Friday, April 20, 2018

Hardware Stores in Taiwan

A friend asked me what hardware stores look like here. So I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of them. First, here is the plumbing store where I bought the kitchen and bathroom fixtures. It is a small shop but it has most of the things necessary. They did have to order the kitchen one, but it only took a couple days.

Hengchun Plumbing Store

Next are two shots of the hardware that has tools, bolts, hose, some paint, etc. They are very typical of SE Asian Chinese stores. They all spill out on the sidewalk in front. They are narrow, as if store front was taxed by the width but very deep.

Hengchun Hardware Store outside
There actually is a second isle to the left, but only accessible by the owner and he is thin!What appears to be the back end of the isle is only the first segment. There are 3 or 4 more parts of the store going way back. Big bolts, rope and plastic hose are in the next segment and cement, fencing, etc. next. I haven't been all the way to the back. You can just see the owner leaning back into the isle just before the aluminum ladder.
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The one isle
I bought a pair of medium channel lock pliers today for about $9 USD, so no great price break on good tools. I don't remember any other prices, but cheap China stuff is cheap, but USA/Australian is not.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A little boat maintenance, facuits

Just finished installing a new fixture for the shower. Of course it's for a boat so I had to create it from stainless plumbing parts.


New kitchen faucet installed and ready to go. Even hot water in the hot side! Only 12 years to get it. (Reminds me of Snuffy Smith.) But we didn't have a hot water heater most of that time. I left the tap on the right cause it's filtered water.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

We went to Taiwan

I should do a real post, but we are in Taiwan now. Having fun and eating!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Not My Dog

When we arrived here there were new puppies from a yard dog. Trinda and son=me of the other girls started feeding and messing with them. Pepe took one home to his house fior a guard dog. Another cruiser took this one down to the vet for neutering and shots. But no one claims the black dog.

He is friendly and nice, loves attention and has even learned a few tricks. Hi-five is the worker boys favoriet trick with him. They normally completely ignore dogs, but since we domesticated this one they all like him.  BUT me!
Blackie - alias: Not My Dog
We are back to painting again. Maybe the last coat of primer before the glossy white and non-skid on the deck.

Every coat of paint or varnish has come with the muddy foot prints of a certain black dog, Blackie, also known as "Not my dog!". He is sure Trinda is going to feed him as soon as the paint compressor stops.

The not so dog proof barrier.

At first just the lower of the Styrofoam blocks was enough to deter him a while. But he soon learned to wiggle underneath. A bungee tied across the top stopped that.  Just to be replaced by carefully jumping over and landing on the narrow catwalk to the boat.

The first iteration of the double Styrofoam only lasted till the tide went out. The end of the catwalk came up and pushed the stack over.

Today the stack is well tied and with a bungee too. But a little rain, thunder and lightning, I don't have high hopes for a clean deck in the morning for the first coat of finish paint.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Bike Accident in Philippines

Motorcycle trip to town (Cebu, 35km away) today. Greg noticed his front tire needed air, so we drove kinda on the shoulder at about 40 kph. Instead of our usual 60kph, dodging tricycles and jeepney/minivans.

We got about 11 kilometers away. Greg noticed a gas station on the left so slowed to make a left turn into it. A couple on small bike had deciced we were too slow so was in the process of passing me (over-taking they say) and didn't notice Greg slowing to turn. He had his signal on and slowed enough to put a foot down when they hit his rear tire and lost control. Crash! Including faceplant and really messed up little finger. No helmet, shoes, gloves, long pants, jackets or brains, or even attention. He was talking to his wife/other on the back when he hit Greg's tire. He first thought about passing in the on-coming traffic lane, then changed his mind to go behind him. Indecision is a bitch. The highways are full of flat squirrels!

Greg pulled on into the station, I pulled on to the right side a while then into the station too. The other guy sat in the street crying and his wife hugging him and crying too till the police and the ambulance came. He did have road rash around his eye, arm and his little finger looked bad. His bike was not very damaged, only cosmetic and the mirror. After a while more telling their story in filipino, they were off in the ambulance to see about his hang nail.

