Yep It’s Funny Now

In the pink of spring

Fortunately my little dogs weren’t with me when I parked my daily beater in the grocery store parking lot. Isn’t it amazing how a dull daily event can rapidly become a horror show? At the time you want to be anywhere else but a few days later you can only see the funny side. I shut my old car off, locked the door and went into the store. Ho hum. A few minutes later, I came out, dug out my only working remote key fob, pointed it at the car and nothing happened. Remember the shark tune Dah duh Dah duh? “Oh here we go! The battery is dead in the remote. Bugga.” Inserting the key in the lock, I opened the door and Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep……………………………Beep for interminable minutes. I could not shut it off. So came that going down in flames feeling. I tried manually opening and closing and locking/unlocking the door. Beep. I tried starting the car. Beep and then the engine refused to run. Is this really happening? Yes it is, you know it, so do some bloody thing. The beeping had bored into my brain, it went on and on.

The Panic Button

Finally, in what seemed like hours later, the system shut itself down. By then, I’d dissected the remote door control, cleaned the little battery and but it back together. I pushed the button BEEP… BEEP, bloody BEEP on and on again. By now a few men had come to offer me advise and I politely assured them that all would be well, I’m a mechanic after all. Stay calm and tinker on. By now, I’d pulled my spare key out of its hiding place. It didn’t work. One other old geezer came to tell me what was wrong and I asked him to please just leave me alone. Three more interuptions from him had me bellowing “BUGGER OFF, I’ve asked you to leave me alone, now GO AWAY!” I don’t know if folks really assume that they have superior knowledge or if it’s just testosterone constipation. They are not helping and they know it! I hate being put in a spot where you feel forced to be an asshole.

At that moment, I had both remote door controls apart, in the now-peeing rain, and really needed to focus on my dilema without any parts sproinging down the nearby storm drain. I noticed the drain after the fact. I thought that maybe I could get a functioning unit by using parts from the two but wouldn’t you know it? Their innards were different. Finally, I had the what-was-just-working one back together. Dead! Nothing. I put the key in the ignition. Nothing. The security system clearly shuts of the engine ignition. I fiddled with the remote a bit, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP again. “Oh golly” I said. Yep that’s what I said. I went back into the store to see if they sold batteries which fit these devices, knowing full well that they did not. I’d have to walk down to the hardware store in the rain to find out that they had none either. Wonder of wonders, the grocery store had one packet at a horrible price. The cashier mumbled something about wishing “That Jerk would do something about his horn.” The horn continued to sing its terrible song. I know what she meant because nothing upsets me as much as an ongoing car alarm.

I replied that this jerk was doing his best which is why he was paying a triple-price for these batteries. It occurred to me that with no wrench on hand to disconnect the car battery I could at least remove the horn wire. It was like doing brain surgery through the rectum but by jamming my arm up through the front wheelwell I was able to find the wire and rip it out. I’ll fix that on the next sunny day. The story goes on. A new battery was not the solution but finally with a lot of patient finagling something clicked. It like was winning a lottery, i imagine. I headed for home. I am not sure what I did so I wonder how long before she fritzes again. All’s well for the moment and I’m damned if I’ll spend six hundred dollars on a key for a thousand-dollar car. Poverty sucks! But it’s funny now! And there’s all that suspense each time I go anywhere.

Isn’t it wonderful when everything blooms at the same time?

In Ladysmith a serious battle is brewing. The town mayor and his council have decided to give away the foreshore lease they have held for the Ladysmith Maritime Society. It’s going to the local first nations people. They’re doing this with no consultation with the membership of the society.

A wonderful online article in covers the story well. This is my response to that letter. All hell is about to break loose, enough is enough, I’m tired of belonging to the Last Nation.

Ref April 2023 Edition


I want to express appreciation for your writing about the current crisis surrounding the future of the Ladysmith Maritime Society Facility. Your writing is concise and objective. It accurately covers the situation with an unbiased tone. Thank you.

