Monday November 10th 2014
Monday again. It's minus twelve outside and breezy. We're well below the normals.
Yesterday, I decided to go east on Wednesday morning, so now I have to get things ready for my departure.
I arranged for Ruth to take Zip and will meet her tomorrow in Drum. I cancelled Thursday's supper and now I have to pack and also arrange for house care.
This morning I did all the usual nothings that add up to a lost morning and went downstairs to play with the treadmill. Chris had found a website with some hints as to what to do, so I ran the treadmill through its calibration cycle and aligned the belt. It now runs well. I was wearing crocs for comfort while working on my knees on the floor, but plan to put on runners and give it a workout shortly.
This machine measures pulse or "heart rate". At some points, my rate was up to 155. I was not finding that stressful, but I figured I should check it out, so took a break. Among others, which all agreed, I came across this site. Apparently, my target heart rate should be 150. In fact they recommend exercising at 128. Hmmm. I was thinking that I am out of shape. If so, what does that say about the average guy?
I realised it is time to run Global's ads again, so spent some time on that and then had some emails to do about the upcoming Nigel Calder event in April.
Now, after lunch, it is still minus fourteen, but the sun is shining brightly.
The broker called and as usual, there are kinks. We worked through what he had found out and he is going back to them again. Time zone differences make this a bit trying.
I decided to go to town to make a bank deposit and to get a mickey of rum. I felt like getting out of the house and also like having a drink this evening.
The van was covered with snow and the drive was cold and snowy over snow-packed roads. I passed four snow plows between town and back. What a change from... was it only yesterday?
I bought gas for the snow thrower and did my other chores. Now I am home again and settling in for the evening.
I love quotations
because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have,
Tuesday November 11th
It's really cold outside and it is only minus fifteen, about halfway down from room temperature to the coldest temperatures expected each year. (+20, -15, -40). My dog keeps expecting me to do something about it. I can't.
My helper has not been showing up or answering texts the past several days, and I need to know he will be here to manage the furnace while I am away, so at 0815, I brushed snow and scraped ice off the red van and drove down to his house. He was in bed still, but his dad was up and promised to get him in touch. I have spoken to a neighbour about coming in and watering plants, but she is not strong enough to do the furnace, or trained to do it.
I worry when I am away unless I am certain I have a good crew in charge. The next several days will be brutally cold, but the the forecast suggests a return to temperatures hovering around freezing. There is little risk of freeze-up when the temperatures are moderate, but when the temperature drops to minus twenty and there is wind, reliable heat is essential, and a backup plan has to be in place.To Understand any Subject, First Understand the Definitions
* * * * *
Here is an interesting short course that explains some of what we see around us in the world economies. The 'Accelerated' Crash Course | Peak Prosperity
* * * * *
After lunch, I started the snow thrower and did a few passes. It seems the carb is a bit plugged and the engine was surging. It does the job but is annoying and probably not good for the motor.
Elijah and Caroline came over after 1400. I'm leaving them in charge of the place while I'm gone. In addition, I can watch the temperature and coal and other critical things remotely via my three separate security camera set-ups.
He did the furnace and the walkways and and she watered the plants. I've never timed the plant watering, but today it took over an hour of steady work, and at least twenty gallons of water.
Since the carb on the snow thrower was acting up again, I started on that job, but had quit to go to Drum to drop off Zippy. Dave is in the hospital again, so Ruth was there visiting, so we met outside. From there, I met Joe and Oene at Yavis Restaurant for supper and drove home.
I had intended to finish the carb and pack, but I was exhausted and fell asleep for an hour and a half. When I woke up, I decided to go to bed and get up early tomorrow to do the final tasks before leaving.
shortcoming of the human race is
Wednesday November 12th 2014
My alarm woke me from a sound sleep at 0300. I plan to leave by 0720, three hours before my plane lifts off. With luck, I'll be in Sudbury by 1930 tonight. Bill has offered to pick me up at YSB.
I now have four hours to prepare to leave. I did some of the preparation yesterday, but have some tasks left to do, and packing. I'll pack light since I leave clothes down east. With the charges for baggage, these days, that pays off.
Leaving at 0720 gives me an hour to get to Calgary, an hour to park, and an hour until the flight. Worst case, I could lose an hour along the way and still make my flight. In winter, we never know if the roads will be snowy or if we might encounter fog, so I leave plenty early, or try to.
I left on time and the drive went well in spite of hard packed snowy roads. (right).
