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 April  2016 

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: Sailing near Victoria, British Columbia

Friday April 1st 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h this afternoon. High 18. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Clearing this evening. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low plus 2.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I was up at 0415 and caught a cab to the ferry at 0616.  In the interim, I sorted and packed. 

The job was made difficult by the fact that I had extra items on board since I expected to have my van at the boat on my planned return to Vancouver and had extra items with me, like a large bedroll.  I was now in Sidney and having to carry whatever I chose to take back with me down the docks and on and off the ferry.  Leaving items on the boat can be a burden to the dock staff who have to care for them if the boat is hired out.

I finished in a rush and made it to my cab more or less on time and I was in  the ferry lounge a full half-hour before the departure.

At the moment, we are approaching Active Pass and I recall the times years back when I traveled this route on these ferries and watched the sailboats and wondered.  I recall getting into a conversation with another passenger who told me that yachts are affordable and some can be bought for as little as $20,000.  I was surprised.

Now I own one of those sailboats -- two actually, and these waters are familiar cruising grounds.  That's what happens when you dream and don't say, "No" or, "Come back later" when opportunity knocks. Dreams come true.

I'll meet Colin at the ferry dock when we dock.  He'll be there at Tsawassen with my van which he has had parked at his home.  We'll finish some business and sign papers, then I'll drop him off and head east on the Trans-Canada. 

The rest of the day from that point is whatever happens.  I may drive all the way home in one day or I may stop to ski. 

Who knows?  I don't.  If I had to guess, though, I'd guess that once I get driving, I won't stop until I see the Old Schoolhouse, but there are many temptations along the way.

I crossed on the ferry, met Colin and drove to Surrey Starbucks where we had a meeting then I dropped him a his truck and headed out of town.

Once on the Trans-Canada, I drove straight through to Merritt where I gassed up and got a coffee to go.

Back on the road, I drove to Kamloops where, tired after the coffee, I lay down and slept an hour in the back of the van, then drove on.  Next stop was Revelstoke for more coffee, then on to Golden and Home, with another stop again at Balzac for gas.

I arrived home at 0030 and promptly went to bed.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
Eric Hoffer

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Saturday April 2nd 2016

nd

Today Sunny. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h this afternoon. High 24. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming clear near midnight. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light near midnight. Low plus 1.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

217.4 pounds.  That is what my home scale reads.  It appears I weighed 220(+/-) when I left , so it seems that I lost a few pounds over the past seven weeks.  My clothes feel looser and I had to buy a new belt in Sudbury.  I'm going to have to buy new trousers soon.

We'll see what I weigh after I am home a day or two.  Traveling upsets my water balance, and I only slept five and half hours last night, so I expect to see changing readings over the next few days.  I was down to 216.2 a few days back, but using a different scale.

*    *    *    *    *

I spent the day settling back in, catching up, and making chicken stew.

In the afternoon, I walked out to the hives and can see that I lost about 80% over winter for whatever reason. 

*    *    *    *    *

I assume that varroa was the main issue as the hives had good feed stores last I looked. 

My health problems last fall interfered with management.  In addition, many of the colonies are on new white comb and in my experience, that reduces wintering success considerably in Central Alberta.  At any rate, I won't know until I have a chance to clean up the yards.

The losses are a relief in a way.  Although I have a lot of picking up to do, I have been thinking that I should quit bees again.  I was quite galled by a post on the Calgary list accusing me of intellectual dishonesty in that I am supposedly profiting by selling hives and that my advice is flavoured by that.

The fact is that although I have been raising hives for sale to hobby beekeepers and those wanting to be, I say what I think no matter whose ox is gored, including my own.  As for profiting, that would be very nice, but I have been subsidizing the activity.

I advocate for an open border although opening the US border would instantly devalue my bees and equipment by as much as 50%.  In my opinion, though, the improved future opportunities and reduced costs that would bring about would compensate in short order -- for others in the industry.  Not for me, though.  It would mean a loss for me.

Profit is an admirable goal, especially in beekeeping and running an airline, two pursuits that traditionally lose money in the long haul for most participants.

