Selfish NIMBY’s block cell phone sevice

28th July 2016

Letter to the Editor – Parksville Qualicum Beach News.

NIMBY’s are causing worry and hardship in French Creek !

My concern is prompted by a notice from VIHA Vancouver Island Health Authority – that the current heart monitoring system is to be terminated in DEC 2016.

I have an ICD , this is a sophisticated pacemaker among other things and it makes regular reports of my heart function to the ICD Clinic @ Royal Jubilee Hosp. in Victoria via a telephone link from my bedside.

I have been notified that this method will be shut down in Dec 2016 and upgraded to a digital system . The options offered are via a fully reliable cell service or by providing an internet ( ethernet) connection in my bedroom. Rewiring the house for the latter is very costly.

French Creek is renowned for it lack of cell service and two recent attempts by Telus and Rogers to remedy this situation with a new tower have been thwarted by a few NIMBY’s in the area.

A reliable cell /mobile phone service is an important asset to a community in medical , fire  & other emergency situations, so why should so few hold us to ransom ?

A recent Door-to Door Canvas was conducted in French Creek to counter past objectors and request a new tower and device to the area. I wonder if these same objectors would remain so if their family or dear one was to suffer or die as a direct consequence of their selfishness ?


Medtronic Heart Monitor – Upgrade Issues

26th July 2016

Powerline Adapter

Earlier this month I received the following notice :

I began by investigating what I need to do and what the offered options were.
What I found was very alarming because in their present form none of them was workable for my situation .Currently, the metatronic reporting device which collects data from my ICD is located in my bedside cabinet and is plugged into a 110v wall outlet and our telephone line through which it transmits reports to Royal Jubilee ICD Clinic in Victoria. The above notice does not spell out the fact that they withdrawing the phone line .

I live in area with no cell phone service. My internet cable and router are at one end of my house and the bedroom at the other about 50 ft away. It is possible but very expensive to rewire the house and run an internet cable to the bedside so what alternatives are there ?

Medtronic tell me they have none ! but are “HOPING” to have something by year end of the year when they will cut the phone line service. This I think is evidence of shortsightedness and and lack of understanding of rural living .

In looking for a wireless solution I find this :

This a called a Powerline Adaptor and works as a sort of relay that sends data to your router via the 110v household wiring = Brilliant!

What does this mean ?

It means that an off the shelf solution is available product for $50 can be used to plug in the free Metatronic upgrade device ( WireT – WiRET internetAcessory ) to send reports much as before 🙂 so where are Medtronics brains ?

Metatronics has demonstrated that it is a brilliant company, capable of delivering phenomenal medical devices which extend our lives, but in this case fails to understand the needs of their clients or be capable of implementing solutions to the problems they create out of their ignorance of life out in the larger world .

Sad really ! When a solution is already out there  and readily available !

I hope this helps others affected by these changes.

PS: As soon as I receive my upgrade device from Metatronic I will test and confirm the installation works .


1492 – Spanish Iquisition Repeating

16th July 2016

Are we about to witness 1492 all over again ?

Today’s pronouncement by Newt Gingrich that Muslims in the United States are to be subjected to an inquisition of their beliefs and if unfavourable they will be refused entry or expelled , This closely models the events which unfolded in Spain when Catherine and Philip conquered the Moorish invaders . Muslims and Jews were then forced to convert the Christianity or were banished .

It seems to me that all and any form of extreme, so called religion , eventually antagonising society at large to the point that they feel threatened and begin a process of eradication . This occurs not so much for what they believe but for trying force these beliefs or practices upon others .


Closure – Kate

15 th July 2016

The Plaque says it all . Amen !

The Gathering to whet the bench, a dedication to my sister Kate took place  earlier this month  on 10th July.

I have just received some pictures from Dave H which I thought I would share with those not able to be there or visit the spot in person.

Dave & Jacquie H.


Overlooking the Sailing club and Tennis courts to Okanagan Lake, Penticton , BC



RC Sailing – IOM Sailmaking

25 June 2016

My IOM ( International One Meter ) “EMO” came with a much abused sails an A rig and B rig . Seldom do we need B or C rigs here .  A new A rig suit costs about $160 US plus shipping & duty while the materials cost less than $10 :(O>.

In our local sailing group, mid Vancouver Island The Herbert Bros. dominate the racing with their own designs of beautiful boats . They have generously shared their data used to make their sails .

I have used this data to make a pair of camber boards on which to make my new sails.

No 1 Camber Board


No 2 Camber Board – Jib only


Camber Board Structure

I used some 4 x2 clear Yellow Cedar shaped across its width to exactly replicate the profile of the curves I was given and sliced it to create 6 identical ribs .  The board halves are joined at 2 different angles . No 1 being 5 degrees = 2.5 degree cut on each face . The No 2 board is 10 degree = 5 degree off each face .The top surface was made from left over white counter top material. These board are probably the most demanding in terms of accuracy as they directly effect the shape of the finished sail.

