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December 2016

 

 

 

 

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Thursday December 1st, 2016

Today Cloudy. 40 percent chance of flurries this morning. Clearing this afternoon. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning. High minus 2.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 11.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I woke up at 0230 and realized that I was really wide awake, so I got up.

I lay down twice at various times later and again found that I was not sleeping so I worked on projects until 0800, at which time I lay down again and slept a half-hour.  Then I got up for the day.

Liz Goldie wanted me to call regarding the upcoming meeting with the Marketing Council, so I called her around nine and we chatted.  She definitely has a good grip on things and I think the Council and the commission are in for a surprise.  It seems they assume that everyone has forgotten the conditions under which the Commission was allowed to proceed, and to assume the assets of the Alberta Beekeepers Association.  Some of us have long memories.

I never throw anything out and it just so happens that I have back issues of Alberta Bee News on hand going back the the beginning of SkepTic, which later became Bee News, so I dragged them out and sorted.

The issues I needed were easy to spot since the Commission progress was highlighted on the covers. There may be more, but I think the sample below is sufficient to prove our case.  If anyone cares to know, here, below, is the basis on which we -- all registered Alberta Beekeepers -- agreed by a significant majority vote, to morph the Alberta Beekeepers Association into a Commission for all Alberta beekeepers.


Click each page above to read, or click here to read it all full-size on one page or here for the PDF.

I have really not wanted to get involved in this matter since I am retired, but since the Commission and Marketing are getting high-handed and forgetting promises, someone has to hold their feet to the fire.

I should probably have provided a link to the ALBERTA BEEKEEPERS COMMISSION PLAN REGULATION before now.  It makes interesting reading, but IMO is sloppy and internally contradictory.  I think it was originally intended to be less than rigid.

Ken asks, " Are they using 6 (2) (b) to eliminate those with under 100 hives?". 

I think they may be trying to do that, however I interpret that clause as an attempt to exempt the smaller beekeepers from mandatory enrollment, but  read on and see that the Commission may include anyone as an associate or honorary member.
 

Fact is, I have only begun to get seriously interested.  If I get interesting something, I generally get really interested, and if I set out to win, I win,

I prefer to find a win/win solution, but oddly enough -- to me at least -- some people will not take 'Yes' for an answer and insist that someone must lose.  When that turns out to be the case, I make sure that someone is not me.

We are merely trying to reestablish the previous status quo, agreed at the formation of the Alberta Beekeepers Commission, but If positions are entrenched and push comes to shove, we'll start an online petition for a plebiscite.  I imagine we can recruit well over half the Alberta beekeepers in a matter of days.

We've forced a plebiscite before and when we did, heads rolled.  Let's hope that people see reason and keep the promises made when we all agreed to a Commission a decade ago.

Since this can of worms is open, and not by our choice, everything is now on the table.

I am told that in other commodities, every producer no matter how small or casual is enrolled and has a vote. 

One person, one vote.  Revolutionary, isn't it?

Going back the Magna Carta, first it was the nobles, who demanded a vote, then the bourgeoisie, then the peasants, and even, eventually, women and non-whites.

Now they are even talking about animal rights.  Who will get to vote next?  Dogs, pigs, goats, beekeepers?

Heaven forbid!

*    *    *    *    *

My 2009 Chrysler Town and Country Limited has HID projector low beams, and I had noticed that one had a purplish hue.  I figured the colour was some sort of special feature, but it turns out that these bulbs change colour as they fail.  This one had failed completely previously, and I had been stopped by the police, but it seemed to be working again until the other night when it did not come on at all, so I have been driving the car instead.  I need to find a replacement bulb.

These bulbs are expensive and not too easy to find.  I researched them on the Internet and found that I can buy them for as little as $50/pair on eBay, but would have to wait -- and there are questions about the reliability of some off-brands in the forums. 

The Phillips D1S, the original and gold standard, is $130 if you can find them. One bulb of unknown make from the local Chrysler dealer was quoted at $364.64 -- and was special order!

*    *    *    *    *

I have decided to keep my coal furnace running a while longer, but the grate and ring are worn, resulting in occasional problems and need to watch it.  Some time ago I decided to bite the bullet and buy a new ring and grate for $1,200 and now is the time to do it since I have to go to BC next week and cold weather is coming.  I called Kirks' and arranged to pick up a grate.

