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Monday, April 29, 2013
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
|Waking up to sunshine is the essence of my life. I know I was born on a Sunday and it probably was a sunny Sunday. Without sun I feel the day is not worth much. Probably the reason why I became a snowbird.|
A bright day on Campobello
So today we have plenty sunshine. What sunshine does to the colours is amazing. Ever been out on an overcast day in autumn and suddenly the sun broke through? At once the colours sprang to life. A bright orange appeared where there was a brownish leaf before. The dark green moss on the ground was lightening up to a vivid bright green.
Even the old gnome is smiling over the sunshine
In the extreme north, where Sunshine during the winter becomes rare, humans are developing symptoms of depression. In northern Norway they have light studios, where people can be exposed to a very bright light. It helps the body to overcome bouts of depression.
”The Guardian” has an article about why cloudy skies are not good for our health.
An old German radio – not functioning and very old doorways are part of our home
Sunshine flowing through windows is also something I like very much. Our house gets a much friendlier face in the sun. Living in that old house from 1903 has been a pure pleasure for us. I never enjoyed modern-style homes very much. I like the fact that there is a history in a house. The thought of what might have been going on within these walls many decades ago is fascinating to me. If we look around, so much in our world is constantly changing at record speed. Living in a home that hasn’t changed much is the opposite of what we see in our daily lives.
There was a time during the sixties and seventies that most people didn’t have much appreciation of old houses. During my 25 years in Norway I have seen a lot of architectural vandalism. I saw perfectly stabile and solid log homes be abandoned and be replaced by ugly square “cardboard” houses. This “new style” sprang from a growing economy where people thought that “modern” was good and that they had to show the world that they too could afford a new home. Values of a tremendous scope got lost.
Fortunately, a new renaissance has changed that. Today we again have a sense of historical value. We buy old-style windows, surround our home with an old-style porch. We go to flea markets and find antique furniture which will fit into our home.
It has made me happy to see this change come along.
Thanks for stopping by!
Thursday, April 25, 2013
|I tried to see what time it was, but whether I was still half asleep or my wristwatch was playing some dirty trick on me, I just couldn’t figure it out. There was a slight light outside the windows, but it could be the moon. I looked again at my watch, the little hand was lodged somewhere around the twelve, while the big hand seemed to be in the neighbourhood of 7 or eight or in between. |
Anyhow I got up to see the bathroom. When I came down the stairs, I saw Molly who lay just at the last step of the stairs. What that was meant to be I could not understand. When I passed along the cook stove I saw the green figures of the build-in clock. It showed 5.45a. So it WAS first daylight after all and not the moon. Interesting! So the night was actually over…or soon to be. Looking at my watch again I found it dead. The battery must have folded. I have had time in my life where I went without a wristwatch for years. I never missed it then. But of course now I am looking at my empty left wrist umpteen times a day.
When I got upstairs again Molly followed suit. She jumped on my bed after I had cuddled myself down into the feathers again. There she was and fell asleep again. I did the same – for a while.
But finally the day caught up with me again or I did with the day.
I knew I had to do some phone calls today. Business calls and a few private calls. Also I booked a hotel room in Portland, ME for April 29. Have to get myself out to the airport real early the morning after, so I made sure that hotel isn’t far from the “jetport” as they call it in town.
Someone, hopefully the sales person, will meet me at Ft.Lauderdale Internat’l airport and take me to where our new van purchase is parked. We will have to complete some paperwork and I will find myself a place where I can rest for the night. I sure don’t look forward to the terrible Florida traffic.
I reckon it will take me 4-5 days to get home again.
Gotta keep it between the ditches!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Monday, April 22, 2013
|The creativity of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has brought up an incredible idea. Napolitano can’t get more money out of Washington, so what is the solution? Yay…we charge the Canadians and Mexicans when crossing our border. That should bring in hmm……maybe….well probably enough to let us have a raise in our salaries. :-)|
What sounds like a bad joke could become reality in a few years…at least if Napolitano gets it her way.