Although any business should make a profit, considering that the alternative is a loss  -- aiming to break even is a prescription for making a loss -- my little business had only two goals: 1.) to keep me occupied while Ellen was dying and I had to be around, and 2.) to assist people who want bees and are not suited to the advice promoted by bee extension and bee clubs.

The stock (stupid) advice is to buy new equipment and start with package bees.  It is not too hard to figure out why that is standard. 

Follow the money. 

The only sure way to make money in bees is to sell things to beekeepers, or work in regulation or extension. The businesses that make and sell bee supplies have the funds to advertise in magazines and influence editorial policy -- and to schmooze the government people.

Also consider the potential for blame. 

No one except the victim (the purchaser) can be blamed if a new hive from packages fails, but if an established hive fails, the blame can fall many places.  The seller and the bee inspectors come under suspicion, in addition to the purchaser.  In fact, the purchaser is the least likely culprit unless he/she did something obvious.

Of course in most cases nobody is to blame.  The odds are that a percentage will fail due to many uncontrollable causes.  This is agriculture, not manufacturing.

But looking for someone to blame is human nature.  People naturally look for someone to blame, even for random events and people also insist on learning lessons from random and unexplainable events where there is no lesson to learn except that 'shit happens'.

Obviously, the sensible way to start beekeeping is not to become a purchasing agent, delivery agent, a carpenter, a painter and then try to become a bee expert in a month when bee survival can be tenuous, but rather to buy a good working bee hive complete with healthy inspected bees at a time of year when the honeyflow is about to start and then learn by observing a working hive, ideally with the help of a suitable  mentor and the support of a club that holds a series of field days demonstrating the progress over the season.

Nobody goes to the auto parts store to buy a car, then builds it and learns how to drive.  People learn how to drive then go to a dealer (or Kijiji) and buy as good a working vehicle as they can, with assurance of quality and hopefully a warranty. We have not gotten that far yet -- warrantees --  in beekeeping, but it is coming.  Makes sense.

I did not offer warranties due to the fact that nobody was willing to pay the additional amount that would have to be added to the purchase price to cover the expenses implicit in supporting the warranty, but that day is coming.  Once this idea catches on, beekeepers will specialize in starting hives and selling them.  Some are catching on to the idea already.

Offering a warranty will mean that the purchaser will have to follow certain prescribed protocols and make reports to the seller. And the seller will have to keep in contact and prescribe management for the warranty period.  Service calls may be in order.

*    *    *    *    *

Later, I drove to Three Hills for some groceries and to give Cranberry some exercise.  While there, I washed the car.  Living out where driving gravel roads lead to the quickest ways to many destination tends to make it difficult to keep a shiny car.

It is not down in any map; true places never are
Hermman Melville

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Sunday April 3rd 2016

Today Mainly sunny. High 20. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h overnight. Low zero.

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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

I weight 216.4 today.  My physical activity level has not been high, but my diet has been reasonably careful.  Mostly, I eat the vegetable stews and salads and watch the trends.

Lately, I have been adding some chicken to the vegetable stews to improve flavour and to help balance nutrition.  I have been avoiding for the most part, red meats.  It has been known for centuries that red meats are associated with various health problems.

I see another warm day coming and plan to spend the day at my desk.  I began by updating recent entries.

This just came in from the website, written by a friend.  I quote it in its entirety since it is well-written and the advice fits with what I have been discovering...

Hi Allen. I keep reading your diary even though it has mostly morphed away from beekeeping. Funny thing is sailing and the ocean are what drew me to Vancouver. Other than an introductory course in sailing I never pursued that much other than a few outings a long time ago.

Much of your diary today seems focused on your body weight. On that note I wish to mention the name Dr Joel Fuhrman. He has written many books, his claim to fame was "Eat to Live", a NY Times bestseller. His most recent book is "End of Heart Disease" I would strongly encourage you to read any of his books and to follow his dietary guidelines.

Dr Fuhrman follows a nutritarian approach to eating. He focuses on eating whole plant based foods which are high in micronutrients. By focusing on such foods an individual can regain his health despite being on multiple daily medications. Food is our medicine.

The focus is on GBOMBS- greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds. 1/2 lb- 1 lb of raw greens a day plus an equivalent in cooked greens a day. 1 cup of cooked beans a day to keep you full and maintain blood sugar levels, onions for cardiovascular benefits and immune system response, anti cancer properties and helps maintain blood glucose.

