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November 2016

 

 

 

 

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Background Image: Sunrise

 

Thursday November 10th 2016

Today Mainly sunny. Wind becoming south 20 km/h late this morning. High 12.
Tonight Clear. Low plus 1.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

The warm trend continues. We're expecting twelve degrees today, so I have another day to do bee work. I'm expecting company for supper, but I've have made the soup in advance and have a few more things to prepare. I'll do them early so I have the afternoon free.

The furnace project is on the back burner for now, seeing as I am occupied with outdoor activities.

I went out and exchanged drop boards.  Here are today's

    
Today's drop boards (48 hr after OA)

For comparison, yesterday's are below.

     
yesterday's drops (24 hr)

If you are using Chrome as a browser, install the Hover Zoom extension
for easy viewing without clicking.

Just a quick glance shows lesser drops than the first treatment back on the 4th. That is a good sign we are knocking down the varroa populations.

*    *    *    *    *

It's windy out and somehow my chores filled the morning and ran into the afternoon. 

Today would be a great day to be on the beach windsurfing or kiting and I wonder why I am not out doing that, but I'm not.  Instead I am here doing chores and buying travel insurance for Thanksgiving in the US and, oh, I bought another boat on the West Coast over the phone.  Am I nuts?

I hope not, but one thing I have live by is that when opportunity knocks, I don't say "I'm busy. Come back later".

If I have any regrets in life, they would be for the times when I did not act on my instincts and seize opportunities.   I was taught, contrary to my instincts, to shop around, even after I see what I've been looking for. Every time I do, I regret it.  I know what I want when I see it and should look no further. So, today, I acted decisively.

In this case, Dawn, the charter booking agent had called to say she has a big booking for one of my boats and mentioned that she really needs a power boat to meet demand.  There is one in the fleet, but the owner wants to sell and they may lose it from the fleet.  The price she had heard was too high, but I said to have Colin call me with the owners bottom dollar.  He did, just now, and It was exactly what i had in mind.  The boat is a classic, and in good shape.  Of course there are procedures to go through before the deal is done, but I said, "Let's do it."

Now, when it comes to boats I have a full hand. I'll have three boats on the west coast and one in Ontario, plus the pontoon boat, a day sailer and a fraction of a runabout.  If the purchase goes through, I'm going to have to discard.  I've told my contacts to sell something, soon.

There were six of us here for supper. I served soup, bread, chili, broccoli and cauliflower, with cantaloupe and honeydew melon for dessert.  There was lots.  I invite and cook for more than actually show sometimes.  Who comes depends on what they are doing.

I correct, revise and augment entries in the previous several days first thing each day before writing new diary entries.  Read yesterday's post

People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't
what they want that they really don't want it.
 Ogden Nash

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Friday November 11th 2016

Today Mainly cloudy. Wind south 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High 17.
Tonight Cloudy. Low plus 4.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

I have to compress my schedule now, since I have to be on the coast next week for at least a day or two, then be off to California for a few days. The weather continues pleasant enough for outdoor work.  Snow is predicted for next Wednesday and Thursday.

Today, I plan to go start the mower, treat the hives that are ready and tidy some more.  I have also decided to take the boat out of the basement to get ready for work in that area.

Irwin had been posting pictures of treating for varroa with a device I had not seen before, so I asked him.  He says it is the VM Vaporizer and seems to think it is excellent. 

The videos are very convincing.  If it is trouble-free, it looks like an excellent solution for commercial beekeepers.

Compared to the chemical strips like Apivar and Apistan, this device appears to be faster than inserting and removing strips and far less expensive. Moreover, there is no need to open the hive and search for the correct place to position strips. 

From the videos, the VM Vaporizer looks simpler and faster than the other commercial applicators I've seen so far, and the design is such that there is no need to lean over.  Also, with the long handle, the operator can stand back and stay upwind of the unit to avoid the fumes, a feature that is lacking in many systems.

At US$3,600 the VM Vaporizer is a bit pricy for the backyard beekeeper, but for larger operators, the cost savings add up quickly.  Treating five hundred hives once with strips cost $5,000 or so, and oxalic for 5,00 hives three times would be under $100.

At retail, 16 oz (454g) oxalic acid costs US$9.99 and treats 227 colonies once at 2g/colony.  That works out to four cents per colony per round or twelve cents for the full treatment.

Thus this device would pay for itself the first time out for a 500 hive operation.  VM Vaporizer Facebook Page 

I see that eBay has a multitude of oxalic-related products!  (left).

For the home handyman, here is a fairly simple and effective project (right)

*    *    *    *    *

After spending a few hours tidying and writing,
I took the boat outside to clear space and hauled two drums of ashes out to the ditch.  It's a perfect day to work on bees, but at 1400, I have yet to get to that job.

I pulled the drop boards again and here are today's drops.

