October  2015    

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The Quonset Yard Waiting for Winter
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Thursday October 1st, 2015

Today Sunny. High 25. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. 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 plan to get my van back from the shop today.  Bert is coming by at 1000 to pick me up to drive to Red Deer.

Bert came and we drove to the transmission shop and got my van.  We had lunch, then I continued to Gull Lake and launched the pontoon boat.

The weather was ideal: warm and calm.  Jean and Nathan joined me and we motored around for a pleasant hour and half, then put the boat back on the trailer and took it back to their yard.

I was on my way home when Fen texted to see if I was coming for supper.  I was in Sylvan Lake by then and I had been thinking of shopping, but drove directly to The Mill. 

I need not have hurried.  Fen and Betty had just arrived themselves, so I went to see what Bert was up to next door. He was working on his truck and installing the brake caliper he bought in Red Deer.  I helped him with that and a spark plug problem, then we went for supper.

After supper, we all chatted a while, then Zippy and I drove home.

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Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich,
By promising to protect each from the other.

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Friday October 2nd, 2015

Today Cloudy. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud near noon. High 21. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy. Periods of rain beginning near midnight. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 then increasing to 40 gusting to 60 near midnight. Low plus 4.

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Ten day forecast

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

I've bitten off a quite a bit for the next few days and it will be interesting to see how I manage. I had fall yard work to do already, then decided to put on  a party for twenty people Sunday afternoon.  I decided to make the event potluck, but still have to find seating and plates and cutlery for twenty. 

Maybe I should rent the Hall?  There's a thought!

Lately, I have been uninspired and low on energy, but yesterday was a big day and that went well.  I think I am burned out on work relating to my home and grounds, including the bees.  When it comes to going boating, I seem to have lots of energy.

My place is huge and old and industrial in size.  The grass has grown high and thick with all the rain since August and I have been away a lot.  The trees have dropped leaves and I have lost my gardener.  I really need a heating system that does not involve shoveling coal and ashes weekly.

As for the bees, I have a lot of equipment to pick up, organize and stack.  I'd really like to get the hives up off the ground, too.  (See background image)

I did not do any of that.  I had deskwork to do all morning, promoting the Rendezvous next weekend and replying to email.  I also signed myself up for a big party -- twice my normal size, and need to get ready.

I intended to do some housework, too, but by the time I had lunch I was feeling crappy and had a nap.  That did not go particularly well.  I did not sleep too well the past two nights and the nap could have gone better, too. 

The nap helped a bit and I decided to go for a bike ride.  I used to peddle a mile every day, but got out of the habit.  When I got back, I still felt poorly -- tired and sore -- so I took an ibuprofen and a few minutes later felt great.  Hmmm.

I don't know what was dragging me down, but maybe it is the expected change in the weather.

Nick, owner of Acorn wrote, looking for pictures of frames in use and I drove over to the Quonset in the cranberry Grand Marquis (hereafter referred to as The Cranberry) looking for something to photograph.  I did not find what i wanted, but decided that I like that car. 

I also realised in that seven-hundred yard drive over a dirt trail that I spent more on repairing the transmission and brakes and steering hose on the van than buying this excellent car, or purchasing and maintaining the red van that served me for three years before this one.

Buying the van was one of these things a person does once in a while that makes little logical sense.  It has its perks, like Bluetooth and backup camera, blind spot detection, etc..., but the ride is rougher than this old luxury sedan, and the cost far higher.  I don't think the van gets as good gas mileage as this vehicle that is sixteen years older either.

  Other than desk things, I did not accomplish much today.

In the evening, just after dark, high winds hit and blew most of the remaining leaves off the trees. 

The weather change is here.

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You can observe a lot by just watching.
Yogi Berra

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Saturday October 3rd, 2015

Today Cloudy with 60 percent chance of rain or snow. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50. High plus 5.
Tonight Cloudy. 30 percent chance of rain or snow early this evening. Low plus 1.

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Ten day forecast

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

Last night, I slept better than the previous two nights.  No congestion. 

I awoke at 0500, dozed until 0700 and got up. The day is cool, breezy, and predicted to be colder than we have seen for a while.

