in Saskatchewan?

While we are away this winter I promise to write an essay with some substantiation for the following premise: Sask. was "ahead" of Alberta up until the time we elected Tommy Douglas. I'm sick and tired of hearing about the supposed saviour of Saskatchewan/the World. The CCF is just the Canadian example of a philosophy that has failed miserably everywhere it has been attempted. Think Soviet Union, Cuba or Great Britain - socialism doesn't work. Full stop.

More later.

Friday, November 2, 2007

what a moron!

Bob Fyfe was just on CTV talking about the new attack ads that the Torys are getting set to run. Surprise, surprise - they are going to show Stefan standing on the steps of the House of Commons telling us that he is going to raise the GST rate if Canadians should be stupid enough to make him PM. Thank goodness for the attack ads is all I can say. Most Canadians are too lethargic to pay attention to national affairs. They need to be told that the Libs have elected a moron for a leader. That way if they are stupid enough to elect him at least they were warned.

And the other big news for the day? Stock Day says "if you commit a crime in another country you should expect to face the music in that other country". No more running home to Canada's resort prisons. Good on ya Stock. I don't see any reason why we should feed and house perverts, pedophiles and murderers who run afoul of the law in some other country.

Its about time we had some common sense leadership and decisions coming out of Ottawa. Maybe that's the real reason the dollar is on a runaway trajectory - maybe the rest of the world has noticed that the leadership in Ottawa has a brain for a change.