     

Compare them to yesterday's below

     

The drops are considerably smaller today.  I'll give them one more shot soon and that should do the trick.

I went out and fumigated South of the Hedge (2) -- the ones with drop boards, then the North Yard (3).

Doing this job with the Heilyser units on more then one or two hives is not simple or easy. They bend and drop acid.  The Varrox units Aaron used when I was in New York are far superior. 

For more than a few colonies, something like the VM Vaporizer would make the job dead easy and quick. I also think it would do a much more thorough job.

I was tired today, but went to the Quonset Yard and stacked up more deadouts and cut more grass, then quit at five and came in for the night.

I correct, revise and augment entries in the previous several days first thing each day before writing new diary entries.  Read yesterday's post

If a man gives no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand
Confucius

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Saturday November 12th 2016

Today Cloudy. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning then increasing to 40 gusting to 60 this afternoon. High 16.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind southwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 becoming light this evening. Low plus 1.

Environment Canada
Ten day forecast

My weight is not changing much, so I have to assume that my estimates of calories in the foods I eat or my activity level are wrong. I can also see that a day of carelessness has effects that last for days, especially if I drink wine.

I went to bed early last night and slept eight hours, so I am up early. Winds gusting to 60 KPH are predicted for this afternoon, so working outdoors may not be pleasant as the day wears on.

Au contraire. At 1130, there is no wind at all, but the day is dull and uninspiring.  I spent the morning downstairs cleaning and reached the point where I don't know what to do next.  I have too much stuff, and I don't want or need it all -- most of it, actually. Should I haul it to the dump, have a yard sale, or -- what???

I am like the teenager who, when told to clean up his room does not know where to start.  Just moving things around is not a solution unless each item has a proper place, and usually items need to go to disposal.  This involves a lot of decisions and, usually there are items that are no longer needed.

Throwing things out is a whole other problem that is bigger than the actual tidying since some are bulky and hard to get rid of.  Then, what do we do with the items that are useful or valuable, but unwanted?

The basement is now approaching the point where it ready for gas line installation. I have cleared access to the areas where work will take place, but I have not completed a plan for locating heaters and vents, and running piping. 

Before we proceed, I need to map out where the lines run, and before I do that, I have to decide again, in light of what I now need and what is available, what units to install and where to install them.  Some units I may install now, and others later, but I should decide now where everything will be eventually or future work may require tearing out part or all of the initial installations.

These decisions can be complex and recursive since not only do I need to decide where and how much heat is needed, but then the routing for the exhaust and hot air vents has to be worked out.  Which units should be conventional and able to work without electrical power for base heat during storms  and which can be higher efficiency and require power to work?

Conventional heater exhaust vents can run only limited horizontal distances and must rise more than minimum heights above nearby roofs.  Condensing units can run long horizontal vents and exit walls, but must be located no closer than specified distances from ground, doors and windows.

I intend to continue with coal until winter and am just about out of fuel.  I should to work on the bin auger while it is accessible, before I fill the bin and I need to fill before I go away later this week.

Once again at right is the local climate info I post from time to time. We are on the top dotted red line, the warm extreme end of the historical range, but could as easily be on the dotted blue line and experiencing minus thirty on this date. The average daily temps are a little under zero.

Normals: Max 1C. Min -9C.
Sunrise 7:47 MST Sunset 16:47 MST

I am feeling bored. I'll go out now to finish this round of fumigating. I really do not feel like it. though.  I'm getting a cold sore and I usually feel a bit down when one is coming on.

At this point, I've concluded that these Heilyser evaporators are not the best way to do the job, but they are what I have.  They are great for one hive, but with more than two or three, they are not the best.  They are awkward and flimsy, but they do last and they do the job.

The real problem is the way these evaporators are ganged together with fairly short cords that plug into a power strip that then is connected to the truck battery. Moving one tends to disturb the others.

When Aaron used his Varrox units, I noticed that they had longer leads with alligator clips that clipped onto booster cables that were lying on the ground.  The other end of the boosters was already connected to the truck battery. 

That worked better since each unit was independent and the wires did not tend to tangle. the way these tend to.  The longer leads also allowed for hives being spaced more widely and randomly.

Tip: do not pack the OA in the pan.  If you do, it bubbles and spits.

   

Considering that I fumigated these hives yesterday, I am not seeing a lot of varroa dropping.

I went out to the Quonset Yard and and fumigated the last eight hives, then did the other eight again, the sixteen live colonies there.

I am now certain there has to be a better way than these Heilyser devices, especially the way I have them wired.  They bend and the cords get fouled up, plus I've found the pots boil over when fully loaded. After checking, though, I discovered I was using about five grams, not two, by filling the pot level.  was not compacting it, though.  Unlike drizzling or spraying OA in syrup, this technique is not dose-critical.  Four grams should not be harmful for my doubles and triples, especially as my hives are leaky. I presented dose info here a few days back and again below.

