Getting back to normal….

…..what exactly IS normal these days, anyway?  Biden, the moderate, silver haired, handsome male stereotype….?  (Damn!  That guy could host a game-show!). Is that the normal we want?  Might be.

I listened to them all but especially Biden, Sanders and Warren and, quite frankly, I liked Warren better….’cept for one thing.  She was slim.  She was old.  Her voice was higher-pitched.  She looked and sounded frail.  Her words were NOT frail but the image was just that of a ‘feisty old lady’.  NOT a power image.  NOT a strong image.  Smart.  But NOT strong. 

AND, even if she WAS strong, her image would be seen by other ‘strongmen’ as one all too easy ‘to challenge’. 

That is NOT fair.  That is not logical, either.  Not in the least bit.  In fact, it MIGHT even be a bit sexist.  (The counter to that accusation is that a thin, old and high-pitched-voiced male would be seen as weak, too).  Warren was, in my opinion, the better contender in brains and morals…but NOT the better contender in a bar-fight.

But that is NOT a reasonable way to pick a presidential candidate, is it?  But it is ‘visceral’.  It is common.  It is Joe-six-pack.  And it is the standard-of-choice for the deplorables.  It is totally unfair and likely totally wrong.

We’ll never know about Warren.  Too late to ‘go again’.  Mind you, Amy Klobachar had some cajones.  So did Kamela Harris give ‘that impression’.  But the female-female in Warren’s persona and even Tulsi Gabbard’s ‘presentation’ lacked that ‘balls’ metric.  And it seems to count.  In fact, it DOES count.

That is too bad.  First, the female-female point of view in the halls of world power would be a refreshing change and the female-acting-macho is NOT the same thing.  Honest women don’t/can’t do that.  They really should not have to.  If they try to be men-in-skirts, they are seen as either ‘weird’ or not honest.  Angela Merkle is the closest to what ‘works’ with our sexist political point of view.  She is real.  (Maybe the Queen….but, well, there is a licence given a ‘queen’).  She is female.  She is NOT a male in her thinking.  But she is definitely strong!  I think Merkle is the best example of a strong female who didn’t fake being macho in the so-doing.  Theresa May did a good job as well but got ‘stymied’ by circumstance and eventually turfed.  Hillary Clinton did everything right except ‘be human’ and so she was dumped.

“Sometimes it’s hard being a woman….”

We hold women to a higher standard.  And maybe that is a good thing.  We need higher standards.  Obviously the standard of photogenic, tall, silver-haired, well-clad, rich male lawyers is NOT doing the job and so we might TRY a better, more reasonable person that is female.  ‘Course, for that matter, why not TRY a better, more reasonable male?

Genitals really should NOT make the leader.

But, so far, it seems to play a role.  And much of that, of course, is primal.  Much of that is ‘historic’ and much of that is, it seems, influencing both the female and the male voter.  Seems females prefer males as leaders.  Well, Republican/Conservative women do, anyway.

Me? I honestly do not care the gender of the ‘dear leader’ so long as that so-called leader has integrity, ethics, intelligence, honesty and the ability to ‘appeal to the masses’.  Gimme Oprah.  Gimme Greta Thunberg.  Gimme a decent ‘guy’ like say, George Clooney or even Stephen Colbert.  I don’t care.  Hell, I’d take Robert De Niro.  If the person is good, then they are a contender in my books.

But normal?  The ‘usual’?  The latest ‘product-of-the-system’?  I dunno….the next REAL leader has to show some ‘differences’ and some ‘convention’ all at the same time.  Right now, it seems, that – when things get tough – genitals are too much of a variable in the political arena…..we can’t handle too many variables, too much choice.  So, we choose ‘strong men’.

It’s traditional.  It’s a ‘no-brainer’.  Emphasis on NO-brainer.

And that is why the deplorables chose Trump.  He was ‘different’.  He is stupid.  He is selfish.  He is insane.  And he is a lying crook.  But, for some reason, that was seen as a form of strength.  And, it is, I guess.  It is a primal form of strength – like an ox.  Like the village strong-bully type from the jungles.  He is the bull-in-chief.