The police asked Greg to follow them to the station in Compestella. I followed too. They took a statement and the said to wait. The chief sat with his phone and dual ear-phones on the whole time, only taking them out to talk to another officer in Filipino occasionally. Sometimes talking to us and sometimes to the mic on the headset. He did come out and inspect the bikes and asked how it happened. He pointed out the scuff mark on Greg's rear finder as the only place the other bike had hit. From behind. We talked about the lack of training and following of traffic rules here some.

After an hour or so I got tried and asked if there was something I could do. "No, go on." was all I got. So I went on to town and did the shopping Greg and I had planned. He was released, without drivers license a couple hours later.

I went ahead and shopped for both of us and then started home. After I passed Compestella, two of the first officers, on a bike started to pass and recognized me. I stopped and waved them over to ask about Greg. But they asked first about his phone number. Seems they neglected to get it. Then they asked me to call him and request he return to the station for the investigation, as the 'victim' had been released from the hospital and was at the police office.

I headed on toward home, but when I saw Greg, he asked if I would come back to the police office, as a witness for his side. I had Big Mac's for friends (that haven't learned that McDonald's will make you fat) getting cold, but I turned around and went back with Greg.

The other guy, the 'victim', had brought his English speaking daughter who pretended to know all about the accident. The chief told her several times to stop talking and sit, as she wasn't a witness. The victim did a good act of drugged and in pain. I noticed the officer also had a large scar on his forehead from a past accident, most likely on a bike.

He drew chalk marks on his desk describing the hyway. Then produced two toy cars and two motorcycles and asked each of us to show the accident. Of course Greg and I had one version, but they had a different one. Their's did not match the damage to the bikes though. After an hour of this we went outside, positioned the bikes in the parking lot and went through it again. It was obvious the chief favored Greg's story. Back inside he lectured the victim about how one is supposed to make a left turn across the traffic and what the vehicles behind are supposed to do, about 10 times. His wife still didn't get it.

Finally he got out the drivers licenses and pushed them across the desk. Then he asked about the hospital costs. They said more than 10,000 pesos, but couldn't produce a receipt. He finally suggested Greg offer 4000P even though he was not at fault. Greg agreed. But he only had 3000. Young daughter piped up with "His friend should loan the rest."

I said "Hell no! You follow too close, don't wear the required helmet, shoes, etc don't pay attention and rear-end someone, get hurt, YOU are liable for the damages!" The chief told me to loan Greg the money. OK. We left.

All finished, no future obligations, the officers remember my name... Probably a good thing.

The foreigner has money and will always pay, even when right. Just less than $100 USD, and no damage to the bike, but ruined a shopping day in the big city. I have been wishing for a dash cam. It would have come in handy today, if I had looked the right direction at the right time. But it might have shown how quickly Greg changed his mind about turning left at the station too.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Update on the New Stove

I never did post a picture of the finish installed new stove. We have used it a lot and obviously have gotten it dirty already. The gimbal seems to work OK. There is not much room for it though. We'll have to wait till we are sailing to find out for sure.

The thermostat for the oven works good. But the painted on temperature settings have rubbed off already. Thats OK though, cause they were in Centigrade and didn't help that much. I have bought a digital thermometer for it, but haven't had time to install it yet.

The white cord going up the back is for a 12volt to 220volt inverter to run the oven light, rotisserie motor and the spark igniter for the burners.

The stainless bar across in front of the knobs is there to keep you from falling onto the stove when the boat rocks. The companion way steps behind give a convenient rest on the opposite side. It makes the kitchen a cozy one person affair.


When we lowered the shelf below the stove to let it sit at counter level it made it pretty low. Trinda decided it needed to be a pullout drawer so she could reach it.. $20 materials and a week and a half for two guys makes a $150 drawer. But it is white inside so you can see the pots. Ha ha ha. And it rolls out nice. It really didn't need to be 1/2" fiberglass to hold those little pots.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Trinda's Birthday

We had dinner out for Trinda's birthday. The banner was quite a surprise. She wanted crispy pata, which is a local specialty. It is a pork leg, boiled till tender. Then deep fried till the skin is crispy. It is actually pretty good.
Of course she blew out the candles on he cake. Not like they were all there....

We made a "Key Lime Pie" but with a recipe adapted for the local limes, called calamanse. They are smaller than key limes and maybe a little sweeter. It took more than 40 to get the required 1/2 cup of juice. But it was well worth it!