Sunday, August 28, 2016

An Otherwise Shitty Weekend

It was definitely a shitty weekend. The valve on my black water sewage holding tank had closed shut. No one would fix it in situ because of the heat and tourist season.  Because of an obvious design flaw when these valves crap out, if they crap out in the closed position there is no way to get the crap out in the normal way. Further, when the old valve is to be removed, there is necessarily going to be some spillage before the new valve can be installed.
My friend Tom had siphoned out the tank through toilet itself.  This procedure caused an evacuation of our sweet neighbour next to us. Who would have known she had a severe respiratory condition?One whiff and apparently she turned purple and blue wheezing and choking and coughing. Tom was very apologetic. The ambulance crew was friendly enough.  That was just a whiff portend of the future.  Birds flying over died in flight and but suddenly came alive again as zombie bird that attacked the children and small animals.  The park management hinted that it would be best if l solved my leakage problem elsewhere.  There are no "depends" for RV’s.
The last time I moved the RV was a couple of years ago when I caused such damage that it was in the shop a couple of months.  I love my Keystone Energy RV and felt such guilt for catching her slide on that nasty cement wall as I turned it just a little too tightly around that very inconsiderate corner.
When we hit the highway, naturally there were high winds.  The trailer was fishtailing just like my first trailer did before it did that 360 turn on the freeway before flopping over dead in the ditch and taking my new truck with it.  Laura had been screaming "We're going to die. We're going to die." and I hadn't thought so since I'd crashed other vehicles at higher speeds and lived through those.  Laura wasn't nearly as experienced with high speed crashing before she met me but that trailer truck event really moved her along.
Both trailer and truck were write offs . I was very thankful for having bought the best insurance.  It turned out that the second hand trailer had  been sold to me with a faulty break system and I was exonerated. That's when I began buying trailers from Travelhome and have ever been thankful. When this trailer began fish tailing I slowed right down happy that the brakes were working at least.
I pulled into Travel Home RV in Abbotsford where I bought my lovely Keystone Energy.   As is my normal response,  I was considering trading the trailer in for a 5th wheel.  Thankfully they had no fifth wheel toy hauler in stock.  I might have stayed married in the past if there'd been no trade ins in stock.
What they did have and suggested was a better hitch.  Again I might have stayed married one of the times if some one had suggested such an original idea.  Keeps the wife. Get a better hitch!. They really are the best at Travel Home.   For less than a $1000 I had a 4th way state of the art hitch for a much heavier trailer installed while we waited.  What a difference!  No more fish tailing and no more lurching.  No more shame about having overloaded my trailer either.
Heading up to the Coquahalla is when the truck died. It didnt quite die, it just suddenly lost power and flashed an evil wrench in the Hal computer communication window.  't did this once before and it was a glyph in this model and year of F350 Fords. The dealer was terrific and rebuilt the engine all on warranty. It’s been a trooper for the last 50,000 km until it’s been kibitzing about these last couple of weekends. Tom’s had it in to a Diesel specialist and it was supposed to be perfect but it isn't.  I asked Tom if he'd checked whether the fellow voted Justin Trudeau before letting him work on my very conservative Harley Davidson edition truck.
At 60 km/hr  we made it almost to Princeton, way out  in the boonies.  We pulled off the highway at  a place where it looked like others had others were dumping waste..  We hoped our discharge would be minor.  The tank was sucked clean but apparently, according to the instructions, you’re not supposed to leave your valve open because solid collects and the wet water flows over.  We thought there might be some kind of crystalline science fiction monster lurking but no significant amount of liquid.
Tom got under the truck. He’d come equipped with overalls but I noticed he used my wrenches. I didn’t mind.  I was literally catatonic with the thought of reacquaintance with my own shit of perhaps 2 years previous.  What would we  say to each other. What was the etiquette. I shone the light on matters. There were only 2 nuts that needed removing, not a particularly reassuring thought.
Tom opened the pipe and yes there was a gushing moment, that adolescent instant of blushing release. It wasn’t a whole lot in terms of sludge but the odour was noteworthy.  The paint on the RV peeled and nearby trees wilted.  Squirrels developed rasping voices.
While Tom was swiftly putting in the new valve,  more birds fell from the sky.  Much to our amazement little creatures and insects descended en mass on the  discrete effluence, this purified human waste  to which I’d added all manner of enzyme and iodine RV treatment to.  These little creatures rather than dying began instantly consuming this exotic substance. Then suddenly they took on hulk like appearance of Olympic Russian athletes,  their little bodies steroidally swelling before our eyes.
We both washed. excessively after the event. I had only been in splash range but no amount of soap and water seemed enough.  I was glad for the shower.  I did shit in the now functional toilet. I very much enjoyed this important throne moment in the privacy of my home. If I was Prime Minister I suppose I would have taken a selfie but the thought never crossed my mind.
Neither of us had much appetite after the experience.  We did feed Gilbert well if only to discourage him from his French tendency to ‘mange de merge’.  Half poodle, half cocker spaniel, we blame his rude behaviours on the French side of his nature.
That night with the RV generator supplying electricity we watched a black and white film of the Tobruk defence in WWII starring a very young Richard Burton.  Tom and I felt that in our own way we had brought the RV through a long and shitty siege and prevailed despite overwhelming odds.
 It was great to awake in the wilderness having my very own toilet to relieve myself at, no longer fearing overflow..
Tom, of course, got to use the facilities too but Gilbert was left to the outdoors.  As a connoisseur of butts we thought the previous night’s experience with the RV  in his doggie mind.
Given the trip was downhill the truck engine gave little trouble on the way home. Tom amazingly parked the RV without doing major damage. I really thought that was very good of him.  He’s planning on getting the truck back to the guys to find out why it was acting so shitty.  
Now that he's gone, I think I’ll just sit on the throne.  It's not that I need to go but it feels so good.  
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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Saturday Morning and the RV Holding Tank