Mushrooms decrease the risk of stomach, colorectal and breast cancers( not such a concern in your case)

Berries reduce the risk of cancers, diabetes and cognitive decline.

Seeds and nuts offer cardiovascular benefits and their oils help absorb the nutrients found in vegetables when eaten together.

His food eating strategies focus on getting as many nutrients and micronutrients into your body and not on counting calories. It is a radical shift of eating as he avoids salt, refined sugars, all processed foods and fried foods. By focusing on GBOMBS our bodies become well again, a secondary benefit is a dramatic weight loss.

His approach is scientific and he sites countless studies to back up his claims. He has treated thousands of very sick individuals and those who follow his guidelines have dramatic recoveries. I think you would very much enjoy reading what he has to say.

Personally, following a herniated disc injury I was no longer able to work my bees and loose my "hibernation fat". Eventually I started doing Bikram's yoga and lost 20 pounds but was having trouble lowering my weight. When I started following Dr Furhman's guidelines I quickly dropped another 30 pounds. I fluctuate a bit in my weight especially if I travel and am not entirely disciplined in what I eat. However I have not risen above 165pounds in 5 years or so and my starting weight was 205.

If you are serious about your long term health and weight loss, this is a must read. He also has a website where members have access to over 1500 recipes for a nominal monthly fee. As Dr Joel Fuhrman says, commit to his plan for 6 weeks, then afterwards, you can decide if you want to go back to your old ways of eating. In my case the benefits far outweigh the extra effort and thought that goes into meal preparation.

Enjoy the sailing, the weather has just been wonderful lately. The bees are exploding like I have rarely seen here. A very very good maple flow here and now. Very good pollen for the bees and some nectar as well. They are growing at a rate which is faster than we can keep up with. Good problem.

Yes.  I have been reporting on weight, especially since I am back on the scale I was using to track before my expedition. Weight is just one parameter, but it is easy to measure daily in small increments.  Waist measure and other body measurements are more difficult to assess.

As for an analysis of how much effort one should put into trying to cheat fate, I'll address that in a later post.  In a nutshell, Is it worth sacrificing today for some future gain if the odds are that you will be hit by a truck before then? 

To me the wise and easy choice is to find ways to reduce risk that do not diminish pleasure today.  As for everything, I always look for the win/win solutions first.  They will be the easiest to implement and maintain.

*    *    *    *    *

What got me started on this weight reduction kick is that fact that I could not get into my wetsuit last year but it has evolved beyond that.  My little trip to the cardiac unit provided additional perspective and incentive, but as we can clearly see from the weight chart, although my weight was down at that time, I relapsed a long way after that experience and only got back on track in December.  Rather than inspire me to be more rigorous, the event actually de-motivated me.

What is amazing to me is how well I have stuck to my programme since December and how steady the progress has been.

 

What seems very clear about diet is that all the signs point more or less the same way: plant-based, unprocessed food, and that is the direction I have been moving over the past year.  In fact, I was headed that direction and had lost weight even before my heart incident. 

As for why there are some many variations on the basic plant-based, unprocessed food theme, follow the money. 

There are many idiosyncratic and confusing variations on this basic, common sense theme, largely, IMO, due to the fact that there is little money or fame in stating the obvious in a paragraph or two or repeating what someone else said.

To write a book or have a TV show one must have lots of filler and a shibboleth that distinguishes your new diet religion from all the others and attract attention.  I good way to attract attention is to say something stupid or contentious. 

If your special sauce sounds a bit ridiculous, so much the better; then it may become controversial. Ridiculous claims lead to endless irresolvable discussion -- and increased attention.  Who can argue successfully with the ridiculous?  Nobody, but that does not stop many from trying.  Witness what happens when a troll enters a discussion on the Internet.

And, even if many or even most people see through the baloney, there will be enough believers attracted by the controversy that you will prosper.

On the other hand, stating the obvious won't attract much attention, a following, money, or fame.

Hopefully your unique prescription will be harmless, but as long as your central themes contains the bare truth, your diet will work well enough.

