Friluftsliv – Free Air Life

In our first book, OUR LIFE OFF THE GRID, I didn’t wander too far into the spiritual, zen, supernatural aspect of living this way.  I concentrated more on the mistakes I made and, if there was any magic in the telling, it was simply that I was still alive and able to write about it when we finished.  I did tend to slag urban life (and continue to do so) but I and my readers make allowances for that, I think, much as they make allowances for the proselytizing of vegans, AA members and reformed smokers.  We’ve been burnt so we preach.  They think we are kind of like ‘zealots’ in some way.  Born again.  A smidge pathetic.

I understand completely.

I did mention it all (the magic) once. First book. Last chapter. “It’s impossible to ignore the present when you are in the woods. Now is big out here.  It embraces you.  Living even partly feral requires an intimate and immediate awareness of your environment.  The present moment is often so enchanting, so totally occupying, you are ravished by it.  It is a momentous love affair with life.” 

I got a bit carried away…

…..but, as it turned out, I was onto something.  It seems the Scandinavians, more accurately, the Norse (the idea comes from older times), not only knew that there was something magic about being in the woods, they gave it a name.  Friluftsliv means, literally, free air life.

But, in the broader context, the meaning is more about feeling alive and part of something natural and magic. It’s about belonging to the natural world.  It adds an element of profound awe and appreciation to the mix.  Frilftsliv means feeling connected to the earth, to nature and feeling all that at a deep and personal level.  They also believe that such deep feelings open the mind and the soul to even greater depths of knowledge. It’s about being. They think we need this.  They think we need this all the time.  In that sense, they are like Thoreau – or, more accurately, he like them.

But the Scandinavians don’t just talk and write about it, it seems they also do.  And they do in a big way.  Thus we hear of these guys mushing dogs in the dead of winter, having campfires and such in remote places.  Basically, the Scandinavians get out there.  A lot.  Getting out to the forest – as part of your everyday life – is a large part of their lifestyle.

So, what am I saying?  I dunno…..I felt that magic.  I still feel that magic.  Living out here has a quality, an aspect, a je ne sais quoi that I tried to describe in the book passage above.  The reality is, it is one of those things you really have to experience for yourself to fully understand and, more to the point, I do not think it comes right away.  Camping for two weeks out of the ol’ Winnebago won’t do it.

I do not know WHAT it takes, actually.  But, in my experience, it took me a year to ‘get it’.  ‘Course, I was pretty busy during that time and so maybe it took me longer.  I find myself telling would-be OTG’ers that it takes living out here for ‘at least six months’ but I am just guessing.  I do not know.

My friend and distant neighbour, RW, read that last chapter and exclaimed, “You get it!”  He’s been here for over thirty years and spent most of his life mountaineering.  He definitely gets it.

So, why write about it?  Friluftsliv is something I had never heard of until today.  Never even heard of the concept as it is so clearly described in Norse literature.  I read Thoreau but, until I felt it for myself, it was just words.

And, worse, we in the modern world have lost the right words.  We talk of ‘Supernatural BC’, ‘Mother Nature’, the magic of the forest and so on but we can’t really convey a non-word idea that way.  This is one that is 95% experiential.  I wish I could describe it adequately for you.  I know I cannot.

So, I will leave this blog entry at this: some cultures know it (Friluftsliv) and have incorporated it into their lifestyle and society.  I do not think we, in the modern western world, have.  Some others may have done so and have managed to even write about it but those lessons are in a foreign language at the very least.  I do not read about this in my English readings so far.  Thoreau, only touches on it.  And those other-culture stories, too, may fall short without the actual experience to accompany it.  But it is something.  It is a very real something.  It is a very real, very necessary and very healing something that we lose or miss at our personal and collective peril.

So go hug a tree or save a whale or something, why don’t you…?  Take as long as you can.  The life and culture you save…….

Inscrutable without name tags

We hosted Chinese students here for a few years as a favour to a friend who was their sponsor in university.  It was a great program and, combined with our similarly related efforts as short-term English teachers in Hong Kong, we made a lot of young friends over the years.  It was a lot of fun and quite eye-opening.  A wonderful experience remembered very fondly by us.  And, presumably, by them as well.

