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

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

2 thoughts on “Yep It’s Funny Now”

  1. Wow, I’m shocked and dismayed about the news re: Ladysmith Maritime Society. We have tied up there at the guest dock many times and found it to be a great place, well cared for and full of interesting and obviously lovingly tended boats. Our friends love keeping their boat there, despite the long drive it means for them. Awful to contemplate that hundreds of boat owners are suddenly going to have to find moorage elsewhere – which was scarce as hen’s teeth in our region, last time I checked.

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