flat tire, new rims

Well this is embarrassing!

But these tiny spare tires are supposed to do up to 80km/h.  Wow.

Even last winter when A&C were visiting, two tires went flat.  Cheap iron rims.  They rusted and continually lost their bead.  Matt B., a tire guy I know at Elrich, told me these would probably last 3 or 4 years, especially if only used in winter.  He knows his stuff,  Not using them during hot weather loosens the bead, moisture gets in, and the metal begins to rust.

So I went to Kia to order rims.

What do you think?  I know, I know, they’re a lot of money for just a set of rims.  The point is a) I hated those winter beater car iron rims, b) I wanted something nicer to match the summer rims, and c) I hated pumping up my tires every few days.

holiday outside the box (or inside the box)

Now here’s an idea that, upon first look, seems kooky.  Vacation in prison.  But, having lived in South Korea for many years, I know that work can take its toll on a person.  The busy busy busy, go go go, workaholic lifestyle wears a person thin.  Enter: Prison.  Well, a place that apparently resembles prison.

Prison Inside Me: Providing Koreans peace and solitude in a cell

One only has to Google “prison hotel” to get prison vacation destination ideas.

Yes, I get it.  But … what about self-restraint?  (Unintentional play on words.)  Book a simple place somewhere, without annoying people all over the damn place, vendors hungry for money, where peace and quiet are the norm.  Buy a tent, go camping.  Don’t bring your Winnebago.  Not even your VW Westfalia.  Just you and a tent.

Not the outdoorsy type?  Go stay in a small prairie town hotel.  Go to Cadillac, SK.  Or Fort Smith, NT.  Take a simple “cruise” on BC Ferries up the Inside Passage.  But I guess all of these offer distraction after distraction, noise, people all over, and / or lack of solitude.

arrived at Fernie, BC

I’m here.  I arrived at Fernie yesterday afternoon.

The place I’m staying at is actually someone’s apartment with the largest bedroom for their guest (me).  The rest of the apartment is shared.  They spend most of their time in their own rooms.

There is a music festival here this weekend, but I haven’t heard any yet.  I don’t even know where it will be.  I’m sure I’ll catch wind of it sooner or later.

It rained pretty much all yesterday and this morning.  The sun has come out now, in time for the festival.

More later.

Aizlynn’s Fernie gift

Aizlynn asked me what I was doing for my birthday.  I had nothing planned.

I know it seems weird to think that that question seemed weird.  But it did.  “Nothing …”  I felt a bit…  Anyway, in an email a few days later she offered to pay for three nights at a B&B in Fernie, BC during their Harvest Feast & Fest.

At the time, BC was rife with forest fires.  Last year it was mid-September before a state of emergency was lifted.  So I thought this year there would be no point in making reservations.

I also thought I’d be employed by then, but I’m not.

So I’m going.  I’ll be there from Sept. 13 to 16, 2018.

dismantlement of Alpine Sprite

I began this afternoon the dismantlement of the Alpine Sprite 400 caravan (camper trailer).  I didn’t use it last year and haven’t this year either.  Its contents; two 6-volt deep-cycle batteries (12-volt in series), 140-Watt solar panel, 2500-Watt inverter, 3-stage charger, fresh- & gray-water tanks, water pumps (pressure & draw), 16,000 BTU propane forced-air furnace, on-demand propane water heater, 1000-Watt microwave oven, stereo & speakers, two propane tanks with auto-switch-over regulator, sink, faucet, shower, LED lighting, and a few other things; will all be used somewhere else.  The shell of the trailer will be up for grabs.

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Sweetgrass

Yesterday I went with O to Sweetgrass, Montana, USA.  He had to apply for a work permit, and doing it online would take minimum 45 days.  It was a really nice drive there.  We talked politics, religion, culture.  I told him about various places to see, but he didn’t seem to interested in tourism.  Just the same, it made me want to get out on the highway again and see the countryside.

