HUH?  Somehow, East and West appear reversed. Or are North and South  backwards?                      “We be lost Billy!” We’re here because we’re not all there.
The elk know where they are. The recent winter storms drove them down to greener pastures. There were twenty-five in this herd.
Sun on a wet fir tree. The steam swirled and rose, its own weather system. For a moment a face appeared and then vanished into another apparition.

I’m starting this blog while my mobile phone plays horrid “elevator music.” I’m in a hurry-up and-wait mode with the switchboard at my doctor’s office. So I’m multi-tasking. Chances are growing that I will have died before anyone answers my call. Such is life: “Please press *** for organ donations.

Three days into the new year all is well. The mechanical work on my old truck is finished, for the moment. I’m now assembling one of those pre-packaged furniture items from China. I think I’d rather be back out crawling about in the snow and rain underneath the Hemoth than doing this. The instructions for these jobs always look forthright enough. “Any idiot could do this.” Uhuh!

“Necessity is the mother of invention.” Buy a wrench, cut it to the right length, grind notches in the side to hold the end of a bigger wrench, put it into place, heat the hell out of things, whack it with a big hammer and finally the impossible nut begins to turn, 1/16″ at a time. The nut eventually had to be Dremelled off with a carbide bit. That’s the remains of the nut beside the wrench. “Whatever one man thinks up, another can bugger up!” Save the bits, they’ll come in handy some other day. The ‘Hemoth’ now rides again. I tried using slightly larger nuts with a 17mm outer size, no way any wrench would fit. The nearest Ford dealer searched out and found 3 correct nuts which they sold to me for a reasonable price. I was impressed.
Down behind and below the nut you can see is where the above jury-rig wrench was needed. Other bolts back there also required creative solutions to remove and then reinstall. It would have been easier to remove the engine…in a proper shop. The ‘Hemoth’ now runs better than ever.
Who needs a camper when they’ve got a back seat box? I stowed the seat and built this. I can sleep on this in a pinch and store/hide a lot of gear out of sight yet handy. It’s a wonderful spot for a dog to ride and keep my cameras handy. There’s even space for a plug-in 12V cooler behind my seat. Note the roll in the driver’s seat pouch…don’t leave home without it.

All the bits and pieces are cleverly packed together inside a tidy box. The necessary hardware is provided to the exact number of each piece required. There is no way this old monkey could ever get all those parts back inside the box. So there is no returning the item. Gotcha! Somewhere in Asia there is a degree-granting institution offering a Doctorate Of Packaging. Rubik’s Cube solutions are part of the first year’s syllabus. There are, in total, six years remaining in the course.

Save the photo of the product on the box cover, it may prove a very useful tool when all other ideas fail. I wonder if an entertainment value is factored into the price of whatever unit a person buys. “The Gameboy furniture assembly suite… Pass your Covid hours productively.” It sure as hell beats shoveling snow.

Jack 2008. 14 years ago. It snowed four feet that night. The only white on his face then was snow. He was 2 years old.
Happy Dog 2022. Jack has always loved snow. The old fellow is frail but certainly not short of enthusiasm…when he can stay awake.
Supreme Bliss. Whenever Jack is very happy, he wriggles about on his back.
“He’ll be a big dog when he grows up!” Fourteen months old.                                                                    Jack loves large guys and this playful beauty was no exception.

In the first week of the year we’ve had rain, snow, warm sunshine, wind, fog and a shortage of labour at every store I’ve tried to visit. We have now noted the first anniversary of the Trump insurrection and there has been a further announcement of yet another Covid variant, IHU. Now cheer up, we haven’t had a damaging earthquake here… yet. But we did just have one, fifteen kilometres down! (4.3 on the sphincter scale) Galiano Island was probably just settling under the weight of it’s newcomers.

There is great beauty in things we look at every day and never see.

It is the time of year when if you don’t have the funds to travel, or pressing personal agendas, you must heave-to and endure what comes. The media is determined to make every natural event a drama. It IS normal for snow and ice in January, even here on the West Coast. How temperatures of – 40ºC in the interior of the country have become news bemuses me. Of course we’re living in the age of panic about global warming. Awareness of the natural world around us is a good thing. Perhaps we can yet learn about our smallness within the grand scheme of things. Surely, when we have achieved the successful deployment of the Webb Space Telescope (107 latches, among over three hundred other things, performed successfully so that the solar array is now functional) then we can look to the intricacies of the natural world all around us. No need to be bored.

The beekeeper’s gate. With a hint of fog over the untrodden snow, the sun’s warmth fell on my face as I took the photo.
Last Kiss, head of the stream. “‘E was cold as a fish and ‘is breath twer a bit fishy!”
It was a good idea, but not the brightest one he’d ever had.

Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she became a butterfly.” —Unknown

Author: Fred Bailey

Fred is a slightly-past middle age sailor / writer / photographer with plenty of eclectic hands-on skills and experiences. Some would describe him as the old hippy who doesn't know the war is over. He is certainly reluctant to grow up and readily admits to being the eternal dreamer. He has written several books including two novels, 'The Keeper' and 'Storm Ecstasy,' as well as 'The Water Rushing By', 'Sins Of The Fathers', 'The Magic Stick', as well as an extensive inventory of poetry, essays, short stories, anecdotes and photographs. His first passion is the ocean, sailboats, voyaging and all those people who are similarly drawn to the sea. He lives aboard 'Seafire' the boat he is refitting to go voyaging, exploring new horizons both inner and outer. This blog is about that voyage and the preparations for it. In spite of the odds against it, the plan is to sail away this fall and lay a course southward. If you follow this blog your interest may provide some of the energy that helps fuel the journey. Namaste Contact him at svpaxboat@gmail.com

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