PFC

So here we are, a brief account of where we are so far as I have kept things out of the general populous as I wanted a close family of mine to get to hear personally and not through social media.

Back in May of this year so I went to get my prescriptions renewed at the local walk-in clinic in Nanaimo. We have been unable to find a family Dr since moving here, not that we are the only ones, I read something like 25,000 people don’t have a family Dr out of a population of over 100,000.

During this visit the Dr asked if I had a family Dr, nope, I replied, to which he responded, would you like me to take you on, of course, I jumped at the chance.

He asked me to make an appointment for a couple of weeks for a meet and greet as well as a general physical and bring 58 years old he did a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) and said he found my prostate “smooth, but slightly enlarged” yeh I laughed as well when I told Jenn.

My Dad had an enlarged prostate, also called Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) this is when the prostate grows larger, usually due to age, but is not cancerous. This is often why men, as they age, often end up getting up in the middle of the night to pee.

So along with the standard setup of blood work, he had a Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test done, this came back at around 13, the norm is less than 2, so he referred me to a Urologist.

I was expecting to wait a while to get a call from a urologist, so it was a surprise when a week I got a call to go and see one, Dr. Carlson. I met with him and he also did a DRE, starting to get used to other people poking my butt now, he also said it was enlarged, smooth, with a ridge down one side, yes you can expect such details in this blog journey, maybe I will need to put a warning on it.

The prostate is about the size of a walnut and if you know what a walnut looks like it has a ridge all the way around, hope you are reading this after you have eaten, so that was the vision in my head, a walnut with a knobbly ridge.

We chatted and he asked some family history, told him about my dad, so he felt we should test another PSA after 3 months and again after 6 months and see what it does, he gave me a standing order for a PSA test I then left slightly worried, but with having in my head a lack of Cancer in my family, I was thinking I had what Dad had BPH as this can also elevate your PSA, which is why the PSA test is just one part of the puzzle when it comes to diagnosing.

Around the end of July I booked myself in for another PSA test, this was on a Monday, you can check your results online, which I did on the Tuesday, 15.8, it had gone up, not the direction I wanted, was not sure if the Dr would be calling me so when Wednesday and Thursday went by I thought it was still a watch and wait.

On the Friday of that week, Jenn had taken the day off and we decided to take a drive, down to a lighthouse in the Sooke area and also explore some beaches, but just as we were about to set off the phone rang, it was the urologist, not the admin assistant, but the man himself. He explained that as the PSA had gone up 2 points, he said we should do some more investigation and wanted me to have a biopsy, he said the hospital would be in touch.

I was expecting to wait a while to hear about all the cancellations being reported for surgeries etc. but nope, Monday morning hospital calls and I and scheduled for August 25, 2021.

So there we have it, the start of the journey, but at this point, I should add that as I post this I am having surgery today to remove my prostate, I know it’s like jumping to the back of the book, but I will be adding some more details of the biopsy and the decision making process along with the steps to recovery.

Coming Soon

I was hoping to post the info of the final leg of my first EV road trip once I arrived, fortunately for you, I have a lot more to say as that final leg was an adventure, and therefore taking a little longer to write.

However, it does contain some jaw dropping news for anyone passing through GP in an EV, yeh I know! Which you will really want to read.

Stop 3 Blue River

I could have actually made it to Mount Robson where there are a couple of fast chargers, but they are only 25kw, so opted to get to 80% in Blue River then can top up to 80% at Robson then use the level 2 charger to get to 100%.

Jasper is an unknown, there are a few level 2 chargers but they could be occupied and as I have to be at 100% leaving for Grande Prairie I want to be safe, I probably could make Robson to GP.

Hope to Kamloops

This section of the trip was up through a couple of mountain passes. The Cougahalla and seemed like I climbed most of the way thus at times the average KWH was hitting 31, which is a lot considering around Nanaimo I get 13 kWh and from home to Hope I was getting around 14.

However I did make up some on the last downhill gaining 10kms in regeneration.