Anyhow, I am going to search this recommendation out.  I see the new book is not yet released, but will be on Audible.  I have been looking for good info on reversing atherosclerosis and find lots of hooey and contradictory advice, much of which rather transparently appears to be promoting some product or service, but I suspect the truth is out there... 

 Could this finally be it?

One last thing:

Everyone cites scientific studies to support their thesis. This is intended to instantly establish credibility and should do so, especially if those studies actually relate to the topic at hand and agree (which often they do not) but those of us who actually read studies critically and think for ourselves realize that probably a full 90% of all studies are bunk or worse and that authors often cite irrelevant, flawed or contradictory work.

Moreover, in some fields -- nutrition and beekeeping being two notable examples -- invalid premises, non-homogenous populations, flawed methods, incomplete or fiddled observation, and unsupported conclusions are the rule, so the number of fully valid studies could be fewer than 10%. 

BTW, that does not mean that the conclusions of such studies are necessarily wrong, but simply that the study did not prove them.

Abuse of statistical analysis adds to the noise.

I don't spend much time on Facebook, but here are some goodies from a friend who lives there.  Smile.

   

*    *    *    *    *

I listen to CBC Radio One during the day, jumping around from coast to coast to select what I want using Internet radio on my Android devices and Bluetooth speakers.  Most programmes can also be heard as podcasts.

Today I came across an interview with Jill Stein, the leader of the US Green Party and was impressed.  (Yes, there are other parties in the US besides the elephant and the donkey).  Here are two comments...

This lady is the only voice that makes sense right now. Thank God this interview was broadcast into the USA. I'll be watching and hoping Green USA offers the alternatives sensible, rational human beings can consider outside the "no change" ideas the established, corporate controlled, polarizing other two.

Trump, who offers nothing of any importance, gets free publicity worth billions. Meanwhile, a doctor, who can offer real ways forward is ignored.

As readers know, I am not a believer in the Climate Change religion as taught, but am willing to accept it as cover myth to inspire needed change for which it would otherwise by impossible to recruit support.

As for "Green", most green I see is green-washing or well-intentioned pointless activity based on poor understanding of what is really going on.

People need unifying myths to do things in a unified effort.  We train our kids to believe obvious baloney with a straight face, using Santa Claus and Easter Bunny, then progress to religion, politics and Climate Change.

If we need to believe we influence the weather and the climate -- as humans have believed ever since we climbed down out of the trees -- so be it, as long as the sacrifices we make are harmless or sensible and lead towards a better future.

As for saving the planet, don't worry.  The planet will be just fine no matter what happens. 

It is the fate of humans and the human race(s) that we really worry about, but are loath to admit.  We'd rather say we are doing it for our planet, not ourselves or that we are fouling our own nest.  AFAIK, the planet does not need us any more than it needed the many many species that developed, prospered, then faded away over past eons....

Although golf was originally restricted to wealthy, overweight Protestants,
today it's open to anybody who owns hideous clothing.
Dave Barry

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Monday April 4th 2016

      WIND WARNING IN EFFECT     

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming cloudy this afternoon. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 16. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy. Rain beginning near midnight. Amount 5 to 10 mm. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 increasing to 70 gusting to 100 near midnight. Low plus 4.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
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 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

No weight report today. I'm up early.  Slept poorly, but slept.  My mistake yesterday?  I found an open bottle of medium salsa in the fridge and decided to spice up my stew a bit, forgetting that whatever is in that salsa disturbs my sleep.  I did my seven or eight hours in the rack, but was dozing some of the time and surfaced often.  I've now had breakfast and coffee and may go back and try for another hour.

*    *    *    *    *

I did that and am now up for the day. I have two months of bookkeeping to enter and tax forms to find and get to the accountant.  Ruth and I meet this morning sometime so Zippy can come home.

At this point, since I travel so much, I am wondering if I really should have a dog.  Ruth is happy to have her, so I am suggesting we share.  We'll see what Zippy thinks.

*    *    *    *    *

On the subject of diet, here is an article from one guy I respect for not being too far off the beaten track, who reads widely, and who has no commercial interest in what he says.  He does not sell products or advocate bizarre diets or practices.  As close as he comes in that regard is his advocacy of intermittent fasting. Snack On Nuts Fruits and Vegetables.

