July 2010

Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada

The New Car

Click here for larger view Yesterday, as planned, we took possession of our new car, the little Rio5 EX Sport from Kia. It is quite a change from the one-ton truck, going from mighty to mini and from Big Larry (the name we gave the truck) to Squirt (our current name of choice for the car, subject to change).
    The dealership we bought the car from, Street Kia, seems quite good, at least to this point. Their staff has all been courteous, friendly, and helpful to a fault. So far the only problem we've had with the car is Sandra's keyless remote didn't work, but the dealer immediately found what was wrong (the remote had lost its memory) and reprogrammed it. Hopefully, this isn't a sign of the onset of Alzheimer's in her remote and it doesn't happen again, but unlike the truck, there's no penalty for unlocking the car with the key if it has been locked with the remote. If the truck is locked with the remote and then unlocked with the key, the alarm goes off and the truck won't start for 15 minutes (as I recall).
    Anyway, we took the car out for a sunset drive last evening and I took it out for my usual sunrise drive this morning (and got the photo here) and the car performed well. Of course, it should, being brand new.
    Ours is the top of the line Rio5, so it has a whack of features, like the larger 15 inch wheels, a sunroof, heated seats, fog lights, rear spoiler, dual power heated mirrors, Bluetooth which works with our cell phones, and inputs for external MP3 devices. We had to get this model in order to get a couple of my must-have features (ABS brakes and cruise control), but it's missing a few things we use in the truck all the time, like the compass, thermometer, and mileage display. It also doesn't have 4-wheel drive, which I'd have really liked (4WD has saved my bacon more than once in the truck), but none of the cars in this class seem to offer 4WD anymore, so I'll have to make do with front-wheel drive alone. It does come with roadside assistance in case I ever do get stuck.
    For Sandra's account of yesterday's purchase, click here. For my latest photos, click here.

The Last Tow

Click here for larger view Early this afternoon, we drove over to Tranquil Acres Camping RV Park where our former RV still resides and per our agreement with its new owners, we moved it for them from our seasonal site onto their new seasonal site, which is down by the river (Canadian Mississippi) with a great view of the water. We could have had a site down there too, but trees blocked a clear view of the satellites, so we never took it.
    It's been nine months now since I last towed the RV and for that reason I was just a little nervous about doing it this final time and also for the fact that the RV now belongs to someone else, however all went smoothly and I managed to avoid close encounters with anything getting it down to the river, even on the final turn in the laneway which was quite tight, and pulled the rig onto its new and permanent site without incident.
    So, this last tow severed one of the final remaining threads to our life as full-time RVers because having fulfilled that agreement we are free to sell the truck once we take possession of the new car tomorrow. When the truck sells, our lives as RVers will be nothing but fond memories and thousands of photos.
    After the move was completed and we bid farewell to Tranquil Acres, we took advantage of being in the Ottawa area by stopping at a couple of Home Depots (one being where I took the orchid photo above) and bought a new sink for the bathroom and a French door for the office. Sandra will no doubt go into detail on those purchases, so I'll let you read about them in her blog.
    For her accounts of things since my last report, click here. For my latest photos, click here.

A New Car

Click here for larger view Yesterday we signed the papers on a new car, our first new vehicle in 6 years and our first new car in 8 years. It is a 2010 Kia Rio5 EX Sport.
    We will no doubt take some grief from our brother-in-law John because the Kia is an import and he thinks people in North America should buy North American cars, but we got the class of car we wanted, bought it locally, and got the best deal at Kia.
    Anyway, we've only signed the papers so far because the local dealer didn't have exactly what we wanted in stock (unless we wanted fire engine red), but they quickly tracked one down at a Kia dealer in Bracebridge, five hours from here, and it should be in tomorrow and look like the photo above - silver in color. We learned from our last car, a light gold 2002 Saturn, the joys of having a car the color of road dirt and salt since those things don't show up nearly as much as they do on a darker or much lighter color. The truck is a dark maroon and it shows dirt as soon as we drive it away from the car wash, so it perpetually looks dirty.

