September  2015    

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Tuesday September 1st, 2015
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Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

Bert arrived at Jean's just after lunch with his boat in tow.  We launched it at the nearby ramp and managed to chip the prop. The boat ran fine anyhow and we ran down the lake as far as the Central Alberta Sailing Club. 

When we got there, we landed, tied up to what there was in the way of a dock, and walked around, looking for membership info.  We did not find anyone in charge, so we returned to the dock and our boat. 

As we approached the dock, we encountered a member who had just come in with his sailboat.  He was less than friendly, the sort that give yacht clubs a reputation for snobbishness.  There are a few in every club it seems. 

Apparently, our being tied up at the dock for all of ten minutes had put him in  bad mood.  Anyhow, I smiled and offered to help him land his boat which he had left rubbing on some rocks, but he declined.  We cast off and returned to Birch Bay, loaded the boat and had supper.

We had thought of going out again after supper, but the weather was closing in, so Bert and I drove back to his place, arriving just after 2100.  He had retrieved my van from Three Hills, so I drove next door to the Mill, picked up Zippy and returned home.

My front door was unlocked when I arrived, and when I went in I found the wind had blown the south door open.  I had left for the hospital in a bit of a hurry a week ago  and thought I had locked the south door, but apparently had not.  The front door must have been left unlocked accidentally by my neighbour who waters the plants.

It is good to be home again.

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Mastering others is strength. Mastering oneself makes you fearless.
Lao Tzu

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Wednesday September 2nd, 2015

Today Cloudy. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. Wind southwest 30 km/h gusting to 50. High 25. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness before morning. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low 7.

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Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm home again and have to get organized.

Looking out the south door, I see the grass has grown tall in my absence.

I didn't do much today.  I spent the time reading up on heart matters and interpreting the information I was given by the doctors.  It takes quite a while to understand the heart arteries and the implications of the diagrams provided to me after the angiogram.  After a few hours of study, I can see that my situation is not too bad.  I have some artery damage, but not in critical areas.  I think the 'minor' attack I had was about as benign as one could hope for.

I learned a lot of jargon and bafflegab and found some good resources and Wikipedia was very useful for decoding the jargon.  Of the various excellent sites that came up in searches, I found the one below the clearest and most useful for me in the time  I had available.

I also did some laundry and made a new vegetable stew, since the previous one had gone bad in the fridge while I was gone.

I also bought a car over the phone.  I really don't need a car, but when I was in Drum a month back, I walked out of the A&W and saw a perfect 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis right in front of me.  I gave the driver a thumbs-up and we chatted.

Turns out his name is also Allen (Alan, Allan)?  He and his wife were touring Drum in this creampuff with his mother on board. Apparently his father had just died and the car had been the father's pride and joy, kept inside and only summer-driven.  The car looks like new and has all the premium options.

He said his father's wish had been to sell the car to a guy like me who would appreciate it and not some kid who would wreck it or a taxi company.  (Grand Marquis have been a top choice for taxis due to their rugged build, reliability, luxury ride, and economy.)

Allen said the car would be for sale shortly.  I said , "Call me." and gave him my number.

I did not hear from him for a month., but then Allen called and said he is ready to sell the car.  We talked and I explained I had planned to drive up to buy it but was having problems getting to Edmonton, so he offered to deliver the car Saturday.  He even had a safety done on it to be sure it is ready to sell and for me to insure.

In the evening, I watched a few hours of video, much more than usual.

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Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.
Rene Descartes

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Thursday September 3rd, 2015

Today Mainly sunny. Increasing cloudiness this afternoon. High 14. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Showers. Risk of a thunderstorm early this evening. Amount 5 to 10 mm. Low plus 5.

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Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm up at 0500.  I weighed in at 223.4 today.

Seems I am losing weight in spite of spending a sedentary week in hospital and a sedentary day yesterday. 

I notice from my fatsecret.ca page where I faithfully record everything I eat most days (I did not while in hospital) that I only ate 1,500 calories yesterday and I was not hungry.

