Island Musings

Do not believe a thing because many people speak of it

Brothers from another mother — March 26, 2017

Brothers from another mother

Tuesday will be the anniversary of the death of Robert F Beckerle. Bob was my friend. People use the term friend casually, but Bob, along with a very short list of others, understood the true brotherhood of friendship. The days of profound sadness at his passing have passed and now replaced with the true joy of having experienced such a true friendship. Bobs ability to understand what is important on this journey still offers me guidance. Some days I hear him laughing at me for something ill advised I have just done, sometimes he is very serious as we debate things important to us and always I can sense his gentle nature and uncompromising generosity and friendship. He was a rare man. 

I visited his obituary today and was touched by something another friend wrote. Because of my move to Canada in 1975, there are many of Bobs friends I did not meet. I wish I had known the lady that wrote the following:

“I don’t remember how I met him, but I remembered him a year later and searched for him, eventually finding him thru his sis. We were ‘a couple’ but honestly, so much more than that as even when he began seeing an old high school crush, we still got together as dear friends. 

So one night after a long day on the boat, we went to Sandy’s and Bob asked a new bartender for a large orange juice. The bartender gave him a big glass and Bob asked if that was the biggest they had. The bartender returned with a slightly bigger glass and Bob asked, ‘How about you just fill a shaker?’ and the bartender dutifully returned with exactly that. Bob drank that whole thing and thanked the guy for his efforts. The bartender in total seriousness said, “Man, if you asked me to give you the cash register and turn my back I would have no problem with that. Hell, I would have carried it to your car!’

Bob laughed his always sincere laugh and got up to use the restroom, saying to me as he left, “I don’t know why people always say stuff like that to me”

I didn’t know either. Yet many times while we were out and he’d walk away, strangers would come up to me and ask me if he was as gruff and formidable as he looked. Sometimes I’d just say ‘worse!’ to keep sketchy beer soaked trouble away, but in truth, Big Bob was the kindest, most gentle, loving, sweetest man I have ever known or will ever know. I’m crushed that I found out about his passing from this realm to the better, forever ‘home’ only via the internet. I would have liked a chance to talk ‘once more’, but that’s ok, I can still talk, he can still hear me and if I’m really quiet and listen with my soul, I can hear him too. “

More on monkey mind —
Monkey brain — March 21, 2017
Good story —
6 days —

6 days

To deliver a package from Charlottetown to the North Shore, a distance of approximately 12 miles. Canada Post continues to make it easy to ask why we need a postal system. 

After — March 19, 2017
Despite terrible reviews —

Despite terrible reviews

I am really enjoying the Netflix production Ironfist. I am a sucker for the mysterious Far East, monks who practice martial arts and white guys who learn the secrets. Throw in an Asian lady who is gorgeous and is a kick ass Kung Fu practitioner and how can you not be intrigued. Binge viewing permitted. 

Morons — March 18, 2017


How is it I can order from Amazon and have two day deliver with no (separate) cost and next day delivery for $3.99 but Canada Post cost $7.99 to ship a package about the size of two packs of cigs and it takes 11 days from Ontario?  

Of course I know there is a built in cost to amazon, but really, 11 days?

Dax —


Over the years Dax was the top dog. She kept the pack in order, would chastise the younger dogs and would adopt new pups and teach them the ways of the pack. She was also exceptional in her prime. International judges would ask to take her picture to keep in their judge collection. 

Now she is very old and near the end. She sleeps a lot but is still happy and wobbles around to greet her people. The pack can be brutal and when a top dog is deposed it can seem cruel. However with Dax I have noticed the other dogs now lay close to her. Sometimes barely touching but there is usually another dog close. I know I am apply an anthropomorphic emotion but is seems the other dogs are comforting her and keeping watch. 

I read it on the Internet so it must be true —

I read it on the Internet so it must be true

In 1994 I installed a brand new New Yorker boiler. Well, I did not install it, Ultramar did. I was quite good at having it serviced annually but probably missed a year or two. After 10 years and at my annual service the service guy called me down stairs. In great seriousness he informed me my boiler was rusted out and I needed a new one. $4,600 would solve my problem. 

As it just did not feel right I asked good friend Tom to have a look as he is much more handy at stuff like this. He confirmed rust, showing me where it was and suggesting a quick trip to Belmont Sheet Metal might solve the problem. I spent $23 to have them make the part, installed it myself and the furnace is still just fine. 

Since new I have been dissatisfied with the domestic hot water. Like most, my furnace has tankless hot water and just does not keep up. It is just a nuisance. For instance when showering the hot water will gradually get cool, thus causing us to step out of the water for a couple of minutes to allow the hot water to catch up. A series of plumbers have done my annual service and I always mention. When they leave I am told that it should be fine now. It is not. 

Enter 2017 and I asked the Internet. The aquastat controls this stuff and I always thought the high setting on the aquastat was the maximum water temperature setting and the low setting was the lowest temperature the water temp would go to. Simple. I was wrong. The Internet told me most plumbers do not understand this and just leave settings at default. I checked mine. Set at default. 

An aquastat has at least 4 settings. High setting and high setting differential and low setting and low setting differential. It is the low setting and differential that controls domestic hot water. In fact if you don’t have a tankless hot water system the low setting should be disabled. 

The Internet told me how to properly set and after 23 years the nuisance is gone. There is a lot to understand so I am not going to repeat what I did, but if you have a similar issue, ask the Internet. Smart rascal.