I awoke this morning to a picture sent by Kevin at 7 am of the cutest little munchkin god kid Kendra, hands and face all covered in blueberry jam.  Gilbert thanked Kevin immediately seeing this as his opportunity to dive in with dog kisses and squirmy body.
“Since I’m awake,  I might as well take you for a walk,” I said to Gilbert.  “Yes, yes, yes, yes!” tail wagging body happy thoughts.
I dressed.  Gilbert bolted out the door. I caught up with his leash.  He swatted down the lane right next to the waste bin. I picked up this present and deposited then took him back to the trailer. I meanwhile walked to the club house where I used the facilities.  My own have been plugged for weeks.
I’ve taken this as a metaphor. I see this as reflecting my relationship with God.  Somehow my life is so full of shit I can’t let the light of joy and heaven in. I have to get rid of the shit.  I’ve called various people. All the leaders in the field. The plumbing and septic system and waste folk are all flummoxed. There’s a broken valve and if anyone attempts to fix it in the park there will be waste overflow.  We have to take it to a place where the waste leakage will not stink up the neighbours in this otherwise lovely heat.
Tom has volunteered to help.  He even bought the valve replacement. Now he’s on his way to assist me moving my RV to the country.  We’re going to spend the night in the deep woods and replace the valve.  Out in the country we expect to find a place where we can have the RV on an angle so the shit in the tank is least likely to overflow when we removed the jammed valve.  It’s a design flaw. I am certain thousands of others have encountered this problem and there are videos on you tube about replacing the valve.  But there’s did not freeze shut. Open it’s a non issue.  The tank is emptied and the valve is replaced but closed is another story.
Most people do not ‘live aboard’ their RV’s or at least are not encumbered as I am with so much ‘shit’.  The metaphor here is that I have to ‘lighten up’.  I have a need for better organization. I have a couple of activities that I do each season and literally since last year I’ve not moved the activities of one season to the storage locker as is the plan.  I’ve got last years hunting clothing and this summer’s camping gear and all my work gear and my sports and reading material and writing projects and some of the boating gear all here. My garage which is supposed to be empty so I can load my Harley or my Honda 500 Pioneer is knee deep in suitcases and guitars and motorcycle gear.
It was the same when I lived on my sailboat. The sailboat without all the clothing associated with work and some of the other activities was just perfect for travelling and crossing oceans.  This RV is the same. I really think it’s the perfect RV for a cross country trip or for hunting trips to the north.  If I’d just get the stuff to the storage locker I’d be okay.  However the storage locker is next to the boat and this RV is on the other side of the city.  The change of one part in a whole requires the reworking of the entire system.
I have had to put netting and hooks for bungees up to make this RV more mobile.  When I’m just using it for a hunting trip it’s not a big deal because I can lessen the land and stow things but now there’s simply no room for things to be stored.
I’m full of shit. It’s really temping to consider a bigger unit. I’ve had my eye on the fifth wheels for a long time. The advantage there is better separation of bedroom with the laundry facility, more storage room, not that much more but more and better space in kitchen with counter space.  I really don’t have counter space here.
But that’s the ‘2 foot itis of ‘boat world.”  For years I wanted a slightly bigger boat. Yet my yacht is big enough. Just like this RV. If I wasn’t working all the time  and my storage locker was nearer and more convenient or I was simply better organized all would be well.  I do miss having a cleaning lady too.
I just think of all the pictures and things that will fall when we actually take this baby on the road. It’s been too long entrenched. My sailboat was perfect with everything properly stowed and the boat in working order after about of a week of travelling down the coast.  if I was on the road for a week the same would hold for this RV.  It’s just not moved since 2 years ago when I tore the slide parking at the end of the last moose hunting trip when I returned so tired late at night and worried about getting up to work the next day.  It was a guaranteed disaster, the kind of thing we learned on the sailboat.  Better to wait till morning than go into a harbour late at night in poor conditions.  The same held true for this RV Park. It’s a bitch to park in. The tightest parking one will ever encounter with a motor home.  Just like some of the docking scenarios that I encountered early but now seem relatively doable.  It’s a steep learning curve with these big machines.  My yacht is 13 tons.  Docking involved wind, current, and inertia.  The RV is just an issue of watching out for 4 sides on turning and backing up. There’s no wind or current by comparison.
It’s all overwhelming.
I’m thankful for Tom’s company.  With guys it’s always good to have another person to lighten the load.  All over this park there are couples with  one person who does the driving and another who gets out and watches as an extra set of eyes to lessen the likelihood of crash. On the boat it’s the one person who steps off and ties a line to the dock to hold the boat.
I’ve done these things alone but I sure do appreciate the help.
