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Wednesday October 1st 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

I'm at Orams this morning and I'll be driving home again today.  Orams asked if I want to stay a few days, but I need time alone.

When I got up, Chris and Mckenzie were already getting ready to leave for school.  I had breakfast, then Jean, Nathan, the dogs and I walked to the beach and playground and back.

I left for home around noon, stopping to buy groceries along the way. First, I went to Extra Foods, but the carts were locked up and I had no loonies.  I went inside and saw they do not provide plastic bags, so I drove across to Wal-Mart where the carts are loose and the cashiers automatically bag everything without asking.

From there, drove the Burnt lake Road to Red Deer and stopped at Princess Auto.  I have to be careful there since they have so many interesting tools and parts that i am tempted to forget i am trying to get rid of things, not accumulate more.

Leaving Red Deer behind, I drove south on the 591 to Neapolis, stopped to look at Mike and Liz's new property, then visited a few minutes at The Mill.  I arrived home mid-afternoon and did some chores. 

I went outside, but had no ambition to do anything and did a little tidying and came in,  The grass could stand cutting, but I wonder if I should just leave it for next year.

> You must be close to exhausted. You have been on move for a month now. I hope your taking care of yourself. You have me a little worried with all the boats and not sitting still, are you really doing ok?

Of course, I said, "Yes, I'm fine.", but that got me thinking. 

This boat purchase down in the BVIs has me stressed.  I made an expensive and difficult trip for nothing and am looking at repeating the experience.  My scheduling is getting tight and there are uncertainties.

So, I decided to de-stress and kick back tonight and that is what I did.  I usually run at a more laid-back pace and I'm going to downshift a bit.

...And I am going stop worrying about other people's priorities and to remember to say, "No."

I watched a bit of video and went to bed early again.

Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at.
Jimmy Demaret

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Thursday October 2nd 2014

Click here for current conditions in my back yard

I woke up early, at 0333, having slept well.  Sleepyhead says I slept six hours and seventeen minutes and that my AHI is 0.16.  That AHI is hard to beat and the chart showed only one brief hypopnea.  I know was mouth breathing some of the time, though, and don't know why sometimes I do that and sometimes I do not.

The concern about neonics is building.  In the early years, we were not seeing much, if any adverse effects, but as time passes and the residues build up and usage increases, we are beginning to wonder more and more.

Acute effects on bees have been obvious downwind of corn plantings, due to dusts escaping from planters, but now other sub-lethal effects on bees are being suggested.

Eric Mussen mentioned that one of the effects of feeding colonies neonics in small doses has been not colony death in winter, but rather failure to build the next spring.  I have been noticing that nucs don't build the way I expected in recent years.  I thought it must be something I am doing, but maybe not.  We have a lot of canola right close by. 

Coincidence?  Who knows?

When I woke up today, the thought at the top of my mind was that Bleu Turquoise was power-washed before drydock and needs bottom paint before a launch, or she will just have to be pulled out again to be painted after the sea trial at a needleless extra cost of at least $300.

I worked at the desk this morning writing out my frustration about the Bleu Turquoise nonsense, then erased it and started over.

I have found that it pays -- assuming the goal is to win and not to start a fight -- to write what I feel, no holds barred, then delete it all and write a cool, strong, factual, direct piece without a trace of emotion.  In a fight, everyone loses.  I'm more into win/win.  Even if I think the other guy is a jerk, there is no point in letting on because that is just a distraction and can derail negotiations -- especially if he really is a jerk.

In a nutshell, I'm not about to go back down to Road Town again only to find that I can't complete the sale or to stay in a hotel for more than a day or two. I need clear assurances that the necessary arrangements have been made in advance and I made that clear.

*   *   *   *

I'm more relaxed today, having realized that I was stressing and having decided. "No more Mr. Nice Guy." 

I don't intend to be difficult, but I have to be more assertive, and I can do that.  I forget, though, and try to please people.  That never works out well.   They are never pleased, and neither am I. 

Ricky Nelson was right: "You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself".

If I just please myself and am reasonably considerate, usually others are happy, too, or no more miserable than when I lean over backwards to accommodate them.

Sitting makes me feel crappy, so I went for a walk.  The wind was blowing 30 MPH, or felt like it, and barely five degrees C, so I did not stay out long.  I wanted to do something physical, so I did laundry and began cleaning up the gym.  Then I found myself back at the desk doing the books and paying bills.

On my walk, I saw that the skunk has been at work (right).  The bees are not coming out much now and the skunk will be hibernating soon, so I don't know if I will do anything at present.
 

From Karen today:

"I use hand held electric cement mixer to make syrup. This is a 55 gallon food grade barrel with braces to hold the cement mixer and a drain to take the syrup out.

