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Monday September 1st 2014

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Jon and I are at Orams' this morning. We had breakfast, Jon and I did a few things and then headed back to Swalwell.

At Sylvan Lake, we decided to have a bite and went to Tim Hortons, but there was a huge lineup, so we went downtown looking for an A&W.  My smartphone was wrong, there was none.  We were headed out of town again when we were stopped by the police. Apparently someone had reported that we had passed on a solid line.  Of course we had.  There was a truck ahead of us acting lost and confused, so we pulled out and passed.

The officer looked at my documents and said  that passing on a single solid line in town is legal and that they are looking for drinking drivers.  He was very polite and pleasant and we went on our way.  Nonetheless, the incident was unnerving.

We stopped in Red Deer to get a locking cat door, the kind that only admits a cat with a magnet on his collar.  When I go away, Amos goes crazy in the house alone and so I figure this will let him come and go without allowing strays.

When we got back, I installed the door while Jon cleaned off the paintings and got them ready for the gallery tomorrow.

We finished round 1630.  I have bee work to do, but am tired and think I'll have a nap  He went to town.

After the nap, I went out and tied down the load of boxes on the truck so I am ready to go tomorrow, then watched some Netflix (The Good Wife) and went to bed.  I limit my watching to one episode of any show per night.  I really should set the TV up by the treadmill and get some exercise while I watch, but am usually fairly tired by the time I sit down to watch.

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns.
That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know.
But there are also unknown unknowns.
There are things we don't know we don't know.
Donald Rumsfeld

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Tuesday September 2nd 2014

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I woke up early and am off to deliver Zippy to Ruth and take honey to my friends for extraction.

A chart of the average gains per hive of four hives on a scaleI really should get some empty boxes on the hives.  I looked back to 2009 and see that the hives put on 50 lbs between this date and the 21st of September that year.

Chart ot daily weight gainsI got seven pounds a hive on September 10th alone. Here are the charts from 2009.  At $2.10 per pound, bulk, that 50 pounds amounts to over $100 per hive.  That's a lot of money. 

I drove to Ruth's and dropped off Zippy, then went on to Meijers' honey house, dropped off some boxes and had coffee.  I want to see how the Acorn frames stand up to commercial extracting compared to Pierco.

Newly drawn Pierco combs are very tender and tear off the base (shown below at left) badly and I am wondering if the different design of the Acorn bases (below right) will make a difference in how well the cell walls are attached to the foundation and how well they stand extraction.

Each brand is shown below as received, single-waxed, from the factory (top), and then after the bees have used all the wax that came on them to start cell walls (below). 

Ignore any size and shape differences.  I shot these with my cell phone and although I tried to match them, obviously, I was not completely successful.

(I am leaving PF-100s out of this as I did not have fresh samples, and I consider the ones I have to be inferior to to either of the others due to the small cell size, sharp edges, and brittle plastic.)

    

   

Pierco                                                     Acorn

Then I drove on to Drum to see how Jon is getting along hanging the art show.  He was just getting started. From there, I went to renew my drivers license.

Here are some rough shots of the show Jon hung today in the Drumheller Library Gallery, taken with his Windows phone.

I was thinking of going to Calgary tonight for the Bluewater Cruising meeting, especially to promote the upcoming Thanksgiving Rendezvous which I am planning, but it is 75 miles each way and we have to be out of here by 0645 tomorrow to catch our flights, so I decided against.  Just as well, I am still watering plants at 2000.

Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
Sir Arthur Eddington

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Wednesday September 3rd 2014

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We are off to YYC at 0630 today.  Jon flies to SNA and I to YSB.

We drove to Airdrie and mike gave us a lift to YYC.  We were plenty early and I had a second breakfast before proceeding through the Nexus security line. 

I boarded on time and settled in.  Once we lifted off, I watched "Pulp Fiction" on the seatback screen and found myself laughing out loud.  I may have seen it before, but if I did, it was all new to me and I found it an ideal way to pass the time.  If only all the movie choices were this good.

