Killing frost

Okay, it’s Winter here now: -4C this morning and hasn’t warmed up more than 1 degree in the past two hours. I’m not even going out in it to take a picture of it, whatever it looks like. Instead, here’s a turkey:

Okay, it’s a ruffed grouse.

Otherwise …

Wood hauling is going well, except for being a lot of work. Bigger load capacity = takes more time and effort to load and unload. Truck is managing it, except for not being as fast as the Nissan even when empty because it can’t take the turns. Also the “check engine” light came on after less than five hours driving. It has since gone off again, but not before I’d made an appointment to have it checked. Ford has a service bulletin on it in fact. Anyway, the thing is still horrible to maneuver: at home I take the trailer off and turn it around separately, then reconnect it; that’s easier than trying to do the whole thing together, even with the ‘rear marker sticks’ added to the trailer. Oh I have to fix the suspension again; that road is a terror.

Anyway, three loads has got me three rows full and start of a fourth. So far, so good.

Unfortunately the cold is going against me, and it’s supposed to start raining next week. Cold + wet = slippery. Slippery woods, slippery roads. Right now I’m in town with too many little chores to do up – and a wife making more all the time – some of which really needed warmer weather for. Funny, but for all the cool temperatures I can still sweat through my clothes in short order when working with the wood. Possibly because some of the rounds are 50 lbs. each and … well pretty much a ton of weight per load.

Rocky shore.

It won’t be long before there’s ice showing up. Of course the water line will freeze first. Pretty early in the year to be losing so much heat, and somewhat surprising after the Summer’s roasting. On the plus side I’ve only one more electrical outlet to install. Whether I get that done this year remains to be seen. No big deal if not. I did not get the stain put on outside, so that’s not happening until next season.

Nor have I got results back from the biopsy. Can’t say “no news is good news” because it’s just no news. Had another pain attack in the middle of the night. The inconsistency of the circumstances surrounding these attacks discounts the cause/effect scenario of most possible diagnosis. Oh well …

Fishes.

What next? We wait and see.

One final note: Dave McKeegan’s Facebook fiasco. I don’t really use that abomination of a social media platform anymore, and his experience is similar to mine with Ego-bay.

Things going on around here

How about this weather, eh? 32C (90F) on Friday, frosted lawn this morning. Summer left us like a thief in the night. (Lytton, the town that isn’t there anymore, set a new record September high for all of BC of 39.6C/103F.)

A small amount of rain Sunday helped damp the smoke out of the air. There are no serious fires burning near us, but enough small ones (including one 1 km behind our house) that the weather forecast one day said “smoke in the morning …” and we’re all having PTSD from the memories of past wildfires. The nightmares are real, and I think we need financial compensation from the government.

Speaking of which, certain provincial ones have decided to hand out cheques to their citizenry to help with the rampant price-gouging because nothing eases inflation like pumping more money into the economy, right? (You can just see their report cards: “Economics 101 [F]”). But don’t worry because after reporting record quarterly profits the grocery chains have assured us the increases they make are just covering their costs. Also, pigs fly.

I have not finished my pre-winter preparations around here and may not get to because suddenly it’s time to start harvesting wood. As in the overnight temperatures have dropped to where lighting the stove may be necessary at both locations while I get wood in for the season. The trick is to cut and stack it faster than you burn it.

Will we be going out to the cabin this week? Good question. I haven’t finished up even what I can do out there yet, and I just got back from WL hospital with five new holes in my arm.

Are things going well around here? No, not really. There’s huge room for improvement, and we all know it won’t happen.

Sneak preview.

This week in pictures

It’s been a strange week, and really a bit more than a week since my last post. So here’s what’s been going on.

First up, I had an expedited doctor visit owing to the last pain episode. He wasn’t happy with the symptoms or his exam results, so this was followed by some expedited testing and expedited scheduling of more testing. None of it has found anything yet, but the procedures are wreaking havoc with scheduling any other activities. But I have got  few things done during a couple brief cabin stays.