I decided to go ahead with my original plans for tomorrow.  I'll make a big pot of something like chili or spaghetti as backup since I don't know what people will bring.  I could also put out sandwich makings.

Today, I am going to exercise, tidy the house, work on the plants and vacuum.  Between the dog and the plants, the place always needs vacuuming.

I'll also do some bookkeeping.  That job seems to never end.

My 'exercise' turned out to be tearing my living room apart and rearranging the furniture and book shelves. 

Using book shelves and couches, Ellen had divided the space into smaller areas that work well with small groups, and I had a huge rubber tree right in the middle of the room, too.  I prefer a more open space, however, and decided to make changes seeing as I expect as many as twenty-five people tomorrow.

When I was about half done, it was getting close to suppertime, so I drove to town for groceries to be sure to make it before the stores close.

I got home and began cooking.  By the time I was done, I had a gallon or two of chili and almost a gallon of spaghetti sauce with meat balls.

Looking at recipes on the 'net, I see that people use a surprising variety of ingredients in their 'chili'. I don't follow recipes, but like to read a few for ideas and to see if what I am whipping up falls within the parameters. 

I call what I make chili con carne, but I actually use cumin and crushed peppers not chili powder.  Chili powder keeps me awake nights.

That is how I used to program, too.  I would always read the source code of pages or programs I liked to see how they were designed and to borrow ideas. That was back when I hand coded my pages and software.  I have not written software for over a decade now and my web pages are generated by WYSIWYG software.

In addition to the chili and sauce, I have salad makings in the fridge and a gallon of ice cream in the freezer, so I am ready for whatever the food situation turns out to be today. I probably have enough plates, bowls, and cutlery, but also have paper plates for backup .

I told people the event is pot luck, but did not specify who brings what, so the day should be interesting.  Chances are that I won't need the chili or sauce, but they freeze well and if they are not needed, I am now ready to host a meal or two at the drop of a hat.

When I was done, I sat down in my recliner to watch Netflix and the next thing I knew it was midnight and I was sitting in front of a black screen. I had fallen asleep the moment I sat down.

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Politicians are the same all over.
They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.
Nikita Khrushchev~

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Sunday October 4th, 2015

Today Cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries this morning. High 7.
Tonight A few clouds. Low minus 3 with frost.

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Ten day forecast

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

I was up at 0600 and had breakfast. Sunrise is getting later by the day and now it is dark until after seven.

I have my morning's work cut out for me.  Although I have no food worries, the living room is still in disarray and then I have to run through the place with a vacuum.

I'm glad I did not plan on holding the gathering outdoors today.  The forecast has changed and the day is predicted to be less than pleasant for sitting in the garden.  Warm weather is promised for Thanksgiving, however.

At 1050, the temperature is minus 0.2 with a 3 MPH breeze.  The weather-guessers missed again.  I'm about half-ready for the company that I expect to start coming any time after 1400.  I still have to figure out what to do with one bookshelf and then reshelf all the books. 

Why I keep all these books, I don't know.  I seldom look at books any more and many are out of date. I guess for one thing, I would not know where to take them. Even though many are reference quality hardcover copies, libraries are not eager for books.  I hear they won't accept fiction that is more than two years old and have a problem disposing of their excess books.

When  I want to know something, the phone is much handier, but books do come in handy when I want certain kinds of info.  Web searches are getting increasingly polluted with marketing and ads.

I'm amazed at the book business.  It seems there are tons of books on any imaginable subject, yet new books join them every day.

That said, my daughter is churning out Chick Lit books at a great rate and selling them, too, I understand.  They are not aimed at guys, or people my age, but I read one (her first, I believe) and it was pretty good.

Also, after saying that I don't read books these days, I must confess I am working my way through the current version Ronald Right's 'Stolen Continents'.

My friends came and we had a good party.  As it worked out, I think we we seventeen in total.  Several had to cancel at the last minute.

Since we began early, everyone left early, just before sundown.  I'd say the function  was a success.  It also inspired me to make changes to the room layout that I have wanted to do for a long time. 

