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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

DISTURBING

 My personal take on yesterday's election debate: 

D I S T U R B I N G

It was hard to watch and it would have made sense to hit the OFF-button.

But let's look at what commentators have to say this morning. Most of which I totally agree with.

Scott Jennings: This was a hot mess

SE Cupp: The Trump line that will sicken suburban women

Van Jones: The only thing that mattered

Raul Reyes: Trump's failure to denounce White supremacy is a travesty

Sarah Isgur: The winner was a button on your TV remote control

Tara Setmayer: The contrast between Biden and Trump couldn't have been more stark

Keith Boykin: The worst debate in American history

Peter Bergen: Biden won on the most important crisis facing the US

Frida Ghitis: In horrifying debate, Trump shows why he's a threat to America

Paul Begala: Trump confirms he is the candidate who brings chaos

Nayyera Haq: Biden was the one with bite

Julian Zelizer: The huge issue that Chris Wallace, strangely, downplayed

Jessica Anderson: Unfinished business after first debate

David Gergen: A gross insult to America's voters

Lanhee J. Chen: A black eye for American democracy

Alice Stewart: The American people deserve a debate -- not a cage fight

John Avlon: First debate lacks dignity US deserves


Overall a good summary of what's wrong with America. This first debate in 2020 was not what debates should be about. It contained nothing worth to remember other than what we already knew and it didn't serve a purpose.

Monday, September 28, 2020

I Remember A Conversation From 2016

 It is now 4 years ago, but I remember a conversation I had with an American. Trump was campaigning for president and this American told me that America needs to be run like a business, and since Trump was a successful business tycoon, he should be the next president of the United States. I disagreed and we haven't spoken ever since.

We all know what happened and today we also know the results.

A stunning New York Times exposé of the President's tax returns Sunday revealed a pitifully inept businessman and a serial tax avoider crushed by massive debts that could expose him to conflicts of interest given his position as President and power to help undisclosed lenders.

Certainly, this is not a surprise. Trump didn't want to show his tax returns because it would have revealed his financial standing. He would have lost all credibility and, worse, the lenders would have moved in on him. He just couldn't afford it. 
If a man likes to brag about his wealth and his success in business he would LOVE to show that he paid his taxes. Trump didn't do it, because there was nothing to brag about. The history of his business ventures is all too embarrassing for him. Confronted with the NY-Times article he said:

"It's fake news. It's totally fake news. Made-up, fake. We went through the same stories, you could've asked me the same questions four years ago," the President said, again inaccurately saying he couldn't release his tax returns because he was under audit.
"I mean the stories that I read are so fake. They're so phony," he said, claiming to pay a lot in taxes.

"This is a con man in the White House," presidential historian Douglas Brinkley told CNN Sunday, referring to a President who shattered convention by refusing to release his tax records to the public while running for office.

The Times reports that within the next four years, more than $300 million in loans -- for which Trump is personally responsible -- will come due. That opens the extraordinary possibility that the lenders could be called upon to decide whether to foreclose on businesses owned by the US President while he is in office if he is unable to pay the money back. Trump is therefore in danger of becoming deeply compromised.

So I am wondering what my former friend in the States is thinking at this crucial moment. "America should be run like a business", he said. But don't we all know that businesses can fail? Don't we know that many business owners are masters in cheating? And that they don't always let us know the truth?
And are the people of an entire country served with being treated as a business collateral? Wouldn't that be unethical? When a business gets into financial trouble it lets workers go. And that's exactly what we are witnessing today. This is also what the Trump organisation has practiced. 
I am just reading Mary L. Trump's book "Too much and never enough". In it she describes how Donald became the person we see today. His failed ventures, his entire failed personality leading to cheating his way through life. As the second son of Fred Trump he was a con-man in the making, perfecting his cheating skills as an adult.
The revealing Times report is not a surprise. 

Will it change the course of the election? 

It is up to the American voter to decide. Is it a decent responsible political leadership or the scandalous actions and behavior of a con-man discrediting and betraying the United States internationally Americans prefer?

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Symphony Of Colours

 Starting out shortly before 9am, we were across the Confederation Bridge about one hour later. We were not prepared for the 30 minute wait at the Covid checkpoint in New Brunswick. We were asked to fill out a form before we were allowed to go on. Weather was great as we  made our way along Moncton, Sussex and Saint John towards the US border.

No problems crossing into the US as we were Campobello residents on our way home. Rolled into our yard at 5pm and were quick to move our stuff from the trailer back into the house. Both of us had the feeling that we had been away much longer than the 12 days we had been gone. 

Of course, we are both tired and will retire to the bed early today. What really was great today were the colours of fall. Higher elevations in northern New Brunswick had had frost already and the trees seemed on fire. Or what do you think?