Today the inertia is with me.  I’ve had coffee but I’d really like to just lie on the couch and read a novel. The thought of all the moving parts of hooking up this trailer and driving out of the park and then heading up the road towing tons of home is simply overwhelming.
I phoned Tom at 8 am and said we’d plan with breakfast first. White Spot.  More coffee and more mobility.  Then it will happen.
We want to take the RV up north this fall for hunting simply because it’s going to get cold soon. Tenting is fun but not in the cold.  This RV is the perfect set up.  It can go on logging roads and backwoods but we really need to know where we’re going and where we’re going to set up.  The problem with a trailer is you don’t want to get stuck because backing up is a royal hassle.  A nightmare if it’s any distance.  And certainly something you don’t want to be doing on a mountain road.  We have however found a small paved trailer car park near where we want to hunt so plan to take the trailer there and then drive the truck with ATV the 10 miles back to the hunting area.  Laura will be coming along and will like the luxury whereas Tom and I and Gilbert will rather enjoy coming back to warmth and comfort of our RV home.  I like the showers.
Now I’m going to enjoy the shitter working again.
I also know that it’s not going to be a much of a mess as I fear.  But I’d love a cleaning lady.  There will be stuff falling to the floor and I really need to get this place better organized. I do miss my cleaning lady.  It’s been a couple of months since I spent a day going through this place and really cleaning it.
I could do stuff now while I’m waiting for Tom but I’m going wait till I’m driven by having another person waiting on me and me dashing about putting dishes in sinks and bathrtumbs and such so they won’t fly about.
I’m inspired now. I think I’ll shave and shower. Then I think I’ll put the coffee on for another cup.  I’ve got to get myself in the zone to address this RV move and shitter restore equation.
It’s times like this I understand why guys never get past the couch.  I did years with the highest tech being a canoe and bicycle. The car was something . But there were mechanics and I ever learned mechanics for the maintenance of my bug. That’s when it began.  I learned the mechanics for the bug and then it was downhill from there.  Having the yacht required me to learning plumbing.  I fixed the plumbing and replaced the toilet on that boat a dozen times. Diesel mechanics courses and courses on radio and radar and electronics and bigger and bigger trucks and bigger and bigger RV’s.  Now I’m 21st century and looking longingly back on the days when I had only a pup tent a canoe and an old car that carried me and my canoe bicycle and tent.  I sometimes think that retirement will be a lessening until I am back there.  It’s one thing to have never had the Harley Davidson and another to know it’s joy and then return to the simpler cheaper less complicated bicycle. I’m not there yet and love this RV for instance when it’s working. It’s rocket science.  It’s unbelievable.  But when these high end items go wrong they sure are complicated. There’s a simple joy in Walden Pond.
We talk a lot about the simplest sailing system off shore.  All the accessories can and will go wrong so there’s a die hard group that don’t have GPS , radar or autopilots and remain luddite and safe. Like the AK47 ….a truly dependable rifle.  I’ve got the semi auto Ruger and it does jam whereas my old bolt action rifle is so simple and dependable.
Then there’s the whole world of leasing and renting.  Let some one else maintain things.  Ownership is over rated.  Hotel living at it’s finest.  Maids.  Car to Go.  There’s a lot to be said for that. I’ve given up on home ownership roof repair, plumbing costs and yard maintenance and all the other things that went with owning homes. Mostly I got tired of losing the investment because my partner and I were not able to maintain our relationship so the home became a burden and I lost my shirt every time.  I lack the fundamental ‘entitlement’ that others seem to have. I also lack the ‘spite’. I just want it over and I’ve found myself paying through the teeth just to get away from the abuse and anger.  The most beautiful people can be the most ugly .  I don’t like neighbours who are psychopaths like the guy who almost killed my cat stealing my power after I went to work and by doing so triggering the shut off on the heater.  For weeks I’d come home to a shivering cat . Then I found out this Vancouver psychopath was waiting for me to go to work so he could unplug my electricity and run it into his home to save himself the money of winter heating.  In a civilized country I’d able to get recompense but in Canada it was best to move away.  I like my mobility.  Without police protection or legal support of the working man and the government considering the middle class solely a tax grab, tis best to be able to move . If I had a home today I’d want a gated community.  I understand Trump wanting to build a wall. I laughed to see the huge wall around Clinton’s place. I remember liking the barred windows and walls in the Mexican haciendas. We’re getting that way here. Even in this park if anything is left not locked down thieves range through at night and steal.  Bicycles are forever going missing in Vancouver. It’s famous for the level of bicycle theft. Probably the highest in the world.  More and more heroin and more and more theft.
Of well, time to shave and prepare for the a shitty day.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rabbit Hunting near Kamloops