The second kitchen lamp. It’s a wonder it worked at all. It’s a wonder it didn’t go up in flames.

Yeah I feel like that socket looks. Those little grey-green strands are supposed to be shiny copper, and inside some insulation.

The bathroom is finished! (Probably)

I got the sink installed and working, and refinished the door. The bathroom is now done (as far as I’m concerned; I’ll probably hear otherwise). In fact, there are exactly three more “mechanical” things to do on the whole cabin. Three! After that everything is cosmetic. Of course there’s a lot of that cosmetic stuff.

Lonely kayak.

Our Jane came up with her crew. In a fine case of “hello and goodbye” they arrived the day I had to go back to town to deal with two days of medical stuff and they go home a day before I can return with grandma. Not exactly how we’d like to do it. Of course currently the main highway back to the south is closed because of a landslide so … there may be some delay.

Alongside the long road.

Spotted this on the route to Williams Lake when I went for the first testing. Picture taken with the Canon G11, which is a nice take-along camera. It’s not as small as my little Fuji, but the optical finder gives it an edge for practicality.

The air conditioner quit working in this heat we’ve been having. Buy a new one? Ah ha ha ha! Maybe by November. Despite knowing how they work, I can’t fix it even if parts were available because I lack the specialized tools for refrigeration servicing. Anyway it’s only about 20 years old. Want to bet how long a new one would last? Right.

With no definite schedule for the next test (one which requires a trip to the big city, overnight stay, and leaving the animals in someone’s care) we ponder whether to haul everyone out to the cabin or not. It’d be just my luck that we’d get out there and have to turn around and come back. On the other hand if we hang about here the test won’t be scheduled until December. You can bet on that.

I will make preparations anyway.

Taken with the Canon 1Ds.

The computer at least is working well, although I’m not happy with the changes that have been made to GIMP: the new “features” don’t add any functionality and the interface change is unwelcome as it is more difficult to see and to use. I also admit to being leery of updates as it seems they tend to bring change but not necessarily improvement.

Many things change. As Jean-Baptiste Karr said: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”. We just don’t know what the actual results will be. C’est la vie.

Misc. update

We’ve been having seriously hot weather of late. We’re talking A/C on and not being able to do anything. Inside temp with A/C reaches 28C (83F). Outside in the sun … Well Lytton hit 40C easy. Or should I say where Lytton used to be because it burned to the ground last year, and nearby is on fire there this year.

It’s a long weekend, but so far not a lot of fires have lit up. No doubt that will change.

I’m going back out to the cabin today. Partly because I have a box full of pieces for projects, and mainly because Lorne is coming up today and needs my help to get his boat in the water. That’s the one I just repaired the roof on:

The design is stupid and not meant to hold up against snowfall anyway.

One reason he and his wife are coming up is to get away from the other major fire in BC right now, which is visible from their home. Nothing like wondering whether or not you’ll have a home to come back to. Been there, done that. One year X3.

Fancy shelf.

Lorne made me that shelf a couple of years ago and I finally got it installed (with a little adapting of the log wall). I like the hummingbird and bear paw cut-outs. No shortage of stuff to go on shelves!

Propane shelf.

I built this shelf for the propane tanks. Finally. We’d been running off one tank balanced on an old chair on the porch since 2018. It’s about time I got some of these fiddly bits sorted out.

Almost a vanity.

That’s nearly done too. Hopefully I’ve got enough pieces to finish plumbing it in. I sort of made that cabinet out of an old one that was falling apart and badly designed. The top is a refinished section I’d saved from the kitchen of the old house. It’s starting to look good out there. New ceiling too. New tub surround, rebuilt walls, finally lined the closet, painted the trim … just have to rebuild the door now.

Cedar-lined closet.

Anyway I had some kind of pain attack Friday night and the pain hasn’t exactly left, so this probably isn’t a good idea. But when has that ever stopped me? Right.