I arrived at Park and Jet in good time and it took me twenty-two minutes from the time I entered the car park until I walked into the terminal. My Nexus card took me past the long line-up for security and there were just three people ahead of me at the inspection point. The regular lineup had about two hundred I'm guessing.
My flight began boarding forty minutes before take-off. (Note to self: one hour before flight time is hour is barely early enough these days). The plane was a 767-300. I haven't been on a plane this big for a while.
I looked through the movie line-up and selected Sin City on the way east. As it happened, I had picked another Quentin Tarantino-directed film, merely by chance. I had chosen Pulp Fiction the previous trip. Of course, this film was gratuitously violent, but in a deliberately stylized stereotypical comic strip manner. The man is a genius. You have to admire his artistry.
The second jump from YYZ to YSB was on a Q400. I found myself in lucky row seven, the same row that experienced a propeller penetration through the fuselage the other day in Edmonton. Shown at left is the view straight out my window. Luckily for me, the prop on this plane stayed out there where it belongs.
Bill met me at the airport and drove me to Mom's and stayed for a visit before heading back home.
I noticed that the upstairs radiator that had frozen previously and flooded the house last January, causing a great deal of damage, was air-locked and cold, so I bled it, made up the bed, and went to sleep around 2300.
of choosing your dictators,
Thursday November 13th 2014
Mom is going for her hair appointment this morning and I'll meet her for lunch at Eddie's, her favourite sports bar, then go over to Bill's.
I went out and brushed off my van, connected the battery, and started it up. My 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager with 300,000 km on the clock started first try and runs well.
I had lunch with Mom and Susan, then went to Bill's. On the way, I stopped at The Source and bought a Rolling Spider minidrone to play with. More. I was actually looking for another AR.Drone, but nobody stocks them. I guess they are too expensive, and also something that does not appeal to everyone.
We set it up to charge and went to Wal-Mart while that was happening. It takes ninety minutes to charge the battery enough for an eight-minute flight.
When we got back, we launched the drone and flew it a bit. Then it was time to go back to Mom's for supper. It took me over a half-hour to drive back the four miles or so as the roads were jammed with cars. Who would ever have believed that Sudbury would have a rush hour traffic jam?
Mom had made stew, so we had stew for supper. I then watched some video, and went to bed around 2300.
Around midnight, I reawaked and realised I was not going to sleep, so got up. The rad had started working and I was too hot. Maybe I drank too much coffee or the different brand had a lot more 'wake-up" in it. Anyhow, I killed an hour until I was sleepy again and returned to bed.
During that time, I wrote to Frank to tell him I may be wanting to sail with him this winter.
In politics you
must always keep running with the pack. The moment that you falter and
they sense that you are injured, the rest will turn on you like wolves.
Friday November 14th 2014
From then on, I slept somewhat fitfully, but when I finally woke up it was close to 0900. I had breakfast and visited with Mom, glued some furniture and caught up on email.
Frank had written back that he is flying to New Jersey tomorrow to sail for the British Virgin Islands and is short one hand due to a last-minute cancellation by one of his crew. Do I want to go?
I'd love to go, but had to decline since I am here visiting Mom on a long overdue visit. Shortly after I return home on Thursday night, I have promised to take my granddaughter to Aliso Viejo for Thanksgiving with Jon and family. I get home from that trip on the 3rd of December, but will have some things to do at home and I won't be uncommitted until mid-December.
At home, I see that the indoor temperature is okay, but the coal is getting down. It will need shoveling tomorrow. I had figured Sunday, but I don't want to see it run right down to the auger. The outdoor temps are minus fifteen right now and cold weather eats up fuel quickly in this weather.
I had a nap after lunch and then Mom and I went shopping at Wal-Mart. I got one of those electric carts from the lineup and she was able to scoot around the store for an hour or two. From there, we returned home a hour before for for supper at 1730.
After supper, I went over to Bill's and we played with the Rolling Spider for a while. While it was recharging, we went to a nearby mall and walked a bit. I was looking for some good cheap snow boots that would also be suited to walking a mile or two in comfort. No luck yet.
We went back and played with the Quadra-copter some more, then I returned to 1207 around 2230.
About the most
originality that any writer can hope to
Saturday November 15th 2014
I slept almost until 1000. The image at right shows the pictures from some of the various cameras I have monitoring The Old Schoolhouse, and I can see that things are OK at home -- and that the day is sunny there.
The current forecast suggests that conditions will moderate over the next few days and if the forecast holds, it will be balmy by the time I get home.
