This is an attempt to monitor lake & ocean conditions, especially on those windy days, to be in touch,
and to maybe find sources that will assist with some on-water moves.

Responses to emails that may be of general interest, wandering about with or without intention, cool gear, neat accessories, innovative equipment, some photog tech talk, and any ongoing random thoughts rational, pertinent, irrelevant, and otherwise, may also be shared.
It's also about trying to capture a few more precious moments with my cameras and sharing them.
 return to windinsight's main page  email address & site information
 a pretty good sail size guide for windy days
 Maggie and Nolan's World Tour  Beth & Sean  JF's current connection”></a></td>

              <td width=100 align=center><a href= Cliff's blog  Marty's web site and blog  Sandro's YouTube channel  Brendan's Blog   current wind forecast conditions   current wind conditions SailFlow ~ Cape Hatteras  WindAlert ~ The Outer Banks - Cape Hatteras, NC

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Nov.Dec Jan.Mar

Entries are all works in progress that often change after a few hours (sometimes days)

Scroll down for older entries.

        December 30th     A New Year.

Giving windinsight.com some review, thought, and making a few changes…

Hopefully the site will become simplified, lightened a bit, and improved in the coming month.

        December 28th     A New Year.   Where and when the rubber meets the road.

No resolution is complete unless it's worked into some kind of time management.   Like any plot or situation that unfolds there are always necessary steps that have to be taken to ensure that the final outcome is doable, and reachable.   One day at a time.

For example, in order to gain strength and lose weight (#2 below), a weekly timetable with some daily forgiveness must be established.   Walking or hiking 40 km per week isn't that difficult especially when you're retired, and/or highly motivated.   Making it to the gym plus using free weights, doing 10 pushups 3 - 4+ times, and the plank for a minute twice or way more daily, having the bike ready for clear days, celebrating Happy Hour with no more than 2 drinks, and avoiding second helpings, cutting way down on chips, sweets, colas, & etc. are just a few commitments that need to be made and agreed upon.   Remember to weigh yourself each day but it's the number at the end of the month on the scale and belt size that shows the real success!   The same goes for any kind of strength measurement.

Some studies actually suggest that one to two drinks per day is better for one's health than zero drinks or many more.   Research funding for these investigations was likely from the More Is Better Alcohol Consumption Foundation and Investment Corp. but this brings up something worth considering.   If it isn't any fun and life become a chore then maybe forget the whole thing and live with larger sails, bigger boards, and taking way more rest breaks in the spring.   Or maybe just stay home and cut the grass on lighter wind days.   Why chance it?

On the other had, if the goal is desirable and worthwhile then it's up to you to keep failing your way to success, no matter what the daily cost to your emotional well-being.   Quit making excuses and get on with it all.

I won't retell the courageous success stories about Abraham Lincoln, Colonel Sanders (KFC), Walt Disney, Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Steven Spielberg, Winston Churchill, Oprah Winfrey, Stephen King, Eminem, and the like and the huge obstacles that they all had to overcome to attain the successes that they achieved in their lives.

The windsurfers who we all know and admire, the ones who excel and achieve, are the ones who keep at it and don't quit till way after the leaves fall, and beyond, even until all hell freezes over.   Hey, they're my real, personal heroes.

If it's going to be,  it's up to me.   Say that one out loud a few times!

Rock on.

        December 27th     A New Year.   A time to rethink life and living.

Simplify.   Reevaluate.   Enjoy.

For example…   First, create a few broad workable, worthwhile goals.   Second, prioritize.   Third, think about ways of accomplishing.   Share these objectives with your partner and anyone else who can help with understanding, acceptance and in expediting them.

1.     Somewhat simplify and lighten windinsight.com by mid January.

2.     Gain strength and lose weight, through diet, lifestyle, and exercise so windsurfing will be easier and more fun this spring.

3.     Make life easier for Nancie as she recuperates this coming year.

4.     Become a more knowledgeable and capable mainsail trimmer for this coming sailing season as requested by our Skipper.

5.     Become a more capable videographer using DSLRs, GoPros, and editing tools.

6.     Continue to work on accepting success, failure, chance, surprise, and irregularities as a normal part of everyday life.

        December 26th     No offence but….

Baby Jesus, in the smaller table top version of the Nativity Creche, is considered to be a choking hazard.

Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year after cracker pulling accidents while celebrating at their Christmas table.

Three to five people die each year testing to see if a 9v battery works by using their tongue.   An actual Christmas warning!

Five people were injured last year in accidents involving out of control model Scalextric slotcar racing sets.

Eight people cracked their skull in 1997 after falling asleep while throwing up into the toilet.

Eighteen people had serious burns in 1998 trying on a new clothes with a lit cigarette in their mouth.

Nineteen people have died in the last 3 years believing that Christmas decorations were chocolate.

Forty-one people have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the fairy lights were plugged in.

About 60 people are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of screwdrivers.

Incidentally, in Birmingham UK, they don't even use proper screwdrivers.   Instead they get out the Birmingham Screwdriver, otherwise known as a hammer.

One hundred and one people in 1997 were reported by hospitals and emergency clinics to have had broken parts of plastic toys pulled out of the soles of their feet from around the Christmas tree.

One hundred and forty-two people were reported injured in 1998 by not removing all pins from new shirts Christmas Day.