Friday, September 25, 2020

We Are All Hitched Up Again And Ready To Go Home

 Whether it was the worry about finding a new hitch the next morning or something else, I don't know, but I turned and tossed around last night and had a hard time to find sleep. And I even worried Bea who suddenly turned on the light asking what in the world was wrong with me. 

After a quick breakfast Bob and I went to town in search of a trailer hitch. First place we went to told us they would have had one the day before, but had sold it. Next place we phoned ahead sounded like a success. On the run over there, of course, we ran into a construction site, an ambulance was forcing its way along, but finally we reached the place. It turned out we really were in luck and were shown a Reese hitch for a tongue-weight of 1200pounds, more than enough for our rig. 

    "The Experts" start looking at things

         

All hitched up!

An hour later we were back at Bob's place and started to sort out the various parts. It turned out we only needed the hitch head and the spring bars. Bob and I worked on it together and Bob had to get 2 wrenches from a neighbour to secure the bolts for the hitch head. The rest was simply routine and when the van was put into position the trailer went right onto the ball. Mission accomplished! I think we all felt a big relief.

Rest of this very sunny day was spent with reading and relaxing besides a nice walk to the beach with Dixie. We had a common meal preparation for supper, where upon Bob started a campfire. 




That's when we began to realize how much we have been missing sitting around the fire and chatting and reminiscing the winter days we had in the desert. Quite a few of our old friends from those days are gone to camper heaven and if we return one day we will find quite a different group of people. But that's life and something everybody must go through.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

A Beautiful Day Ending Badly

The storm had moved off and this morning we woke to a clear blue sky. It was supposed to be our last day so we got ready early and headed out to the south-eastern part of Prince Edward Island. Naturally, we got into morning rush hour in Charlottetown, but rest assured, it's not like Los Angeles or Toronto. After 40 minutes we had left all city traffic behind us and were already going towards Point Prim lighthouse.

                     




This bed is in one of the upper rooms at Prim Point Lighthouse , while on duty.the Lighthouse keeper got his own cottage, he had to contend with this room.
 

To our big surprise the lighthouse was still open for viewing. I bought a ticket and a young lady gave me the history of the place. It was built in 1845 and was constructed in bricks. The lower end of the walls are about 1m thick and it is 18.3m tall. The walls are covered in wooden shingles on the outside.

Next lighthouse we visited was the Wood Island's light. 


   
The Wood Island ferry waiting for passengers
Wood Islands is the harbour for the ferry to Nova Scotia. It's an odd looking vessel, and obviously it wasn't very busy. The Wood Island Lighthouse is a lot different from the Point Prim. Built in 1876 it was moved in 2009 as erosion threatened to destroy the building. It also has 2 small former range lights, both of them have also been moved. The 3 lights together is called a "family".

A much smaller lighthouse is Cape Bear Lightstation. 

It is only 12.4m high. Due to cliff erosion also this lighthouse had to be relocated in 1947. The Marconi Wireless station was set up in 1905 and it was Marconi operator Thomas Bartlett who received the first in Canada distress call from the Titanic on April 14 1912.

The last and maybe the prettiest lighthouse we saw today was the Panmure Island Lighthouse. On the way out to Panmure Island we stopped at a delightful pink beach which is part of the Provincial Park. We took a shorter walk along which was greatly appreciated by Dixie.


I 1853 it became the first octagon wooden lighthouse built on PEI. It is clad with white cedar shingles. Also this lighthouse is under threat of cliff erosion, and it cannot be moved as there is no land available to where it could be moved.

A conversation with the lady in the gift store revealed that a shore stabilisation project would cost $400,000.

For us it was time to call it a day and we headed home via the nice little town of Montaque.

As we were planning to leave for home tomorrow Friday, I back the van right up to the trailer. When walking behind it, I noticed that our hitch was gone. 

Yes, somebody stole our hitch! Since this is a special weight -distribution hitch we cannot just go into any store and buy a new hitch. In hindsight, I figured out where it must have happened. Yesterday I drove to a food market a few miles away. The weather was still bad and I hurried into the store. However, I did notice a loud gang of men in an old beater of a truck in the next parking row behind me. I have strong thoughts that they are the culprits. While I spent 20 minutes in the store they had plenty time to take it off the receiver and disappear with it. A photo I took this morning with the van in the picture reveals the hitch was already gone today.

It is unbelievable what some people will do to make a few bucks. It will cost me hundreds of dollars to buy a new distribution hitch and we won't be able to leave on Friday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Storm

 Storm Teddy Came upon us on Tuesday with rain and high winds, effectively ruining 2 days of our vacation. There was nothing we could do but waiting out the worst of the weather in our trailer. Of course, when you have a dog with you, it's not possible to ignore the dog's needs. So when ever there was a chance, we took Dixie outside for short walks. Luckily, the storm never got as violent as the authorities had announced it beforehand. Wind speeds never went beyond 80km/h on Prince Edward Island. We certainly got enough rain though and we discovered a small leak in the trailer at a spot along the front roof caulking. It wasn't much and I'm gonna fix it when back at home.

