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I'm at Gull Lake still and I am without an accurate scale at hand, so no weigh-in today.
Weather at home (below) is running right around seasonal normals (right). We still have only about eight hours between sunrise and sunset and the sun is only 16° above the horizon at noon, but the days are lengthening and the sun ascending. Progress is slow and imperceptible at first, but in a month or two, the daily changes will increase and by March days and nights will be roughly equal in length. The sun will be much higher in the sky.
What to do today? I can think of a thousand things I should be doing, but leaving them aside, I see it is already 0850 and I am three hours from the mountains, so that option looks impractical. I'm two hours from home and all is well there, but the plants could use some water.
I'd like to kite somewhere, but where? I trusted the forecasts yesterday, but they were far off and I was skunked. I had a good day of driving, but that was not in my plans.
I decided to go home and drove east. Buffalo Lake is sorta along the way, so I went there, arrived around 1400, found the lake access, and drove out a way to get out, clear of the ice fishermen and auger holes, and to get into the wind.
I measured anywhere from 4 to 9 knots, and I decided to rig the 8.5 metre kite, figuring the wind would be stronger higher up and farther from shore and did not want to be overpowered like the other day on the 18 metre monster kite. No sooner had I done that and the wind dropped to nothing.
I waited a while and the wind resumed at five knots, so I rigged the big kite and launched it.
I had learned to inflate the leading edge a bit more after last session with that monster, and that improved the shape, but frankly I was a bit afraid of that kite and what it can do if the wind gusts.
The super kite did not want to fly at first, as the wind had dropped again, but eventually the wind came back, the kite went up and I was being pulled along as fast as I cared to go. Faster sometimes.
My main concern, other than not being lifted up twenty feet and dropped, or killed or maimed by being dragged across the lake, onto shore, or into something hard, was not to find myself pulled two miles downwind and walking back at dusk in stiff downhill ski boots.
Fortunately, the kite performed better today, maybe due to better inflation or more appropriate wind strength, and I had no problem returning to my point of origin.
I drove home, arriving around dark and turned up the thermostat.
That was a good day.
The world breaks every one and
afterward many are strong at the broken places.
Read yesterday's post
I weigh 228.2 today, but after less than a full night's sleep. I only slept five hours again. I guess I'll just have to go to bed earlier if I want to get more sleep.
I have no plan for the day. It is Saturday, so probably not the best day to go to a ski hill. Besides, I have things to do here at home. My housekeeping has suffered and I need to tidy, water plants, re-pot some and vacuum. If I see some likelihood of wind nearby, I'll go for a ride.
My friends are either ill or recovering from a bug. I think Meijers have recovered from the flu now, but Fen is still down and Bert has a shoulder problem. I'd like to have a supper here one of these days, but it seems more difficult to round up the Usual Suspects.
I've been thinking I should walk by my beehives today. Maybe I will.
First, I made a vegetable stew, then had a nap.
After that, Zip and I walked over to the Quonset yard and took a look. I see that critters have been visiting and there is a hive I should pull a wrap over before too long. Hard to believe it is January already. In a month or two, the bees will start raising brood in earnest and they will need protection from weather.
I see I'll have to put plugs back into the auger holes. I had plugged most of the holes, especially in the backs of the hives, but the plugs appear to be out, possibly due to alternating heat and cold, being pushed by bees, or due to some animal's actions. I don't see any reason to suspect critters although I see a skunk did the rounds and found enough bees in front of one hive to do a little digging and that deer have been walking through.
There is a kite race tomorrow at Gull, so I plan to go up, to watch, not participate. I considered going tonight, but am very tired today and plan to put the trip off until tomorrow morning.
Politicians are people who, when
they see light at the end of the tunnel,
Read yesterday's post
I am feeling better than I have for a long time. No aches, no pains. After nine hours of deep sleep, I weigh 227.0 today. Fatsecret warns me I am losing 9.8 pounds a week at this rate. Wouldn't that be nice? It has to be all fluids.
Today is race day at the Sunnyside boat ramp at Gull Lake, so I have to be out of here by ten if I want to be on time.