2014 Family Christmas pics from our home to yours!

        December 25th     And the Budda said, "If you think you are truly enlightened, go home for the holidays…"

There's nothing more precious than being together at this time of year!

Family is the greatest invention and best gift since Creation.


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        December 24th     The elf on the shelf is a snitch.

The main job of the elf is to report to Santa and help him manage the naughty and nice list for Christmas presents.

Kinda like how they control North Korea on a daily basis.

My first take on the concept was a bit sceptical but the little guy does seem to have some impact on toddlers and primary grade children.   Elf certainly helps a bit at bedtime and especially early morning when adults like to sleep in and children like to begin their day with a bang.

Adolescents, who understand mind control, are unmoved by these wee scouts and spies.   They already know that good behaviour equals gifts and can generally work that to their advantage when and if they want both with and without rolling their eyes high into their sockets.

Parents seem to enjoy moving the elf around and watching their kids rediscover him every morning.   Children recognize the elf as a part of Christmas and somehow accept the surveillance as acceptable.

Nancie put the elf on my 105 L Quatro Freestyle Wave Board.   So I promptly included a new Ezzy 7.5m2 light wind Zephyr and an Ezzy 460 RDM mast on my list, emptied the dishwasher, and put everything away.   Nice try.   Hey, this behaviour modification might just be working out fine for me.


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        December 22nd     A few things I kinda never wanted to actually hear.

Hey, you're 10 minutes too late   Where were you?   It was blowing a steady SW 25 knots all morning.

Too bad you forgot your uphaul.   How long did it take to swim your rig back in?

Fred was just here earlier and gave away all of his windsurfing boards, sails, miscellaneous gear, and cold beer.   (I made up the part about the cold beer.)

John!   Someone's on the phone from Sri Lanka with a limited time sensitive offer for furnace insurance, a duct cleaning plan, and a no cost hot water heater inspection.

If you buy this amazing offer in the next hour you will receive an additional bottle worth $50 absolutely free.

Christmas music in any retail outlet from November 1st to mid December.

It's your turn to dress up as our neighbourhood Santa this year.

The end of my boom kinda scratched the side of your new van when I walked by.   Sorry.

Hey, we may have taken your last 5 beers but join us in the hot tub anyway!

Too bad.   I was thinking about giving you my snowblower that's hardly ever been used.   Wish I had known before you went out and bought one.

Where did we put that lottery ticket hon?   We?

Hey, how did you crack the nose on your new board?

Someone just called and thinks they found what kinda looks like what's left of your new Ray Bans.

Only 2 of the next 10 are just party true.   The rest are are mostly made up and are nearly completely fictitious.   Actually, several shouldn't have been included at all.

Forget the wind!   It's very important for you to drop everything and hurry over to the office today, your blood-work results just came in.

OMG.   Hope you feel better than you look.   How many beers did you down last night?

Why in hell would you choose to stow all of your gear in the spare tire compartment?

You really got catapulted and slammed on that loop.   Umm, where's your bathing suit?

What?   You purposely looped into Marty's new GoPro drone!

What happened to that totally blown out panel in your sail?

Either the battery's dead or the ignition switch is broken.   Looks like we re going to be stranded here for a while.   So, tell me how you really felt about seeing Brokeback Mountain?

Tell us the story again about why your first High School sweetheart actually dumped you.

OK OK, so I just kind of borrowed your mast extension and forgot to return it because I couldn't find mine.   What's the big deal?

And the Dolphin Award goes to ________ because he just confessed that he peed twice in the hot tub this afternoon.

        December 21st     Let's bring windsurfing to North Korea.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea, offers 2,495 kilometers (1,550 miles) of coastline, with the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan in the Western and Eastern coasts.

If you had the opportunity to surf waves in North Korea, you'd likely head for the East Sea or as we call it The Sea of Japan.   The local sea currents circulate in a counterclockwise direction, clearly hitting the exposed coast side on.   The wave sets here look incredible.

The only problem is the coast is 99% controlled by the military and they are always prepared for an invasion from the sea.   This could prove to be worse than sharks.   But let's not start out with any negativity and unoptimistic thoughts.

I Googled WINDSURFING EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS in NORTH KOREA.   You guessed it.   Zero!   But, like any start up company once we're there riding waves business opportunities and eager investors will follow.   That's basic Economics 101.   Almost too simple.   Sanctions and embargos would soon be lifted, and human rights restored.

Kim Il-sung, the eternal president, could really gain some much needed positive publicity if he allowed boardspots, related retail outlets, socialized boardsport lessons, and beer companies, to come to his country.   Call me crazy but I'd go in a heartbeat as Canada's Surf Ambassador.   Or in any capacity that would help establish some recreational fun to help them enjoy and uplift their lives and to help them to truly self actualize.   Absolutely no jet skis except for rescue and teaching purposes! Waterboarding is out!

Perhaps start with establishing a Sherkston type community.   These neighbourhoods could be expanded in both directions until most everyone lived in trailer park communities by the Ocean.   Public transportation would be refitted with roof racks on the buses and trains.   Food trucks would help feed everyone with a sponsorship deal from the Food Channel.     You Gotta Eat Here!   Restaurant Makeover.   Chopped.   Cutthroat Kitchen.   Cup Cake Wars.

Think about all the surfboard repair.   My dream retirement converted food truck currently sitting idle for the winter could be revived, shipped by FedEx, and be working the East Sea coast in under 24 hours!

