Blowin’ in the wind

We are.  It’s howling.  Gusts past fifty.  Steady at 35 to 40.  Sky is bright, clear and the clouds up here are just scudding along.  Very cool.  I love windy days.

I was down at the beach yesterday moving boulders around (don’t ask) and I heard a gasp-puff and spun around to see a big Humpback cruising by not thirty feet away.  So close I could see the barnacles on his/her hump.  It came.  It went.  And I just stared at the empty sea……and then ‘whoosh-puff’ a second one came by right on the tail flukes of the first.  Very neat.

Sal and I are working on the lower cabin/boatshed right now but she was away on the other island so I moved boulders.  It’s a one-man job.  It would be better as a two or more person job but Sal told me that boulder moving was man’s work.  Nice to know.

Here’s something weird…..I am also installing hand rails on the steps up to the second floor.  I need ’em.  I have NEVER needed hand rails.  EVER.  But, well, never say never ’cause now, after a tiring day, I stiffen up a bit and going down stairs is not such a sure thing all the time.  I need hand rails.

NOT happy about that!

Here’s something else.  I went over to the other island the other day.  A neighbour asked me to pick up some gasoline.  Two five gallon jerry cans of premium.  It was a $1.80-something a liter.  He gave me $100.  I thought I’d have change.  I did not.  I put about 25 liters in one and maybe 23.5 liters in the other and the pump shut down at $100.00.

Ten gallons.  $100.00.  I know, I know…..“Life, Dave.  The price of things goes up.  Get used to it.”  Well, the older I get the more ‘sticker shock’ I feel over things and this one caught me wholly by surprise.  But..well, ‘what are you going to do?’

Stealing is an option, it seems.  One of our neighbours had his 5 gallon gas can stolen yesterday and the whole fuel tank went with it .  The boat was at the community dock about 25 or so kms from anywhere.  There were a couple of other boats.  The neighbours came back from town to find their boat – docked remotely – without fuel.  Without even a tank!  There is no cell service out there and so their only alternative was to drive back to town, buy a tank and a jerry can and fill them.  Then go back out the same logging road to the remote dock so that they could get home. 

Seems like petty theft for most people.  And I guess it is.  But it feels worse.  It feels as if the bastard thieves could have left enough fuel for them at least to get home.   But NOW knowing that the gas alone was almost $100.00, the fuel tank was likely $75.00,  the jerry can was at least $25.00 and the travel back and forth another $25.00 at the very least and the ‘petty’ part starts to feel more like grand theft.  

The thief likely came by water.  Which is also weird.  Boaters don’t usually do that sort of thing.  But who is going to drive down 25 plus kms of logging road on the off-chance of stealing a can of gas?  Makes no sense… are already out there and decide that it is an opportunity too good to pass up…?

Anyway…we think it is a boater.  NOT from around here but still, not from very far either….all small boats on the water right now…….

Sal said, “I wish this was an open-carry province like Arizona.  I’d blow the bastards away!”  Sal is getting ornery, it seems.  Which is good.  I need railings on the stairs so being mean may now fall into the category of women’s work, don’t you think?

41 thoughts on “Blowin’ in the wind

  1. Stuff walking away is all too common in my neck of the woods. Gas is currently $1.71.9 per litre so thieves are making the rounds. Locking gas caps present little barrier to thieves who drill the tank and collect it under the vehicle. I guess it avoids getting a mouthful of gas but adds selfish vandalism to gas thefts. Homeless people are often blamed for these thefts although most do not own vehicles so who are the gas goblins?


  2. Unbelievable.
    In a remote area like that where people have to rely on each other.
    Yeah a couple of remote hunting cams hidden in the trees might solve the ” mystery” of who’s doing it.
    And its usually someone nobody would suspect.
    Even if the cops usually dont deal with gas theft at least you would have the relief of knowing who it was.