A Near Disaster

Click here for larger view Well, we had some real excitement around here. Unfortunately, it wasn't the good kind.
    It started Friday morning when I smelled something crappy, literally. I tracked the odor down to the basement where I found the toilet and wash bowl there both full to the brim with vile disgusting sewage! We've had trouble with that toilet not flushing properly so we haven't been using it, although I thought the plumber we had in a while ago had fixed it. My first thought when I saw the sewage was that one of the construction people who have been working around here had to make an emergency pitstop, had used the toilet, and simply hadn't told us that it hadn't flushed properly. This would have been irritating but not disastrous. Then my second and far worse thought was the city sewer line was backing up into the basement. I actually had this happen once years ago and that event left an indelible scar on my memory.
    Anyway, we called the plumber, who said he couldn't make it until the next day and then called later and said he couldn't make it at all and gave us the name of another plumber to call. Thinking the sewage had come from the city sewer backing up and it had receded during the next few hours, I didn't call him, thinking the problem had gone away, but Saturday morning when we went through the same thing all over again with the basement toilet, we called the other plumber, who arrived and fixed the problem, which turned out to be a clog in the outside sewer line to the street, so the back up was all internal to our system, which was far better that than having had the sewage coming from the outside. Fortunately, the toilet never overflowed or a scary situation would have gotten really ugly.
    The silver lining on this crappy cloud is we learned this plumber is very good and is also licensed for electrical, heating, and cooling (he was the one who actually installed the central air in this house years ago), so he's a good person to know.
    Of a less traumatic nature, Tuesday I saw the doctor who gave me the test results of my annual physical and I passed them all with flying colors and Thursday, Bath Fitters installed our new shower and tub liners, which are a big improvement over what had been there.
    And the handyman and his helpers finished the new front porch, which as can be seen in the photo above, is actually a small deck. You can see the difference from the old porch by clicking here.
    For Sandra's accounts of things since my last report, click here. For my latest photos, click here.

Sandra Assessed

Click here for larger view Where does the time go? I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since my last report, but nothing terribly newsworthy happened until yesterday when we drove to Ottawa for Sandra's pre-op assessment at the Riverside Hospital for her upcoming cataract surgery. She was duly assessed and scheduled for the first eye surgery to be done in early August and the second surgery two weeks after that.
    While her assessment was being done, due to the high cost of parking at the hospital and me having my entire offsite photo archive collection in the truck ready to drop off at John and Margie's, I drove to a nearby park along the Rideau River where free shaded parking can be found (the shade being important because it was 90°F (32°C) and if parked in the sun the truck interior would have gotten blisteringly hot and I didn't want to put the DVDs in my photo archives at risk from the heat) and spent the time waiting for Sandra by photographing the birds that can always be found in that park, photo above being one of them.
    So, as mentioned, I finally got my photo archive collection (481 DVDs) updated, having replaced 50 or so generic DVDRs that had gone bad (and thus destroying my faith in the integrity of DVDRs as a reliable backup medium) and got the entire collection copied to hard drives. The primary archive consists of two sets of DVDs (481 DVDs in each of two identical sets for a total currently of 962 DVDs), one set I keep with me and the second set stored offsite in case the first set was ever destroyed, and since moving out of the RV I've had both sets with me (a risky situation), so it was quite a relief to have gotten the second set located offsite again. Having to check 962 DVDs to see which had gone bad, replace those with new copies from the other set (which fortunately were all good), verify the integrity of the new copies and catalog them, and get all 481 DVDs copied onto two hard drives has been an absolutely huge and incredibly time consuming job, but the photos in the archive represent six years of effort and if I lost them it would be a personal disaster.
    Anyway, another major photographic event we recently had was getting a large photo-quality print made of one of my photos (the one seen here), framing it, and delivering that to the Spotlight on the Rideau, a local art gallery and retail store that wants to display (and hopefully sell) some of my photography. I have two more photos to have printed and framed and then we'll see if any of those first three sell before I do more.
    Otherwise, we've just been dealing with a heat wave, getting things done around the house, and driving around the area a lot photographing the abundance of photogenic sunrises and sunsets we've been having lately, such as this one.
    For Sandra's accounts of things since my last report, click here. For my latest photos, click here.