The forecast is now predicting less wind that it was, so we may all be standing around. That is windsurfing or kiting in Alberta -- buying gear, driving distances and then standing around waiting for wind. It can be very social.
Although I don't have a lot of time to get ready to go, here I am writing. By now, this diary is an addiction it seems. It is 0818 and the sun is rising in a clear sky. It is going to be a beautiful day. The deer are back.
I am breaking the first rule of windsurfing today. At 1000, I am leaving home, comfortable temperatures and a promising breezes to drive for 2 hours on a chance there may be wind at Gull Lake.
If I were only going for kiting, it would make no sense, but I expect to see a large group of kiters there today and if the race takes place it should be interesting. Also this trip gives me a chance to visit with Jean and her family.
I left just before 1000 and arrived at Jean's at 1145. I said hello then drove to Sunnyside and out on to the ice.
After watching a while, I decided to launch my 18m kite. I inflated it and set up to launch, but had a terrible time keeping it in the air when I did manage to get enough wind for it to lift off. Even when I was able to get the kite overhead, any time the wind dropped or shifted, the kite turned downward and went uncontrollably onto the snow.
Another fellow had an identical kite on trial and he was able to keep it flying, so I have to assume that there is something wrong with mine as I did adjust lines and did all the things that normally make a kite fly. I'll have to speak to the dealer.
So, I had a good workout and only a few successful runs. After four hours, I went back to Jean's. I had planned to stay over, but tomorrow is school for them and the stores are open. I decided to go home and shop along the way.
If I had stayed home, I could have ridden as much as I liked, but I would not have learned how terrible this new kite is in low wind.
In literature as in love, we are
astonished at what is chosen by others.
Read yesterday's post
I weigh 225.6 today. Fatsecret again warns me I am losing 9.8 pounds a week at this rate. Although fluids enter into this, some of it has to be real weight loss. I am now back the weight I last saw last September on leaving the hospital. Considering that this is happening at a time of year when my weight is usually up about ten pounds over my summer weight, this is an accomplishment.
Before my hospital visit, I was losing weight, largely due to the strenuous bee work I was doing at the time. Diet was also a factor. After I left the hospital, I paid little attention to my weight and it climbed back up. I'm currently making a point of reducing, beginning December 3rd. At that time, I weighed 234 pounds.
With this accurate scale and careful record keeping, I am noticing that drinking alcohol over some small amount causes fluid accumulation in the body that endures for about a week. People talk about 'drying out' an alcoholic. Maybe that is not just an expression, and the drying is not just alcohol.
That is an interesting question, so I got to work Googling it.
While looking at fluid retention, I stumbled onto alcohol withdrawal. Now, that is an interesting topic with plenty of references.
* * * * *
This is how my days get wasted. I get onto a topic and then chase it down the rabbit hole. Next thing I know, it is noon. I like a more active life than this. My increased activity over last several weeks has been exhilarating, and action is good for me.
What I am doing sitting here typing, instead of moving, I do not know.
* * * * *
One problem I m experiencing is lack of active people to associate with. Everyone seems to be too old or too busy. Maybe I should join the Ski Patrol again or become a ski pal at a ski hill.
The kiters I encounter are young, active and friendly, but I don't have any ski pals. Most people think they want to go places and do things, but when the rubber hits the road, they do what I am doing now: find excuses and stay home.
* * * * *
Today, I plan to do a bit of maintenance on the furnace. Since I put the bin buddy back to work, I have a lot more confidence in this system that has served me so well for almost fifty years.
I also need to get the gas project planned and the spaces cleared, but I have tremendous inertia working against me.
Outdoors, I can find far more work than I could do in a year and in the house, I need to do some housework. Books need updating, and bills need paying, too.
I did a few hours of housework, but have a lot left to do. My plants shed leaves and the dog leaves hair and the floors accumulate dirt over time.
Nothing succeeds like the appearance
Read yesterday's post
The scale said 225.2 this morning, then 225.6 a few minutes later, then 225.4. I think that maybe the scale is losing its accuracy. At Wal-Mart the other day, though, I noticed that accurate digital scales are now under twenty dollars, so maybe I should replace this one.