 Efficiency from the Oxalic Acid Evaporation in a Different Dosage 

Test Results Without Treatment Water
Oxalic  Acid  Evaporation  in  Grams  per  Beehive
0,5g 1,0g 2,0g 3,0g 5,0g
Lowest Effect 0,0% 1,3% 51,7% 93,2% 91,7% 98,1% 99,0%
Average Effect 1,2% 4,8% 82,8% 96,0% 97,2% 99,0% 99,2%
Highest Effect 2,7% 11,5% 96,0% 99,2% 99,6% 99,7% 98,8%
Beehives per Test 6 8 12 10 13 11 5
Andermatt BIOCONTROL AG, Stahlermatten 6, CH-6146 Grossdietwil, Switzerland

Graphic borrowed from Heilyser Technologies

Here is what 2.6 grams looks like in a Heilyser evaporator.

    

I came in at five and had supper, then watched some video and now I am off to bed early.  I thought of working downstairs some more, but decided to save some work for tomorrow.

Since it is still a little early for bed, I decided to read a bit of this diary beginning at January 1st.

Usually, I don't have the time to read back.  We'll see how far I get.  Right off, I see I am down ten pounds on the year.  I'd forgotten. It is hard to imagine I weighed over 230 pounds, let alone the 255 I once weighed. Granted, though, I was more active in the those days and had large muscles from lifting boxes daily.

I made it about halfway down the first page before I got distracted.

Howcum I have the time to write so much, if I don't have the time to read, and reading is so much faster?

I correct, revise and augment entries in the previous several days first thing each day before writing new diary entries.  Read yesterday's post

Invention is the mother of necessity.
Thorstein Veblen

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Sunday November 13th 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers this morning. High 14.
Tonight Clearing. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this evening then light after midnight. Low plus 3.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

My task for today is to work downstairs on further tidying and the bin auger.  Showers and wind are predicted, but I'll get outdoors for a while when I can.

I still have more hives to work through. I don't think there are more than a few alive, but there is equipment to stack up.

At seven this morning the day is just dawning, with a crack of light in the southeast. The sun will reach only 21 degrees above the horizon today. The days are growing shorter.

I came across a personalized cardiovascular risk assessment incorporating the newest factors that were previously not well understood: red meat, processed meats, fruit juices...

For whatever reason, it seems I cannot get out of this chair before noon. I keep finding projects.

I'm starting to plan Christmas and New Years.  It is just six weeks away, now.  I rented a condo last year and decided to look into it this year again.  It is available, but a week earlier.  Without knowing what the weather will be, it is a crapshoot.  Although normals are in the comfortable range, extremes in history run down to minus forty!

Last year, the temperatures were ideal, but they can be anywhere from thawing to minus thirty in mid-December.  The temperatures in the mountains are always warmer than here on the flatland, but cold is cold.  Below minus ten, skiing becomes less pleasant.

Should I go to Ontario to spend Christmas with Mom, or spend it out here? Should I go to Galveston for the North American Bee Convention?  Dunno.

Around noon, I sat down to think and realized that I tense and I am worrying about a lot of things and I really don't need to. None of them are unsolvable. I'm going to make a list and deal with them.

After returning from my circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, I realised  that for that month while underway, I worried about nothing, and that on returning home I began to worry about all the things that are not done around the place, etc. etc.

Well, then I found I was feeling really tired, so I slept an hour and then went out. 

The day had turned gloriously sunny and warm.  My thermometer said twenty-three.  There was no wind, so I cut some grass and stacked up some boxes.

I worked until dusk and went in.  Just as I quit, the mower's oil light came on.  I checked the oil.  It's clean, but down.  The mower has been working hard and also, maybe the oil drain has loosened. I'll top it up tomorrow.

*    *    *    *    *

I have not said much about the US election.  Frankly, I was amazed and somewhat disgusted by the 24/7 non-stop coverage and commentary, most of which was and is speculation based on more speculation. In my reading today, I came cross a quote that mirrors my thoughts:

"...The more I look at it, the less (more?) it seems to me that the election results are less about what Trump believes and more about what he represents: a fundamental shattering of an old paradigm. And I'm finding the widespread commentary that this represents some kind of triumph of racism, misogyny, etc. etc., to be superficial and even preposterous. And you know this if you visit with any regular voter.

"What lies in ruins here is not common decency and morality much less the character of a whole people and nation but rather an anachronistic, arrogant, entitled, smug, conceited ruling elite and ruling paradigm. You can see this in the clues that show that the vote was not so much for a particular vision of one man, but against a prevailing model of managing the world. Read more...