  3. Or better yet.
    Start leaving old gas cans full of water or sugar/gas in plain view on your boat.
    I’m pretty sure most thieves aren’t gonna’ check it while they’re in a hurry to steal it..
    Hopefully they’ll need that “gas” to get to where they’re going……nuthin like trying to start a boat engine full of sugar/gas or water….
    No Sympathy for the Devils…… 🙂


  4. I like the gas/sugar idea. My neighbour has a few old jerry cans of equally old gas in his shed he was being wondering how to dispose of. I think they could be strategically placed and problem solved. Reminds me of a guy who wrote about a garbage strike in NYC some years back. He used to pack his trash in neat parcels and leave it on the back seat of his unlocked car. When he returned to the car, usually his trash had been “collected”.

    Sal’s idea about open carry is spot on. Americans have the right idea. They recognize that an armed resident is a citizen. One not allowed to bear arms is a subject. Sadly, Canadians have long lost sight of a trite bit of lore which tells us that, much like a muscle that atrophies with disuse, any right that goes unexercised for many years devolves into a privilege, and eventually can even be redefined as a crime.

    The gas story (including reference to ever-rising price) is just one small example of a constant that has long made me wonder about Dave’s comment some time ago about how most folks around him survive on about $2,000/mo. Perhaps that needs to be CPI-indexed to the present to account for inflation.

    Many, like Dave and Sal, head off to warmer climes in winter. Not all that cheap. Getting to Thailand and back is not really a steal. Even Arizona. We have lived OTG for years and, if ever we had a month when we could get by with under $5,000 I’d be thrilled. Sure, some months we don’t spend that (well, not sure, but maybe), but in the long run, $5k is peanuts. One must always budget for the next outboard needed (checked the price of a Yamaha 150 lately?), annual maintenance on at least one boat. The cost of getting one’s motor vehicles to town to be serviced and brought back, and on and on. Just a gallon of stain for a few square feet of deck now costs a day’s pay for someone with an income of $2,000/mo. A new roof? Better hope not. A new diesel genset? Yikes! Even if used and not worn out, thousands. Dock maintenance…eek! And that glass or two of wine in the evening to which Dave sometimes alludes? If one must purchase at the LDB, what would be the minimum figure each month for even lower end swill? Makes me miss living in CA, I’ll tell ya’.


    • Well, now….money money, MONEY! What is the truth of it? There still are plenty of old, rural or OTG’ers living at $2000 a month. Most of the old back-to-the-landers or hippies never participated much in the cash-flow world save for seasonal and temporary work and, even at that, they worked more on carving their homestead. Those folks have no savings, no RRSPs, no pension and no HUGE equity in their home. Ive talked to many who are grinning when they get their old age security cheque for the first time – many didn’t pay into CPP. “Wow! Free money! I’m rich!”
      But, you are partly right – even about us. We are ‘up’ from the 36k I wrote about. Not much. But a bit.. The first book did about $20k over four years. That was like a lottery win. And the reason we tried twice more. But, sadly, they are dead fish. Nada. Zip.
      So, we are a bit up but still low and at least half to 3/4 are lower than us. But, no housing costs. No commuting expenses to speak of, no Starbucks, lunches, drycleaning, daycare, parking and all the other parasitic costs most endure. Plus, we are free to entertain ourselves in the great outdoors. $3k plus with no housing costs is the equivalent of almost $5k.
      And finding cheap but palatable wine is my hobby.
      Stain for the deck? Gliding the Lily?


  5. That is downright frightening! (your gas prices). In theory, I suppose there’s benefits to paying that high, like free medical care and such? It sounds like a deterrent to those folks wanting to flee the cities: “Better stay in town where we can ride the bus and don’t need a car”. Part of Agenda 2030, I suppose… It is no wonder that it is spawning thievery. It must be really hard for a lot of folks.


    • You and i do not always agree on conspiracies but that one is one I subscribe to – there is a tendency, a subtle force maybe unconscious that is driving people out of rural areas and into cities. It may NOT be a plot but its still real. They want us in boxes toeing the line, working, paying and supporting the system.
      And I do not want to.