I never did like the way Ellen had changed it five years ago when I was away, but I knew that objecting would be pointless and the arrangement did have some plusses.

After Ellen died, I did not get around to making many many changes, partly due to inertia, partly because it is a big job, and partly because the family was used to it the way it was. 

As it worked out, changing things was indeed a big job -- and one that is actually still half done.  I still have to sort the books.  In the end, I just put most back on shelves.

I had begun to sort and dispose of books before, but deciding what to do with them is difficult.  Just throwing things out is a bit of a job since I hate to destroy good items and for the trash, we are supposed to sort according to type, then deliver each to an appropriate location, each of which has different opening hours.

Jean and the kids arrived at about 1400 and she joined in vacuuming while I did the final rearranging.  By the time people began to arrive at 1500, we were ready.

The party went well.  There were eighteen of us for supper and everyone left before dark.  My friends took the Toyota van along.  They have a use for it as a staff conveyance and I would not get much if I sold it.  All it needs is an air-condition compressor.  For most of us, that would be a big issue for summer driving, but apparently Mexican staff don't feel the need for air conditioning. 

That's hard to believe but true.  I've seen Mexicans working in beeyards on June days when I was hot in shorts  and tee, but they were fully dressed and wearing wool toques under their veils.

I'm now down to three licensed vehicles.  That should be enough for a single guy living alone. 

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Mankind is resilient: the atrocities that horrified us a week ago become acceptable tomorrow.
Joseph Heller

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Monday October 5th, 2015

Today Mainly sunny. Fog patches dissipating near noon. High 14. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Fog patches developing after midnight. Low zero with patchy frost.

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Ten day forecast

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

I slept until 0800.  The day is sunny and the house is brighter with the leaves off the trees and the room rearranged.

I have a few  days before I go west and have to get some deskwork done, plus deal further with the bees.

Today is different somehow.  Everything seems brighter and more relaxed.  I'm beginning the seventh decade of life, of course, and maybe the brighter clearer light is due to the leaves having fallen from the trees outside my east windows, and perhaps rearranging the furniture, but something has changed.

I don't feel under pressure to do anything and have spent the day visiting with friends on the phone and Shirley dropped by for a while. It's 1412 and all I have done is write a letter or two and clean up the kitchen, and that job was simple since most of the cleanup was done last evening.

I did not do much today.

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.
Jay Leno

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Tuesday October 6th, 2015

Today A mix of sun and cloud. High 16. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Low plus 4.

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Ten day forecast

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

It's cool and windy this morning, but sunny.

Today will be busy, and tonight is the Calgary BCA meeting.  As organizer of the Thanksgiving Rendezvous, I have to be there to promote it and speak with others in the management group, so I shall be driving in later in the day.

I am now down to three road vehicles.  Which one will I take today?  I'm tending toward the Grand Marquis.

I am seeing mice in the house, and they are pretty bold.  I sorta like them, but they do damage, so they have to go.  After lunch, I drove to Trochu for a live mouse trap and some poison, then to Three Hills to get a furnace part and buy a bargain Thanksgiving turkey at IGA. 

I won 't be home to cook a turkey this weekend, but I always keep a turkey in the freezer and cook it sometime later when I have the gang over.

I drove home and unloaded my haul, then headed out for the Bluewater meeting in Calgary, an hour and half away. 

I stopped at UFA in  Airdrie for more traps and then  went to Wal-Mart for a haircut.  When I returned to the van, my key's remote transmitter would not unlock the van.  I seldom leave my phone in the van, but today I did, and the dog was in there, too.  I did not even have my phone to call a friend or to call AMA. 

Without my phone, I don't even know some friends' numbers.

Having no phone, I walked to a gas station and called AMA to send a truck to unlock the door for me.  That took a half-hour, plus. 

Assuming the key had lost its programming, I figured the key would not start the van even when I gained entry and that I was stranded, so I called Fen.  She said she would be a half-hour.

When the AMA arrived, we went to the van and he began unlocking the door.  As he worked, I noticed the door was already unlocked.  While walking up to the van, I had pressed the fob and apparently it had worked.

Now the key worked as if nothing had happened.   I guess the battery had an intermittent connection? 