Other than this wear issue, the stoker which I adapted almost fifty years ago is fully automatic and requires attention only twice a week in cold weather and less often in mild weather.

*    *    *    *    *

Since I had to go to Three Hills anyhow, I called the local NAPA and asked about a bulb.  This store is usually more expensive than other suppliers and I was doubtful they would have these somewhat rare HID bulbs, but they had one and for a price comparable to what I had found in Airdrie. I paid $116 including tax, which was the best price I could find in Alberta.

Earlier, I had arranged to meet Ruth in Drum at 3:30 so I could pick Up Zippy, so I drove to Three Hills, picked up the furnace parts and the bulb, then drove to Drum.  I bought gas and some groceries and drove home.  Zip is glad to be home.

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

In approaching a problem a Marxist should see the whole as well as the parts.
A frog in a well says, “The sky is no bigger than the mouth of the well.”
Mao Zedong

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Friday December 2nd, 2016

Today Sunny. Increasing cloudiness this afternoon. Wind becoming west 20 km/h late this afternoon. High zero.
Tonight Cloudy. Wind west 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 4.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I'm off to Airdrie for a meeting this morning.  I don't see fog here, but there is some fog reported over Airdrie way, apparently.  This evening, I plan to go to The Ironwood in Calgary with the Mill crew to see Bill Durst Ruth and Purves-Smith.

*    *    *    *    *

I have not mentioned my weight lately.  I understand that some find this interesting and I like to be able to look back at a later date to see progress or lack thereof.

I weighed as much as 222 after returning from California, but know that gain is due to travel and Thanksgiving and not worth reporting.  When traveling, I eat and drink more than I do at home.  That is not ideal, but it is what it is.  Travel and Thanksgiving always affect my water balance temporarily and I'm sure that some of the weight gain is real. I'll know better in a few days.

Today, I weigh 219, up significantly from my best recent weight of 214.2 on November 16th.  Blood glucose reads 6.7 this morning, which is high and I am suspicious of this new batch of strips.  BP is 118/77, pulse: 60.

*    *    *    *    *

I went out to start the van and the battery was flat.  Something drains the battery from time to time.  I had left the headlights on 'manual' but AFAIK the system turns all electrical items off after twenty minutes. Maybe not?  I got out the booster and started it up.

The drive to Airdrie was uneventful, and I spent the morning in a very productive meting with some Alberta Marketing Board people, then bought a new battery and drove home.  I have to be in Calgary tonight again, but in the meantime, I want to change the headlight and battery and do various other jobs.

*    *    *    *    *

What is becoming increasingly clear is that the matter of the policy changes at the Alberta Beekeepers Commission is a misunderstanding, possibly encouraged by acts or omissions by a few key people.  Was it an attempted coup?  Could be.  What is also clear is that quite a few people who should have known what was happening did not, and it is evident from the communications we received when we found out and began complaining.  The past Chairman, for one was saying the opposite of what eventually turned out to be the facts and he is not one to obfuscate or lie.

*    *    *    *    *

Here are several documents from the Alberta Beekeepers Commission website, reproduced on this server since we have no assurance they will not be removed from the original location.  These back pages were not linked from the main pages and would only be found by the few people who received an email that was supposedly sent to all members, but which was in fact received by few.

For those who suffer from insomnia:

And for those want to go back in time and see what was on the ABC site in the past, click here.

The above pages are apparently part of a failed one-time attempt to move Bee News to electronic format. As a result of the fact that few knew it existed and no one received hard copy of this news, no one responded.  Was this a conspiracy to keep the public in the dark, or merely a blunder? Only a cynic would think that such crucial information would be deliberately hidden.

Moreover, the sort of changes proposed are very significant and must be published prominently well in advance of action.  Arguably, since they deal with changes to the constitution that ratified by all Alberta beekeepers in a plebiscite, not just voting members of the Commission.  The Commission is the sole provincial organization, and eliminating the existing membership status of small beekeepers voids their rights to join, with further consequences, including their status in the national organization!

Some might say that failure to properly publish these proposed changes was amazingly convenient, and although the same people might attribute this to underhanded tactics, the rule is to never attribute to malice anything that can be adequately explained by incompetence and incompetence is a very plausible explanation here.