Chinese (HK) culture is quite different from ours (duh) and the students grow up in different ways and at different rates.  Many of them were very-early steeped in the hard-work ethic, for instance.  They would regularly log 16 hour days of study, getting only 5 or so hours sleep.  Every night!  ‘Down-time’ was eating.  No TV.  No sports.  No ‘hangin’ out. They also didn’t know much about different lifestyles or what choices they might have in life.  Their ‘world’ was very small, tight and limited; like the city in which they lived.

We changed that a bit.  Sometimes a bit much.  JS is quite a story……..so is KL and CW..the latter two females became ardent world-traveling backpackers (separately).

It was also surprising to ‘chat’ with students (part of the program to improve their conversational skills) and have them discuss their family life, hopes, dreams and even dating, for instance.

Dating – that was fun – many of the students were 20 or older and had never had a date in the sense that we know a ‘date’.   Twenty-one years old and never been kissed!  They were shy and naive and somewhat less hormonally driven than our progeny (or so it seemed to me).  They had a strong Disneyesque romance model in their heads, almost like cartoon-movies….like Lady and the Tramp or Sleeping Beauty kind-of-stuff.

They would often implore us to ‘Tell us your love story!’

Don’t misunderstand me…there was truly nothing wrong with any of that.  No criticism.  Just a bit different from the way I grew up.  Charming, actually.  It was wholesome, innocent, protected and very young-ish.  It was like their 21 year-olds were presenting as our 15 year-olds might.

I mention all this because we will see them all again in a bit.  A big dinner is planned.  And we have been going over the pictures and the notes and the memories we have to ensure that we remember everyone.

It’s impossible.

Firstly, the 27 + (the ‘plus’ refers to the classrooms full of students we met when teaching) students ranged in age from 16 to 23 or so.  Most of the ones we’ll see will be the ones who came to visit (the 27) but we’ll also meet up with some classroom kids.  Secondly, even tho no one looks alike, they do not make it easy for me.  No one is bald, has blond hair or blue eyes or is even tall or short (W is the tallest at my height).  All noses are much the same.  My guess is that none of them – at the time, anyway – was over 130 pounds.  And many of the girls were well under 100. One of the ‘tests’ I used was to see if I could put my little finger and thumb around the wrist of the girls (see how big that is) and most of the time I could!

But way more to the point, it was as much as ten years ago for the first group coming over and six for the last.  Maybe longer.  These kids ‘grew up’, got jobs, found apartments, developed characters, styles and personal tastes that will have changed them considerably from the ‘kids’ we knew then to the young adults we’ll be meeting soon.  Some of the kids have kids!  The chances of me recognizing anyone but W and S (they met here and subsequently married and then came back on their honeymoon) are slim.  I will be faced with a small crowd of smiling young adults and NOT have a clue as to who is who.

Worse, I am tragically name-challenged at the best of times.  I have trouble recognizing family members and neighbours.  I am horrible at names.  Sally who? Thirty or so young Asians smiling and talking to me as if we are all old friends – which we are – is daunting.  I won’t recognize any of them.  This is gonna be great!!  This is also gonna be cognitive hell!

 

‘Polecat’ Sal

Sal’s no cougar but she’s a bit of a log-finder, a real maritime polecat.  And the gal has been a’hunting, she has.  She’s out there right now as I sit here blogging, looking to wrangle some more loose, cellulose cannons.  Just as well, we are pounding through the woodpile right now.

The kinds of logs we like are the lesser diameter ones and such logs are often called pecker-poles ’round these here parts.

But for obvious reasons, that term is no longer acceptable in polite society so I have circumcised it down to simply a ‘pole’.  God knows, Sherry Romanado, for one, will feel a great deal less stressed, I am sure, when it is cut into shorter lengths and eventually burnt. Maybe stomp on the ashes too, eh,Sherry?