I am tired today, for no particular reason
Yesterday, I wrote to Patrick, my instructor and kite supplier about my poor experience with the 18m kite at Gull the other day and we may meet at Spray later today to troubleshoot. He has an identical kite that works well, so we'll compare the bridles. Spray is a two and a half hour drive from here, so we'll see.
* * * * *
We decided not to go to Spray today, but Patrick did call me to verify some measurements. At the time he called, I was out burning up some old bee boxes. The van was right there with the kite in the back, so I pulled out the kite to check. He told me what to look for but we could not find anything wrong. He will get measurements for the bridles.
I have thousands of old boxes that we were using in my commercial bee operation, but threw aside as surplus when we culled frames. I have been planning to burn these boxes for a long time, but putting it off because it is a big job and because in summer there is a risk of fire spreading.
With snow on the ground, fire hazard is nil. I could haul them to the landfill, but that is a huge job, too, and then the county has to deal with them. If I can burn them here, that will take days, but is simplest.
I have offered these boxes around, but no one is interested. The stack has been picked over a bit, but there are lots of boxes there I would have used when I was starting out.
Just after three, the wind steadied out at over 5MPH from the east. That is enough wind for my large kite, so I dressed and drove down to the strip.
When I got out of the van, the breeze felt more like 8 or 9 knots, so I went back for my wind gauge. Sure enough, the wind was mid-range for the big kite and almost adequate for my medium kite. I am careful with the big kite since it seems to run away if the wind picks up.
I started to set up, but realised I am really, really tired. Actually, that is why I quit burning boxes when I could have gone on for another hour or more and it was going well.
I could have gone ahead with kiting, but the wind was chilly at minus ten and the sun was getting low. I was exhausted, even before rigging the kite. Maybe I am getting a bug?
Reluctantly, I decided that discretion is the better part of valor and although a perfect wind like this is rare here, I would be better to pack up and quit. I picked up the kite and drove back up the drive to the house.
Although a vegetarian diet is supposedly healthy, and my blood pressure and blood sugar is amazingly low on my (primarily) vegetable stew and salad wrap diet, experience has shown me that I get tired without some meat, fowl or fish. I took out a turkey thigh for supper.
I think I'll have a sauna tonight and go to bed early.
I skipped the sauna, watched a bit of video, then, feeling exhausted, went to bed around seven.
If at first you don't succeed,
failure may be your style.
Read yesterday's post
The scale said 225.2 again this morning at 0138, but I had to move it around a bit before I got a steady reading.
Yes, I'm up at 0138. My phone rang once at 0045 and stopped.
After dozing a while, I realized I was not going to go back to sleep. I checked and the display showed Bert's number. This was the second night his number rang me once, well after midnight and hung up. I figured, this has to stop. So, I got up and called him back, figuring he must be awake. He was, and had no idea what happened. I took the opportunity to invite him to supper Thursday.
By then, I had already racked up about six hours in the sack and so I had breakfast and coffee, planning to be up two hours, then try for a few more hours of rest.
Before eating, I checked my blood pressure and blood sugar. Although checking these stats was a longstanding daily habit, I have been neglecting it lately. I was pleased to see, once again, that the readings are good. BS is 5.0 and the BP is 114/73 with a pulse of 51. Of course they were acceptable before my heart event, but they are even better now. It could be partly the drugs, or it could be diet -- or it could be both.
Around 0300, I went back to bed and slept until 0850. I weighed 224.2 when I woke up. That fits with my earlier observation that I lose 0.4 lbs/hour sleeping. I assume that it is largely water loss.
What to do today? The day is starting off cold and I'm a bit groggy from all that sleep. There is nothing pressing, but many, many possibilities. Too many, actually.
I've invited ten friends over for supper tomorrow and have to plan. I have enough food on hand that I do not need to go shopping. I still have a little housework to do, but not a lot. I vacuumed yesterday. Vacuuming is a big job, but it makes a huge difference.
People are writing now about buying bees. I'll have to draft a response and and a web page, but frankly my heart is not in selling bees right now.
My goals for the year include cleaning up the yard and getting the gas in. Of course, I have merely made a start on each, but a start is a start.
Supper tomorrow: probably the turkey I have in the freezer, but maybe not.
...Plus vegetables, rice, and salad. Ice cream for dessert.