I began to consider a move to Vancouver Island in the years preceding Expo 86. At that time there were exciting plans to build a working wooden boat shipyard here in Ladysmith in conjunction with a working steam railway museum. I wanted to be part of that and I moved to the area from the mainland interior. Those grand plans never came to fruition. At that time the facility now known as LMS was a rickety collection of rotting and broken docks run by a “Good Ol’ Boy” club. It was a dangerous mess, both in situation and politically.

LMS is now a facility considered by many, near and far, as the best public / transient marina north of Seattle. Ladysmith is nothing without its waterfront and LMS is the jewel in that crown. In several ways, this marina is a catalyst which helps bond the entire community. This facility is the result of uncounted thousands hours of volunteer labour and love and commitment by its members. We are horribly betrayed by those whose political agenda is clearly not to serve the local citizens nor consider their will. But, we will not go away.

Sincerely, Fred Bailey, Ladysmith   

LMS Marina, one section with the amazing clubhouse
An old beauty in great condition
A tremendous effort goes into restoring these old lovelies
Another simple beauty and the real thing
There’s room for everyone if they want to pull together
A good boat will look beautiful from all angles
Through the window of the old locomotive shed. One can vaguely see part of the venerable Baldwin steam locomotive we are charged with caring for.
A real wooden box car. Part of the rail museum’s collection.
These hands made those eyes

Within my litany of woes I have plunged into WhatsApp. I’ve finally got it connected and useable, I think. How come nothing works as described. Simply pushing the button as told does not do much except to lead into other windows where you need to select the correct gigaflutter and wedge filter. Geeze Louis! There is a sort of thinking which I do not possess and so a protocol of frustration descends on me nearly every time I attempt to do anything. Perhaps I’m still haunted with dread of the old “Fatal Error.”

Genius! An old mail van becomes a rugged 4×4 camper. I’ll bet it’s paid for!

In the ancient times of my younger life there was a device which, while encumbered with a cord, worked simply and reliably. To contact someone, you entered a simple code, (The same one every time) and that person answered if they wanted to. Later models allowed you to leave a message. No matter who manufactured telephones, they all worked exactly the same way. We all conducted business successfully and managed to communicate with each other around the planet. But, there was room for improvement and I recall owning one of the first radio telephones. You could talk to people away from your desk! It was a cumbersome contraption and was usually installed inside your vehicle. All I had to learn which stump to park near in order to get a decent signal. They were very finicky. Now I’m sure someone has a cell phone built into a wrist watch (Remember Dick Tracy?) It has a gps, camera, heart monitor, and seventy-nine other apps to make your life even more complicated. How can we function without knowing what the weather is in Giggledipstick, Iceland?

May your road into spring be mudless and covered in blossoms
United we stand

I know it is pouring rain here on this Easter Saturday because It tells me on an app. I couldn’t trust myself to look out the window. Meanwhile my new tablet sits idle at the back of my desk. I’m waiting for a widget to come which will allow me to export data without using someone’s cloud. I’m living proof of Saquatches and Neanderthals. Perhaps pounding my chest is worth a try. I hope you had a grand Easter and that no rabbits were harmed while you hunted eggs.

Salmonberry flower over a salmon pool

Don’t try eating any brightly coloured frogs!”… my brother

On Hold

On Hold

On hold with the weather too. This will be a year when winter weather suddenly slams over into summer and the howling will arise about drought, heat and global warming. Some years are hot, some are not, chaos is normal folks.
Hombre Banana Norte. I’ve never seen this before  in our latitudes and it cheered me up immensely.

I’m on hold. That’s as far as I’ve progressed with an inquiry to our beloved Canada Revenue Agency. What? Well I’ve been on hold for only an hour so far. Yes, I’ve noted their message warning me about using foul or abusive language. I wonder why that note comes up front??? I hope that if I do achieve contact with a living being that they can speak fluent English. I shall always recall being told by someone with a broad Asian accent that I “No spreak Engritch vely good.” This year the good folks at CRA have decided that my taxable income should be doubled. Instead of a desperately needed refund I’m told to pay a huge amount beyond my ability. So, I’m practising my polite-speak and enduring the horrible looped bargain-classical music while once again I hurry up and wait and (redneck words) bloody wait.