(Me again) Trump seems to be somewhat of a jerk, but you have to wonder about the internal workings of anybody who would want that job.  Fact is that many US presidents have been womanizers, racists, prevaricators and rascals, maybe not as blatantly, but then current obviousness is a sort of honesty in itself.

As much as I would have liked to see a woman get the job, Hillary was not the one.  I know she worked and sacrificed and I feel for her, but in spite of the push from all her friends in the elites and media, she simply has too much questionable history to overlook.

Anyhow, I don't think the American people have changed.  I just think they woke up and are steering away from the grey and soulless future the elites have been marching us to.

I worry about Canada and our child leader who spends like a sailor on leave. It took us twenty years of austerity to recover from the excesses of his father's time in office and his politics almost broke the country in to pieces. He is definitely a feel-good leader, but he seems naive and I fear the hangover.

Enough about politics.

I correct, revise and augment entries in the previous several days first thing each day before writing new diary entries.  Read yesterday's post

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought
John Kenneth Galbraith

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Monday November 14th 2016

Today Increasing cloudiness. 60 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h this morning then becoming northwest 20 gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 12.
Tonight Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers early this evening. Clearing near midnight. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 4.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I weigh 215.4 this morning, down enough that Fatsecret is alarmed. It's a few days now since my dinner and the glasses of wine and I guess that effect has worn off.

I'm now within striking distance of my August 21 weight of 214.4. which is the lowest I've weighed in nine years. 210 is my short-term target.

From the chart above, it is clear that I lose focus every so often and backtrack on my weight loss project.

Frankly, to be perfectly honest, I am not really all that motivated to lose weight. I am quite comfortable at my present mass and am quite agile.  However, everything I read rates me as obese and indicates that excess weight is setting me up for illness. I can see how losing some weight might improve my enjoyment of skiing and  snowboarding, and spare my joints but I also know that I will feel the cold more and maybe be less cheerful.

If I had stuck to my plan and if steady progress without pauses is indeed possible, as it seems to be for some people with iron wills, I would now weigh ten or twenty pounds less!  I find that idea appealing in some ways, but also strange and a bit scary. I like the way I am now., so I guess I am not committed whole-heartedly and am moving slowly.

I hope this current ideal weight range that is promoted by doctors and media is not just another fad.  It seems that if we wait long enough everything we are expected to believe turns upside down. What is fascinating is how people rush to change their thinking and get back into the middle of the herd.  So they can be 'right' about things.

*    *    *    *    *

At 0842, it is sunny and pleasant outside and I am tempted to get out and do a few things before the wind comes up and the promised showers materialize.  I have scheduled myself to work inside today, however to get the bin ready for the coal and to continue the tidying and planning.

*    *    *    *    *

Adrian wrote a while ago about the 10,000 steps recommendation I mentioned a while back in relation to my cousin's walking five miles a day -- it works out to about 10,000 steps and seemed a bit excessive to me.  I also mentioned that 10,000 steps a day is recommended in the talking book I downloaded on Audible, This is Your Do-Over.  He suggested I may already be close to that number without really trying.

I have Google Fit running on my phone and since then have been more conscientious about carrying the phone everywhere and consulting its calculations.

So far, today, I apparently have made 969 steps and it isn't even 0900. It's fifty steps to the kitchen and back and 100 or so to the laundry and back and the same to the mailbox. It says I did 6,800 yesterday and 8,568 Saturday, 6,555, Friday, and 6,995 Thursday... 

I've been working outdoors and that means walking. Even a trip to Walmart adds a few thousand.

One weakness in this data, though, is that I don't always carry my phone.  Sometimes I set it down for an hour at a time. I've even been known to to go out to work the bees and forget it.

I have not calibrated Fit, but it confirms what Adrian suggested. I don't see myself breaking 10,000 on any recent day, but how accurate is this app?  I should check.

Now, I have to check the laundry again for the fourth time today, see if my bee suit is dry and ready, check the mail again, and get another coffee...  Oh, yes, I'll make a trip to the furnace room (150 steps) also...

*    *    *    *    *

Well, I just walked 350 steps (or was it 450? I lost count of the hundreds) and Fit still says 1,000 steps. Oh, wait, now it updated and says 1,330. 

Hmmmm.  That is probably about right. I should give it a more rigourous test.

    

Here are the drop boards.  It has been two days since the last check and I did not clean them since. We can see there is not much dropping any longer. I think one more treatment or maybe two might be wise, but the treatments seem to be doing the trick.

My first natural drop reading, the day before treating was on  was on November 4th and I counted 15 & 74 varroa at that time.

The boards did not photograph well today. One appears to have about 100 mites, the other about twenty-five. These numbers are still high, but include mites killed by the treatment and are not just natural drop.  Besides, this is two days' accumulation.

I put the same boards back in again today and intend to count the three-day drop better tomorrow -- with better photos, I hope.

