Monday, January 28, 2013

All washed up

The boat, not me.  I probably smell a little fuchi but that’s one of the advantages of being a bachelor – reduced need for bathing and more discretion in regard to what qualifies as clean eating utensils.

I’ve been busy washing algae off the boat.  In this damn damp BC climate there’s algae growing on everything.  I have now been all around the boat on the main deck including most of the outside surfaces – at least the ones that are accessible from the deck.  We’re starboard tied so I can’t get to all the port side surfaces but they are generally in better condition by virtue of being south facing.  The damn algae seems to thrive in the shade on the north side.

Its pretty lonely here on the dock.  German Bob, our ne0-nazi dockmate is apparently at home judging by the presence of his geriatric Volvo and the occasional light visible on his derelict boat but I have yet to actually see him.  Other than Bob I don’t think there’s anybody on any of the boats.  Curry and Seagull are in Mexico; hippy Bill and his woman are house sitting for the winter.  There’s the occasional lookie-lou walks the dock and Bill comes down to check his and Seagull’s boats but other than that its just me and the invisible Bob. 

It feels like all I’ve done since I got back is buy groceries but I may finally have got things stocked back up.  I’m getting ready for a run to Vancouver.  The boat show starts the end of the first week in February.  I told Bluenoser Bruce that I would be there for the boat show but I don’t want to wait another week to make the crossing to Vancouver.  The weather has been pretty good which is part of the decision but for a cheap SOB like me an equally important consideration is the current direction and I’ll have contrary currents to deal with if I wait much longer.  As it is I’ll have to cool my heels on the dock here until around 10:00 in the morning to get the best current boost if I get away by Wednesday and every day the favourable time will get later.  I’ve got a few parts to pick up in Duncan tomorrow but I think I can leave Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. (on edit) Waiting for more parts so the Wed. departure is off – Friday is likely the best I can do now.

Since I left here in late November Gary and Richard have dumped a bunch of money into our parking lot and it is a huge improvement.  Last spring the parking lot threatened to disappear into the ocean during the storm surge that accompanied the big wind while we were in Port Angeles.  I’m not sure whether the parking lot improvement was already on the books or whether that storm precipitated it.  Either way they have built a new seawall and expanded the lot by probably 20 feet into what was formerly ocean.  I’m not sure how they got that one past Fisheries and Oceans (and perhaps they didn’t) but it is a vast improvement over what we had to deal with before.

I ran into a wall today.  I brought some pulleys and hubs back from the prairies and apparently I managed to get the sizes completely wrong – wrong pulley size and wrong shaft size.  So today I tracked down a supplier in Duncan and got the one pulley and hub that I thought I needed.  When I started installing it I realized that the second one I had was wrong too so I called back, got assured that they had 13 of the size I wanted, went back in and learned that the toll free number they print on their invoices takes me to Edmonton.  WTF???  I should have known better – 13 of an oddball size in stock in Duncan, BC was really unlikely and it struck me that way when I phoned but I didn’t follow up with the obvious question – why the hell do you have so many?

So now I sit generator-less until they get me a pulley.  I’m too cheap to pay for rapid delivery so it won’t likely arrive until Thursday or Friday.  Meanwhile Ray & I spent most of the afternoon fixing Gary’s dock.  That was long overdue because every time the dock ices up I was afraid I was going in the drink so getting that fixed is a big relief.  Ray felt the same way so we were both donating our time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Its good to be home again

…………. even though I arrived dog tired in the middle of the night. 

We had the flying day from hell coming back from Guadalajara.  After getting us up at 3:00 AM in Guad, Karla dropped us at the airport.  We thought we should take a cab but she wouldn’t hear anything of it. 

