Christmyth Day: Projects and Progress Report

So much has been happening, and I’ve had little time for updating this site.  So this will be my Christmas Day review.

Picture:  Our living Christmas tree.  It may get a bigger pot and wait for next year before we plant it.Since completing and mounting the frog, we’ve built a bike garage out of pallets from the hot tub store at the corner of our block.  This was free, except for the roof and door hardware, about a hundred bucks total.

Picture:  Our bike garage.  Free if I don't count my time as worth anything.Picture:  The bike garage occupied.  It's got plenty of headroom even for me.I’ve also built the bat house.  It’s a deluxe bat apartment which should house three to five hundred bats in complete comfort.  I just hope they find it and take up residence come the spring.

Picture:  The bat house on it's sixteen foot tall post.Picture: The bat house.  Carefully designed according to the latest research.Because bat houses can be invaded by wasps and hornets, I put this one on a swivel base set in concrete.  I should be able to lower it for cleaning fairly easily.  Of course I’ll only do that if the bats have been driven out, because I understand they will abandon their digs if disturbed.

Picture:  The swivel base for the bat house.And then the recent big news, I’ve completed stage one of our water feature, the big pond.

Picture:  Our new pool with the liner in place, ready for water.It’s nineteen by nine feet and four feet deep, dug completely by hand.

Picture:  Our new pool now full of water.  I still have to add the stream and waterfall.Just today I was tweaking the edges so that the liner material is completely covered and some of the rocks are partly submerged.  That has a magical effect.  The liner virtually disappears in the reflections from the rock edge.  I’m now thinking about building the stream and waterfall.

Picture:  the edge of our new pool.  Wonderful the way the liner disappears.That’s the news of messing around and having fun in our yard.  But more seriously, I am now the CEO of two companies:  Salt Spring Spirits Ltd. and Dalen Investments VCC Inc.

Salt Spring Spirits will become the first distillery on Salt Spring Island, once we get a license from the LCLB (Liquor Control and Licensing Branch) and some financing.  The VCC in Dalen Investments VCC Inc. stands for Venture Capital Corporation.  Once registered as such I’ll be able to offer investors a 30% tax rebate certificate.  The big obstacle to these plans is the LCLB license, which requires that everything, and I mean everything, be in place simply to make an application.  They want financial statements for three years, sales projections, architectural drawings of the facility, startup and operational budgets, site drawings, sketches of the proposed signage, and probably a collection of other things they won’t tell me about until I get the application in.  It’s all tedious and expensive, but with the help of my Chief Financial Officer, I’m working my way through it.  Hopefully I’ll have the application in to the LCLB very early in the new year.

What else?  Oh, I’ve found a fiddle group in Qualicum Beach, the Oceanside Jammers, and I join them every Thursday evening for some music.  Great bunch.

Picture: Oceanside Jammers in Concert, Qualicum Beach B.C.I’ve been playing fiddle, viola, and banjo with the OJ’s and learning a new tune every week.

In other musical news, Ruth and I are slated to provide forty minutes of musical entertainment at the local Unitarian church on January 3.  The Unitarians run the only church I can stand to attend.  They don’t go in for dogma, and seldom make reference to any god.  They welcome everybody, even atheists.  Ruth has been singing in their choir every Sunday morning, and had a part in their Christmas pageant – a cute play in which paganism (represented by Mother Earth and Mother Nature) sue Christianity for copyright infringement and stealing their symbolism.  Ruth played Mother Earth to great praise and approval.

And finally, I have found a wonderful Chinese tutor, a young woman from Beijing who is working on her masters at Vancouver Island University.  Lu Zheng (April) comes to our home for an hour twice a week and is very good at not speaking English to me.  I’ve also been taking the mother of one of Ruth’s tutoring clients out for coffee and getting some oral Chinese practice.  So I’m still working on it, and determined not to let what I gained in China slip away.

And I think that’s it.  I hope everybody had a great Christmas.  All the best in the New Year.

I always welcome your comments.