Old Red Jacket Talker

Just an old RCMP dispatcher’s ramblings . . .

Nice Drive With nothing better to do today we dec…

Nice Drive

With nothing better to do today we decided to take a drive over to Outlook as a change of pace. The sun was shining but it really wasn’t overly warm, but still it was nice to get out and see the country side. There seems to be a fair amount of water left in the fields in some spots, but for the most part, it looks like the fields have dried up quite nicely.

While we were over that way we stopped off at Barich’s and got a box of potatoes. Believe me these are nice potatoes and at $10.00 for a 50 pound box you don’t find a much better deal. As we were driving into Barich’s I noticed all the old potatoes out in the field ready to be tilled under. These would be potatoes that spoiled or were soft, etc. That was a sure sign that planting was just about ready to start. I enquired with the young fellow serving me if they were getting near the end of last year’s harvest. He affirmed they were getting low on stock so it won’t be much longer and we’ll have to put up with the inferior potatoes you normally get at Safeway or Extra Foods, Superstore, etc.

For now we’re good to go for the next month or so with good spuds. Bring on the bbq.


May 10, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What A Slow Drive We headed to Regina this mornin…

What A Slow Drive

We headed to Regina this morning to pick up Julia. The trip is not the most scenic at the best of times and can get down right boring. Today was even worse than normal as of course we were driving a brand new vehicle.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of a brand new vehicle, the operator’s manual states you should not drive above 90 kmph for the first 800-900 kilometres. Yup you read that right. I got to drive to Regina and back at a top speed of 90 kmph. I did cheat once when we went down the Lumsden hill, but otherwise it was on cruise at 90. Of course everyone whizzed by us, but we just plodded along at 90.

The only nice thing is that the odometer is sitting around 700 kms at present, so only one more trip south and I can then ‘pedal it to the metal’ and get the speedo up to 110 (or so). However, one nice thing about the slower speed is that it appears the gas mileage does improve a bit. Now I’m not sure if that is just the speed I’m going or the newer engine (with new oil, etc). Time will tell on that one.

For now all I can say is “Darn that is one long trip”.

May 4, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Finally New Wheels My newest acquisition has f…

Finally New Wheels

My newest acquisition has finally arrived in my garage. After being dicked about by a certain company down Regina way, I finally had enough and ‘let my fingers do some walking’ and called the dealership in Rosetown. The Regina company still couldn’t supply a vehicle after 2 weeks of searching whereas the young gal at Rosetown Mainline Motors was able to find a vehicle, that was probably more than what we wanted but at less cost than Regina, in about 15 minutes.


Within calling Rosetown I had a reply back within minutes of an available vehicle. A few phone calls later and it was on it’s way to Rosetown. This was Thursday afternoon. Friday just after noon, Sandra and I were on our way to Rosetown to pick up the new vehicle. By 5:00 pm we had finished all the paperwork, turned over our old vehicle and were sitting back in our living room having a cocktail to celebrate our newest purchase.

Whereas about the only real thing we wanted on our new vehicle was running boards, this vehicle comes with the following extras:

– LT preferred equipment group
– P245/65R17 On/Off Road White outline lettered tires
– Reclining front bucket seats
– AM/FM Bose Stereo with in-dash 6 disc CD changer
– 17″ X 7″ sport aluminum wheels with centre caps
– Sun and sound package (all controls on the steering wheel)
– XM Satellite radio built-in
– Front and rear roof mounted head curtain side-impact airbags
– Driver convenience package (rear seat headphone jacks, individual audio controls)
– Power adjustable brake and accelerator pedals
– BOSE premium sound system
– Side step running boards
– Underbody shield package(so the roots at the lake don’t puncture the oilpan) 🙂
– Power tilt-sliding sunroof
– Tow Hooks
– Fog lights
– Built in garage door opener
– OnStar for 1 year
– Built in voice activated cell phone (with local Hanley phone number)

All in all, the vehicle is fairly fully loaded and probably a way too many toys for me to play with. But as we are finding out, the extras sure are nice and make everyday driving that much more comfortable.

After making the decision to go with Rosetown and setting up delivery, I was not really looking forward to the ultimate call from the Regina dealer. However, about 4 hours after I had everything set up with Rosetown, the fellow from Regina called. Of course he wasn’t too happy with my decision to scrap his plans. I felt pretty crappy about the whole deal, but then the fellow was not really giving me much service and I told him so. Still all in all, it is certainly not the way I like to do business.

But, enough was enough !

April 30, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Purple Martins Are Back On Friday I heard some fo…

Purple Martins Are Back

On Friday I heard some folks announcing that they had seen purple martins swooping around the area and that they were busy getting their ‘martin houses’ raised. While I was out in the yard on Saturday I also heard and saw a martin flying around.

