Two years ago we went to the Majestics' Car Show, but left Regina last
year before it was held. Last year Bubba gave Juanita and me
tickets, which we returned when we couldn't use them. This year
the show fell on my one day off for the month. Good timing!
Juanita looked at the ticket price and said she would wait in the truck
and catch up on her reading. After spending weekdays with a toddler a
bit of quiet time is probably more appreciated than looking at a bunch
of cars. I enjoyed it. In addition to the cars of my youth there
were some interesting modern cars including a jet-engine powered car
which burned canola oil (if my memory serves me well).
have seen sign for paintless vehicle dent repair shops and wondered how
they did it. One fellow was at the cart show with samples and pictures
of his work and a selection of the tools he used. Mostly he works inside
the body slowly molding the dent back in place. The practioneers of
this art can fix many dents as long as they can access them by removing a
door panel or a tail light housing etc. They also need to gently hammer
the edges that have bulged above the surface of the vehicle body. As
long as the paint has not cracked they often can achieve an invisible
repair without repainting or autobody filler. For around sixty dollars
for a small ding it is worth a try.
Work and Travel
In April I worked at the annual CCRL refinery shutdown in Regina, Saskatchewan. This was the third time and it was like coming home. It is good to work with a lot of the same people from previous shutdowns both the locals and some other wanderers. One of the other journeymen was somebody I apprenticed to in Powell River, BC in the 1970's. When you get together again everybody trades stories about each other and common aquaintances. At our age not all of the news is good and it was with sadness I learned of the passing of John Tanton my partner from the first post retirement shutdown at Agrium in 2007.
We parked the rig at King's Acres for the second time and that worked well. We left it there a couple of weeks before work started and visited friends and family in Saskatoon, Meadow Lake and Fort Saskatchewan.
During the shutdown Juanita spent much of the time minding Ezekial and commuting to Regina from Ft. Saskatchewan, Alberta on weekends.
On Thursday, the third of May, my work ended at CCRL and I headed north after work. I had packed up everything and brought the rig early to get a enough room together in one spot. The shutdown had been winding down so there was lots of room in the parking lot and if one came early one could find enough space together to park. May 3rd in Regina is not necessarily Spring yet as I was reminded by the layer of snow on the truck and the rig when I went out in the morning to hook them together. Fortunately I had put the slides in the previous evening so I didn't bring a load of snow in with them.
Heading north alone was a strange experience being the first solo flight - driving the truck and fifth wheel without Juanita on board to navigate and warn of hazards and to keep awake through conversation. Saskatoon was ambitious enough for the first bit.
I fueled up at the Flying J and called Weldon Gray and he came and picked me up for an evening of movies and then returned me to the rig where I spent the night before heading north to Meadow Lake.
I was muddling through getting the rig level and on the wood strips when Debbie showed up with the kids and made it easier. Later that Friday evening Juanita arrived with Becky for Sasha's birthday party on Saturday.
On Sunday we winterized the rig and headed to Edmonton. On Monday I picked up a dispatch to a job north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. After a couple of days wasted by the drug testing bureaucracy I headed north on the Wednesday. Almost to Ft. Mac I got a call saying "there has been a mis-communication. There is no room in camp. We'll call back and let you know where to go."
They provided a wonderful deluxe hotel room for five days until a room in camp opened up. The meal allowance was the interesting amount of half an hour's pay added to the pay slip. This made it taxable with a net amount of less than fourteen dollars. Out of academic curiosity I lived on that amount in Ft. Mac. I would have said it was not possible, but never say never. For only $7.77 you can buy a open topped kettle at WalMart and with a dozen eggs you are set for breakfast, at least. You can live in Ft. Mac for that little! I needed to lose the three pounds, anyway.
When the move to camp came I was glad to give up the hour each way bus trip even for a room with the bathroom down the hall. No place for an older gentleman on a high protein, high liquids diet. My first time out I bought a dressing gown so I didn't have to risk an accident while I got my pants back on in the middle of the night. Then it wasn't so bad. And the food was available in unlimited quantities. Even for that with following the Dukan Diet as much as the selection allowed I managed to lose weight. Even with steak night and two steaks in the first pass through the line.
The work north of Ft.Mac lasted all of May, with one three day trip back to Ft. Saskatchewan to pick up Juanita and get her settled on the property near Meadow Lake and get the little brown car on the road again (put in battery, change oil, test drive, etc.). We bought it new in 1985 and it owes us nothing. If it wasn't for the body being near dissolution from corrosion I think the engine would run forever. Mid eighties Japanese engineering.