All in all impressed at how well the Kona has performed so far, yes it required a lot more planning and thinking than making the same trip in a ICE vehicle, but also makes it little fun.

People ask about the time spent charging, I just look at them as rest stops, something I do anyhow on a long trip.

The EV Road Trip

Well here we are ready to set off on the first road trip in the Kobe EV. Having never had a electric vehicle this first trip is be done with a certain degree of trepidation, I am sure it will be fine, and I see this as a great adventure .

I have been following the 20/80 charging regimen, that is, charging when it gets to around 20% and only going to 80%. So for the trip I brought it up to 100%, I suspect as I do this more and I fine out when highway travel mileage is, I live in a city where I get lots of regeneration, so I am unsure what overall distances will be on a highway.

The other part of the puzzle is the drive from Nanaimo goes from sea level up to Grande Prairie’s 650m (2130ft) , basically uphill all the way.

So as I start with 100% charge I have 504kms without climate on or 480kms with climate on, and as there are lots of chargers all the way up to Mount Robson I see no point in not using climate.

The drive from Jasper to Grande Prairie will be without climate, unless I see really good distances on full charges up to that point. As I said, this is a first, so leaning on the side of caution.

Ferry

So the first leg of the trip is on the ferry, Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, from there over to Hope where despite the size has an Electrify Canada station as well as a BC Hydro station both with DC Fast Charge, along with a number of L2 for that final top up.

Stay tuned for updates over the next 24 hours.

Electric Car

Back in February after many stressful trips in the car with a crazy dog, I was wondering about the suitability of a 4 door sedan and having a border collie puppy.

The 4 door sedan was a Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, a car we bought as we planned our move to British Columbia with its $1.50l gas prices, currently $1.52 in places. When I checked the trade-in value of the car I was shocked, its value was dropping like a lead balloon.

The Sonata

I started to look around at Electric Vehicles, EVs and found several models out there, some, like the jaguar, were just out of the price range, then some of the others just did not have the range. Ever what we bought had to make it from Jasper to Grande Prairie as my son still lives there and will be for a few years yet.

I started to look more at the Hyundai Kona EV, it is a small SUV, but as we don’t live in Alberta anymore most of our road trips are not that far, after all, Vancouver Island is not that big. The Kona also was within the price range for both the BC provincial and Federal EV rebates, $5,000 and $3000 respectively. This brought the price of the middle model, the preferred, down to a price we could manage and it has a range of 430kms, enough to get from Jasper to Grande Prairie, well in the summer, not sure about winter.

So in February we took the plunge and traded in the Sonata, an awesome car, for a white Kona EV Preferred, the higher model had some features which would have been nice to have, such as a soon roof and cooling seats, but it put the price over budget and the preferred has what new needed including adaptive cruise control which has become a must-have for me.

Over the past few months, I have been super impressed with the Kona EV, it is very nimble, stick to the road around the corners thanks to the battery location creating a very low centre of gravity. It is fast off the mark and will beat pretty much most ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars off a standing start up to about 60/80 km.

Due to the pandemic, we have not been able to go on any road trips, but this weekend I am heading off to Grande Prairie for a few days to see my son. I am fully vaccinated and if the government is not letting fully vaccinated people know what they can or cannot do then I will do what I feel safe. I will not be staying in any hotels, so aside from that will be doing just what I do at home, social distancing and wearing a mask.

First off the map, this is from a system called PlugShare that covers pretty much all the EV chargers out there.

Green are Level 2 and Orange are DC Fast Chargers

So the various types of charges are.

Ignore the times as that is battery size dependent

So as you can see the charger that comes with the car will take a while to charge the car, if you just used it to drive to work and home then an overnight charge would work for you, anything beyond that then you need a level 2 at home or work, but you could also take advantage of a fast charger.

A BC Hydro DC Fast Charger on the way to Tofino

So I will add a few tech details as it relates to EVs and the Kona from ime to time.

New Look New Outlook

Trying some new looks with the blog, so sorry if it is a little inconsistent over the next couple of weeks as I settle on a new look and customize it.

