Balmy

It is uncommon that a single word can be used for entirely different meanings but Balmy is one of them. Balmy is an adjective: (of the weather) meaning: pleasantly warm. I.e. “The balmy days of late summer”. And balmy also means: extremely foolish; eccentric. I.e. “That was a balmy decision”.

It seems that the word applies to us in both ways. Especially Sal.

Living at the top of the Salish Sea (better known internationally as the Gulf of Georgia) usually means a very temperate climate. We could call it balmy and sometimes do. Average summer temp rarely exceeds 23C/80F and winter temps are usually around 40F/5C. That is Canadian Balmy compared to the rest of Canada.

The west coast is also renown for being wet from rain and dry from not being able to retain that rain (lots of rock). The southern gulf Islands always seem to have a water problem. In that sense, it is balmy as in foolish or eccentric. The west coast gets rain from 30″ in the flat south to over 90″ twenty miles north at the Northshore (North Vancouver). Our usual annual rainfall is approximately in the middle at 60″. So we are wet and dry all at the same time. That is silly-balmy.

But, for the REAL application of the word, Balmy, we have to look at Sal. She is pleasant and outdoors in all weather. Happy. Smiling. You might (and I have) called her Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. And the big smile in July kinda makes sense.

But we are currently experiencing unseasonably cold weather and have a foot of snowfall on the ground. Worse, the wind howled out of the North and froze everything. Water system is down. We have been back to lugging water totes that I fill by suck-siphoning from the water tanks. But, of course, our Rebecca is off to do the food distribution in minus weather and with her two dogs. And she is soon off to Quilting, happy to have her chainsaw with her and good winter tires for the logging road. She’s planning on a trip to town for a Xmas haircut and some packages. She’s happy. Read: balmy.

Is it good? Absolutely. Just a bit cold and daunting for me. But not for the intrepid Sal. I have some mechanical issues (due to the freeze) and working on them is a major pain in the freezing cold but I do as little as I can and stay mostly by the fire. And I grouse much of the time. Sal’s out and about with boats and dogs getting some shopping done by chainsawing her way through the forest to stores and gatherings. And she is smiling all of the time.

One of us is balmy.

27 thoughts on “Balmy

      • If I were you, I wouldn’t even mention it unless it’s to give her a big hug and tell her how much you appreciate it. I’m just jealous, is all!

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        • I can’t help writing about Sal and the dogs. They are happiness in a thick coat. Sunshine on legs. Three Rebecca’s, one of them extra cute. Plus, they are all intrepid and go-go-go. Never down. Never still. It’s really nice to be with all of ’em. ‘Specially the two-legged one.

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  1. Great pictures, best is the dogs dancing around Sally! I too am staying close to home(roaring fire). I do the morning 2 km treck in the snow for Sadies benefit and other than a boat trip to Heriot for food(my cars stuck in the lower lot) I’m staying in!

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    • I went over to the parking lot with the ‘pack’ and drove our ‘victimobile’ out and up the hill for Sal. She heads off to town in a couple of days. Handy chainsaw at the ready. Surprise! The old Pathy had the driving lights purloined and the bush bar broken. Vandal-thieves struck again.

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      • Scum.
        Trashing your parked vehicle in the woods.
        Do you bother reporting it?
        It’s got to be locals and probably kids under 25 years old.

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        • Not likely locals as in ‘OTG’ers’. We know each other and know the challenge that stolen gas or a starting motor means. And a local all of a sudden sporting driving lights is in for a lot of trouble. But it is very likely other-island locals and probably under 30 is my guess. There are a few louts about Quadra. Yeah, I reported it. NOT because the cops will ever do anything or that they would even notify me if a cache was found by accident. And ICBC does not cover that sort of thing. I reported only so that a body of claims is on record. If I or one of my neighbours every confronts such a cretin and blood is spilled, I would like as much reasonable provocation behind me as possible. I know a lot of OTG’ers who would speak up. Some have even sworn to sit in the forest with a deterrent but no one actually has yet. Typically there is a rash of such petty crimes once every three or so years. I guess we were due. I actually feel sorrier for the guy who lost his starter motor. At least I can drive. He just sat there wondering for a long time…