Maybe these heart drugs I have been taking since The Event are suppressing appetite?

The bump in the chart at right is due to changing bathroom scales, not any change in my weight. 

It seems the previous scale was reading several pounds higher than the new  scales. 

If we assume I weighed somewhere around 245 at the beginning of spring, then I have lost about twenty pounds!  I have only made a small effort.  As with many things a small but persistent change in direction adds up to big results over time.

I'm going to be more active today.  I also have company for supper.   I took out a turkey yesterday and turkey is on the menu for tonight.  I might also run to town for a few items and just for the heck of it.

The turkey went in after lunch and I prepared the vegetables early as well.  I did not run to town, but instead cleaned up and readied for supper.  I had time, too for a forty-minute nap.

My plants drop a lot of leaves and the dog hair adds to that and it seems like no time before I need to run through the entire place with a vacuum.

Friends came by at 1800, and there were nine of us for supper.

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We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off, which is a kind of integrity if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.
Tom Stoppard

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Friday September 4th, 2015

 Today A few showers ending this morning then cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Wind becoming northeast 20 km/h this afternoon. High 13.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 7.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I have to go to town today.  I'm also considering looking at a pontoon boat.  It is a three-hour plus drive from here, though.

This turned out to be a long day.  I did decide to drive to Wainright, a three-hour drive each way and I did buy a pontoon boat.

I left around 1100 and drove to Three Hills to get the necessary cash.  I expected the job to take minutes, but as it turned out, this simple task wasted a lot of time and backed up my entire day.

Seems the TD Bank will not hand over more than a small amount of cash without advance notice, and I am now wondering how much they will hand over even if given notice.

I offered to take a bearer draft, but they require a name on any draft and I did  not want to commit funds to any specific seller or purpose, nor did I want a draft in any specific amount since I planned to negotiate price.

This is a wake-up call.  You may think you have money in a Canadian bank, and be able to transfer funds electronically fairly easily,  but if you want actual bills, they resist handing it over.  We now don't have bills larger than $100, so any significant amount in cash can turn out to be a big pile of bills.

After an hour or so, they caved and I was able to walk out with cash. Whose money is it anyhow?

A little over three hours later, I was on Clear Lake near Wainright taking a test cruise on the boat in question. 

The boat seemed pretty sound and looks good.  I paid, filled in the papers, and soon I was loading my new pontoon boat at the boat ramp.

By the time I pulled onto the highway, it was 1800 and I was getting tired.  I was also out of gas and had to divert to Edgerton to fuel. It is just as well I did, and I had to fill a time or two more on the return trip.

The trailer towed easily and I was able to maintain highway speeds, but my fuel economy was cut in half, down to about 21 L/100km (13 MPG Imperial) from 10 L/100km.

One complete fill might have done it, but out in the boonies, the prices were high, so I only filled partially several times, hoping for better prices down the road.  I also did not want to arrive home with an empty tank.

I'm stupid that way, sometimes going to ridiculous lengths and some considerable inconvenience to save pennies. Nonetheless stopping a few times ensured I stretched my legs periodically.

I could not decide whether to take the boat to Jean's and stay over or go home: Jean's because they have a lake, home because I am expecting a delivery at 10 AM tomorrow and the drive home from  Jean's takes two hours.  Would I feel like that drive early tomorrow?  If I take the boat home, I still have to take it to Gull later.

I did not have to decide immediately since the first bit was in the same direction, but by the time I made up my mind to go home, I found I had driven about a half-hour out of my way.

At one point, I felt quite tired and pulled over for a quick nap, but later I was quite fresh and was wide awake for the rest of the drive.

I arrived home just before midnight and watched video a while before going to bed at 0100.

I am now watching Major Crimes along with several other series.

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Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.
Gautama Buddha

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Saturday September 5th, 2015

Today Cloudy. Rain beginning early this morning. Amount 15 mm. High 10.
Tonight Periods of rain. Amount 15 mm. Low 7.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I slept until 0900 and woke to a good morning text from Jean. 