He has a Class 7 License (learner’s permit), so I let him drive about half-way there and the last 15km on the way back.  I think he needs to work on speed control.  He said he failed his first driving test because he didn’t shoulder-check and didn’t stop directly at the stop line at intersections.  I don’t think he knew about the North American style habit of driving in the left lane and passing in the left.  Pretty good though.  He was surprised I let him drive.  (I let CY practise driving in my car, too, and she didn’t crack it up.)  He drove into his yard with his homestay host mom standing there, watching him.  “You let him drive?” she joked.  We stood & talked for a while.

She’s selling her house.  She says the Realtor wants to knock it down and build again.  What a waste!  There’s already a really nice house there with fibreglass window frames, good insulation, new siding (not plastic or metal, a kind of wood), a big covered front porch, a 97% efficiency furnace, an attached garage, etc.  There’s no way in hell I’d tear down a house like this.  I wonder what she’d want for it.  What an amazing view.  It overlooks the coulee and is at the end of a long cul-de-sac. Really nice place.  O lives in the basement.

Oh, what I was going to say was that we didn’t seem to have any trouble getting through the US side of the border.  The American side officer got us to sit in the building for 15 minutes or so while he checked everything out.  No problems.  On your way.  “You know how to get back to the Canadian side?” he asked.  “Not, really,” I offered.  He explained.  Nice guy.  On the Canadian side, however, the officer was a bit of an obstinate person and acted like a typical border cop you’d see in a movie.  Oh well.  Good thing I brought my passport.  I’d still be waiting in the US!  (Kidding.)

Sask-Man didn’t happen

I didn’t actually get to Saskatchewan or Manitoba.  I went to BC instead.  I heard Father was in hospital again.  He’d had a seizure a few days previous but was home from hospital the same day.  When I got there this time, he was just going in for routine preparation for more radiation on his tumour.  They kept him in for a few days and was still there when I left.

I’d intended to be on my way the next morning but wasn’t able to.  Someone I planned to meet wasn’t available until late in the day, so I didn’t leave Chilliwack until after 5pm.

On my way back home I stopped at Othello Tunnels the first night, Arosa Rance B&B the second, and Pass Creek Campground the third.

It looks like I won’t be making it to Manitoba after all – at least not this time around.

heading to Sask-Man

I think I’m heading East to Saskatchewan and Manitoba tomorrow.  I was going to go today but had a headache and decided to wait.

I’ve kind of finished all I wanted to do to my new server and its web sites, and I have a more-or-less completed list of other things I wanted to accomplish this summer, so there’s no reason not to go.

…Aside from finances.  I quit Flexibility Learning Systems in April since they had no summer hours for me, and evening classes would start in September, the same time my college classes start.  I thought it prudent to spend all my energies in classes at the college rather than juggling Flex and the college.  Sure, Flex was only part-time, but just the same I’d rather focus on the future, not the past.  Nonetheless, this stretches finances.  Limited budget this time.

The car, my little 2012 Kia Soul, continues to run smoothly (knock on wood!) despite replacing the back window again.  Yes, another gravel road, this time near a bridge just outside the Blood Nation here in Southern Alberta.  Hopefully no more rocks rocketing through my windows.

Mom is up and down these days.  I leave with apprehension as she’s more winded and low on energy than ever.  …  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I remember when she was in her first year or so of therapy.  She was extremely tired back then.  Nonetheless, this is six years after, so every month, week, day is a blessing.  I worry about her – will do so while I’m gone East.

This is my new blog, the Ongoing Letter version 4.  You’re welcome to comment or send some kind of feedback if you can figure out how to do it.  It’s using WordPress, an open-source CMS (Content Management System) with PHP, MySQL, and IIS 7.5 all on Windows 7.  Not the newest of technologies, I know, but it’s a step up from version 3 of my blog which ran on Microsoft’s FrontPage Server Extensions.  Woo-hooo!  Yah, I know – like 15 years old at least.  I’m somewhat old-school.  But as the Bellamy Brothers once asked, “Should he hang on to the old, should he grab on to the new?”