End Of An Era

Click here for larger view Yesterday we sold the RV and so ends the RV lifestyle phase of our lives. Selling it was rather a bittersweet event, but also a relief to be out from under the expense of keeping it and to get some of our money back out of it. We didn't get as much as we'd have liked, but it was a fair deal, so all parties are happy. Sandra has had it listed on a number of online classified ad sites, but about all they produced were some obvious scam responses. In the end, the RV sold through the efforts of David and Shonagh, owners of Tranquil Acres Camping RV Park where the RV has been parked since our failed attempt to cross the US border last October.
    Anyway, Thursday was Canada Day, so it's a holiday weekend up here, as it is in the US for the Fourth of July tomorrow. Queen Elizabeth II visited Ottawa for Canada Day this year, which I guess was quite an event. Here in Smiths Falls things were a little less royal and about all we did for the event was to walk down to the canal that evening to watch the local fireworks display. We're across the street from the water, but there's an easement a couple houses down that gives us access to the water. The fireworks were good, but not great and they ended without the typical finale where they send up a whack of fireworks all at once to end the show with a real bang, so we didn't know the display had ended until we saw people starting to leave. I took a few photos, of course, which can be seen in the gallery here.
    Also on Canada Day, we had to go to the RV to meet the people who ended up buying it and as we were leaving the campground, a fawn (photo above) wandered by across the lane from the RV and gave us quite a photo op, so we finally got some decent deer photos. It was such a cute little thing.
    Other exciting moments since my last report were going to Margie and John's on June 25 for nephew Nick's 25th birthday (hard to believe that boy is a quarter century old) and having Sandra's longtime friend Laura and her husband Steve drop in on June 29 for a very pleasant visit on their way to Ottawa. Photo of their visit can be seen here.
    We've also enjoyed a fair number of photogenic sunrises and sunsets lately, so I've been up and out early quite a bit and Sandra went with me on a couple of the sunset drives. I found an excellent sunset location along the canal that's only a ten minute drive away. Photo here was taken there. And as a bonus, I've seen loons there three or four times. One of them can be seen here.
    Otherwise, about all I've done is continue to copy my large archive of photo DVDs to the new 2TB hard drive and it's taking forever, although I'm up to 410 of the 475 that have to be copied, so the end is almost in sight, and I've been getting a fair number of handyman jobs done around the house. We joke that Home Hardware has become our home away from home, we're there so often.
    For Sandra's accounts of things since my last report, click here. For my latest photos, click here.


For Older News

To read details of our previous stops and camps, visit the News Archives.

Updated Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Copyright © 2010 by Gordon L Wolford .
All rights reserved.


Sandra also posts her own 'blog' (news
page), which can be found at this link...
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In retirement, my
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Click the links below
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Just want to say 'Hi?'

Didya Know?

Thirty places in the USA
have "liberty" in their
name. Liberty, Missouri
(pop. 26,232) is the most
populous. Eleven places
have "independence" in
their name. The most
populous of these is
Independence, Missouri,
with 113,288 residents.

A Spot O' Humor

I had amnesia once
...or twice.

Protons have mass?
I didn't even know they
were Catholic.

Parting Thot

We must be free not
because we claim
freedom, but because
we practice it.

– William Faulkner

Cast of Characters

For those reading this page who might
not be familiar with the people in
my life, these are who I often refer to
without noting who they are
(in alphabetical order)...

Becky - Nick's wife
Betty - Sandra's older sister
Caden - Grandson
Carol - my younger sister
Danica - Margie's daughter
Eric - Son-in-law
Faith - Granddaughter
Garth - Betty's husband
Grace - Granddaughter
Ian - my son
Iris - Granddaughter
John - Margie's husband
Lillian - Granddaughter
Luke - Grandson
Margie - Sandra's younger sister
Michelle - my daughter
Miss Pinky - our GPS navigator
Nick - Margie's son
Rick - Carol's husband
Sandra - my most wonderful wife*
Tracy - Daughter-in-law

*(a.k.a. 'Grammy' to some)