It's just as well I woke up.  My Grand Marquis arrives today and I was told the driver will leave Edmonton at 0630 and it's a three-hour drive, so I should be up and dressed when he arrives.

Who gets up and is ready to drive 160 miles at such and early hour on a holiday long weekend?

Allen arrived on time and we did the paperwork.  I now have a new twenty-three year old car. It's in showroom condition.

Now what to do?  I'd like to take the boat to Gull lake and it's a long weekend, but it is rainy and cool, and wind is expected.

Wind and pontoon boats are not a good combination.  These boats have a lot of surface area, meaning they are pushed around by even a light breeze, and they are not great in waves either since waves greater than a foot or two in height will break over the deck.

How am I feeling?  Better than before the recent hospital episode.  I suspect the drugs they prescribed are beneficial.  Hope so.

After lunch, I decided to run up to Jean's with the boat.  I wanted to surprise them.  They knew I was shopping, but not that I bought.

It was 1500 by the time I was ready and it was raining heavily when and I headed out on the road.  Water on the pavement makes the van work harder and the fuel economy dropped even more than yesterday to 26 L/100km. 

Not only was the rain making the engine work out, but just north of my place on 21 highway are some of the biggest, longest hills this side of the seven-mile hill at Field B.C. or the Coquihalla.  I was keeping a steady 100 KPH as I climbed towards the Three Hills and Trochu ridge but the engine was revving in a middle gear much of the time. 

That did not worry me since I had been pulling the boat for four hours cross-country yesterday without issues, but as I approached Equity, the engine suddenly revved up as if in neutral and revved towards redline. I could smell hot oil.

Immediately, I pulled over and laid off the accelerator, thinking that I am glad I have CAA coverage with free 100-mile towing for my vehicle and any trailer I happen to be pulling.

Once slowed, I tried the gas again.  The transmission engaged and I was underway again, this time, quite cautiously. 

I took a chance and was able to get to Trochu where I opened the hood and looked for a transmission dipstick.  None could be found and a quick search of my manual showed that the oil can only be checked by an authorized Mopar dealer.  Right.  Sure.  Baloney. I'll figure out how, but not right now.

The rest of the trip to Bentley was uneventful with only one more revving incident, after which I stopped using cruise control and managed the throttle manually.

I stopped in Sylvan for a burger, some gas, and to buy an anchor and safety supplies for the boat, then drove to Jean's.

On arrival, I found Jean out in the square  dressed as a gorilla and the rest had disappeared somewhere. As it turned out, they were all out trick or treating and partying around the neighbourhood.

Birch Bay has an early Halloween, scheduled to dodge the bitter weather that often descends on Central Alberta right at the end of October and to include the cottagers who retreat to cities just before then.

I parked in Jean's drive and the gorilla and I admired the boat, then I moved the rig out onto the street. 

Where the van had been was a pool of oil.  We mopped it up and I made a note that I'll have to change the transmission oil.

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If not us, who? If not now, when?
Hillel the Elder

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Sunday September 6th, 2015

Today Rain ending near noon then cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Wind northwest 20 km/h. High 10.
Tonight Cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers overnight. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low plus 5.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm at Gull Lake this morning, hoping for a break in the rain so we can go boating.  The boat has a bimini, so there is shelter after it is launched.

Yesterday, I discovered I do not need a fishing license since I am a 'senior', so maybe I'll take up fishing.  I did a little fishing back when I was a kid, and had trout in my pond back in the seventies and eighties.  Back then, I could go outside my door, cast a line, and have a fish for dinner in a matter of minutes.

It was raining and cold this morning, plus five degrees C in drizzle, but I was eager to get the boat into the water, so I put on my shorty wetsuit and winter parka and drove to the nearest boat launch.

That launch proved to be too shallow so I tried the next one north.  That was no better.

By then, J & C had shown up and we went to another one yet.  That spot proved to be perfect and we soon had the boat floating.