I would prefer some one smarter.  Some one better.  Some one good.  I do not think I am normal.

The good news is that Sal definitely does NOT have Covid-19

The bad news is that it took an ambulance at 11:00 pm and four hours of testing to determine that she was just overwhelmingly ravaged by the ordinary flu (despite having a flu shot!).

She passed out last evening and was unresponsive to virtually everything for a few minutes.  And that kinda shook my confidence in our previous-but-amateur diagnosis, I am afraid.  That previous diagnosis (“It is just a flu hitting hard after surgery) was later confirmed by a doctor friend who took the trouble to stop by and check her vitals earlier yesterday.

Still, a limp person lying comatose on a moho floor is disturbing to say the least.  My confidence in it being ‘just the flu’ was shaken.  I cracked.  “Hmmmmm….it is very likely what we all think it is but if we are wrong, this is NOT the time or place to make that kind of error.  I’m gonna play it safe.  Hello?  911?”

They asked all the Covid-type questions and, surprisingly, those questions were all answered in the affirmative thus leading me to believe that MAYBE it was Covid!  But there was ONE question we could answer properly and that was, “Have you recently done any traveling?”  I said, ‘No’ because I thought they meant China, Japan, Italy or Iran…but we HAD briefly traveled to Vancouver to get the moho (in and out) so my answer was NOT quite accurate.  Still, they took her and ran every test known to science.  With the exception of the flu symptoms, she is perfect in every way.

But that is obvious to anyone who knows her.  

So, what is the upshot of all that?  Well, the surgeon was a genius.  The knee operation was a total success.  Sal healed from that remarkably well and did not aggravate her wound in the fainting episode (which the medics refer to as a ‘syncope’ incident).  The Physiotherapy was useless and detrimental to her health – not beneficial.  The facility was NOT clean and we are both convinced she got the flu from there.  The ambulance crew were very good.  The emergency team was also very good.

And I am guessing that nothing is the worse for wear from that unexpected outing except our sense of well-being….which is rapidly returning to normal.

All’s well that ends well.

I just hope this incident recedes into the past sooner rather than later.  We are much happier looking down our noses at the city than relying on it.  But, truth be told, with the exacerbating and egregiously delinquent (in my opinion) Physio department excepted, the new CR hospital did a very good job – TWO times out of three is not all bad.

Lesson to be learned.  Trust your instincts.  Both of us did NOT trust the physio lab from the get go.  We even acted on that lack of confidence to a lesser extent by doing our own ‘wiping’ of handles and equipment using alcohol wipes.  But we were NOT diligent enough about it and paid the price.  Well, Sal paid the price.

 

It is the little things……

…..and I do not even know what they are.  Not really.  But, somehow, the city and it’s ways ‘get’ to us now.  And we don’t ‘like it’.  If someone asked, “What, exactly, don’t you like?” I would be hard-pressed to make a list that didn’t sound petty and selfish.

And, really?  C’mon?  Are trees and ravens and squirrels ALL that great?  I mean, ‘Seen one whale, seen ’em all!’, right?

Wrong.  Somehow the forest and the ocean delivers up a deeply real sense of calm and tranquility while, at the same time providing an even stronger sense of living life to the fullest.  It is a stimulating relaxant if that makes any sense.

But, of course, OTG is a personal choice and, while it is a good choice for those who have chosen it, it is not for everyone and some people can’t imagine living this way.  Having now lived again a few weeks amongst the parking lots, traffic lights, line-ups and sirens-in-the-night, I cannot imagine living anywhere else other than OTG, myself.

And we are not alone in those feelings.  As Sal tries to recover (hindered by a new flu) friends and neighbours call in and, after a few minutes, the conversation trends toward ‘life’ on the island, it being a paradise, us being in Hell and all that sort of thing.  It is really interesting that living OTG seems to suit all of those out there very well.  And, of course, we miss being there.  A lot.

