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Journal Entries for July 2002
July 18, 2002

It's hard to believe but our vacation at Pine Lake for this year is almost over. Tomorrow we leave the Salvation Army campground, my family returns to their various homes and I retreat to Sandy Cove to live out the rest of the weekend. After that, I too must return to my home and continue my life, starting with work on Monday morning. I can honestly say that I am not looking forward to that at all. It has been a wonderful two weeks up here, perhaps not as restful as I would have liked, but I did still have a great time. One of the highlights was that I did (finally) get to push Alicia into the lake... Although it was more of a running leap the first time and the second time I didn't even make it down to the end of the dock due to a near concussion caused by the to-be-soaked party. Alisha too went in several times, one particular time she had already made it into the "safety" of her mother's van when, after several taunts on her part, I decided it was necessary to call her bluff. I walked over to the picnic table, removed my shoes, hat, and shirt, and then calmly walked back over to the passenger side of the vehicle. Before she realized what was happening I had opened the door, her mom had undone her seatbelt, and I picked her off the seat and then proceeded to carry her over my shoulder down the dock, followed by a refreshing dip. Ed and Kristin came up last weekend, I guess the boys were at camp and Barb stayed home. It was nice to have a fire again, and nobody makes a fire like Ed. He even brought one of those 'magic' flame color changing things so you can see all kinds of pretty colors in the fire. (See the Photo Album) On one of more lazy days during this past week I removed the sea weed from around my tent spot and built a little breaker out of stones to (hopefully) keep more sea weed from accumulating on my shore. I left the pile of sea weed by Alisha's tent so hopefully she can get it removed... I bet that will stink in a few days... I found two more holes in my flat Raid tube, so hopefully I'll get those patched today. Scotty's has a wonderful little patch kit for all sorts of rubber things and its $2.09 including tax. I think I might even buy some more because they are good patch kits. I've acquired a few more pictures for the Who's Who, which I hope to be opening in the not TOO distant future... Now that my photo album program is practically finished (or at least for now,) I'll start concentrating on the Who's Who program. Basically what it is, for those of you who don't already know, is a kind of online database where the visitor can come and find out Who's Who. So when you read something about say, Bo, somewhere on the web site and you don't know who that is, you can go to the Who's Who and it will give you some basic information about him, including where I know him from, and in (hopefully all) cases, it will also have a picture of the person. So far everyone I've talked to about the idea sounds quite interested, so I'm pretty sure that will be the next major addition to this site. I am slowly accumulating video clips too, of all sorts of things -- from a short video of a thunderstorm at the lake to Carmen's infamous "Anda ONE!" dance. I still don't know what the best way of putting them on the site will be, though I will probably incoroprate them into the photo album somehow. We'll see. Anyways, I don't want to waste my entire day sitting on the computer here, and I probably won't write again until I get back to my cupboard. So have a great week and I'll talk to you all soon.

PS: It just dawned on me that I've gone almost two weeks without the internet! Wow!

July 8, 2002

Well, it got off to a late start, but I am finally out at the lake for my two weeks of vacation. I still haven't heard from Turple Brothers about that Vehicle Communication Kit for the Seadoo, but its only 1:30 pm and it may not have arrived yet. I think when I ordered the service manual it took about a week. Last night was a beautiful evening, warm and calm, a perfect night at the lake. And it would have been perfect too, if not for one camper at Sandy Cove. Some of the kids and I were haveing a seaweed fight between the two docks, and were having a great time until this guy came storming down the dock and yells to me, "Are you going to clean up all the seaweed you've got in my boat?" I was pretty sure that I hadn't got any seaweed in any of the boats, but I said that I would, and he kept on freaking out about the seaweed we'de gotten on the dock and whatnot. Well I guess after he got back off the dock he went into the store where he demanded that Alisha (Not Storegirl, but the other Alisha) get someone down there immediately to stop these something something's out in the water. He took the radio from Alisha who had tried calling Carol and started yelling into the radio, using no shortage of expletives, demanding that she get down there NOW. Well Carol comes out on the dock, with the guy still enraged. Carol asked me what was going on and I explained that we were just having a seaweed fight. She told me that [this guy] says we got seaweed all over his boat. I said to her, "Carol, do you see any seaweed in his boat?" Both her and him looked but could find nothing. "No," she said, but the guy was determined not to have the thunder taken out of his storm. "Its all over the dock here!" "But its not in your boat..." I replied. The guy eventually stormed off the dock, saying something about having just left a campground full of donkeys, only to come here and find more... The rest of his mutterings were lost as he walked away. Somehow I don't think the problem was with the campgrounds he stayed in, but rather a little closer to home... I think he felt pretty stupid once he realized that there was not a strand of seaweed anywhere on or in his boat. Other than that, we spent the evening swimming, for it was absolutely gorgeous. Later that night I went out into the water and cut down a tonne of seaweed plants and pulled them to shore. Having to park the Seadoo on the beach means that I have to come in through beds of weeds and I would really rather not, considering how clogged the impeller can become from them... The Seadoo seems to be running great though, I haven't had any problems with it since that night! When I came up to look at it on Wednesday, I could not get it to cough, sputter or stall -- not even once! It was amazing! The only thing I did find though, was that one of the hoses was completely PACKED full of sand. I spent about twenty minutes cleaning that out, and I think the bilge pumps work better now, but that wouldn't have had anything to do with engine performance as it was just a drain hose for the water cooling system. Needless to say I'll be keeping an eye on it now, but it's been clear since.