I am trying to be more sensitive to the sisters like her but I think the best way to deal with such ugly-word realities is simply NOT to tell her that such disreputable poles exist.  She’s empowered and independent and worthy as the MP for Longueuil-Charles-LeMoyne in Quebec but that doesn’t mean she has to take any man-abuse.  Seems she found the words, ‘threesome’ and ‘sandwich’ very upsetting and sexual in nature and has been upset for months.  Five apologies were not enough to assuage our honourable member’s feelings.

Apologies for the use of ‘member’.   (Apologies for the use of ‘honourable)’.

Apologies also to those born in Poland, by the way.  NOT for being born in Poland, of course, but for the rather insensitive use of the word ‘pole’.

Apologies to the descendants of the late Earl of Sandwich, too.  That noble gentleman ate meat buffeted by bread so that he could continue gambling back in the 18th century.  Hmmm….by gambling, I mean games-of-chance, NOT prancing and leaping about in a hedonistic way (gamboling).

Do I have to now apologize for ‘cannons’?  Given the juxtaposition of the words ‘cougar’ and ‘poles’ and ‘cannons’, my meaning could be misconstrued as sexual.  Let me rephrase that: I KNOW it has been misconstrued if, for no other reason than I drew that interpretation possibility to your attention.

And therein lies the major part of my point: Ms Romanado’s ‘take’ on Mr. Bezan’s comments were the worst possible interpretation of the words.  In fact, when it came to the word ‘sandwich’ there was no bad connotation to infer except the one she attributed to it.  The offense was 100% in the ears of the beholder on that one and 99.5% in the primary one, ‘threesome’.

Given that the preponderance of meaning can easily lie with the listener and given the innocuous wording itself, wouldn’t it be somewhat safe to opine that the offense was actually hers?  Didn’t SHE make the incident a bad one, not him?  Isn’t she being the ‘sexual one’?  (Ironic note: Ms Romanado was particularly upset over this horrendous verbal assault because the incident occurred at a Veteran’s Affairs announcement and she was trying to build credibility with Veterans.)

I don’t really know about this kind of nonsense.  I don’t really care.  It was less than a pimple on a wart in the mountain range that is the current gender battle.  How ludicrous it all is.  How utterly asinine that such stupidity is taken seriously by anyone.

He should apologize for apologizing.  

To be fair, the office of hysterical reactions to human relations abuses, OCHRO, (Office of the Chief Human Resource Officer) did an investigation of the original complaint and concluded that no offense had occurred back in June.  Such is the nature of our world that the OCHRO conclusion and the five apologies made by the ‘perp’ (now known to the police) were not enough for Ms Romanado and her life has been stressful and upset ever since.

Apologies for the word ‘asinine’, of course.

I may have strayed from topic…..apologies for that, too.  Please see pics of ‘Po**cat Sa*’ and one of her ‘trophies’.  We are calling the loose logs ‘Bobbitts’ from now on.  You know, cause they ‘bob’ in the water…. ?  There’s gonna be a lot of Bobbitts floating around from now on.  Of that, I am sure.

 

Brrrrr…………

Yeah, it’s cold.  Winter is definitely here.  There’s frost in the morning and the stove is going full-tilt most of the day. There’s something about winter that makes living off the grid a smidge more primitive, a bit harsher, a little more survival oriented. We definitely feel more responsible and act in more deliberate ways (Thoreau-speak) nowadays.

Yesterday we worked again on the water system.  NOT hiking the forest route this time but rather just ensuring that the parts of the system that are exposed to the weather will not freeze.  Mostly that means making sure those parts are NOT exposed to the weather. 

But there are parts that are somewhat in the open and there is not much that can be done about that save for a new shed project, so I have wrapped those parts, pumps, valves and lengths of pipe in insulation and, in some cases, wrapped heat tape in as well.

Modern heat tape is amazing.  It uses way less electricity than old heat tape and I can wrap 100 feet and all the equipment up with less than 300 watts of juice-requiring tape.  I have actually added it up and it comes closer to 200 watts but, because I have a few trickle charges going on in the house as well, the dials read 300.  I am sure the whole of the heat tape system is around 200 watts.