The plane was slow leaving the gate and that turned out to be an omen because when we got over Houston the airport was fogged in solid with nothing coming or going.  We circled for about an hour until fuel became an issue and then diverted to San Antonio.  When we arrived they told us there were 6 planes ahead of us waiting for fuel.  Two hours later they claimed there were still 5 planes awaiting fuel ahead of us but that we would all be fueled and in the air within the next half hour.  Of course that was complete bullshit and in fact we were on the ground for fully another 2 hours from that time for a total time on the ground of 4 hours.  We had been cooped up in that flying culvert for roughly 7 hours by the time we eventually crawled out in Houston.  Of course US Homeless Insecurity couldn’t have us unwashed Mexican immigrants wandering around San Antonio so leaving the plane was never an option. 

What really pisses me off about that type of situation though is the lying approach that airlines invariably take.  From the time we arrived they never made an announcement that admitted they planned to keep us for more than half an hour additional.  I’m sure that is deliberate.  If they came on the air right up front and said “there isn’t a hope in hell we’ll be out of here in less than 4 hours” they’d have a riot on their hands.  Rather than that honest approach they instead repeatedly lie saying that it will be “just another half an hour” and the sheeple suck it up.

Of course by the time we finally got on the ground in Houston our flight had long since left for Calgary.  But before we could begin to deal with that we had to stand in line for another hour and then suffer through a round of abuse by Homeless Insecurity.  We got sent to detention but this time they just made us sit for half an hour and then gave us back our passports and sent us on our way.  “Welcome to the USA” 

Then we stood in line again so that United could figure out how to get us to Calgary.  They put us on standby for a 6:15 flight and we actually made the flight but of course after all that when we arrived in Calgary our bag didn’t arrive with us.  The particularly galling part of that deal was that I had specifically asked about the bag in Houston and the idiot at the counter assured me that everything was in order with it and that it would definitely get put on the flight.  Lying asshole sons of bitches all of them. 

Meanwhile on another file ………………



In a move to end world hunger the UN has officially requested access to Chief Spend’s fish broth recipe.  Reasoning that if the Chief can survive for over 6 weeks on this soup without noticeably losing any of her considerable bulk, the World Health Organization has resolved to actually do something useful.  In the future fish broth will replace food donations.  World harmony and health for all is possible in our lifetime.


There – I found the earliest image I could from when she went on her “diet” and one that I know is recent from when she grandstanded about the meeting with the GG.  You be the judge.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tomemos comida en Tonala

I’ve been more than a little delinquent with posting this last week or so.  Disculpeme.

We left Regina on a bitterly cold Friday afternoon, headed for Saskatoon where Marilyn was pitching a contract to Saskatchewan Ag in the Classroom.  After that we turned west and got as far as Kindersley before I powered out so we spent the night in the old Kindersley Inn.  An early start in the morning got us to the Calgary airport in time for our 1:00 flight to Guadalajara.  Unfortunately it wasn’t a direct flight so we had to kill  about 4 hours in Houston along the way and arrived in Guad at close to midnight. 

Marilyn pushed the button at customs and got a green light so that was an easy entry.  When we walked through the doors Karla and her parents were waiting to greet us.  Her condo is pretty close to the airport so it was a short trip home to where Adrianita was waiting for us.  After much gifting we finally got to bed sometime before 3:00 AM.  Since then we have been in a flurry of activity which I won’t bore you with the details of. 

Karla’s sister and her brother in law took us up to Tapalpa to a restaurant that they really like on Sunday.  On the way back from Tapalpa at around 6:00 we got sideswiped by a bob-tail semi.  He did a lot of damage to Carlos Juan’s car and he would have been long gone except for Karla’s quick reaction.  My instinct would have been to pull to the shoulder and assess the damage but when she saw the truck leaving the scene of the crime her instinct was to hammer down, get ahead of him and then force him to a stop in the middle of traffic.  After that treatment he was pretty cooperative and in typical Mexican fashion everyone was extremely polite to the point of hugging each other when we finally parted ways 5 hours later. 