Nonetheless, these clandestine changes have created a real mess that we are endeavoring to clean up without resorting to a petition and subsequent general plebiscite of all registered beekeepers to determine the future and the direction of the Commission, as would be required if efforts to restore the  rights of small beekeepers by simple discussion with the Commission board of directors fails.

We threw out the previous Commission for just this sort of thing. History may not repeat itself, but it has a way of rhyming.

*    *    *    *    *

      

I pulled the drop boards this afternoon.  Haven't looked at them for a long time.  Last look was November 20th.  I'm seeing very little change since last time except a mouse came visiting.  Wonder if he ate the mites?

*    *    *    *    *

I installed the new battery and the new headlight bulb. The latter job was a tricky job and required shoving my big hands into tight space, then manipulating the bulb into the fixture which was out of my vision.  The result was scratches and some blood, but I got it done and the light worked well. That is my beefy hand at right.

I drove to the Ironwood and met up with Fen and Maddy.  They were sitting at a table right against the stage, so I found myself front row, centre.

 Ruth and the 581 were on first, and they really rocked. They were loud.

Then Bill Durst came on, and he was louder still ...and powerful, accompanied by Joe DeAngelis' strong bass. More than anything, Bill Durst's music reminded me of ZZ Top and a bit of David Wilcox.

This is music I really like and I haven't gone to a lot of electric blues performances, but have been to hear David Wilcox several times, even flying to Ontario to hear him at the Kee in Bala.  Although there are similarities in style; both are excellent on guitar and backed by amazing professionals, I find Wilcox crisper and with a wider repertoire.  Wilcox is also, if possible, louder yet. 

What amazed me about Durst and DeAngelis is how these two obviously old, fat guys stood up and worked out hard for almost an hour at a time. (I spent ten minutes looking to find how old he is and could not find that anywhere).

After a while I found their numbers somewhat similar, however and was starting to think about the door. 

I stayed until eleven-thirty, left during the break and drove home. Bill was doing another set, but I found the first sufficient.

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

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
P.J. O'Rourke

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Saturday December 3rd, 2016

Today Cloudy with 40 percent chance of flurries this morning then a mix of sun and cloud. Risk of freezing rain this morning. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High plus 3.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Becoming cloudy overnight. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 7.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

This morning, I weigh 219.2, and blood sugar reads 5.9. BP is 107/71. Pulse is 62.

Since I am again getting interested in Alberta beekeeping politics, I thought I'd take a look at the Alberta Beekeepers Commission website.  It has been less than a success ever since it was created, and has seldom been up-to-date or complete.   The general manager has never been able to manage it but she has nevertheless maintained control of communication.

Back in the nineties, I set up a prototype web site for the ABA and offered to maintain it free of charge and to post whatever they supplied.  The office did not see the importance of the web and asked me to take it down.  They did not want to share information and did not want anything that was not their idea.  Some time after, they set up albertabeekeepers.org (not .com which was available) and went through a succession of people charged with maintaining it. On occasion, it looked promising, but then it went out of date again, as it appears to be now.  Why can they not keep the website up to date?  It all comes down to the manager IMO.

If we are to believe the claims on this site, the Commission served the interests of Alberta beekeepers since 1933. Not true. 

Actually, the Alberta Beekeepers Association served all beekeepers until September 1, 2005, when, as  result of a plebiscite of all registered Alberta beekeepers, the Association and its assets were allowed to be taken over by a new entity, the Commission.

Here is what the current website says the Commission is:

You will note that according to the site, as of now, a month after the AGM and although we are now months into the 2016/2017 year, there has apparently been no change of executive or board since 2015/2016. We know differently.  Important information is not being well communicated.  Who is responsible for that?

*    *    *    *    *

I had a long chat with Liz this morning, trying to resolve exactly what needs addressing in the current situation.  Liz is a formidable lady with solid facts and extensive research into the issues that have been raised by the recent Commission actions.

A while back, we learned suddenly that the beekeepers who do not have 100 hives registered and who paid for insurance and membership last year did not receive either insurance or membership.

We also learned that changes were made to the Plan (the document that is basically the Commission constitution) without due notice to and without due consultation with all affected parties, and, as it turns out they are contrary to the founding principles and stated intent in forming the Commission.

On examining the origin and mandate for the Commission, the nature and scope of the changes made appear to call for a plebiscite of all registered Alberta beekeepers, and the matter was not even discussed in the business meeting of the AGM previous to the alterations.