The door is closed, so I don't know why the house temperature is down one degree from normal. To the right of the door in the picture is a collage that Ellen made, and a sculpture. I live in an art gallery.
I spent today web-browsing to research several topics, including home heat. Deciding on the right solution is a big project and it is a recursive problem in that assumptions must be made, then research done, then the assumptions re-examined, then more research and so on until nothing new is found...
The planning is an optimizing process and it can take quite a while. Not only are the appropriate devices in question, but the general expectations have to be established, then options for routing of gas piping and allowable locations for vents have to be considered. Time spent is in planning and refining the planning is worthwhile, though, since it can prevent serious errors and a lot of work and expense that might result in a less than ideal implementation.
I'm here until Thursday and arrive home after midnight on Friday morning. Three days later, I'm off to Gull Lake and then Aliso Viejo. I should be home again on the third of December and then I should have time to do some actual work on the heating project.
At 2200, I have researched heating systems, watched some video and am ready for bed. I see the weather-guessers were wrong again. The temperature at home is minus two and the predicted high was minus ten. There must be an inversion, or something did not go as expected. That is fine with me. Warmer is better. I don't worry when the thermometer is around the freezing mark.
Mistakes are a part
of being human.
Sunday November 16th 2014
I awoke at 0830. I'll call Bill around 0900 and plan to go over there for the ham radio net at 1000. Mom has company for bridge this afternoon, so I'll probably spent the afternoon out.
I was going to leave around 0930, but had a stomach ache, so decided to stay home a while and see how things settle out.
It is overcast and snowing here in Sudbury, but mild, and the forecast suggests this weather will continue off and on all the time I am here. At home in Swalwell, it is sunny out and the temperature is dropping again. It is windy according to the reports, but I am not seeing any tree movement in the video feed.
I'll be reworking the camera setup when the new cables arrive, relocating the rotating camera, and perhaps adding another. This setup works well, but can be improved with longer cables, and made more permanent and less ad hoc.
I felt odd all day, but went to Bill's after lunch and we flew the Rolling Spider around the living room again. There is a learning curve to this and each time we have more success. The batteries also increase in capacity.
Then we went to Canadian Tire and looked for hiking boots. I have a clear idea of what I want, and they start at $200. My budget is $75, max. I'll keep looking.
On the way there, we stopped at Ramakko's and looked at boots but they were just as pricy or more so. If anyone says there is no inflation, tell them to ask me. Gas may be down to $1.19 per litre here, but everything else is up and gas was $1.45 not too long ago.
At Ramakko's we looked at underwater cameras. I have quite a bit of interest in them and we tried one out. At $239, it is less than 1/3 of the price of the OpenROV I really want Video, and much less capable. Interesting just the same.
We returned to Bill's flew the Spider again, then drove his van to Canadian Tire to leave it overnight to dry out for undercoating, then went for a short walk.
I'm getting advice by email these days and I appreciate it.
Good ideas there. Glad you brought this up.
I have considered selling my place and there are plenty of reasons to do so. There are plenty of reasons not to.
This is 'way too big to take on here. Let's kick this around in the forum. Click here to help me out with this. If it is not biting you now, it will later.
Hack wrote me back again about the phablet question. Maybe that should go to the forum, too. Join me in the discussion.
As for Picassa files, they can be sent to the cloud and the link shared. I've done it and would have to look up the process, but it is not hard. Personally, I use Dropbox and sharing is easy.
Here are a bunch of unsorted bee pictures from this year. All I did to share them was to right-click this particular folder in the Dropbox folder on my computer and select "Share Dropbox link". I trust it is secure. Who knows?
Every one desires to live long, but
no one would be old.
Monday November 17th 2014
Mom and I are going to the New Sudbury Shopping Centre for lunch.
We went shopping. She wanted a new pair of moccasins and we found what she was looking for and then she wanted a hand-held blender and we found that, too. I looked at hiking boots, since Bill and I like to walk and my running shoes get wet in the snow. I did not settle on anything as Mom was sitting in the wheelchair -- we used it so as to get around more quickly -- and although she was not in a hurry, I figured I'd like to take my time and look around, so we returned to 1207.
I had a rest and went out to Bill's. We went to Ramakko's again, and then Canadian Tire so he could pick up his van after the undercoating job to take it home so that Faye could go out. I looked at boots again there.
As I pulled into Ramakko's, my phone rang with an unknown number. It was the broker from Grenada wondering what was happening. I was a surprised, and even a bit shocked, having finally put the matter out of my mind.
