ongoing letter
for April 2012

April 29, 2012

fuel cell
Just reading up a little on fuel cell technology.

April 28, 2012

Take Time

April 26, 2012

(no) parking
What's wrong with this picture?

April 25, 2012

spring Wendy's lunch at river bottom
I decided to go for a little outing yesterday at lunch.  I picked up a couple Value Meal burgers at Wendy's nearby and drove down to a park at the river bottom, also nearby. Pretty nice there - quiet, peaceful, full of nature.

April 21, 2012

Glenn's surgery
Glenn had his surgery yesterday afternoon.  He called yesterday evening to fill us in.  They made 2 4-inch incisions in his back and removed broken pieces in two locations.  The surgery only took about 45 minutes.  Laura drove him in to town and then back out again, 45 minutes each way.  Now he's recovering at home.  He was on codeine when he called.  He said the pain in his leg is now gone, completely gone.  "Is that the codeine, you think?"  No, he said, it's a totally different lack of pain - just no problems at all now.  Thank God.

He's due to come here for a visit so I can give him the Jeep Liberty.  It's obvious I cannot sell it since nobody has called about it, so I might as well give it to him.  The idea though was so he didn't have to use his bad leg on the clutch of his old truck, but now his leg is better.  Oh well - he needs a nice vehicle to drive anyway.

no Sask-Man
Mom & Floyd are not going to Manitoba and Saskatchewan now.  Why?  She's too tired.  Fatigue strikes her every day now - just as the doctors had told her - so she wants to wait until she's got a little more energy.  I hope it's soon.  No, not to get rid of them, but so that they can get out on the open road and enjoy themselves.  view map

I'm done waxing the Kia Soul.  It looks good, but it's also easy to make mistakes and leave blotches when waxing it while it's cool outside.  Gotta have warm sunshine shining on it.  I also wanted to make the rubber black, as Susan next door suggested, so Floyd & I went to Canadian Tire to pick up a bottle of some kind of spray-on goop.  All you do is spray it on and leave it.  Now it looks pretty flashy.  We did M&F's van tires as well.  Now I have to wash and wax the van.  Lotta work!  But first, maybe we can get a bottle of paint matched to the van's colour to take care of the little rock chips on the front of the hood.

black tires

Kia Soul with black tires (as opposed to grey!).

paint chips

M&F's Pontiac Montana with a few paint chips on the hood - looks worse than it is because of the flash.

Just when I install a hood ornament on the Jeep, I decide to park it.  Go figure.  Jeep Liberty with hood ornament 001


time's a-wasting
I'm at Starbucks now, sitting having coffee, wasting time, writing on my blogs.  I'm about to start on another letter to the boys back in Korea.

April 18, 2012

Bhutanese in Lethbridge
There was a feature on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC radio this morning called Bhutanese in Lethbridge.  I missed the TV version of the story this evening.  It was on at 5PM.  43 languages are spoken in Lethbridge from 61 countries, and Bhutanese make up the majority.  Go figure, eh?
direct link

April 14, 2012

I was standing on the street outside next to what might've been a bus stop.  A few people were there trying to burn some substances in a pieces of wood.  They knew it was illegal, so when police sirens came they all scattered.  I ran behind the bus shelter into some bramble and in and out of some kind of gate (the kind that allowed people but not bicycles, like this one or this one but made of stone).

I was also in a facility washing my clothes and trying to sweep the floor.  I had a washboard and used hand soap as my detergent.  Mom was there watching, wondering why I was washing a dark shirt with a white one.  Dreams are weird.

the Hat
We're supposed to go to Medicine Hat for lunch at a buffet restaurant.  We'll see.  It'd be a nice drive over there.  The rain's stopped, and the sun's come out.

small (Nano) trouble
The Tata Nano is having a little trouble getting going although it's been getting going for quite some time now.  It's been given a reputation for being the Indian People's Car, but for a car with only 35hp you'd wonder how it could be so popular with Indian families.

burns my butt
Well this really burns.

April 13, 2012

private entry


John Carter
I went to see a movie called John Carter this evening at the Movie Mill.  Pretty good movie but a little weird.  It's about a soldier in 1868 who mysteriously gets transported to Mars.  It sounds better than it is.  Or not.

TV stand
M&F & I went out shopping for a new TV stand to go with their new TV.  What's wrong with the old one?  Nothing, really, except that it's the wrong colour.  It doesn't go with the rest of the wooden furniture.  Of course, they didn't find anything that suited them or the room.  I, however, found some bookcases I liked.  Too bad I don't actually need bookcases anymore.

a turn
M&F's van turned its odo today on the drive home.  It's not often you see this number.

Exciting, isn't it?  I have a habit of taking a bunch of pictures of the same thing to make sure at least one of them will be in focus.  As a result, I have, as Floyd said, "Fourteen pictures of the same thing."  Ha!