I'm not sure I agree with him about nuts not adding weight.  For me, they do, but I probably eat too many, and more than he anticipates.  Moreover some nuts and seeds do contain compounds that, while harmless in small amounts, can be mildly toxic in excess.

Let's face it.  I don't totally agree with anyone all the time.

*    *    *    *    *

Back to weight loss.  I should clarify that I am of two minds.  I am convinced that I should get down to where I lose the belly, probably around 190 to 200 pounds, but after that, not convinced that thinner is better. 

I dropped from 234 to 216 in the four months since December 2, 2015 with very little effort, and without starvation or following difficult dietary regimes 

That is 4-1/2 pounds a month or a pound a week, which is right in the recommended range of 1 to 2 pounds a week.  I'll be happy to carry on at this rate for a while, but if I keep this rate of weight loss for four years, I'll have completely disappeared.  I'm going to have to slow down and stop at some point. The question is when?

Looking at the plot of my weight (right), I see that the rate of weight loss is leveling out.  That is partly due to the fact that lately I am not counting calories and also not getting much exercise.  Nonetheless, just by being careful to avoid large meals of the wrong foods and snack foods, I am losing weight and becoming trimmer.

At the end of the day I was getting bored.  I went out and looked under the hood of the van to see how to change spark plugs since it has 175,000 km on the clock and probably has never had that done, then adjusted the truck tire pressures and drove the 4X4 to town to give it a run.  In town, I mailed a parcel, then bought some fruit and some vodka and returned home.

When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.
Thomas Szasz

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Tuesday April 5th 2016

      WIND WARNING IN EFFECT     

Today Showers ending this morning then clearing. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50 except gusting to 90 in a few localities early this morning. High 13. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light late this evening. Low zero.

Click here for current conditions in my back yard
Environment Canada
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 Read yesterday's post
Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I weigh 215.8 this morning.  That is a new low weight in my  recent history.  I seem to be losing without trying, other than watching what I eat, not how much I eat.

Today I plan to continue the bookwork, clean house and also to get outside more to get some exercise.  With the strong winds predicted, that may not be pleasant and I may just decide to do a mile on the treadmill.

This evening is the Bluewater Cruising Association Calgary club  night, so that gives me an excuse to drive to the city and get groceries in Airdrie.  Three Hills has a good store, but even with the discount day they hold monthly, the prices are high and selection a bit limited.

*   *   *   *   *

Below in the box is more from a reader (with some slight edits...)  They are his words, not mine. 

My friend's thoughts...

...SHB have been found in the Fraser Valley last week.  The bureaucrats are all excited and pleased with themselves. Medhat must be happy about it.

He is trying to kill those that move from out of province.  First inspection in your out of province location... if you pass then a second inspection in a quarantine Alberta zone (this one being 2 weeks before delivery to canola).

<snip>

This has the potential to bankrupt us. Amazing because every year my crew collectively gets better and so do our bees. This fear mongering is making it harder to sell bees... actually honey prices are doing a fine job of that. 4 in 4 out with the TFW (Temporary Foreign Worker) program... possible Amitraz resistance out there and it looks like we can be in a world of hurt pretty soon and pretty fast.

I think top guys are following Medhat's lead. Nobody wants this... either regulation or SHB. Better spend our time educating ourselves best we can and carry on with these devastating honey prices.

<snip>

99 cents to 1.25... but nobody is buying. We did all this God Damned CBIQT bs, and cfia approved honey houses, new barrels, so we could distinguish ourselves as a superior product and now there has been a collapse of the market. Not a level, nor fair playing field.

In the last few years 8% rise in total worldwide colonies matching with a 61% increase in total exports... yeah sure. The trend is lower production in the last decade or two. But somehow China keeps producing highly suspicious honey and exporting it. I recently read Ron Phipps report where internally Chinese consumers are disappointed with their honey supply. In it he says that China consumes far far more honey than it produces. I guess it is like Manuka where more of it is sold than produced. Go figure. Virtually half of the honey on their shelves is adulterated. Of the adulterated honey it is 70-100% adulterated. I guess the penalties to cheat cannot be that high because those that cheat really don't fool around.

