Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's Starting to Happen; Friday to Tuesday

We've got a pretty busy week ahead of us, culminating with Shelley's birthday on Friday, June 20th. This morning (Friday, June 13th) is the day after Sammy's Birthday. Shelley always told Sammy she would have been born on the 13th except the Doctors pulled her out with forceps the day before. After being in labour for over 24 hours she thinks the Doctors and Nurses just got fed up with the whole thing and yanked her out. Jaci was born on the 13th of August. The Doctor didn't have to pull her out, she was almost born in the shower at the hospital.

We got up in the morning and both did our thing with the computer. Brian cruises boats on the web and checks out YouTube and later on, Shelley emails her Dangling link buddies and visits Face Book to keep up with the kids.

We'd mailed a cheque to the insurers of the boat on June 1st as the boat's insurance was due June 14th but the insurer never received it. How come it's time sensitive financial stuff that always goes missing in the mail?

In any case, we had to put a stop payment on the cheque ($12.50) and go downtown and put the insurance on Interac.

Brian stayed on the bus after leaving downtown and went to meet a bunch of his work buddies. The big boss had come along so Brian got a free lunch (!) and was filled in on the antics and goings on at Intercon.

Shelley went home and played some more with Face Book applications until she became disgusted with herself. "It's almost a complete waste of time!"

Later on, we had another prospective buyer look at the boat. Shelley escaped just prior to his arrival and wandered around the Marina, went to Tim Hortons for an Ice Cap and chatted with several boat neighbours who wondered out loud why she was drifting around looking lost. "I'm hiding", she'd explain. Brian discussed kayaking and the Octopus Islands with the prospective buyer and even got a few words in about the boat.

That evening the prospective buyer phoned and made a verbal offer (this makes the 3rd verbal offer we've received so far). Brian got quite excited.

"Shelley, we've sold the boat!" he exclaimed.

Shelley remained passive much to Brian's annoyance. The irritation didn't dent Shelley's refusal to get excited.

"I'll get excited when I see the cash."

Undaunted, Brian got in touch with the boat broker. The broker wasn't as excited and ready to leap into action as Brian would have liked either. Nevertheless, information was exchanged and the whole thing left in the his hands.

Saturday, June 14th, we went to lunch at Memphis Blues with the kids. It was a: Father's Day, Mom's Birthday, Sammy's Birthday kind of thing, except the kids paid! We all stuffed ourselves with fatty meats, coleslaw, baked beans, corn bread and bar-b-q sauce. Generally a good time was had by all. Jaci bubbled because she'd been accepted into a elderly care training program, Brennan showed off his new camera, Sammy was her typical exuberant self and Nathan was graciously tolerant of us all.

We walked home trying desperately to reduce the cholesterol sludging through our veins and ran into the Vancouver Francophone Festival. Apparently the French have been in Vancouver for 150 years now!

Sunday we did chores, got a couple of loads of laundry in, and moved the boat back into our regular slip. Three weeks ago we'd lost our spot to a fisherman (they basically own the place) but he'd finally gone out for the season so it was time to take it over again. We took a lovely trip out to the harbour and goggled at the kites flying around the Planetarium, checked out the building of the Olympic Village and tried to take a panorama picture of the Burrard and Granville Street Bridges.

Brian got his Father's Day calls and then talked to his friend Jan and played with Skype for awhile. It was very frustrating as the call kept being dropped. They tell us they are going to improve our band width down here at the Marina so perhaps Skype will work better for us after they've done that.

Later in the day Face Book caught Shelley once again (she's got to get this under control) as she discovered a couple of old friends from high school. Phenomena: seeing pictures of old friends one hasn't seen for 34 years causes one to look in the mirror and examine their wrinkles.