Another incredible weekend in the woods.  I finished work Friday afternoon and met up with Tom at my place.
Gilbert, my cockapoo, just loves Tom.  Tom has gained his affection by being his designated ball thrower. Whenever he sees Tom he begins barking and running about his legs in circles till he suddenly rushes off to find a ball, returns, drops it at Tom's feet, then does this little mincing dance until Tom throws the ball as far as he can.  Gilbert retrieves it and Tom doesn't lose patience with Gilbert's favourite of favourite games.
Meanwhile we loaded the Ford F350 truck.  I had a new Coleman Weathermaster tent I was looking forward to trying out. I'd bought in sale, regular $350, for $250 at Canadian Tire.  It sleeps six, and has a netted section at the front.
We had the Honda 500 side by side Pioneer in the back of the truck, rifles, sleeping bags, tents, fishing rods, fly rods, pots and pans and cooking geer and the propane Coleman campstove, all piled in the crew cab of the truck.  Gilbert sat on the centre console but had room to curl up on my jacket and computer case in the back which he did.
We were off.  The highway was slow but moving so we were thankful for that.
In Chilliwack we stopped at Tom's to pick up his bolt action single shot  22 rifle and fishing rod with mitchell 300 spincaster.  I'd brought my Ruger Semi Auto breakdown 22 rifle and the Ruger semi auto .223 Min 14.  We remembered the gas cans for the generator and work lamps but made the bad decision to leave the boat and outboard. The fish would be jumping all weekend laughing at us just beyond the reeds and rushes outside the reach of our casts which fowled repeatedly.
"We should have brought the boat," was heard said by one or the other of us more than one that weekend.
We got burgers and Gilbert was happy to get his little paddy along with us.  He's one of the crew and one of the hunt.  Such a great companion.  Enthusiastic about everything when the gang gets together.
At Canadian Tire we picked up Ammo and dog food.  Then at Superstore we stopped for steaks, zuchini, lunch meat, eggs, yogurt, bread, milk, honey and coffee.  The melon was a nice touch.
Tom drove up the Coquahala.  We got to Kamloops after midnight.
We filled up the thermos at Tim Hortons and got a dozen donuts for the last stretch.
Tom found a tiny one lane bridge on the map and saved us an hour driving. Still we didn't get to the lakes until about 2 am, the night drive up a mountain logging road not something to be hurried.
We gave praise to God and thanked Jesus that no one had arrived at the first of our hoped for campsites.  Alot of times I've arrived in wee hours like this after hours on the road only to find other campers or hunters had beaten us to the wilderness sites.  It really is God's country and we know very well we're not the only ones who love the BC backwoods experience.
We got the generator and trouble light and work light going. Then it was the first time putting up the tent.  It was a puzzle. Thankfully it was colour coded and not too difficult. Admittedly Tom is an engineer and I would not have been able to figure out the door poles myself. The door on this tent is genius, one of the greatest camping design advances. I blew up the new air mattresses too.
It was a cool night. Marvellous view of the lake with the almost full moon in a clear sky.  Really the stuff of Canadian dreams.  3 am and we were all snug as bugs. I'd remembered Gilbert's sweater.  He slept most of the night with Tom but visitted me a couple of times.
In the morning, 6 am Gilbert began barking to defend us from the onslaught of an evil squirrel. A squirrel, upset at our presence under his tree had begun bombing the tent with twigs and such. Gilbert was delighted to be up. I was less than excited.  We went back in the tent. Tom hadn't even woken.
Around 9 30 we both got up. Tom was first to get the coffee going.  Then he was kind enough to make delicious bacon and eggs.  The sun was shining. The lake was tranquil. Fish were jumping.  We tried some casting. I was reading a Tom Clancy Net Force novel on my iPhone. Life was good. I'm so glad I brought my recliner.
After a very slow start and much needed relaxation and a second or third cup of coffee we got the Honda Pioneer off the back of the truck so Gilbert and I could go for a drive and reconnaissance.  What fun.  I love the 4x4 Honda. Tom had installed the new windshield and while it wasn't needed in the heat it really did make the cab cozy. I can see using this machine with snow on the ground. The windshield blocks out the wind but also for summer as it was it has the capacity to open and let in a refreshing breeze.
The dust was terrible and less without the windshield so next trip out we took it off.
That evening there were rabbits everywhere again.  I had the Ruger Mini 14 and shot 4.  Gilbert's just fine when I shoot the rabbit. He rushes over to make sure they are down. Then I collect them. The trouble is when I miss the rabbit. Gilbert sees his job as chasing them.  Well, 10 minutes later one very tired dog comes running back across the trail chasing a mighty tired rabbit. I am not going to shoot a rabbit an inch  in front of my dog's nose so the rabbit gets away and Gilbert wonders whats wrong with me.  But boy can that dog run.  I don't know where he gets his energy.  He drinks up a lot of water when he gets back though.
Four rabbits, not bad for a night.  I got us back before dark and Tom went out and shot another one with his single shot 22. The next day he'd get a couple more.
We cleaned them and threw the guts in the lack to feed the fish and crabs.
We had steak and onions for dinner that night.
The air mattresses didn't work.  It was a hell laying on the cold ground. Tom and I had traded places because he'd not liked the slope.  But I'd depended on my air mattress holding figuring his alone was a problem. But no. Mine leaked too.  In the morning I awoke to something scratching at my face beside the tent wall and Gilbert starting to growl.  I looked out and there was the telltale black and white. A skunk
"Tom, hold Gilbert."  Tom, woke up still asleep and held Gilbert. I went outside to face a tough little skunk with tail lifted giving me the dirty eye.  I quickly found a rock and chucked it at the the sassy little creature. That got him to scoot under the wood pile. He ventured out again to face more rocks from me till he decided heading back into the woods was the better part of valour.
I didn't let Gilbert out and we went back to sleep for another hour.
Another great morning of coffee and reading.
We tried fishing and cursed not having the boat.  The fish were jumping in spite.  With the reeds along the shore we couldn't cast far enough.  No fish.
Tom headed out on the Honda Pioneer we tried called 'chuck' then settled on 'Charles'.  He brought back a couple more rabbits.
Time to take down camp.  We were visited by a family with kids and all on 4 ATV's .  Gilbert had a ball barking up a storm.  Another fisherman came by with a little dog and Gilbert and he peed on every tree together.
I really enjoyed swimming in the lake too.  Twice I stripped and dove in. Perfectly refreshing!
Tom and I got packed up and began the drive home.  We could have stayed a week or two. It was such an idyllic spot. Coming down the mountain the views were incredible.  Canadian wilderness at it's finest.  We crossed the river at the little bridge.  People were swimming and fishing along the banks.  At Merrit we stopped for burghers. The traffic wasn't too bad till about Abbotsford when it slowed right down. Still we were back and had the truck unloaded by evening.
Gilbert was sorry to see Tom his ball thrower go but then went right off to sleep. Tom took the truck to drop off at the diesel shop because it had had the power glyph coming climbing the Coquahalla stretch.  It would turn out to be a turbo problem solved with the replacement of a worn part.  Next time out we'll be bow hunting deer. The deer season is just about on and we're pretty confident that all the equipment is ready first for bow hunting weekend then for the opening rifle hunting weekend. I'm really looking forward to having venison for the winter, not that I'm unhappy about rabbit.  Already I'm planning another rabbit stew in the pressure cooker.  Rabbit makes a great stew, just like venison. Gilbert is going to sleep the week.
Thank you God for your grace and abundance
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Rabbit Hunting near Kamloops