And just so you know here is the article I found on CTV:
Colin Perkel, THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO -- A proposal to charge travellers a new crossing fee at U.S. land border crossings has drawn condemnation in both countries.
The call to study a new levy -- contained in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's proposed budget for 2014 -- is needed to defray increased security costs, proponents say.
However, Michael MacKenzie, executive director of the 70,000-member Canadian Snowbird Association, said Monday that Washington is trying to ease its "desperate financial situation" on the backs of Canadian travellers.
"While we appreciate the fiscal challenges faced by our friends in the United States, we would prefer the U.S. government focus on ways to reduce obstacles at the border that hinder trade and tourism," MacKenzie said Monday.
"People feel like maybe they're being nickel and dimed a little bit and politicians are taxing people who can't vote, which makes sense politically but it just sends the wrong message."
Currently, air passengers pay to enter the U.S. but the fee is included in the price of the plane ticket. Drivers and pedestrians do not pay a specific entry fee, although bridges spanning the border charge tolls that go to the bridge authorities.
In its proposal, the Department of Homeland Security urges a study of setting up and collecting a crossing fee for both pedestrians and passenger vehicles along the Canadian and Mexican borders.
Among other things, the study would examine the feasibility of collecting from "existing operators on the land border, such as bridge commissions, toll operators, commercial passenger bus, and commercial passenger rail."
Given the early stages of the proposal, just how such a fee might work -- whether it might apply to travellers leaving the U.S. as well and what it might cost -- is far from clear.
Nevertheless, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce weighed in Monday, saying charging a toll to drive into the United States would be a "serious mistake" and pledging to lobby against the idea.
"Any fee on travellers crossing the border is bad for individuals and for the economy," the chamber said.
"Building the walls higher and making the border stickier and thicker is exactly the wrong way to go."
In testimony two weeks ago to a Homeland Security Committee, the head of the department Janet Napolitano said fees that support processing more than 350 million travellers a year have not been adjusted, in many cases, for more than a decade.
"As the complexity of our operations continues to expand, the gap between fee collections and the operations they support is growing, and the number of workforce-hours fees support decreases each year," Napolitano said.
The budget proposal, she said, calls for hiring more customs and immigration officers through adjustments in inspection user fees "to recover more of the costs associated with providing services."
Critics warn that fee collection could slow already clogged border crossings.
Last week, Democratic Rep. Brian Higgins from Buffalo said any fee could hurt cross-border business.
"At a time when we are looking to increase economic activity at our northern border, we should not be authoring proposals that would do the reverse," Higgins said in a letter to Napolitano, according to the Buffalo News.
Given the importance of cross-border traffic, successive Canadian governments -- including that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- have made the free flow of goods and people a priority.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said any new fee would break down the sense of North American community Canada and the U.S. have been working to build.
MacKenzie said there are already numerous fees and taxes to cross the border and a new tax could be a "sizable economic burden" to people who cross the border regularly or amateur sports teams.
End of article
And then there are the border communities who would suffer big time. Just thinking of all the families out here who have family members living “on the other side of the fence”. Can’t go see auntie Amanda anymore without paying for it.
The United States has brought this over themselves. It was after 9/11 that land border restrictions were applied – to no good use. And when budgets are exhausted Canadians are on the block to be milked. But the milking will have devastating effects on America’s cross-border shopping. It could easily end in a big commercial slaughter.
Instead of removing border stations like they have done all over Europe, North America goes the opposite way…. hampering travel and commerce.
It’s kind of hard to understand such thinking.
|I have been looking for a 2. van for our sightseeing business for a while. I looked on all the common advertising sites and on Ebay.|
As it turns out Ebay has the biggest choice. But Ebay doesn’t sort the vehicles after zip codes of your geographic convenience. They kinda leave that for you to find out about.
Anyway, I had put a bid on a large 15-seater and been watching what happened. The price stayed way down for a long time. So I put in a fairly high max. bid. Fairly high, compared to the low price it was sitting there. But then the price scale sprang to live. Somebody had laid his eyes on this van. So the price went up and up. It went beyond my max. price and I put in a higher bid. There was half an hour left when I did that. Now I was watching the auction. 10 seconds left. What did I see? The price went higher and even higher than my new max. bid. Shoot…. but I might find another one, I thought.