About then I realised that I should have been able to use the valet key hidden in the end fob, but this was a new key I bought on eBay and I had not thought to have the blank cut.

As it turned out, the programming was intact and the van started.  I still did not trust it.

Later I realised that the ignition chip must be passive and not require battery the way the remote does, so should work regardless of whether the remote works or not.

At that point, although I was again mobile, I had to wait for Fen since she was not answering her phone, and I could not cancel the call for help. 

She was well over an hour arriving and by then I had missed the  meeting, so we had a hot chocolate at Tim Hortons and each went home.

I later learned that Fen had her phone on, but was driving and did not answer.  I had also called Magnus at the meeting to say I was stranded and he was on his own, but he did not recognize the number and was in a meeting, so he did not answer either. If I had texted instead of phoning, I might have reached them both.  Who knows?

Also, who knows how many important messages we miss?

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The truest indication of gratitude is to return what you are grateful for.
Richard Paul Evans

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Wednesday October 7th, 2015

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers near noon. High 18.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Clearing after midnight. Low plus 3.

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Ten day forecast

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

I'm getting ready to go west today.  I leave early tomorrow, so I have  along list, including work on the surveillance systems, plant watering, furnace maintenance, and, of course, packing.

I should be on my boat by 0900 or so tomorrow and Jon meets me there just after lunch.  

The live mouse traps really work.  I have caught two mice already.  Apparently once one is caught, it makes a racket and others come to investigate.  I'll release them out somewhere in the wild.

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If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these Election speeches,
There wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven.
Will Rogers

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Thursday October 8th, 2015

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I slept poorly and was up early.  I dropped Zippy at The Mill at 0545 and continued to Airdrie.  Mike dropped me at YYC at 0700 and was at my boat in Sidney three hours later.

The cleaner was busy below so I stayed up top in the cockpit and examined the replacement c80 chart plotter which I bought on eBay and which had just arrived.  Although ten years old, it is like-new.

The cleaner finished up, then Nancy came by to look at the upholstery and will give me a quote on slip covers later.  I installed the new plotter and tested it.  It's perfect.

Jon arrived and we bought groceries, then cast off for Genoa Bay.  We were still about two hours away when I thought to check the sunset and found it is an hour earlier than I had thought and only an hour off. 

We recalculated, then diverted to Russell Island, and dropped anchor just as darkness fell.  By the time we were set for the night, light had faded and it was completely dark.  Although travelling all night when offshore is standard practice, in these coastal waters logs and other dangerous debris are encountered quite regularly.

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Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself
Suzanne Somers

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Friday October 9th, 2015

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We woke up, had breakfast and got underway.

We reached Maple Bay just after noon and stopped to have lunch with Austin and Pam at the pub.

From there, we ran downwind wing on wing to Thetis Island with winds averaging about twelve knots and gusting to twenty.  We arrived around 1630 and tied up.

We cooked chicken and turnip on board for supper, then visited in the pub until bedtime.

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People can be more forgiving than you can imagine.
But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what's bitter and move on.
Bill Cosby

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Saturday October 10th, 2015

Today Mainly cloudy. Clearing near noon. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 increasing to 40 gusting to 60 this afternoon. High 23.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind southwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 becoming west 60 gusting to 80 this evening. Low 8.

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Ten day forecast

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm at the rendezvous and probably too busy to post much here.

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A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.
Tex Guinan

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Sunday October 11th, 2015

Today Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers this morning and risk of a thunderstorm. Clearing later this morning. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming northwest 50 gusting to 80 early this morning. Temperature steady near 13.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind northwest 50 km/h gusting to 80 becoming light this evening. Low plus 1.

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Ten day forecast

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I'm at the rendezvous and probably too busy to post much here until later.

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“The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.”
Joseph Heller

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Monday October 12th, 2015

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The party is over.  We got to bed around three, so I slept in.

Around ten, Heather came by and knocked on the hull, then reported that the marina was claiming that some of our members had not paid their meal and others had not paid their dock fees.