It is my understanding that the board would like to resolve these issues without conflict and discussions are scheduled. I hope this can be resolved without resorting to petitions and a plebiscite that could result in -- worst case -- dissolving the Commission.

The Alberta Beekeepers Commission was created by a vote of all registered Alberta beekeepers and any fundamental change requires their endorsement, not a vote by the board or even a quorum of voting Commission members.
 

So, how do we resolve this?

The original intent was clearly to represent all Alberta beekeepers.  It is very advantageous to the organization and the various groups of commercials, sideliners, and hobbyists to have one provincial organization that speaks for everyone.

Here again are the founding details:


Click each page above to read, or click here to read it all full-size on one page or here for the PDF.

And here is the Plan and links to the Marketing Act.

This afternoon, I'm sharpening my sword and dagger, polishing my armour, and brushing up on my Sun Tzu and Machiavelli.

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.
 Sun Tzu

A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.
Niccolo Machiavelli

*    *    *    *    *

I had intended to evaporate oxalic again, but when I got out, although the thermometer said plus five, the lower limit recommended for oxalic evaporation, I found there is a cool breeze and the bees are clustered quite tightly.  The fumes won't penetrate the cluster when this is the case, so I settled for taking pictures.

For those of you who like bee pictures, here are shots into the top of the hives in my North and South of the Hedge yards. The bees are in EPS boxes and do not require wrapping.  Checking them is a simple as lifting the lid and the insulating pillows.

The hives are in two  to four boxes.  The one shot on an angle was too tall for me to shoot straight down.  As always, hover the cursor or click the thumbnails images to see the high-res image.

   

   

You can see that some are looking better than others. Two, I doubt will survive, but who knows?

All hives were ignored all season and only received some mite treatments -- Apistan and oxalic drizzle, then fall evaporations --  if I thought of it.  I did not pull any honey.

We can also see that one hive, one that does not appear to be as big as I would like, has some incompletely drawn Mann Lake PF-100s in the top box (right), not something I like to see.  Another hive has dead young bees out front.  That happens sometimes due to bees getting isolated from the cluster for various reasons and chilled. The burlap is left over from plugging the entrance when I last evaporated oxalic.  I had just left it.

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


Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
Those who count the votes decide everything.
Joesph Stalin

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Sunday December 4th 2016

Today Flurries ending this afternoon then cloudy. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High minus 2.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries overnight. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50. Low minus 15. Wind chill minus 26.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

Snow is predicted for today and I'm am planning travel north to see Jean and family.  We'll see how wise that is since road maintenance is usually spotty for the first major snowfall of the year.  Is an inch or two a major snowfall? It can be.  This is just an estimate.

Stats this AM? 219.0 lbs. 5.9 & 128/77 Pulse 59.

I was reviewing my posts and noticed that I mentioned that albertabeekeepers.com was available years ago, and I offered to register it for the ABA, but was refused and remained available.  Seeing as no one wanted it, I registered it five minutes ago.

I spent some time this afternoon watching Dirty Harry, getting psyched up for tomorrow.

I set up and recorded the action of the rim drive on my furnace burner and made movies, then edited them.  That job is time consuming, but when speeded up, things that happen very slowly are much easier to see, and I immediately spotted several issues.

Zip and I drove to Gull Lake and had supper with Jean and family.  I was tired and went to bed early.

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

We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential.
Hence the fact that many inventions had their birth as toys.
Eric Hoffer

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Monday December 5th, 2016

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I left at 0630 to meet Liz in Edmonton for breakfast and to attend a meeting with the board of the Alberta Beekeepers Commission at the J.G. O'Donahue Building.

We had extra time and drove around the campus. I recalled having worked out of a building there, the O.S. Longman building when I was an inspector under Roger Topping and doing the survey when chalkbrood was first seen in Alberta, then the wintering survey back in the 1980s when Alberta beekeepers were forced to winter bees and when Mexican package bees were imported as a potential alternative to US bees..

We arrived on time and were given a hour to make our case, or actually, Liz was.  She has been the standard-bearer through all this and has done all the research and plowed on past the road blocks and excuses to get us to this point.

I have just recently been dragged into this, having been retired and figured the thing would resolve itself, not that the board was hell-bent on destroying what we built up over the years and seemingly ignorant of the history and the mistakes of the past.