This is fairly early for the martins up in this country as they don’t normally arrive until mid-May. However, these birds may just be the advance scouts who search out likely areas for the main flock to settle in. The birds that have arrived here are definitely looking into building nests and what not, but as of yet there is not a lot of them.

While out working in the yard I also noted a couple of tree swallows swooping around and checking out the bird houses. Normally these miniature purple martins arrive a couple weeks earlier than their larger cousins. So they are arriving at approximately their normal time of the year.

Either way you look at it, hopefully we have some summer weather coming with the birds. So far we really have only had a couple of real nice days. Mind you yesterday and Saturday were very nice even though it was a bit windy on Saturday. It would be nice to get a little warmer though…

April 30, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Still Driving an Old Truck We still had heard not…

Still Driving an Old Truck

We still had heard nothing from Wheaton’s regarding our new vehicle at the end of business yesterday (Monday). So last night I got on the ‘net and did some searching. Lo and behold I found a new vehicle at Rosetown Mainline that would fit our bill to a Tee. I was determined to get up bright and early and drive to Rosetown and check out the vehicle, however, during the night I rethought the process and figured there would not be a lot of sense in driving over if they in fact did not have the vehicle in question in stock. Possibly the company didn’t up date their Internet information.

So the first thing this morning I was going to phone them and make certain they in fact had a new vehicle in stock for viewing. Once I got up I got to thinking that maybe I should give Wheaton a call to see what the heck was going on. After sitting and thinking for a few minutes I decided to call Wheaton and give them a shot as I had been dealing with them for the last 3 weeks.

When I spoke to the salesman he assured me that our vehicle was in the bag and he should know in an hour or so when the vehicle would be in Regina and available for pickup. He assured me he would give a call back in an hour or so with the details. Now this was about 11:00 a.m. so I felt I had nothing to loose by waiting and felt there was no need to drive the 2 hours over to Rosetown at this point in time. Before I knew it lunch was upon us and then just after lunch I decided that I should get the current truck cleaned up a bit and wash off the winter’s grit.

After washing and cleaning the truck and getting it all cleaned up for a turn in I noticed the time was just after 3:00 p.m. Still no call from Regina which didn’t really please me. I continued to get squared away with putting the cleaners away and just generally cleaning up. Then I headed downtown to check the mail to see what bills arrived today. About 5 minutes after my return the phone rang and it was the salesman from Wheaton’s. He assured me that the driver was heading off bright and early tomorrow (Wednesday) morning to pick up our new vehicle. He would be back in Regina by late afternoon on Wednesday.

I then enquired when the vehicle would be available for pickup by yours truly and the salesman said he wanted to check it over to ensure no damage, etc. He stated he would give me a call late tomorrow to set up a pickup time. Now I’m sort of zoned in on how this guy works, so I’m not expecting a call until Thursday morning. With that I told Sandra we would probably be heading to Regina Friday morning to pick up the new wheels.

I’m not too unhappy with being able to get the vehicle on Friday as my insurance etc are issued on April 29th, so I can just transfer everything over with little fuss. I am a bit peeved though with my whole treatment from Wheaton during this vehicle purchase though. The last time we dealt with Wheaton (four years ago), it was just great. This time their service has been a lot less than stellar. I quite honestly can not say whether I will deal with them again over their treatment thus far.

There are lots of dealers out there and if this one does not want to give great service well I’ll just move onto another one that does offer better service. Mind you I shouldn’t have to worry about anything for at least the next four years.

Time will tell.

April 24, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Nice Day Trip Yesterday I was able to take a nice…

Nice Day Trip

Yesterday I was able to take a nice day trip up to North Battleford to attend the Royal Canadian Legion’s District meeting. Originally there were going to be 3 or 4 of us taking the trip, however, due to some unplanned for sickness there was only myself and the bro-in-law Ron who made the trip.

We departed at 09:30 a.m. and arrived in North Battleford just in time for lunch. As I haven’t really been back to the city for going on 11 years, I had no idea what was or was not a good place to stop for lunch. We decided on Humpties, however, when we got to the location it look liked the parking lot was fairly full. Glancing across the road at the Tropical Inn we saw their lot wasn’t too bad so we pulled in and headed for Smitty’s.

It was fairly full in Smitty’s due to a hockey team just arriving, but we got seated within 5 minutes and had a coffee within a minute or. We didn’t order anything spectacular and within a reasonable time frame we had out food which was fairly tasty.

