Thursday, March 25, 2010


I battle the symptoms of depression and post traumatic stress disorder by doing many things to exercise both my mind and body, generally (but not always) with reasonably successful results. Twenty years ago my doctor prescribed Tricyclic Antidepressants and a copy of a book titled 'Feeling Good' by Dr. David Burns. The drugs busted me out of my erratic sleep wake cycles, and the book gave me great ideas for self-treatment using cognitive therapy. But winters can be pretty brutal, and dealing with complete raving idiots (a former employer, no one mentioned in this blog, at least not yet!) can make it even worse. I sometimes have a bit of fun playing with new lyrics to songs that for some reason jump to mind.

(With apologies to Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr)

I rode my bike today oh boy,
Down a long abandoned railway track,
And then a quiet country road,
To the place I honed my craft.
Still figuring bow from aft.
Pulling boats out from the moulds,
With long sleek lines the way the're meant to be.
The wake cuts mirrored glass in two,
A gorgeous place seen before,
I wasnt really sure if I would ever see it anymore.

I caught a clip today, oh boy,
A Princess Pat killed by an IED.
A crowd of people lined the bridge,
But I couldn't bear to stay,
Having watched the play.
I'd love to turn you on...

Woke up, got out of bed.
Chose not to drag a comb across my head.
Found my way downstairs and brewed a cup.
And looking up, I heard a baby chirp.
Found an outfit, a cute little hat, changed his bum, in seconds flat.
Fixed number one a lunch with healthy snacks,
And took the little one for a run across the town.

Ahhhh ahh ahh ahhhh ahh ahh ahhhhhhhh...
Ahhhh ahh ahh ahhhh ahh ahh ahhhhhhhh...

I read the news today, oh boy,
Four thousand hectares to print The Post this year.
And though the trees were rather small,
They had to pulp them all.
Now they know how many trees it takes to print no news at all.
I'd love to turn you on...

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I got in to help Jeff with some work this week, and he brought me up to date on some new developments and situations that he gets to 'look forward' to dealing with. One of these is the fact that the supplier of his aluminum gunwales went bankrupt in November, and now he has to find a new supplier. Fortunately, of the three gunwales he uses, he has enough stock to build about seventy boats or more, but he is running low on the light profile gunwales for our superlight kevlar, carbon, and helium canoes.

The dies to produce each gunwale cost roughly $3000 each, and even though he pays for them to be made, he never actually owns or possesses them, and now they are sitting in a closed factory in London, in bankrupty proceedings, and shut down by the CAW. So not much to be done except bite the bullet and go to a new supplier, pony up the cash, and get the 'dies' rolling again.

I told Jeff I would do a bit of investigating, to see if I could find out if the dies could be bought off the bankrupt company, and provided to the new manufacturer, so as to save the expense of another ten grand, as no one other than us has any use for them. In starting my research, I found a couple of little tidbits of information, which once again pissed me off, and if there is one thing sure to do that, it is the 'business practices' (I use the term loosely) of the People's Republic of China.

Recently the Canada Border Services Agency issued a report concerning the Dumping of aluminum extrusions exported from the People's Republic of China. Essentially, virtually all the Chinese exporters of aluminum extrusions were found to be dumping (selling significantly below the actual cost of production) their product on the Canadian Market. Unfortunately, this is typical business practice for the Chinese, as there is probably nothing that you can buy that at one point or another has been dumped into our Country, from bicycles to toasters, to shoes and underwear, and now aluminum extrusions!

To keep it brief, China is a country rife with corruption, which endorses unethical and immoral business practices, supports widespread industrial espionage, illegally subsidizes and dumps goods on other countries, unfairly manipulates its own currency (not to mention supports the murder of its own citezens to supply demand for organ transplants to wealthy westerners). And they even help put Canadian manufacturers of top quality aluminum gunwales out of business.

If you have a choice, buy Canadian; If you can't do that, buy North American; If that is impossible, buy from the EU; failing that, try the emerging Eastern European nations, South America, the Caribbean, Pacific Rim countries like Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia; and finally, if you can't get what you want made anywhere else in the world, buy Chinese.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I found the link to this video a short while back on the Canadian Canoe Routes Forums website. You can click play and watch it here, or visit the This Is Canoeing 'YouTube' web page. I think it's plain to see why I am eager to get back in the shop working for Jeff (H20 Composites Inc.) and can't wait for the arrival of spring! There is some incredible photography here, and for those who thought canoing just meant one thing, here is an example of the incredible diversity of Canoeing styles!


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