However, just as the gap seemed to be as great as it could be, someone (a developer) is trying to market vertical living as a new concept.  A Green one, no less.  ‘Smaller footprint!’  And, I suppose it is.  We have had residential highrises a long time (started in 1925) but we have not had highrises with gardens on the roof and ‘community garden boxes’ added to the mix.  Electric bikes.  Transit.  Community trails on parklands that you can drive to in an Uber…..

(you can see where this is going, can’t you?)

Basically what they are saying is, “We intend to pave paradise and put in a parking lot but one with planters.  Keep a few trees, put ’em in a tree museum……charge you thirty bucks just to see ’em.” 

“Oh, And the Big Yellow Taxi is on your app.”

The irony is: If you do not own a cheap set of wheels and the nearest ‘wild’ trees are a long way away from your urban village, some bean-counting parent will say, “Well, it is not the real forest, kids, but it’s cheaper to pay the $30.00 than get off on a safari to find some so-called wild trees!”

We are not far off ‘putting in a tree museum’ if you count National Park fees as a harbinger of that.

Clearly, the world is moving to live in denser and denser populations that are trying to emulate hives and herds.  Animal Farms.  We are subtly designing the Matrix.

“Dave!  You exaggerate!” 

You are right.  I am.  I am casting a trend so far ahead that it is very likely the ONE scenario that won’t happen.  Having said that, I have lived in Hong Kong.  I have visited Tokyo, London, New York and dozens of other big cities.  I have watched in detail as Vancouver (and now Burnaby) have ‘sprouted’ high rise ‘town centres’.  Highrise living is proliferating faster than is the growing population.  ‘So much easier’.  ‘Better for the planet’.  ‘More efficient’.

They are also a Petri dish for pandemics, a staging ground for drugs, violence and chaos, a sinkhole of concentrated resources and they suffer from a dearth of the natural world.  It is the place to be when the complicated systems work well, perhaps, but every single one of those systems has failed multiple times, from transit breakdowns to brownouts, from traffic congestion to crowded hospitals, the list is endless…..the ability of modern man to manage growth is still very much a question mark.

To me, the vertical city is the pot of boiling water that too many frogs are jumping into.

The king

King Canute once famously commanded the tides to recede.  And, of course, they did not.  He sat on his throne with the ocean washing at his feet and wondered why his ‘divine power’ didn’t work to make it all back up.

The simple explanation was, “You’re an idiot, Canute!”

But none of his sycophantic coterie had dared advise the king that Canute’s power was limited, the sea obeys no man and that he really should be facing more practical issues on behalf of his kingdom.  Nobody called him an idiot.  In effect, they were just yes-men without a brain in their heads sucking up to get ahead and maybe a wench and an extra flagon of mead.  Tragically, they were suck-holing to a fool and so, regardless of their input, that doofus-king was going to screw up and they were piling on to the bandwagon of an historic act of buffoonery.

But – never mind the smart advisers or dumb ones – Canute was not likely to listen, anyway.  He was an elitist narcissist.

Welcome to the Trump dynasty.  Same guy, different outfit.  Trump does not listen.  He does not read.  And he does NOT think.  This is a guy who ‘follows his gut’ and thinks that is good enough and, further, he thinks he has a perfect gut, the best gut, the smartest gut.  In reality, he is just another fool sitting in the BIG chair, uttering BIG stupidities and making BIG errors…in front of an incoming tide.  And he is being supported in that delusion by his White House staff, the biggest bunch of hand-picked idiots in the land.

Man, oh man, history really DOES repeat itself.

Trump is so stupid he even asked one doctor, “Why doesn’t the flu vaccine stop Coronavirus?  It’s a flu, right?”

Of course, you know all that.  But how is the Coronavirus (in it’s immediacy) that much different from the climate crisis in it’s ‘imminent immediacy’?  Or Russian aggression?  Or Chinese obstinacy?  Or Iran or North Korea,  If you think Trump and the US are ridiculously unprepared for what is a virulent and threatening-to-be very dangerous pandemic, and you see that similar attitude applied to climate change (Russia, Iran, et al), how do you place any faith in that so-called leadership?

