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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.
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.
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,
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.
Since this can of worms is open, and not by our choice, everything is now on the table.
One person, one vote. Revolutionary, isn't it?
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.
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.
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.
In approaching a problem a Marxist should see the
whole as well as the parts.
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.
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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 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.
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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.
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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!
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.
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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?
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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.
I stayed until eleven-thirty, left during the break and drove home. Bill was doing another set, but I found the first sufficient.
Giving money and power to government is like giving
whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
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.
If we are to believe the claims on this site, the Commission served the interests of Alberta beekeepers since 1933. Not true.
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.
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.
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:
And here is the Plan and links to the Marketing Act.
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?
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.
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.
We are more ready to try the untried when what we
do is inconsequential.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent
many for appointment by the corrupt few.
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.
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.
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.
When Liz and I left the meeting, I
recall Liz was puzzled by the fact that these board members are
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 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.
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.
* * * * *
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 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.
* * * * *
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.
Money was invented so we could know exactly how
much we owe.
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?
That cannot be it, so, if that is not it, what is it?
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.
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.
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.
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.
While money doesn't talk, it swears.
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.
No man ever listened himself out of a job
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