    • The thing, Kevin, is that the US screws Canada in so many ways. Gas is just one. We pay twice what you do and guess what? We provide a large percentage of your oil! That’s right – we pay more for what we send to you! And on and on it goes. The reason the US hasn’t manifested its destiny all over us is simple – they take our resources and don’t have to pay. That’s better than owning. All you need to do to understand is drive a hundred miles in Phoenix and then fuel up on food and gas, maybe buy a house or two, get a MAGA hat….then come up here, drive 100 miles and then gas and food….look at house prices….get a Bluejays hat…..youll wonder how we do it. We wonder, too. But the biggest fact may not be seen. In Phoenix, you’ll drive your hundred miles on a new, perfect 8 lane freeway. In Canada, you”ll cross the country on a 2-lane divided highway when you are lucky. Single lane some places.
      And Trump demands a better deal!
      Ooooohhhhh…..don’t get me started down the Trump road….


  6. Canada just needs a leader that “puts Canada first”, instead of one issued and appointed by “the New World Order” eh? Our leader ain’t no darling, but, we are the ones paying $3/gallon for petrol vs. $10/gallon…. We are actually an oil exporting country now, which we surely would not have been had our present leader not been elected? I’m sure if we had Hillary at the helm right now we’d be up way over $5/gallon, too, not to mention a LOT more people out of work…


  7. Oh, Kev….you tease you. You’re just poking the bear….I confess that my juices jumped a bit but, as I get older, I choose which bait to bite at more carefully. I know you like Trump. Especially compared to Hillary. I get that.
    But that doesn’t make you correct about him. In fact, the truth will out and when that happens I know you’ll be man enough to admit it. In the meantime, muse on what ‘America first’ really means… gas?


  8. You say I am “partly right”, which implies otherwise wrong. Wherein lies the error?

    Yes, I am aware of the old back-to-the-landers who moved out here in the 70s. Some live sans refrigeration, phone, tv, internet and they have maybe one solar panel and car battery for a few lights. But, as you say they get OAS and GIS (Canada rewards the indolent, not the diligent, hence most of the 3rd world wants to move here) and they feel rich.

    There are quite a few about collecting CPP disability (but doing heavy work for cash) and some receiving provincial benefits of about $1,200 a month as “Persons with Multiple Barriers to Employment. Again, they work for cash to supplement and do quite well. They are disabled in the way that 70% of the population is disabled – they are unable to complete an advanced university degree and obtain higher-level white-collar jobs. They are assessed by government employees who see them as different from themselves and, ergo, they are disabled. One fellow I know has been on that program for nigh on 30 years and he laughs at those of us who work. He travels the world. Like many of the old-timers, he grew and sold weed when that commodity was fetching, so he said, an astonishing $3,600/lb. In the last few years he has bemoaned the collapse of that market and he has taken to house painting and handyman work for cash to supplement his government handout. Then he heads off to Thailand and such places for a few months in winter. When on the BC coast, he usually manages to find a free rent situation, since OTG houses have no rental value.

    As for parasitic costs, not entirely avoidable for some of us off grid. We pay to park a vehicle at the government lot on an island with ferry service and we pay to tie up there when we bring in our boat. It used to be no charge, but those days are gone.

    The comment about “gliding” (gilding?) the lily is lost on me. Are you suggesting applying stain to exterior wood is of no practical benefit? I find it much less expensive to keep decks and exterior siding stained than it is to replace it when it rots away.


    • Partly is apt. None of our old guys are dipping into the social network AND working any kind of job. Two reasons: one is that they are truly too old now and the second reason is that this far OTG has so few people, there is no work. What work there is, is paid for with salmon abd reciprocal assistance. Favours and IOUs. Our old guys are bona fide limited, challenged and now decrepit. Also, when Sal and I went to Thailand, our all-in spent budget was $10,000. Living at home is $6k. So Thailand was a ‘net cost’ of $4k.
      Finally, I don’t cheat. And I know of only one guy on the disability pension and he truly is disabled. That statement isn’t true for some of my city friends but it’s true out here.
      I suppose staining Cedar is OK but I am building to the 15 year rule now… stain would be a ‘gild’ plus I like the silver look.
      Our parasites are limited, too. A rotten cell service, satellite for the internet, maybe a $1000 for taxes on dropping property values and, of course, a huge ICBC bill for the amount of driving we do. I pay $60-something a month and drive – on average
      200 kms a month. Sometimes nothing. That’s it. No moorage or parking. However, we all build the docks and makeb the parking lot ourselves plus do the maintenance so it costs in sweat.
      And lastly, it is impossible to be indolent out here – trust me. I try. And our greatest reward is simply being out here and NOT where most everybody else is. So – with all that – you can see why I think you were partly right.