Need a hint?  Watch what Trump did recently in Afghanistan…..pure capitulation.  Surender to the Taliban (of all groups) and then announce that as a victory!?  Or look back to what he does during business failures…declares bankruptcy.  This guy does NOT know from responsibility, from ramifications, from consideration of others, from reality.  This guy is Canute.

When we ‘accept’ a leader, (we do not get to CHOOSE them.  Not really.) how do we rationalize our then-assumed support of that leader?  Most of us don’t.  We never do.  Fifty percent are against that poor sap from the get go.  The others are skeptical at best.  Actually, we all just wait around until he or she trips up and falls and then we ‘accept’ the next doofus presented until that person screws up.  And so it goes.  We basically just choose well-paid scapegoats – not leaders.

Seriously, our democracy is a crap shoot.  We haven’t a clue who is representing or leading us until they lead us into a sea-change or a Me-too incident and then we are all left the worse for it.  Then, like the blind leading the blind, we all go do it all over again.

Why are we so stupid?  If you continue to do what you do, you will continue to get the same results.  Duh.

“OK, smartie-pants, what do you suggest?”

Well, first off, we have to do something different.  Anything different will, at the very least, get us different results.  YIKES!!!!  That was the same wrong-headed thinking of those who voted Trump!  “Let’s try something different!”  is simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

“OK, smartie-pants. what is good enough?”

Really?  WE HAVE TO THINK!  That is the first step.

If I was younger, I might suggest ‘joining’ the parties so that narrow, elitist, self-selected party ‘cells’ don’t do the majority of the selection process in their back rooms.  The party system is at the root of the problem.  They pick our reps.  That is NOT good for anyone.  

There are plenty of other routes to take but, given our predilection for peaceful transfers of power, working within that system is the only route to take.  So, what does that mean?

That means: if you want change, do not rely on your last-in-the-event-chain VOTE.  Go now to your favourite ‘party’ (already an ethical and moral compromise) and then join it.  Make yourself an influencer.  BE A VOICE.  Choose goodness over everything else.  Tune out the ‘money’.  RUN from it.  Go for the good.

A revolution?  Hardly.  But it is the fastest way to make a change.  It is either that or a virus.  Or a horrendous economic depression.  Or, sometimes, a major war will turn the tables quickly.  Which of those do you prefer?

Me?  Like I said, ‘If I was younger, I’d go play the game and be a part of the ‘inner group’ of politicians influencing our world’.  But I am not younger.  I am old.  And old kinda rules out wars and viruses and suck-holing your way to power in 30 years.

So….me?  I went for the last vestige of hope…off the grid, remote and being green….it is probably the least viable option…being just a being and not being part of a herd.  We’ll see  how that goes.

 

Well, so much for philosophizing….

…I mean…I can’t help but throw out amateur philosophical statements as I write blogs.  It is part of my ‘style’, ya know.  But, like politics and especially Trumpian politics, readers can only tolerate so much and I may have used up that allowance with the last post.  My bad.  I wish I had a raven for ya….

So, when in doubt, update.  First: Sal, the Slayer of men, breaker of hearts, baker of cheesecakes.  The quilting queen.  Ol’ Sal has just been laid low.  Just as she was rocking her rehab and flying past her physio, she caught a bug and is now just another poor invalid convalescing under covers.  Well, a limping, smiling, but sleeping-a-lot invalid anyway.  Too bad.  She was on pace for the 2020 Olympics in Japan.  Senior decathlon.  We were gonna practice her javelin throwing today.  But, it’s not a go.  She is ‘on the bench’ for now.  She may be on the injured reserve bench for a few extra days.

I hate to say it out loud but an under-the-weather Sal is a lot easier to keep up with.  (I needed a rest).  Still, we are gonna have to do a few leg exercises if not today, definitely tomorrow.  Freshly minced knees need moving or the healing progress doesn’t just stop, it can regress.  Maybe when she wakes up…..best to let sleeping quilters lie for now.  It is safer for everyone (especially husbands).