I went up and spoke with the owner and found him irrational and abusive, but managed to calm him down.  His claims seemed out of line with the number of registered members and what we know, but I heard him out and then we polled the members who had not left, roughly one third.

An audit of our remaining people indicated that the claims were groundless.  Bad management and cash control on the part of the marina is my interim verdict.  Of course we will check to see if anyone forgot to pay, but it seems clear that either the accounting was wrong or someone at the marina was skimming and blaming us.

We left in light rain at noon and sailed a while, motored a while, and arrived at Fernwood Point, where we stopped to have coffee and visit with Bruce, then proceeded to Russell Island again to anchor closer to Sidney.

In the moments we spent visiting at Fernwood, fog had descended, but we proceeded, guided by radar and electronic charts and employing my new fog horn. 

Again, we arrived and anchored at Russell Island just before dark.

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The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.
Steve Maraboli

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Tuesday October 13th, 2015

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. High 17.
Tonight A few clouds. Low minus 1.

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Ten day forecast

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

Jon and I are anchored at Russell Island and headed for Sidney today.  Jon flies at 2 PM.

I awoke at dawn, had breakfast and pulled up the anchor, bound for Sidney.  I left early, since I did not want to be late for Jon's flight.  Jon got up after a while and joined my up in the cockpit.

We motored across Shute Passage, through Stranger Pass into John Passage, the direct route to Van Isle where I fuel up on the way in.

As we were in the middle of Stranger Pass, the chart plotter suddenly went haywire.  Currents were strong and hidden rocks nearby.  Fortunately, I had my backup unit on and handy and we got through unscathed. I reset the plotter and it functioned well through John Passage.

At Van Isle, we took on only about thirty litres of fuel in spite of having motored a lot and having run the heater almost constantly.

We docked at Port Sidney and had a few hours to kill.  The day turned bright and sunny.  Jon caught a cab at 1300 and I went to the store for more provisions, then cast off and motored out of the marina with no destination in mind. 

The wind was northwest, so I set sail for Sidney island, then decided to turn south and ran down between Sidney Island and James Island.  I needed to find an anchorage before nightfall, and had four hours to do so. 

There is not much on the charts between Sidney and the southern tip of the Saanich Peninsula, so I decided on Cadboro Bay.

I arrived well before dark and dropped the hook, then settled in for the evening.

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To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
Winston Churchill

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Wednesday October 14th, 2015

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. High 17.
Tonight A few clouds. Low minus 1.

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I am anchored in Cadboro Bay this morning, just south of Victoria. 

I awoke before sunrise, had breakfast, then spent the first hour writing an email to my fellow BCA management group trying to calm everyone down.  What a waste of time!

My plan for the day?  Look into travel insurance, do books, and maybe sail over to Victoria for a look-see from  the water.  I spent many March/April visits here over the years and stayed as long as a month at the Surf Motel on the shore.

Well, it was 1000 by the time I resolved the BCA issue and had a shower.  The day is ideal for a sail, so that is what I'll do.  I recall countless times sitting in Beacon Hill Park watching the sailboats out on the the Strait.  Today, I'll be one of them!

I sailed for the first hour, then around noon the wind dropped.  By 1311, I was off Beacon Hill Park and feeling sleepy after lunch, so I dropped anchor and had a nap, then proceeded.


The Dallas Road waterfront and Surf Motel, where I spent a lot of time over the years.

From there, I motored into Victoria Harbour and tied up at the Wharf Street dock.  I've been here on the docks in front of the Empress Hotel many times over the years, going back to the seventies, but this is the first time by water.

I wandered over to the museum and looked around.  I contemplated going to the Imax, but decided I was tired and hungry and returned Cassiopeia.

I made a salad roll-up and ate some rice, then had another nap.  When I awoke it was dusk. 

This was a tiring weekend.   Drinking Dave's ouzo and partying on Segue II until three probably did not help.

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Always forgive your enemies nothing annoys them so much.
Oscar Wilde

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Thursday October 15th, 2015

Today Clearing this morning. High 15.
Tonight Clear. Low minus 1.

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I slept until after eight.  The sun is shining and the breeze is light.

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Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.
 A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.
Shannon L. Alder

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