We all got on board and motored around in the rain for a while near the launch spot.  We were short two lifejackets and short on gas, too, so we did not go far.  I have no  experience with this new rig, so did not wish to risk breaking down or running out of gas and drifting across the lake in the chill.  It was the sort of day that no one would be around to assist with a rescue.

Up at Parkland beach, we saw one lonely windsurfer trying to learn how to pull up the sail and get underway.  It was cold out there, but a wetsuit and exercise can keep a person warm.

We returned to the launch and Jean backed the trailer down the gravel ramp.  Lining up the boat with the trailer in a light 45 degree crosswind was a bit of a chore, but we managed.  The van's drive wheels tended to spin on the gravel, but after several tries, Jean made the slope and we hauled the boat home again.

Jean made lunch, then Chris and Mckenzie left for volleyball camp and I had a nap. When I woke up, it was still raining.

I researched changing the Chrysler transmission oil, given that I had thrown some out and it was probably due anyhow.  Information on this transmission is pretty sparse on the 'net, even though the 62TE is quite common.

Internet searches just get worse and worse.  Twenty years ago, a quick search turned up almost anything I wanted, but now a search turns up endless junk and sites attempting to collect hits.

I have to use an advanced search to find anything worthwhile and even then I find the options limiting.

By supper, the rain let up and Jean, Nathan and I, plus the dogs, walked to the beach.

Chris and Kenzie returned around 2000.  I went to be early.

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The more he became truly wise, the more he distrusted everything he knew.
Voltaire

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Monday September 7th, 2015
Labour Day

Today A few showers ending this morning then cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. High 15.
Tonight Clearing this evening. Fog patches developing overnight. Low plus 2 with risk of frost.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm at Gull Lake again this morning. 

Labour Day weekend has been pretty much a washout here this year, other than the early Halloween celebrated in the neighbourhood.  Jean, Nathan and I walked down to the beach last evening and found only two kids in the playground and no one at the marina.

Of course, it was not a washout for me, but then I usually don't let weather stop me.  With central heat and A/C plus numerous entertainment devices, people tend to stay inside these days, even in nice weather, but with the right clothing, the outdoors is fun almost any day.

This weekend, I drove across the Province, bought the boat and hauled it home, received the car, then hauled the boat to Gull Lake, launched the boat and cruised around a bit in the rain and had a good visit with the Orams.  Not bad.

Now that we have a boat, Chris is looking into getting a slip at the nearby marina so we do not have to launch and retrieve the boat each time we want to use it.  The docks are a pleasant half-mile walk from the house.  The options are rent or buy, with seven people ahead of us on the buying list.

Looking back, I see it is now two weeks since my 'event' and one week since I was discharged from hospital. 

Much has happened since then and I feel great, so maybe the prescriptions are doing me some good.  I feel pretty good and I don't see any moss growing on me.

I heard less than encouraging things about these heart drugs, but they don't seem to be affecting me adversely and I think they may be beneficial since I do not feel as draggy as previously. 

After lunch, Sharon came over and then Jean, Nathan, Sharon and I launched the boat and went for a cruise on the lake.  By then the weather had cleared and was ideal for boating, but we saw very few others around.

At 1530, Chris and Kenzie returned from the volleyball clinic.  Nathan was bored by then, so we switched crews and wandered around the lake, travelling up to RV Heaven to look around the marina and enquire about rates for moorage.

We returned for supper, then parked the boat trailer in the drive.  I'm going home tomorrow.

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You can't fake passion
Barbara Corcoran

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Tuesday September 8th, 2015

Today Increasing cloudiness this morning. High 18. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy. 30 percent chance of showers late this evening and overnight. Low plus 4.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm at Gull Lake again this morning, but shall be leaving for home shortly.

I left at 0830 and drove to Sylvan and stopped at  anadian Tire to get supplies for the boat.  

The outboard motor had not been serviced for four years according the the previous owner, so an oil and gearcase lube change is overdue.   I also needed dock lies and fenders.