After the lunch we headed for the Legion to get registered for the meeting that was to commence at 1:00 p.m. We found a seat near the head table and got seated in. As I was sitting I looked around to take in the changes that had been made in my absence. Of course I was a member of the North Battleford Legion for 25 years or so. I really didn’t find a lot of changes made in the place. It looked darn close to what it looked like the last time I slipped in for a wobbly pop about 11 years ago. The interesting part was it appeared the same faces that had been running the local Legion for the last 20 plus years were the same faces that were seated in the audience. It is like any organization, some folks are always stepping forward and taking charge and others sit back and don’t take part at all.

The meeting was fairly informative and Ron and I were able to capture the Zone golf for the Hanley Legion for 2007 (June 10th, 2007) and the District curling for 2009. We were going to try for the District golf for 2009 but thought better of it after a moments reflection. We figured we have our hands full trying to put on the Zone golf this year and the District curling next year let alone trying for a third tournament.

After a quick bubbly on the conclusion of the meeting Ron and I got back in the truck and pointed it southbound. On departure from the Legion I took a different street than our arrival just so I could get a look around the city that I called home for 21 years. Quite honestly there is not a lot of change from what I could see. The same businesses (more or less) were still open for business and the same empty lots were still there. On doing some checking afterwards I found the population has stayed about the same. It just doesn’t seem to go up or down too much which I would say is probably attributed to a lack of any large industry in the area.

We arrived back in Hanley around 7:30 p.m. and other than being a bit stiff from sitting all day found it was a fairly nice day all in all. Still it was a nice visit even though it was too short. Hopefully Sam and I can point the new truck in that direction this summer on our way north and take a little longer trip through the city and get to visit a few of our long time friends that are still residing in the city.

We’ll see.

April 23, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Still Waiting To say that the search for our new …

Still Waiting

To say that the search for our new vehicle has gone smoothly would be quite the understatement. After we travelled down to Regina a couple weeks ago to get a few things straightened out we thought we had it ‘in the bag’ with the new vehicle.

We had picked out the colour, the options and everything was a go. Of course our dealer didn’t have the vehicle we wanted in stock but they assured us they could get our wanted vehicle. Then on second thought they advised they’d better call the other dealer to ensure they could do a swap. After a few minutes, the salesman came back and assured us the other dealer was fine with the swap and he’d let us know when our vehicle arrived.

A week later and the phone rings early this morning to advise that the original dealer has now decided they would not honour the swap and that was that. So we were back to square one trying to finding a vehicle that would suit our purposes and desires. Dang, but I was one unhappy camper and I let the salesman know my feelings.

However, I bit my tongue and told the salesman that I’d think over my options and give him a call back in an hour or so and that maybe we’d have to think of a different model (with a different dealer). Then I cooled my heals in the shower and had a thunk of what I wanted to do.

Originally we had nixed the idea of having a sun roof in the vehicle. After all this is Saskatchewan and who needs to be staring up at the hot sun beating down on you. So when I called the salesman back (55 minutes after his call), his first suggestion was that he had a vehicle that was near what we wanted. It was the right colour and all, but it also had a ‘Sun and Sound’ package installed. Now it didn’t have running boards which were one of the only options that we really wanted. Sam is finding it a bit hard to climb into the vehicle of late and the thought that the boards would definitely help her. So when the salesman called and advised no boards, I was a bit pee o’d with him. He assured me that the dealer could install the boards no problem. My retort was ‘yah sure at what cost?’. Well the boards run about $500 or so and then there is the charge to install them. Yup it will probably be about an extra $600 to $650. However the guy stated that for sure they had the colour we wanted (moondust metallic). I advised him to go do this thing with his manager, find the final price, availability of the boards, etc and to give me a call back. He assured me he’d call with 30 minutes.

When the phone rang and I saw it was the salesman, I let the phone ring a few extra times before I picked up the phone. After talking to his boss, the salesman assured me that they could match our previous cost price with the exception of the running boards, but the company was willing to ‘eat’ the cost of the boards as they had jacked us around for a week or so.

So the new vehicle will have the ‘Sun and Sound’ package with a sun roof, XM Radio, Bose stereo/amp, 6 CD disk changer and whatnot along with a set of running boards. Now you have to remember the vehicle is not basic model so it has quite a few upgrades already from the basic model. So even though I’m not a real fan of the sun roof, I can probably live with it. It is the colour that Sandra and I had wanted from day one, so for that we are thankful. Of course we could have searched around for another vehicle of another colour, but once you have your heart set on one colour it is darn hard to change your decision.