Weather is supposed to cool down this week, but today isn’t going to be much of an improvement over the 30+ temperatures we’ve been having. I’ll try to get out there before it gets too hot – and the thunderstorms start.

And more.

The work continues here. Sometimes it even yields results:

Much neater than everything crammed in any which way with stuff left outside.

Of course despite the re-purposed cabinetry and improvised shelving there’s still more stuff than space. More things need to be tossed, and since it’s all been badly stored it’s not heart-breaking to do so. No want wants to keep mouldy, rotting, and broken items. Consider also that it was used before it came here to be used again.

All has not been good, of course, as yesterday Connor had a Close Encounter of the Bear Kind while trail riding. For some reason the beast ignored Jesse who had just gone past and chose to make enquiries of his cousin instead. Probably because Maverick the dog was with the latter. It was the big bear that wouldn’t back down from the neighbour and seems to think he owns the place. Oh yeah, bear? You can pay the damn property taxes then! See how you like that. Actually sending him in to the CRD office you hand over some nuts and berries for fair change might be interesting. I know I would be amused.

I was not amused by how ill I felt after doing just a little work in yesterday’s heat. It would be nice if there was some sort of obvious cause and effect relationship that would lead to a definitive diagnosis of the underlying source of trouble, but no. I just find myself feeling really unwell at times. Not quite go-to-the-ER this time, but close. Happened on a Monday too, same as last time. Hmm. Maybe I’m allergic to Mondays. I bet that’s it. A pretty common ailment.

This morning we had some visitors early on:

Mama and her kids.

Better than bears! The fawns played around the yard for a while, investigating things with cat-like curiosity while Mama kept a watchful eye on them – and me:

Wary watcher.

I’d like to say there’s not much left to do here, but that would be a lie. Oh right; this is the Internet so … there’s not much left to do here. Actually not much left for the lads to do so they’ll probably head back to the land of air conditioning just as the temperatures here are going to get interesting. (There is currently a significant fire burning near Lytton, the town that was wiped out by fire last year. If you think you’ve got problems …)

Not sure what, if anything, we’ll tackle today. Not good to work hard every day. Not for me anyway.

Do you canoe?

A year later

It’s been about a year since the doctor welded my retina back on. Since then the sight got better up to a point, and then that was it. Now my ‘bad’ eye is my ‘good’ eye and vise-versa. The resulting vision degradation has been a real bugger, and not just for photographic endeavours. I’m doing a lot of work ‘by feel’ these days, and resigning myself to ‘good enough’ when it isn’t. Anyone who has a complaint is free to do it over themselves.

The new computer is better to look at, but doesn’t eliminate the troubles. Nor have I found any solution for the camera dilemma wherein the only one with enough zoom capacity to be useful to me is the one with the poorest viewfinder. That’s one of the ‘by feel’ functions these days: point in the general direction, see if any of the subject appears to be in the finder, and hope for the best. I think I haven’t been taking as many pictures as before, and I’m certainly discarding more of the ones I do take.

Oh well. This week’s bug project is repairing the trailer, and that’s been made more difficult by erratic weather. I have to see if I can get some spring bushings today, and cut the mount reinforcements if it doesn’t rain again. Looks like rain, though. In fact the guess is for showers until Sunday. Probably by then it will be until next Sunday. Not getting a lot of co-operation with anything these days.

Mid Century Modern art in real life.

Too day

Back home for a bit. How long? Well …

Let’s start with the trip back on Monday and having to be in 4WD for about 1/3 of it because the rain combined with the ‘grading’ of the road made for many kilometers of muck to power through. Thanks, road crew. One day you may even learn how to do it right. It went right into solid raining that evening so I don’t expect it’s getting better out there.

Shopping. Why do I even bother to make lists? Whatever I want, they haven’t got it and don’t know when they can get it. The only certainty is that if the stocks are replenished the prices will be higher. This project has already gone in to the “outrageously expensive” category, and it would be worse if I could get the missing bits. Hmm, maybe they’re helping me out there? No, it’s just dragging out the pain.