      • Actually, my comment about those living off the public tit was not aimed at your area. Canada in general. We make it too easy to be unmotivated. And no, I was not suggesting that it is possible to be indolent as an off-gridder.

        I will confess to being a bit miffed by the fact that I always worked hard, made decent coin, paid more taxes than most, only to attain age 65 and be denied OAP because I am somehow considered “rich”. And that is, in part, what I mean about being indolent. Those who do nothing but live in Canada for 40 years will receive full OAS and GIS to boot. One has to wonder about who pays for that. I think I know the answer. It just seems to my pea brain that If you lower the incentive for someone to earn money (by giving it to them) you lower their ability to produce it themselves by reducing their willingness to earn it.

        As for building docks, etc., some years ago we built our own too, at a cost of $31,980 (I keep receipts). I lack the skills and equipment to be, say, an aluminum fabricator. If not built right, the wind and waves will dispatch it in no time. I learned that from doing a home build first time around. We replaced mooring chains this year. I just looked back at one bill from Northern Ropes & Industrial Supply – $1,259 just for chain. There was a second bill for more that was needed, about $300. I have no ability to manufacture my own chain. That price is just for the chain. Then it has to get here and be installed. The outer anchors are in about 60 feet of water. I used to be able to don scuba and do that myself. I am past that now, so I have to pay someone. It did not occur to me to try trading salmon. Not many of those left.

        As for making my own parking lot, where we tie up, that is not an option. There is a government dock and parking and one must pay. I know where you are able to tie up and keep a vehicle to take to town, where the gas thieves hang out. I suppose we could go there too. But that would add about an hour each way to our boat trip and at least a half hour to our drive, so any saving would be wholly illusory.

        Another parasitic cost we cannot avoid is the high cost of OTG fire insurance. Yes, most do without. If they get burned out, they can rebuild at no cost using their own resources and maybe trading a few fish. I would be hard pressed to do likewise. So we pay. This year is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for forest fires, so I don’t mind paying quite so much. Not sure why it costs so much simply because there is no firehall just down the block. The house fires I have seen in cities usually wipe out the place. The fire dept gets there to save the neighbours, but usually flames and water destroy the building where the fire started.

        So that’s my partly right view of things today. I expect someone will point out the parts that are egregiously wrong, so I can learn (not too old for that, I hope).



  9. Residence in Canada for only twenty years is one of the requirements for an OAP. A further requirement in not having been incarcerated. If one’s income is too high then most of an OAP will be clawed back in taxes thus rendering receipt of the OAP a matter of principle only. If principle were the motivation, isn’t wonderful to live in a compassion country with a social safety net! Not a fan of Social Darwinism.


  10. My father warned me over 20 years ago about the OAS claw back….
    He would bank all his OAS and hand it back to the govt PLUS more at the year end….
    Seems the poor are rewarded for poor financial planning and the rich are punished for preparing ….
    Socialism at it’s best.


    • Now, now….you know me. I am a pinko-Greenie, bleeding heart who does not envy the poor for anything. In fact, they get my support. And I don’t envy the uber-rich one bit either. Never met a single happy rich person – not one. Nice phony smiles and fancy cars but kids on drugs, cheating wives, lawsuits and shallow friends are just not worth it. Having ‘enough’ is the goal. Maybe enough plus a little extra for those who are a bit insecure. But I have also not met a single person who deserved being a helluva lot richer than the poor person was despite hard work, education and cronies. And I’ve met a lot of people who never ever caught a break. Luck is a huge factor in this world and luck cuts both ways….helps some, hurts others. To judge the poor is to never having walked a mile on skid row or never having lived in a ghetto. I’ve done both. I do not hate the poor nor anything they might get legitimately. The rich? Ive felt the opposite now and then.