Another incredible weekend in the woods.  I finished work Friday afternoon and met up with Tom at my place.
Gilbert, my cockapoo, just loves Tom.  Tom has gained his affection by being his designated ball thrower. Whenever he sees Tom he begins barking and running about his legs in circles till he suddenly rushes off to find a ball, returns, drops it at Tom's feet, then does this little mincing dance until Tom throws the ball as far as he can.  Gilbert retrieves it and Tom doesn't lose patience with Gilbert's favourite of favourite games.
Meanwhile we loaded the Ford F350 truck.  I had a new Coleman Weathermaster tent I was looking forward to trying out. I'd bought in sale, regular $350, for $250 at Canadian Tire.  It sleeps six, and has a netted section at the front.
We had the Honda 500 side by side Pioneer in the back of the truck, rifles, sleeping bags, tents, fishing rods, fly rods, pots and pans and cooking geer and the propane Coleman campstove, all piled in the crew cab of the truck.  Gilbert sat on the centre console but had room to curl up on my jacket and computer case in the back which he did.
We were off.  The highway was slow but moving so we were thankful for that.
In Chilliwack we stopped at Tom's to pick up his bolt action single shot  22 rifle and fishing rod with mitchell 300 spincaster.  I'd brought my Ruger Semi Auto breakdown 22 rifle and the Ruger semi auto .223 Min 14.  We remembered the gas cans for the generator and work lamps but made the bad decision to leave the boat and outboard. The fish would be jumping all weekend laughing at us just beyond the reeds and rushes outside the reach of our casts which fowled repeatedly.
"We should have brought the boat," was heard said by one or the other of us more than one that weekend.
We got burgers and Gilbert was happy to get his little paddy along with us.  He's one of the crew and one of the hunt.  Such a great companion.  Enthusiastic about everything when the gang gets together.
At Canadian Tire we picked up Ammo and dog food.  Then at Superstore we stopped for steaks, zuchini, lunch meat, eggs, yogurt, bread, milk, honey and coffee.  The melon was a nice touch.
Tom drove up the Coquahala.  We got to Kamloops after midnight.
We filled up the thermos at Tim Hortons and got a dozen donuts for the last stretch.
Tom found a tiny one lane bridge on the map and saved us an hour driving. Still we didn't get to the lakes until about 2 am, the night drive up a mountain logging road not something to be hurried.
We gave praise to God and thanked Jesus that no one had arrived at the first of our hoped for campsites.  Alot of times I've arrived in wee hours like this after hours on the road only to find other campers or hunters had beaten us to the wilderness sites.  It really is God's country and we know very well we're not the only ones who love the BC backwoods experience.
We got the generator and trouble light and work light going. Then it was the first time putting up the tent.  It was a puzzle. Thankfully it was colour coded and not too difficult. Admittedly Tom is an engineer and I would not have been able to figure out the door poles myself. The door on this tent is genius, one of the greatest camping design advances. I blew up the new air mattresses too.
It was a cool night. Marvellous view of the lake with the almost full moon in a clear sky.  Really the stuff of Canadian dreams.  3 am and we were all snug as bugs. I'd remembered Gilbert's sweater.  He slept most of the night with Tom but visitted me a couple of times.
In the morning, 6 am Gilbert began barking to defend us from the onslaught of an evil squirrel. A squirrel, upset at our presence under his tree had begun bombing the tent with twigs and such. Gilbert was delighted to be up. I was less than excited.  We went back in the tent. Tom hadn't even woken.
Around 9 30 we both got up. Tom was first to get the coffee going.  Then he was kind enough to make delicious bacon and eggs.  The sun was shining. The lake was tranquil. Fish were jumping.  We tried some casting. I was reading a Tom Clancy Net Force novel on my iPhone. Life was good. I'm so glad I brought my recliner.
After a very slow start and much needed relaxation and a second or third cup of coffee we got the Honda Pioneer off the back of the truck so Gilbert and I could go for a drive and reconnaissance.  What fun.  I love the 4x4 Honda. Tom had installed the new windshield and while it wasn't needed in the heat it really did make the cab cozy. I can see using this machine with snow on the ground. The windshield blocks out the wind but also for summer as it was it has the capacity to open and let in a refreshing breeze.
The dust was terrible and less without the windshield so next trip out we took it off.
That evening there were rabbits everywhere again.  I had the Ruger Mini 14 and shot 4.  Gilbert's just fine when I shoot the rabbit. He rushes over to make sure they are down. Then I collect them. The trouble is when I miss the rabbit. Gilbert sees his job as chasing them.  Well, 10 minutes later one very tired dog comes running back across the trail chasing a mighty tired rabbit. I am not going to shoot a rabbit an inch  in front of my dog's nose so the rabbit gets away and Gilbert wonders whats wrong with me.  But boy can that dog run.  I don't know where he gets his energy.  He drinks up a lot of water when he gets back though.
Four rabbits, not bad for a night.  I got us back before dark and Tom went out and shot another one with his single shot 22. The next day he'd get a couple more.
We cleaned them and threw the guts in the lack to feed the fish and crabs.
We had steak and onions for dinner that night.
The air mattresses didn't work.  It was a hell laying on the cold ground. Tom and I had traded places because he'd not liked the slope.  But I'd depended on my air mattress holding figuring his alone was a problem. But no. Mine leaked too.  In the morning I awoke to something scratching at my face beside the tent wall and Gilbert starting to growl.  I looked out and there was the telltale black and white. A skunk
"Tom, hold Gilbert."  Tom, woke up still asleep and held Gilbert. I went outside to face a tough little skunk with tail lifted giving me the dirty eye.  I quickly found a rock and chucked it at the the sassy little creature. That got him to scoot under the wood pile. He ventured out again to face more rocks from me till he decided heading back into the woods was the better part of valour.
I didn't let Gilbert out and we went back to sleep for another hour.
Another great morning of coffee and reading.
We tried fishing and cursed not having the boat.  The fish were jumping in spite.  With the reeds along the shore we couldn't cast far enough.  No fish.
Tom headed out on the Honda Pioneer we tried called 'chuck' then settled on 'Charles'.  He brought back a couple more rabbits.
Time to take down camp.  We were visited by a family with kids and all on 4 ATV's .  Gilbert had a ball barking up a storm.  Another fisherman came by with a little dog and Gilbert and he peed on every tree together.
Tom and I got packed up and began the drive home.  We could have stayed a week or two. It was such an idyllic spot. Coming down the mountain the views were incredible.  Canadian wilderness at it's finest.  We crossed the river at the little bridge.  People were swimming and fishing along the banks.  At Merrit we stopped for burghers. The traffic wasn't too bad till about Abbotsford when it slowed right down. Still we were back and had the truck unloaded by evening.
Gilbert was sorry to see Tom his ball thrower go but then went right off to sleep. Tom took the truck to drop off at the diesel shop because it had had the power glyph coming climbing the Coquahalla stretch.  It would turn out to be a turbo problem solved with the replacement of a worn part.  Next time out we'll be bow hunting deer. The deer season is just about on and we're pretty confident that all the equipment is ready first for bow hunting weekend then for the opening rifle hunting weekend. I'm really looking forward to having venison for the winter, not that I'm unhappy about rabbit.  Already I'm planning another rabbit stew in the pressure cooker.  Rabbit makes a great stew, just like venison. Gilbert is going to sleep the week.
Thank you God for your grace and abundance.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Higher Power, Lower Power