Now tomorrow it’s supposed to maybe not rain as much. That’s the update from “sunny”, made necessary because I planned to fix the trailer that day. Can’t have any co-operation on anything, can we?

The ‘work crew’ chickened out and want to wait until there’s fewer mosquitoes. So that would be what? January? Maybe February. It has been an awful year for mozzies and with the weather continuing to alter between rainy and hot the little buggers will continue to breed like crazy.

Another odd thing is that when I first tried to fire up the new computer at home it ran in to problems. I had to boot it in ‘recovery mode’ and reset some files because the CPU was timing out. Nothing like seeing hardware failure errors being reported on the brand new laptop you got to replace the one full of hardware failures, eh? Eventually I got it talked ’round to working, but I wonder if another jostling trip down the road will shake it loose again. It shouldn’t be a physical problem, and yet there’s nothing else that happened which could cause the change. On the upside it does work with the wireless printer and with the card reader. 90% success so far.

We’ll see how the rest of the week goes. Lawn needs mowing here again but it may not stay rain-free long enough to do it.

Mother & child. Taken with Canon G11, through the window early on a cloudy morning. Significant cropping.

How things are going

Head towards the light.

A little update.

First of all, this is the first post done with the new computer. I’ve got it up and running Linux Mint Cinnamon Una. I tried MATE but couldn’t see any functional advantage to it, and had been using Cinnamon before so it’s familiar. There is a noticeable improvement over the old machine, and not just that the hardware doesn’t throw random faults. For one thing, all web sites can be accessed via Chromium instead of having to use two different browsers depending on what I’m trying to look at. For another, the video editing program doesn’t crash as much. “As much”: it still freezes occasionally, and I’ve only tried one video experiment so far – just to test it. Another positive is that the screen is visually superior and so a little tweaking and I have a better chance at seeing what I’m looking at.

The biggest downside is that this laptop does not have an SD card reader built in, so I have to use the accessory reader. This is a pain when you consider my #1 usage is image editing and posting. C’est la vie.

It was quite a process to get it switched over from Win10 – the second worst OS ever. I have wiped that entirely because it is so bloody awful. It’s inferior Android-ish spyware for those who don’t know any better. There just aren’t enough bad things that can be said about it. Take, for example, the fact this machine has only 128 GB of SSD. That’s pretty small, because these days they want you to store all your data on “the cloud”. As the saying goes, there is no cloud; it’s some else’s computer. Not being a fan of handing over my personal data and copyrighted material to companies so they can make money off me, I don’t do that. There was a time when my wife used a secure on-line back-up for her accounting business, but rest assured that was secure: no chance they were taking private info and handing it out to whoever had the price. Encrypted before it left the office, and we paid a fee for the service. Beware anything offered for “free” as there’s no such thing. Learn physics and understand this.

Anyway, Win10 reported my 128 GB was 115 GB and it was using 79 GB for its bloated intrusion into my life. Linux Mint is using 14 GB and reports I have 122 GB total. It does everything Windows does, except spy on you. It’s also not ugly, messy, badly organized, and dysfunctional – unlike Win10. Microsoft should be forced to pay every Win10/11 victim $1,000 for abusing them.

Rant over.

Male rufus hummingbird

I put this pic on as my wallpaper. Windows doesn’t even let you do that. Oh, rant over.

Time for a different rant.

Mosquitoes! They are out en force here now in just the past couple of days. Despite the fact the cabin is better sealed than it has been in 70 years they still manage to get in and interfere with everything from working to eating to sleeping. One tried to bite my nose this morning while I was still in bed – under the mosquito net. Yeah I’ve got some ideas about redesigning that as it’s flawed in function.

Well I’m told there’s people arriving at the end of this week. They’re supposed to be my work crew, but others have already assigned them different tasks which are not in line with my getting things done. (Thought I was the Project Manager. Guess not.) I don’t know how well they’ll like the mozzies. Oh and the big question: is the cabin ready? Well, sort of. It’s a lot better than it ever has been, but I haven’t quite got things done. Mostly due to shortages.