Last night was so cold so early I didn’t use the timer and simply plugged in the system and went to bed.  Battery power at bedtime was reading 50.0 volts on the system.  The reading on waking and after starting the fire, 49.2v.  We didn’t even drop one volt. The heat tape had been on maybe nine or so hours.  That’s pretty good.

If I want to be more frugal, I use the timer.  The timer kicks the system on after midnight and off at around 6:00.  That reduces the consumption of power to almost half.    

Electricity is not as easily obtained these winter days.  From May til late October, we didn’t require the genset one bit.  Solar did the job.  Even when we did use the genset, we did not have to, the sun would have filled us back up within a few sunny days.  But, when you know you are going to drain the batteries down, it is easier on the soul to fire up the genset for the welding or big-drain uses.  Don’t have to.  But I do.

I like to keep the batteries above 48.8 at all times.   

By Hallowe’en, the sun has dropped in the sky and the batteries carry us but barely and so a big draw requires a genset boost.  And by December one, we are kicking on the genset every day. It provides an interesting but different metric for gauging juice-use.  Mind you, juice-use goes way up in the winter.  More lights, more indoor activities, even more (if you can believe it) quilting and sewing machines and irons and such.  Still, I run the small genset every day for a couple or three hours.  That’s two liters of gasoline in the Eu2000.  I have the battery charger dialed in at about 11 amps charge.  Two liters is approximately $3.00.  Ninety to $100 a month is my power bill in the winter.  Maybe lasting 5 months.  It would be easy to budget $500 – 600 a year for power and be pretty accurate on the cost.  And that would include welding and some other big-draw uses.

I do not think too many more panels would help, actually.  The sun just isn’t there in winter.  What some people do is use a stream-powered generator as well and they get lots of water in the winter.  A good system out here for me would be an 8 + 4 system.  Eight months on solar, four on hydropower.  I may get there someday.  Honda works in the meantime. 

No.  Wind doesn’t do squat. 

“Isn’t it a bit too harsh out there?”

No.  Not really.  The lack of sunshine gets a smidge depressing and so we escape every winter for a bit but it is not the cold or the environment so much as simply the amount of daylight.  As Sal and I get older, ‘light’ seems more important.  But there are many compensations for that.  The single resident of a nearby separate island wrote to tell us about the local wolf pack that surrounded her house last night.  Full moon.  Howlin’ wolves.  Deep cold.  Fire in the stove.  She lives alone but wasn’t afraid at all.  She loved it.  Beautiful.  Raw.  Natural.  Just enough threat in the air to feel alive.

“I shone the flashlight all along the garden fence and pairs of bright yellow eyes shone back.”

And the wood floats off the beach.  Easier to harvest.  That’s good.  And there is no boat traffic to speak of.  It’s all very quiet.  Peaceful. 

The storms are rough sometimes but, as stated, it all makes you feel alive and, if tucked at home all cozy-like, that can make you feel content, too.  Secure. Except that working in the cold is limiting and no fun at all, I basically like winter.  It’s austere, severe and simple. Back to basics.  In a weird kind of way, it is self-containing, securing and full of contentment.  Kinda makes you happy with what you have….I dunno…hard to explain.       

Poor John, poor us

John-from-Alberta is the lone Trumpist in my readership.  He doesn’t get much support from anyone but me and I only support his right to speak his opinion.  I don’t agree with much, if any, of it.  He suffers my posts of lefty-shades of pink and then takes it on the chin when he feels the need to disagree.  But he keeps on ticking.  He gets right back up.  C’mon….that’s good!  He’s polite.  He speaks his mind.  I like John.  At least I am pretty sure I would.

If he is a true Trumpist, and/or true racist or whatever ‘gist’ we label people, maybe not.  But my experience has been that the ones who speak outrageous nonsense, once calm and in deeper conversation, are really just espousing similar values to my own.  My guess?  John likes Trump because Trump represents the anti-establishment.  John really wants change and simply got duped by what appeared to be change.   I want change, too.  We agree on that.