But I know her.  It is the laying about that will make her mean (well, Tinkerbell mean is still Tinkerbell).  If she works that knee, she’ll be in better spirits.  So, she’ll be back on her game soon enough.  A day or two off is not a bad thing.  I’m OK with it.  Grateful, actually.

Breaking News!  The community property purchase goal of $165K was reached.  We needed to raise $115,000 and closed the ‘Go Fund Me’ program at $122,000.  That is incredible.  Truly amazing.  Our community has pretty much consolidated an area around the school as our ‘village’ centre-cum-park-cum-reserve this past few months.  That purchase added twenty acres.

That DOES NOT mean intensive development will ensue.  Living OTG is not an attitude that fosters much in the way of real estate development in anyone out here.  Our idea of ‘development’ is to simply blaze a carefully laid out trail through the woods.  Maybe erect a small wooden sign saying, ‘TRAIL’.

We’ll eventually focus some kind of almost-development plans at the special and different location 7 acres on the sea that is being looked at for that kind of thing but much of the rest will remain untouched. Despite a great community effort, the community population will not likely grow by much, if at all.  Not quickly, that’s for sure.  It is the way of things out here.  Preservation trumps development.

But old habits die hard and I look and see and envision ‘developments’ still.  NOT so much on our island.  Like I said, our OTG island is unlikely to suddenly attract droves of new cabin dwellers.  Ain’t gonna happen.  But we may get a few more.  The pace of growth out here is almost at ‘equilibrium’.  We get three or four new folks or families every year in the area and every year we lose about the same number.  If anything, I’d venture a guess that we are netting a plus 1 to 3 gain every year.  This year there are 235 people listed in our greater community (several islands) and next year, maybe that will increase to 238.  Maybe.

But the island next door – the one with the ferry and the stores and the grid – that baby is in demand!  Last year there were, on average, only about 8 listings at any one time.  All of those listings were outrageously expensive.  Averaging with a low number such as 8 is pointless but I’d guess that the ‘average’ small 1600 – 2000 sft older home on a few acres in a nice location (at least a sea view) was in excess of $650K.  There were more than a few over $1M.  And I can’t think of one below $400k.  Getting started at ‘cabin/cottag-ing’ is not an easy entry thing over there.

Some friends, however, have shown interest in doing just that.  Friends are usually peers so age is a factor.  It is hard to start from scratch anywhere but scratch OTG is a special challenge.  If you are over 55, it is a bit late (as a rule) to try and start from bare, unserviced, OTG land.  We have had more than a few do it, mind you, but, with the exception of a remarkable few, over 55’s hire younger people to do the majority of the heavy building.

And, when that happens, the cost of building out here goes through the roof.  I haven’t priced it recently but getting all-in and operational with solar panels and gensets and water, not to mention boats and docks and ramps cannot likely be done for under under $500 a sft.  Even doing it all yourself is closer to $200-250 a sft and that is NOT fancy, fancy.  That kind of money would only get ‘pleasant’.   That means a million dollars to get a 2000 sft cabin!

Sheesh!

“Dave, can’t I get a cabin for less than that?” 

Of course you can.  But it likely will not be new (unless the land is small or inland).  It definitely will be a fixer-upper.  It won’t likely have all the ‘systems’ but more likely just be a cobbled and in-need-of-repair-or-replacements-type cabin in need of a lot more money and time.  I am pretty sure a savvy buyer could get ten freehold acres inland for around $100-$150K.  Any buildings on that would be tear-downs.  $150K might buy 2.5 to 5 acres of waterfront or waterview.

Note the key word use of the word ‘freehold’.  There are some bargains to be had when the ‘ownership’ structure is hippyesque like co-ops or joint ownerships.  That kind of structure usually halves the value and halves the market.  And there really is NO market to speak of.  Few people can wrap their heads around that kind of thing.

That’s too bad.  In the living, in the building, in the relationship to your neighbours and the land around you, title is a non-issue.  So what if you are in a co-op?  If it is a good one, no problem.  If it is a bad one, it is no worse than if you had a freehold bad neighbour next door.  However, in the selling of the property, title structure looms larger.  Jus’ sayin’….

“Dave!  Why you writing so much about nonsense?”