From there, I went to Wal-Mart for groceries and then on to Red Deer to stop at a transmission shop to look into a transmission oil change.

After the transmission event while climbing the hills in the rain on Saturday The OBDII reader indicated a PO218 error, indicating a transmission oil overheating episode.  I had already assumed that from the fact that the tranny had thrown out oil and gone out of gear twice, but the diagnostic tool confirmed it. 

I noted the oil that dripped onto the driveway at Jean's looked colourless, so was pretty sure it was due for a change now, if it had not been already. I see, however, that a change is not scheduled until 200,000 km and this van is now only approaching 160,000.

I made an appointment for Friday morning at nine, then drove home.

I arrived mid-afternoon, and did some deskwork.

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You see things; and you say, 'Why?'
But I dream things that never were; and I say, Why not?
George Bernard Shaw

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Wednesday September 9th, 2015

Today Increasing cloudiness this morning. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 18.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers this evening. Clearing overnight. Low 7.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Ten day forecast

 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm home.  The day promises to be warm and sunny, so I'll take a look at the bees and see how to proceed from here and get back to the various jobs I have lined up around the place.

By noon, the day warmed enough to go out and look at hives.  I walked out and surveyed the yard where I was working on August 24th when I had to leave suddenly to get to the hospital.  Everything is lying right where I left it, including several supers of honey I had removed from hives.  I see there has been some robbing.  I'll find out more when I begin work on the hives again shortly.

I'm concerned about the hives since I found high varroa levels in the two alcohol wash samples I took two weeks ago.  I had intended to put the Apivar in right away, and two weeks is a long time at this time of year.  Apivar treatments started today will be finished on October 21 and that is getting close to the start of very cold weather.  Apivar does not work as well in cold weather since the bees do not move around as much and Apivar works by bees contacting the strips and then one another.

I intend to hit the hives with formic as well and formic has a quick knockdown, but formic cannot control varroa on its own.  I'm concerned that the winter bees are now being produced and may be subject to serious varroa predation in some hives.

My intention was to do some bee work, then go to town to register the boat trailer and the car.  I went out and put battery chargers on all the vehicles, then checked the oil in the car since they have been sitting unused for weeks.  The oil was not even up to the dipstick, so I decided an oil change was a priority.  I had the correct oil and filter on hand, so I drained the oil and replaced it.  The filter was on very tight and the oil was black.  Not a great sign.  Add to that black inside the exhaust pipe and this could be an oil burner.  Not likely at this low mileage, but possible.  Vehicles that have been sitting sometimes use oil on the first few runs.  We'll see.

I went out and moved a few things around I the North Yard, but was uninspired and decided to complete the licensing.

The Three Hills registry is always lined up and slow, so I called the registry and learned that they were lined right up and would be until closing, so I called the Linden registry.  They reported no lineup, so I drove over there.  When I arrived, there was no one waiting.

The car registration went quickly, but the boat trailer was more difficult.  The seller had miscopied the serial number onto the bill of sale. A computer lookup failed to locate the trailer. 

I had the foresight to take a snapshot of the trailer nameplate, but we discovered that part of the VIN was hidden behind a bolt so I called Jean.  She went outside and found a missing digit and that solved the issue.

The registry then discovered that the trailer had never been registered in Canada, but apparently that was not a problem and eventually I walked out of the office with two new license plates.

I returned home and cooked salmon for supper.  I'm considering going back out to the bees, but am feeling tired and uninspired.

After supper, I put on my bee suit and sat down in my recliner.  Next thing I knew, I was asleep.  When I regained full consciousness, I knew I did not have the energy to go out again, so I watched an episode of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.  Then I did some deskwork.

I had bought a sound bar for my second TV in the basement the other day and tonight compared it to the one I bought previously and have been using for my TV.  It took a half-hour to do so, and I discovered it does not hold a candle to the first one.  Back it goes, to The Source. 

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Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.
And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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