Thursday, March 23, 2006

Procrastination is a really great thing! Procrastination has saved me thousands of dollars, and solved mysteries, and won arguments. It is defined as "dilatoriness: slowness as a consequence of not getting around to it " by one account.

There are even websites dedicated to it such as Procrastination and You.
I can tell you just can't wait to see how I saved the money, so I'll tell you. If I had been keen, motivated, and well, competent, I could have spent thousands of $ starting to finish the basement in my almost new house. But I did diddly sqat, except outside painting and waging war against the grass growing. SO, when the big floods of 2005 arrived and half filled the basement with water, all I had to fix was the wet furnace. My keen neighbors, on the other hand, were throwing out carpet, drywall, stereos, and the like. Well, that was the neighbors who didn't have driftwood and mud fill their basements. Or the ones who lost half their yards to the flood. I had speculated on the possibility of filling in the 6' deep hole the flood waters washed in my front field, but I was pretty dang busy watching that grass grow. Eventually, after trying to justify having a pond out front, the local gas company called me up and told me that they had filled it in and levelled things out for me! Worked again. I was pretty happy that I'd just been sitting back watching the grass grow while the paint dried all that time! Speaking of grass. No, the kind that you mow and cows eat. After my weed eater died and I procrastinated getting a new one, I realized it was much easier to just burn the grass whenever it was windy and cold. Just once or twice a year, not every bloody week! One hint though; when burning in cold (key word) and windy conditions, you should beware of having your garden hose freeze up on you. A frozen hose does not really impress a speeding fire in tall grass. This is not a good time to practice procrastination or watching the paint blister. Vinyl siding and fire are not good neighbors either, in case you were wondering.
Most recently, the local grocery store who shall remain nameless (Safeway in Canmore) stopped carrying the one food item that even I could cook. When I finally got around (can you see a pattern here?) to asking where the heck my food was, no one in the store had any idea what I was talking about, and could find no such thing on their computer. I think they thought I had made it up - or bought it at Sobey's.
Fortunately, my carefully stacked carboard recycling was still carefully stacked where I had stacked it, quite some time ago. Since the grass was burnt and the paint was dry, I dug through and triumphantly located a packing box to prove I was right once again.
Check the pics. The neighbors got hit big time, but I was on higher ground and just plain lucky. If you are a trained observer and have been paying attention to this blog for a month or so, you will note the familiar blue truck and camper parked at my house and the barely visible pond in the foreground, before it was filled. And these pics were last summer. The area now has snow and burnt grass!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

These Pelicans are wearing my patience a little thin! But, I think the pelicans have a new temporary home in Sask, thanks to Saarlac, so they should be available for the time being.
Check out my (very) amateur video.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I was robbed! It happened early one morning while I was still sleeping. A cat burglar was roaming the house. I stirred awake to see him enter the bedroom and approach me. Suddenly, he leapt up and planted his 18 pounds of fur on my pillow. Then the dull roar of purring started, then the flexing and stretching. Before I knew it, I was pushed right off the pillow by this interloper. Some things never change, home or away.
There are, however. some advantages and disadvantages to being at home. On the plus side is my hot tub, which survived and stayed hot outside in the snowbank, through some efforts of my friends and neighbors. Then there is a 'real' stereo system that cranks out that country music on the big sub-woofer, high speed internet that I do not have to search out down the beach (not sure if that is a 'pro'), the waiting overtime checks from a lucrative December, and of course, my $400 Ralph Bucks cheque. Hockey and Wild Bill's, too.
On the down side, it is cold, the snow is deep, there is an armful of mail to sort through, and magazines to add to the piles already on my coffee table from (what year is this?) way back. There are alarm clocks, and actually having to show up at work, income tax, gas prices to choke a horse, and wondering if I will have to shovel snow off the camper roof at some point.
But, before too long, the snow will go, my horses will come back, and the scenery will start looking more like the attached pictures.
Still working on the pelican video, but there is not much free time when you factor in work, Wild Bill's, cat burglars, and income tax.
Anybody who is not if favour of global warming can send it all this way. Next time, I hope for some palm trees on the shore of Moraine Lake!

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Just because we made it home in one piece does not mean you can quit reading! We have some loose ends to tie up.
Stats, for instance.
Totals - Days on the road Jan 2 - March 6 = 64 days or 1514.25 hours
Kilometers - 13,450
Litres fuel - 2662.62
Furthest south - 25.83376N Lattitude
Furthest east - 106.31065W Longitude
Furthest west - 124.29736W Longitude

Longest day travel - Jan 3 - Lussier Hot Springs to Dillon, MT - 797kms
Shortest day travel - 0
Average distance/day - 210km
Countries - 3
States - 8
Provinces - 2
Int'l Border Crossings - 6
Photos that survived - 637
Stay tuned for fuel costs, mileage, propane use, camping fees, camping locations, or whatever you think I have missed? Anyone still out there?

Working on some video of Pelicans ...