"The cement mixer sits on top of the brace and the shaft goes down into the barrel.

      

  

On eBay

I am not at all ambitious these days.  There are lots of things I could be doing, but I don't feel much like it.  I'll content myself for now with tidying and relaxing. 

I made a stir fry for supper and watched two hours of video and went to bed early again.

Not to decide is to decide.
Harvey Cox

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Friday October 3rd 2014

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I slept eight hours.  I'm resting up after my travels and getting ready for ten days on Cassiopeia beginning a week from today.

Today is predicted to be cool, but warmer days are coming.  It is minus eight Celsius here night now and icy spots are being reported on Calgary roads .

I'm still paying bills and catching up on the books.

*     *     *     *     *

I took a break from that work and looked back over the past month,  No wonder I am tired.  A month ago, I had just arrived in Ontario for a visit, then received word that the boat was at my price.  At that time, I had not yet made a deposit. 

After that, I

  • attended a family reunion,

  • visited Aaron,

  • went tubing,

  • flew to the USVIs,

  • took a ferry to the BVIs,

  • spent four days there,

  • took the ferry back,

  • flew to Albany,

  • visited some more,

  • drove to Sudbury,

  • visited there

  • flew to Alberta,

  • flew to BC,

  • spoke at the conference,

  • and flew home

That is the outline version.  there was more...

I spent the day doing office work.  My broker called and said the seller will not meet my terms, so I guess that Bleu Turquoise is off the table, for now at least.

Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
Lewis Carroll

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Saturday October 4th 2014

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This morning I am off to The Mill for a community breakfast.  There were nine of us and we visited until 1100.  The breakfast is crepes, and crepes are probably one of the worst things I can eat, but I like to be social, and if I limit the amount I eat, I should be okay.

I've been noticing that I am gaining weight again and feeling sluggish.  It is time to watch my blood sugar again.

My BS runs from 4.9 to 8.3, with one reading at 12.6.  The max target in my mind is 8.9.  Levels under 9 are fairly benign.

Now, at 1302 hrs, my BS is still 7.5, so I think I probably went over the line.

*     *     *     *     *

When I returned home and began getting ready for a party I am planning for tomorrow afternoon.  I turned on the kitchen radio and Quirks and Quarks happened to come on. 

The lead topic today was "The Birds and the Bees - and the Pesticides". This programme is generally quite authoritative and balanced and confirmed that I may be justified in my increasing concern about neonics.

Initially, back in 2000, I took a wait and see approach.  After a few years, no obvious harm was apparent, so I relaxed my guard. 

Then, four years ago on a cross-country car trip, I noticed that there are far fewer night insects than I recall from years ago.  In  the past few years, I also noticed  that my colonies increasingly fail to build in spring the way the used to.

Currently, we are hearing more and more reports of how the neonics are accumulating in the environment and how they are increasingly affecting wild bees, invertebrates, and birds.

Neonic fans point to how bees on the Canadian prairies are surrounded by neonic treated canola, yet seem to be doing fine. 

There may be flaws in this argument, though.  The vast areas of canola and easy pickings may actually mask effects that would be more obvious if nectar sources were more sparse and if foraging were more challenging.  These generous, dense, crops spreading from horizon to horizon require little more of a bee than tumbling out of the hive, flying a few yards and returning with a full load.

  • Given that there are no controls to compare to hives foraging on treated canola --- no equivalent areas of crops without treated canola are available nearby -- no estimate is possible of what production and survival might be if neonics were not everywhere.
  • Given the vast areas of canola crops blooming in production season, even handicapped colonies could conceivably put up large crops. 
    This is especially plausible if neonics have only slight effect on physical ability to forage while affecting navigation and judgment. 
    Impact on navigation and other facilities might not matter when the crop is everywhere around the hives as long as the bees are not so affected that they cannot find their way home.

We must recognize that sub-lethal effects can very subtle, affecting only one or two abilities which may only be of importance in certain situations or at certain times of year.

These effects also only become obvious as the dose increases beyond certain thresholds.  There is a continuum of incapacitation, from no effect right up to an almost instant death.

Additionally, the environmental residue numbers we hear about tend to be gross averages (macro level samples), and do not necessarily recognize or reflect accurately the range of dosages experienced by individual bees (micro level samples).  These human-scale samples most likely IMO do not illustrate the range of residue levels in the micro samples individual bees may be encountering.

Foraging  acumen is more critical in spring and fall, and while even inferior bees may perform reasonably well in summer weather, physical condition is critical in winter. 

In recent years, even when managing varroa at near-zero levels, we are experiencing increased difficulties in winter and spring.