If they are truly a democratic country as they proclaim to be this could easily be achieved on a referendum vote in their next election.   If anyone is interested in helping spread the word we could do it in a door to door campaign much like they did in the sold out, extremely popular musical Book Of Mormon.   There are train stations in Jungho, Pungeo, Gangsangni, Sinchang, Geonja, Iwon, Tanchon, Ilsin, and Rajin where we could also stop to check the wind and surf conditions.   Boardsport magazines would eagerly pursue and publish our quest month by month.   We'd be as recognizable worldwide as Robby Naish and freestyler Golito.   Nice!

It might take a while but remember this - every real estate development in Florida since 1947 eventually made money.   Even in the worst mosquito ridden and alligator infested swamps anywhere in the state.   (At least until 2008.)   Think about it.

Still feeling a bit uncertain and queasy?   Hey, we could start in Cuba and go from there.

Three aerial Google maps of the coastline and link where I found some of the information about North Korea…

        December 20th     Grandchildren 101,

You have to outthink them just a bit.   And, always have a backup plan.

Of course kids are always interested in mud, snails, and worms.   That was a part of Babysitting 101 from this past summer.   But as they get a bit older you have to be a little more savy and conniving, especially in the winter.

I helped Grant William build a snowman a few days ago when he arrived alone.   That pretty much guarantees a followup for when he and brother Blakey arrive back here in a few days.

I'll simply let Blakey know that Grant made a snowman that someone said looks like him.   So guess what he will be motivated to do?   Right!   Another afternoon of good fun for the three of us and anyone else we can get involved!

And then, out come the sleds and off to Firemen's Park we all go.   What a blast it's going to be!

God, I really hope it snows!   And the snow is good for building snowmen and sledding!

Otherwise it's off for a nature hike along the nearby Bruce Trail with Paleontologist Pop and home for hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Can't wait.

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        December 18th     Check out Matt Pritchard's Blog.

T-Shirts might help make us feel better but follow the pros if you want to actually excel.   Matt's Blog offers both great advice and good technical information.

An Endless Summer surfboard sunset on your back doesn't come close to having your harness lines tweaked perfectly or coming out of a jibe in perfect form.

Not that I wouldn't spend another $15 on that classic logo with the surfer and board profile on that orange setting sun.

Videos help us understand that a move can be made.   Seeing is believing.

But it's also important to read, think, and visualize, whatever the move, clearly in your own mind, practice it on dry land, and then take it to the water.

Looking forward to watching some action on the lakes in the next month!

Link - Matt Pritchard's Blog

        December 17th     Long Beach, LaSalle, Cape Hatteras, Sherkston, wherever…

More than words.   Each one a special place to congregate, spend time, and be a part of something way more than the sum of all of us.

Photos help bring back the moments, ongoing group texts reassure someone's on the water somewhere, familiar faces rekindle the memories.   The sweet anticipation of an upcoming trip, a windy forecast, new gear advertised and reviewed in a magazine, repairing a damaged board, replacing a panel in a sail, letting a wound, a break, a torn muscle heal…

It's all a part of the game.   It's all in the game.

Sherkston can be huge, extreme, and edgy.   Long Beach can be imposing and epic.   LaSalle can be fickle and gusty.   Hatteras can be all inclusive.   Anywhere we go can be a blockbuster, or a zero, or somewhere in between.

We're each a work in progress.   Some in graduate school, some undergraduates, some of us are alumni.   But wherever we are, we're all works in progress.

You know what we need?   What we really need?


        December 16th     OK boys and girls, here are all of the answers for Friday's test questions.

The pop quiz coming at the end of the week will cover everything from harness line placement to board stance.   So read the text from Mr. Pritchard carefully and try to visualize how each move or the technique applies to you.

Here at Long Beach University we have very high standards for those of you majoring in related wind, water, and serious recreational boardsports.   You will be ultimately judged by how smooth your transitions work in all winds and on all boards and sails.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to write each one separately on a Post-it note attached to a $20 bill.   It can be handed off to me in a simple handshake gesture of polite respect when you pass me in the hall.   Please avoid eye contact.   Avoid high fiving me with it just in case it all goes awry and flies apart in the pass off.

The 360o hall surveillance system is very high definition.   We we wouldn't want to you to get caught trying to bribe anyone this close to Christmas Break.
Textbook link - Matt Pritchard writes some great windsurfing tips worth learning!

      December 15th     The root of windsurfing isn't surfing,   It's wind.   No wind?   No problem…

On windless days I scan and profile rocks, stones, boulders, and most everything else while walking along shores, trails, streams, and beaches.   Ever since that eventful start with Geology 190 more than 50 years ago this pursuit has been a life long, long term affair.

Rocks, minerals, and fossils.   Their unique configuration, colour, development, and states of perfection continue to amaze and intrigue me.   Time periods including Recent Pleistocene, Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian are evident all around us here in the Niagara Peninsula especially along the many trails we hike and the many working and empty quarries that abound nearby.   I passionately guard my collection of crinoid stems, corrals, brachiopods, trilobites, large pieces of limestone with deep glacial striation, baskets full of local rock and mineral samples (the list goes on).   These earthly treasures have been passionately cared for, coddled, and attentively transported from home to home over the years.