The meeting went well and Liz certainly snowed them with facts and arguments, but I was concerned we did not get to answer questions properly.  I think we would have been better off with a short intro, then a Q & A, but it was not my show.  I was a guest.

I did get to mention though that there had been a previous Commission and that we had it dissolved for trying to do pretty much what the current Commission is trying to do.

The meeting was run in a timeline with little flexibility for discussion that might have cleared up misunderstandings. Questions and answers were cut off and the board members had little opportunity to reveal their thoughts and worries.  Liz had a pile of data and points to make, but sometimes just asking questions, then listening to the answers solves these impasses.

Liz and I had coffee, then I drove home and I drank a bottle of scotch to try to wash off all the slime. It hurts to see good people doing bad things, and these are good people doing a very bad thing. Scotch does not help, as it turns out.

From where I sit, it seems the board has been led astray with false assumptions, exaggerated fears, and greed and, and don't see the light.  Most of them are out of the loop when it come right down to it and just go along with anything that they are told.  

I heard one person, however, state in the meeting, not in these words, but in meaning, that to him money and possessions count for more than people.  I saw, though, that the others were thinking...  Some of them are professed Christians, if that counts for anything.

People have fought wars and rioted to eliminate head taxes and to achieve universal suffrage.  Having a voice regardless of financial standing is a basic underlying right in our country. 

All through history it was argued by the rich and the elites that the common person does not have the wisdom to decide on affairs of state.  Were they right?

We treasure our rights in Canada and if I had not seen it before, I would be shocked to see a few rich beekeepers try to evade their responsibilities to their less propertied neighbours and peers. 

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

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
George Bernard Shaw

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Tuesday December 5th, 2016

Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 23. Wind chill minus 29.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

I did a lot of thinking and writing.

In the afternoon, I had some banking to do and drove to town. Since I had an evening meeting scheduled in Calgary, too, I drove Zip over to Ruth's since I did not think I could leave my dog in the van in such cold weather for even an hour during the Calgary meeting. 

The howling winds and the minus twenty-something temperatures I encountered driving there and back convinced me that a trip to Calgary for a watchkeepers meeting and an inconsequential social was not worth it and I stayed home and set up an online forum to reduce the need for such in-person meetings.

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 glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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Wednesday December 7th, 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of flurries this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 18. Wind chill minus 32.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 25. Wind chill minus 30.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

This is one of those days where I just don't know where the time goes.  Some days I think it must be noon and it is nine AM and others, I think it is nine and it is noon.

It's 1100 now. I've been up since 0630 and, yes, I have done things of consequence, but the time flies.

*    *    *    *    *

It came to me during the night that the Commission issue is not a political or legal one.  It is a moral issue.

We built the Alberta Beekeepers Association up from nothing over the years on principles of openness, inclusion, generosity sharing and trust.  The costs were and should be borne by those who can afford it best and many served with no compensation for mileage, no honorarium, and, sometimes, little thanks. 

This tradition continues, in fact, Liz and I are facing down the full might of government and the smug, self-satisfied, well-paid directors of a prosperous Commission with a war chest of well over a half million dollars, with our own time and money -- at least until we go online and raise money from around the world with a Fund-me campaign and an online petition.  We are hoping it does not need to come to that.

Any time we strayed from those principles -- openness, inclusion, generosity sharing and trust -- we have fallen into dark times, and it has happened.  Only by the example provided by strong, moral, open-minded and generous leaders have we managed to get back on the road and regained respect as the preeminent association in Canada.

At one time many of us Albertans skipped our own Alberta Provincial meetings and went to Saskatchewan as their association was run on the highest principles at the time and Alberta had fallen under the spell of a few partisan, controlling individuals who wanted to exclude, not include others.  These folks created a FUD narrative and emphasized unlikely hypothetical risks to scare others into supporting them, then discounted and demonized their opponents and other beekeepers.  It is easy to get taken down that road.

Then Saskatchewan changed and spent years mired in the same sort of suspicion, mutual fear, partisanship and stinginess (Read my report from 2003) and Alberta recovered its senses, led by honest, open individuals and became the go-to meeting.

Now, I hear Saskatchewan has turned away from that downward path and returned to democratic principles of openness and inclusion.  They are about to create a Commission on the principles we began with: inclusion of all registered beekeepers -- and, sure enough Alberta is going down the wrong road again. It's a cycle.