Today turned out to be beautiful and warm.  I went out and looked into a hive or two.  Some are five boxes high and full of honey.  A few are not doing much and will have to be combined or shaken out.

Late in the afternoon, I decided to cut the grass in the front yard.  I have been needing to get away from the keyboard and do something physical.

I have been uninspired the past few days and wondering if maybe I am depressed.  Nothing seems interesting enough to keep me up in the evenings, and physical work seems unappealing and difficult, but I am not unhappy.  

I had some slight visual disturbances a few days ago, but they seem to have disappeared. That could be due to a virus, an infection, something I ate, or even a minor stroke.  Who knows?

I have some arthritis in my thumb, so maybe this general funk is part of some general condition.  These things either resolve themselves, or they don't.

Mowing is a mindless, but enjoyable task.  I finished the job by around six and had a light supper.

I let the lawns grow longer this year and it does not seem to harm the grass.  I think I only mowed three times this year, or at most, four, and at the highest setting of the mower.

I had thought that letting the grass get too long might cause uneven growth, but that has not been the case.  Moreover, I did not get a lot of clumping when I did cut, the way I do when I cut it shorter.

I watched another episode of The Good Wife and By 2030, I was in bed. 

I think I am starting to get a bit tired of this series.  After a while, every series starts to run out of ideas, falls into a rut, or starts running back over itself.  This one is less preposterous than many.

I can hardly believe what I see when I turn on the TV and watch for a while.

Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money.
Arthur Miller

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Sunday October 5th 2014

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I awoke at 0255.  My internal clock seems to be stuck on Eastern Time.  I have been going to bed at 2030 and rising almost exactly six hours later.   There are exceptions, but that is the rule lately. 

I'm going to have to adjust because later this week I will be on my boat and running on PDST and PDST is one more hour earlier than EDST.  If I stick with the current schedule, I'll be going to bed at 1930 and rising at 0200 local.

I'm having a party today and that may keep me up later.

I had breakfast, three poached eggs and a cup of coffee, wrote a bit and went back to bed for an hour.  I like to doze after breakfast.  I have interesting thoughts and half-dreams.

A three-egg breakfast seems to work for me.  If I start the day with high glycemic foods, like toast or cereals, I often regret it.  I can eat these things later, but just not first thing.

Eggs have a glycemic index of zero.  They have no carbohydrate.  Why my BS went from 6.3 on waking to 6.9 an hour after eating only eggs ad a cup of coffee is a mystery to me.  I can only conclude that this must be due to continuing digestion of foods already in the alimentary tract or hormonal action.  Here is a good article.

I'm up again, now, and I washed last night's dishes.  I like to keep things fairly neat.  Next, maybe some exercise.  I have a gym downstairs with a treadmill and stair stepper, rowing machine and weights but have not used it much for the past few years.

I get out of the exercise habit when I travel, and should have a routine I can do anywhere.  I can see that I need to maintain strength and flexibility and sitting at a desk is not going to do that for me.

I decided to get supper ready now so that there is no last-minute rush.  I went to the freezer and was surprised that I have less meat than I thought.  I was quite sure I had ribs, but I guess not.  I looked at them in the stores a number of times, but must have decided I did not need them.

No problem.  I have 28 chicken drumsticks and only eight guests, including children.  That should do, but I decided that it is always better to cook too much than too little and I put a frozen chicken into the crock pot and nuked it for fifteen minutes.  That gives it a good start. 

I also put some brown rice on to cook.  When the chicken is starting to fall apart, I add the rice to the crock pot. 

My guests came over mid-afternoon. 

Jean arrived first, and brought along a treadmill Chris has worn out.  He runs ten to fifteen kilometers a day and the drive has begun to slip occasionally.  When running, sudden slipping can be dangerous.  I'm unlikely to be running on a treadmill, so they figured it would be ideal for me.

I already have a motorized treadmill, but don't like it much.  It has no automatic programme and the handles are too low.

It took four people to carry the machine downstairs.  Jean and I had tried earlier and decide to wait for assistance.  We could have managed it, but it was heavy and hard to grip.  We figured that discretion is the better part of valor. 

I watched them -- three girls and a guy -- carry it downstairs and wondered, am I getting that old? 

We ate at 1800 and everyone left around 2300. 

I decided to leave the dishes for tomorrow and watched video for a while -- one episode of The Good Wife, and one of Suits -- then went to bed at around 2330.

I had not watched Suits before.  It's another lawyer series and looks promising.  I'm trying to decide if The Good Wife has jumped the shark.

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean,
for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
Henry Adams

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Monday October 6th 2014

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Staying up late worked.  I awoke at 0630, having slept seven and a half hours.  Maybe my internal clock is adjusted to MDST.  My AHI was 0.14.

Here's a worthwhile read: In 1976 I discovered Ebola - now I fear an unimaginable tragedy

I am sufficiently concerned about this disease and its spread that I made a donation to Plan International to help combat it.  I'm not concerned for myself, but think this is one problem where the needs are obvious, the solutions possible, and the need for response is urgent. 

I tend to very cynical about most "Aid" organizations and charities in general, and figure many use contributions mostly to reward fund-raisers and finance high living for executives, but Plan is one that seems to me to be efficient, honest, and also respectful of the people being assisted.

I decided that there is enough wind for my trainer kite and went out for an hour of fun exercise.  The wind is gusty and gave me quite a workout. I don't know the true wind speed since one of the anemometer cups has broken off the weather station again, but the station reports up to 14 MPH.  Steady winds at ten MPH are ideal for that kite.  Higher or gusty winds make control difficult.

I came back in and did more deskwork.  The deskwork seems to never end.  Updating the plans and website for the rendezvous took some time and writing in this diary does not lighten the load either for that matter.

I think it is official: I am depressed.  I am not finding anything very interesting and I went to bed at 2000.  I'm not unhappy; I'm just uninspired by anything and everything.  I have lots of toys and lots of little jobs that could stand doing, but I just cannot get enthused.   I am hoping this coming trip will bust me out of this funk.

I slept until 2330 and got up.  Then the power went off, leaving me in the dark, so I went back to bed.

Always acknowledge a fault.
This will throw those in authority off their guard
and give you an opportunity to commit more.
Mark Twain

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Tuesday October 7th 2014

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I slept until 0645.  Today I have to start getting ready to go west.

I did some tidying, did the one-mile walk and went to Three Hills to meet Ruth and Dave to hand off Zippy.  Then I returned home, had a nap, changed, and drove to Calgary for the Bluewater meeting.

I arrived right on time, gave a quick slide presentation promoting the Rendezvous this weekend, had two glasses of wine and listened to the first half of the featured talk.

I had driven the 75 miles to the heart  of Calgary  because tonight's topic was cruising the northern Caribbean and that is something I want to learn about. 

The talk, however, turned out to be mostly about time spent on land, Cuba in particular and not about boats, ports, customs, navigation, or any of the matters of interest to me, and I left after the intermission.

I arrived home and went right to bed at around 2200.

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground
whatsoever for supposing it is true.
Bertrand Russell

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Wednesday October 8th 2014

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I slept well (no CPAP) and woke up refreshed and uncongested at around 0400.

I got up, ate breakfast and caught up on email and this page.  It seems the boat deal is not yet completely dead, but I have quit caring and am looking at alternatives. 

I see that the phone and data for my excursion to the US and to the Caribbean cost me $120 above my basic monthly all inclusive plan.  It could have been worse.

Today, my plan is to pack and get to the airport.  That is it.

*    *    *    *

I left home in good time and filled up with gas in Airdrie.  When I started the engine again, I had no tach, no speedo, no signals.  I figured a fuse had blown, but was not going to fool around with a deadline looming and drove on anyhow.  Airport parking can take longer than expected, and troubleshooting and checking fuses can waste time and lead to more issues, like a total failure to start and run.  At least the van ran, although I had no signals and had to feel around for the correct gear.  That readout was dark, too.

I got to the airport in time and caught my flight.  My bag weighed 50.5 lbs and the agent said nothing.  I had checked it on the bathroom scale and it did not seem so close to the limit.  That is cutting it close.

I arrived at my boat by cab two hours later and settled in.  The boat looks wonderful.  It is great to be home again.

Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books,
and there is some evidence that they can't read them either.
Gore Vidal

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Thursday October 9th 2014

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The day is grey and rainy here in Sidney, and the weekend is predicted to be the same. I'm glad I have a warm, dry boat.

Wind light increasing to southeast 10 to 15 knots overnight and to southeast 15 to 20 Friday afternoon.

I spent the morning unpacking and organizing things.

Howard came by at ten-thirty and we discussed maintenance.  I need to borrow the vehicle, too. I need it this afternoon, then to pick up the kids.   Jean arrives at ten and Jon at midnight.

The sun is out now.  Although the forecast says rain, often there are long periods of sun, even on rainy days.

I spent the day poking around on the boat, met with Howard, then went uptown in the afternoon.  Howard brought 200 feet of rope for the anchor and I began splicing. it onto the chain.

Jean arrives at 10, and Jon at midnight, so I'll be picking them up at YYJ.

*    *    *    *

They arrived on time and I picked each up in turn with the company vehicle.

Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions
that no one has asked them.
Leo Tolstoy

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