Way back in the day BW (Before Windsurfing) students called me Mr. Granite.   I shared my vast collections of stone tools, exquisite rock and mineral samples, perfect fossil evidence of past life preserved in rock, accompanied by slideshows of earth science travels, and finally hands-on field trips that always followed rather carefully staged and well prepared classroom presentations.

It began climbing through the exposed stata in quarries searching for rocks and fossils relating to past time periods and only began to slightly wane when windsurfing became a hugely significant part of my life 35 years ago.   I was hooked.   An undergraduate degree in earth sciences almost changed my life but ultimately we did get back on track in grad school with a strong focus in educational administration that was almost as much fun.   At least for most of the time.

Now retired, when I wander about on low or no wind days or wait hopefully for the wind to pick up I check out whatever the coastline.   Moving carefully from point to point along the water's edge my trained eyes search for anything uniquely rock-related.   There's always at least one keeper to transport home.

Ok, maybe you're beginning to wonder where this is going.   And, maybe I have too much free time on my hands.

Beyond the geology of it all a new kind of rock science emerged.   One day I discovered a rock shaped pretty much like a heart.   Ok, ok, my mind works a bit different and always overtime but this isn't some made up delusion.

That first heart shaped rock that I found became both a valentine and an excuse for coming home quite late after a great session on the water.   It went something like.   "Hey Hon, I found this heart shaped rock and decided to keep looking for more hoping you'd like them.   Sorry, I don't know where the time went but I didn't want to come home empty handed."

Then face rocks began to appear.   They're everywhere, looking up at you.   You just have to persist and sometimes use your imagination a bit.   A few are featured below, see if you recognize anyone.

Skipping stones have always been a passion.   Perfectly shaped to keep bouncing off the surface of the water.   Sometimes more than 10 sweet skips.   Large ones, small ones, huge ones, microscopic ones, can be found and skipped.   Rule 1 - always throw them parallel and close to the shoreline on calm days to test the skip numbers so they can be easily retrieved.   By the way, I possess what I believe is the largest skipping stone ever found and skipped!   (Pictured below)

Net weights, arrowheads, spear points, musket balls, pierced shells from necklaces, ground anchors, pieces of shipwreck, odd man-made map like scrapings on stones, large and small water-worked cobbles and near perfectly smooth oval and rounded pieces of granite, the loaf of bread rock, and a perfect rock cookie are all somewhere nearby and close at hand.   Hundreds and hundreds of them, numbers increasing regularly because there's always interesting rock to bring home of some description, all a part of a diligent on-going quest.

I'll post some pics of these wonderful very collectible treasures.   Including Kid Rock and other Rock Stars, a few stone points featuring some made by younger, inexperienced flint knappers, a museum quality fossil or two, StoneHeart, some shipwreck artifacts from the schooner Marengo sunk off Morgan's Point in 1912, a few of the many beautiful granite cobbles (golf ball to bowling ball sizes) and some small, smooth, white quartz agates…

Hey, some of these pieces were actually published along with a bit of their story.   You can check that out in The True Story Of Wainfleet… by Karen Arthur and William Thomas, circa 2006, pics on pp. 21, 37, and 233.   Not making this up.

Rock on…

above, crinoid stems, Silurian - *Quarry Rd., Wainfleet
below, L - *galcial striation     M - *Trilobite     R - fossilized (bovine) teeth, Pliocene 3 - 5 million years old

Rock group on tour above

                                                                        That's Kid  Rock singing below without his cowboy hat, pickup truck, sunglasses, guitar, and western style cowboy shirt…

L - flakes & points found around Niagara, SW USA, Mexico (obsidian)     R - Heart rx in the bowl. & Very best skipping stones (10+ers) sitting on the largest ever known stone to skip clean 5 times.

            The 4th Point from the left without notches (tie downs) above was designed to stay inside (causing more serious infection) if the arrow shaft was removed.
(especially if it was smeared or dipped in scat or feces)

L - Drilled shell bead, likely from a necklace or clothing.   M - Made in a hurry or from someone just getting started with making points.   R - A carefully crafted obsidian point.

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Scuba Dive video - showing recent underwater remains of the sunken schooner Marengo off Morgan's Point

Well-preserved large white oak hull fragments from the schooner Marengo above.

Water-worked granite beach stones and larger cobbles below and above right.

This book is for sale at various retail outlets in Wainfleet as well as from www.williamthomas.ca - $25 includes tax, shipping, and handling.

      December 10th     Sharing one of those You Should Check This One Out moments.

Will soon get back to using my beloved cameras to somehow catch up on so many passing moments.

In the meantime daughter Maggie and husband Nolan just purchased an amazing very old home in Hamilton.

Built in 1877, it's had only four loving owners.   Each family has maintained the structure with loving care and diligence.   It hasn't changed that much over the past 138 years except for some electrical work, plumbing updates, and a newer renovated kitchen and bathroom.

Nolan is an accomplished carpenter who can do most anything well and Maggie possesses a unique and loving spirit that can somehow make anything and everything work.

The home was a gift of fate and unbelievable timing just waiting for them to come along and make an offer.

Please take a moment and look through the listing photos linked below.

Hey, in a few decades we may be staying here for six months a year helping occasionally around the yard and napping on the back porch on no-wind days.

Best of all it's only 46 minutes away from Long Beach.

Built in 1877…

      Wednesday, December 9th     All my gear is stowed high and dry in the basement for the winter.