When Liz and I left the meeting, I recall Liz was puzzled by the fact that these board members are obviously people of moral character.  I confess I was pulling my punches. The term she used was, I believe, "God-fearing people", and seemed bent on oppressing their fellows. Rather than follow their Sunday high principles, they seem to be gripped by dark fears and avarice and unable to see that their actions violate their own principles of equality, generosity, caring for the poor and weak, and sharing.

Thus ends this sermon.

*    *    *    *    *

Now a parable:

My son and I are avid skiers and we both had been ski patrollers.  I also qualified as a ski instructor, so obviously we are strong skiers.  We love skiing the steeps.  We were working our way down a steep mogul field one day and I mentioned that I was finding it more difficult than I had expected.

He said, "You are looking at this backwards.  As a ski patroller, you were  expected to set a good example for the kids and keep your skis on the snow -- and not go for big air. You are free skiing now, and skiing fast with big air is the goal.  Instead of looking how best to keep your skis on the snow, start looking for opportunities for big air and you will see how easy this hill is."

He was right.  The hill was easy, at least from that point on, and no, when I looked at it that way,  there were actually not very many challenges when I was looking at moguls as ramps to get air instead of bumps to get around.

*    *    *    *    *

What we experience depends on how we think. Look for the positive in others and we see and activate the positive.  Look for the negative and we see and activate that negative.  There is both and either in all. 

Good leaders have a generous and positive spirit. They see and emphasize the positive opportunities and bring out the best in people.  The Commission needs such a leader who can bring everyone together, no exclude and splinter our occupation.

I think the board is looking into the wrong end of the telescope.  It's contagious, too.  Once one person does it, everyone does. 

If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you.

He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster.
And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Ain't that the truth. This business is exhausting and concentrating on this matter having to deal with the perpetrators is soul-sucking.  Some are innocent fellow travelers, swept along unknowingly in the stream, but the anger, fear and insensitivity some exude is palpable.

*    *    *    *    *

Remember, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.
Yoda

...Fearing not I'd become my enemy in the instant  that  preached.
Bob Dylan

*    *    *    *    *

People are just naturally cautious and fears are much more powerful than the instinct for generosity, altruism or seeing new opportunities.  Fear is a very powerful motivator and it need not be rational.  In fact, it usually is not.

I just read my 2003 article and it takes me back.  I have the same disappointment seeing my fellows going in what is obviously the wrong way and not knowing it.

In Saskatchewan, just one or two people were poisoning the well and it makes me ask who is poisoning the well here in Alberta now, after we all got along so well for so long.
 

I am pretty sure I know.  I've been watching for years and been inside the organization, but can you figure it out?  The truth is actually common knowledge -- one of those things everyone sorta  knows and knows that everyone else knows, but never gets spoken.

Just as it just takes one strong, principled leader to lead the people out of the darkness and into the light, it often just takes one Hitler to lead an entire people, and planet, into Hell and it usually begins with the best of intentions and small measures, but always by division.

*    *    *    *    *

I have to say this Commission business has quite upset my schedule and is a most annoying waste of everyone's time.  Moreover, it really bothers me to have to fight this battle with my friends and colleagues and takes a toll.  I care about people.

Anyhow, tomorrow I am off to the coast. We intend to survey Shongololo on the hard at at Vector Marine Friday morning. 

The plan is to haul the boat out of the water with the Travelift so that the surveyor can examine the bottom.  The lift is shown at right.

Two inches of snow is predicted, however, and the temperatures are below freezing,  so the trip may not work out quite as as planned.  We'll see. I have to be out of here by nine-thirty.

*    *    *    *    *

I spent the afternoon tuning up the surveillance camera around the place.  One had fallen down and two have clear pictures, but had developed a purple hue.  A Google search soon solved that issue.

I also cancelled my reservations for Canmore ski week Dec 12-15th since the temperatures there are not predicted to rise above minus fifteen for the nest week and minus ten is my limit for good skiing.  I've skied in weather down to minus forty, but that kind of weather is not my choice for a ski week.  I intend to be back Saturday, but next week is free now.

*    *    *    *    *

I use a little space heater to keep my toes warm when I watch video and it quit suddenly.  It had worked one day, but failed to come on the next.  I pulled it apart and the thermal fuse is blown.