I had an hour and half to kill in YYZ and then boarded Flight 7813 to YSB on a Dash-8.  No entertainment on that plane.  I slept.

Mom was at the airport to pick me up.  She had been to the dentist at noon and the freezing had just worn off.  I wonder the freezing affects more than the jaw.  Her driving was a bit erratic, but not enough to concern me.  She is always a very good driver, and I know she was tired.

I have my good days and less good days, too.  I still wonder about my being stopped by the police in Sylvan Lake.   Was I driving badly?  They did not say so, and they had followed me more than a few blocks.

We had supper at The Apollo and drove back to 1207.

The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency.
An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.
Eugene McCarthy

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Thursday September 4th 2014

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I awoke at 0548 local after a good night's sleep and some interesting symbolic dreams about various judgment calls and compromises I have made in my life so far.  Parts of other old familiar dreams and images were recycled and juxtaposed.  Unresolved conflicts, I suppose.

I also found I was contemplating why I find The Good Wife interesting to watch.  Unresolved conflicts?

Basically, other than the fact that the characters are mostly likeable, most of the time, people are not stereotyped and are a mixture of "good" and "bad" as conventionally defined, I find the central premise interesting.

The central character is a woman who is playing a role  -- the good wife -- but others do not always play their expected parts.

She found her role shifted suddenly and has adapted, but cannot accept and forgive her husband for not meeting her expectations and for embarrassing her.  She won't forgive him, but she can't/won't leave him.  A conundrum.

She copes daily with this internal conflict while finding her way through a succession of situations and appearing perfectly composed to the people around her.

So, she is not "in" and she is not "out", and time is passing.  Her kids are growing up, her husband is back in the running for a top political position, she is very successful at law -- and she cannot decide if she is going to accept the hand she has been dealt and 'get over it' or make a jump.

The past is tainting her present and keeping her from fully living in the present.  Tragic, really, but all too common.

Facts are friendly, but too many people cannot get past their own expectations, which are actually just fantasies, and accept what happens for what it is -- reality.

Knowing or not knowing some bit of information can, for some people, make a day and night difference in exactly the same circumstances. 

Disillusionment caused by new information -- true or false -- can be catastrophic even though nothing has changed except perception, and prejudice future events. 

For most people, perception IS reality.

"Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so..." William Shakespeare

Today is overcast here in Sudbury.  I must plan the next few days and prepare for a road trip.

I've figured it out.  Ganaoque is a six-hour drive from here, non-stop.  Of course, I'll stop along the way, so it is a full day of driving.  I'm staying with my cousin at a hotel Friday and Saturday night.

From Gananoque, I am off to Round Lake, another road trip, but only about four hours.

I'll visit Aaron for a while, then drive back to Canada, probably via Niagara Falls.

I have yet to reserve my flight back to Alberta.  The WAS conference is from September 17 to 20, and I doubt I'll be back west by then.  I do have to be back in time for the BCHPA meeting from September 25 to 27th, however.

> Did you arrange for someone to continue poking pills into Amos on schedule while you are gone? So his visit to death's door doesn't re-occur? (Details, details...some of us want to know!) :-)

Er, no. <Blush>

There were about fourteen days supply and only four or five pills left.  He looks A1, and has for about a week now, so I figured he is OK. 

When I took penicillin, they only gave me ten days supply.  I gave him penicillin pills for eleven days.

I suppose I could have had Shirley try, but I am not sure that would work well.

I've been tired and uninspired all day and done very little except write and plan.  It is a bit of a shock to be away from home for more than a day.  I was cocooning at home a bit, and aware of it, but figured it was nice to stay home all summer for the first time in probably two decades.

After all, The Old Schoolhouse is a lovely place; as my friend Bruce said sometimes a building defines a lifetime, and for Ellen, that was the truth.  Sometimes she wanted it to herself, though, and that was when I hit the road. 