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          • A couple of Hunting trail cams buried a few yards back from the parking lot would do the trick.
            They work on motion and the batteries can last up to a month.
            Nothing like showing the Mounties a video of the “perps” stealing stuff.
            But then you have to live with the backlash.
            Perhaps showing the perps the video…. 🙂

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          • The RCMP on Quadra Island are useless. There are all kinds of incidents of this sort, and they never seem capable of solving any of them. They don’t even enforce simple traffic violations. They say they are too busy. I have had to resort to locking the gates on my property.

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          • Yep. The RCMP is useless, no doubt. Typical case of institutional rot. But, to be fair, they have been useless on petty theft for a long, long time. Even the bloody website suggests that thefts under $5000 will be less considered. It’s kinda in the wording. I am not a fan of guys making $100K who sit most of the time wearing 000’s of dollars of equipment, drive tricked out cars and get lost on an island. Worse, they can’t drive a boat to save their lives. They never stop a crime, they only record and report them. And the presented persona is, “I don’t even care.”
            Total waste of everyone’s time. Save the tax dollars and hire grannies. They’d do a better job at interviewing, make better doughnuts and kill fewer innocents at traffic stops. The police are a colossal waste of time and money spent doing virtually nothing.

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  2. I am surprised to hear that you also have vandalism where you live. I would think that everyone knows how vital the car can be. But then I guess there are stupid people everywhere! Love the pics of you,Sal and the dogs.
    I spent a big part of my sunday also sitting near the fire looking and exploring your region. I saw a big plot for sale on Bramham Island, so I kinda searched on internet how this part of the region looked….nice way to spend a sunday afternoon :-).
    My wife was looking at me from her cosy seat (like, you looking again at plots of land :-)….but you can look at a menu when you’re on a diet, no?)
    Saw some footage from Gods pocket with also a lot of snow

    So I guess the heating you install on the pipes only works up to a certain temperature below zero?

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    • I guess so. It is all heat-taped and insulated but it was NOT enough. We had a few Bute-like northerlies and that just drops the temps like a 10 degrees. I don’t KNOW that but that night was gusty and Butes do that.
      We are always surprised by petty theft and vandalism. Takes a real effort in ice cold weather to be that stupid. But, if we can anticipate Zombies, we should anticipate idiots coming first.

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  3. BRAMHAM ISLAND is way out of the old age comfort zone. More wind, rain, snow, and lots more fog. Beautiful when the sun shines. My brother lives on Harbledown 50 miles south. Summers are a lot of long-lasting sea fog, they spend a lot of time south of there. Just saying.

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    • Hello Scott, I also saw this when looking a bit deeper….it is way off, beautiful but very remote. I think it is more then 1 hour by bat north of Port Hardy. Thanks for the info 😉

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  4. I have a granddaughter who is a Vancouver PD officer. She tells me that the RCMP are totally different than any other police dept in Canada! I can believe it after dealing with them on several occasions lately. They treated me as though I were guilty the moment I voluntarily walked into their detachment, at their request. In fact, the first words out of the officer’s mouth was, “You’re under arrest!”
    My advice to everyone is to not engage with these people at all. Don’t talk to them, don’t offer info to them. Treat them like the plague!

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    • We had a traffic accident in the dead of winter a few years ago out here. The passenger was hurt. Looked bad. The RCMP came out, looked in the car for booze, didn’t look at the woman at all and got back in their car to stay warm. Then they left. That call of duty was followed up by the ambulance folks who first refused to come because they ‘do not cover the North Quadra region.’ Took ’em hours to finally come (needed a prompt from a higher up). Lesson learned: do not count on Quadra cops or ambulance for anything. The Quadra normal peeps are great. The doctor fabulous. But the RCMP are inept and uncaring. And the ambulance was pathetic. Next time anyone gets hurt, we are just gonna take ’em ourselves if there is even a chance at doing it. Waiting on imbeciles only exacerbates the emergency.