From the master template drawn on Mylar drafting film I made three cutting templates out of hardboard, one for each of  the the sail panels of the foresail ( jib )  Lower, mid & top and used these to cut the oversized (5mm all round ) panels out of the sail material ( see Below for Materials list ) .

In order to familiarize myself and get comfortable with the demands of the process I did a dry run using Mylar drafting film that I had on hand.
This went reasonably well, however my first seam looked a little off and because I had allowed sufficient excess material I was able to cut out the seam and redo it and still maintain the full sail dimensions.

I good friend had some ICAREX ( polyester kite fabric ) and cut me 8 x 55″  x 3/4″strips for my luff tapes . This is a hard to find material and expensive ($35/yard but does not stretch which is most important.

For reinforcement at the corner points I am trying out a patch made by hard folding a piece of sail material and attaching it with double side tape  (DST) and using a clean round pointed solder iron to melt a grommet hole . Hmmm I assured by more experienced sailors that this is not strong enough so have ordered grommets and setting tools .

The first suit of sails is completed and looks good and sails set nicely .  The prebend in my mast had evaporated and John offered his experience and jig to apply the appropriate pre-bend in the mast made from EASTON Tent poles . That done john further advised on re-rigging the boat at several points . The jib boom pivot – The Jib top and luff rigging – The Mast Shroud wire position and the boom location  on the mast . Lastly the Mainsail Cunningham and  luff wire downhaul .

Sailing tomorrow will enable me to fine tune 🙂

A Better Case for an Autoharp

8th July 2016

’70’s OS 21 Chord Appalachian

My OS 21 Appalachian Autoharp came with a battered case probably from Oscar Schmidt over 30 years ago .  Made from cardboard with simulated black leather finish it was showing serious wear and tear 🙁 .

Being a woody guy I decided to make a new one and asked around the harpin’ community for anyone with plans or drawing of one , finding none I committed to making one from scratch .

The materials I have on hand are Full 2″ x 4″ clear yellow cedar and 1/8″ baltic birch plywood .

First I drew on corigated box cardboard an outline of the Autoharp body and added 1″ all round for padding room to create  a template .

The idea was to maintain the 2″ thickness at the joints for strength and sculpt away the rest to  1/2″ wall thickness using my bandsaw .

The five legs join at inconvenient angles, I used a digital protractor to transfer these to the table saw to accurately cut the joint faces.

Case Frame Assembled

The joints were secured temporarily with finishing screws, these will be replaced with dowels in the final assembly stage .

The 1/8″ plywood panels will set in a 1/4 wide  x 1/8″ deep rebate set in from the inner faces. The enclosed box will then be cut in two  approx 1 1/4 ” down from the top face . Hinges and latches added and carrying handle .

The inside will be fabric lined and blocks of foam cut support the harp securely inside .

More to follow when finished  🙂

Kate in Haida Gwaii

Canada Day- 1st. July 2016

Google map view – Sky-As Island is the larger one of the two shown here just off the beach near the Haida Heritage Centre.

Sky-As Island Haida Gwaii BC Canada


Looking at Sky-As Island – Queen Charlotte Islands

from the Reserve

Many of you will know Dave and Jacquie Hambidge , what you probably don’t know is this story . Jacquie Smith , as she was when we both lived in Barton Stacey in Hampshire during the 1960’s . Jacquie worked at the village Post Office right across from our house . Almost next door to the shop was Pitt Trailers factory where my Dad and her Dad worked as carpenter and welder . Along comes a boy who was good looking , bold , cheeky and likeable who was so dazzled by the girl behind the Post Office counter that although he did not smoke he bought packets of cigarettes so that he could gaze upon her beauty . They later married of course, and she became Mrs. Jacquie Hambidge and was whisked off to far flung BC Canada . I knew Dave only briefly when we both worked at Pitts .

Our paths have crossed many times after I also immigrated to BC Canada in 1967 and where Dave and Jacquie became close friends of my sister Kate and husband Jacques .

Dave and Jacquie now are retired living in Winchester UK.  They recently visited us here in Parksville as part of a 50th year anniversary tour of friends , people and places they enjoyed during their time in Canada. One of the first places Dave worked was in the logging camp off the BC coast in the Queen Charlotte Islands or Haida Gwaii , which they again visited as part of their recent tour.

Kate had frequently voiced a desire to visit the “Charlottes” – Well now she has , thanks the thoughtfulness of Dave . Dave took with him on his visit a picture of Kate which he set on a cedar board under a protective covering . This he placed on the beach at the reserve looking out the small island named “Sky-As”.

Kate at Peace

Thank you David !

On this coming Sunday there will also be a gathering on Vancouver Hill , Penticton overlooking the tennis courts on Okanagan Lake where Kate so much enjoyed playing her favoured sport . Kate’s memorial bench will be whetted in the company of her many friends .