While we were standing on the side of the highway with traffic whizzing past us as we waited for various insurance agents to arrive I kept telling myself it would make a good story someday.  There hasn’t been enough time pass yet for it to be a good story but its getting close.  The biggest difference from a Canadian or US accident was that the only police involvement in the accident was coincidental.  The first call for everyone was to their insurance agent.  Then we waited.  And waited.  And waited some more until finally the trucker’s agent arrived on the scene.  At that point everybody agreed that it was very good because the trucker and Carlos both had the same insurance company.  I wasn’t so sure but I held my tongue.

Sure enough things quickly got worse.  First Carlos couldn’t find some key piece of paper in his crowded glove box.  That didn’t seem to be a deal breaker but it did consume a lot of search time.  Then it turned out that the trucker didn’t actually have insurance, his coverage having expired on Dec. 31.  And as it turned out his company had been involved in another almost simultaneous accident which will become important later in the story. 

I think at that point the liability must have fallen back on Karla’s agent because we then had to wait and wait and wait for her agent to arrive.  At one point I wondered if we would ultimately have to wait for our agent to arrive but I put that thought out of my mind. 

Once Karla’s agent arrived they then had to repeat the filling out of all the multiple copies of multiple forms in quadruplicate.  Then it came down to the trucking company coming up with enough surety on enough credit cards to cover the anticipated repairs to Carlos Juan’s car.  As I mentioned earlier, the same company had been involved in an almost simultaneous but slightly earlier accident so that apparently had consumed most of their access to credit.  That meant that Karla’s agent didn’t get finished his phone calls and forms until around midnight.   My only thought at the time was “there goes 6 hours out of my life that I will never get back.”  On the plus side nobody got hurt and we did get to observe first hand what actually happens after a Mexican traffic incident.  The only police involvement during the whole affair was when two highway patrol officers in an SUV happened by.  They stopped briefly but were gone almost before I noticed that they had stopped.  I doubt that anyone mentioned that the trucker had initially tried to run away from the accident because that would have been too impolite and in Mexico politeness is paramount even after some asshole sideswipes your car and tries to run away from the scene of the crime. 

Yesterday Carlos went into the hospital for his prostatectomy so we just tried to stay out of the way.  To do that we hired a local cab and got him to take us into the heart of Tonala.  Tlaquepaque (where Karla lives) and Tonala are the centre of production for glassware, ceramics and wrought iron work that you see in markets all over the south of the US.  We didn’t find our way into the production zone yesterday but it was a fun day nonetheless.  Years ago when we visited Tonala we happened to wander into a glass blowing shop where we spent at least an hour just staying out of the way and watching.  Nobody seemed to mind that we were in the middle of their production shop.  Our purchases yesterday consisted of some ceramic dolphins for a feature wall in the boat and some colourful napkins as well as la comida (our noon meal). 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The chattering class

“Investigative journalist” isn’t actually an oxymoron – its just really rare to find one.  Consider for a moment the media circus surrounding the publicity hound who has camped out in Ottawa seeking and receiving national attention.  Our focus should be on her abysmal management of the public funds that have been poured into her reservation courtesy of the long suffering Canadian taxpayer. 

Attawapiskat audit numbers

Attawapiskat population

Let’s keep it real simple.  The first document shows roughly 31 million dollars of government money flowing into the reserve.  The second document shows roughly 1500 residents living in 300 residences.  As Ezra Levant has so eloquently pointed out that makes Theresa Spence the mayor of a small town, not the leader of a nation.  But I digress. 

$31 million spread over 300 households is $100,000 per household, give or take.  Do you think that perhaps your household could survive with $100,000 of tax free annual income, regardless of where you live?  Do you think that maybe you could maintain the infrastructure of your community and slap a coat of paint on your house once every 10 years or so?  If you had raw sewage running in your streets would you blame your mayor or your PM?

Chief Butterball is the centre of a media feeding frenzy because our national media is too lazy to do actual journalism.   All you need to do is look at her record to know she has never sacrificed herself for anything in her life – she most certainly didn’t start do that in the last 4 weeks.  Canadian natives have plenty of problems to deal with and there are chiefs who are working hard to solve those problems.  Chief Butterball is part of the problem, not the solution.