It is like their royal jelly. If you take the time to sit down and think about it and put numbers to it, their pricing makes no sense. It costs more in bees to produce than what they are selling it for. Yet there is never a shortage of it... again because of adulteration. The Chinese are so proud that they control the market.

I had said that I thought that the decision to ignore the industry spokespeople and screw everything up with a futile and expensive attempt to regulate SHB spread had come from above Medhat, judging by what went down at the IPM workshop in February and that he is just following orders.  My reader does not agree.

Nonetheless, regardless of where these quixotic regulations come from, these restraints on trade damage our industry and cost beekeepers lots of money and bother, and there seems to be nothing we can do about it.

It seems we do not learn from history that the medicine is worse than the disease.   We tried this folly with Tracheal mites, then with varroa and are still paying for the latter with restrained trade in bees.

What is never mentioned is that honey bees are an entirely man-imported and human-maintained livestock.   Honey bees are not native here and populations are only maintained with a lot of human expense and effort.  Without human efforts, honey bees would die out and possibly become nearly extinct here or degenerate into non-economic strains.

The important point is that from a human perspective the health of beekeeping businesses should trump concerns about the health of honey bees.  Although there is a relationship, honey bee health becomes much less important to beekeeper survival if cheap replacement bees are available.

The regulators have killed off a lot of beekeeping business in their futile efforts to control bee diseases and pests.

Decisions come from above and are imposed on us by people who get paid regularly whether beekeepers make money or not and the positions of our democratically elected representatives are ignored.

There is blatant conflict of interest here that no one seems to want to deal with.  The regulators benefit immediately from added regulation, yet seem to be able to add regulations over the protests of those who bear the expense of such regulation.

Nobody knows for sure what the economic impact -- if any -- of SHB might be in Alberta.  Most estimates are that it will be inconsequential and indeed the word on the street is that the bug has been brought here a number of times before.

We know that the costs of trying to control the hypothetical spread are considerable, but will be entirely borne by the beekeeping  industry, with no costs being borne by the regulators.

As for benefits, the regulators immediately benefit with increased importance and staff, plus they appear to be proactive against a threat, even if it is largely imaginary.

So, once again the beekeepers are saddled with interference and costs and the regulators can appear to be heroes, on the job and watching out for their charges.

Medhat is a friend of mine but we don't always agree on things.  We don't take these disagreements personally and I think we both think that airing disagreements and debating issues civilly is beneficial.

Comments?  Contact me or post in the Honey Bee World Forum.  Maybe I'll post this there so it will be easy to comment.

I did just that and you can comment here.

*   *   *   *   *

I'm back to cooking beans again and I asked Google, "Why do we soak dry beans?".  Apparently, soaking is one of those 'old wives' tales' that has been passed down as a rule, but has no basis in science. Among other articles, I found this: Don't soak your dried beans! Now even the cool kids agree.  Good.  That makes things much easier.

*   *   *   *   *

In late afternoon, I drove to the city for my meeting.  On the way, I dropped off my extractor for a nearby beekeeper to use, then drove on.

As I drove, I chatted with Bill and he mentioned PublicMobile.ca, a new mobile carrier. I looked it up and see the new alternative offers better pricing, plus it is rumored that unused data! rolls over to the next period but I could not find that on the website.

I was early for my meeting and went to Marlborough Mall for a coffee and a bit of shopping. From there, I went to the meeting.  After the meeting, on the home, I stopped at Wal-Mart in Airdrie for groceries.

Every person takes the limits of their own field of vision for the limits of the world.
Arthur Schopenhauer

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Wednesday April 6th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers this morning. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 14. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 2.

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

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

I'm starting to realise that I have more to do in the coming weeks than time to do it in.  I'm going to have to reevaluate my plans.

The day was spent getting the books up to date and reconciling accounts.  I'm not done yet and have at least a day more to do.

I had thought to go out for a walk, but the winds made it unpleasant.

I worked at the desk until after 1930, then sat down to watch Grey's Anatomy on Netflix.  I gave up part way through and went to bed early.

By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity.
 Another man's, I mean.
Mark Twain

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Thursday April 7th 2016

Today Mainly sunny. High 18. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Low minus 1.

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I see the wind has died down this morning, so I'm going out to do the one mile walk before it starts up again.