Been a while since I posted with life getting in the way along with a new puppy which swallowed up my time with just trying to keep things moving around the house and even that fails, don’t believe me you should see my floors right now!!

It’s hard to believe that this time last year the pandemic was just starting to roll, although, at the time, I think the thought was that by Christmas all would be back to normal, well we know how that went. We even lost over $1,000 on an Airbnb as the company would not refund us, never use OnlyBC for your rental they lie and cheat you out of your money, but that is for a post all to itself.

Last year our house was on the market as we had decided to make the move to the island anyhow seeing as school was done for the year for Owen and with the hope, we would sell our house before not too long, we did sell getting an offer days before we moved at the end of May.

So a year later Jenn and I were talking about how, if it was not for the pandemic, we would not be in the house we are in.

The timing of moving at the end of May and not the end of June or later the house we had rented would just not have been available, with three-bedroom rentals in Nanaimo, particularly houses, almost impossible to come by. (We ended up buying the house four months into our lease, just pure luck the landlord was looking to get out of the rental business and sold it to us at the assessed value, a steal of a deal.)

Now with everything going green again, although green was always there, we look forward to spring and summer of walks and relaxation on our patio, along with some wine, gin and beer, yep, nothing changes on that front.

So where are we going with this post? Just to say there will be more posting, with my typical views on the world, tips and news about tech, retirement life and life, in general, living in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

So till next time, stay safe and if you can get your vaccine.

Mornings

What are mornings?

What are mornings?

When you work mornings are a busy run around get lunch made get the kids up make a coffee grab some breakfast shower shave get dressed get out the door on time… phew (sorry Clyde)

Yes mornings can be stressful when you are working, but once you retire and you step back mornings are a time to contemplate the day, life and one hundred and one other things.

I am sat here now in my happy place, Nanaimo on Vancouver island, this is my view right now.

My Morning View on June 26th 2020

Not to shabby eh?

Of course I am not so crazy to think that it will always be like this, it does rain in Nanaimo and on Vancouver Island in general, so I do know that it’s going to be pretty wet where I am sat right now and there will be weeks of it at time, but I will still be in my happy place.

So I have started to sit outside for breakfast in the mornings and make this time a time to read the news, ponder my navel and once in a while write something profound, ok maybe not profound but at least write sometime.

So as the time approaches 9am, I wrap up my quiet morning of contemplation and relaxation to start the list of things that need doing, you know like getting my Mother’s birthday card in the mail, the one that was supposed to be in the mail on Tuesday.

Have a good day all.

Through the eyes of…

…the home worker

We cleaned out the shed today, which was supposed to be done last weekend but the weather was not good. So far, we have made $85 from selling old stuff in there and should have some more $ coming tomorrow after the Facebook bidding war has closed on Owen’s bike!

Not too shabby and should help pay for fixing our water heater with never ending problems!

…the teenager

Today I am feelin okay

Yesterday was a great day I got some work done.

Tomorrow I predict that I will play basketball with my dad

Today I hope to figure code stuff out and then use it and I hope tomorrow I can get a lot of work done

…the retiree

All I can say is I hope this is the last fix on the water heater, pouring water out of it today.

Through the eyes of…

…the retiree

Although we are moving we had the yard spring cleaned today, need to increase or at least keep up the curb appeal, so looking forward to the grass starting to grow and turn green. The front lawn does look pretty good when it’s green and cut nice.

Was Monday today, so it was off to the grocery store and car wash, just seems to a good time, quiet at the grocery store, and easy to get through the car wash.

The grocery store was fully stocked, aside from hand sanitizer, even picked up some shaving gel for the teenager.

…the home worker

Nothing exciting to report today. Today was crazy busy even though I expected it to be very quiet. For that, I did an extra 10 minutes of yoga on top of the 30 minutes planned.

New cases of the virus dropped in Alberta today, which was nice, but still frustrated by the teenager’s whining about not being able to go play basketball.