One of the things I’m really short on is energy. The last big project I did, renovating the entire rental house which needed quite a lot of work, took 6 months. That was what? Eight years ago? Now I’ve just spent six weeks doing one room. Yeah I’m not as fast as I used to be. Can’t see well anymore so a lot of it is more “artistic feel” than “artificer perfection”. Anyone who doesn’t like the result can redo it themselves in their own time at their own expense. I shouldn’t be doing any of this stuff anymore.

Anyway I’ve got to get back to work. Zapping mosquitoes.

Fluff – and nonsense.

Week up date

HMS Hannibal

About to head back to the cabin for more work. I can’t say “finish up” because that will never happen. Apparently there’s some kind of schedule on the project, but I don’t know what it is. I just know there’s more work to do.

It’s the second day of three days of hot before rain and then cooler temps. If the forecast is accurate, this will be good. For the mosquitoes, not for people.

Spent an insane amount of money yesterday getting more supplies because everything is so damn expensive these days. Had to buy 40 litres of gasoline as well as put 50 in the Xterra’s tank and two tanks of propane. Never mind the $100 dropped at the hardware store – just for six pieces of trim, a can of paint, and some glue. Food? Yeah, bought some of that too.

Mowed lawn, somewhat, and planted bushes the Mrs. got for some unknown reason. They’ll probably die.

Much to do, much to do, much to do. Try not to die while doing it.

Here’s a little dash cam clip from coming home last time. Watch the for the surprise at the end: Rough Road

BTW, I worked on my ‘updated’ computer and managed to get the UEFI cracked open to where it will look at a bootable USB drive. Except I haven’t found a version of Linux that will actually boot up yet. It doesn’t help that the creating program, Rufus, doesn’t look like the on-line instructions anymore and most of the “how to” info out there is out of date for both the hardware and software and therefor unhelpful. You’d expect the latest distros to work but … no. I’ll keep poking at it until it does. Damn Microsoft anyway. As it is I’m still using the old machine with the defective hardware that crashes, jams, doesn’t boot, et cetera on a random basis. Reliable it ain’t.

Cabin update (the dull stuff)

So I’m back out in the middle of nowhere less than a week after visiting the ER. Couple of new prescriptions including nitro – so I can blow this place up if it all goes wahoonie-shaped? Probably not.

The trip out was ‘fun’: they’ve been ‘fixing’ the road. This consists of running the grader over the smooth bits to roughen them up so the rough bits don’t seem so bad by comparison. The one stretch of 2kms where you could do 80 before is down to a 60 zone – and watch out for the potholes. Some of it is now sludgy mud because that’s what you get when it rains on hard surface which then gets ripped up by heavy machinery. I wonder if there’s anyone in that company who understands even the basic concept of “road maintenance”.

Anyway it’s time to get something done. Except that the first thing that happen was one of the kitchen lights failed. We had them in the old house for decades with incandescent lights heating away … and now out here being lightly used with cool LED bulbs they decide to fail. Okay, two new sockets to get next time I’m in town; I’ll rebuild both so there’s no more of that foolishness.

On with the ceiling! That means a lot of planning and careful triple-checking of measurements, followed by a lot of overhead work. Also got a tub surround to go in so I’d better finish prepping for that too. Meanwhile here’s a couple of pictures of what I got done last time:

Trench warfare: underground power line from the generator shed.
Now you don’t see it.

The rest was mostly disassembly and preparing things for rebuilding. That takes longer than putting things together, but is essential to the job going right.

I’ll post a series of pictures of the bathroom rehab when I get it done. If I get it done. In the meantime, enjoy the view:

Snow melt has been slow this year.

I have to start the generator again because it’s rainy again and probably light the fire again because it’s cool again. Another “year without a Summer”. So far. Let’s just hope it doesn’t suddenly turn dry and hot and light everything on fire. Again.