Today, we invited our hosts over for coffee and cake and had another round of swapping RV-stories.

Tomorrow we will take another day of PEI explorations and Friday we will be going home, as winds seem to be picking up again over the coming weekend. Wind is the enemy #1 for any RVer with a high-profile vehicle. Nothing is so annoying (and some times even dangerous) as pushing an RV through the wind.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

What Some Americans Don't Understand

Donald Trump has taken the U.S. down a dark path, and these Canadians are scared of where it leads

Monday, September 21, 2020

Harbours, Beaches and Lighthouses

The Morning chill made me shiver, but the sun came up bright and before we knew it, it was a great fallish day with bright blue sky.

We were heading out towards Prince Edward Island's East Point

The drive along the coast towards east was scenic, and when we saw a small sign pointing towards public beach access we drove in on a red dirt road. They had put a name on that short road stub and it wasn't too inviting, or what you think about "Skunkhouse Rd". We couldn't detect any skunks but discovered an absolutely beautiful stretch of beach with an endlessly seeming trail along the wild coast. So we parked the van and headed off on foot enjoying the spectacular landscape. 






The best of it all: We could let Dixie run free, something we cannot do within the National Park. 

Eventually, we had to turn around and then it was time to sit down in our camp chairs and have some lunch. Man....was that ever nice!

The next stop was at "Skipwreck Point Lighthouse" at Naufrage. This lighthouse seems to be a bit neglected in maintenance as the paint was scaling off all around.

Coming to North Lake, Bea made an astounding discovery. While I took a picture, Bea directed her NIKON P-900 onto a shack in the harbour. The result you see below. 

          The arrow showing where the tuna was hanging

We were at least a 1000ft away from that shack and I wouldn't have seen it without a binocular. Just look at the size of that Tuna!

Finally we arrived at East Point with its beautiful Lighthouse from 1867.




                      Above: Old foghorns

From East Point one can see the coast of Nova Scotia.

Nest stop was at the Port of Souris. From here one can take a ferry over to the "Ile De Madelaine", (Quebec) 


But we had no plans to do that and after taking pics of the Souris lighthouse, we carried on down the road. Originally we had planned to explore the lower eastern part of the coast, but it would have taken too much time today. So we think we might do it after the storm Teddy has passed.

Instead we took aim over to St.Peters again and back to Rocky Point, where we arrived at 4:30pm.

Due to the weather development we might not do any posting tomorrow, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Red Beaches And Cliffs Magical Coast Of PEI


 Australia is known as the red continent because of its red soil. And who ever has traveled through the State of Utah has seen the red soil and red rocks. But who would have expected similar red sandstone in a place like Prince Edward Island? And yet, this province boasts the most coastline adorned with red cliffs and red beaches.











To see this we took off to the town of Cavendish on the north coast of PEI. The area is known for its scenic views and much of it is under the stewardship of the Parks Canada. It stretches from Cavendish to about Tracadie Beach along the Gulf of St.Lawrence. One can drive the Gulf Shore Parkway all the way through the park. The choice of which beach you want to hang out on remains yours. And it could be hard to decide, cause all of them are simply gorgeous. Naturally a visit like ours on September 20 is not the time you want to lay out flat to get tanned. In spite of enjoying a bright sunny day, we always made sure we had a warm jacket with us.

Just outside of the eastern entry to the National Park we visited the village Rustico Beach. The place has a beautiful wharf area which I imagine must be teeming with life during the summer months.








Of course, no visit to Prince Edward Island is complete without paying a visit to the Anne of Green Gables home and exhibit.

Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery (published as L.M. Montgomery). Written for all ages, it has been considered a classic children's novel since the mid-twentieth century. Set in the late 19th century, the novel recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl, who is mistakenly sent to two middle-aged siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who had originally intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, Canada. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way through life with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.

Since its publication, Anne of Green Gables has been translated into at least 36 languages and has sold more than 50 million copies, making it one of the best selling books worldwide. The first in an anthology series, Montgomery wrote numerous sequels, and since her death, another sequel has been published, as well as an authorized prequel. The original book is taught to students around the world.

The book has been adapted as films, made-for-television movies, and animated and live-action television series. Musicals and plays have also been created, with productions annually in Europe and Japan.                                                               



After hours on tour we got back to the trailer around 5:30pm and all of us were bound for dinner. Dinner happened in our rig and Bea was the chef today. And most likely, we will have another quiet comfy night.