Saturday, January 14, 2012



Commonly practiced: When you want to build a new house on your lot, you construct it over the existing house thus avoiding the building code, moving out while you build and buying all new material.
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Monday, January 9, 2012


2011 ended with everything I owned broken and/or malfunctioning…refrigerator, car, camera, computer… now I am broke!

CAR: With the money I made at Ararat this summer I bought an old Mitsubishi sedan when I returned to D/ca. It needed a few adjustments and a tune up! Fine, but it took 2 months of lies, surprises, misunderstandings, and threats to finally get it in satisfactory running order. One small story– just when I thought it was ready to come home (mid December), it turned out that it needed a new gasket (I won’t go into all that led up to this). OK. The mechanic was to order this...days go by...then 2 weeks go by. When I checked on him he assured me that it had been ordered and was on its way. Another week went by and I could see that the car was still in the same place in his yard and had not been moved. Hysterics and yelling ensued, whereupon he confessed that he had not ordered the gasket – from Japan yet! It gets ordered and arrives within the week thanks to Fed Ex. He promised that I would have the car in a couple of days. However, now the timing is off and it is Christmas. The only guy in all of Portsmouth who has the testing gizmo and who can adjust the timing is drunk, and I know that he will stay that way well into New Year’s week. I tell the mechanic that he has ruined my entire Christmas holiday. Does he care? He tells me that his wife left him because he is such a nice guy (honest!). He has me completely at his mercy, but he knows he has done me wrong and he is a little scared because he knows I am ready to sue. Ergo…the car was delivered this morning and is good to go.

‘FRIDGE: I had to buy a fridge. Appliances are very expensive here, so I found a nice, clean one that had been repossessed and that I could easily afford. In the shop it ran nicely and quietly. Within weeks it began to make a serious noise. Mr. Prince, the repair man, came quickly and said the computerized regulator is malfunctioning and ice was building up. I decided to simply defrost it every couple of weeks. This method worked for just that long i.e. a couple of weeks. Then the freezer compartment got too cold and the ‘fridge part did not get cold at all. Mr. Prince came and got it, did his magic, and returned it within 36 hours and it works perfectly, if somewhat more noisily. This, of course, was not free.

CAMERA: Suddenly the lens would not extend. I love this camera – a Canon. I cried. It is once again working well.

COMPUTER: I have a two year old MacBook. I love it. Some weeks ago, in the middle of working on it, it shut down – just like that. I started it up again, but it kept shutting itself down and displaying other bizarre behaviour. I could see that nothing was lost, everything (music, photos, programs, documents etc.) were still there. I also discovered that by holding down the ‘D’ key it would stay on (?), but really it was not functioning at all. Desperate emails to my brother Peter to no avail, so I prepared myself to do without it, put it away and take it back to Ottawa in June and make do with an old, but working PC I had (again, thanks to Peter). Last night January 7, 2012, we went to one of our favourite bars. Just behind the bar was a man working on a computer mixing some music. I asked him if he was working on an Apple by any chance. Yes. After some discussion it turns out that he is a radio DJ/Technician /music producer, in the UK, and he would be happy to look at my MacBook. So I took my Apple computer to him today and watched him investigate it. Clearly he knows what he is doing, and is puzzled and intrigued. He thinks that there was a power surge that scrambled it. Domlec, the Dominican power supply people, apparently have sudden, huge, destroying, unpredictable surges. He talked about equipment he has had destroyed as result of these surges. I left it with him. To be continued

I must look up to see what constellation the moon was in December. There can be no other explanation.