The drop numbers should diminish after a few days as the treatment wears off and we again see only the background natural deaths. 

If the daily natural drops remain above ten or so, then we need to keep treating, but Jean-Pierre's chart (below) seems to indicate I should be OK below twenty/day.

His data are old, though and varroa have become more lethal by several multiples due to viruses and other unknown factors, so I'd like to get down to five or so/day.

September numbers should apply to the fall months, too, because what makes September different from  August and preceding months is that brood rearing is reduced greatly and most hives no longer raise drones, thus the varroa are forced out onto adult bees and suddenly seem more numerous than when most can hide in brood.

Fit said 2,204 steps when I was outside, fifty+ steps away from here earlier, so I don't know how often it updates.  I'll have to watch it more closely.

So far, today, I haven't done much: I did dishes, washed clothes, tidied, checked the furnace and the mail, took out the garbage and checked the drop boards.  Fit now -- just before 1100 -- says I have made 2,204 steps.

*    *    *    *    *

I planned to go downstairs, but the weather was nice, so I went outside and mowed weeds. Allowing the grass to grow all summer has encouraged mice and I disturbed quite few.

I also picked up and stacked more deadouts. I have about eight doubles left. Then I got an email that needed attention and I went in and spent a couple of hours dealing with it. I went out again and worked until dusk.  Again the forecast proved wrong. The day was mostly warm and calm, with no rain at all.

*    *    *    *    *

Now, at 1827, after supper, Fit says I did just under 6,000 steps.  How does Fit know the difference between my walking and my riding the mower?  I think it does. 6,000 seems a bit on the low side considering tall the dancing around I did picking up boxes, but maybe Fit is right.

*    *    *    *    *

I correct, revise and augment entries in the previous several days first thing each day before writing new diary entries.  Read yesterday's post

The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, 'Is there a meaning to music?'
My answer would be, 'Yes.' And 'Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?'
My answer to that would be, 'No.'
Aaron Copland

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Tuesday November 15th 2016

Today Increasing cloudiness. Periods of snow or rain beginning this morning. High plus 5.
Tonight Periods of snow or rain ending this evening then mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Fog patches developing late this evening. Low minus 2.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I weigh 213.8 this morning.  This is a new low and the change over one day again set off a Fatsecret alarm.

Given that my calorie deficit yesterday was 2333 (estimated and calculated) I have to assume that half the 1-1/2 pound loss simply has to be water. 

Regardless, I noticed yesterday that my belt had to be a notch tighter and is as small as it ever has been.  So, I am back on track again, and only four pounds from my next target, 210 pounds.

At this rate, I'd be there in three days, but I know better than that. It's a common error to take unusually good progress and extrapolate it into the future.  Life does not work that way. If I am disciplined and active, I might get there in a week, but two weeks is more likely.

This drop is unprecedented and, assuming my scale has not suddenly failed, I attribute the drop, partly at least, to eating porridge for breakfast and snacks and to avoiding alcohol. 

Looking at the c hart, I'd have to assume that the rises are due to relaxing my vigilance about alcohol.  It seems that alcohol upsets my water balance and boost my weight for a week or more.

 According to a standard theory that is approximate, to lose one pound requires a calorie deficit of 4 x 3,500 = 14,000.  Seeing as my best recent daily deficit (estimated) has been about 2,000, a four pound loss would take seven days -- theoretically.

*    *    *    *    *

I listen to Internet radio and today I randomly chose a classic hits station discovered that I'm listening to Auckland NZ.  Interesting.  Good music, and from time to time, they are talking quite casually about the earthquake and tsunami warning almost like a traffic report. I am not hearing anything about a tsunami, so I gather the surge was minimal.  Apparently Canadian and US warships are on the way to help.  How a warship helps, I have not yet figured out.

*    *    *    *    *

At 1120, I walked out to photograph the drop boards.  I did that and since they are still fairly clean, put them back in.

It's dull, damp day, but for November, it is lovely.  I'm supposed to be getting ready to go to the coast, but am not inspired.  I have arranged to meet Ruth in Drum, and the doctor's office called arrange an appointment his afternoon.

     

Here are the boards as of noon today. These boards are the accumulation of three days.  I don't see much more drop since yesterday.  I'll do a natural drop in a week.

Anyone with more time than I have can count the boards for me, then go back and count the varroa yesterday.  Frankly yesterday's photos were poor in comparison.  Seems that I get better shots on an overcast day.  Less glare.

*    *    *    *    *

I arranged by text to meet Ruth in Drum to pass Zip over to her for the time I am away. Then my phone rang and the doctor's office wanted me to come in for a follow-up to the stress test I did a week ago. I agreed to go at three.  I was supposed to meet Ruth then, so set that meeting time to 1630.  Then my phone rang again (It never rings) and it was the condo owner with a better offer on the December condo.  She could not give me a weather guarantee, so I said I'm still thinking.