I suspect that John still has faith and belief in the ‘free enterprise’ system, wants to become a self-made millionaire someday and advocates for law and order because he, himself, obeys the rules and keeps the order.  Nothing WRONG with that.  Disney-esque, maybe.  Naive, for sure.  But, so what, at least he is not a corporate slime-ball polluting the Salish Sea or pumping unhealthy food into people.  Or drugs.  John’s beliefs may be old fashioned and simple but they are steeped in good ol’ family values.  I agree with most of ’em.  We likely agree on most of those ‘values’.

And so it goes…..scratch a bigot, a bad-guy, a ‘gist’ of some sort and you are likely to find someone coming from the same place as you but disagreeing on a few of the details.  Fundamentally, there is NOT a lot of difference between us.  We are all in this together.  We all want much the same thing.  We are all pretty civilized most of the time.  And yet………………….we are polarized.  In 2017, we are very polarized.  Why is that?

Part of it is that separating, polarizing and emphasizing the differences is what we have done for eons.  Where would the Liberals be without the Conservatives?  The GOP without the DEMS?  Chevy without Ford? You almost NEED to make a lot of people bad so that a whole bunch more will follow you and do what you want them to do.  Weirdly, dividing is conquering. You may not conquer the opposition but you have softly conquered your followers.

Very Machiavellian.

And very divisive.

So, how does that apply to our current Gender Wars battle?  Well, there is no doubt that the shrill cries to ‘believe the victim without proof being required’ is one way to alienate, divide and conquer.  But it’s a gamble.  Some guy appalled at another guy’s behaviour might feel swayed to join the feminist ranks where before he was content to let ‘boys be boys’ and girls be girls’.  After all, pussy-grabbing is hardly defensible. That fellow may now feel he has to choose a side.  In fact, that fellow is being REQUESTED/required to take a side.

“You with us?  ‘Cause, if you ain’t, you against us!”

It also works to divide us as a culture when you insist that all unwanted behavior is assault.  That makes any male’s initiative a huge gamble.  There are those who decide capriciously what is wanted and they can also reject by ruining the person who offered.  That’s threat is so scary, it divides and alienates before ANY communication at all.

I think there is also a denial, a blindness on the part of some modern women.  I think some women have no idea what it is like to be male and they do not even want to try wearing those heavy boots for even a minute.  They want males to be ‘feminized’ but they do not want to feel the burdens of being male.  Not even a bit.  These people are the ones very comfortable with the difference and the alienation between the sexes.  They do not have any empathy for the guy at all.  In anything.  “All men are pigs! 

That does not serve us in coming together.  Who wants to cooperate and be ‘nice’ to someone who hates you because of your gender?

Like politics of all kinds, there is a valid, centrist’s view.  A man can oppose groping and yet still believe that a bit of flirting and persuasion is part of the ‘dance’ between the sexes.  After all, it is not normal in everyday life for women to take the initiative in romance except by seduction.  Hell, they had to invent Sadie Hawkins Day to give some women a chance at the really shy fellows.

A woman does not lose her ‘political position’ on things to try to understand what a man feels and goes through. Understanding is NOT agreement. 

And a woman does not lose her moral high ground (claimed, anyway) by accepting due process when there is a dispute.  Due process IS higher moral ground.

One gender will always take the first step.  Will that now be the women?  Are women stepping up en masse and saying, “OK!  Fair enough.  If it means that we have to risk being turned down, if it means that we have to pay for the date, if it means we have to make the first move all in aid of protecting our fannies, then so be it!  Back off, you creeps!  If we want you, we’ll phone!  Don’t do a thing.  Just sit pretty and wait.  We had to do that for eons.  Now it’s your turn.” 

THAT message might fly…

The point: we are all in this together.  We are all on the same side.  Like my relationship with Alberta-John, we can disagree without histrionics and alienation.

 

I’m gonna puke…

I have no idea how I come across.  Not really.  Over my lifetime, I have found that some people like me, some don’t and the only remarkable part – if it’s accurate – is that most fall into those two categories and with many fewer being ambivalent.  I do not make much of vanilla-benign-meh impression.  Black or white, not so much grey.  Such is life.