I thought that as long as an email popped up congratulating me as the winner of this item.
I was flustered. The price was now well 500 Bucks over what I had offered. What was going on? How could I be the winner? I pulled up the Ebay page where it gives you the confirmation for your bid. I had to rub my eyes: It said $38,025.00!! It scared me beyond saying. The last winning bid though was $4,337.00. What had happened was a simple typo. It shoulda been $3,825.00!
Ebay’s bidding system works the way that it will do automatic bidding up to the max bid one has put in. Since my max bid was well…..way beyond, Ebay had been bidding up the price ……until I won!
Of course the price for this item is still pretty low so I finally went with it.
Now I’m looking for a one-way ticket to Florida.
The thing is stationed in Boca Raton, of all places.
Of course you want to know what hapless vehicle that is which can be sold for such little money. Here it is, and I have already put on our decals. :-) Haha….
The year is 2001 and the mileage 55,000 which is less than what our 2006 Chevy has. Can you see it being converted into a winter RV? I can!
Come on over and take a ride with us!
Sunday, April 21, 2013
|When the weather turns grey and it is wet outside I can’t do much outside. Then I’m getting restless and have to occupy myself with something. The best I know to be busy with is baking a cake. (and then eating it..:-)|
So what cake should I bake?
I decided to do the good old “German-style Peter’s good apple cake”. It was a cake like that which I once managed to impress my new girl friend (now my dear wife) with. If you want to try it it’s pretty easy.
You take the same weight of everything and I will give it to you in metric grams, but you can just about use ounces if you like.
You’ll need: 200gr.wheat flour, 200gr. 200gr.sugar, 200gr.butter (the real stuff pls.) and equal weight (200gr.)of eggs. (I usually go for 4 eggs), a tea spoon of baking powder, two average-size apples, raisins, cinnamon, The dough before raisins and apple slicesWhip eggs and sugar together, add the warmed-up butter (doesn’t need to be runny) then the flour and the baking powder. Whip good together until you get a good dough with no lumps in it. If you like vanilla you can add some vanilla extract.
Fill it in your baking form.
Spread the rains on top. You have peeled the apples and cut them into thin slices.
Put apple slices all around or spread loosely over. Sprinkle cinnamon and a bit of sugar. ready to go into the oven. You bake in a 350F (180C) pre-heated oven for about 50 minutes on the middle shelf. Before removing check with a pin whether dough is done.
Let the cake rest for a while but it should be eaten before cooling completely. Apple cake has to be warm and served with whipped real cream, not unlike an apple pie.
Finished baking and removed from form…….Bon Appetite!
After that cake was done and tried, the sun came out and we went for a beach walk with Molly. It was shortly before sunset, so we got a good photo light. We studied how far the winter storms had pushed the water over land.
Enormous amounts of gravel and sand has been washed up into the grassy area.
The main beach area where summer guests use to sit has changed a lot as well.
Though the beach is still sandy, a lot of it has been washed away and left the beach a lot steeper towards the water. The power of nature will never cease to amaze us.
Thanks for stopping by!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
When I think automobiles made in Canada the Ford-owned Mercury brand comes to mind first. Mercury was the upgraded version of a common FORD. The Mercury brand, however, has died, one of the reasons being that the models were too close-up clones of regular Ford-models.
The automotive industry in Canada consists primarily of assembly plants of foreign automakers, most with headquarters in the United States or Japan, along with hundreds of manufacturers of automotive parts and systems.
Canada is currently the eleventh largest auto producer in the world, producing 2.1 million cars a year, down from seventh place with 3 million per year a few years ago. China, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico recently surpassed Canadian production for the first time. Canada's highest rankings ever was second largest producer in the world between 1918 and 1923 and third after WWII.
But it’s not the numbers I was bound to talk about. There is a car which actually has genuine Canadian history and it wouldn’t surprise if you never heard about it.
It’s name is BRICKLIN.
