William and Max are from the Netherlands. 26. They speak fluent English and are good workers and pleasant fellows. We have them as ‘volunteers’ for the week. This is the Woofer program – Willing Workers on Organic Farms. Or: Will Work for Food-ers.

We rarely work our Wfers very hard and the rules are half-time anyway. We can work them all day and then give them the next day off or work them two half-days. The latter suits my own pace better. Actually, a combination of the both suits me best but Sal has her own agenda.

Yesterday we heaved the huge galvanized rails down from their position on the beach to their new position as an integral part of the lower funicular. The 6 x 21 foot rails are for 63 feet of track on which to carry a ‘cart’ big enough to lift a boat up the beach. That ‘placing-of-rails’ was a good job.

These puppies are really too heavy (225 pounds and awkward) for Sal and me to maneuver over rocky terrain at a 30 degree grade and bad footing. We can do it but we suffer afterwards. We really need several strong, agile young people now for this kind of work.

Now that they are in place, we’ll spend the next few days cutting steel and fabricating fastenings to hold them. When that is done, it is only building the carriage and ‘wiring the system all up’ that stands between us and no more lifting and carrying up the slippery, barnacle-encrusted beach. Wiring is Bill’s department. I am looking forward to his next visit.

The original motivation for receiving Wfers was for wood-getting but I am winchless at the moment and we can’t get the logs up the hill. I am going to address the issue again today. I may be able to cobble something together. Sadly, by the time I do that, their stint with us is over and they leave to help another neighbour for week. In wood-splitting as in life, timing is everything.

Our web access is by way of satellite. We are customers of Galaxy, the Canadian agent for Hughes Satellite. They provide internet but, because it uses satellite time, they limit access. Like all dictatorial corporations, they call restricting access, the Fair Access Policy. There is nothing ‘fair’ about it. Download a ‘byte’ too many and they shut you down. Hard! No warning. Just wham!! You are prohibited from access for 24 hours.

William accidentally downloaded too much and we were shut down. Such is life. Then, after a day, we were allowed ‘back on’ presumably suitably chastised and rehabilitated.

Boom! Shut down again!

I contacted them. “Sorry, sir, but it seems according to our records you overdid it again the next day between the hours of 9:00 pm and midnight. You really should get this handled.”

“But we didn’t use it then. In fact, everyone claims they didn’t up or down load. E-mail only. All day.”

“Sorry. Our computer says otherwise. You are toast!”

The only explanation I can think of is that one of our contacts sent us a giant e-mail, full of pics and pdfs and all sorts of stuff. HUGE e-mail. H-U-G-E! So, that may have kicked us out of the sky for yet another day. We paid $89/mo until this last contract which reduced it some. Americans pay $19.95. We have no ‘leeway’ for accidentally running over. Americans have a couple of ‘free passes’ for accidents and such. We don’t. The cost of delivering satellite service is the same whether the satellite beams a few hundred miles north of the 49th or a few hundred miles south.

As in the rest of life, being Canadian costs a premium.

Given that books cost more (even when they are printed in Canada), cars cost more and gasoline that is made in Canada also costs more (like everything else) can someone explain NAFTA to me?

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