I even kinda know when I am gonna irritate a few people.  I know it.  My views on the Weinstein et al witchhunt, for instance.  Anyone would know that some women might react viscerally.  Differently.  Opposed.  I get that.  (I still maintain that due process is the main message but I included a couple of ‘fightin’ words’ in my posts as well.  I think that sex is a tool often USED by women and so on…  But that is a debate for another day.  This is not about that.)  I am just saying, I know I can be annoying to some people. Sometimes.

Yeah, it was Sal who told me.  Many times, actually.

This may prompt another one of those times.  Trudeau is making me sick and embarrassed.  He is still head and shoulders better than Harper but, sadly it is increasingly JUST the head and shoulders.  He is only pretty.  Harper was a Nazi.  We all like pretty more than we like Nazis but, honestly?  For the leader of my country to be a crying apologist for the history neither he, I, nor those in the audience experienced first hand!?  I would rather have neither the nasty whip nor the whining wimp as the leader of my country.  One made me angry.  The other makes me embarrassed.  A pretty airhead is less problematic, I suppose, than a Nazi but there might be a debate for some.  Neither is a proper leader.

Trudeau, the walking tear duct, has feigned emotions for women, Inuit, LGBT-whatever-string-of-letters….to the point of absurdity. Even some of the media reporters are cringing.  It’s ridiculous.

Once again, I do not want to be misconstrued or misunderstood.  Apologies are sometimes necessary.  Trust me, no one knows that better than me.  And, I suppose, apologizing to a bunch of people for things done to previous generations has some beneficial purpose…for somebody.  I suppose.  And, I suppose, if I were gay, Inuit or female I would hold that view….but….honestly?  It does NOT seem at all sincere to me.  It’s a form of politicking.  Nor do I understand why setting aside $145M tax dollars for ‘compensation’ to those deemed affected by some hindsight offense makes any sense.

But it is not really the apology I object to, it’s the stupidity of how and why it is done.

I apologize sometimes  I have to (daily, if you must know) but I am either sincere or I don’t do it.  And, if I am sincere, I make it a point to not re-offend in the same way.  That’s part of the apology – a promise to do better.  But I have never then cut the offended person a cheque.  Never.  And, believe it or not, some people have apologized to me (rarely) and I never expected monetary compensation from them.  ESPECIALLY giving or getting funds from other people’s pockets?  Trudeau tears up but someone ELSE pays the bill?  That’s the very definition of insincere.

And the tears?  The bloody tears?  C’mon…….. I am sorry for bad things that happen to other people.  Honest.  I have even been brought to tears if I was close, knew them or was somehow connected.  But I do not feel tears for generations or government decisions past.  Maybe I should.  But I don’t.  But Trudeau cries for them all!  What next?  The Grizzly bear hunt?  Whales? Puppies?  Kittens?  Roadkill?

He should apologize for the miserable acting.

Let me put this another way: my father was wounded in WW2.  He was lied to by his and other Allied governments.  He was misdirected.  He was sacrificed.  He was poorly treated afterward and he was wrecked by his ‘service’ to this country.  When I say, ‘wrecked’, I mean he received a 100% disability pension (the equivalent of a welfare level amount).  If, as a soldier, you get both legs blown off, you get an 80% disability.  My dad got 100%.  You’d think 100% disability was DEAD, wouldn’t you?  And did he get an apology?  Of course not.

My dad was not the only victim in his immediate post war life.  The five of us (mom, me, two siblings) lived hand-to-mouth in condemned houses, ghettos and with a man prone to violence (PTSD writ large). Did we get an apology?  Of course not.

And I do not want an apology.  Wouldn’t accept it if offered.  The prime offense was against my father.  I was just a bit of collateral damage. And, I am OK with all of that.  That’s life.  To hell with stupid apologies. Just do NOT do it again!!!!

My point?  We’ve all been hurt in some way.  Harassment for women.  Prejudice for others.  Poverty.  Lack of opportunities.  Whatever.  Trudeau did not do it to them, me or anyone.  He hasn’t a clue about the real challenges in life so many face.  Spoiled bloody brat.  I just want him to shut the hell up and do what he can for those in the present and the future.  Stop free-riding your political ambitions on the backs of the past victims.  It’s nauseating.

And, if he does NOT fix the dreadful conditions on the reserves within days of these tear-filled apologies, what good are they?  Isn’t he just setting it all up for some other insincere doofus twenty years from now?

Stop apologizing and just go to work to fix what needs fixing.

 

Stuff……

Image

The blog about the dinner party on the freighter didn’t resonate much.  Odd, that.  I liked it.  I liked the ‘setting’ and the topic.  One reader said, “I don’t like that touchy-feely stuff”.  That is the only stuff I really like these days.

The log gathering has improved thanks to our considerate postmistress.  Now she ties ’em up so we can go get ’em.  That is very cool.  Well, warming, actually.  But you get what I mean.

We are eating our way out of here.  We’ll leave here for a bit at Xmas (family) and the like so, rather than have food go to waste or use up propane to keep food from wasting, we kinda ‘plan’ to coincide the last few days here with the last few meals in storage.  Which makes for a dull last-week menu but it’s efficient.  There will still be ‘eggs-for-the-raven’ and some half-good veggies tossed, maybe a few pieces of bacon chucked as well (Raven and friends) but, generally speaking, we’ll leave a bare cupboard.  Dry food, canned food, bottled food will remain stored but, of course, anything fresh goes to passersby (mostly winged ones).  It’s part of the ritual of leaving OTG.

I am in a battle Royale with the tire people.  We’ll see how that goes.

We had a store up here years ago.  It’s old.  Historic in a run-down, early 30’s coast-style, frame-building kinda way.  Sits on failing, creosoted piles against a rotten and dangerous wooden wharf and pier.  The old dock has been removed. It looks pretty bad.  It is pretty bad.  But, damn it, it is local heritage in a significant way.  It is part of BC coastal history.  It has some appeal.  It’s worth saving.

So, we badgered the local government some and they may save the lease on it (it’s with the Provincial government).  Local rep, Jim, great again as usual.  If he succeeds, that will make the regional distrcit the owner.  But, they are not keen to spend money and time (more meetings required for this kind of nonsense than trade negotiations with China, Mexico and Russia combined).  So, they would like to get it only if they can give it away.  Think of it like a tar-baby.  No one wants to be stuck with it but no one can let it die.

A local group may spring up.  They will undertake restoration and onging upkeep and management.  Maybe.  Local means old people.  Old people need restoration and ongoing upkeep themselves.  So, we’ll see about how that goes.  One thing is clear: money will be needed.  And money will NOT be easily found.  So, we may have to put out an ‘appeal’.  Crowd-funding a heritage restoration that no one can get to?  I dunno……we’ll see how that goes, too.

I’m strangely optimistic.  But that’s because I am strange, mostly.  I think we’ll have to raise about $25,000 just to start.  And $100,000 would gurantee it gets done and done well.  Might take more. But that kinda money would mean we could ‘contract out’ the piling work rather than have old guys do it with hammers and ropes.  If any of my six or seven readers knows how to crowd-fund, can do so successfuly and would be willing to raise money for this, please let me know.  Like I said, I do not know for sure if anything will happen on this but I may as well see if there’s any outside interest.

Not much in the way of wildlife to mention.  The little wood ducks have been kinda fun.  Fifty or so seem to gather in front of our place a lot so as to ride out a storm or maybe just flock together…whatever….kinda odd, kinda fun.  Pretty cute.  They bob and assemble and hobnob as only birds of a feather can do.  And it just pours down on them, waves lifting and dropping them.  But they are the most common sighting right now.  Even the raven only comes twice a day.

Sal had to do yet another water-trail trek the other day.  She was ticked. I said it was her sixth trip up.  She claimed fifth.  Still, five trips up to get water to flow downhill defies the tenth law of physics: what goes up and down a lot is the definition of work.  So work gets done.  Or, in this case, does it?

“You just playing at it on those treks up the creek or is any real work getting done?”

“I am gonna kill you and no one would blame me!”