Small appliances like coffee pots and heaters have these fuses inside to kill the power if they get too hot for some reason, like falling over in the case of a heater, or who knows what in the case of a coffee maker.  They sometimes fail for no apparent reason.

It's a great idea and prevents fires, but these fuses are not easily accessible or a consumer-replaceable part.  As a result a lot of perfectly good small appliances are thrown in the trash, just due to failure of one little one-dollar part.

For me these fuses are replaceable, though. It is simply a matter of taking the device part and identifying the part.  The fuse is the little item circled in the image at left and shown larger at right.

I took the specs off the blown fuse and ordered a replacement on eBay -- five for five dollars delivered.  The complicating factor is that is that every such fuse I've seen has a different activation temperature, so I doubt I'll ever use the extra four.  While I might try a lower temperature fuse , it would be imprudent to install one with a higher temperature tolerance.

I had to use my phone to see the markings on the fuse, they are so small and faint.

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

Money was invented so we could know exactly how much we owe.
Cullen Hightower

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Thursday December 8th, 2016

Today Mainly sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 19. Wind chill minus 34.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 27. Wind chill minus 36.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

We are in a cold spell that is predicted to last.

I'm off to the coast for a quick trip today.

I have been wondering for weeks, why the board of the Alberta Beekeepers Commission is so bent on eliminating the option for small beekeepers to vote and doing so in a sneaky and questionable fashion, without publicizing it well in advance and without inviting discussion. It makes no sense.

I woke up today realizing there can be only one answer.  They plan to do something the small operators will not like, and I think I can guess what it is.

I have heard that the Commission wants to hire a lobbyist to lobby governments.  For what, I wonder?  And why would they not want small beekeepers to participate?

Alberta beekeepers have wanted to have some influence over the current embargo on bee imports from the USA.  We agreed to a closure originally as a temporary wait-and-see measure when tracheal mites arrived in the US.  That 'temporary' precautionary measure has proven to be permanent. Many arguments have been presented by protectionists for maintaining the embargo in spite of the fact that we, ourselves, now have all the pests used as excuses.

The industry has been divided over the embargo across the country and and across demographics.  Maybe that is it, but on what side would we lobby?  There is a fairly even split, even in the commercial crowd in the past, but I think at present, the consensus is that the embargo does more harm than good by raising the cost of replacement bees for little benefit. No that Apivar is failing, SHB is about the only excuse for exclusion and they have been seen on the Prairies in 2006 and since and have never persisted.

That cannot be it, so, if that is not it, what is it? 

Seeing as the small beekeepers vote was written out of the Plan in a move of questionable legitimacy and under a cloak of deliberate or accidental secrecy, we have to assume that the insiders at the Commission intend to lobby on a matter that will affect small beekeepers negatively.  I cannot see any other reason for trying to suppress that vote.

In this action, they have declared war on small beekeepers it seems, and when that is pointed out to them, rather than make things right, they have become even more entrenched in their position.

So, is there any other explanation?  I think it is time to start an online petition to have the changes nullified and the original Plan, ratified by a vote of all registered beekeepers in 2004/2005 restored. There may even be grounds to impeach the board. 

If I don't hear positive news in this regard, I intend to begin action to start a petition for a referendum -- if someone does not beat me to it.

We'll have beekeepers on the evening news and on the steps of the Legislature.

Allen,

You don't see the potential for hobby beekeepers to hijack the commission and use it to best serve their interests? The "all for one, one for all" mentality is great, but when it comes to serving the interests of ALL beekeepers, we will be quickly overruled by existing, and new beekeepers. My biggest concerns that I want the commission fighting for are resistance to miticides, and honey prices. Do you honestly think someone with 5 hives has the same concern, loses the same sleep at night as someone who's livelihood, and that of his employees, depends on these issues?
Speaking with other beekeepers, and co-op members, there is more new beekeepers entering the field than ever. Many have jumped on the treatment free bandwagon. This could have disastrous effects on the commission.
If the commission stops fighting for the issues important to me and my business, my dues go unpaid. Simple as that.

Thanks. I was wondering when someone would state the rationale used to rationalize this covert coup. 

I understand these fears are real to those who harbour them, but also know that nothing has really changed since we threw out the first Commission for arrogance decades ago, or since all the beekeepers --  including the small ones -- voted to entrust this Commission with their Association. 