Monday took us to Vancouver Island to visit with Brian's brother Gene and his lady Dianne. It was a whirlwind trip; we left the boat at 8:30 a.m. and got back to the boat at 6:30 p.m. On the Ferry we indulged and had a Starbucks coffee. Gene and Dianne picked us up on the other end looking very dapper in their matching summer outfits. They teased us because we had coats on (coming from wet cold Vancouver) and ribbed Brian about his long hair. It was lovely on the Island. "Welcome to Paradise!"
We ate at a Pub and went for a brisk walk along the water after our leisurely meal (another free one (!) Gene bought). Brian and Gene caught up on the Island relatives. Dianne advised of their plans: off to a Wedding for one of Dianne's grandchildren and then on Thursday they're off to Alaska in the Fifth Wheel! It was opportune we chose this Monday to go see them.

"With any luck by the time they get back from Alaska we'll be in Ecuador", Brian explained.

We told them about the verbal offer we'd had on the boat.

"I refuse to get excited", Shelley told them.

Brian pointed out he'd phoned the broker that morning and was told they were simply waiting for the bank to transfer the down payment.

On the Ferry and bus ride home Brian asked about our Medical Coverage:

"When do we cancel it?"
"Just before we leave."

"We've got to talk to CPP."
"I know. When we get a signed agreement."

"Are you listening to me?"
"Ah...yep."

In any case, it was a lovely day!

Tuesday dawned wet and rainy. The floors were supposed to be washed and the rugs shaken but the boat broker came over with offer papers that precluded our more mundane routine. We sat and argued about the difference between wordings: possession vs closing, in-trust and payment date vs registration date, etc. After an interminable amount of time we came up with wording we all felt was adequate and sent the broker off to make a counter proposal to the buyers.

"Ok Terry, leave now" Shelley instructed. "We've got things to do."
Terry laughed.

We phoned CPP and set in motion our affidavit of earnings. We phoned the translator & the lawyer & the Ecuadorian Consulate and collected details. We phoned the Vancouver Police. We both got headaches and were a bit testy with each other.

After lunch we set out to the Vancouver Police Department to get Shelley fingerprinted and have a criminal record check run on her. We also decided to pick up the other piece of luggage that we need.

The Police station is located at the corner of Main & Hastings. For those of you who don't live in Vancouver, Main & Hastings is pretty much our slum area. Our bus got trapped and stopped moving because of construction so we got out a few blocks before the Station. Our walk had us passing people shooting up in doorways, numerous men sleeping on the street and several ladies dressed somewhat dubiously. Shelley commented on the tight band beginning to squeeze her head and Brian was becoming quite officious. We agreed not to talk to each other for awhile.

Upon arriving at the Station we waited in line about half an hour to be told we needed a document stating why we needed a criminal check. Apparently you can't just go in and get one, you have to have paper proof of a reason. At the suggestion of the lady at the counter we then trecked to the Carnegie Community Centre; the closest place to go on-line. You have have to recognize the Community Centre's membership consists of the people from that community and that community is Vancouver's slum.

Everybody was very helpful at Carnegie while we took out our membership ($1) and used the computers. Shelley made friends with Dave in the computer room. She got on line, downloaded the Ecuadorian Consulate's Pensioner Visa requirements and printed them off. After shaking Dave's hand it was back to the Police Station.

The line was even longer than before and we waited for over half an hour. Shelley made friends with the lady behind her in the line. She's going to school part time to be a social worker. Once at the wicket, we were relieved that indeed our piece of paper from the Internet was "good enough" and they proceeded to check Shelley's criminal record and fingerprint her. The record should arrive in the mail within 20 working days we were told.

"Twenty days!"

We had left the boat at around noon and got home at around 5:00 p.m. Needless to say we did not pick up our new piece of luggage, did not get the floor washed, did not shake out the rugs. The broker phoned at 5:30 p.m. and advised everything was still on track.

Shelley continued to refuse to get excited.

"I want to see the cash."

Brian bubbled and bounced and was now undismayed by Shelley's reluctance to celebrate.

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