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  5. The RMCP has a huge reputation over here in Europe, but that is maybe a thing of the past or maybe we watched too many movies where they were always depicted as “superhuman heroes”

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    • We all grew up with that image and, maybe, they lived up to it in the old days. Not so much now. To be fair, I think all police forces have lost their way. They are now more like government enforcers and/or uniformed gangs of thugs and all the history of service and assistance and bravery and heroism has been replaced with a military soldier-like mentality of dealing with the enemy. The community is NOT the enemy even if it has some criminals. Mental people do not have to be shot. Police do not need armoured vehicles. They have gone over to the dark side.

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      • One of my friends ( 6ft 4 and built like a brick sh!thouse) dated and then lived with an RCMP officer for several years.
        She was a knockout. Served on the RCMP Ride and did “Poser Duty in the Red serge” at political events. Lots of photos of her with Leaders of State etc.
        Eventually they split up. Her co workers disapproved of “The civilian”.
        (probably because he could kick the crap out of any two of them at once)
        He literally traveled the world (Europe, Asia, Africa, etc) and then settled down.
        He had moved on and married and had kids etc.
        I visited him and his family a few years back and asked about his old G/F in the RCMP
        He showed me a recent Facebook comment 10 YEARS after they had split and she asked him, “Where are you?”
        He replied back, “Earth! And you?”

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  6. Hmmmm, me thinks that there might be a bit of displayed vitriol against our federal enforcement. Its not the people(mostly), its 1st the lawyers and 2nd the politicians tying their hands with bizarre rules and severe limits on discretionary use of the applicable laws. Kind of like don’t shoot the messenger as they are told what to do and how to do it, no tolerance for anything else.

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    • You are right on both counts. There is a vitriolic response by the public to the ‘members’ AND they may be just doing what they are told. Like Lt. Calley. But that is NOT my beef. My vitriol stems from direct contact with individuals. They have been rude, arrogant, bullying and totally without a sense of ‘service’ to the public. And I was never even a suspect or a perp. I have failed all my life to even attain person of interest status. So why be rude to me? And get this – they have been rude and belligerent even to Sally!!!! That’s like being mean to Tinkerbelle! I really do not blame the individual so much as the culture they live and learn in. They are taught to be stupid and too many of them excel at it. Small caveat: a lot of vitriol was first formed by encounters with the VPD. They make the RCMP look better.

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      • David is right on the money when he comments on their attitude. Rude, belligerent and I would add condescending! I had a long conversation with an officer who was the head honcho at the detachment where I live. I had just been given a ticket by a member for “not coming to a complete stop at a Stop sign”. I was furious. The RCMP here hardly ever involve themselves with traffic infractions unless they are flagrant. I live on a small island. NOBODY comes to a complete stop at Stop signs, not even the police! I could not have been going any slower and not be stopped. I phoned him to register a complaint. It turned out he was one of the good guys. He gave a great big sigh. He said that when he got a new member to his detachment, he explained the difference between “small town” policing and “big city” policing. He said some of them understood the difference. Most of them never got the distinction between the two. The RCMP was, at one time a rural police force. They were mostly revered in their community. Not any more. Not even close.

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        • Hah!
          I received a ticket from the Coquitlam RCMP once for , “not locking my car”.
          Yup.
          I usually leave my vehicle unlocked because the $500 deductible on the insurance doesn’t cover the repair of the broken window.
          I had parked in the lot of a park and was walking the trails.
          Got back after a 2 hour walk and found the ticket.
          I drove straight to the Coquitlam Depot and asked to speak to someone.
          The Officer in charge was not happy.
          It was the 5th ticket complaint that morning for the same offence.
          He tore it up and said, I’ll be talking to our new recruit when he gets back at the end of his shift.”
          I can only imagine the dressing down Dudley Dooright got that day.

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    • Yeah. They are handling it in stride and having fun most of the time. We’ve let their curly coats fill out and they are all warm and toasty no matter the temperature. Even the HUGE four episode lightning storm a few weeks ago didn’t seem to faze them. They are very chill and easy-going pooches. The best part is that they are becoming more and more sea-dogs. They now love the boat rides.

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