Two boards are in need of some minor hull repair.

Will be working on nose and tail damage for the 116 L Goya FreeRace and the 161 L Mistral light wind Explosion.

Should try to bond a rubber nose guard to the finished repair to help protect these lovelies from further damage.

Drilled some holes into the injuries and applied both gravity drip and a shop vac to remove moisture.   Will be using the West System epoxy repair kit in the same manner as we did in the post dated October 19th, 2013 (Sep.Dec)…

Good fun.

*** ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ***

      Wednesday, December 7th     Beginning to look like Christmas.

Went for a walk again early this morning.   The past few weeks have seriously changed from mild to cold.   The intense blue sky and bright sunlight today helped make the difference enjoyable.

Strung some lights and garland around the deck and festooned our two small maples in the front and back yard with coloured hanging balls bathed with floodlights at night.   With the Christmas tree up it feels like Christmas especially with Gus crawling about and our two girls nearby.

We're all feeling blessed and fortunate having come through the past two weeks together and intact as a family.   Our daughter Maggie is moving to a home in Hamilton tomorrow from Toronto and daughter Beth will be returning in a few weeks from London.   We're looking forward to all being together for the Christmas season.

In later January we'll begin a program with Heart Niagara at our local YMCA.

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      Wednesday, December 3rd     Nancie's settling in as well as can be expected.

Amazing progress in spite of many obvious discomforts.   Sleeping with any degree of comfort is maybe the biggest challenge but navigating the stairs, keeping me focussed, and moving around the around the house is truly an encouraging sign that she is definitely on her way to a good recovery.

Day 12 and counting.   Will do my best to take a pic of our patient with our girls (and grandson August) later today.   😃

      Tuesday, December 2nd     Coming home later today!

Just received word that Nancie will be released from Hamilton General early this afternoon.   She should be home for our first Happy Hour which even more happily includes daughters Beth and Maggie!


      Sunday, November 30th     What an incredible difference a week makes…

It was just 7 days ago that Nancie was rushed to hospital and underwent open heart surgery.

Today she was moved to a ward with a window view and given the likelihood of returning home this Wednesday.

A very detailed informational package was offered today that will help guide us through the next few months.   The rest is up to us.

Daughter Beth arrives tomorrow.   Together with daughter Maggie the three of us will work out the home details that will carry us through the New Year and into 2015.   Hopefully the overall plan will be reasonably simple, comprehensive, straightforward, and something that will work well for everyone, but most importantly for Nancie.

We appreciate all the calls, texts, emails, and correspondence that have come our way.   Thank-you.

Will likely post a few more times over the next week.   Maybe a picture or two as well will be included.

Thankfully we'll all be together for Christmas!   Cheers.

      Saturday, November 29th     Hopefully home in about three days or so…

The ICU in Hamilton General is like an extensive, sprawling, superstore.   Intensive Care, Critical Care, Trauma, Burn, and more.   There are three large sections - ICU West, ICU East, and ICU South.   Nursing staff, doctors, and support personel are everywhere caring, alert, professional, responsible, busy, intent, and smart.

There's constant noise at all levels.   Beeps, whirrs, clicks, clacks, hums, whispers, fans, pumps, squeaks, shouts, chimes, clinks, cries, carts in motion, curtains on a track being drawn open or closed, phones, conferencing, keyboards, low volume TV shows, automatic doors in motion, noise that never stops.   About six people to a room and a seemingly endless corridors of rooms.

The layout is awkward, congested, and always crowded.   The hospital was built at a time before patients were made to get up out of bed and move around as they are today.   Current medical practise recognizes this procedure for a much more speedy and healthful recovery.   The wards above do have toilet facilities and washrooms.   Not so in this antiquated ICU where nurses once nursed the ill recovering for weeks and months recuperating in bed.   But the amazing staff makes it all work, and work it does.   Extremely well.

Our neighbouring patient on the right, with just a curtain thickness separating us, has been a difficult case and quite disturbing day and night.   He yelled profanities, ranted on incoherently for the 6th day, and shouted out for thirtieth time that he was a goner and dying.   I called his name and firmly requested that he walk toward the light.   His quick, loud response was a hearty F***-Y**.   So I believe he knows what's going on.   He quieted momentarily before starting up again.   To add to the aggravation and for his comfort someone brought him a large screen TV with old shows of Everybody Loves Raymond adding to the noise around us.   He fell asleep almost immediately and the show continued.   I suppose they know what they're doing.   Sure beats me.   Maybe that's one of the reasons why staff rotates all the time.

Pretty sure that this is all a part of the bigger plan, along with the food, to get you to want to get better quickly and go home.

Nancie had another good day in ICU in spite of all of the noise, challenges, modest meals, and her obvious physical discomfort.   The nursing staff changes constantly and quite interestingly there isn' a hitch in any of these transitions.   Her surgeon visits daily and doctors help monitor any questionable change noted in the computerized displays as reported by her competent caregivers.

Open heart surgery as you might know is an extremely invasive procedure to the body. I'm amazed with her recovery, attitude, and good spirits at this point in time.

Aside - One of the Parking Lots on the south side is to be avoided because several of the coin machines don't give change and for me printed the wrong tickets twice hugely in their favour.   The lot attendant actually laughs, does nothing, and insists that he is not the machine guy.   Secondly, I was accosted by a street person with a cigarette and in the no smoking area by the Emergency Entrance pretending to be a patient who didn't like the food and asked me for some spare change.   That said, there's not a lot to actually complain about in all honesty with all thing considered.

OK, maybe one suggestion - there should be a Tim Hortons on every floor when they rebuild.

      Thursday, November 27th     A wonderful hospital…

Hamilton General is an amazing hospital with an equally amazing staff.   It's the place to be if you need serious medical intervention.

Nancie went for an assisted hall-walk today, was out of bed for her meals, and physio.   Nice.

She's still in ICU and may be for another day while they continue to tweak her medications and a bed in the ward becomes available.   That said, her recovery is well underway.   Her heart health should continue to improve and hopefully normalize over the next next year from where it has currently been assessed.   Diet, exercise, rest, attitude, love, and family are all contributing factors in her recuperation.

We're already looking forward into next week.   The worst is behind us.

      Wednesday, November 26th     Out of bed and doing some physiotherapy!

Her personal physioterrorist helped Nancie out of bed this morning and into a chair to do hand and foot exercises.   This activity will help get her fluid levels back to normal.   It's good to report that she's a compliant and enthusiastic patient.

Still better news - this will likely be her last night in ICU and a move into the ward one floor above will likely occur early tomorrow.   Oh yes, another good sign of recovery and awareness is an almost complete rejection of the hospital food so far.   The cheese sandwich on machine-sliced brown bread wasn't that bad washed down with the warm 100% apple juice from concentrate in a plastic container with a peel-off foil top (in my opinion).   Maybe a bit too sweet for my liking but it seemed to nicely compliment of the soft orange cheese as well as the rich, deep, nutty flavour of the brown bread with unsalted margarine.   Ok,ok, so I do have a highly detailed grocery list to take to one of those stores that sells all kinds of food tomorrow.

Hopefully we'll have her home early next week.   Beth and Maggie will be here to help with the transition so everything will unfold comfortably, at least for the first week…

Looking forward to establishing that new normal as soon as possible and moving forward into better times.

No, no, no…

      Tuesday, November 25th     Everything is looking way, way up!

Her pacemaker was disconnected and respirator tube was removed.   Her heart and breathing continued.   Truly a thank-you God moment.

There was much obvious discomfort and pain evident initially.   Nancie drifted in and out of sleep all day.   That said all is well and improving at this point.   Best of all we have a promising future together and so much to live for.

Nancie will be moved into a ward in a day or two, physiotherapy, solid food, and some kind of a comprehensive plan will be presented to us for the next few months.

It was a nasty heart attack and we'll both be making some serious lifestyle changes.   Fortunately for us the system worked.   Hopefully a release from the hospital in about 4 - 5 days.   Whatever's left will be very doable!   Bring it on!

Life is good and getting better.

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      Monday, November 24th     What a difference a day makes…

I may remove this post or the picture below as it could upset Nancie at some point.   That said, it's been an overwhelming few days for everyone in our family and our dear friends.

Two thoughts.   ICU is one very scary, amazing, and wonderful place to be if you ever need to be hooked up in one.   Heart attacks are a tragic, and can sometimes be a preventable event.

A heart attack isn't an episode that can always be avoided but there are actions and choices that we can make in our lives to help reduce our chance of suffering one.  If you think that you or a loved one might be at risk please make the time to at least Google all of the online information available.   The book section at Chapters is also a place to look.   Please consider a personal course of action to help lower the risk that we all face.   It's somehow all about diet, exercise, intake, lifestyle, and maybe how we handle stress.

Hey, we're all going to die of something.   In our case thank goodness Nancie was in pretty good shape.   The doctor told us that 90% of the population that had her heart condition as it showed in surgery would not survive a 5 minute ambulance ride.   Nancie made it to two hospitals over a 90 minute time period and our future looks good together.   Thankfully we changed our lifestyle a long time ago both at different times and for somewhat different reasons.

Tomorrow her respirator tube comes out, as did the heart pump late this afternoon   Her sedative will be stopped and she'll regain consciousness soon after.   A virtual milestone in our current one day at a time scenario.

Smokers huddled together in their walkers, wheelchairs, bathrobes, slippers, and intravenous bags outside the hospital entry still amaze and quite honestly disgust me.   Maybe the words stupid, ignorant, and addicted, or all three come to mind.   OK, maybe throw in selfish.   Not sorry.

Take care of yourself friends and fellow windsurfers.   Life is such a precious gift.

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      Sunday, November 23rd     Everything stopped early today.

My wonderful wife Nancie had a serious heart attack last night.

It all included nausea, tightness of the chest, severe pain, and difficulty breathing.   Truly a frightening moment in the middle of the night.

911 responded, kept me on the phone, and within what seemed like forever an ambulance arrived.   Paramedics performed tests, monitored vital signs, and administered medications.   Transporting her first to our local hospital and then to a cardiac centre in Hamilton about 40 minutes from here.

Was able to spend time with Nancie prior to going into the surgery with a cell phone and one of our daughters standing by.   It was a tense, frightening, and difficult time.   I did my best to comfort and reassure her that she was in good hands, much loved, and the outcome would be positive.

About five hours later the procedure was finished.   Over.   A double bypass, stint, pacemaker, respirator, and a pump to assist the heart were all a part of the surgery.   Intensive care is a complex, wonderful, awesome, and very scary place.

Time stopped for us today.   And it's slowly beginning to start again.   We'll be back to some kind of a new normal within the next few months and do our best to put this all behind.

Can't decide which of the pictures to keep posted below, will use all of them for now till our next Happy Hour Celebration.   Cheers my love!


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      November 18th     Sail window Solar Panels connected to Lithium Ion rechargeable boom batteries.   Coming soon to a boardshop near you.

Heated boom grips, heated foot-straps & deck pads, and a de-icer for sails and harness lines.   Flexible panel flat screen hi-definition TV at eye level, windspeed, sail size indicator, rigging advice, text screen from home for grocery pick-up or a loving reminder it's time to get off the water.   Blood pressure monitor, heart beat rate, body temperature, adrenalin, and blood alcohol levels are all included as well.

On-board cameras for court cases against kiters, oil tankers, and jet skiis.   YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/email uploads and downloads.   An instant connection to Guinness World Book of Records in case you make a triple loop, a record high jump, ride an impossible wave, or sail in an ultra extreme condition worthy of recognition.

Full GPS, radar, night lights, turn signals, sun visor, and a fish finder/shark warning touch-scene can all be easily connected.   Best is an instant shut-off grounded lighting rod through a power bar.   Don't fear thunder any more!

AM FM stereo, Netflix, hands free phone, and a walkie talkie for communication with other windsurfers.   Don't forget the waterproof plug-in for the temperature controlled wetsuit and an on-board defibrillator.

As far-fetched as some of this may sound at least some of it will be commonplace in the near future.

Cold water will no longer be a challenge for us winter-haters.

And for the February sailors there's a high intensity laser to melt all the ice away in front of you for at least 35 metres instantly.   It's equipped with sensors and filters to protect others from the any harm.   OK, so maybe that's a bit of a stretch.

Welcome to the end of cold.   Too bad it can't be kite compatible what with the no stretch non conductor lines and all.

Cheers!   Enjoy the season.

      November 17th     (Part 3)   Living with the numbers and not complaining.   The last of a three part series.

Have been doing some serious research on life expectancy.   With all that data there's a reasonably good chance I could actually make it to 90+ years.

Nancie could likely live longer.

So maybe budgeting for the future is actually a good idea.   Forget the lottery or a part-time job.

The cost of a retirement residence with three meals a day, a two car garage, van insurance including rigs and boards, plus bingo, and a few beers each day can all add up.   Then later a quality nursing home with similar amenities can be a formidable expense.   Especially in places like Hawaii, Turks and Caicos or a double trailer with hot and cold running water 24-7-365 (including a full medical standby) at Sherkston.

According to the Guinness Recordbook Otto Comanos (Australia) born November 16, 1913, took up windsurfing upon retirement in 1986 and regularly windsurfs two to three times a week in and around the lakes of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.   He's currently 27 years older than I am.


So this mild depression, caused from the cold falling snow this past week, Cape Hatteras a week behind us, no realistic prospects of windsurfing for the next four to five months, and having the likelihood of only 16+ years left to live, is slowly fading away.   The sun is rising once again and there's an uplifting sense of hope and wellbeing in the forecast.

Age well through diet, exercise, and a strong personal philosophy.   Live long and prosper.   Sail whenever you can.   Avoid heading toward the light when you faint.   And, most importantly of all…

Rock on!
How long might you have?   Start with this one and go from there…

Selling wallet sized glossy photos of these motivational images for Christmas gifting…

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      November 15th     (Part 2)   The rather random post below (November 13th) was partly a result of wind withdrawal and buying into an imposed discretionary cash flow vs. a personal entitlement disorder hangup decision.   An apology and some forgiveness may be in order.

Being recently (and agreeably) harnessed to a budget along with the prospect of a no windsurfing winter somehow flipped the switch and my Pandora's box opened up a bit.

Maybe forget the lottery and invest that $6.00 each week into a worthwhile, promising mutual fund or a fully participating Life Insurance Policy…   (Since neither of these plans will amortize well for me it's back to the drawing board to reckon a third possible option.)

The kiteboarder Heaven link below is what responsible windurfers can expect (with all new gear forever) when we pass on to the next life.   So be accountable, act sensibly, and stick to your budget, whatever it is.   Make it work.   Your time will come.   No making faces.

That said, I may be calling you to ask for old newspapers, empty aluminum cans, beer and wine bottles, and any scrap metal you may have in your garage or basement.   I'll be wandering through your neighbourhood soon with my shopping cart and ringing a bell.   Keep an ear open.   The cart that I plan to purchase is pictured below and on the right to help prove my new focus, determination, and dedication.   It also comes with a hand grinder for sharpening knives.

The snow may slow me down a bit but personal strength can only increase the deeper it gets.   My realistic efforts will increase endurance sailing on all the new gear paid for from the earnings and struggle next spring on the water.   I will succeed and get there at any personal cost.   Note the determination, true grit, and the leadership in my face as a hard working youngster collecting scrap and growing up in Welland in 1947 (pic taken by my proud mother below left)…

Let's get real.   Lotteries simply won't cut it with those near impossible odds of a win.   Random and abstract may work for socialists and liberals but not on my street Bucko.   No more pouting.   A scrap cart & knife grinder is a concrete and sequential reality with proven track results.

Get on with living the dream.

Windsurf Heaven is like Kiteboard Heaven but without kites…

      November 13th     (Part 1)   Just how much gear do we actually need to windsurf our lives into a state of perfect, delirious oblivion.

Many different philosophies drive the windsurfing population.   Buy used.   Minimal gear to get on the water most of the time.   Marry a windsurfer and share.   Get a third part-time job.     Live under a bridge and eat out of a dumpster to gas the needed van and buy that 7.5 light wind sail.   Rob banks.

Entirely your choice.

Maybe there is no real or practical answer to this thought.   But in our heart of hearts, our deepest needs, our windful lust, and of most importance our need to self-actualize and be truly, truly happy it all boils down to three final words for many of us.   Win The Lottery.

If you won the mega jackpot lottery, the really big one, what would you do?   To actually get this going, let's start with a big van and fill it with gear.   Make a list so you don't forget the carbon fibre mast extensions with the duralex ultra white downhaul rope used on the comet landing late yesterday.   And, that's just for starters.

Don't be stupid and buy sails every half metre.   That would likely consume too much rigging time on the beach and less time sailing.   But think about the three or four brand new boards that you would ride and the half dozen or so brand new sails that you could rig as needed on 100% carbon fiber masts.   Mid three metres to mid sevens.   Nice.

Wind meters, weather aps, maybe an entourage and a tiki bar trailer with a theme matching Porta Potty .   Throw in an English speaking, well-paid, happy, agreeable Cabana Person* of your choosing to help rig, organize gear, make drinks, and prepare nutritious snacks.   Definitely a real consideration in the grand scheme of things in the fast lane of your brand new wealth-enhanced life and growing older.   *(Yes, of course there's a drug plan, cost of living, and retirement package all included in the hiring incentive for the right personal assistant   This is Canada, eh?)

Winter travel destinations, exotic condos, duplicate hi-tech gear in several far away tropical paradises changing semi annually as those online financial statements fill your inbox with rich, joyful messages.

No more hassle searching for coin in the sofa after company leaves.   Or looking for those extra beer bottles, tossed irreverently from cars into ditches, to boost the empty bottle return number to the Beer Store.

No more grovelling, begging, fibbing, and making irresponsible responsible promises.   Promises that you simply can't possibly keep to add that additional half mast for the 3.7m or replace those uphauls that somehow disappeared in the last packing.

Think about it.

So include in our budgets about $6.00 for the Lottery of choice each week.   Dreaming about the big win will likely help sustain us through this next winter of our discontent.   Find another board head or two to create a lottery pool.   Share the hope and optimism.

So now we can forget that constant need to rebuild our fragile windsurfing philosophical framework each spring.   Win the big one and start living the dream.

Sometimes we just gotta think way bigger.   Ka-ching!

Crappola, it's actually snowing lightly outside right now…

      November 7th     Light wind this past Tuesday and Wednesday gave us some time to revive our tired spirits.

Having a kayak or an SUP can keep you on the water during these light days, but that usually means carrying more gear or laying out some more cash if they're not included with the rental home.

Long walks along the Atlantic shoreline or the Sound always brings moments of visual delight along with a refreshing change of pace.

Time to reflect, rest, read, reorganize, talk, heal, and nap are all welcome changes from the high wind and rigour of our chosen and beloved sport…

      November 6th     Conspicuous consumerism?   Ultimate enthusiast?   Entitlement disorder?   Or simply in a highly organized state of constant readiness?

Hey, that pretty much sounds like windsurfing for most of us!

The forecast today calls for SW wind beginning a 11:00 a.m. and building to around 28 knots by evening.   And, blowing through the night and for most of Friday!

Likely won't need the 4.2m2 and 3.7 m2 but they're carefully organized nearby and ready to rig.

Raise your eyebrows and scowl if you feel the need, but at Camp DeJohn the motto is quite simply Be Prepared! and Stand Fast!   At least this board head is doing his part to help drive the economy and be an integral part of those closely following the bestseller The Ultimate And Complete Idiot's Guide To Searching For Meaning And Truth In This Sometimes Expanding Universe….   Rock on Craigellachie!

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      November 4th     A reborn Phoenix, rising from its ashes.

Our shoreline gear storage facilities were evacuated, then inundated, then covered with sand, and finally came huge piles of seaweed and debris.   All occurring during the strong nor'wester that blew side-on and hard along the western shoreline of Pamlico Sound.

During the night the winds exceeded 40 knots and we were gifted with 30 - 35 knots of good wind for the following day.

Other than the cooler temperatures there were few complaints, including one superficial wetsuit blemish, and a single minor protruding root stubbed big toe under the seaweed injury.   And, like anyone living along a flooded shoreline we rebuilt our gear storage camps within a day and carried on a little wiser and a little more appreciative of both the power and joy of the wind.

      November 1st     The fun of getting a good shot.

Following moving subjects and simply waiting for something to happen is always a great way to spend time with a camera.   It's worth the effort to be patient and keep on tracking someone, adjusting and always being mindful of the light.   Watching the light change or anticipating a move can help capture a well-exposed face in the action or better still an unusual surprise.

I especially love those moments when someone responds with a pose, a wave, or a smile.   The first shot is usually the best one but a second or a third squeeze almost always guarantees a keeper.

Time, patience, and persistence will ultimately pay off with some worthwhile results.

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