Higher Power is sometimes a hurdle for newcomers to get over.  Their brains have already been hijacked by a religion of Lenthe, drug abuse  and they feel that they are betraying the Lower Power when they even acknowledge a higher power.  They don’t see themselves as knuckle dragging monkeys or recognize that they have a monkey on their back at very least. They’re more like barn yard animals in many of their behaviours than civilized humans. Their self care and personal hygeince and obsession with lust, food or simply hedonistic pursuits has override the program of civilization and culture they might have had before they became the devotee of drugs.
It’s not surprising, even the government wants the marginal and contrary to be addicted.  They carry resentments and didn’t easily fit in somewhere or with someone so have turned their back on most if not all of the human race.  They are great rationalists.  Intellectuals and artists, Deep thinkers.  Couch potatoes and computer fans.  Anxiety is common.
So to grasp a higher power is to acknowledge their slavery to a lower power.  It’s fundamental to accepting a negative state as the naming of it. “I am hungry”.  “I am sick”.  Yet to say I am ‘addicted’ or I am ‘an alcoholic’ is to admit that the lie of many years has been so massive as to realize one is thoroughly duped.  A higher power. There is something ‘else’.
I like the idea better of an inner power.  I get caught up in words and the notion of ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ is confounding.  Yet there is the easter idea of the chakras with spiritual domains in the higher levels.  Errors at the  lower levels are associated with lust and gluttony and sentimentalism.  True love and wisdom are seen as residing in the heart and head regions.  The age of rationalism was associated with the recognition that warriors recovered from wounds of the ‘lower’ regions but if the heart or brain was destroyed there was no life. Hence the association of the ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ at the individual level.
Inner and outer appeals more to me. I like the eastern mantra, “I am the bubble make me the sea”.  There is much on the surface of things that is understood best in the depth.  I am a scuba diver and know that there can be storms on the surface of the sea but below the water there is calm. So there is homeostasis in the centre whereas the outer regions of the body are most responsive to environmental change.
I believe too in Dr. Carl Jung’s conception of the ‘collective unconscious’ .  There is the idea in Emmett Fox of the individual power of the imagination and the Biblical notion of God as creator and prime dreamer.  Sometimes I think that my life is a reflection of the collective prayers or desires of my own life interfaced with a long line of competing desires and prayers resulting in my having this waitlist of responses. While I appreciated my sportscar today it really was my greatest wish as a child.  Fifty years later the object of my teen age desire manifests in my life.
The externalization of my inner self occurs daily. I am more ‘true’ to who I am and less a product of the superficial. Yet when I was younger and thought myself more individual I wore all the uniforms of the day.
Today I resist the propaganda of Climate Change and Globalization and Excessive Government taxation and question the propaganda and mainstream superficial noise of urban culture.  I joined right in as a teen ager never questioning who was ‘picking’ the songs that were ‘sold’ on the radio and what ‘forces’ were behind the ‘peace movement’ and ‘why abortion was good’.
Today I can frankly resist the hurricanes of public opinion and go to the deeper calm within and know that I don’t have to wear the uniforms of our times but rather seek a deeper truth.
I may be wrong but I’m no longer dependent on Hollywood lemming mass cliff seeking.  I can find a balance between the insanity of the isolated genius with angry aberrant thoughts to much the matter of schizophrenia and the selfie seeking crowd pleasing insanity of the shallow social chameleon.  I can find this ‘inner place’ where I believe the ‘higher power’ is as well.
When I am ‘inside’ I am most at home. I find this inside place most in meditation.  Sitting quiet in nature, or churches , and sometimes in libraries I am not alone there but in touch with a consciousness that is like the ocean.  This inner place is my higher power.  I am very thankful for this.  The world is so loud at times. The cacophony of the city communication loudspeaker computers, radios, traffic, all recedes when I enter this inner sanctuary.
There my love is.
There I am loved.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Random Thoughts on the News