*    *    *    *    *

I drove to Three Hills for the appointment which amounted to nothing much, then realised I had forgotten my wallet. I planned to get a mower battery and some fruit in Drum.

I was on my way to Drum by then and Swalwell is only slightly out of the way, so I went home again. I looked for my wallet and could not find it.

I usually take my wallet out of my pocket if I wear jeans under the bee suit (don't usually wear them) when working on the bees since it is a not needed and is a bulge in a pocket.  I then recalled having noticed it sitting on my desk a day or two back and thinking that someone could pick it up. 

Who would be passing by?  No one, but that is what I thought.  Although I lock my doors, I sometimes leave one open when working around the yard.  It was a very remote chance that anyone would walk through my place when I was around back, but enough people have walked into my house unannounced in the past that the idea was still plausible.

So, did I hide it?  I could not recall.  I managed to find some cash and a credit card and drove to Drum. 

I have wondered if Zip gets bored being around me and would be glad to see Ruth and  go with her and Dave, back to their two dogs and pigs that chase cars. 

When I let her out on the service road in front of Tim Hortons, she walked up to Ruth, sniffed her, then went exploring the median.  Hmmm.  When I show up after she has been with Ruth and Dave, Zip is always beside herself to see me. 

I have to admit I felt a bit of relief since Zip always wants to go for ride and I was starting to think that maybe she was hoping each ride would end up at Ruth's.  I guess she just likes to ride.  

I was in the grocery store when my coal trucker texted that the roads were awful and that he could not come tonight. I'm supposed to leave for the coast tomorrow and I am right out of coal. Oh oh! 

He was surprised to hear there is no snow here at all.  Only an hour north, he had been passing cars and trucks in the ditches and decided that home was much safer.  We agreed on tomorrow morning.  By then the roads should be plowed and sanded.

I went home and searched high and low for my wallet.  No luck.  Finally, I told myself to remember and sat down to watch some video to take my mind off it.  If I do that.  Often as not, the answer comes to me, not consciously, but it comes. It did this time, and strangely.

I had thought of every possible place in the house and it had to be outside.  Outside is a big, big place and I covered lot of grass and weeds riding the mower.  What are the chances of finding a brown wallet in the morning, especially if it snows tonight? 

One last thought.  I had checked all the pockets in all my pants and jackets but not my bee suit, and I had not yet washed the one I wore last.  I usually wash suits after every use. 

I never carry my wallet in my bee suit pockets.  The pockets are open and shallow, and thus are too insecure, but I do carry my wallet on occasion in the jeans underneath -- if I wear jeans and I only do that on cool days.  Yesterday was cool. 

I walked up to the suit and checked the pockets.  They were empty, but the suit felt heavy.  I checked it over and found my wallet in the bottom of one pant leg.  I often do not do the leg zippers up, but yesterday I had.  The wallet must have come out of my jeans pocket and fallen down, becoming trapped at the cuff instead of falling to the ground outside somewhere.

How about that?

Google Fit says I walked 8,872 steps today.  The goal is 10,000, but I seldom achieve that.

I have not made 10,000 steps a priority. Should I?  This is Your Do-Over says so.  The author says that the benefits of walking cut in at about 10,000 steps. 

Should I do everything a book says I should?  Nonetheless, I am happy to see that I approach that goal just going about my daily activities. I would not have thought so, but a trip to Walmart or The SuperStore adds quite a few.  These stores are huge.  Working on the bees does not seem to add quite as much.

According to Fit, my last few days were 8,872, 6,898, 6,837, 8,568, 6,555, 6,995, & 6,743... Looking at the average, I still need to walk an average of an additional two miles a day to make 10,000, or do much more shopping. Hmmmm. 

I have to remember, too, though, that these are likely underestimates since I have a habit of putting my phone down when engaged in some activities and sometimes forget it for an hour or more.

I correct, revise and augment entries in the previous several days first thing each day before writing new diary entries.  Read yesterday's post

Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.
Calvin Coolidge

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Wednesday November 16th 2016

Today Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind northwest 30 km/h becoming light this morning. High plus 4.
Tonight Cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries early this evening. Periods of light snow beginning this evening. Fog patches developing near midnight. Low minus 4.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I'm groggy this morning. In spite of my estimated 8,872 steps and estimated 1,900 calorie deficit yesterday, my weight is up a bit today to 214.2.  That is still on trend.

I have a load of coal coming this morning and plan to catch a flight to the coast later on.

I planned to be out of here by ten to catch the mi-day flight, but the truck has not come and I am not ready anyhow.  Losing my wallet slowed me down a lot.  I'll leave when I am ready.

The coal came at ten and I had a few things to do after, so I'll miss the twelve twenty-five flight and take the five-thirty-five if I can be ready.