So I finally gave my approval to ‘go ahead’ with this new vehicle. When asked when I may expect the vehicle to show up in Regina, the salesman wasn’t too committed to an exact date. However, he did say he was going to get right to work getting it set up for transport. He advised it could be as early as Monday evening, however, mid week would probably be a closer bet. I then impressed on him that I would certainly like a phone call when he had something concrete to advise (ie suggested shipping date) as well as a further call when the darn thing actually arrives in Regina. After all, I do have to make arrangements to travel to Regina to pick up the vehicle, get the insurance changed over, etc. The salesman stated he most definitely would be complying with my requests.

So now we sit for another couple of days waiting for the new vehicle to finally arrive in Regina.

What things some folks will do to get that ‘new vehicle’ smell in their lives 🙂

April 21, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Somedays You Have To Wonder I received a letter i…

Somedays You Have To Wonder

I received a letter in the mail the other day from the Canadian Firearms Registry Center advising that my licence was expiring and that I should get it taken care of right away or I’d be in contravention of the firearms laws of Canada. Of course I immediately got ready to fill out the multitude of forms to renew my firearms licence.

After thinking about why I actually needed this licence (gopher shooting, etc) when I only have a single shot 22 rifle that I had purchased when I was up in the Arctic in 1968, I decided that it just was not worth my time and effort. I have been trucking this rifle around since 68 and it probably hasn’t been fired in probably 20 years. So I figured I’d pass it along to a the local Constabulary for destruction.

I phoned the local office and had one of the members drop by to pick up my firearm and as I no longer needed my licence, I also gave him the licence to destroy. A normal person cannot destroy these licences as they are the property of the Government of Canada or so my letter from the Firearms Center advised.

When the member dropped by, he thought that he wouldn’t mind purchasing my rifle and how much did I want for it. We agreed on a price and then he said that of course he would now have to get a valid firearms licence so he could legally possess the firearms.


Yup, the Government of Canada decided that police officers did not need a licence to have their 9 mm pistols or to use their shotguns, long rifles etc as they had ‘official training’ in their use. The members got a blanket clearance on firearms. I found this interesting in that I know that for the last few years, the RCMP have not been training their members in long rifle use. They train them on their 9 mm handguns and their shotguns (and it is great training), but the RCMP has not had any long guns on their inventories for many years so the members have no or limited training on their use and safety. The thought was that the officers wouldn’t have any use for long guns so their training was cancelled. I have heard that the Force is now reconsidering their postion on the long guns training and possession at the Detachments.

So here I was giving my legally registered rifle to a RCMP member who is not licenced to possess a long rifle. He can use his employer’s firearms, but not own or possess any of his own as he didn’t have a valid licence from the Canadian Firearms Registery Center. This just struck me as so odd, but then the Government of Canada works in mysterious ways at times.

However, a couple days later I was pleased to note that the Government of Canada issued an amendment to their Amnesty Period (2006) for the long rifle users of Canada and extended the period of the amnesty for another year until May 2008.

At least I now feel so much better that I know that the RCMP officer who picked up my rifle is now granted an amnesty for another year to take possession of my firearm.

For the record, I had received approximately 6 months of extensive training with rifles, handguns, grenades and other sundry munitions on my Basic Training in the Armed Forces. Then we re qualified throughout the years on the continued use and care of the aforementioned munitions. I also was qualified as a Range Officer with a fully accredited course from the Canadian Armed Forces in the early 90’s and allowed to instruct cadets age 12 to 19 in the use and handling of 22 long rifles. All this and I still had to jump through hoops to have a lonely old single shot 22 in my possession. Yet, the RCMP officer did not need to have any such licence for him/her to take possession of my rifle.

Somedays you just have to question the wisdom of it all.

April 13, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Little Humour I came across the next directions…

A Little Humour

I came across the next directions in another blog I read. I found ‘Step 23’ a bit humorous to say the least. . .

Fun With Google
Via Rantings of Doom

1. go to http://www.google.com
2. click on “maps,” above the search bar…
3. click on “get directions”
4. type “New York” in the first box (the “from” box)
5. type “Paris” in the second box (the “to” box)
6. click on “get directions”
6. scroll down to step #23

Don’t forget your bathing suit 🙂

April 13, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Crappy Weather What a ridiculous spring this has …

Crappy Weather

What a ridiculous spring this has been. The weather just refuses to warm up any. As I sit and type this the temp is showing -1C and it is overcast outside with the odd snow flurry and the wind blowing like crazy. It is a third of the way through April and we haven’t had one decent day in the month yet.

Yup it has to be that darn ‘Global Warming’ that is doing it to us. Of course that is one of the symptoms of global warming (ie colder at times and warmer at others). But try and convince anyone that our planet is warming up when we are sitting with a furnaces still running in the middle of April.

I’ll just have to keep telling myself that as I pull on my winter jacket to take the garbage out!

April 10, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment