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The BCA Thanksgiving Rendezvous
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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.

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 the rendezvous and probably too busy to post much here.

Morning:
0900 - 1000: Coffee on the dock.
1000: Announcements on dock at the host boat and on the bulletin board.
(Also an opportunity to recruit help and or advice from fellow sailors.)
Boats continue to arrive, check in with the Marina, and register with BCA.
Visiting, walking, exploring, beachcombing...
Afternoon:
Visiting, walking, exploring, beachcombing, pub time, etc.
1400 - 1500: Boat Visits -- If you welcome visitors aboard, indicate so by hanging a tea towel in the rigging or lifelines.
1500-1600: Swap on the dock - a chance to display and swap or sell boating items. Bring cash.
BCA items will be available for purchase on the dock at that time. A bulletin board will be available for posting ads.
1630: Announcements on dock at the host boat. (Also an opportunity to recruit help and/or advice from fellow sailors.)
1630 (+/-) Happy Appie hour - Bring appetisers and snacks to share.
1730: Pot Luck. Bring one dish (one main dish, plus a veggie dish or dessert), drinks, and your own plates, glasses and cutlery.
Evening: Visiting, pub time, etc.  PowerPoint Presentations

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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.

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 the rendezvous and probably too busy to post much here .

Morning
0900 Sharp: Roll Call on VHF Channel 68.
0900 - 1000: Coffee and pastries on the dock.
1000: Announcements on dock at the host boat. (Also an opportunity to recruit help and/or advice from fellow sailors.)
Visiting, walking, beachcombing, exploring...
Afternoon
1300 - 1500: (+/-) Model boat construction.
1400 - 1500: Boat Visits -- If you welcome visitors aboard, indicate so by hanging a tea towel in the rigging or lifelines.
1400-1500: Swap on the dock - a chance to display and swap or sell boating items. Bring cash.
1530 (+/-) Model boat race
1700: Happy Hour.
Announcements on dock at the host boat. (Also an opportunity to recruit help and/or advice from fellow sailors.)
1730: Traditional Turkey Supper in restaurant and on deck, weather permitting. Book ahead with the restaurant by phone or email and pay at the restaurant.
Evening: Visiting, pub time, etc.  PowerPoint Presentations

  Questions?   Comments?   Join us in the HoneyBeeWorld Forum  

“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

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

Morning
0900 - 1000: Coffee and leftover pastries on the dock.
Good-byes.  It's over. Most boats depart by 1200.

*   *   *   *   *

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, over half.

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.

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

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 rocks were hidden under the surface nearby.  You can see at left how we were sucked towards the rocks.  It should be fairly obvious where the plotter quit. (We had six feet of tide at the time.  I draw seven, so we had a close call).

Fortunately, I had my backup chart unit turned on and close at hand 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 I cast off and motored out of the marina with no destination in mind, but a vague desire to go south, a direction in which I had not yet explored.

The wind was five to fifteen 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 there well before dark and dropped the hook in seven metres of water onto a mud bottom, then settled in for the night.

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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.

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 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 Strait of Juan de Fuca.  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 found a spot well offshore with a ten metre depth, 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 Causeway 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 last weekend was a tiring.  Drinking Dave's ouzo on Segue II and partying until three probably did not help.  The confusion about meal payments and the need for me to make everyone happy wore me down, too.

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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.

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 after eight.  The sun is shining and the breeze is light.

My plan for the day is to have no plan.  I may wander into the James Bay district to get a few more groceries and either stay here another day or move back to Cordoba Bay on the way back to Sidney.

I have paperwork to do and where I am is an ideal spot for enjoying Victoria's attractions.  I have yet to buy a return flight to take me home. 

Right now, my policy is to go 'any way the wind blows'.  It happens the winds for today are predicted to be from the north and that is the direction I must eventually go.

I spent the morning writing emails and updating this page.  Next thing I knew, it was 1030, so I decided to stay another day.

At some point this season, a client blocked up one of the two heads (toilets) on this boat and used my dinghy locking cable to try to clear it, cutting it in the process and making the remaining piece useless.  The dock crew had not replaced it, and I do not like to leave the dinghy and new outboard floating nearby tied only with rope, so I walked up to Western Equipment and had a new one made.  From there, I walked to West Marine and bought a few items, then caught the bus back to the boat.

I needed groceries and so I walked to the James Bay Thrifty's and back.   By then I had walked several miles.

Thrifty's stores still put groceries into paper sacks which have no handles and which fall apart in the slightest rain and rain can be a daily occurence here.  They do this in some misguided attempt to 'save the environment'.

'Environment'?  Where did that come from?  We did not even use that word before about 1980 and it did not have the cult meaning it has now. 

I did a Google search and, reading the results, one would assume we always thought this way and spoke of 'The Environment'.  We did not. This usage and thinking is quite recent. Goes to show how Google misleads.

And Climate Change?  Well, that has been happening ever since Mesopotamian civilizations ran out of water and collapsed.  And then there were the Egyptians and the Mayas...  Everything old has become new again.

The next time is the first time and what was old news and ancient history is suddenly big news.

How using 1/4 lb of bulky ineffective paper instead of 1/1000 lb of filmy plastic saves the environment beats me, but a surprising number of people believe that.  A surprising number of people believe almost anything.  Can you believe that?

Fortunately there was a liquor store next door and they donated several stout plastic bags in return for my buying a mickey of their overpriced spiced rum, and I made it back to Cassiopeia without having the bottom fall out of  a bag or having my fingers drop off.

I ate roast chicken in the cockpit and watched the daylight fade until two young guys from San Fran, on the boat twenty feet across from me decided to run their engine.  The rumbling and splashing of their exhaust broke the spell.  I called it a day, went below, had a shower, did some reading and went to bed.

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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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Friday October 16th, 2015

Today Sunny. Wind south 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 17.
Tonight Clear. Low zero.

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'll leave Victoria today and start back to Sidney.

I left around 1000 and sailed west past Esquimault, then turned and sailed with fair winds from the northeast, east past Discovery Island, almost halfway to San Juan Island and close to the US border.

From there I turned north. The wind died after a while and the current was carrying me back over my course, so I started the engine. 

I pondered whether to go to Roche Harbor or Sidney and decided that I really should head home.  The forecast inclined me that way, also.  Today was beautiful, sunny and warm, but cooler weather and rain is predicted for the weekend (of course).

My day's sail is at right.  The gap is because I removed the GPS batteries to use them in a label maker for a while. 

I made labels indicating recommended engine RPMs, etc.  The Volvo has a lower red line than Yanmars -- 3000 RPM, not 3750 or whatever the Yanmar is, so some clients assume that they can push harder than they should.

I arrived at my dock and tied up, had some supper, then decided to take the dinghy across to Sidney Island for a run.  The trip is two miles and I had an hour before sunset, so I went.  The trip is a bit risky in  a ten-foot inflatable with a 9.9 powering it, but I had my phone and a VHF radio and the water was mirror smooth.  There were also plenty of boats around.

I ran across and checked out the anchorage and was surprised how many boats were there for the night.  The place is exposed to the north and west and shallow, but the tides are high for the next 24 hours.

I did not stay long, and turned back, not to be out after dark if something went wrong.  Halfway back, the motor suddenly stopped dead.  I wondered what happened and looked around.  The fuel line had somehow fallen off.  I reattached it and resumed the return trip.

Once back, I sat down to do some work, but found I was exhausted and went to bed.  It was 2000.  I woke up around midnight.

Hello Allen,

I have to disturb your sailing happiness for a moment.

I follow your diary now relatively steady, because it touches two of my favored subjects, bees & sailing.

Your Oct. 15th notes struck me a little and I don't want to argue with you, just bring a few pictures to your attention: http://preview.tinyurl.com/ovbl7te

Copy the link and have a look. I am a farmer for now about 50 years and have seen many changes, not as many as my dad with 95, but enough to know that we have made a big mess in a bloody hurry (150 years) and we need to step back.

You are correct, paper bags bust easy, plastic bags wont and that is where all our problems start, we want it all but without sacrifice.

I am not green, organic or such, I just think a lot.

Cheers, happy sailing


Glad you enjoy these pages. Thanks for the feedback.

As I say, people believe a lot of things that are not true, that seem true or may be partially true, and relate ideas that are only very loosely correlated; and this is just another case of conflating independent facts -- and wasted good intentions.

After all, using the same 'logic', we note that, Global Warming Climate Change is partly blamed on deforestation and that Thifty's use of paper is supporting clear-cutting.   (One could argue the paper is recycled, but that, and any net value in that, if true, is another questionable assumption).

That conclusion is as likely as the assumption that Thrifty's plastic bags would ever contribute significantly to the garbage patch -- unless we have a tsunami.

Besides some kids is cleaning up the garbage patch, didn't we just hear that?

As an offshore sailor, I am quite aware of the garbage patch and deplore the idea of junk in the oceans, along with drift nets, overfishing and dumping of waste. I am also very aware of how a plastic bags picked up by the cooling water intake have destroyed boat engines.  I've also seen the litter on  beaches in Rhode Island.  I've seen plastic bags blown around the deserts of Mexico.  I just don't see any plastic bag litter here in the Salish Sea.

One has to ask,  where does this trash come from?  Somehow I doubt any of it comes from the bags we get at grocery stores.  A lot of it comes from places in the world where there is no garbage disposal or recycling -- or consciousness of trash.

On one Caribbean island, locals were hired to pick up trash on the beach, and the beaches there were solid with trash.   Take-out food was brought in at the end of the job and what did the people do with the containers?  You guessed it.

No, if Thrify's used plastic bags, they would not wind up in the Salish Sea.  Every other store in town does and I don't see bags flying around town like in Mexico, or in the water.

I do see clearcuts on hillsides as I sail around the area and the climate is getting warmer.  Shame on Thrifty's.

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Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.
Doug Larson

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Saturday October 17th, 2015

Today Sunny. High 19.
Tonight Clear. Low plus 3.

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'll leave for home today, flying at 1305.  I was up at 0410 and have eight hours until I have to be at YYJ.

I can't say I am excited to be going home.  I like it here.  I suppose I will feel more enthused when  I get there. One reason for going now is that Fen is caring for Zippy and has to be away Sunday.

Going to Victoria again and spending two days was a very pleasant experience.  I used to spend a lot of time there, and almost forgot.  Sidney is also nice, and only twenty minutes away by road, but different.

That's trouble with going many too places and doing (and having) too many things.

Van Isle was closed by the time I returned, so I have to run over for fuel this morning.  Then I have to pack.  That's it, but it always takes me at least three hours to pack and get off the boat. Nancy, the upholsterer offered to drive me to the airport.

> just take cotton reusable shopping bags along like my wife does

That may work if you know you are going shopping and have them handy, and if you don't care about hygiene, but that is only a partial solution and for only some people, and is simply a token effort.

My objection is that if I drop into a store to pick a few things up, and it turns out that they only have paper bags without handles  and I have no way practical to carry them if I am walking.  If it is raining, getting them to the car, then to the boat is risky. Paper bags are awkward and unreliable. Not only that, most of the time they go to the landfill.

The irony then is that one needs a car, to make a trip home for bags, find another store, or must buy one more cloth bag to add to the stack at home.  The cloth bags are hardly easy on the 'environment' either.  If all the math is done honestly, plastic film bags clearly create the lowest environmental load and create least pollution.

The argument in favour of paper bags over plastic is similar to the one for electric and hybrid cars.  People are persuaded by superficial arguments and popular campaigns.  Often as not these campaigns are started and fueled by economic interests and lobbyists.

In many of these products, the upstream and downstream impacts are hidden or ignored.  Determining the actual costs and impacts is not easy either, since calculating them depends on data and assumptions that are not always revealed.

Local factors always have an impact, and technology changes constantly.  Complex measurements and calculations beyond the education and ability of most people are required and the answers are never precise.  Often, after a great deal of difficult calculation they are a simply SWAG, and come down to opinions, the same opinions that set the assumptions in the first place! 

As far as we can tell, these cars pollute as much or more compared to internal combustion engine-powered cars, but the externalities are seldom considered.

I really don't care if people want to use paper bags and ask for them.  I just object to special interest groups lobbying or forcing stores to ban plastic bags.

Never underestimate the power of opinionated,  ignorant people on a mission and their ability to draw masses into their cause and change history.

Misconceptions, insanity and outright falsehoods ignited many of the great movements in history, and adherence to obviously false beliefs has been the unifying force underlying major civilizations, including ours.

IMO, the do-gooders' efforts would be far more useful and productive if directed to encouraging and improving recycling of plastics.  Current requirements for sorting and the rejection of some plastics makes the process difficult and discourages many people from bothering.

FWIW, At home, I either reuse or recycle plastic bags, but burn or trash paper bags.

This topic has been picked up and amplified in the forum.

Nancy messaged me  on Facebook, her preferred method of communication, wanting to pick me up, go to the bank and get a deposit for the work.  I replied that my flight was not until 1305 and that I was very busy all morning, not having planned on such side-trips in my tight schedule.  She replied that she had thought I was flying earlier and that she was not able to drive me at noon as promised.

I like her ideas and her quote, but she was inconsistent in her communication, had not given me anything in writing, and wanted cash ASAP.  Not a good sign.  She has been in business for 22 years, or so she says, but now I wonder.

She would message me, then reply, and when I replied, not reply for a long time, then start up again.  She never answers he phone, but does call back. This went on for a week and when I was about to give her a deposit, she went weird.  Something is fishy.

She may do good work, but her way of doing business is decidedly odd.  I decided to stand back.

I was ready in time to catch a cab, but did not clean the boat as thoroughly as usual.  We have no charters booked and I will be the next person aboard, I assume.

Westjet landed me in Calgary at 1530.  The cab to Airdrie cost me $50.  I started my van, bough groceries, gasoline, and had a car wash, then drove to The Mill to get Zippy.

Zip is getting old, and that fact is becoming increasingly obvious.  She took a few moments to wake up and greet me and is slow on the steps now.

We returned home, I lit the fire, watched some video, and that was my day.

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Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.
Lao-tzu

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Sunday October 18th, 2015

Today Increasing cloudiness this morning. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light near noon. High 16.
Tonight Cloudy. 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 leaves are off the trees and the days are getting short.  Fall is definitely here.

We have a few more days to go out on the pontoon boat and the weather is nice today, so I am off the Gull Lake.

El Niño 2015 continues to strengthen. Now 'too big to fail'

I left Swalwell around 1100 and arrived at Gull Lake just before 1400. 

The boat trailer was hooked up to Jean's truck and ready to go when I arrived.  Chris and I drove to the boat launch and soon we were on the water.

We fished for an hour or two, catching nothing, then ran across the Lake to examine a new big white building visible the other side.

It turned out to be located at Meridian Beach, an attractive development with a kilometer-long canal running parallel to the shore. We motored down the canal and back. The picture here is taken from the less-developed south end.

We returned to the launch and loaded the boat again. 

Once home, we parked the boat for the winter and started figuring out the boat cover package we had  bought on Kijiji. 

It turned out to be quite a puzzle with several dozen interior fame parts, but we successfully assembled the frame and  pulled the tarp over. 

We were almost finished tying it down when  Kenzie called us for supper, and left the loose ends for morning. Supper was sloppy Joes with salad and lime pie for dessert.

Everyone was tired and we had all had retired by 2030.  I watched an episode of Jack Taylor and called it a night.

I don't know what I think of that series.  The Irish setting makes it interesting, but as Wikipedia reports, "The series received mixed reviews from critics".

Me too. I've now watched two episodes and they are okay, but, like another Brit series I sampled recently, a bit long.  Each episode is about an hour and half.

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We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change you're the one who has got to change.
Katharine Hepburn

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Monday October 19th, 2015

Today Mainly sunny. High 18.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy after midnight. Low 6.

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 left Birch Bay mid-morning and drove down the 5th Meridian to Meridian Beach development.  It did not look nearly as cool as it did from the water.  The lots are narrow and many houses seem like mere cottages.  Not that I don't like cottages.

I picked up a stone chip on the windshield as I arrived there, and after looking around I drove on, stopping in Three Hills to have the chip repaired, to stop at my doctor's office, and to fill up at UFA.

I no longer have a doctor.  He moved on, as have the other doctors, tired of small town life (and politics, I am guessing -- it is not easy to be brown or black in a white protestant town in the Bible Belt) but the clinic is there and they have visiting doctors. I consulted with the staff over my insurance form and drove home.

I spent the next two or three hours puzzling over insurance forms.  I plan to go south for Thanksgiving, but with a heart attack -- minor as it was -- less than 90 days back in the rearview mirror the options are limited. The irony is that 90 the day mark comes up right at Thanksgiving.  If it had happened a few days earlier, I would have better options.

Here is a picture a reader sent.  Can't be absolutely certain, but it sure looks like AFB, and AFB that has had a whole season or two to get to this stage.

I see quite a lot of this when hobbyists and sideliners show up with combs to examine. To me, this reflects a huge deficiency in beekeeper education. 

How people are not trained to spot AFB at the early stages is a mystery to me since AFB is so easy to recognize and control.

Why do the bee teachers not say to beginners, "SOMEDAY, SOONER OR LATER YOU WILL SEE THIS IN YOUR HIVES.  BE READY WHEN THE FIRST CELLS APPEAR", but rather counsel them to use foundation, scorch floor boards, and waste time with other mumbo jumbo rituals, and send them to buy package bees with susceptible queens or imported queens with no HYG pedigree.

*    *    *    *    *

It's election day in Canada.  I was going to vote, but am expected to drive twelve miles and stand in line to choose between local flunkies who unthinkingly follow the federal three gang leaders, none of whom I would invite into my home.

None of them say what I want to hear, and that is, "I will work with everyone, of every opinion, to make the best choices for the country."  Instead they beat each other down and it is hard to tell who is the worst in this race to the bottom.  It is sad.

I'd vote for Elizabeth May's bunch anyhow, if her party happened to be on the ballot here.  It would be like spitting in to the wind, though, and I don't necessarily agree with much of what she promotes.

After researching her a bit more, I'd not vote for her either.

*    *    *    *    *

I spent the evening planning and reserving flights for Jean, her kids, and myself for Thanksgiving.  As it often does, Westjet's website gave me grief and when  I finished, I thought I had tickets, but small print on the page claiming to be my booking said they were not confirmed, whatever that means, and to call a phone number.

I had already called that number for assistance to overcome problems filling out the booking forms, but called it again.  An agent ran me through it all over again and finally I  received an email that says that we actually are booked and confirmed, however, I see that my credit from previous cancellations was not applied.

*    *    *    *    *

Before going to bed, I learned we have a new government.  The new prime minister will be the son of a former prime minister.  We have fallen into the US pattern of negative election campaigning and electing families. 'Democracy' is the very worst form of government -- except for all the rest.

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The best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the average voter.
 Winston Churchill

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