I went out and brought the mower back over to the house.  I had bought a battery last night and the new battery starts it much better.  It's chilly out.

*    *    *    *    *    *

I was ready by two, and left a half-hour later. I stopped at the Superstore in Airdrie to see what they might have in the deli. Having decided to cut right down on red meat, processed meats, preservatives, and fried foods, I find the usual fast food restaurants have little to offer. Even the salads contain junk.

I cruised the deli counter and found an assortment of meal-sized packages. here, too, the salads almost all contained bacon or processed meats. I found a chick pea salad with sun-dried tomatoes. That looked suitable, so that was my snack.  I took note of the sushi assortment, too.  I have not been a huge fan of sushi, but maybe I'll give it try again sometime.

From there, I drove to Park and Jet, caught the shuttle and walked to security.  Although there is supposedly a Nexus line, it was slower than the regular line. The new YYC is not as great as they would like us to think.

I just noticed today that I have four free WestJet lounge passes and they expire at the end of the year, so went to the Chinook lounge and enjoyed some complimentary coffee, fruit and nuts.  I could have had as much booze as I liked for free, but decided to pass.

I landed at YYJ and walked out into the dark and the rain, hailed a cab, and soon was on board Cassiopeia.

It's great to be home!

After I unpacked, I discovered beer I had left, and decided to have one.  I had several.  Seems I have no self control. 

I see today that the subject line on Dr. Mirkin's latest email is, "No safe alcohol, soluble fiber, more . . ."  Hmmmm.  That's a timely reminder.

I made porridge for tomorrow and a stew, then, since Callum had left me the keys to Shongololo, and Shongololo was tied right ahead of Cassiopeia, I went aboard and looked the boat over.

Shongololo is a powerboat, a 2000 Monk 36, already in the charter fleet, with a track record and good maintenance records. I've made a conditional offer to buy and have to decide if the boat is a good business proposition. In the dark, at night, in the rain, she looks not too bad and the engine sounds good.

I have not been a power boat fan -- sailors call them stinkpots -- and my experience has been limited to smaller power craft.  This one is almost forty feet long, with 220 HP, and is designed for coastal cruising and is comparable to Cassiopeia in comfort and safety.  Cruising under power. however, is a completely different concept from sail.  That said, over half my mileage on sailboats has been under power.  The difference is that with a sailboat, I can turn off the engine and move along quietly and for free.  The downside, though, is that the design of the boat has to compromise to accommodate the sail rigging and the wind is seldom blowing in a direction  or strength that favours the desired destination.

 I correct, revise and augment entries in the previous several days first thing each day before writing new diary entries.  Read yesterday's post

The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future.
Daniel Kahneman

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Thursday November 17th 2016

Today Flurries ending this morning then mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Fog patches this morning. High minus 1.
Tonight Cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Fog patches developing overnight. Low minus 7.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

Good morning The sun is coming up here in Sidney and my day is expected to be spent surveying Shongololo.

The mechanic came around ten and did a thorough inspection of the engine, transmission, and generator, then we left the marina and headed out for a sea trial.

Callum took the helm and we motored down towards James Island at 9.5 knots.  The boat hardly seems to be working at that speed.  We were moving nicely when the engine suddenly quit dead and we were drifting.  Fortunately, we were a good distance from shore. Ben, the mechanic looked around the engine, then we began troubleshooting.

On a diesel, short of some sort of serious failure, the issue has to be fuel.  The low pressure checked out, so we checked the injection pressure and, sure enough, there was none.  I asked if there is a solenoid and, yes, the shut off is a 'run' solenoid, not a 'stop' solenoid as on some engines, and the wire had been brushed loose during inspection and shaken itself off a while later.

Once the spade connector was pressed back on, we were back underway.

The inspection ended around twelve-thirty and Ben left. I suggested to Callum that we take the boat to Fulford for the night for a test.  The plan was to anchor and dinghy in to test everything.

Mid-afternoon, I bought some groceries and Callum came along at four-thirty.  Sundown, was 1630, but we had adequate light to make it to Fulford, where we tied up and went to The Rock Salt for supper. I had  the Bombay Surf again, I had enjoyed it so much last time.

The trip over was pretty straightforward.  At ten knots, we were there in an hour, even with the slowing down to pass through the narrows at Canoe Cove. 

The ride on the flybridge is quite smooth and quiet.  Ten knots hardly seems at all fast and I was impressed.  This experience is quite different from the sailboat.

The interior is much different, too, in some ways.  That is a washer/drier in the cupboard beside the bed.

After supper, we fixed the oven door and I called it a night around nine. We turned off the furnace, seeing as the control did not seem quite right and we weren't sure that it would not cook us after a while.