* * * * *
I've decided. I am going to build a web page for hive sales so I can deal with the queries, then go out and burn more boxes. Maybe I will throw the best ones into a pile. Maybe not. I need them gone.
I went out and plugged in the truck. I want to use it today and also to warm the engine up so changing the ICP sensor which arrived some time ago will be less uncomfortable. I'm interested to see if changing it will improve starting.
While out there I noticed a significant breeze from the north that is not showing on my weather station. On checking, I see that Windguru predicts the wind to build up and continue all day, overnight, and into tomorrow.
The wind might affect my plan to burn boxes since the wind is blowing toward the Quonset. We'll see.
Also, I see, unfortunately, that in spite of
wind, the temperatures are predicted to be cold enough to discourage
kiting , especially when skies are overcast. Sun makes a big
I heard from Patrick tonight. He is planning to go to Weed tomorrow, and suggested I meet him there to compare kites. He'll also have some line extensions along. Apparently the big kites work better with longer lines.
I'm putting on a supper tomorrow night and need to be back by at least four to do so, but should be able to have a few hours on the lake and that will be enough for one day.
The murals in restaurants are on par
with the food in museums.
Read yesterday's post
I weigh 225.0 today if the scale can be believed. That is up a little.
I went down and found the firebox filling with burning coal. It is minus eleven today with a light wind, so I'll have to deal with the furnace fairly soon.
I'll get a new ring today and maybe the transmission parts as well. My trip to Weed may be off. I'll have a full day with the furnace service and the dinner for ten tonight.
Okay! I was wrong. The problem was not the ring. The problem was that last night, after ten days without taking out the ashes, I looked into the furnace and figured it would be okay until the morning.
It was not. Far more ashes than I expected were thrown over last night and when I shoveled the ashes, I discovered why. There was black sand in with the ashes.
That's what happened. There was not enough room in the pit for the extra waste, so shale and ash built up and lifted the ring off the grate.
I decided not to go to Weed Lake, but I did change the ICP sensor on the truck (right), then tried to start it.
At minus eight degrees C, the engine cranked freely and started right up as soon as the oil pressure was up. There is a lope in the idle, but it started, and with a little throttle, the lope went away. It wouldn't start below zero before., so I guess it is fixed.
My friends came for supper. Three cancelled, so we had lots of food. I had decided to forget my diet for the one night and ate more feely that I have been. I also decided to take a chance and drink some wine and see how it goes.
My conclusion? All that was pleasant enough, but in the end the wine and food was hardly worth it since indulging disrupts my sleep and throws my weight loss off schedule. I'm writing this at 0244.
Sleep is precious, but I doubt I will learn or that this will keep me from doing it again. It has not in the past. I imagine my weight will be up a few pounds in the morning.
Everything is changing. People are
taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.
Read yesterday's post
I weigh 226.6 today. My Fatsecret weigh-in page says.
Today is overcast, with ice fog and hoarfrost again. I have no plans, but have lots to do.
I need to reconcile my accounts today and that will take hours. Then I should examine my kite.
I think I'll begin by going out to blow snow and see how that goes...
Well, on the way out, I walked through the kitchen and the sink still had a few things in it, so I was instantly distracted.
It is minus sixteen out. When I go out to blow snow, I'm going to try to start the truck without plugging it in. I doubt it will start, but we'll see.
* * * * *
Well, I went out and blew the snow off the vehicles and started the truck, cold. The mercury stands at minus seventeen, so I am pretty happy. I was going to blow snow from the driveway, but it is very light and fluffy so I wonder if it is worth it. The wind has dropped to zero, though, so it might be a good time to do it.
The forum has been slow lately, but people noticed I was burning boxes and wished they could get some. I sympathize, but have to do what I have to do. They have been sitting there for fifteen years.
Re: Burning Bee Boxes In The Diary. Here is my reply:
I'm sitting here waiting for a fire permit. I burned without one the other days, but Joe said permits are easy to get, so I applied online. Permits are free, but there is a fine for burning without.