I had decided, and thought she agreed when we retired, that we would look for a place more suitable for aging folks and maybe a better climate.   The schoolhouse has stairs, a long driveway that blows in in winter during cold spells that can drop to minus forty for weeks, an antique heating system, a huge yard, and is twenty minutes for medical facilities -- and that is if the ambulance can find the place.

Apparently I was wrong about that and she was determined to live there as long as she could.  We put on fifty-year roofing because, as she said, she did not want to have to redo it when she was ninety.  There was no expectation that I would live that long.  Men in my father's side died in their fifties and sixties.

*    *   *   *   *

I ate supper with Mom -- she cooked pickerel she had just bought -- then she went off to watch the news and and I lay down for a nap.  I slept soundly for thirty-six minutes, then woke up. A minute or so after I woke up and opened my eyes, as so often happens, my phone rang.

It was my broker friend from Vancouver and he says the boat in the Caribbean that I have been looking at since January 2013 has finally come to my price.  That's what happens if you keep making low-ball offers on things.  At some point, they call your bluff and one of them falls into your lap.

Now the ball is in my court and I have to decide. The first step is to have my chosen charter company send someone by to see what they think and if that is a 'go' for them, then arrange surveys, then go down myself to observe the surveys and go out on a sea trial.  The plan is to make some money and not to lose any.  With boats, that is not always easy.

This change of plan upsets my present tranquility.  It means that I may be altering my schedule and and flying around more that I like. It also means I may have another big boat and have to spend some winter months in the Caribbean.  (The picture is just a generic shot).

Oh, my, and I just bought a seasons ticket for Nakiska.  Drat.  I'll miss all that snow and cold. 

It also means I really have to figure out how to leave my house for a month at a time without a freeze-up.

*    *   *   *   *

Around seven-thirty I went out to get the van ready to go tomorrow.  I sorted through my items stored in the garage and when it got too dark to work, there was still more to do.  It is hot and sticky out there.

I'll finish that tomorrow.

In real life, however, you don't react to what someone did;
you react only to what you think she did..
Jonathan Haidt

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Friday September 5th 2014

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I slept well and awoke automatically at 0500 .  It is pitch dark outside.  We are definitely past the longest days.  That is fine with me.  Summer days are too long and winter days are too short.  This is about right, but it won't last. 

The changes accelerate around the equinoxes and we are approaching the fall equinox now.  Hard to believe but this is September 5, 2014.

I feel great, but my throat has a slight tenderness that could be from snoring or something worse.  Travelling light, I did not bring the CPAP machine along.  Maybe I should have?  I'll see after a cup of coffee if it clears up.   I hope it is not strep throat again.

Today I drive south, but first I have to pack and vacuum the van.  I see that the weather south is warm and sunny.

If you have not been to Honey Bee World Forum lately, take a look. There are a some interesting posts lately. 

If you register for the forum, and please do, remember to check your email, including the spam folder.  Registration is not complete until you receive the email and click the link to verify you are you, and not some nasty spammer or 'bot.

Now, at 0623, I had breakfast, coffee, spent some time here answering email and posting, and the day is just beginning to dawn.  I have yet to pack and as soon as I can see outside, I'll vacuum the van and go.  I should check the tires.  The van has been sitting all winter.  I had to charge the  battery when I got here as Sid had borrowed the van and forgot to disconnect the battery. 

Modern vehicles use power when sitting, to run the alarms and waiting for instructions from the key ring remote.  The battery discharges and goes flat in just a few months of sitting unused.

At 0700, we have full light.  The temperature is eighteen and humid.

In Alberta, I heard on FaceBook that there was snow on the QE2 highway north of Calgary yesterday.   Maybe I imagined it.  I can't find it today.  I also heard there was frost in spots, and Three Hills went below zero (right).

I drove south to the 401 and across to Gananoque in about seven hours.  When I arrived at The Glen House, Jack and the others were already there.

I had a dip in the outdoor pool and then we sat around by the water and chatted over drinks.  The Collins arrived and we all had supper in the bar.