This narrative always emerges from time to time and in spite of the lack of evidence to support it, it is hard to combat.

Fact is that commercial beekeepers are a far bigger threat to other commercial beekeepers than the hobbyists. 

Granted, the occasional hobbyist is a menace, but I have seen far more commercial apiaries broken down with AFB or killed by rampant varroa or nosema than I have seen serious issues with small beekeepers. 

I've also seen commercials moving in on other commercials.  Small beekeepers cause small problems and are generally respectful to large beekeepers.  Commercials, not so much.

There have always been fearmongers trying to gain power in the Province by making up narratives to split us into categories, demonize others and try to get people to take sides. Sometimes they succeed for a while -- until things get too toxic and they lose influence.  To them, money and power is more important than intellectual integrity, honest principles and people.  Always remember that evil often is most often disguised -- initially at least -- as good. Later, and often too late, we find out the truth.

These deceivers have attractive appearances, and often they justify their folly with seemingly honourable goals.  Usually they to not know themselves that they are doing wrong and undoing the work of generations before them. We have to judge them, however, by their methods and how they treat weaker people.

People like to follow.  The current board, judging by what I saw at the meeting, are mostly followers. I wonder what they see when they look around at one another. Do they see what I see? Can they see who and what is pulling their chains?

Usually, demonizing others -- often an innocent an powerless group -- and presenting them as a threat is a standard technique employed deliberately or accidentally to unify a faction and gain control of an organization or population. We saw a textbook example of that in the recent US election.  'Nuff said.

Fear is a powerful tool and manipulates like noting else. The FUD technique is basic and simple, and uses logic based on plausible, but false or shaky assumptions.  FUD is easy to see through if you look and examine the assumptions, but victims are hooked by fear and can't do that.

I was taken in by various manipulators' fear campaigns years back, and after I realised that there is nothing to fear except fear, I have been an advocate of communication, compromise and mutual support. 

We have come this far by trust and co-operation, and when we have lost respect for one another we all suffered and stepped backwards, sometimes a long way back  Let's not do that again.

At any rate, as I write this, I am sitting on my sailboat, Cassiopeia, tied up in the Port Sidney Marina in the middle of a howling gale. This seaworthy forty-two-foot vessel is rocking and rolling at the dock and straining her lines  There are whitecaps in the slips. 

The trip out was easy.  I was up at three, puttered around, packed, drove to YYC and had a snack in the lounge, then took my seat aboard the plane.  I pulled down my toque over my eyes and fell asleep.  When I awoke, I heard voices and wondered where I was.  I  pulled up the toque and looked around.  We were still taxiing.  I had only slept for minutes, but it seemed like hours.

The skis were clear and I enjoyed the view all the way to Victoria.

Although I am warm and comfortable, and quite enjoying the storm, I am weary from trying to  understand and empathize with everyone, ally and adversary, and am going to quit for now and watch Dicte, a Danish series I quite enjoy.

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

While money doesn't talk, it swears.
Obscenity, who really cares.
Propaganda, all is phony.
While them that defend what they cannot see.
With a killer's pride, ...
Bob Dylan

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Friday December 9th, 2016

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h this afternoon. High minus 18. Wind chill minus 36.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low minus 26. Wind chill minus 37.

Environment Canada forecast
Ten day forecast

Sunrise, Sunset, and Moon Times

The storm raged all night. It's dying down now, at 0645, as dawn approaches. I see a little snow on the docks.  Listening to the radio, however, I hear the worst is about to hit. This may be a wasted trip.

I'm expecting Callum and the surveyor, Ken, sometime around 0830.  We'll do what we can aboard Shongololo here at the dock.

I have improved the past week's entries and I see that discussion has opened up in the forum. Why not join in?  I'm too busy today to contribute much, but I enjoy hearing different points of view. Openness and discussion leads to truth and we need truth.

*    *    *    *    *

Callum came by at 0800.  Apparently, Ken could not get out of his driveway due to ice and the boatyards are closed on account of the snow -- the whole two centimeters of it.  I'm snug her eon the boat with odd jobs to keep me busy.

At noon, we learned that Ken won't come today, but will be here at nine tomorrow.  That sets me free for the day and tonight. My cousin is in town, so I invited him over.

I decided that I am here for the duration, so walked to the grocery store.

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

No man ever listened himself out of a job
Calvin Coolidge

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