      • I am all for supporting those who are poor, but not those who are poor by choice. I accept that there are many ill-equipped to deal with the vicissitudes of life. They should be given welfare (or any more PC descriptor) and in abundance. If I had my way, and the truly needy were given welfare, and the lazy denied same, welfare rates would increase threefold, if not more. The same applies, a fortiori, to those who should receive the largesse of other “social programs”.


  11. I worked with the poor, addicted, sick, mental and criminal for 15 years. Disfunctional, refugees and Northern transplants, too. Even delinquents. There is no doubt that a portion – maybe 20%? – did not generate much in the way of sympathy especially for those who seemed so resigned to their lot. They just gave up. Hard to be sympathetic to someone who no longer cares about themselves. But few, if any started that way. Even the criminals wanted out.
    The system that gives us Justin Trudeau gives us the addicted single mother. I despise Trudeau much more than the mother even if she collects welfare and tricks out to get more money.
    I understand your point but the ones you dislike are greatly in the minority. 1 – 3%.


  12. Dave you are correct. With income inequality on the rise and the prevalence of societal problems facing many persons some individuals lack the efficacy to move ahead.


    • Yet they will smoke $14 a pack cigarettes, own a $100 a month phone plan, sit at home watching $100 / month tv .
      Lease a new car at $500?/ month.
      Go to work and buy $5 Lattes every day and $10 lunches.
      I was one of them in my 30’s
      I had zero savings, nothing in the bank.
      Pay cheque to pay cheque.
      Something had to change.
      I started brown bagging, thermos coffee, etc..
      My job skills were crap.
      Went back to school at night.
      It took time.
      It was hard.
      The first $100k I saved took 10 years.
      The next $100k took 5 years.( the 1st 100k invested helped)
      As I upgraded my skills I earned more.
      Spent the same amount and saved more
      Wants vs needs.
      Did I want a brand new truck?
      Did I need a brand new truck?
      I expect to retire very comfortably in the next few years .
      Assuming the Liberal govt doesnt tax the shit out of my savings to pay for all the financial illiterates that seem to be incapable of saving money but always have foreign vacations and “new” leased vehicles.
      The average person I work with or talk to has future planning skills of a starving monkey in a banana barrel
      But ask then about Hockey playoff stats and they can tell you the most useless crap ad infinitum
      Stupid is as stupid does.
      I work very very hard for my money and i resent people saying as a top 5% wage earner I must be taxed to pay for other peoples poor decisions.
      OAS is a financial package slightly better than supplying the masses with dog food
      The govt should have CPP rates of 15% to 20% of wages because its very obvious that 90 % of working people cant save a goddamn dime.

      And before everyone starts talking about single moms with kids and how I’m a ruthless piece of shit
      My dad dropped dead at the age of 44 and left my mom with 3 teenagers that turned into eating, growing, expensive kid-dults.
      We were expected to pitch in and HELP.
      We all worked to contribute.
      We learned how to buy cheap real fast.
      Singles with kids today unfortunate but why is it MY responsibilty?
      No one helped my mom.
      Single parents today?
      They either made a bad decision with a deadbeat dad or had a deceased husband that was just as fiscally inept( as my father was) as they were.

      Budgeting should be a prerequisite in High school.
      Dumping kid-dults on the street after a ridiculously expensive High School “Grad” celebration or on to university with zero budgeting skills has brought us to this.
      Low interest rates has turned Canadians into brainless borrowing fools.
      50% of Canadians are less than $200 from living on the street….
      Is that MY fault?

      But never underestimate the populist politicians to promise you that they will “show” all those rich bastards they “owe” the rest of us .

      Animal Farm comes to mind.