The picture below shows the
Malcolm Bricklin is no stranger to the automotive industry, having sold the first Subaru franchises in North America in the late 1960s, and brought the bargain-basement Yugo passenger car to US shores in the 1980s. The Yugo became probably the most hated automobile in North America. But between these two ventures came Bricklin’s passion project.
The entrepreneur devised a plan to create a sports car company bearing his name. In the 1970s, he successfully sought financial backing from the Canadian government, and the SV-1, or Safety Vehicle 1, was born in the province of NEW BRUNSWICK. The coupe included safety features well before proposed government mandates, including a roll cage, gull-wing doors with side impact beams and a fiberglass body painted according to a “safety” colour palette. The cars had no cigarette lighter or ashtray. Non-smoker Malcolm Bricklin believed it was unsafe to smoke and drive. The Bricklin is the only production vehicle in automotive history to have powered gull-wing doors, that opened and closed at the touch of a button, as standard equipment. But the safety equipment’s heft made for sluggish performance, and reliability plagued the company from the outset. Bricklin’s firm filed for bankruptcy in 1976, having sold fewer than 3,000 cars.
Examples have been known to surface on eBay Motors for under $10,000.
Friday, April 19, 2013
|Unless you are living way south in an area far from any water body you must have dealt with fog in the past. The farther north you live and the closer to the coast, the more you are familiar with fog. If you live on Campobello you know fog from the day you were born or started living here. Fog can be part of every day life out here. Eleanor Roosevelt could occasionally complain when fog was a daily occurrence over several weeks.|
Obviously these pics were not taken today…
And the reason for this much fog is that we are exposed to two contrary elements: very cold water and warm, moist air from Florida. The colder the water is, the colder is the air right above it. The warmer the air masses from Florida are, the bigger is the difference in temperature and consequently the more fog we get. Because of the high humidity on foggy days the fog feels cold.
April weather conditions are never quite stabile. Some days we have sun and rather dry air, next day rain clouds can be moving in. The weather in April has caused people to say things like “April does whatever he will” or something similar to that extent.
Right now we have rather cold fog. It’s thick enough to prevent any sun rays from touching the ground and so today was a rather dull day, weatherwise. Maybe not only weatherwise but also otherwise. I think of what the situation in and around Boston is like for people living there. They are living in a fog of fear. A young criminal is running around somewhere and 9000 police men are looking for him. Seems it was reason enough to ramp up security with armored vehicles and request people to stay inside their homes. Dogs have to pee inside, (well not only pee, I guess) people can’t go to work, stores are closed. It’s like the U.S. is under attack. What I have not seen are short-distance missiles, but even FEDEX parcels are delayed because of the lock-down in Boston/Watertown.
Our media are having a field day, several field days. It’s good business for them. After all it’s not every day that we see massive concentrations of law enforcement troops descend on a town. Locals are making the best of it. They hang out of their windows, their cute little electronic gadgets in hands, and taking pictures and videos of the mayhem. These days it’s everybody’s hope to get their video published on You Tube, cashing in on advertising compensation when their little film goes viral and the viewer number reach the millions.
But let’s get back to the reason of all this: How did these perpetrators have come into the United States? That is a question I think many people are asking themselves these days. According to what I have seen in the press they haven’t been born here. Nope, they got in AFTER 9/11. They were REFUGEES!
The United States have some of the most restrictive immigration policies in the world. After 9/11 we got an entire new set of stringent rules. Airport security was increased, U.S. and Canadian Citizens had to show their passport when crossing the northern border, and Canadian snowbirds who dared to overstay in the U.S. can be bared for many years from re-entering the U.S. (even though all they do is spending their money)
But people who claim to be refugees seem to be able to enter and settle freely in the country even when they originate from countries where U.S. authorities know terrorists are running their dirty businesses. After 9/11 Canada was blamed that screening of immigrants to Canada wasn’t thorough enough and that terrorists had come across the border into the States.
Now we see that potential terrorists have come into the U.S. through quite different channels. And they keep coming!
They seem to be impossible to stop – just like …..Cold Fog.