When I went down to Rockfish Gap Outfitters to get a more readable compass than the tiny one in the center of my luo pan, before starting my feng shui, they had a sign out front advertising a paddling film fest for which they had tickets. It was to be held at one of the local microbreweries, Basic City, the following Wednesday evening. Now Basic City is one of the breweries on my card I got St Patrick’s day, and it’s less than two miles from home. Wednesday evening would be otherwise just another same thing different day evening. So I asked the clerk how much a ticket was. Just five dollars!! A whole evening of films for five bucks! Have you gone to a movie theater lately? The nationwaide average is just over nine dollars. In Washington DC two tickets will cost you $26.00.
Not only that, but most movie chains don’t serve any beer, much less microbrews. So I went. I must be on a roll of some kind since the weather turned, first going to YJ’s Tae Kwon Do exhibition and now this. I had a great time. The beer was really good, although I limited myself to three flavors and three pints. I met some great people very happy to invite me to join their paddling clubs. The films were really high quality productions and diverse in presentation. You can see if it will be touring near you here and you can see the film lineup at the website here.
There was one short that was an interesting suprise, The Wild President. No, not Teddy Roosevelt or Andrew Jackson or Ulysses Grant. It was Jimmy Carter! It turns out he had quite a history of white water canoeing and was instrumental in protecting many of Georgia’s rivers. I found two other shorts really special. Freedom and Don’s Canoe. Freedom is about a paraplegic man who found freedom in kayak fishing. Don’s Canoe is about a Banff, Canada outdoorsman and his building of a canoe using traditional methods. I always love watching a true craftman at work. Take eight minutes and watch it on Vimeo here. It will lower your blood pressure and leave you feeling at peace.
I think my favorite film was Dugout. Two Brits go to the Equadorian rain forest, live with the indigenous people and are taught to make a dugout canoe from choosing the right tree to hauling the finished canoe through the jungle to a launch point. These men gave a whole new meaning to “get out of your comfort zone”. Sadly, in following up to learn a little more, I discovered that there is now an oil drilling camp in the placed they lived and their teacher and his family have had to move away. Not only is this an adventure film but a record of a pristine rain forest and the life of the people who lived there that is gone forever.
Getting to go to the film fest was a nice diversion from the report back from the engineers. The foundation and the foundation of the fireplace are in good shape. The bad news is the long term moisture problem in the crawlspace has damaged a number of the joists which will need repair and I know it will be costly. This is because that crawlspace is such an expetive deleted awkward place to work. The repair is actually fairly straightforward, it’s called sistering, and it’s merely treating the damaged sections to prevent further damage and fastening another section of joist next to it overlapping the damage. Of course, after all the plumbing and other work is done, I will do further moisture mitigation, but there is no point in installing a vapor barrier that will get torn up by the men trying to work down there.
There were few blooms on the lilac bush this year, maybe when it is dug up and moved to the back yard it will do better, althougth lilacs do have a productive lifespan. It’s sitting in the path of the excavation for the water and sewer mains so it has to come up regardless. On the other hand, the Van Houtte spirea did there snow in summer thing and were beautiful until h thunderstorm the other night beat them up with tiny hail. They still look beautiful to me but there is a lot of white confetti on the ground underneath them. I thought none of the irises would bloom but in the last few days stalks have shot up on a couple of them at least. My comfrey has come back inspite of being mowed flat by the lawn man while I was with the chimney sweep. But I seem to have lost my camphor southernwood. They were fine back at the end of February. I think the yo-yo weather may have gotten them. In compensation the rose next to the blackberries put up two canes as tall as they are. Last summer it died back to the ground, as did all my other roses. This is the only one which recovered. I am thinking of taking soil samples down to Virginia Tech to test for toxins and fungus and such in the soil.
As for the blackberries, this year I will finally get quite a few. The little pink blossoms have started to open and I’d better dig the screening out of the storage before they turn into berries or the birds will have them. Right now they are only for the bees, who must be hard up. The camellias are still tight buds buth there were several bees and wasps buzzing around them as if trying to figure out why they weren’t open. They will be soon, and there will be quite a few. I hope that will make the bees happier. The cats have been happier with all the windows open to sit in and bug, bird and squirrel activity at it’s peak. And I am pretty happy for the first time in a while, not the least because warm weather is finally here.