Friday, October 31, 2008

Good Will Hunting

It's hunting season. There's little good will toward hunters on the island. Daily I can hear the discharge of shotguns coming from across the street..... where there's private property and conservancy land. Nothing like hunting in the park.

What's happening with our police forces?
If they're not mowing down fleeing criminals or tasering whoever, they're driving gooned. Hey, I know it's a high stress job but it's time to get this in check. Maybe there should be one of those devices (that won't let you start you car until you blow within the limit) in all the squad cars..... and maybe it's a good thing we don't have a police force on Denman Island.

Can't wait for Tuesday
.... popcorn and the remote control and the U.S. election results. It's kinda like the last night of Idol. After that the conversation will have to go back to "what's for dinner hon?".

Cheap Wine Corner. Hey, it's been a while since I did one of these. The special occasion is the publication of the International Value Wine Awards. The IVWA is in it's third year and usually has a few surprises for great buys under $25..... or for cheapies like me, under $15. The not so surprising (killer value) 1st place finish in the Malbec category is Finca Los Primos, (ten bucks), available anywhere, even the Denman Island General Store. Anyway, you can download a very nice pdf file (link above) with all the winners and then run out to your fav wine outlet and buy up the best cheapies.
Estampa Syrah/Cabernet 2006 (Chile). We did recently discover a nice syrah / cab blend from Chile. We bought a case from a local wine merchant.... but if you check with your LCB outlet they may be able to get it for you (although not listed online). I did find this wine a little high in tannins, (maybe cellar-able) and had some nice earth tones and a medium-long finish.

Straw Bale House Update: It's the waiting game... building garage carriage doors until I can pick up the tube and manifold for the hydronic heating system.... (should have a door pic next blog.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

taxation frustration

What could I possibly have in common with Jaclyn Smith, Hilary Clinton, and Keith Urban? Two years ago on October 26th, I started this blog on their birthday, (and mine). What better way to spend a b-day morning, than to go for a walk on a deserted beach? The storms this time of year make for productive beach-combing. Moon snail shells are in particular abundance. The weather lately, although coolish in the mornings, has been extraordinary.

About a month ago (when oil began it's plunge) BC Ferries announced that they would not be reducing the "fuel charge" because they had based their budget on $78 dollar / barrel oil. Now that oil is in the mid 60's, they've announced that the fuel charge will be cut in half on November 4th.. Our Provincial Government, (the one that has nothing to do with our ferry system) has announced that they be cutting our ferry fares by 30% for the "holiday season", (December & January). Too bad they didn't think of this maneuver while Hornby vacation rentals were sitting empty during the summer. Most people are assuming this is an attempt to buy votes and make us forget about the Olympic Shortfall Tax,
I mean Carbon Gas Tax.

Saturday, there was an "all candidates" meeting at the hall. Three potential Island Trustees vied for two positions. All three (it appeared) tried not to differentiate themselves from the others while they fielded questions from the audience. Some questions were more in the form of venting some historical, personal grievance, (which I personally consider the entertainment portion of the program)

Strawbale House Update: Whilst I wait for the heat loss calculation (before installing the heating tubes), I've been puttering on the garage. Some cedar shingle accents have been stained to enhance the cute factor.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Post Election Pause

We had a busy weekend, (last weekend), as Tyler and Jill came to visit. We also celebrated Ashley's 14th birthday. In an attempt to keep the 12 party goers busy, we devised a Denman Island scavenger hunt. Groups of girls had to hunt for things such as... the name of the event taking place at the hall that night, a piece of driftwood shaped like an animal, and the signature of a ferry worker etc. (I'm sure those deckhands had never experienced teen groupies looking for autographs before.) The girls all seemed to have had a good time. The next day, we ventured off-island for a walk at Nymph Falls on the Puntledge River. The salmon are just beginning to spawn and could be seen at the bottom of the "fish stairs".

I'm still more than a little puzzled by the outcome of our federal election. Maybe my memory is better than most? I couldn't bring mself to vote for a party that would have had us fighting in Iraq... that broke it's own law on set election dates... or that embarressed it's country last December at the Bali climate talks. I somehow believed that Canadians were going to give Mr.Harper a message that the environment is an important issue... Now I realize that it is an important issue as long as it doesn't cost us anything. Now that the "world financial market" has gone for a big dump we can put the environment on the back burner and concentrate on "economic growth". I'm still waiting for some political party to have the nards to say it out loud .... that economic growth is the reason, not only for the world's economic problems, but also the sorry state of our environment. Economic growth is not sustainable.
"Economic growth, the root cause of our unsustainable ways, is creating a serious conflict with the ecosystems of the Earth. Because of this fundamental conflict, biodiversity loss is likely to become a problem of far greater importance, even than that of climate change, unless we stop our perennial drive for more and more growth and move to a sustainable economy." Qualicum Institute.
On the news today Harper was suggesting that the world must have more financial ties...... The Bilderbergers must be rubbing their hands together in delight. They couldn't have planned it better themselves.... or did they? (Bilderberg has now endorsed Obama???.... but does he want it?))

Strawbale House Update: This week the re-screen went down. Next will be the heating tubes for the radiant (in-floor) heat. There will be a learning curve for this, but the cost savings of doing it ourselves is huge. Garage entry doors are in and I'll buy the materials for the carriage door next week.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

All Aboard The Hand-Cart

I can't even talk about it right now. The world is a very strange place. We voted in the advanced polls, before the neo-cons had even released their platform. The elections north and south have taken on a flavour that doesn't deserve attention or comment.... I think I'll wait for the movie.... How can a few individuals screw up the world's economy? It's unfitting, that the players at the core of the problem, will do very well, thank you. Here's my investment advice.
Investment Advice
If you had
purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Air Lines one year ago, you will have $49.00 today.
If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today.
If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you will have $0.00 today.
But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the bottles for recycling refund, you will have $60.00 today.

The first storm
of the year blew in to Denman Island last week, with torrentia
l rains and howling winds. Same time, different year. The winds have blown all the clouds away leaving cool, crisp, beautiful mornings. From here it looks like Mt. Washington got a pretty good dump of snow. I'm not sure where it came from.... maybe a passing bird dropped a seed? We now have a 7 foot sunflower blooming on the building lot in near zero nightly temperatures. The deer seem to only like the lower leaves.

Straw Bale House Update: The (below slab) vapour barrier and insulation are down. Next will be the welded mesh (that reinforces the concrete slab) and then the tubing for the hydronic in-floor heating system will be fastened to the mesh.