Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pipe Dreams ?


From the fantasies experienced when smoking an opium pipe.


pipe dream (plural pipe dreams)

(idiomatic) A plan, desire, or idea that will not likely work; a near impossibility.

I think that his plan to have map cases available for this Christmas is a pipe dream.

Pipe nightmare !

A "near impossibility" nevertheless leaves room for possibility...

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Tock Tock, Who's Dare

I heard the sound of Woodpeckers before, but never from a few feet away, and definitely not from out of the tree in front of the house.

I have a 'love-hate' relationship with that tree. It is the last standing old tree in the streets around. Not a popular place to park any car under because of it's popularity with birds; and a real 'nightmare' with pigeons. Maybe that started off the more bird-friendly 'clay-pigeon' shooting sport.

Woodpecker had me look up and smile. Go peck away any time.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Retirement Age

After 15 years and 266088 km my Opel Astra went into retirement today.

It is not the only thing I own(ed) that is still fully functional, albeit aching, well beyond generally accepted retirement age, for instance:
  • My Kokatat GoreTEX Whirlpool Bib of 2004 shows some signs of 'incontinence' at the zipper; now into it's golden age.
  • My TecTour anorak of 2008 (old model) is a bit more 'breathable'; a gray shadow of it's former mango self.
  • My MsFit PFD is reasonably OK, except for a thread-bare hydration pack.
This year is their retirement as well, finally.

Earlier this year, my laptop got stolen only days before XP retired; that was unfortunate, both for me ánd the thief. My old Explorer is spending it's retirement on Anglesey. My new Explorer is only intermediately retired until I have fitted the Kari-Tek roof-rack on my new car, awaiting a fitting kit.

I am not sure if my new car will again last 15 years with me. Nowadays in the Netherlands car sales (and usage) is extremely tax-driven, not so driven by common sense.

I won't drag too long about it, but when Maserati joyfully announces a hybrid version that can drive a whopping 20 miles on battery-power (and thus saving more than 50% on the car price and annual taxes) something must have gone awry with the promotion of so-called eco-friendly cars.

When those 'plug-in' gas guzzlers are edging to be nett less expensive for corporate use than true fuel efficient petrol cars that you have to look for at car dealers with a microscope. Blinded by the Emperor's new clothes.

eCall, park-assist and sen-sored tire pressure. I have none of this. Just in time though. Hopefully for the next 15 years, but I doubt it. Hand operated rear-windows: just barely. Airconditiong: yes, unfortunately: too late ordering, or more specific: 'hurried ordering' because of... yes: 2015 tax reasons...

What car did I buy? A car that is probably considered by car afficianados to be even more boring than an Opel Astra...

Car sales is not the only part of the economy that has logic reversed like in Pirates of the Caribbean "At World's End". Down is up. Left is Right. Red is Green. Wrong is 'Right'.

1+1 is 0; at least something is still (partially) logical.

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet
[Taxman, the Beatles]

If you retire too late, I'll tax by date
If you get too old, I'll tax the mold