      Work hard.
      You’ll get ahead.


  13. Non Con you have self-efficacy but so many of the stuck do not. Career Education and Work Experience are part of a compulsory programme of High School Education in B.C. but ironically many students do not benefit from this educational experience. Some seem determined to work against their own self-interest.


  14. Wow! This blog has touched a button…..lots of feelings coming out….lots of values and morals…..but, but, but….THERE IS NO DISAGREEMENT. Even we pinko bleeding hearts have no time for lazy dickheads and I, for one, agree with all you say….But…our system took dumb people and made them dumber. YOU stepped off the brain-wash track. Many can’t. I still don’t think they are my burden but many are. They are the worthy but unlucky, the unfairly challenged, the ones who only need to be helped up once.. My experience is extensive and i am saying they are in the majority. The failing indolent are the minority. But the crooked rich and spoiled greatly outnumber both. Put another way: I can out ‘poor’ 99% of you and I do not begrudge anyone a helping hand. ..why? Am I stupid? Am I am elitist tree hugging liberal? Or have I seen it more closely?what I have seen is a stOcked system, a biased one. I see the poor as fodder…no respect…and I blame the system more than I blame them.
    Maybe I’m a fool?


  15. The emotive language suggests that some of the commentary might be a deep dive into certain culturally held beliefs about who is indolent or not. It seems that indolence is a sort of binary marker used by some to differentiate one’s group from the ‘other’. In some countries one’s accent is used to identify one as being the ‘other’ or.not.


    • Could ‘ve that, I suppose. I know this: I have had work since I was 11. In my mid years, it was highly paid although, to be fair, I only had to talk and write. NOT indolent but neither did I break a sweat. Money, money money. But then I stepped out. I retired. No pension. And then I really worked hard. Three huge, hard years and then three more kinda hard ones….but that was in aid of building a house and systems OTG. No money earned for that. AND I did some of my old work for those who were poor – no money for that either. Plus I wrote three books but only one paid anything at all. Plus volunteering for the community…..sheesh….indolent looks real good from here. No urban-based, system-endorsed work = no money. No money = indolent? I don’t think so. In my travels, those who work the hardest are the most money-poor. The rich are often the indolent.


      • Bruichladdich is way out of my league…..did your chauffeur take the Bentley to fetch it? Or do you have a regular delivery? Frankly, Swillivet or Pissfiddich is my drink of choice….sometimes I’ll move up to Famous Grouch.


  16. Summer is the worst time for gas thefts at our marina, cars/trucks and boats. We had an extra container stolen once and have since stored it in a locked compartment. A few boats with have had their lines cut to get at the fuel. That really sucks. – Margy


  17. I have some friends that were driving to Calgary for vacation about 10 years ago and they went to a private liquor store that specialized in scotches.
    They grabbed me a bottle of 35 year old Bruichladdich and a 30 year old bottle of Highland Park and drove back with it.
    I saved 50% off the BC cost.
    That being said, a bottle of 12 year old Macallan is almost (almost) as tasty.
    For less than a tenth of the price.
    I have some 15 year old Macallan thats pretty tasty.
    I figure if nuclear war starts at least I wont suffer…….


    • And here I thought I had good friends!
      I am partial to Bowmore as my ‘table scotch’ sometimes spiked with a bit of Laphroig. But my palate is conditioned to swill…


  18. I have some ‘Mount Everest blended Whiskey’, produced in Nepal by Shree Distillery in conjunction with T.& A. McClelland Ltd. Glasgow, but I guess that doesn’t count?
    It’s been unsealed in the bottle for about twenty years. Does that help any?


    • If that’s a bribe, you had me at Mt. Everest. A Nepalese whiskey? Who could say No? Of course, sipping that with a couple of frisky female Yetis and I am definitely THERE!


      • Still trying to round up the Yetis. The box (yes, it’s a boxed edition) states that it’s “A BLEND OF MALT WHISKEY FROM SCOTLAND AND NEPALESE ALCOHOL OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY”.
        Whatever that means. You’d still try it?


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