They used to send someone around to inspect and hassle applicants for each and every permit application, but now apparently they just want to know so if someone phones in about smoke and flames leaping into the sky, they can say, "Oh, yeah, we know" and go back to polishing the fire engine, and not have call up the brigade and rush over to what turns out to be a bonfire.
I was told a half-hour, but that was an hour ago, so I phoned. Still waiting...
I got my permit and went out to burn at about 1430. By 1630, I had made a fair dent in the stack, but I am now, maybe, one quarter done. It is a big job.
Oh, yeah. It gets dark early here at this time of year.
I came in, had supper and watched my usual hour and a half of video, then decided to read my diary for the year 2015. I've spent an hour reading and I am only at January 18. Interesting.
Among those whom I like or admire, I
can find no common denominator,
Read yesterday's post
I weigh 225.4 today. Fatsecret worries. My 1,500 calorie deficit yesterday could account for a half-pound of that, but the rest is obviously water.
I'm working my way through the 2015 diary and am amazed at how things fade in the rearview mirror. So far, I am at January 23rd and came across this quote from that day...
The stories we tell literally make the world.
That is a most insightful statement and if we understand it, we understand a lot of things about our human existence and society. If we don't, we don't.
That does not rule out, however, warm spells like the one that Alberta experienced last year at this time. Today's forecast is for continuing cold here at home with a high of minus fifteen but Calgary, just south of here, is expecting minus eight and Nakiska and Spray lakes promise to be warm as well. By the end of the week we are predicted to be above normal here at home as well.
What to do today? Nakiska looks good. Kiting around Calgary looks promising. I could burn more boxes, but it is cold here. The effort of stacking boxes and the heat from a fire would keep me warm, though...
Do I really feel like working -- or driving? Can't decide.
When it comes right down to it, I don't feel like doing much of anything. I have things to do, like some items to return to stores but am feeling disorganized. All the more reason to overcome this inertia, get out and get going.
I should try to start the truck. I know it will be hard on it and I don't think it will start, but if it did, I would be delighted. I don't plan to drive it anywhere (maybe I should?), but I need to know how cold it can get before it won't start without being plugged in.
Bert brought chocolate cake the other night and it has been sitting in the fridge. I knew I shouldn't, but I ate the remainder just to get it gone. 500+ calories and the worst kind, too. No willpower. Now I have to find a way to burn it off.
I went down and laid out the 18 metre kite in the gym and discovered a kink in a bridle line. I gave it a tug and the casing parted. Now I need a new bridle line before I can use the kite. Drat!
It's minus fourteen at Nakiska, so in spite of a forecast of minus six, I think I'll skip it and stay home or go to town. Right about now, the effect of the cake is hitting me. Ugggh.
I donned my snowsuit and went out and cranked the truck. It turned over well, but did not fire once. I could have kept it up, but figure that there is no point stressing the batteries and starter. I knew it would not start. I just wanted to be sure. For now, I'll assume minus twelve is the cutoff without preheat.
It is cold out there, with a breeze from the south that barely registers on my weather station.
Next, I watered the plants.
I contacted my kiting instructor/dealer earlier. He called back and he will meet me tomorrow at Eagle Lake with a replacement bridle piece. I have to say he is very responsive and addresses any concerns I have promptly and gives them his full attention.
I am now feeling quite sorry about eating that cake earlier. I really should not have eaten it. Now I am hyper and running in circles. I can't make up my mind about anything. It could also be due to the new brand of coffee beans I ground and brewed at about the same time, but I never get wired from coffee. It must have been the cake. Chocolate cake.
Besides, I am not chewing my fingernails and I know when I have had too much caffeine when I start chewing.
I plugged the truck in at 1409, planning to go burn some boxes, but now, forty-five minutes later, it still won't start. At least it kicks a bit now. It did not even kick before, but it will take something over an hour before it will start at minus twenty, which has been the temperature all day, it seems. Good to know.
I did start the truck after an hour and a half on the cord, warmed it up a bit and turned it off. Too late to go out I figured, and I've been feeling crappy all afternoon. Lack of action and eating wrong does that to me.
I did some bookwork and watched video, checked out the kite and packed it up for tomorrow. I have to be at Eagle lake tomorrow at eleven-thirty.
Reality is merely an illusion,
albeit a very persistent one.
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