The One-Mile WalkZip and I did the one-mile walk (.kmz file)

BTW, Google Earth Pro is now free Download and install it and go to the login screen and use GEPFREE as the license code.  It works!

After that, I called the Mid US Honey Producers Market Hotline at 1-763-658-4193. The latest recording is Feb 10 and the says there is very little to report and the line is getting the fewest calls ever. That said, he has reports of two loads at $1.75 (US) and one at $1.80. There was a reported bee shortage in almonds and reports of big bee problems everywhere.

After the walk, my blood pressure is down at 100/63 and heart rate at 57. but my blood sugar (BS) is up at 7.6 (135).  I suppose that must be due to the orange I ate before the walk.  BS was 6.1 (110) before breakfast, and breakfast was two eggs.  Eggs don't raise blood sugar.

A US to world BS measurement conversion chart is at right.
 (Borrowed from Joslin Diabetes Center.)

Around 1100, I ate a cup of my vegetable stew then checked BS an hour later and got 8.0.  An hour later, my meter read 3.0, so I checked again and got 6.6, then 6.8. 

Goes to show that these meters have an occasional extreme error, and also that there is a +/- 20% tolerance even when they are right.

I routinely watch Grey's Anatomy and enjoy the generous and kind spirit behind the show, and as each episode starts I see the name Shonda Rhimes flashed on the screen, so I have been intending to look her up.  Turns out she has a TED talk (who doesn't these days) -- My Year of Saying Yes to Everything.  That's my kind of theme!  I'll say the idea is better than the talk, but decide for yourself.

Some people say 'no' to everything, then wonder why they don't get any breaks.  Some people will not take 'yes' for an answer either.  Neither way leads to happiness and satisfaction in life.

My days lately have consisted of sorting receipts and reconciling accounts.  It's a rather thankless job, except that I am forced to try to remember things I did in the recent months, which is an interesting exercise.  This dairy is a useful resource, although it often does not mention what i need to know.

At 1730, I drove to the Mill for supper. Supper was a lamb roast and I ate a good portion on buns with potato salad and ice cream. I also had three small glasses of wine over a few hours.  I ate a bit too much and  knew I would regret it, and I slept poorly.

Here’s an easy way to figure out if you’re in a cult:
 If you’re wondering whether you’re in a cult, the answer is yes.
Stephen Colbert

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Friday April 8th 2016

Today Mainly sunny. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h near noon. High 22. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Clearing late this evening. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h overnight. Low zero.

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 My weight is up at 218 this morning. That was predictable from overeating last night. My morning walk did not save me from the effects.  I suppose I'll learn -- eventually.

I'm smaller than I used to be and as a result don't need to eat as much as when I was larger.  I'm getting used to the idea of getting smaller, but it takes some adjusting.

I was talking to friends this morning and they are seeing varroa at a rate of five to eight in alcohol washes before they insert strips. 

We are beginning to notice that Apivar did not work as well as expected last year and I suspect that this was a big factor in my winter loss.  I have yet to do any beekeeping this spring, so don't know.

I did some housework and paper shuffling and Joe called.  This is Oene's birthday and I am invited for supper, so I drove to town in Cranberry to gas up and bought some wine to take along, and drove over.

I like driving this old car.  A 1993 car is now one year from being an antique. Then I can get antique plates, I think.

Hmmm.  Maybe not a good idea. Here are the rules: "Antique: Permits licensing of vehicles at least 25 years old and only operated as a collector’s item in exhibitions, club activities, parades and transportation to and from these activities".  This car is like new and great transportation.

We had a good visit and a good supper.  So good, in fact that I ate more than I should, and drank a few carefully measured one-ounce shots of whiskey -- five in fact -- over the four hours or so.  Seems I don't have a great deal of self-discipline when It comes to food and drink.  I'm also finding my tolerance is less as I age, so have to be careful.

I saw an article saying a cluttered kitchen leads to weight gain and I can see it.  If I see something, it reminds me and I might eat it.  I keep fruit out and am tempted every time I walk by.  If it is stored away, I forget it is there.

I drove home around nine and watched some video, then went to bed.  Predictably, I awoke sometime after midnight and my sinus was stuffed up. I took two Benadryl and watched an episode of Grey's Anatomy, then went back to bed and slept well.