Well, we are in a moho.  It is pouring rain.  I tapped out on Philosophy.  The Cheesecake Queen is sleeping.  Typing makes no noise.  A man’s gotta do……

 

 

 

 

Philosophy 101

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.  By our advanced stage in life, the topic is kinda old and boring (because we have all been stewing about it individually for 60+ years) and, quite frankly, it is usually much too academic to be of any practical application day-to-day in our remaining decades.  Worse (for me), the study of philosophy is the study of deceased thinkers who came up with some pretty basic stuff: “I think, therefore I am…..”

Philosophy, to my mind, has to continually change – at least somewhat – as we evolve and grow as a species, a society, a culture and as individuals.  I’ll keep ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ (Descartes) but, really Rene’?   ‘Zat all ya got?

Over the years, most of the BIG philosophical questions were, if NOT answered, at least were discussed ad nauseam and thus newer philosophers had to slice out narrower questions.  Eventually, we sliced and diced philosophy to the point that we are now more focused on discussing racism, sexism, ageism and other ‘isms’ on topics that, for the most part, all fall into the category of bad.  If you are sexist, you are bad.  Plain and simple.  If you say (just say) something against black people or short people (Randy Newman song), you are bad.  You are not just mistaken or, perhaps, musing/mulling it over.  You are NOT just thinking.  You are just plain wrong!  You are NOT JUST BAD.  You must be shunned, reviled and hated.

Which kinda begs the question: If philosophy is the ‘study’ of such topics, how can  the newly perceived negative aspects draw such cast-in-stone conclusions?  Are we saying that we now KNOW all that needs knowing regarding sexism, racism and the giant ism clan?  Are we collectively saying in other words: stop ‘studying’, stop learning, stop investigating, because we now know all the answers?

Should Philosophy 101 be replaced with Political Correctness 101?

I say all that because I am still kinda curious as to why we are racist, sexist and ageist (just to mention 3 of dozens).  Why are we anti-Semitic?  Why do we think blacks have better rhythm?  Or, more to the point in Canada today, why do we think our way of life is so much better than everyone else’s or Democracy is the ‘only way to go’?

Of course, we KNOW that thinking black people have rhythm is racist so we don’t say it anymore – not out loud in front of a group of younger people, anyway.  But, call me racist, I would say that, on the whole, generally speaking, and from what I have observed, black people have a better sense of rhythm than do say, the Taliban.  Or Norwegians.  Or people recently having had knee surgery.  My bad.

“Dave!?  Why go there?” 

Because so many men are piggy (like Weinstein) or evil (like Jeffery Dahmer) or criminal (like all the off-shore account holders) or bullies (like Trump and border patrol agents).  There just HAS to be a reason.   Don’t get me wrong…I know they are bad.  Boo.  Hiss.  Lock ’em up!  But WHY are they like that?  What is it that creates the ‘isms’?  What natural forces are in effect that creates this dark side?

The easy answer regarding bad behaviour in sex, of course, is that ‘all men are pigs’ or ‘all men are bad’ or ‘they all just want one thing’…..or some other politically accepted blanket condemnation of what seems a common-enough male trait.  But could lust, greed, deceit, power and treachery actually be a natural part of the human condition and that some of it (maybe in past centuries) been some sort of an asset to the species?  Philosophically speaking, could racism and sexism and ageism have some redeeming, positive and necessary roles in our evolution?

And, if that is possible, then aren’t we kinda wrong in our current conclusions?

Maybe?

An example, if you will: Weinstein is a pig.  No argument.  And he is an ugly pig with power and money.  Harvey was also no dope.  He was intelligent if immoral as well as exploitative and opportunistic (probably good traits in a soldier or hunter or OTG’er).  But Harvey was unlikely to ever get any of his genes into the ‘pretty woman’ gene pool by playing nice.  Just ain’t gonna happen.  He needed leverage to get there and he eventually got some.  So, Harvey used his power, his money and (dare I say it….) the perceived tendency of some young starlet wannabes to ‘get what they want’ by giving Harvey what he wanted.  It is an ugly game but not one that has not been played for eons.