I had a second beer and regretted it later when I was up five times during the night. 

Of course the game is rigged.
Don't let that stop you--if you don't play, you can't win.
Robert Heinlein

Robert Heinlein was one of my favourite authors years in my late teens.  I have not read anything at all in the way of fiction for years.  I should take a look and see what I think now.

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Saturday September 6th 2014

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Otherwise, I slept quite well and awoke at 0628.  My throat is fine today, but my hearing and vision are a bit off again.  Something is up.  Hope it passes.

I opened the patio door to find the day was dawning misty and warm, so I changed into my trunks and went for a swim in the St. Lawrence from the beach, forty feet from my door.  

The water was warm and pleasant, and not murky as it had been the previous afternoon.  A kayaker was launching for a dawn paddle around the shore.

I went in and dressed, then took a hike up the hill and caught a connection to a Canadian cellular tower.  Once connected, I was able to buy a US cellular plan, and then hiked up to Smugglers Glen to look at  the golf course.

When I got back, Jack was up and we had breakfast. During  breakfast and after, we met up with the others and the plan is to drive across to Dorothy and Dean's in my seven passenger van.

Back home in Alberta, there was no frost last night, but I hear rumours of snow in Calgary?

Six of us got into my van and drove across to Hill Island and found our way to Collins'.  Ron and Joan appeared after a while and we had lunch, then a ride in the Collins' cruiser at speeds up to 50 knots.  That is a good way to get places fast, but pretty breezy and rough in an open boat.  Most of the time, we putted along, exploring the shoreline and looking at the various homes along the way.

Then we returned to Glen House, then met again for supper at seven at the Ivy Restaurant. 

I chose to be a designated driver for the day and quite enjoyed not drinking.  For one thing, I sleep better when I have not consumed alcohol and for another, drinking often makes me tired.  A bonus is that my bill for supper was a little over $20.  The bill for one couple was over $200.

CNN is one of the participants in the war.
I have a fantasy where Ted Turner is elected president but refuses
 because he doesn't want to give up power.
Arthur C. Clarke

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Sunday September 7th 2014

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We meet for breakfast at 0845 and then go our separate ways.

Back home in Alberta, the prediction is for a hot day.

After breakfast, I'll drive to Round Lake.  It's about a four-hour drive, and one I have done often, but not for about five years.  It is an easy drive on four-lane divided roads.  The last half-hour, from Amsterdam to Round Lake, is on picturesque back roads that I remember quite well from previous visits.

*   *   *   *

I made the trip in four and a half hours.  I'm sitting here on Aaron's porch in in Round Lake writing this.  It's been a long time, I was last here on March, 2011, in fact.

I'm glad I dragged myself away from home to attend the family reunion.  We always have a good time when we get together.  It's over now, but it sounds as if we will have another before too long.  The reunion location fit well with coming down here to New York.

We went out and looked at Aaron's newest bee yard and then went at dusk to help a student he is mentoring move a hive to another location since the neighbours plan to spray the back yard for mosquitoes.

I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month,
and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
Thomas Jefferson

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Monday September 8th 2014

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I slept well, even with the sounds of traffic outside. 

There is a new stop sign at the corner of George and Burlington about fifty feet from my open window and vehicles have to stop, rather than roll through.   Motorcycles are popular here, Harleys especially, and mufflers seem to be optional.

At home, it seems the party is over.  I guess Meijers were right pulling the supers early.  I was pointing to years like 2009 when the flow continued to Sept 21, but we have had years with cool and wet weather in August and no flow at all in September.  It looks as if the flows are over for this year.

Today, 8 September- Rain becoming mixed with snow early this afternoon. Rainfall amount 10 to 15 mm. Wind northeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. Temperature falling to plus 5 this morning then steady.
Tonight, 8 September- Rain mixed with snow ending this evening then cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind northeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low plus 2.

And, there is a killer frost coming Wednesday night by the look of things.  It looks like my decision to come east now, rather than in August worked out well.