The news continues to be more insane than the words of my most insane patients who I see day to day.  The lies of the media are beyond those that the psychopaths, sent to me by the courts, conceive. The competing claims of the various politicians are more fanciful than the insanity of my manic patients. There are countless promises and grand schemes that sound so like the most drug addicted patients who I see still spouting schemes despite being broke and homeless

I remember working in the asylum and a patient telling me that the bars on the window were to keep the world out.

"We're sensitive here and need a place to heal."

I read a book once where a man built walls around a little bit of beach. He put his bed and desk and table on the beach and looked back on the land.  Asked why, he said that it had been a mistake to come ashore and he wanted to divide himself from the world.  He was in his own way giving up on the amphibious and seeking something wholly fishy.

I can't help but think of Walden Pond and Civil Disobedience.  My Chinese friend asked me, "Are these interesting times."  I said yes, knowing what the Chinese say of those.  I believe so.  A curse and a blessing.

The hysteria rises.  The greed and fear of the authorities are palpable.

A genius and wise man told me that there's a struggle by the Globalists for control. They want to rule the world. One World Order.  A great empire of Arendt banality. Bureaucrats who see themselves with power and wealth and little risk to themselves. They are Brussels and Washington and Ottawa and Berlin.

I think of Leonard Cohen's songs. Not Hallelujah. We're getting to that. No, rather 'then we take Berlin.'

Germany has risen again as a caricature, a frightening clown face.

"Hillary is sick and dying. Some say it's Parkinsons.  One doctor insists she has a brain tumour. I think it's just end stage alcoholism but she can't last long.  She has seizures and needs help up stairs and is always falling."

"Do you think they'll attempt an assassination, blame it on Trump.  and then get Cain in."

The name Cain is biblical. The stories of the Torah return.

"It's known George Soros wants to destabilize the west. That's the Islamic invasion. Not for the sake of them but as a means to impose civil war and authority.  Armies invade, like Hitler into Austria, like Putin into Ukraine, like America in to Cuba, claiming to assist  Always they are there to help, not to invade and conquer."

Public perception. Marketing.  The Devil wears Prada.

Climate Change is a hoax.  They're taxing the air we breathe.  All this is true but what's really new? The Emperor has new clothes but in this case it's the Voter has new clothes and everywhere the voting is changed to disenfranchise.

The Chinese shout down reporters. Their anger is palpable like the wrath one feels in the presence of a Hell's Angel Biker when you question the ownership of their motorcycle.