And – even though he was/is a really gross pig about it, what was it that he wanted so bad?  He wanted one of the most basic of all human needs – sex.  He was obeying one of his ‘prime and primal directives’.  Harvey PIG is just another pig wanting to make piglets.

This is NOT my excusing Harvey’s bad behaviour.  It was bad.  REALLY BAD.  He needs to be executed or at least jailed for life as soon as possible.  Tarred and feathered, even.  But, if you ask me why he resorted to evil means to manifest his natural destiny, the answer is painfully obvious.  Harvey would never even get a date otherwise and he felt, deep in his bones, that he had to get himself into the gene pool by whatever means he could.  Ugly?  Yes.  Unacceptable in a civilized world?  Yes and no – plenty of men use money to get laid.  In fact, his crude behaviours – performed to a lesser extent by others – are integral to our modern society.

I guess what I am saying is that we need to discuss some of this stuff more openly and NOT be afraid of the topic or the ‘hot’ words that might be employed when we do.  If we don’t re-open the questions, it is just gonna be a giant witch-hunt.

Maybe I should have started with ageism?

Repairs…..again….kinda…and gifts and lucky breaks

We drive a 2004 Pathfinder.  The R50 series.  The model changed to the R51 in 2005 and became less robust and less useful.  The older Nissan Pathys were/are great.  But 2004 is 16 years old.  It is starting to lose some of it’s ‘zip’ and sex appeal.  Not yet losing it’s ‘reliability’, but there have been hints that is coming (like the incident on the trip up island with the moho) and I have recently heard something faint in the front end…..

The moho we are living in is parked on my friend’s front lawn.  He is a retired front end mechanic.  “Let’s have a look at that noise” (which is weird grammatically but we MEN know what we mean).  And, so we do.  The wheel I suspected turned out to be good.  So, I said, “That’s good.  I only felt it after a long downhill brake.  Must be my imagination.  Let’s quit.”  “No.  We are here.  So is the car.  Let’s look at the other wheel.”  And, so we did.  “This side is 100% gone.  Totally worn.  It’s done!”  

Lordco delivered the parts while we had tea.  Half an hour later, J had them installed.  “You just dodged a bullet.  I have not seen a brake pad so worn and had not yet harmed the rotor.  It is as if your last braking coming in here rubbed off the last pad residue.  Your timing was immaculate.”  

I tell this story partly because we have been hemorrhaging money living on the lawn this month.  You know….?  Restaurants, comfort-foods and ‘because-we-are-here’ purchases, costs we didn’t expect (the repairs to cars and pumps-from-home) and such.  I would estimate an extra $3,000 extra all in.  And yet….in weird ways, it is ‘coming back’.  We have been unexpectedly lucky.   A surprise cheque ($335) from Canadian libraries for the books we wrote. The brake job was done for the cost of parts ($1000 savings).  The installation of my new bush-bar (using J’s garage and his assistance – probably $500+ savings).  It is just kinda weird……..a whole month of totally disrupted spending and yet, in the end, there will not be much difference in the big picture….

……funny how that works.

Back to the car/men.  I needed to install a bush-bar because, as I age and become less sexy and lose my ‘zip’, my vision at night is also not as good.  My eyesight is still reliable but, you know, it is getting older.  The newer models of modern men, however, are not much better.  Way, way less reliable!  The old ones are built much better (even with creaky joints and odd noises).

Anyway, the bush-bar is a really just a place to mount more lights.  And, on the old logging road, at night, more lights are needed otherwise you might/will hit a deer.

I hit a little fawn last year.  It is no more.  Adding lights might save lives.

So?  The point of the story?  This has been the month for repairs, I guess.  Sally repairs.  Pump repairs.  Moho repairs.  Several Pathfinder repairs and, yes, you guessed it, I am getting an eye repair a couple of weeks from now.

This has also been a month of ‘lucky breaks’ from the kindness of Craig at Comox Fountain Tire to the love and support of my friends J&J while on their lawn to even the Canada Council for the Arts.

Life, eh?