 

 I correct, revise and augment entries in the previous several days first thing each day before writing new diary entries.  Read yesterday's post

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world:
the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw

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Friday November 18th 2016

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. High plus 1.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 6.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I woke up at 0222 with thoughts at top of mind and got up.  I added some items to the list of Shongololo items needing attention before closing, stayed up a while longer, then went back to bed.

I have to buy travel insurance this week for next week. If I don't, the coverage won't start on time.  There is a 72-hour wait before full coverage kicks in, so I looked at that and also played with the furnace.  This boat is very comfortable so far.

At sunrise, Callum ran up and bought breakfast at the Rock Salt.  I had some porridge along, so that was my breakfast.

We started the boat and headed for Van Isle to fuel.  As the morning was cool, we operated from the lower helm in the cabin  rather than the flybridge and I was surprise by the engine noise inside.

The night before, up in the flying bridge, the engine noise was not noticeable. Yesterday, while checking the engine, we had had the engine hatches open , so noise in the cabin was to be expected, but now, with the hatches closed, I still found it louder than I like.

The boat is quite easy to maneuver.  I docked nicely at Van Isle. Having never handled this boat before, I was relieved.

We fueled up and returned to Port Sidney Marina.  By then the wind had picked up and I let Callum dock the boat.  He had some difficulty and I wondered if I might have done just as well. 

He was using the bow thruster a lot and I figured I could have done better using prop wash, but I was happy to have him at the helm, having not actually yet proven I can handle the boat in tight spaces.

We tied up and I killed some time before Colin and Larry showed up.  We had a meeting and by the time it was over, the weather was getting nasty.  Colin offered to drive me to the airport.

I had planned to stay another day or two, but with my business done for now as much as can be done until next week, and rough weather expected, I decided to get a flight and head home.

I went online and bought a ticket. 

Westjet's payment page is a nightmare with travel insurance options taking up so much space that scrolling is necessary. 

The insurance is a negative option, meaning you have to check a box to refuse it or the page requires scrolling back up. Even then it is necessary to scroll around and scrolling tends to move the checkmark to the wrong box. Eventually, I managed to get to the bottom and complete the purchase.

Long story short, being in a hurry, I found out after I paid, that the the page had sold me insurance.  Of course $80 travel insurance for a $300 flight taking me home two hours from booking is a cynical total waste. (That insurance total a waste of money in most cases anyhow).

Once I got to the airport and through security, I got on the phone and called Westjet and then RBC. They must be used to this bollix because I had little trouble getting the charges reversed.  The process was so easy I am sure that the man on the phone does little else all day.  I am very certain that the web page is a deliberate scam and that most people don't notice, don't know how, or just don't bother to cancel for a refund.

Its just one more annoyance, like the advertising airlines blast a travelers over the sound system once everyone is strapped in and have to sit there.

There must be a special place in hell for the people who dream these ideas up.

I was home and in bed by midnight.

 I correct, revise and augment entries in the previous several days first thing each day before writing new diary entries.  Read yesterday's post

The curious thing is that with these exponential changes,
so much of what we currently know is just getting to be wrong
So many of our assumptions are getting to be wrong.
And so, as we move forward, not only is it going to be a question of learning,
 it is also going to be a question of unlearning.
John Seely Brown

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Saturday November 19th 2016

Today Cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind southeast 20 km/h. High zero.
Tonight Cloudy. Becoming partly cloudy this evening. Fog patches developing this evening. Low minus 7.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I 'm catching up on paperwork today.  I also made a stew to last the next few days.

I see the pond has ice and a skiff of snow.

         

Here are the drop boards. I last changed them on the 12th after fumigation on the 11th (The second treatment, I think.  I lose track)

I changed the boards today so we can see how the natural drop is now, a week after treatments. Looking at these boards, that have been under hives right after a treatment.  In seven days, I'd say both hives are within specs now.  I count 55 on one board and 266 on the other. 

That comes to 8/day on the first and 38/ day on the other.  Considering that these drops are immediately after a fumigation, these drops should be fine. What will be interesting is the drops on the fresh boards I put in today, counted after a few days.

Here are some of the denser squares off the two boards.  The first of each pair is taken on the 14th. The second was taken today, the 19th.  To my eye, there is not much difference in the counts.

Above, shots of a sample from the first board taken 5 days apart.  Below is a sample from the other board also photographed before and after 5 days passed.
Compare the dead mites on the same square before and after. I don't see much difference.

I'd say there is very little drop right now.  I'll check again with these new boards in a few days.

I spent the day inside at the desk and got very little exercise. Nevertheless, Fit says I did 3,501 steps. I did get some chores completed, though. 

I also ate without recording my calories, but the food was of the sort that I find most suitable for weight loss.  I ate three times my quota of nuts, though, and nuts will put weight on me if anything will.

 I correct, revise and augment entries in the previous several days first thing each day before writing new diary entries.  Read yesterday's post

It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time.
Tallulah Bankhead
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