He was on Skype and the connection was awful, but I gathered that Dave had not communicated with him after I had given up on the project and he was still expecting to haul and survey the boat.
I told him that after finally learning what Horizon's intent is currently, and that it no longer resembles what I understood at the start, that I am no longer interested. Nonetheless, the call was disturbing.
We took the van home to Bill's and Faye decided that the roads were too greasy to go out in the van anyhow. The roads did not bother me, though. I have new tires and they were gripping well, so Bill so Bill and I decided to go to New Sudbury to shop for boots and have supper. Faye decided to stay home.
I had not considered the time and we found ourselves locked in rush-hour traffic. When we finally got to York Street, we looped back and had supper at a chicken restaurant -- Pluckers -- near Canadian Tire.
The beer made me sleepy. I could hardly stay awake. I dropped Bill off and went back to 1207 and went to sleep for an hour. I'm still disturbed by the phone call since I had completely put the matter out of my mind and decided I'll go down and spend time with Frank on Compass Rose (See January 4th) this winter when I want to get away.
I have some interesting comments in the forum and need to write some replies, but am I up to it tonight? I doubt it.
Every one desires
to live long, but no one would be old.
Tuesday November 18th 2014
I'm off shopping again this morning. Maybe I'll finally find boots I want.
I'm only here for three more days, but I would like to go for a few hikes before I leave.
The weather at home is moderating. Looking at the fuel supply, I'm thinking that Elijah will have to shovel one more time before I return.
I went shopping today again at the New Sudbury Mall. I like that mall. It is not as full of junk as many and has sound deadening, so it does not echo like CrossIron Mall and many others. On the way, I stopped at Canadian Tire and was almost driven out of the store by loud "Christmas" music, but did manage to get some washer fluid and a steering wheel muff first.
I love to wander around stores looking at things. I don't buy much, usually, but today I did have a list. I got Mom a set of wireless headphones to replace the ones she had which had quit working, found some boots I like (and they only cost a little more than last night's supper), and also picked up a few groceries.
From there, I returned home and Bill came over to walk. We decided to walk at Costco since he discovered he needs better tires, so off we went. He priced tires and plans to return to have them installed in the next day or two, then bought a few things before we left. We covered a fair distance up and down isles. We never did really test my new boots outside, but they are comfortable and I think they were a good choice.
In late afternoon, I checked the coal bin video feed on my phone and saw the coal was getting down, so I texted Elijah and called Carolyn. They already had planned to go over. Good crew! This inspires confidence. I may not have to keep an eye out quite so much in future, .
I checked again a while later and I see the coal is up and all is well (right).
Bill dropped me at home and at five Mom and I drove to the Appolo to meet Sid for supper.
After, we returned home and I watched an episode of Suits. I really don't know what to think of this series. I have watched a lot of episodes now and it seems circular and pointless.
I still watch some of The Good Wife, but Amazon Prime uses more of my expensive data than Netflix, so I am watching less.
Both these shows are lawyer dramas and quite unrealistic, but provide pleasant entertainment.
He hoped and prayed
that there wasn't an afterlife.
Wednesday November 19th 2014
Wow! I leave for home tomorrow night. A week here is a bit of a short visit, but I feel better about being away having seen how my home is well managed, even when Shirley is away. Moreover, the weather at home is mild enough now that even if the furnace went off, the pipes would likely not freeze, although the plants would suffer.
I was up by 0800 and the roto-rooter guys were here not long after. They cleaned both the drains and did not find much, but we now know things are okay for a few more years. We had blockages in both in the last five or six years, which is not surprising, I suppose, since the house is 68 years old.
Bill has decided to buy his tires at Canadian Tire after all since he found some coupons, so we don't have to rush off to Costco. That means he drives on the old ones for a few more weeks, but since he turned off so-called traction control on his late-model Town and Country, he has not had traction problems climbing the hill to his driveway the way he did before.
We'll go for a walk and maybe put up an amateur radio antenna today.
Bill came over after lunch. We flew the Rolling Spider and broke the axle, so we went to New Sudbury again to look for parts. None were in stock, so we went to look at snow throwers at Sears.
From there, we went to several other stores and returned to 1207. Bill went home and I spent the evening catching up on correspondence.
Bill had given me back the Optimus Black with the bad display and so I looked for parts online and also bought parts from Amazon to be delivered to Jon's since I expect to be there at this time next week.
An education isn't
how much you have committed to memory,
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