Sprite ... maybe
I found a Sprite trailer in Lethbridge!  Unfortunately, it's not actually for sale.  I left a note in the mailbox of the house it's parked at that reads something like, "Hi, I saw you have a Sprite trailer.  Not sure if you would consider selling it, but, if you do, please let me know."  Sounds a little nutty, but you never know.

oh my dog
There is a dog in Starbucks.  Never in my life have I ever seen a dog in a Starbucks before.  Or any restaurant here.  Ridiculous.

child gives birth to child
What a world we live in.  A 10-year-old in Columbia gave birth to a baby.  The baby is healthy but was delivered caesarean.  What is this world coming to?  Or is it just Columbia?

gives me gas
Gas isn't free!  Wow.  Gasoline prices have gone way up lately.  Crazy, man.

April 12, 2012

too late
The guy with the weird looking trailer...

...said someone came by yesterday to buy it.  It's gone, gone, gone.  Oh well.  Wasn't meant to be.  (Sure is ugly, ain't it?)  But I'll go get the trailer hitch put on today anyway.

the way to go
Still not sure which way to go.  Do I get a trailer and use the new Kia Soul to pull it?  If so, I'll be limited in weight to about a thousand pounds (450kg).  If I go with a campervan, I'll have the convenience of having everything contained in one vehicle but have to buy a van (more money than a trailer) and insurance for it (also more money).  What to do, what to do...

Or, I could have both!


a little clarity
I found this website online that explains weight of vehicles and how big of a trailer that they can pull.

It explains what GVW, GVWR, tongue weight, etc. are and how it relates to what kind of weight a car can haul / pull.  I found the specs of my Soul here.


lights not on
I wrote some here, but then FrontPage crapped out.  I'll attempt this again.  They installed the hitch, but the lights aren't working.  After a bit of brainstorming (I mentioned that the LED signal lights are controlled differently by the computer than normal incandescent bulbs would be, he decided that there was perhaps too much draw on the signal light circuit and that a powered signal light controller might be needed.  He's putting that in now.

the raw materials

This is the piece that goes underneath.

a clean sweep

Nothing worse than laying down on top of debris.

getting jacked

My car is getting lifted!!!

the hardware end

Simply bolting something on is only a small part of the job.

getting wired

The wiring is generally where things go awry.

Well at least there are a few dozen National Geographic magazines here to peruse.

April 10, 2012

the search for a camper trailer

Alpine Sprite factory

Alpine Sprites being made in England in 1962

It is an ongoing process.  I'm searching for a trailer that can be pulled by my new little Kia Soul.  In fact, it says in the manual that pulling a trailer is "not recommended."  The guy at Get Hitched says that, with a 2.0 engine, I can pull about 1000 pounds.  Well that doesn't give me a lot of leeway, does it?  I had, back in the day, an Alpine Sprite.  It was an ideal little trailer.  It could sleep 4; had a toilet room that I'd planned to convert into a full-featured washroom with a shower, toilet, & sink but never got around to doing; had a fridge, gravity-feed furnace, and 3-burner stove; and was certainly light enough to be pulled by the Soul.  Unfortunately, I was talked into selling it.  Long story.  Won't go into that.  Now I kick myself for selling it.

But, lo and behold, I have found 4 Sprites for sale.  Have a look.

It's the first one I'm interested in because it's cheap, small, and close. 

Here are some more pics.

getting there is half the fun
It is 2484km from here to there and back again.  It'd cost me just over $200 in fuel round-trip.  I could drive from here to my cousin Judy's house in one day and sleep there, drive the remaining 3 hours to pick up the trailer and drive back again to Judy's, and take the 3rd day to drive back home.  I'd wanted to take a drive out there to see Judy anyway.  I'd also wanted to have a small vacation, driving across the prairies, stopping at little towns and such here and there.  This could be the very thing.  It's 997km from here to Judy's house and another 264km to the trailer for a total of 1240km one way.  And then I've got to come back again.

yes we have no trailers today
I phoned and left 2 messages for the guy with the trailer.  Turns out it's not the guy with the trailer.  They guy who's not the guy with the trailer phoned back and told me he wasn't the guy.  I asked him if he had a trailer for sale anyway.  Turns out, he didn't.  So I emailed the guy with the trailer in hopes that he's the actual guy with the trailer.  Now I'll wait.  Maybe I'll get an email from a guy without a trailer.

April 9, 2012

waxing complete
It's complete.  It took the sunny parts of two days.  So I put it out on the street next to the entrance of the complex so passersby can could it.

April 8, 2012

I was out waxing the Jeep Liberty yesterday to make it shiny enough to be irresistible to passers by or people who come to view it.  Maybe, with luck, it'll sell this weekend or, if not, this week.  But it got a little cool yesterday afternoon, so the wax wouldn't polish properly.  So I'll see if I can finish it today.

And next is the Kia Soul.

April 1, 2012

to X or not to X
I was thinking, after putting Rain-X on the windows of my new Kia Soul, about what it would do if I were to coat the entire car with it.  It turns out, it would not be a good idea.  Read more.

Click here for last month.