A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.
Saki

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Saturday April 9th 2016

      WIND WARNING IN EFFECT     

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind northwest 60 km/h gusting to 90 diminishing to 30 gusting to 50 this afternoon. High 14. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind northwest 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 4.

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Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

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Often posts are edited the next day for improved clarity

I slept until 0930 and awoke refreshed.  The scale says 219, and that is not unexpected.  I've been inactive and eating too much.  It will come down again.

I still have hardly looked at my bees. I'm afraid that if I start, I'll have too much to do and I simply must get my paperwork organized well before the tax deadline.  I am a slave to my books.

It is very windy this morning, and an ideal day not to be outside unless windsurfing or kiting. I snow-kite, but have yet to take up kiting on the water.  I think I'll leave that for when the lakes are warmer.  Right now, the ice has just gone out on many.

I found the following excerpt from an article by By Tyler Hay, Chief Executive Officer at Evergreen GaveKal  fascinating...

..It was during my VR (Virtual Reality) experience that I started imagining the vast diversity of its application. While I can only speak from my experience at Valve, I truly felt as though I was in another place. It was a collision of realties. In one reality, I knew what was happening. I was in a 15×15 room six floors up in a downtown Bellevue office building wearing goggles with cords attached to a PC that was creating a digital world for me to experience. At the same time, my mind left that building and suspended what I knew to be reality. During one of the simulations, the clash of realities occurred as one of the demos took me to a dangerously high platform inside a warehouse. The floor around me began to crumble and I found myself moving off the collapsing portions to the area of the floor section that remained stable. Why?! I should have known that the floor beneath me was the office environment I had witnessed before putting on the goggles. The experience they’ve been able to create is more than enough to get the brain confused as to which reality to follow. I felt truly a sense of presence in that virtual world.

In another example, I was asked to pull open a compartment of a machine that needed to be fixed. Out of the machine’s engine slid a section that expanded like a kitchen drawer. Next, I was told to move to the other side of the machine. How did I move to the other side of the drawer? As our brains have been trained to do, I walked AROUND this virtual drawer. The audience at Valve laughed at me. To those not in the virtual world, they saw me carefully maneuvering myself around empty space, but inside the goggles, I saw a drawer that I needed to negotiate around. In the real world, we have to walk around things. In a virtual world, I could have simply walked through it!

<snip>

Another interesting thing has started to emerge in the VR world that surprised innovators. Users attachment to individuals within this alternate reality became more complex than the games we’ve previously known. Anyone who’s played video games knows that there are times when your character becomes helplessly low on “life or health” and the player is better off committing “suicide” and starting over with a fresh start. During a VR demo, a player did this and all the other players stopped playing the game to condemn the act. Right or wrong, this has been a completely acceptable thing to do under prior gaming experiences. The attachment to the characters has become so rich that the bond developers are going to be able to create will change the experience.

From an article by By Tyler Hay, Chief Executive Officer Evergreen GaveKal

To me, this report has metaphysical implications.

*   *   *   *   *

Joe sent me this article today.  It confirms the value of pulses in diets.  In the past year, they have become a major part of my meals and i have shared my recipes, not that they are anything special.  Basically, I just dice up anything in the fridge and add it to a pot with add lots of beans, corn and rice, then spice imaginatively

Here is more: United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization have designated 2016 as the International Year of Pulses

*   *   *   *   *

I spent the day at the keyboard again.  This time, I was billing my web clients.  I used to enjoy doing websites, but hated billing.  Now I really don't care much to do either.  At any rate, I was anywhere from one to three years behind in billing, so began on getting that caught that up.  It seems half the work of running a business is collecting and managing money.

I baked a turkey thigh for supper and there is lots left over for stews. I have found that a bit of fowl in a bean stew definitely adds something.

After supper, I hauled two drums of ashes out of the basement and dumped them, then continued housecleaning upstairs.

I've rediscovered Internet radio.  Any old smartphone or tablet works even without a SIM as long as there is wifi.  Who needs SiriusXM at their high prices?

We are of different opinions at different hours,
but we always may be said to be at heart on the side of truth.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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