24 November, 2009

Making Up For Lost Time

After having had a fairly dry and uneventful (knock on wood) rainy/hurricane season, now that we're less than a week from the end of the season, Mother Nature seems bent on ensuring we get our full alotment of the wet stuff.
National Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Belize
General Situation: A moist and unstable airflow will continue to dominate our weather for the next few days.
24hr Forecast: Cloudy skies today with a few sunny breaks.
Tonight skies will be mostly cloudy. Off and on showers and possible isolated thunderstorms will continue to affect most areas.
Winds: Easterly at 5-15 knots becoming gusty near heavy showers and thunderstorms.
Sea State: Choppy... Becoming locally rough at times.
    *Operators of small craft should continue to exercise caution*
Outlook: For Wednesday morning thru to Thursday morning is for a similar weather pattern to prevail.
It looks like this weather pattern is going to continue for at least the next few days. Hopefully, the timing will work out so that the girls can get some exercise in at least every couple of days. To say that Cindy and Secret are unhappy is putting it mildly. On the one hand, they're upset that it's raining hard at the same time we are scheduled to go for 'walkies' for two days in a row, and on the other, they're upset with the pack leader (me) for being such a wuss in not wanting to get wet.
Cindy & Secret Making Their Own Fun
Especially now that they're trapped in the confines of the yard thanks to Isaiel's fence installation. They just can't run out of the yard whenever they feel like it to harass armadillos, gibnuts, and bicyclists passing by.

Speaking of the fence, here's a few shots of Isaiel's handiwork. It's almost done. Just a few sections remain in need of painting. Isaiel's hoping to be able to get that done today.
Isaiel Inspecting the New Fence Bits
Fence View Looking South
Looking East
We're also beginning to move forward in a more coordinated fashion with the canal. The South End Canal Association, at this time a loose coalition of property owners whose property is immediately adjacent to the canal, has a Steering Committee. The Committee's purpose is to guide the progress of rehabbing the canal and to recommend and guide maintenance and future improvements to the canal.

After the last Steering Committee meeting at Doug's place, we all traipsed out to Doug's bulkhead and boat slip area to see how he did things.
Bob C.'s Boat Moored at Doug's
The Slip Toward Doug's House
Doug's place is a great example of how a bulkhead can be done economically and provide great protection against further erosion, and if the owner wants, suitable moorage for a boat.
Rocks & Concrete, Rocks and Concrete
Doug's Bulkhead
The process is simple. sharpened Pimenta sticks or poles (a local wood & I'm not sure if that's the right name or spelling) are driven into the bottom and plywood sheathing is added. Then local rocks are added, alternating layers of a dry-mix concrete (hydraulic concrete would be great... if it was available) up to the desired level. Then, if desired, like with Doug's boat slip area, a smooth concrete walkway is poured to cap the whole affair.
Here's How It Looks From Doug's Patio
Bob M. Inspecting the Moorage
Dianna and I will have to be doing something similar to what Doug has done with the bulkhead - and fairly soon too. We have some serious bank erosion underway. If we don't address it, we stand a good chance of damaging our newly completed fence. Well, it just goes to show you, if it ain't one thing, it's another. Hopefully, we'll be able to complete the guest house before we have to tackle the bulkhead. Stay tuned for further developments.

As an example of the kind of thing that occurs, since our properties all over northern Belize lie on a limestone base, similar to Florida, cave-ins, etc., are pretty common. This shot is of Elsie's side of the boat slip area, and shows a small cave developing. This sort of things can lead to the edge soils collapsing into the canal. Hopefully, with proper maintenance over the long haul, a well-constructed bulkhead will solve this sort of problem.
Elsie's Boat Slip Area
Our problem area that I already mentioned is worse. it is already collapsing into the canal. So we have to do something soon to take care of the problem. Like I said, stay tuned.

Let's see, what else has been going on? Internet connectivity issues. Since we live out beyond the reaches of civilization - that is, beyond where the two cable companies in town reach to, if we want to connect to the 'Intertubes', we have to resort to satellite, or at least really strong string and rust-free tin cans.

Well, if it was just for our house, that really isn't much of a problem. I set up a wireless network that broadcasts throughout the house, so we can sit in the living room and surf the 'tubes' while we watch TV (also on satellite - another dish is required). But, once we started building the guest house, we realized that anyone who was going to stay there would probably want to connect to the Intertubes as well.

Unfortunately, it's not quite as simple as running a piece of wire down there and plugging the visitor's laptop in. I figured the best solution was to do it wirelessly as well. So we did. With some great help from a friend we met through this blog, Bob from New York City, we managed to get that part of the 'Winjama Network' up and running. We have a good strong signal to the guest house.

Not only that, but the signal is strong enough to reach across the canal. It just so happens that Canadian Bob's place is across the canal and up a ways, and he has an unrestricted line-of-sight view to our antenna tower.
Bob Doing Technical Stuff
Dave Trying to Get Bob Connected
Dave and Bob came over the other day trying to get Bob's laptop connected to our wireless network. Unfortunately, it was to no avail. For whatever reason, the electronic gremlins would not allow a connection that day.

However, a couple of days ago, I went over to Bob's and tried to connect him. Again, no go. So, on a whim, I brought his laptop back over here and hooked it up physically to my router. Bingo. It worked. So, then I disconnected from that and tried again from the guest house. Success. I took the laptop back to Bob's. Still good.

Why we were able to connect now, I guess the stars and the moon were in proper alignment or something. Anyway, Bob is now happily surfing the 'Tubes'.

Finally, for this edition, we missed probably the entertainment event of the year - the Moscow Circus, which had been in Belize City for eight days, came to Corozal.
Moscow Circus Came to Town
We didn't go, having spaced on it. In any case, it was expensive - especially for local folks - $20.00 BZD per adult for general admission. We heard that for special seating, the fare went upwards of $40.00 BZD. For a family, the cost could well become prohibitive. I guess, probably no more so than taking the family to a Mariner's game at the Safe in Seattle.

Anyway, we did get to see them departing town. We were walking the doggies, as we do early in the morning. As we came past the Catholic church at about 6:10 AM, here went their gaily painted semis right in front of us. I just barely was able to grab the camera and take a shot.
Moscow Circus On the Road Again
Lastly, thanks for the emails and Facebook messages wanting to know if everything was alright, that it had been days since I made a posting. I'm ok. There was no problem other than a case of laziness on my part. I could blame it on writer's block... yeah, that's it - writer's block. That's what it was.


sandy a said...

I was wondering if you went on strike, but I figured it was something happening in the Belize universe, as it often does!

Julian in SC said...

Sandy's right... I shouldn't worry so when you forget your friends now experiencing temps down into the 40's - even in the day time. I tell you, the deep South just ain't what it should be for us "over 60" folks.

God, it feels strange to refer to oneself as in the "over 60" group. Time does surely go by.

Oh well, 216 days until my better half turns 62 and we can argue about when to retire!!!


Dave Rider said...

Sandy, I think it's just 'space-time' sometimes down here. It's amazing how fast a month goes by.

Julian, I can sympathize, temps tonight will zoom down to the low 70's. We'll have to put another blanket on the bed...
I can just feel how sorry you feel for us.
I pass the big 60 in a couple of months. I just don't understand how that happened so fast...
Hey, Retirement can happen quick.

Corozal Dave said...

I could see your router with two bars of signal, from Lynn and Bob's, so you definitely have a good strong signal.
I wanted to drop by and see you to find out who your electrician is? I want to hire him to install the whole house surge protector (got the same one as you did) also set up a generator for me. So the next trip I'll be knocking on you door...if you don't mind that is?