Days 137-139: October 16-18: In Pender Island

Bob had just received a new computer, and he'd invited a friend of his over from Vancouver to help him set it up. I helped Tyler set up the machine, and we tried to show Bob how to do some common things.

We both had digital cameras, with which we took about 50 shots of Cooper's Landing for Bob's website (, which Tyler was going to work on. We went out in Bob's boat, with him at the helm and us taking photos.

Bob in the boat
I think we got some good shots of the property.

Bob's dock

View from the beach
I volunteered to help Bob set up some more things on his computer, including writing a program to automatically respond to email that came from website requests for information. This ended up being a 5 hour job to write, as I had to figure out how to automate his email program using a programming language that I knew. I managed to give myself a sore neck by hunching over the computer, which brought back memories of similar pain that I'd experienced when I was working. Someday I'll have to figure out how to work on a computer without back and neck pain.

Saturday night, Bob and I went to the island's big weekend social event: the "meat draw". This was held at the Royal Canadian Legion hall, where lots of people were sitting around talking and drinking beer. The meat draw, it turns out, is a raffle in which packs of meat are given out as prizes. I didn't buy any tickets, since I can't store meat very well on my bicycle. I did get to talk with some local people, one of whom has some friends that have started a software company.

The Legion hall is the only place on the island where people can go to drink, ever since a boat ran into the pub at the marina, and the other pub burned down. Bob showed me a video he'd taken of the pub fire.

On Sunday, I told Bob that I'd help him some more. I spent some more hours trying to automate his mail. I'd been staying for free, of course, with Bob making food every so often for both of us. Two women from Vancouver came up to stay in the lodge, and I had an interesting talk with one of them.

Nelie is a family practice doctor who is in her late 40's or early 50's (I'd guess). She told me how she'd become increasingly frustrated with her inability to help her patients who had chronic problems. A couple of years ago, she'd started to study "alternative" and "holistic" medical practices, and to learn about the connection between body, mind, and spirit. She told me about how it's helped her with some of her more difficult patients, and how it's helped her to find a more centered existence for herself.

We went out on the water on some of Bob's kayaks, and paddled around for a couple of hours. It was a great day to do a paddle, since the sun was bright and the sky was clear. I enjoyed the color of the changing leaves from the water, and saw an otter watching us.