A Sundog. She loves her rays.
Blam! A sign of spring.

I wonder how many Canadian citizens just roll their eyes and groan and pay. Complacency seems to be in our dna and the path of least resistance is what we choose. Well, not me. I’m too old and arthritic to goose-step to anyone’s tune. Eventually I was connected with two different ladies with, once again, broad Asian accents. We all soldiered through amicably and discovered the mistake. It was mine. Uhuh!

Climb this one! It’s complicated, kind of like filing your taxes.

To enhance the experience I am apparently enduring Covid 49. Whatever the virus, it has sneaked past the perimeters of my flu shot and I have all the resilience of a left-over noodle. I won’t describe the graphic details. I’ll just say this is snot a recommended weight-loss program. I’m told that this strain of flu is rampant at the moment so it is the chicken soup diet for me. I can only hope that the birds in my broth did not come from the Boneless Chicken Ranch.

Uncomplicated. Four black feet and factory heat. That was it. No power anything, no seat belts, no airbags, no GPS, no Bluetooth, not even a radio. This is Nissan’s Datsun 1200 as imported in the late 60s and early 70s. They sold brand new for well under $2000. and I wasn’t sure if they were called Datsuns or Brassos, the dealer in North Vancouver. The engine was a burly 1200cc and this car has an automatic transmission. No danger of whiplash. It’s the way were were.
New Galaxy. Actually it is the weathered paint on another old Japanese car.

After a third attempt, I’ve finally received a third keyboard to match the wee tablet I purchased. Amazon was quite affordable compared to locally available products. The company was also prompt with correcting and refunding my orders, twice. I love to rail on about computer errors and big company fumbles but in this matter it was my fumbles which caused my problems. Kudus to the monster. It is interesting that Amazon can perform as it does with its computerized infrastructure. Without the demand for computers and all that cyber stuff Amazon could not exist. There was a time when every dollar Canada Post charged included five cents for shipping and the rest was for storage. Now, with Amazon as a prime client they are able to deliver across the country, sometimes in a day. Amazing what happens when we inject a little free enterprise.

Fungal fun, don’t touch them, they could be contagious.
The cycle of life. a tiny stream meanders onto the beach and into the sea.

The renewal license for my wee scooter-cycle insurance came and it is clearly described as a motorcycle. My recently renewed driver’s license clearly has an endorsement for scooters only. Should I have a wreck or an apprehension by constable Bob there is an obvious conundrum. So…here goes a 70 year old to get his correctly endorsed driver’s license. That involves at least three tests which will require me to endure various subjective interpretations by various examiners. That I’ve held the scooter ticket for forty years and have an accident-free driving history of over fifty-five years is irrelevant. I’ll feel like a hero when this geezer gets the correct number on my driver’s license. Just wait till I go to renew my pilot’s license!

Greenglow. I don’t know what it’s called but it sure seems hardy.

The licensing issue is resolved. I’m perfectly legal as I was licensed but to cover any doubts I also took out a motorcycle learner’s license which permits me to drive any two-wheeled beast I choose. So off to the chopper shop; I’ll take the black one with the orange lightening bolts and the signal light skull.

Clearcut landscapers. Three little pigs who’ll get bigger before they come to dinner. I can see a clear resemblance to a certain politician.

I’m afraid I don’t have much respect for licenses. All the suicidal morons hurtling around on our roads have ostensibly passed tests and are licensed. In the marine and aviation industries I’ve often found that the most incompetent were also those who held the highest ticketed ratings. There’s no point in dissecting a situation which is already firmly in place. Clearly my notion of competence is irrelevant to someone’s license. So now I can wobble off with a pocketful of paper, straight into a telephone pole.

Lazurus light. I bought a set of patio lights years ago. They were lovely until they all died with that year. Suddenly this one burst into life a few nights ago. Now it is dead again.

Sadly real life is not like being on hold to a government telephone line. You only get one quarter to make the call. There’s no “Please hang up and try again later.”

Sleep tight, your Airforce is awake. Our new balloon defense squadron, in full clever camouflage. “Per Ardua Ad Astra”