Here in Round Lake, the day is dawning sunny and warm.  It is 53° F already at 0732.  We are thinking we will have weather suitable for tubing.  Last time we went tubing was Sept 2, 2010.  I see I flew here direct from LAX that time, but had forgotten.

Aaron made breakfast sandwiches, then we went out to look at bees.  He transferred bees from nucs into hives for winter, then we visited his top bar hives.

           

              

My boat broker called and it looks as if the purchase in the Caribbean is going ahead and I have papers to sign.  I see that the boat has been removed from www.yachtworld.com.  

Not only that, my lawyer's office called and said that the probate is done and papers need signing for that as well. 

It is funny how things happen in bunches.  Maybe it is just the September effect -- people getting back to work after summer.

At any rate, I have to start considering that I may be in Tortola a week from now.  I feel a little timid about all this, and am stretching my comfort zone, but have done my homework and am reasonably confident this will be a positive experience.  If it isn't, the downside does not look too scary -- from today's vantage point anyhow.  What is life without risks?

I looked up flights and they seem affordable, and flying from the east reduces the trip to seven hours or so, with one stop, unlike the exhausting twelve and fifteen hour flights from the west that have two stops along the way.

I have to be back home sometime before the BCHPA conference.  I could just fly straight there from Ontario, but I just booked a flight from Calgary to the meeting, and, besides, I would like a few days at home before that trip. As it looks at present, WAS is out of the question.

Now I just have to wait for the word.

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thru' chinks of his cavern.
William Blake

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Tuesday September 9th 2014

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It's one degree above freezing today at home, I see.  What is all that white in the picture from my surveillance camera (right)? 

The picture is black and white since it is barely dawn in Alberta now.  Minus seven is predicted for Wednesday night.

Shirley phoned to say everything is OK at home in spite of the snow but that Amos was looking depressed.  I said to do whatever she needs to do and take him home for a while if he is lonesome.  I have surveillance to watch how things are at home, but not the cat.

Here in Round Lake we are getting ready to go river tubing up at Hadley on the Sacandaga.

We did go tubing. Dick Crawford was driving down from an hour and a half north to join us, so we wanted to be at Hadley by 1130. 

We set out with plenty of time, we thought, but we found that the air pump at the Stewart's we use had been changed since last visit and it took us a half-hour to fill three tubes.  Then one of our PFDs flew out of the box on the Northway (six-lane divided, no U-turn, with heavy traffic) and we had to divert twenty minutes off-route to get another.  There was no sense in trying to go back.

Dick was waiting at our meeting place and we proceeded to the take-out site.  The Sacandaga Outdoor Center and store at the site were closed, but we had two vehicles and did not need the bus to get up river to the launch site, so we left Dick's truck there and drove up river in Aaron's truck.

The tube ride back down through the rapids went well, but we were separated due to the random currents and at times were out of sight of one another.  Aaron managed to arrive at the take-out ramp, but I overshot in the strong current and had to walk back up the other side of the Hudson (just a creek at this point) and scull back across where there was little current.

When I finally reached Aaron, he said that Dick was nowhere in sight.  He must have overshot by more than I had.  We waited a while, then decided to retrieve Aaron's truck and begin searching the roads on either side of the river.

We were walking up the road when Dick drove up.  He had been washed down a long way past the exit and walked back by the highway found his truck and was looking for us.

We parted ways with Dick and drove back to Round Lake.  Aaron cooked up a huge supper with a monster steak, corn, mushrooms, onions, Brussels sprouts and salad.  I enjoyed it, but slept terribly later.  I wonder if I react to beef?

I signed the boat papers that had arrived by email, made a deposit on the purchase by email, then watched some Netflix and went to bed. 

My preferred Netflix series are not available here in the USA so, I watched "Bones".  I watched "Numb3rs" last night, but it was sillier than usual.  They are both preposterous, but then, aren't they all?

Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.
Brendan Gill

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