Presently its quite a grey day... Last night and this morning it just stormed with high winds and rain at times. I don't know if it was enough to lift the fire ban, but it couldn't have hurt anything... The wind has died down a lot and it's mostly overcast now. Its still not that cold though, probably 18-20 degrees or so. My brother arrives at the Salvation Army camp this evening around 6:00 with some kids. My uncle Bruce brought their boat up yesterday and I went and met them on the water, but I was supposed to get the boat key from them before they left but I didn't see them. I hope its not a big deal. I've still got to blow up my big flat tube to see if we patched that leak or not. I hope its ok. That tube has got three holes in it within about a 3 week period... I'm going to wash out the cover to make sure there isn't some rocks or sand in there that might be popping it. Its sure getting its use though. I love having a Seadoo. They're so much fun! Anyhow, I'm going to go do something now, but I will be sure to write more throughout my holiday!

Cheers from Pine Lake!

July 7, 2002
Ok, I know you've been asking for this so here it is. I have officially opened my new photo album, and you can't miss the new button. That will change eventually, but for now it is there to be seen. I've finished converting all of my old photo albums into the new format, however the comments still have to be copied over. It is currently 3:00 in the morning, and I am getting ready to go to bed REALLY quick here. But the new engine is almost entirely completed, you will notice the version shows up as .90b which means its not quite a version 1.0 because of some things I still need to add to it and clean up, but I've been testing it extensively over the past few weeks and I think its ready for use. IF YOU RUN INTO AN ERROR, will you *PLEASE* let me know! Some of the chapters do not have thumbnails yet, and it will tell you so -- this is not an error, though I hope to have thumbnails for all my pictures in the near future. I will be going to Pine Lake for two weeks commencing in the morning, so don't expect much more to change on the site till I get back. I will have new pictures to add at that time though, and probably a lot of them. I hope you like the new layout of the photo album, I've tried to make it as easy to use as possible, both for users on dial-up connections as well as those who have high speed internet. Let me know what you think! I'll see you in a few weeks (or at the lake...)

July 2, 2002

Yes I know its been a long time since I've updated the journal, but I do have a busy life as many people know. Recently in fact, it has been even moreso than usual. Of course, my weekends are also taken up now that it is summer and I travel to and from the lake, and with friends constantly relying on me to keep their computers up and running, there is never a dull moment. This past weekend, the long weekend, I spent at the lake (of course), and had the privilige of having Carmen and Leah come to the lake with me. For those of you who don't know, Carmen's trailer burnt down a few weeks ago, and so had nowhere to stay at the lake without her dad there. Therefore, with her mom's permission (although from what I've heard from her mom, it was given rather reluctantly...) she and her friend Ashley came and tented beside me two weekends ago, and then her and Leah came and stayed this weekend in my van. I made it all up nice for them, even installed a night light in case they needed to get up after dark, and we all had a great time enjoying life out at Pine Lake. Of course with the fire bans on right now we weren't able to have any fires, and the usual long weekend fireworks had to be canceled. Still, fun was had by all. It would not have been a long weekend though without some clouds rolling in, and such was the case this weekend. And while there were some dark rain clouds that passed over the lake amidst hopes of a good downpour to lift the fireban, those clouds are not the ones of which I am speaking. It would appear that my fun-for-all Seadoo is starting to encounter some operating difficulties. Specifically, it is getting REALLY hard to start at times, and is now having trouble idling. It has even stalled out on me a couple of times. I ordered and picked up the *official* service manual for my Seadoo, and it covers specifically how to check, diagnose, repair and/or replace any part or component in the watercraft. So with this book open before me, I searched through its many pages in hopes of finding a possible cause to this ailing problem. For as soon as you touch the throttle, it jumps out of the water and is off. There is no lack of power whatsoever. It just seems to have trouble running at low speeds. Well the first part of the service manual lists all sorts of "Manditory Service Tools", and one such device is what's called a "Vehicle Communication Kit." Basically what it does it it allows you to connect the computer on the Seadoo to a personal computer, and find out what the problem is, as well as perform an array of component tests and monitoring. Just about every section of the book makes reference to this device, and because the Seadoo is entirely controlled by the onboard computer, its virtually impossible to perform any service on the machine without interfacing with its computer. Well I phoned Bow Cycle today regarding this device, gave them the part number listed in the manual, he gave me a price for it and I placed the order. He told me it should be in by the end of the week, and our conversation ended. I was excited, I could find out what the problem is and hopefully fix it before next week when my whole family will be out at the lake, no doubt wanting Seadoo rides... Well about 20 minutes later he calls me back and tells me that they can't sell me that part because I'm not a dealer. Only dealers are allowed to buy that unit. VERY frustrated and quite annoyed, I decided not to give up there and called Turple Brothers in Red Deer, where I actually bought the Seadoo. I went through the whole process of ordering the kit again, and no mention was made of the "you're not a dealer" garbage, and she never called me back this afternoon so I am hopeing and praying that the kit arrives and I can pick it up. But I found out something else during our conversation; when she was taking the order, my name was of course in their computer and it came up showing that I had bought a trailer from them. (Which in fact I did, for the Seadoo.) But get this! They had NO record of me buying that Seadoo there! I couldn't believe it! Of course I have my bill of sale from them, but what happened when I bought the Seadoo was that I dealt exclusively with a lady named Jane, from start to finish on the whole deal. Shortly after I had made the purchase, she left Turple Brothers and moved back to somewhere in Eastern Canada. I was not notified of EITHER safety recall on the machine, and have recieved no correspondance from Turple Brothers since! Perhaps now I know why. Bombardier knows I bought the Seadoo there, they entered its serial number and up came my name, phone number and address. But apparantly Turple Brothers has lost its records of me buying the Seadoo there. Strange, eh? So we shall wait and see what happens this week, if I get a call back from them saying I can't buy that part, I will try one other place but it seems absurd that they could sell you a service manual, detailing every repair possible to the watercraft, and then not sell you the tools to do so! I might even go to Bombardier directly and see if I can't order it from them directly. Somehow I doubt they would sell it to me, its a gut feeling. I plan on riding up to the lake this week sometime, (maybe even tomorrow) and performing some basic leak tests on the fuel system because I believe the problem might be a leak in the air compressor system that pumps up the fuel injection system. Higher RPM's might boost the air pressuse going to the fuel rail, thus minimizing the effects of the leak, but at low RPM's when the pressure is lower, the leak might be significant enough to prevent proper ignition. Its about the same as trying to drink through a straw that has a hole in it. If you sip slowly, you'll never get any fluid because the air you're removing from the straw is being replaced by air from the outside entering through the straw. But if you suck on the end really strong, it will be enough to lift the fluid to your mouth and you can drink, even though it will be mixed with some air. Basically what I think the problem on the Seadoo is takes from that example and turns it around. (Instead of sucking the air out of the straw or hose, air inside the hose is escaping and therefore not making its destination.)

Now I'm SURE I've lost most of you by now, and can even hear some of the younger kids asking, "Can you still take us tubing?" and the answer at this point is ... "I don't know." Until I find out what the cause of this problem is, I don't want to use the Seadoo for risk of making the problem worse. So far it doesn't seem like its a MAJOR problem, because there is still all the power there... But that doesn't mean it won't still be difficult or costly to fix, and it does not look like Bombardier is going to help me any. I wouldn't have a problem bringing it in to a dealer to have them do it, but they're all booked solid for weeks, and my family is all going to be at the lake in one week. (Well some of them in a week, the rest of them all arriving the week after.) And I REALLY WANT TO HAVE IT RUNNING while they're all here. (Or there rather.) Ugh. Expensive toys! But we shall see what happens later on this week, and I will TRY my hardest to keep this journal updated as the events unfold.
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