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Light rain falling along the Trans Canada highway over Roger's Pass, but we had a fresh double-double from the shiny new Tim Horton's in Revelstoke, and some good tunes on the FM modulator. Looked like about 2m of snow at the summit, but it is definately starting to settle. Truck and camper got dirty from the spray in the Golden area, but the rain then turned to snow, but did not start to stick to the road until the spiral tunnels on the CPR mainline in Yoho National Park. This is very familiar home territory, and we pulled into the plowed driveway before 7PM. The good news is that the lawn does not appear to need mowing. If it does, I will have to dig down 2 feet to find the mower anyway. Unloaded most of the gear, but did not want to shock my bike or the beach chairs, so left them in the back seat of the truck for now.
I think Harley was glad to have a little more room to roam, but got upset when I would not put on his snowshoes so he could go outside. And he wonders where all the sea gulls and geckos are. The recliner chair IS pretty comfy though, with or without the driver keeping it warm. Off to face to post office next to see if I missed paying many bills - AND get my $400. "Ralph" cheque! If you don't know what a "Ralph" cheque is, or did not get one, you should move to Alberta.

PS: Don't know what ads you are seeing, but mine shows a good deal on a home on Whidbey Island for a mere $950,000. Spare change for Bill Gates, but I'll have to save my allowance for a while for that shack.

Monday, March 6, 2006

I knew we were getting close to Canada when I heard some Corb Lund on the radio! We left the Seattle area and took the ferry from Everett, Washington (where one of the huge Boeing Aircraft plants are), over to Clinton on Whidbey Island. Finally found an elusive air filter for the mighty GMC in Oak Harbor and found a place to get my ears lowered as well on a Sunday morning. Not much action seen or heard from the Naval Air Station on Whidbey, so we cruised on north into Anacortes, which is by all accounts a very nautical town. Shipyards, marinas, yacht sales places everywhere, and an oil tanker depot on the nearby pennisula. They also have murals painted on many buildings in the downtown area. I think it is a serious fishing port, too. Took a shot of a US Navy vessel in the repair shop (I wonder if that was legal?), and another obviously brand new vessel up on blocks outside the Boats R Us store!
Still a few hours to kill and according to the calendar, we should keep moving. I know we are within a 10 hour drive from home - IF the roads aren't closed or ugly.
Told the Canada Customs guy that I might have an illegal potato on board, but when I stopped to chuck it, I remembered that I had forfeited it to the US Customs lady on the Mexican line! Another sign of impending ugly temperatures was when I saw a snowmobile on the back of a truck.
That reminds me - I might still catch the end of the hockey season in Banff?
Still some BIG, 10' snowbanks at the summit of the Coquihalla highway, but driving was good and it was snow-free and approaching pleasant at both ends and in the middle at Merritt. Tempted to stop in Merritt and secure a good camp spot for the Merritt Mountain Music Festival, but it's still a few months off, so will give it a rain check.
Rogers Pass tomorrow with the bonus of being back in Tim Horton's country! Large double-double coming right up!

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Triumph and tragedy in the last couple days! I was on the north coast of Oregon, and it looked like an easy drive into the south edge of Seattle and the famed (Benny's)Riverside Inn. There were also some pretty good deals advertised on electronics at the Fry's store nearby. So at least one of us stayed awake for the drive into the big smoke along I-5. Fry's was pretty amazing. Parking lot of about 20 acres, easily as big as a Walmart Supercenter, and everything imagineable related to electronics - a way more stuff and variety than a Future Shop. There were 33 checkouts! I think the staff on duty at one time must have been close to 150. It took several hours just to walk all the aisles. But I was in a hurry because it was Friday nite and the Riverside has always treated me well. I rolled into the parking lot around 10 - which was a bad thing because at 10 the lot should be full! The only thing in the lot were dumpsters - the place inside was closed and dark - even though the outside lites and sign were lighted. Could not tell if it was routine renovations, or whether it is more sinister. A quick online search, or phoning their number did not shed any light on things :-( Tragedy!
So we spent the night in the Fry's lot and went back for another look in the morning. Canada Customs, if you are listening, I did not buy any-thing!
Saturday we drove on through Bellevue (had an old gf from there who I had met at the Riverside!), waved at Bill Gates as we drove through Microsoft land, and headed for the ferry to Whidbey Island. Stopped on the way at a convenient car wash to hose some more Mexican dirt off the truck. Car washes used to terrify the feline for some reason, and he was well hidden when it was over. Not this time - he was relaxing on the seat just like nothing had happened. Then directly to the scary Ferry - which also used to scare the cat. Once again he took it like a lion. Triumph! Next we just have to work on the scary street sweepers! Pulled over at a convenient, scenic roadside location on Whidbey Island south of the Naval Air Station, where the cat could graze and the Leafs dish could see the sky. Leafs lost, but at least it was close.
In case you were wondering, they used to play BOTH kinds of music at the Riverside. C & W!
Hopefully they will be back in action for my next trip through.
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Thursday, March 2, 2006

Changes in Lattitude said Jimmy Buffet on the radio. Well, today he is right.
AND, I think I saw the light at the end of the tunnel?

Lattitude: Up
Temperature: Down
Precipitation: Up
Gas Prices: Down
Total distance: Up
Time left: Down :-(

Found a cute little cat condo hotel for Harley! He said it didn't look quite as nice as a chunk of carpet in front of the fireplace at home, but he did like the look of all the seagulls to play with. He was also very impressed with the population of pigeons in Brookings, OR.

Anyone heard of the 'Lost Trailers' musical group? Heard a good song on the radio yesterday by them - I actually thought it was Chris Ledoux at first, so they have to be good! I guess they got their name from having several of their band trailers stolen from various venues they played at. Maybe they were playing in the wrong towns?