Steal a little and they put you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king. (Dr. Johnson).

It was ever thus.  So has anything changed.

Yes.  I'm getting older.  I have to pee more often. My right hand shakes from the injury to my cervical nerves from vehicular crashes and carrying books and books and more books by the thousands over the years in a satchel on that right side. Today I try not to carry anything on that side and drink coffee with my left hand.  Getting my hair cut the other day I looked in the opposing mirror and saw that I had a bald patch coming at the rear of my head. I'd be so much aware of the receding hair line that I'd not considered to look on the other side and seen that the age police while kicking down the front door but had staked out the back door as well. There is no escape in this world.

Death stalks. Old age creeps. These are the changes. Not out there. I am reading histories with glee seeing how little has changed. Same play. Different characters. The Bible remains the best though.

Thank you Lord Jesus.

For what is a man advantaged?

KJV Luke 9:25  “For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself or be cast away."
Over and over again I rue the decisions I’ve made which have lost me hundreds of thousands of dollars. The opportunities increase in such a way for any who more forward in righteousness.  I think of the offer for $2000 a day writing prescriptions for marijuana.  I reflect on my friend who said he couldn’t continue to be a corporate lawyer in Toronto and remain a Christian.
I have so many times been ‘tempted’.  Temptation comes as ‘too good to be true’.  It’s like the promises of politicians.  They say that you must give them your money and they will no better how to spend it. Then they give it to strangers who are their friends whereas your friends who are not stranger go without.
In the story of Jesus, the devil tempts him with all manner of power and wealth and privilege but he turns it down as temporary gain choosing instead to honour his father and follow in the godly ways.
It is so tempting to do what is wrong. That which is wrong has that extra appeal.  There’s the pleasure in breaking taboos.  Betrayal has a sweetness too I supposed for betrayal has such appeal for some. I am loyal and loving and thoughtful for this is how I have been taught and over time it remains the way that works best as yet for me.
I spend within my means but my government and especially that child man Justin Trudeau waste money as if it grows on trees. But it doesn’t grow on trees. It comes from my labour.  It comes from the real labour of the working man so that the snake with forked tongue can take it and buy favours with his friends , not for all but for himself and his cronies.  Politics was ever thus, I fear.
I would seek the spiritual. In the depth there is more while on the surface there is ever less.  That said I like the luxuries as well. Having motorcycle and a car is wealth indeed.  I know the truly decadent minimize their wealth comparing themselves always with those with more while belittling those with less and pointing out to them their advantages rather than acknowledging their own.  They are like the friends of Job.
I feel my age.  There is an ennui in much whereas there is a desire to return to those places and activities where joy is remembered.  Youth pulls from behind. Even now I remember a place in a library where I struggled to understand and remember the latest learning preparing to help a person further along the way with the arcane bits of learning I had worked so hard to gain. Now I see that I could have lied and cheated and bullied and formed false alliances and bullied to the same end, perhaps.  Envy and lust and covetousness are found in comparison.  I am truly blessed.
The laughter is less.  I am more wary of the snakes.  Though I have won all the encounters with travail to date this day might well be the one they succeed to maim me.  It has been more often I than them that has caused me pain.  I am my own ‘friendly fire’.  The more I learn of life the more I see that I have stumbled and fallen in the ditch and no one has pushed me.  I have learned so much from the Zen of Motorcycling. It is where one keeps their attention that one goes and I’m forever looking everywhere like the Fool of the Tarot.
The meditator calls this the ‘monkey mind’ but to me it’s more the ‘puppy mind’.  I have the focus in helping another but in my own life I’m less focussed on reward and more focussed on gathering my wits and breath for another flight in the Battle of Britain.  The calls come increasingly in the night and the wee hours of the morning.  The insane sound like screams in a burning building.  I know their are others but more and more I see them turn their backs and I am falling too.  We are aging en mass and there is a turning away.
But I ask myself “For what is a man advantaged? If he gain the whole world or be cast away.?
I once felt outside the love of God and know that this is truly an impossibility but blinding myself I could not find my way back to the light and love.  That was when I knew Grace.  There are those who have not known the love of the Father or the love of the Mother. More and more in high places believe in the lies of Marijuana, Alcohol, Cocaine, Crystal Meth and Opiates.  So many look for the Architect in the Wall.
I am blessed beyond compare. I have known the love of God.  Anxiety is a measure of one’s distance from God.  I watch bodies die as men and women hold in their anger, despair and sorrow.  They are tough and put on brave faces while their blood pressures don’t lie and their eyes show how much the light has gone out and how much they have already died but continue to walk.  Zombies are among us even in high places.  Chameleons are common.  Yet the eyes don’t light and eyes that are lifeless are so tragic.
I am God said.  Asked his name, he said I am.  Being not consuming.  Living not dying. They are subtle in appearance but the difference in depth is akin to the man who built his home on rock as compared to him who builds his home on sand.
I would love God more and do thy will.  Guide me this day.  Hurry me closer to you.  Be with me now that I may know your will and do that which is true.  Thank you God for this day, for all that I know and have.  Bring me deeper into your safety and your love.  Thank you Lord. Thank you God.  Thank you Jesus.